Cozy Lifestyle Newborn Session | Norfolk Family Photographer

Have you ever been through a season of life full of total and complete change? Maybe it was a wedding, a cross country move, having twins or starting a job in a new town. Well, have you ever had two (or three!) major life changes happening simultaneously?

This sweet (and oh so brave family) just welcomed their second son AND they are preparing for a move in just a few short weeks. Can we just take a moment to applaud their total amazing-ness? In my opinion, that takes a lot of guts, grit and complete faith. 

When I arrived Saturday morning for their lifestyle newborn session, we'd had crazy thunderstorms the night before. When a loud clap of thunder woke me at 4am, I immediately thought of this family and their small kiddos. And even though I know not much sleep was had (because babies, toddlers and craaaazy storms) they all greeted me with a smile. And a dino roar or two - which you know I LOVED. :)

I was pretty obsessed with their cozy Norfolk condo. Since this was their first home together, it was bittersweet to capture them in the space. Nothing is quite like the home you bring your babies home to! I loved the window light, the fun details, and can we talk about the teal lampshades? You guys - TEAL is my love language. 

I can't. handle. the. cuteness.

 I literally wanted to squish his cheeks. Such a sweet big bro!

Giving older siblings special jobs during a session always works like gold. Just asking them to find a book or a special toy makes them feel apart of the process! This is an important time in their lives too - sharing the limelight ain't easy. ;) 

Making the decision to have a child - it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
— Elizabeth Stone

His expression of pride here gives me ALL the Momma feels. So precious.

Because it's not a party without dinosaur puppets. Duh. 

These two boys are going to be besties, I can tell. Such a blessing! Loved my time with these four. Safe travels Springs family!

 

Are you expecting? Congratulations! Newborn sessions have always had my heart. I keep my schedule open to take on newborn sessions year-round and I would love to capture this time for your growing family. Drop me a note below! 

Sunrise at Little Island Park | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

If you've been following EAP for some time now, you'll recognize these sweet faces! Every Summer, these dear friends of mine book a session when they are vacationing in Virginia Beach with family. It's become a tradition and I'm always so humbled and blessed by them. Watching their family grow has been such a gift. You can see a flashback here and see how these munchkins have grown! 

This year, we opted for a sunrise session at Little Island Park. This is a great option for younger kiddos who can't hang past 8pm for a sunset session. It was lightly overcast and nearly empty at the beach. Another plus when opting for an earlier session. Just a few favorites from our time together! I just love them... 

If you want to know how much I love you, count all the waves in the sea...

If you're worried that your kiddos are extra clingy during a session... please don't stress. Sometimes the only solo shots we get of toddlers and babies are in their parents' arms. I honestly love this. There's so much emotion and connection that we can capture. Embrace this season and whatever mood your child is in - it's worth it!

Friends, I am currently booking sessions into September. If you are wanting a beach session, consider a morning slot! Email me to start planning. Happy Summer! xoxo 

Calling all MomTogs! | Hampton Roads Photography Workshop

hampton roads photography workshop

Have you ever taken one of those learning profile quizzes? The ones that have you answer a series of questions and then tell you how YOU best learn? I know as a teacher, this was always something I loved to do for myself and for my students. It helped me see myself in a better way.

I discovered that I was certainly a hands-on type learner. The quickest and easiest way for me to grasp concepts was by actually doing it. I needed my teachers to be a guide, so that I could eventually take over the reins and become a master at whatever it was I was learning about. I love to be coached! After years of doing theatre as I kid, I like to think I take direction pretty well ;) 

Are you the same? Have you been trying to master your DSLR camera with YouTube videos and Google? While there is SO. much. information out on the internet - it can sometimes be frustrating. I find myself just searching for a straight answer at times! If you learn better hands-on and are searching for a fun (okay, super goofy extrovert) coach to guide you - I'm your girl!

 I have had the privilege of sharing my love for photography and teaching dozens of Moms how to shoot in manual mode, understand their settings, and take their photos from just snapshots to real ART. I would love to have you join us on Saturday, July 22nd for the next 'Only Little Once 101' Workshop in Virginia Beach! 

Take a look at these BEAUTIFUL images from some of our 101 grads! So proud of these sweet Mommas! :) 

hampton roads photography workshop
hampton roads photography workshop

I am in love with these! The Target cart just screams #MomLife!

Adorable images by MomTog Jill E. 

hampton roads photography workshop
hampton roads photography workshop

Aren't his curls just adorable?! Love these beachy, July 4th images!

Lovely work from MomTog Nicole B. 

hampton roads photography workshop
hampton roads photography workshop

In our private Facebook group, we have fun, monthly photo challenges. June was all about the "faceless portrait" and I just love these creative examples!

Stunning images by MomTog Emily O.

Will you join us and get out of Auto Mode? Stop guessing and start mastering your camera! I can't wait to see you :) You can find more information HERE or click the link below!

xoxo

Erin

We <3 OBX | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

I think it's the goal of many a parent to create memories and experiences that are even better than you experienced as a kid. Now, hands down, I had a wonderful childhood. Pure, 80s-90s riding-my-bike-to-7'11 kind of childhood. But creating special memories with our girls is some of the greatest joy I have ever experienced as a parent!

This was our third year renting a beach house in OBX with my family and I feel so blessed that my girls have these memories to look back on! You can see our adventures from last year HERE. I have really made an effort to transition away from the just-buy-more-toys manner of parenting and am focusing on investing more in experiences. After all, those toys don't even get played with most of the time! I'd much rather focus on fun trips and adventures where we grow closer as a family.

I want my girls to know the sweet bliss of an ice pop after a long beach day with their cousins. 

For me, that completely captures childhood. Here are just a handful of favorites from last week. :)

VirginiaBeachFamilyPhotographerVacation-21.jpg
I’ll eat you up, I love you so!
— Where the Wild Things Are

Charlotte's face here just gets me right in the FEELS. Her complete joy of the wild, ocean waves AND being with her cousins - it's just the best expression. The waves were crazy choppy the first day we were there, and it was SO windy. We got pretty sandblasted, but that didn't stop me from getting waist-high with my camera in hand - hahaha! #livedangerously 

I wanted a portrait of each girl, and I love the look-away portrait a LOT right now. Something about their sweet faces and eyelashes, so sweet... I love my nieces fiercely and take my role as Super Cool Crazy Arty Aunt very seriously. This one is bound for middle school next year *sob*.

Sometimes (okay, lots of times) I get caught up and I forget to hand over the camera and get IN the frame with my girls. Thanks to the hubs for capturing this one! When they do pose with me, the girls act completely CRAY - anyone else's kids do that?! #Ithoughtso

This guy is the best #girlDad around we are blessed to call him ours! We've got a busy, but joyful, Summer planned and I'm incredibly grateful for my little tribe. 

What memories are you making this Summer? I've seen lots of OBX vacay pics in my newsfeed - love seeing all the joy!

Are you a fellow MomTog? Join our FREE photography community for Moms over on Facebook, I'd love to get to know you more :)

Little Island Park Sunset | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

Mother Nature is such a fickle thing, but I am so thankful for when she does choose to show off. Especially when families visit for a relaxing week in VA Beach! This family reached out and I'm so glad they did, we had a perfect evening out at Little Island Park in Virginia Beach. 

Gimme all the sandy toes, sweet snuggles and glowy light! #swoon

Just a few favorites from our time together...

virginia beach family photographer
virginia beach family photographer
Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.
— Alex Haley
virginia beach family photographer
virginia beach family photographer
virginia beach family photographer

We asked them to whisper secrets and little brother just leaned over and snuggled big bro... it was literally the cutest thing I have witnessed in a long time. It was half head butt, half cuddle - LOVE! ;) #brothers

virginia beach family photographer
virginia beach family photographer

Snuggling on their Momma...oh my gosh these boys just stole my heart!

virginia beach family photographer
virginia beach family photographer

This little beauty was all about having her picture taken, I loved how she was so happy to pose and love on her family. Sweet girl!

virginia beach family photographer

Ready...Set....GO!

virginia beach family photographer

And to think this family all started because of these two people. Such a beautiful story to witness!

virginia beach family photographer
virginia beach family photographer
virginia beach family photographer
virginia beach family photographer
virginia beach family photographer
virginia beach family photographer

Loved my time with this fun crew! If you are visiting Virginia Beach this Summer, I would love to meet you :) Drop me a note and let's chat about capturing your family's vacation memories.

Introducing the 'Stay Little' Lounge | A Photography Community for Moms

It's funny how things work out. Never would I have imagined years ago when I left my teaching career that I would become a small business owner. I thought being a 'stay-at-home-Mom' would be the extent of my actual work. I never anticipated that from this business, I would still find a way to keep teaching. That it would become an outlet of creativity in my life AND bring so many new and incredible people into my inner circle.

I have had the privilege of teaching and mentoring over fifty Moms and photography enthusiasts. I have been encouraged and amazed by their talent, generous hearts, and ambition to 'just get it right in camera!' These women amaze me on a daily basis.

hampton roads photography class

It's because of my love for this community of women that I'm launching the 'Stay Little' Lounge Facebook Group. This group is a Photography Community for Moms, and it's a FREE and safe space for Moms to share, learn and grow in their photography. I often see Mothers placing their creative ambitions on the shelf until their children "are just a little bit older". Now sometimes we need to self sacrifice for our kids, but let me encourage you, Momma - You are a better wife and mother when you can dig into something creative, artistic or beautiful. It looks different for everyone, but I whole-heartedly believe that every Mom has her thing. If photography lights you up inside, I'd love to invite you to join our growing community. 

You are a better wife and mother when you can dig into something creative, artistic or beautiful...

Here's what you'll find in the 'Stay Little' Lounge:

  • an encouraging community of Moms who LOVE taking pictures 
  • a place to share images of your kids, ask questions, and support others
  • accountability to practice your skills and dust off your DSLR
  • fun challenges, including our first - the Ten Weeks of Summer Photo Challenge
  • FB Live Q&A's with Erin every Wednesday through the Summer months
  • exclusive opportunities and discounts for events and continued education

Are you in?! Click the link below and come join the community!

 

I can't wait to meet you and see where your creativity takes you.

xoxo,

Erin

Sunset at 80th Street | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

Let me tell you, this family gives me all-the-feels. Here's why.

Back in 2012, I had a little fledgling idea of starting a photography business. But like with any big dreams, doubts always peck at the side of your brain. I thought:

  • Would anyone even want me to take their picture?
  • What if NO families book me?
  • Maybe I should just keep portfolio building...forever.
  • What if they're not my kind of people?
  • My equipment isn't the fanciest - so this could never work.

And on and on my brain would spin. It happens. If you're a creative entrepreneur or just an over-thinker by nature - I know you feel me here! 

But the Universe wasn't about to let me struggle along without giving me a lift. Through some sort of divine intervention, the Castin family found me. They took a risk (sight unseen) on me. They are and will be forever be "my first family". I LOVED our session. The kids were much smaller then, and I knew instantly - this was my jam. Fun and spirited kids, laid-back parents and a beautiful sunset. Now my only thought was, "how can I do this like 100 more times!?" LOL!

  I'm so grateful for their friendship and loyalty over the years! It means the absolute world to me. I am sad they will be leaving the country for a few years, but I'm deeply thankful for their service to our country. Hoping to catch up on the other side and see how the kids have grown even more!

Happy Adventuring and 'See you later' Castin Fam! xoxo 

virginia beach family photographer

I love the beach access at 80th Street, it doesn't even feel like Virginia Beach. So lush and green right now, it's a great place to start when the sun is still higher in the sky.

virginia beach family photographer
virginia beach family photographer

Me: Just walk towards me and act natural!

Little Brother: Um, ok.

Hahahaha, he's just the cutest thing!

virginia beach family photographer

The light peaking over the dunes... just my favorite thing.

virginia beach family photographer
virginia beach family photographer
virginia beach family photographer
virginia beach family photographer
virginia beach family photographer

She got him with the smooch!! LOL! He loved it :)

virginia beach family photographer

Running to the next adventure...

virginia beach family photographer
virginia beach family photographer
virginia beach family photographer
virginia beach family photographer

Friends, my Summer calendar is filling quickly. I love my people and I want to serve you well! If you've been dreaming of a Summer session, please contact me soon so we can get your date on the books. Drop me a line below and let's get started! xoxo

Pleasure House Point Sunset | Hampton Roads Family Photographer

The adjustment of going from one to two babies, no matter the age, is a real challenge. I remember being overwhelmed most days and feeling pulled in about a million different directions. The pictures we do have of that time are only a few, probably because we were just trying to keep our heads on straight. Can you relate?

When Caitlin contacted me for a session, I was thrilled! It hadn't been too long since I photographed her maternity and newborn session with her daughter, Izzy. Her family had recently grown and they were ready for a sunny, golden hour session. We lucked out with the weather and  had a gorgeous night at Pleasure House Point. Even with the busyness of having a toddler and infant, I was so impressed with how they worked together as a team. I love seeing parents who communicate with one other and embrace the chaos that is life with littles. 

virginia-beach-family-photographer
virginia-beach-family-photographer
virginia-beach-family-photographer

Loved the light! And these sweet faces :)

virginia-beach-family-photographer
virginia-beach-family-photographer
embrace the chaos that is life with littles...
virginia-beach-family-photographer

Hey, cutie!

virginia-beach-family-photographer
virginia-beach-family-photographer
virginia-beach-family-photographer

So beautiful and sun-filled! 

Friends, I am booking mini and full sessions through Summer! Contact me for availability - I'd love to see your family.

Best,

Erin

Moms Who Matter | Hampton Roads Family Photographer

With Mother's Day coming up this weekend, I couldn't resist looking through some favorite mother and child images from the past. These moments are certainly one of my favorite things to capture. Especially since Moms are usually the family photographer! When you hire a pro, you get to be in-front-of-the-camera, at last.

Enjoying your children. Living in the moment with them.

Soaking up this beautiful gift we call, Motherhood.

hampton roads family photographer
hampton roads family photographer

If you missed my recent blog, I talked about how my girls are getting too big for me to carry. I think this is why I'm so drawn to images of Mothers holding their babies. If you can still physically lift your child, I will ask you to so during a session. Or, to hold one another and get super close. The connection of mother and child is beautiful to witness. I can't get enough!!

hampton roads newborn photographer
hampton roads family photographer
The connection of mother and child is beautiful to witness.
hampton roads newborn photographer
hampton roads family photographer
hampton roads newborn photographer
virginia-beach-family-photographer-2.jpg
hampton roads family photographer

Woo...these all just get me right in the feels! Do you have a favorite picture with your mother? If the answer is no... friend, let me just encourage you to make that happen. If your Mother is on this side of Heaven, have a session with her. If you need updated ones with your own children... schedule it. And then PRINT those images. For your kids and for your daughters who will be on this same journey one day. And they'll witness all that love you had and still have for them. What a gift!

Happy Mother's Day to all the sweet Mommas out there. You are the life force and heart of the family. May you be loved and blessed every day... not just on a Sunday in May.

xoxo

Norfolk Sunset Session | Hampton Roads Family Photographer

There's something so sweet and easy when photographing a family for the 2nd or 3rd time. The kids know me (or remember me within the first five minutes) and I get to see how much they've grown since our last session. This is particularly amazing after a newborn session and I witness how this little nugget of a baby has grown leaps and bounds! It's like a swift reminder of how incredibly fast that first year moves.

As soon as you get used to something, babies shift the ground beneath you again. Clothes are too small. Waking again at night. Crawling away during a diaper change. Throwing their food all over the floor. The list goes on. But wow, the gift of pictures is that we see how fast they are changing. No wonder it's constantly shifting! As exhausted parents, we hang on for the ride the best we can. The gifts we get in return? They are so, so sweet. 

Gifts like drooly smiles and ugga-mugga nose rubs. Unexpected neck hugs and sisters that are constantly smooching on each other. I can speak from experience, that looking back on these kind of images with my own girls - it's a gut check! And after I've cried into my coffee (or wine) I often stare at them in awe. They can now pump their legs hard on the swing. They can reach the top shelf. They can do it themselves.

"I got this, Mommy."

It's altogether wonderful and heart breaking. 

So, when I got to see these two sisters again, I had a similar gut check. They are in this sweet stage right now of just figuring it out. I loved watching them play, giggle and enjoy our night in Norfolk. I mean - who couldn't love these sweet faces?!

hampton roads family photographer
hampton roads family photographer
hampton roads family photographer
hampton roads family photographer
hampton roads family photographer
hampton roads family photographer
hampton roads family photographer
The most precious jewels you’ll ever wear around your neck are the arms of your children...
hampton roads family photographer
hampton roads family photographer
hampton roads family photographer
hampton roads family photographer
hampton roads family photographer

Gah, so much sweetness! 

Friends, I have a couple open Spring dates and Summer is filling fast. If you are wanting to book a weekend session, please contact me and we'll get your date scheduled! I would love to see your family :) Open nights are:

Saturday, May 13th

Saturday, June 3rd