Acting Headshots | Virginia Beach Photographer

• May 27th, 2014 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Do you know how much talent we have in our teens here in Virginia Beach? I LOVED getting to know Carli from The Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk. She is the third teen from this school I have photographed for headshots, and I am hopeful to get to know many more! Carli was a joy to photograph. She told me it was her first professional shoot but she could have fooled me! She showed confidence and joy and was such a trooper as we maneuvered around another photo shoot. A headshot session is shorter than a normal session, so I didn’t get to spend as much time as I like with Carli, but I am looking forward to future sessions! Thanks so much, Carli, for trusting me to capture you for your future auditions! I know you’ll rock them and I look forward to seeing you perform in person soon!


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Wilson Maternity | Virginia Beach Photographer

• May 27th, 2014 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Wilson Baby number two is on her way!!!! I LOVE this family! Latoya and Mark’s son, Mark Jr., was one of the first newborns I ever photographed. I was over the moon when I heard they were expecting baby number two! We had such a wonderful time exploring the woods at First Landing State Park, And oh my goodness, did they make my job easy! They are still so in love and so gorgeous! Little Mark is a heartbreaker and I can’t wait to photograph little Malaya soon!

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A Mommy M.O.M.E.N.T. | Personal

• May 21st, 2014 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Have you seen the movie “Mom’s Night Out”? If not, I highly recommend it.

It did get me thinking though. There is one scene where the main character talks about having “Mommy Moments” and no, she isn’t talking about the early morning kisses or the snuggles during their bedtime story. She’s talking about the moments we completely LOSE it because we’re stressed and overwhelmed and the “Mommy, can you..” “Mommy, I need…” “Mommy, he hit me…” “Mommy, when are you…” and “Mommy… Mommy… MOMMY!” …all become just too much! We all have those moments! And, like Sarah Drew in the movie, I beat myself up so badly for having them!

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I am officially the mom of a teenager! Olivia just turned thirteen and I am SO very proud of the woman she is becoming. She is one of the kindest people I know and her heart is so big that she can’t decide if she wants to be a missionary, a doctor, a farmer or a veterinarian! However, she is also a teenager with hormones and a 10 second attention span! She and I butt heads often and this weekend I had multiple “Mommy Moments” as we butted heads more than once.

I am a kind person. I love to help people. I try hard not to judge and I work hard to be honest all the time. I love my family more than I can imagine. But I am far from perfect. Sadly, my kids usually see the very worst side of me. I hardly ever raise my voice to people and I despise confrontation. Yet, with my kids, I don’t think twice about yelling and lately, it seems confrontation is a daily thing between Olivia and I! I have had some pretty ugly “Mommy Moments” and I beat myself up for them daily.

I love my kids so very much, yet they see a side of me NO ONE else does! I guess the overwhelmed Mom working so hard (to raise them right, while running a business, while supporting a husband in school, while keeping the house clean and bellies fed, etc.) just hits her breaking point and has that ugly “moment”. Growing up, my dad was a “yeller” and no matter how much I try to be different, when I get upset, overwhelmed and stressed, I revert to what I knew growing up. I hate it when I get so upset about chores, messy rooms, homework, grades or sibling rivalry that I loose my cool and start yelling. However, I try hard to be honest with my munchkins! I repent, I apologize and tell them Mommy is sorry she got so upset. I talk about what got me so upset and how I SHOULD have acted and how they could have acted better as well.

I’m not perfect. I beat myself up all the time. Am I raising kids in fear? Do my kids know that “stressed out mommy” isn’t who I want to be? That fun, happy care-free mom is there for them ALWAYS and that stressed mom is just as human as they are. Ugh…Being a mom is HARD!

I wanted to be a mom SO BAD and was so excited to get pregnant almost as soon as we said “I do”! But being a mom of a teenager, a tween and an eight year old is HARD! They talk back! They fight! They don’t do their homework! They NEEEEEED stuff all the time and they all need to be somewhere else at the exact same time! It’s hard. Being a wife is hard, being a business owner is hard. LIFE is hard.

Moms, we need to give ourselves a break!!! If you are like me, you beat yourself up for your “Mommy Moments” and you can’t! I can’t! I need to have a little grace for myself, as I know God gives me SO much!

We need to stop comparing ourselves to others. I can guarantee that the “perfect” mom you think you see at church, at your playgroups, at the playground or at your job has her “Moments” too. She looses it. She yells, she hides from the kids, she has loads of laundry she didn’t do, etc. She’s not perfect.

I’m an open book. I actually laugh out loud when people say things like “but your marriage is so perfect” or “You seem like the best mom” because my life isn’t perfect! My husband and I have been to hell (and back!) but we push through the hard times. I currently am looking at a HUGE pile of clothes that AREN’T going to get washed tonight and I have photography equipment and props strewn EVERYWHERE around my office. The “perfect” mom does not exist so why do we try so hard to emulate her?

Watch the movie! Have some laughs and in the end, remember that God gave your munchkins to you. He knows your mistakes, your downfalls, your weaknesses; He knows we won’t be perfect mothers… but we are the perfect mother for OUR kids. God does not make mistakes and he gave your munchkins to YOU! There is grace and forgiveness for when we mess up. And we will! This funny Hollywood movie helped remind me that I can have my “moments” and they don’t make me a bad mother. They make me human.

So, when you have your “Mommy Moment,” don’t stress out. We all do! And if you meet someone who says she doesn’t, you can de-friend her… she’s a liar and you don’t need liars in your corner! 🙂

Model for a Day: Ashley | Virginia Beach Portrait Photographer

• May 6th, 2014 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Ashley just turned 15 and we scheduled a fun photoshoot to celebrate.  She is such a beautiful and confident young lady!  I so enjoyed getting to know her and her awesome family!  Grandma and Grandpa were in town for a visit so we, of course, had to grab some shots of them as well! Dad joined in too. I know at 15, Ashley, you feel like an adult; but to Dad, you’ll always be his little girl!

Happy Birthday Ashley!  Thanks so much for allowing me to help capture some amazing portraits for you!


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Jaron and Brittany Engaged! | Virginia Beach Portrait Photographer

• May 2nd, 2014 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

So, this blog post is a little late. We did Jaron and Brittany’s engagement session a while ago!  But somehow they never got blogged and they are WAY to0 cute not to share!  We went out to Bennet’s Creek Park in Suffolk, which was a nice surprise for me since I haven’t shot there before! But it was a beautiful day and such a wonderful couple.  Enjoy the love…can’t wait for November!

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This engagement session was also just a little bittersweet. See, Jaron is in the military and he left for an almost year-long deployment the day AFTER this session.  So while they were so excited to celebrate their engagement, they were also very sad to be saying goodbye.  In fact, this one portrait we took speaks volumes to the military couple… you are always together, always loving and caring for each other, but are also sometimes so very far away from each other. Thank you so much to all the military partners, spouses and families out there!  I was in your shoes for a long time…I know how hard the deployments can be for those having to stay home!  Blessings to you and thank you for your service. Please stay safe, Jaron. See you soon! faded