Happy Mother’s Day!|Creative Chaos

• May 10th, 2020 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the wonderful mother’s out there. Whether you’re a biological mom, adoptive mom, soon-to-be mom, grand-mom, step-mom, all around mother figure and everything in between, I hope you have a beautiful and wonderful day today, and are celebrated for the amazing people you are.

During this quarantine, our patience has been tested! Creativity has a new definition, and time is sometimes irrelevant. Did I do that yesterday morning? Or this morning? Wait, it’s only 3:00, it’s not bed time yet? I hear you. I’ve been there, but you know what? This too shall pass. Personally, this quarantine has been a beautiful reminder of what mother’s and family are supposed to be all about. We are forced to go back to basics and spend quality time together, get creative, play games, and just be present in the moment.

Today, I am spending my day with my wonderful husband and beautiful boys. Had to get creative because they have been going stir crazy, so I made a tape race track in my living room. We have had race after after race and I’m exhausted and it’s only 1:00. Andrew is down for a nap and Daddy and Bradley are outside playing. Mommy is going to kick back and read a book.

Enjoy this time together, take those few moments for yourself too. You’re beautiful and you deserve it. Happy Mother’s Day! You’ve got this!

Why am I not working? | Personal Covid-19

• March 30th, 2020 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

This pandemic sucks. It really does. I’m a small business owner and my family relies on my income. I hate not working and I am worried for the future of Devon Shanor Photography. We can sustain for a short time but we need this to be over SOONER rather than later!

That said, today I’ve been asked a few times why I’m not actively trying to set up sessions and bring in more clients. Here’s my reasons:

  1. I’m following the words of my governor. I love photography but it is NOT essential to day to day living. To help stop the spread of this disease, he asked all non essential businesses to close. He specially asked those in the service business to SHUT DOWN. That’s me. I hate it and I’m VERY concerned for my future but my governor asked me to close.
  2. I have kids… teenagers who are HATING this quarantine. They look for loopholes and ways to get around the rules. What kind of example am I setting if I find loopholes and ways to work around the standards our governor has set? It’s HARD raising teens and we all know they will look at my actions so much more than my words!
  3. I want this to END! I was so frustrated yesterday driving around Virginia Beach. Parties, groups of people, lines and lines of cars waiting to go to the parks… people are NOT following the rules of the quarantine. This will not end anytime soon if we DON’T follow the rules. I’m trying to be a part of the solution, not the problem.
  4. All those times I said “I am so BUSY, I don’t have time for xyz” Guess what? Now I do! The plans I wanted to put into place, the systems that needed implementing, the bookkeeping I never got done… there is TIME now. Time that I can use to make the time when I can get back to work easier!
  5. My kids are home! Kids that soon will be off to college, off living on their own. They are HOME and CAN’T leave. What better time to make memories and do things together! Have those long talks, play more board games, laugh til we cry, make those crafts that we always said we would do someday. THESE are the moments they will remember forever. I can’t wait for the stories that will begin with… “Remember during the Quarantine when…”

All that said, I love my job and I trust that we will get through this. and there are still ways you can support my business!

  1. Send me love on social media! Leave me google and FB reviews. Tell your friends your amazing experiences so when they ARE ready to book and I CAN go back to work, they know who to call!
  2. Pay off prior balances. If you have a prior balance and want to pay it off, I am in the office a few hours each day and am taking emails and phone calls. Most of my labs are still printing and we can get your orders placed asap!
  3. Buy a gift certificate. I am offering my “buy a gift certificate and get 50% more” deal that I usually only offer once a year! Take advantage now and get more for your dollar later when you are ready for your portraits!
  4. Order from past sessions. I am offering some great deals on past sessions. If you didn’t purchase your flash drive, or want extra prints, now is the time to call me! I can get you this years Christmas gifts at a deal!
  5. Pray for me and all small businesses. This is a scary time. Small businesses don’t usually qualify for unemployment or other benefits that others get… so many of us are scared and wondering what the future months hold for us. I have faith I’ll get through this but extra prayer is always welcomed!!

We’ve got this everyone. We will get through this… granted we may be bruised and stressed and full of holes but we will come out on the other side. I truly believe that. Don’t give up and keep your chin up. I don’t want to go through the next few months miserable and angry… so I’m choosing to have faith and find the very best “bright side” I can. Join me, stay home and stay safe!! <3

We Will Persevere! | Covid-19

• March 25th, 2020 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Okay- that was a bit dramatic- sorry! The world isn’t ending, just changing for a short time… drastically for some of us. I’ve been thinking and rethinking and brainstorming about what to do with my business. Then the governor dropped the bomb yesterday that I’m officially out of business for the time being!

So… what happens with Devon Shanor Photography right now? Well, we are closed for actual photography… no more shooting. This is in effect for the next month until April 20th. After Easter, I’ll be making a decision on the future weeks and months.

If I haven’t yet, I will be contacting all sessions scheduled between now and then to reschedule. I hate the senior portraits, birthday celebrations, military homecomings, boudoir sessions and “Fix my Crown” sessions we will be postponing but we will have more than enough time in the future to celebrate and capture these moments!!

I will be contacting those of you who have orders here ready for pickup and we can schedule that. If you have an order waiting to be placed, no worried we are finishing up your album designs and final edits and placing them. They will be dropped shipped to your home or available for pickup when they arrive.

I had plans in place for Mothers Day, Spring in the Box, Easter and Mer-May. We were excited to send out a newsletter telling you about the fun opportunities we had for the spring. Those are currently on hold… not canceled just yet, but on hold. We need to see what our area looks like in the next 30 days.

I will STILL be in the office. Many of you know there is a software program I am working on transitioning to and it’s been kicking my butt… so I’ll now have ample time to work on that! I’ve also been working on my sports packages- doing more team posters for the high schools and local sports teams like the ones below. With this extra time I can get the sports packages all ready for when sports start up again. Let me know if you have a team that would like more information!

We are also working on ways to stay connected with you. So many of us are home and isolated with our kiddos. Which is GREAT for the busy world we live in. It’s quality time to spend with them! They will look back on this pandemic and remember this time of playing games, budding forts, taking naps and cuddles, cooking meals, making messes, etc! You can do this mom’s and dads! That said, we ALL need some inspiration. So we are compiling games, ideas, activities and FUN we can have all while staying socially distant. Keep and eye out for our new blog program: Devon’s Creative Chaos!

Lastly, I have often been told that my office feels like a friends house or a therapists office. Many appointments end with us sitting and chatting and gabbing about our lives and experiences. Please know that while, my office is closed to visitors, my phone isn’t. This is a time of panic and anxiety for many of you, and so many of you are feel isolated! I am not a therapist, but I do listen well. If you are in a bad place- call me. Ask me to tell you about the funniest photography stories. Babies who have peed on me, dads who acted like toddlers on photoshoots, equipment malfunctions at the WORST times… I have enough stories to take your mind off your fears for at least a little while.

We will all get through this together. Make good choices for today but don’t worry about tomorrow. It might be a difficult month.. or two… or three… but we will come out on the other side. Let’s come out stronger together!!!

Lily Anne Turns One

• April 25th, 2019 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Yay one! A year full of firsts and lots of milestones to celebrate with Lily. The plan was to do family portraits outdoors and then bring the family indoors for Lily’s cake smash, well the weather didn’t get the memo. It rained for three days straight leaving the ground soaked, a chill in the air and not a single ray of sunshine in sight!

So I know what you’re thinking, just reschedule the session and the problem is solved. Well not so fast, the fabulous smash cake had already been delivered and there was no way we were going to let this sugary goodness go to waste. We ended up doing lily’s cake photos as planned and did the family photo session a few days later. Lily and her big brother Tristan were naturals in front of the camera. Tristan liked my camera so much he wanted to help me take the photos. We just might have a future photographer in the making!

 

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Crowning Glory with Toby Family

• March 14th, 2019 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Cheyla approached me about a unique portrait session idea and I was so excited to dive into her ideas with her. This vision took us on a journey into her faith in God and her beliefs. Giana and Naomi joined in and were each crowned as well. The studio portraits and the family portraits at 64th street showed love both in faith and in family, even a blended family. It was a beautiful representation that love isn’t defined as blood alone and that our faith gives us strength and builds us up. I am so grateful that Cheyla and Eddie trusted me with their idea and their family. This was a session I will never forget! I hope it inspires others to think of unique sessions where photography can assist in capturing an important moment in their life!

I hope you enjoy these incredible portraits as much as I did. It was difficult to pick my favorite ones to share!

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Superhero Kent

• January 11th, 2019 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Kent was 6 months in December and he was happy and ready to celebrate his new ability to sit up on his own! He was also pretty excited about Santa coming to visit later in the month! Nichole, Kent’s mom, had to take a conference call during the portrait session so she spent time in the office while Kent and I got some fantastic portraits of him in the studio. Kent was such a superhero for his portraits! Thank you again for letting me photograph your handsome little man!

I continue to be proud that I made the decision to expand my space last year because it gives my clients and I the much needed space during the sessions!

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Oh Snap! What an Open House!

• August 16th, 2018 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

On August 10th, I held an Open House for everyone to stop by and come see the new space. Since June when we first decided to take on the space my office manager, Becca, and I have been working on getting everything perfect. I was so excited to share with everyone what the space looked like and I am so happy everyone that could show up, did. We found ourselves laughing with silly Photo Booth props, enjoying copious amounts of popcorn topped with candy from the popcorn bar, and drinking refreshing fruit punch with real fruit chunks.

Becca painted a wonderful canvas that was used as the guestbook and I took time at the end of the night to read what everyone had written. Thank you for all of the kind words! I am blown away by the feedback I received and so thankful to have such a strong supporting group of clients that have become friends and friends that have become clients.

Guests entered a raffle for a $75 credit and then enjoyed a quick tour of the new studio and office spaces. I now have a dressing room space, a make-up mirror, coffee machine, and more space for large families to enjoy viewing their photographs! I also had a slideshow of some of my most favorite photographs playing for everyone to see. I got to share some of our upcoming events: my back to school mini portrait session on August 25th at Tidewater Arboretum, my mermaid crown making party on September 8th, Senior Portraits for the class of 2019, exciting news about my Santa on the Beach session this fall, and new sessions that I am able to provide now that the studio has a separate space. I am very excited for what the fall will bring!

We had three raffle ticket winners that each won their own $75 credit toward an upcoming fall session. I can’t wait to photograph each of the winning families!Please enjoy some of the photographs of the studio and from the Open House.

We had such a wonderful turnout that we will be looking to host more events at the studio and at other locations. If you’d be interested in learning more about future events make sure to follow me on Facebook and watch for posts!

I hope that if you didn’t make it to the open house that I will see you soon to check out the space in person! I am very excited to share with everyone the new space and show off all of the hard work everyone has put in to make the space look so amazing!!

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Truly Inspired by Grace

• June 27th, 2018 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

I feel so lucky that I had the privilege to photograph Grace for her Senior Portraits. Grace is a very unique and inspiring young woman. Grace graduated High School early to give her time to dive into her art and prepare for her college experience at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).

For Grace’s portraits we traveled to downtown Norfolk and her fun and quirky personality gave life to the urban landscape around her. I was blown away by her unique look and how comfortable she was behind the camera. We got to explore her interests and her personality making this session one I will never forget. I found it extremely difficult to find only a few images from her session to share because they all embodied her fierce confidence and beauty.

It was a pleasure getting to know Grace. I know that she will lead a very creative and fulfilling life and that makes me so excited for her and her family. VCU will be lucky to have you. I look forward to seeing you succeed in the future. Good Luck Grace!

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Newborn Photography and Safety for your baby | Hampton Roads Photographer

• June 20th, 2018 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

I adore photographing newborns! My youngest is 12 so, my littlest clients give me my baby fix!  They are so tiny, new, squishy, and adorable!!  I love molding them into little naked balls, swaddling them into little beans with my wraps, and perfectly inserting them into baskets and bowls.  That said, a newborn shoot is not easy – with much of the work happening before I even book a client!

When I take your little one out of your hands to photograph them, I am accepting the greatest gift you have ever been given.  I am taking the baby that just days ago you had only ever held in your womb.  I have a HUGE responsibility to care for that baby and make sure he/she is safe and sound.  I take that responsibility seriously and I have put in the work to make sure I am educated on how to photograph your baby safely.  I have attended newborn workshops and classes to make sure I know how to mold, swaddle, and insert your perfect little bundles into the beautiful poses you often see in newborn portraits.

Often the pictures you see are not single images- but two or three images composited together where I am photoshopping out my assistants hands and fingers that are helping hold that perfect little baby in that pose.  The beautiful pictures of babies hanging from tree limbs- often that baby is just two inches off the ground- not hanging freely as the photograph would like you believe.  Expert and trained newborn photographers know these tricks and tools to keep your baby safe while still creating amazing art of your precious baby.

You are probably aware that newborn babies can’t support their own heads- so the famous pose with the little one holding their head on their tiny hands, is IMPOSSIBLE to do without doing a composite.  I always tell a client I can’t promise that shot because unless the baby is relaxed and completely asleep- that shot isn’t going to happen.  If your 6 day old baby doesn’t want to be in a certain position, I will not force them just for a picture. I still capture amazing images for my clients that express who their baby is and what they like even at such a young age.

The point of my post is to encourage people to research your photographers ESPECIALLY for newborn portraits.  You only get one chance to do newborn portraits (they change immensely after the first 2 weeks) and you don’t want your first portraits of your little one and your first portraits as a family being done by someone without the experience your child deserves.  While I understand cost becomes a big deciding factor for many people, for the safety of your newborn I beg you not to hire someone with price in mind.  An amazing deal doesn’t equal proper training and education to provide you with a safe environment and portrait session for your newborn.

I continue to take classes and attend workshops on newborn photography. I want to stay up to date on all the information out there so that I can enhance my client’s portrait sessions. You and your little precious munchkin deserve experience, education and passion.

Look at examples of a photographer’s work and try to find the photographer with the style you are looking for. When looking into a photographer, make sure you ask many questions such as:

  • How many newborns have you photographed?
  • Do you have an assistant with you during newborn shoots?
  • Are you educated in newborn safety during shoots?
  • Are you a licensed photographer with business insurance?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • What tools do you use to help my newborn calm down when they start to cry?

Get the information you need to make the very best choice for your little munchkin.  You want your session to be something you remember with fondness and love, not fear and unease.  Choose the photographer who will make your session easy for both you and baby, and will create amazing portraits you’ll cherish forever!

Here are a few composite images I have complete for my clients.  Enjoy!

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Senior Portrait Sessions

• June 5th, 2018 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Before you know it, your precious baby has grown up right before your very own eyes. One day you’re chasing after them as they embark on their first run with those little feet and then the next you are receiving information about graduation caps and gowns. I’m currently trying to navigate my own feelings as my daughter, Olivia, is an upcoming Senior! While I am very excited for her, I find myself asking, “How did it all happen so fast?!”.

One of my favorite sessions to photograph are Senior Portraits because I get the opportunity to capture the cusp between childhood and adulthood that these talented young people experience. I am rewarded once more when I get the family together for their viewing and display the photographs – because the expressions of surprise, love and admiration are the greatest bonus I could receive.

I love seeing how each Senior chooses to express themselves during their session with their body language, the locations we go to, their clothing, and any props or important items they choose to add into their session. It gives me a glimpse into who they are and an idea of the kind of incredible future they will have. I have had students bring their baseball bats, footballs, guitars, skateboards, art supplies and surfboards to incorporate into their portraits and we always find fun and interesting ways to utilize their prized possessions to make their portrait unique. I am so thankful for the moment when they let their guard down and I capture the portrait where they are completely relaxed and comfortable because, that ends up being the one they love the most.

Senior Portraits are also a great opportunity to capture the family as it stands at that moment before they go off to college. There is so much that can happen in a year that it’s important to take photographs of everyone together before internships, relationships, and other life events pull people in different directions. I offer FREE family portrait sessions to every family that books a senior portrait session.

As the school year comes to a close, I am so proud of the Graduating Class of 2018. I know that you have an incredible future waiting for you and I am excited to see all that you will accomplish over the next four years. If you haven’t had your portraits done already, it isn’t too late to get some portraits done to commemorate this incredible moment in your life.

Looking ahead to the Graduating Class of 2019, I am excited to capture this year’s moments with Seniors and their families. I am currently offering a Senior Summer Session deal that is CRAZY and I know you won’t want to miss it.

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