Class of 2021 | Ava

• March 18th, 2021 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

I love getting to photograph siblings of past high school senior clients. Ava’s sister was a client of mine years ago and I was happy when their mom called me to photograph Ava too!

Ava, didn’t want my traditional sunset portraits. So we decided the Botanical gardens would be perfect with great architecture and stunning gardens for the beautiful bright and airy look she wanted.

It was a HOT and very humid day but Ava was a rockstar and her portraits are AMAZING! After the session, my son and assistant even remarked “she could be a model.” I agree, Ava, you are stunning and it was such a joy to photograph you. I pray 2020 and 2021 are amazing years and you get all the “senior moments” you deserve!

 

DSP Candids of the Week! | Candids

• March 10th, 2021 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Portraits are supposed to be fun! Posing and staging is only half of it! Personally, Candids are my favorite! One of my favorite things about Devon is her ability to make any session fun. It doesn’t matter if it’s a tantrum, nervous mom getting her first boudoir shoot since kiddos, a Dad that “really hates getting his picture taken” or that senior that is only doing portraits to appease Mom and Dad… It’s a fun experience here at DSP!

Here are some of our favorite candids that we absolutely love! 

“I love my baby brother!!!!… Sooooooooo much!”

“Don’t mind me… just struttin’ my stuff with the newest fad… Wear necklaces around our teeth!” 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BEAUTIFUL MATTHEWS SISTERS!!!

“Nothing like a cold ocean touching your toes to make you run like the wind!”

Keep checking back for more candids on the blog! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why should you meet your Photographer BEFORE your session?

• February 11th, 2021 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

I just got off the phone with a client interested in booking a photography session, but she didn’t want to talk about anything except pricing.  I encouraged her to come into the studio to meet me, see the space, go over all her ideas, etc.  She said it wasn’t necessary, she just wanted to know my prices over the phone and compare them to other photographers and she will decide later.  Now I am a HUGE bargain shopper so I have NO problem with the price comparing and shopping around for the best price BUT with photography there is SO MUCH MORE to getting great pictures than just price!!

Post a “looking for a photographer” on fb and you will get HUNDREDS of responses of people willing to take your picture for just a few bucks.  However, there are many, many, many people out there who should NOT be calling themselves professionals and can cause harm, headache and disappointment.  I want to help you make sure that YOU aren’t on the receiving end of that! 

One of the BEST ways to do that is to meet your photographer! There are so many reasons why, but lets talk about my top 5! 

1. Does this photographer match the STYLE of photography you want?

I recommend you do this BEFORE you start calling photographers.  There are so many different styles of photography out there and you need to find out what kind of photographer they are before you even consider them.  Let’s name just a few styles of photography out there right now…

  • Natural
  • Bright and Airy
  • Dark and Moody
  • Lifestyle and Photojournalistic (less posed- just capturing the moments as they happen)
  • Traditional and Posed
  • Black and White
  • Fine Art

Once you determine a style, talk with your prospective photographer about it.  I am a natural photographer who edits warm and with bright colors. I do some Bright and Airy as well.  My sessions are mostly posed with lots of lifestyle breaks to capture the moments between the press. I have had clients has for a full Bright and Airy session.  Cool, I can do that.  You want a full Dark and Moody session, nope I’m not your photographer.  It’s just not my style. Even the best photographer in the world is going to disappoint you if their style of shooting and editing is not what you are wanting!

2.  Do you LIKE them? 

Find out if you LIKE your photographer.  I always tell my clients we need to make sure we are a good match and if we aren’t, that is OKAY!  The photographer is going to be spending a lot of time with you and his/her personality is going to lead the way on how the session feels and how YOU feel taking the pictures. If the personality of the photographer isn’t compatible with yours, the session is going to feel stressed and possibly even annoying. 

 I am bright and bubbly.  I am corny with my jokes, will often call you mom and dad (verses your names on a family session as I direct you), will snort and fake sneeze and dance very badly to get your kids to laugh, I might climb a wall or balance on a fence to get the shot, etc.  If those thing annoy or scare you, it’s okay to pass on me!  You are hiring me to make you FEEL and look amazing. If you are inwardly cringing when I greet you with “hey girl” or “hey hon” we are already off to bad start! 

So meet your photographer and ask yourself “Would I enjoy spending a few hours with this person?” If the answer is no, keep looking! 

Once you know if you like them, you need to find out if THEY like you for the kind of photography you are wanting!  Do they like Kids? Dogs? Husbands? 

The husbands part is a joke… kinda lol.  I have found that LOTS of husbands and dads really don’t like having their pictures taken, so make sure you find a photographer that can be patient with that and help ease the tension. Teenagers can bring the same amount of angst and annoyance at having to do pictures.  Does your photographer know how to work with that?  

As for the kids, I have met so many people who said “I don’t think my last photographer even likes kids” or “They seemed to be uncomfortable when my kid acted out.”  Photographers photographing kids should be expecting meltdowns and know what to do when they happen.  I know YOU are going to get frustrated and upset if little Tommy is acting crazy, my attitude should calm you and little Tommy down, not add to that stress! 

Same for dogs, do you want Fifi included in the family portraits?  How does your photographer feel about pitbulls? Or Chihuahuas? Have they photographed pets before? Important things to ask!

3.  Let’s talk Price!

Of course, price is a HUGE factor in determining which photographer you are going to choose.  Meeting your photographer is the PERFECT time to go over their price list.  Photographers who just “send out” their price list are often complaining in our photography groups about clients not reading it and then being frustrated at their ordering appointments. You need to know exactly what is included upfront and what is expected later.

When meeting your photographer BEFORE your session you can discuss sessions fees, digital images, printing rights, products you can purchase, etc.  You can feel the albums, touch the canvases and wall art, hold the blanket, try on the portrait jewelry, etc. You can ask questions about payment plans and delivery options.  That way there are no surprises after your session.  You want to truly love and enjoy your portraits when you first see them, not be frustrated about surprise pricing! 

4. How “professional” is your “Professional Photographer?”

What happens on the shoot if the photographers equipment breaks?  Does he/she have backup equipment? A professional photographer should always have backup equipment because we all know technology doesn’t always cooperate.  Do you really want to have to cancel your session and do it all again later if there is a technical problem? 

For newborn photography, photographers need to be TRAINED and educated for newborn safety.  Are you really going to trust your 10 day old baby to someone who hasn’t been trained? There are many stories of babies falling, getting hurt, being burned and more by photographers who didn’t know what they were doing. Ask your photographer about their training and experience with newborns.

For boudoir, does your photographer share your images?  Post them online? Are they comfortable posing all different shapes and sizes?  Do they know how to enhance the parts you love, but hide the ones you don’t with posing? 

Is your photographer licensed and insured? Do they have backup systems to make sure your images are safe?  How long are they kept? Do they have ways to share with family and friends?

Are they experianced to handle all different lighting setups?  If it’s crazy bright and sunny, or cloudy and overcast can they still get great images?  What if your session is indoors in a dark room?  

These are all GREAT things to discuss BEFORE your session.  We all have horror stories we have heard of bad photography experiences.  Don’t let it be you in the next story.  Simply meet with your photographer and discuss them!

5.  Tips for a great session.

Meeting your photographer also allows you to get some great insight to having a great session!  He/she can tell you all the little tips that will help your session go smoothly.  If they have been doing this a while, they know ALL the tips and tricks!

They can help you pick out outfits, choose the best location for your needs, show you samples and galleries from past clients, discuss hair and makeup, go over the best times for the best shots, go over tips on how to help the family be prepared, etc.  Meeting with your photographer will allow you to really talk out everything you WANT in your session and together you can bring it all together BEFORE you show up.  Just “winging it” is fine in some cases, but to truly make sure your photographer captures your vision, talking it out beforehand is crucial! 

Many photographers have clothes closets as well.  At my studio, we have tons of newborn and baby outfits and wraps, we also have a large closet of maternity dresses, we have crowns and mermaid tails, and we have a few boudoir pieces too. These can help you as you make decisions on which photographer can meet all your needs. 

 

 

What’s coming in 2021?!

• February 1st, 2021 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Devon Shanor Photography is doing some amazing and exciting things this year! We have a few new offerings to share with you and some that you may not know about! 

Become a part of our FOUREVER FAMILY!!

Once you’ve had 4 sessions with Devon, you become part of the “fourever family”, any sessions after that have no session fee and you receive 15% off of anything you purchase FOR LIFE! How cool is that!? But wait, there’s more!!!!

 

Devon Shanor Photography is now offering GIFT REGISTRIES!! Any special occasion you have to celebrate, we can get you a registry for! Just let us know you’re interested, what occasion the registry is for, and you will receive a set of printed cards as well as an email with your unique registry link on it!

Did you know about DSP’s referral program?! If your referral books with DSP, you receive a $75 credit! Referring just TWO people can get you a waved session fee or even one of these neat jewelry options we are offering for the first time this year! 

 

Jewelry! This is a first for DSP! Unique and beautiful jewelry with your amazing portraits in them to take anywhere you go. Perfect for the on-the-go mom or even for dad who may be out to sea. The possibilities are endless! 

 

 

We have some more surprises and news up our sleeves, so stay tuned for more! We can’t wait to share more exciting things with you! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professional Headshots at the Beach

• August 21st, 2020 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

EVERYONE needs a beautiful professional headshots. Today most people are judged before they are met as others check out their social media sites and websites.

Kyndra wanted something fun and different for her professional portraits. So we headed to First Landing State Park , a perfect mix of woods and beach and always a beautiful Virginia Beach sunset!

We had a bit of a technical issue with my lighting equipment as it decided to go on strike during the shoot. But, I always have a few tricks up my sleeve and with some creative ideas using an on camera flash, a reflector and my super cool assistant, we overcame and created some beautiful AMAZING portraits!

I love what I do and am blessed to help others succeed with beautiful headshots! I’d love to help you with yours!

Professional Headshots- Self Portraits

• April 24th, 2020 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Recently someone told me I need to update my headshots and make sure I was holding a camera! They were right, it’s been awhile since I had my own headshots taken. I’ve been so busy taking everyone else pictures, I forgot to make sure my own were on point!

Then… corona hit and we got locked down! No headshots for ANYONE! I thought the lockdown would be over by now and I’m impatient! So, I decided that I needed to do them myself. It’s not easy being the photographer AND the subject but I persevered and came out with a few I love.

It you are in need of new headshots, please be patient. I am working with Amplitude Karaoke for a “Headshots and Happy Hour” event when this is all over! We will set up a backdrop for some beautiful professional portraits and then drink, sing, eat and unwind TOGETHER!!! I cannot wait to hug you, photograph you and sing with you!! If interested in more information on this event, let me know and I will add you to my email list.

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

Guess who’s getting Married???

• March 6th, 2020 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Town Center in Virginia Beach is a beautiful spot in Hampton Roads. It’s the perfect place to relax, grab a bite, take a walk, listen to music and more. It’s also a place where a fairy tales come true.

Dwayne and Dariane had their first date there and on Tuesday, a new chapter in their love story began! He led her there with her eyes closed while their family and friends snuck up on them. He then told her to open her eyes for the best surprise of her life.

It was such a beautiful experience and I am so very honored to have been asked to photograph it. Join me in wishing them years and years of joy, happiness and blessings!

Check out the bling!
She said yes!!
Family and friends celebrating the love!

Alyssa’s Big Day turning ONE!

• October 29th, 2019 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Alyssa is turning one!! She laughed and smiled for the camera because she loved the fuzzy texture of my fur carpets! We captured lots of big moments during her first year session, she stood by herself and she started crawling THAT DAY so we got some adorable belly crawling!

For most little ones, the cake smash is a fun treat and tasting the sugary goodness that is icing and cake is a highlight! However, little Alyssa wasn’t having it, she gagged when she first tasted all that sugar! So, we enjoyed playing in the icing more than eating it!

Thanks Wilda family for trusting me again with your little girl. Year one down, I hope the next ones are as exciting and fun as this one was!!

Family Portraits in Laos

• October 25th, 2019 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

I had an amazing time traveling Asia with my mom and daughter this summer to celebrate Olivia’s graduation. While we were touring Laos, we met an amazing man, Thong, who showed us all the beauty of his country. He was such a wonderful man and we loved his story! He met his wife and married her within a week!!!

They are still happily in love with three kids! He is known in his town as the man who drives with FIVE people on his little motorcycle. Many people drive with three or four but he is the only one who regularly travels with five. As we were touring the country, I mentioned that he needed a portrait of that and he agreed! So when his wife came to pick him up she brought all the kids and we did a mini photoshoot for his family.

My camera wasn’t very happy with the very humid morning after spending the night in air-conditioning (dang condensation!) but we pushed through and still captured some fun family portraits for my new friend!

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