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.

Senior Class of 2020 | Bethany

• April 21st, 2020 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

I have been honored to photograph so many Class of 2020 high school seniors this year. Sadly their senior year came to an abrupt halt in March with COVID-19. Schools were canceled and the class of 2020 was robbed of so many special moments; proms, class trips, senior activities, graduation parties and more. It’s unfair and sad. These are moments they won’t get back.

I think it’s so important to still show the class of 2020 some love right now. Learning that life isn’t always fair is HARD. And being stripped of so much WHILE having to stay home, leave your jobs, stop your athletics and programs and have no in person interaction with your friends really hurts. So, here’s how I’m going to try to help!

I am going to be doing a feature on each of my 2020 Seniors. Introduce them a bit and show off their beautiful Senior Portraits. Then I’ll include their $cashtag through Cashapp so you can send them a little gift. (What 17 or 18 year old doesn’t love some money at graduation???) Could you spare $5-20 to say you are standing with them? Include the note “It’s no fun learning the lesson that life’s not fair, so here’s a little something to show I care! Congrats graduate of 2020!” so they know it came from this post and what it’s for. Let’s flood them with some hope and a tiny bit of joy in these unfair moments!

The Senior I’d like to introduce today is Bethany. She attended Salem High school and we did her portraits in the fall. The colors she chose for her outfits, her hair color, it all worked so well with the beautiful fall colors we had. She is a talented musician and we had a great time incorporating that into her session. Her family jumped in for a few portraits too and it was wonderful having her big sister, Kendall, home from college to celebrate Bethany’s Senior Year!

I’ve been photographing Bethany for years. She kind, silly, compassionate, talented and has grown up to be an extraordinary young lady. She’s headed off to college after graduation and I can’t wait to see her transform even more. Her Cashtag is $BethanyRFarnsworth if you can send her a little something. Remember to include “It’s no fun learning the lesson that life’s not fair, so here’s a little something to show I care! Congrats graduate of 2020!”

Now, enjoy the beautiful Bethany’s Senior Portraits!

If you know a high school senior who hasn’t taken their senior portraits, it’s not too late! There is SO much that the class of 2020 is missing this year, don’t let Senior Portraits be one of them. I am gifting the class of 2020 with FREE Portraits. Contact me today to discuss Portraits for your 2020 Senior!

Fine Print: The session is free. There is a $29 cost to book your session but that amount is given back as a credit towards whatever you’d like to purchase. You’ll also be given (on whichever session your choose) an additional $99 credit towards whatever you’d like to purchase. Dates for sessions are from May 1st until July 30th 2020. 

Senior Class of 2020 | Catherine

• April 17th, 2020 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

I have been honored to photograph so many Class of 2020 high school seniors this year. Sadly their senior year came to an abrupt halt in March with COVID-19. Schools were canceled and the class of 2020 was robbed of so many special moments; proms, class trips, senior activities, graduation parties and more. It’s unfair and sad. These are moments they won’t get back.

I think it’s so important to still show the class of 2020 some love right now. Learning that life isn’t always fair is HARD. And being stripped of so much WHILE having to stay home, leave your jobs, stop your athletics and programs and have no in person interaction with your friends really hurts. So, here’s how I’m going to try to help!

I am going to be doing a feature on each of my 2020 Seniors. Introduce them a bit and show off their beautiful Senior Portraits. Then I’ll include their $cashtag through Cashapp so you can send them a little gift. (What 17 or 18 year old doesn’t love some money at graduation???) Could you spare $5-20 to say you are standing with them? Congrats graduate of 2020! so they know what it’s for. Let’s flood them with some hope and a tiny bit of joy in these unfair moments!

The Senior I’d like to introduce today is Catherine- or Cat to those who know her! She attended Green Run High School and we did her portraits in the fall. We had SO much fun incorporating my big pink parachute skirt! I haven’t done any with that skirt in the woods yet so it was a treat for me! Cat has also been attending a nursing program while in school so of course we had to include that in her portraits. She even brought her baby blanket from when she was a baby. I know her momma struggled with seeing her GROWN baby hold onto the blanket she used to once swaddle her in!

Cat’s senior portrait session was amazing. Beautiful golden light and a perfect sunset. It was an honor to photographing her and celebrating her 2020 accomplishments. Let’s continue the celebration! Her Cashtag is $catellis24 if you can send her a little something. Remember to include “It’s no fun learning the lesson that life’s not fair, so here’s a little something to show I care! Congrats graduate of 2020!”

Now, enjoy the beautiful Cat’s Senior Portraits!

Baby Blanket!

If you know a high school senior who hasn’t taken their senior portraits, it’s not too late! There is SO much that the class of 2020 is missing this year, don’t let Senior Portraits be one of them. I am gifting the class of 2020 with FREE Portraits. Contact me today to discuss Portraits for your 2020 Senior!

Fine Print: The session is free. There is a $29 cost to book your session but that amount is given back as a credit towards whatever you’d like to purchase. You’ll also be given (on whichever session your choose) an additional $99 credit towards whatever you’d like to purchase. Dates for sessions are from May 1st until July 30th 2020. 

She’s Lost Her Mind! | Creative Chaos

• April 8th, 2020 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Devon has lost her mind in quarantine! She has to be crazy… anybody who knows the woman knows she’s a the lovable kind of crazy, but still….. When talking to her the other day she told me she wanted to do something for those families who wanted photos, but she wasn’t able to do them due to the COVID quarantine order. So she told me about her crazy idea…

In addition to the Seniors getting their photos this year…(Seriously, that is so cool! Check that one out if you have seniors!) She is making another offer that she only makes ONCE A YEAR.

Normally reserved for Black Friday, Devon Shanor Photography is now offering 50% more when you purchase a gift certificate!

These are hard times, we miss our clients, our friends, our families… Though we are blessed and thankful for this time to focus on improving the Devon Shanor Photography workflow, we are so looking forward to seeing you when this is all over! Hang tight, this won’t last forever.

What is your favorite game? |Creative Chaos

• April 2nd, 2020 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Do you have a favorite board game or card game? Did you have family game nights as a kid? I did! I remember we used to have family game night once a week when my brother and I were kids. We could never agree, so we always each brought one we wanted to play and my parents picked between the two.

During this difficult time when we are all self quarantining, board games and card games are making a huge comeback! Monopoly, Risk, Life, Guess Who, Phase 10, Uno, and so many more are being played more and more often! We have always enjoyed games so this is exciting for us to have time to play and Daddy home to join in the fun.

But after game after game of monopoly being whooped by my sister-in-law, my husband and somehow even my three year old, I wanted to get creative. So we are creating our own Monopoly!

We only used graph paper and markers. The movement pieces are beads I had with some hot glue on the bottom for stands! The possibilities are endless! What game would you create your own version of?

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

Quarantine at the Porter House | Creative Chaos

• March 28th, 2020 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

So this is what quarantine looks like at our house. Chaos.

If you have two littles like I do, I’m sure you are going absolutely bonkers. With two boys, I hear a lot of fire sirens, abc’s and have played game upon game of “firefighters” and lost about 700 races, had 400 meltdowns, 800 loads of laundry, and so much more… But you know what? That’s okay! Even though my ears are constantly ringing (due to the high pitched siren my 3 year old produces, how he does that is beyond me.) I wouldn’t trade this time with them and my husband for anything. Daddy is home from work (he’s active duty so having him home is always a blessing!) and we have been able to have more family time than I could have ever hoped for. We are on day, what, 14 (I think) of this quarantine. If you’re like me, all of your ideas for entertainment have all been exhausted and your backups of your backup cards have all been played. So what now? That is what this blog is all about.

Photo by the wonderful Devon Shanor!

We are not in this alone, whether you have small children, children of school age, children out of the house, no children, living at home, husband or wife deployed, home alone, or everything in between. This is for you. I will be posting a few times a week so, lets get off the couches (I know, they sure are comfy right now…) and do something, creative in the chaos… let’s do this!

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!!!

Socially Distant but TOGETHER we will get though this!! We GOT THIS!

• March 24th, 2020 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

A few weeks ago I was in Ethiopia… loving on the children there, watching God do great things and seeing his magnificent creation in the incredible Ethiopian landscape. The coronavirus was an afterthought honestly, something I knew was out there but not something I saw seriously affecting my daily life.

Fast forward to yesterday, when the Governor closed schools for the rest of the year and effectively, shut down my business for the next month at least. I had already planned to make significant changes to my business but it was still a shock to hear the Governor make such drastic decisions.

I’m a small business owner with 10 years in business. I don’t do photography as a hobby- it’s a full time job. I have part time employees and paid assistants. Our family relies on my income. Its a scary time. I have a college student living at home who no longer has a job in the restaurant business. I have three teens at home, the amount of food they can consume is astonishing!!

Things are stressful, the future is scary. At least in my household we have one solid income (the hubs is a nurse!), but I know for some of you, that isn’t the case. We are all worried and stressed and trying to figure out our new budget limitations and how long our savings will last. Its a difficult time and many are applying for unemployment, looking for ways to make money and ways to feed their children. I see your posts on Facebook and I can see the panic and sadness rising.

That said, WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS! While I can’t come hold your hand and give you a hug (and man do I miss giving hugs!) I still can help. We can ALL help each other. We can and will get through this! What are some ways you can help each other but also stay socially distant and safe?

  • Call each other. When you notice on social media someone has gone “silent” or see that someone is having a bad day- call them. Its never easy to ask for help but there are so many lonely people right now. Sometimes the phone ringing and someone saying “Im thinking of you! How are you?” is exactly what the doctor ordered to keep the anxiety and loneliness away.
  • Send/post funny memes or pictures! Post encouraging notes! The news and our social media pages are filled with the gloom and doom… don’t let yours be a part of the problem. Sure, post informative things and ask for help when you need it, but make sure you are filling the world with joy too! You never know, that silly singing dog video might be the exact thing someone needed to make it through the day!
  • Check in with the sick and elderly! They are cooped up and lonely and would love some interaction- even if it’s by phone. They also might need real help. Today I contacted a friend with a disability that prevents her from leaving the house at all right now. What did she need? Someone to come walk her dog once in awhile and mow her grass. Remember those teenage monsters who eat me out of house and home who aren’t in school… mom has a job for you!!!
  • Have your kids draw pictures and cards and take them to your local nursing home. A friend of mine posted this idea because her father can no longer have visitors but loves mail. Your kids are home and bored- what a great idea for everyone!
  • We all need to eat right? Buy food or gift cards from your local mom and pops. You know you’ll use them sooner rather than later! The small businesses are the ones that will suffer the most in the long run, be vigilant with your spending but, if you can, support them over large corporations.
  • Play games with your kids. Go for walks. Do scavenger hunts. Ask for friends to do the same and have a Skype/Facetime call that night to go over what you found.

Please share with me the other ways you are helping each other stay sane and upbeat during this time. I love the ideas I am getting off social media… we are better together. Your ideas become my families best memories!

There are also lots of ways you can get help in this crisis. This is not a full list but a place to start if you need food, supplies, support, etc.

  1. United Way Hampton Roads https://unitedwayshr.org/coronavirus/
  2. Food Pantries
    1. Freedom Fellowship www.comegetfree.org Open Wednesdays 10-12
    2. Church of the Ascension https://www.ascensionvb.org Food Pantry Mon-Fri. 10-12
    3. Food Bank https://foodbankonline.org The Foodbank will distribute food at YMCA locations Tuesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. See website for location addresses.
    4. Jewish Family Services Food https://jfshamptonroads.org/services/food-assistance/ Bank Open Monday and Tuesday 10-12
  3. The place for all your questions! Call 211 http://211.org
  4. This Facebook group is a great place for help as well! https://www.facebook.com/groups/203031367674036/

My next blog will discuss what exactly we are going to do with Devon Shanor Photography over the next 30-60 days. I won’t be photographing anyone for awhile, but that doesn’t mean my shop is closed for good. We have some ideas to help keep us in touch and keep the business moving forward.

I know who is control in this situation and I am determined not to let it bring me down. We are all in the same boat and we will ALL get through this. This song came on today and I LOVED listening to it… because YES, It will get BETTER!!!

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!