Category Archives: Portraiture

Soul Healer – VA/DC/MD Personal Branding Photographer

Mmmmmm … soul healer. Don’t you just love how that sounds? Like the very words are healing themselves. But what exactly is a soul healer? Well, meet Aimee … she is a soul healer, empowering women to release their suffering (depression, panic, anxiety, PTSD, etc) and reclaim their power so they can access their divine gifts and live their true purpose. And I had the extreme honor and privilege of photographing her.

Aimee was rebranding her business and offerings and reached out for photography for her new website. Y’all know how much I LOVE personal branding shoots for women business owners and entrepreneurs! And her mission is to empower women. My mission is to empower women. That is some synchrodestiny right there!

Part of my process is sending some questions to clients to help them dig a little deeper to connect with themselves, so they can get clear on what they want their images to reveal to their prospective clients. Because let’s be real here … people are visual. And when you have a website you want the images on your site to create connection with people that view your site. You want them to know you without having actually met you. You want to create that relationship, that trust, from the instant your page loads. If your images come across awkward or lacking authenticity, people will feel that. They may not be able to articulate what it is but they can feel it. And that’s where I come in. I am here to bring that authenticity out, to reveal the magick that lies within you.

Aimee and I met up on a pretty chilly day in February and let me tell you, she was a trooper in that chill. Barefoot in the sand, no jacket, no complaining about the cold. She wanted images that showed her bold, truthful, empowered, warm, loving, nurturing, accepting, respectful, safe, spiritual and sassy qualities. Love me some sassy! But it’s awkward being photographed. Some people are naturals in front of the camera. Most of us, myself included, are not. And that’s ok. My job is to see past that and guide you through it.

Yes, we do the headshots, the looking at the camera and the poses. You need those images too. But then we play and I look for the moments in between. You know, those moments where we just let go, be present and enjoy that moment. It might feel a little ridiculous twirling with a peace of fabric but when you let go we find the magick. And we definitely captured Aimee’s magick!



Now check out Aimee’s gorgeous new website and how she’s using her images! www.aimeephlegar.com

And I have recently partnered with amazing life coach and art of being expert Marci Moberg. We are offering a kick ass Being Centered Business Personal Branding Journey for Fempreneurs. This program with Marci’s expertise and mine, helps you get clear on business, build an authentic brand, take your business to the next level and get the imagery you need to bring it all together. Learn  more about it here. And since we just launched this, we are offering this amazing program at a discounted rate to 3 Fempreneurs. Contact me today for more info or to get in on this!

Thank you Aimee, for trusting me:) It was my honor and pleasure and I am deeply grateful!

 

 

Also posted in Bright Souls, Headshots & Promo, Personal Branding Tagged , , , , , , , |

The Universe Answers – VA, MD, DC Personal Branding Photographer

Recently I put out to the Universe that I wanted to do more Personal Branding sessions.

“Personal Branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands.” To me this speaks to entrepreneurs, people creating and running their own businesses, offering some sort of services. Branding involves logos, colors, fonts, graphics and imagery to create a mood, a feeling about a business, or in this case a person, because they are the business.

As a designer and artist, I love working with all of the above to create a mood. Add in some photographs and oh yeah. Love it. Because part of what I do is bring out the magic that lies within. And it’s the magic that is at the center of so many entrepreneurs’ businesses.

So the Universe said, alright then, will do. Thanks Universe! And the Universe has sent these sessions with amazing female entrepreneurs. Which goes right along with my whole focus of empowering women through my portraits of them. Talk about synchronicity and alignment.

Denyse from Lavender Om Wellness contacted me about personal branding photographs for her new website. Bonus, her business is Yoga related and I’m a yoga teacher and practitioner. Perfect fit!

We met at Meadowlark Gardens back in November on one of those gorgeous afternoons that was unseasonably warm. Perfect color, perfect light and an amazing day.

Denyse admitted that she did not like having her photo taken and I don’t blame her. It’s awkward and uncomfortable. You don’t know what to do. I’ve been there! One of these days I’ll share my photo shoot story. Just know that I know how it feels.

And you know what, she did an amazing job! All we needed to do was connect to the beauty of that day. And add in some fun swirling and twirling.


 

See Denyse’s images in action at her all new website www.lavenderomwellness.com. And go take her class. You know you need some good yoga!

Thank you Denyse for the opportunity to photograph you and to empower you and your business! I’m honored and grateful.

 

Also posted in Bright Souls, Personal Branding Tagged , , , , , |

Super Powers — Activate! – VA/MD/DC Personal Branding Photographer

I love photographing women. And I love photographing women entrepreneurs. And I love that in photographing women entrepreneurs, I am helping them represent their businesses, not only with what the business is all about but by showing the world who they are. Inside and out.

There’s been so much chatter about personal branding and is it real or is it trying to show you in a false light. Someone who you really aren’t but want the world to think you are. Certainly there are people out there doing that, but what I love about creating personal branding imagery is that I bring out my client’s true spirit, the magic that lies within them. Because who wants to do business with someone that’s false from the get go? Who wants to do business with someone that looks uncomfortable, awkward or lacking in authenticity? Not me. Not you. And when that magic is revealed, people can feel it. And they know inside they’re hiring the right person for the job.

I ask them all the questions about their business, who their demographic is — all the standard stuff. But then I ask them what their personal strengths are, what brings them joy, what are the diverse aspects of their personality, what qualities they want their potential clients to see from the images we create. And then I capture this — their authentic nature.

I recently had the opportunity to work with an amazing entrepreneur who I met through Femworking. Her business, SXCS Collective, is about activating the “super powers” of her clients. So that they, their business and their staff can thrive. And Carole is just the person to do this, because she has super powers of her own. She is passionate about what she does — engaging and asking deep questions that help you swim through muddy waters and find answers and solutions. She is also an amazing survivor. Her story proves her own super powers. She is full of light, life, passion, joy, grace … total magic. And I was honored to photograph her expression of all of that.

We had a fun, afternoon at Ida Lee Park and in/around downtown Leesburg capturing Carole’s spirit. And yes, there’s a super hero type image for fun!

Thank you Carole, for trusting me to capture your true spirit and magic! You truly are a Bright Soul!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also posted in Bright Souls, Headshots & Promo, Personal Branding Tagged , , , |

Goddesses Galore! – VA/MD/DC Portrait Photographer

There’s many definitions for the word Goddess … a woman of extraordinary beauty and charm, a greatly admired or adored woman are among several that I like. But to me it needs to include the following words — confident, vulnerable, powerful, soft, strong, badass, mystical, magical. As a photographer and portrait artist of Goddesses nothing feeds me more than being able to reveal these qualities in the muses who stand in front of my lens. And back in October I had seven, SEVEN, amazing women do this. 

First, and I can vouch for this because I had a photoshoot over the summer, it can be extremely unnerving, awkward and uncomfortable being in front of the lens. I always knew this but needed to experience it myself so I could better relate to my clients. And yes, I felt all of that and there’ll be another post all about that sometime soon. You also need to trust. Trust that when it’s all over the images that are presented will empower you.

Back to the seven amazing women. This Goddess photoshoot was part of a monthly experience for this kick ass womens group, Charmed Cardinals. Ladies, if you want more me time and to connect on a deeper level, this is the group for you! And I met the owner through another kick ass women’s group for networking, Femworking. This isn’t your typical networking group where you feel pressured to bring all kinds of referrals and there’s only room for one person in your field because everything has to be so competitive. Femworking is all about camaraderie over competition. It’s about support and uplifting your fellow sisters in their businesses. Because giving always gives back.

When I met the owner of Charmed Cardinals we immediately connected when we discovered both of our businesses are about uplifting and empowering women. So it only made sense that a Goddess photoshoot experience would fit in.

Part of what I do with all sessions but on a bigger level with Goddess sessions is styling. I love to figure out the colors, the props, the fabric, the clothing, the location that will most bring out the energy and art of that woman. But I had only ever done that for one woman at a time. Seven was going to be a challenge. But a challenge in a good way. Could I connect with each woman and help her discover her inner Goddess in such a short amount of time? A typical Goddess session for one woman is about 3 hours long. This session with seven women was just over 3 hours long. But between their confidence and trust and what I had planned we pulled it off. And the proof is in the pudding, as they say.

Meet the Goddesses of Charmed Cardinals. Badass, Queen, Ethereal, Sage, Warrior, Earth, Lightworker Goddesses.

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The Badass with her Indian Scout bike and fierce, made by her necklace. And that expression.

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The Queen, so strong, empowered, connected.

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The Ethereal Goddess … so soft, yet fierce, magic emanating from her spirit.

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The Sage, so quiet and full of wisdom.

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The Warrior, strong, fierce, badass all at once.

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The Earth Goddess, so connected and grounded, full of the earth’s vibration and magic.

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And the Lightworker, here to heal and spread her magical light.

What an amazing afternoon we had. What amazing feminine energy. The magic from that day still fills us all.

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Also posted in Goddesses, Virginia Portrait Photographer Tagged , , |

You Are Made of Awesome So It’s Only Natural You Are Beautiful – VA Portrait Photographer

“You Are Made of Awesome So It’s Only Natural You Are Beautiful” – First and Chic Blog

I’ve taken to finding quotes that help describe my sessions and clients. It’s fun and I think imparts a deeper sense of connection to what I’m honored to experience. And there’s a whole lot of awesome and beauty in this post!

Back in February I found and joined an AH-MAZING all female networking group. It’s kind of hard to call it networking when really it’s more about female entrepreneurs uplifting, guiding and supporting each other in a wonderful sisterhood kind of way. Joining Femworking was one of the best decisions I’ve made for both my business and myself!

Naturally I have met some incredible women, one of which owns a women’s enrichment society, Charmed Cardinals. More sisters joining together to enrich themselves on a much different level from the typical GNO that usually involves copious amounts of alcohol, a wicked hangover and definitely not feeling uplifted the next day! As soon as I heard what this group was about I thought I’m striving to do the same thing with my Goddess photoshoots — uplifting and empowering women and helping them to connect to their Inner Goddess.

Charmed Cardinals offers its members monthly experiences to get together, learn something new and connect. Well the owner and I both knew we had to do a photography experience. And we did just that a few weeks ago!

I created and led a workshop on how to look great in photographs! Tips and tricks for those times when you’re not being professionally photographed or when you’re out with friends and someone pulls out the iPhone and proceeds to snap away. A girl has got to be prepared! Especially when those photos can wind up on social media outlets. Then after the tips and tricks we got down to the business of letting them practice their newly learned skills in front of my lens!

Can I just say how lucky I was to have six gorgeous women to play with and photograph?! And that they all are truly made of awesome! Seriously oozing awesome.

Now I know how nerve wracking it is to step in front of a camera. I recently had a photo shoot done and I pretty much completely forgot everything I know to guide clients. Yes, I was totally nervous! More on that to come in another post. So I can only imagine that these lovely ladies were a bit nervous and maybe feeling awkward. But that’s ok because my job is to quell that. My job is to guide them to stand and pose in ways that usually feel weird and awkward but make a great image. But more important my job is to make them feel comfortable so they know they are rock stars full of awesome, because they truly are. My job is to help them connect with their Inner Goddess. And connect they did.

Thank you Charmed Cardinals for the opportunity to provide this experience to your lovely members!

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Also posted in Bright Souls, Glamour, Glamour Photography, Goddesses, Headshots & Promo, Virginia Portrait Photographer

Light Like No Other – VA Portrait Photographer

A few weeks ago I had the honor of photographing a mother and her two daughters. I’ve known the mom for over 16 years now and have known the girls since they were born. I see and feel their bond and connection. It warms my heart knowing the love, respect and admiration that exists between them. And I wish I could have experienced that. I didn’t have that kind of relationship with my mother.  Not everyone does.

My mother was mentally ill — bipolar, personality disorder. And she never sought treatment for it even though she was fully aware she had a mental illness. There was a really bad stigma surrounding mental illness when she was growing up and even though perceptions and attitudes shifted over the years she never bought into it.

As a child I knew something was wrong with my mother and that she needed help. I also bore the brunt of her anger and disenchantenment with life because of her mental illness. My father bore a great deal of that as well. But he was a grown man. I was a little girl. As an adult I became keenly aware of her mental illness and tried helping her many times, always hoping that someday maybe she would come around and we could have a decent relationship. But that never happened.

So over the years I withdrew from her. I cut emotional ties at a very young age, in fact I remember when that happened. I was eight years old and she was threatening to kill herself, showing me the handful of pills she was planning on taking and telling me that she wouldn’t wake up the next day. My thoughts were who is going to make my breakfast and take care of my brothers? So I cut the cord. Why be connected to someone that might not be there the next day? There were many, many, many other instances where that disconnection would prove necessary and vital for my own well being.

And she never understood why I disconnected. It was for self-preservation. And eventually my mother died and I was relieved that it was all finally over.

I embrace my story. I don’t use it as an excuse for everything that hasn’t or isn’t going my way. I’ve forgiven the wrongs I felt were done to me. All of my experiences related to this (as well as other life events) brought me to who I am today, so ultimately I’m grateful for it all.

I’m not relaying this to be dark or to elicit sympathy. I guess what I’m getting at here is that if you have a good relationship with your mother or your daughter, be grateful. Be grateful that any conflict is just superficial and meaningless in the big scheme of things. Be grateful for that bond and connection because not every mother and daughter has it. Be understanding and compassionate to each other. Be forgiving and loving. And if you have a good relationship with your mother or daughter honor it. And if you’re like me and you didn’t or don’t have that, know that you are not alone. It’s very challenging when society deems that we must all have this relationship when sometimes it’s just not possible.

I’m seriously not trying to be Debbie Downer here! I only want to share my experiences and how they affect and drive me to use my vision and talent. Maybe that experience is more lighthearted like this one. Or sometimes maybe it isn’t. Either way, we are all shaped by our experiences and as a portrait photographer those experiences help to shape my work. And that work is to create images that will always be there to remind you of something whether it’s the goofiness of your kids, whether it’s your own personal power or whether it’s the love between you and your mother/daughter.

And now onto the light!!

Simply put this mother and her lovely daughters are beautiful, loving, kind, talented, intelligent and overall AMAZING. Talk about light. They beam it from their very core. What’s that song, something about it’s so bright I gotta wear shades? So, we did a photo shoot to capture ALL of this and honor their wonderful relationship. And it was SO. MUCH. FUN!!!

I wanted to create three distinct looks for them so we went with something more casual, something more glamourous and something more creative with a vintage/boho flair. I knew they would all have fun with hair and make-up and the whole day was meant to be a dress up, pampering, mother/daughter day out. We did groups shots, individual shots and mom with each daughter by herself. We had chocolate covered strawberries, tea and snacks. It seriously was the perfect girls day.

And I had the extreme honor, pleasure and joy of creating images of these three beautiful women for them to cherish for the rest of their lives. It’s difficult to call it work when it brings me this much joy and satisfaction. As I viewed and edited each image, looking at their eyes, their energy and that light, I was constantly finding myself tearing up. This actually happens a lot when I’m editing my clients’ photos!

And now I present the utterly beautiful, incredibly amazing, Sosa Ladies. Put your shades on folks.

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Also posted in Creative Photography, Families, Glamour Photography, Mother/Daughter, Virginia Portrait Photographer

It’s about YOU! – VA/MD/DC Glamour & Boudoir Photographer

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I’m offering a Valentine’s Day special, because, well Valentine’s Day is coming up. It’s a mini photo session that includes hair, makeup and a couple of digital prints (plus some AMAZING print products and a cool app upgrade). But why would you want to do this? What if you’re not in a relationship and there isn’t anyone to gift glamorous, sexy photos?

Well here’s the thing, it’s not about anyone else. It’s about YOU. Yes, the gorgeous photos I’ll capture of you can certainly be a gift for someone else but first and foremost they are a gift to yourself! And why not gift yourself? How often do you put yourself first, ahead of your spouse, significant other, children, family, job, friends, commitments? Probably not often. I know I don’t.

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Well it’s about time you did, because you know what will happen? Some good old fashioned self-love and nurturing.

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But wait, there’s more that will happen. Think about your day-to-day life. How often do you take the time to look sexy, to get out of those yoga pants? Ever feel like you just get up, wash your face, brush your teeth, get dressed and then make your way through the day? Hey I do it! Yoga pants rock but sometimes enough is really enough.

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What if you took the opportunity to have someone do your hair and makeup? What if you took the opportunity to put on a sexy outfit (or be even more daring if you want!)? And then what if you took the opportunity to exist that way in photographs? I’ll tell you what will happen. You will be empowered. You will connect with your inner Goddess and she WILL shine through. And once she shines through there is no dimming her light. And you will always have your images to remind you she is there. She is ALWAYS there.

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Don’t think you have her in you? Trust me you do.

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Book your mini session now. Or gift yourself with a full session. Better yet get that significant other to gift it to you!

Here’s to some serious self-love this Valentine’s Day!

 

Also posted in Boudoir, Glamour, Goddesses, Virginia Portrait Photographer

Mother/Daughter Vintage Portrait Session | VA/MD/DC Portrait Photographer

Over the summer I had the opportunity to photograph a gorgeous mother/daughter session. The daughter was getting ready to leave for college in LA where she would be studying acting (she’s gonna be a huge star one day!) and they wanted a vintage, old hollywood glam, noir type of session with a bit of an edge. Sure! I love stuff just like this. Really gets some creative juices flowing.

The first step was finding a good location. The one place I had been dying to shoot in had closed. So I searched the good ‘ole internet and found Manassas Junction B&B and the owner graciously allowed us to use the parlor for photos. It worked out great. Although the lighting was a little tricky.

Then it was time to edit these. And there were so many options to really enhance and pull out that vintage and noir feel that we wanted. I finally narrowed it down, after trying option after option and loving them all. And I realized in this process that one of the things I really love about what I get to do is the styling and creating a scene or tableau and then the creative editing. So that you can really experience the image, feel what it’s saying. So yes, I love Photoshop. There’s a whole camp of Photoshop loving photographers out there and there’s a whole camp of purists that say Photoshop is a cop out. Even if you do a lot of editing, you still have to get the basics down in camera and create a composition and scene. You can’t Photoshop everything.

So finally, here they are. I could probably keep playing with these forever but at some point you have to just say no. It’s an addiction.

Thank you Jen and Hannah!

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Also posted in Goddesses

Maternity Goddess – VA, DC, MD Maternity Photographer

Megan contacted me for maternity photos from a referral from the wonderful Kelly Jett of iJett Photography. I worked for Kelly as a second shooter and we really hit it off. Megan and her husband are close friends with Kelly. Kelly referred me because she had moved to San Diego where she is taking stunning photos. Thank you so much Kelly!

Anyway, when Megan contacted me I was like absolutely, let’s do it. I then asked her if she would mind playing a little and showed her some of my Goddess work. I told her it would be great to get a little creative and have a pregnant Goddess in my portfolio. She was totally up for it. So I gathered up flowers, fabric, a tulle skirt and was ready to go. Little did I know, we wouldn’t have to play at all really, because she was already there, 100% Goddess.

I did some research to find some cool spots in Maryland and settled on Willow Oak Flower and Herb Farm and Jonas Green Park in Annapolis.  Flowers and water for a portrait session back drop? You can’t go wrong there. I met Megan at the flower farm and she was already dressed like a Goddess in the most absolute perfect white dress. It could not have worked out any better. Then the flowers and pathways and nooks. It was Goddess heaven. If you’re ever looking for a magical place for an afternoon check out Willow Oak.

Then we headed over to the park. Megan wanted to wrap a colored bow around her belly to reveal the sex of the baby and coincidentally I had the same color fabric. Serendipity? I think so. My vision with the fabric was to somehow get it to blow in the wind.  I didn’t know if there would be wind that day but I figured it would all work out. And did it ever. The wind on the water was PERFECT! It blew that fabric just the way I wanted and my vision became reality.

I’m certain Megan has had the baby by now since she was due in early September. Congratulations Megan and thank you again!


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Also posted in Goddesses, Maternity

Badass Goddess – Northern Virginia Photographer

If you look up the word badass you’ll find varying definitions. Often it’s associated with being male. Sometimes it’s about defying authority or not caring about consequences. My favorite definition is from the urban dictionary. “Awesome to an extreme level, thereby leveraging unquestionable authority.” There’s a few others that I like but this one describes a recent Goddess that I had the privilege of having in front of my camera.

Nancy  wanted a sexy shoot with her harley and her camaro. HERS. Not some dude’s. Did I mention badass? And sexy was no problem because well, you’ll see for yourself. What a great afternoon we had. As well as random people that just happened to be, for them, in the right place at the right time. I’m sure a couple of fellas are still talking about what they saw last week.

But let’s take the external out of the picture. Yes, Nancy is gorgeous. But you know what is even more sexy? Her confidence. She rides without fear. She sat on that bike, with people watching and let me photograph her, without fear. She wore what some people would consider racy, baring clothing, without fear. And that is hot. That is awesome to an extreme level. We should never let fear hold us back. We can listen to what lessons or advice it might have to offer, but we should never, ever, let it hold us back.

And now I present one badass Goddess!

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Also posted in Goddesses