Mike & Ty Engagement shoot

Suffolk Engagement Shoot

You know what we're afraid of? Hairy spiders, our local Chick-fil-A closing shop, and vampire movies. You know what we're NOT afraid of? PDA. In fact, we are all about it, especially when we're photographing a gorgeous and super in-love couple like Mike and Ty, who were constantly stealing kisses and wrapping themselves up in each other throughout our entire engagement session!


Working strictly off of good vibes and positive energy, Mike suggested our shoot start in the parking garage of Christopher Newport University. He said it reminded him of a music video in which he and Ty were the stars! We knew Mike and Ty are as extra as guacamole at Chipotle, so we had to do this different. To switch up the scene for theme, we stood back to witness how steamy things got in the elevator for them as we made our descent to the lush green grounds of the campus. We love that we didn’t have to prompt them at all to lean in and get close, either. Can’t you feel that passion and heat through your screen? YOWZA!


We asked these two about their love story, and Ty told us her sister hooked them up and believe it or not, they didn’t even like each other. To quote her more accurately, she said they “HATED each other’s guts”. Imagine the football jock picking on the quiet nerd…yep this was the unexpected start to their budding relationship. As for the proposal, Ty said, “Michael proposed to me at my college graduation cookout. My mom and him hid the ring inside of a box of ring pops and once I found it at the bottom of the box he popped the question..”


And can we talk about the ring? Get ready because Ty has been blinding us all week!

Suffolk Engagement Shoot
Suffolk Engagement Shoot
Suffolk Engagement Shoot
Suffolk Engagement Shoot
Suffolk Engagement Shoot


Congratulations on getting married soon, and we are looking forward to photographing your wedding, Mike and Ty. May you forever have a relationship filled with passion and love!

De'von & Miata: Hampton Historic Post Office Winter Wedding

Historic Post Office Wedding Photography

People! We are so excited to share Miata and De’von’s wedding with you today, which could have seriously been featured (and very well may be in the future) in ANY bridal magazine across the world. These two have impeccable taste, to the point where we cannot even describe how perfect every single detail was. It’s a good thing we’re photographers, then, yeah? 


From the insanely gorgeous centerpieces and floral arrangements to the opulent venue and decor, there wasn’t a thing that wasn’t thought of and carefully planned. And when we saw Miata in her wedding dress, we all almost lost our breath! (We can’t even imagine how De’von must have felt seeing her walk down the aisle)! 

Devon Cook surprises long time girlfriend Miata Palmer with a proposal dinner. Shot by @signedcms & @sonny.forbes (instagram) Edited by @signedcms *** I do not own any music in this video ***


These two college sweethearts were so anxious to see each other throughout the day. They really thought the other would have an anxiety attack before the wedding even started! But with careful coaching from each of their animated bridal party members, they made it to the altar just fine. They choose not to see each other before the wedding so they could truly enjoy all the anticipation leading up to the “I dos”. They say it gave them an opportunity to show their family and friends their first reactions.


Here are a few more shots from their picture-perfect day: 

Historic Post Office Wedding Photography
Historic Post Office Wedding Photography
Historic Post Office Wedding Photography
Historic Post Office Wedding Photography
Historic Post Office Wedding Photography
Historic Post Office Wedding Photography
SmartShotPhotoBooth
Historic Post Office Wedding Photography


What a joy it was to photograph you on this special day, you two. We hope your years are full of happiness, light and just as much beauty! 


Vendors:

Cake: TastyLue Cakes

Make Up Artist: Evangelene Medley-Jenkins

DJ/Music: Izzy The DJ — Derrick Isabel 

Wedding Planner: Raise The Ruth Events

Dress: Maya Couture 

Caterer: Xavier McGee - Chef X

Florist & Decor: Graceful Designs Tanya Frazier

Wedding Venue: Historic Post Office

Wedding Photographers: Ronny & Reggie Smart SmartShot Photography

Wedding Cinematographer: Marcus Johnson & Ricky Viz Ink

Wedding Photo Booth: SmartShot Photo Booths




-Ronny and Reggie Smart

Mike & Dieana: Virginia Beach Winter Wedding

Virginia Beach Church Wedding

There’s something about a classic, formal wedding inside of a church that gets me every time. It just feels so pure and cinematic. We love the pews, the pulpit, the architecture, and – if we’re lucky – the beautiful Christmas trees that set the scene for this lovely joining of two souls. Mike and Dieana’s wedding took place at The Beach Church in Virginia Beach, VA, which was the perfect scene for their Winter Wonderland wedding.

Virginia Beach Church Wedding

These two met at Starbucks about 6 years ago. Mike proposed as soon as God told him to. He knew he had to do things the Lord’s way, and here we are looking at their wedding photographs! Isn’t that the sweetest story?


Even though these two hate the spotlight, they kept their focus on each other and made it through their beautiful wedding day. It really helped also that they decided on doing a first look. Dieana says, it really helped them enjoy their guests more because they got a lot of the photos out of the way early. When these two met eyes at the altar, a sense of calm rushed over them both. Mike was even spotted getting teary eyed as he waited patiently for his beautiful bride, Dieana. 



About their wedding day, Dieana said, “The emotions were greater than I imaged. To me, my wedding turned out perfect and the theme just as I imaged it. Thanks to Patricia Heath, my wedding planner..” How about that? 

Virginia Beach Church Wedding
Virginia Beach Church Wedding
Virginia Beach Church Wedding
Virginia Beach Church Wedding
Virginia Beach Church Wedding

You guys are going to rock this whole being married thing. Thanks for sharing your day with us! 

Vendors:

Wedding Planner: Patricia Heath

Dress: David’s Bridal

Caterer: Taqueria La Cabana

Florist: Norfolk Wholesale Floral

Wedding Photographers: Ronny & Reggie Smart SmartShot Photography

Wedding Photo Booth: SmartShot Photo Booths

-Ronny and Reggie Smart

Before you Graduate: Tips for planning your BFF session

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Ideas for Planning for Your BFF Session

Senior year is a time when you make all of your last high school memories before graduation and enter your new life. As time goes by, life will get hectic and crazy and these memories will start to fade. Planning a BFF session will help preserve these memories forever and help create some new ones during this fun photo shoot! Below are some tips to help you come up with a plan for your session:

  • Location

Choose a location that means something to you and your bestie. If you like to hang out at the local skate park or walk around the town square, these are places we could go for your session. We can also talk to your school about setting up there. If you are in drama club and want to recreate some memories in the theatre or have a special lunch table or a joint locker, etc., we want to incorporate these things as well. 


  • Props

Now it’s time to think about props. Do you want to bring your sunglasses because you guys are obsessed with oversized shades? How about a copy of your favorite magazine so you can look through it and get all the latest celebrity gossip during our session – talk about multi-tasking! Are you planning on going to the same college after graduation? If so, you can bring some college swag to your session! You can bring your graduation caps/gowns if you’d like. We can even stop by and grab some props during your session – if you are coffee lovers, we can take some photos of you and your BFF at your favorite coffee shop, or we can stop for some ice cream cones for some super cute shots. Think about the things that you guys like to do together and bring items that will reflect it in the photos.


  • Clothing

When it comes to clothing, you don’t want to be completely matchy-matchy (unless you are going to the twin BFF look). However, you don’t want to clash either. Choose a color palette that looks good on both of you and coordinate your outfits with colors from that scheme. Don’t forget to bring matching shoes and accessories.

THINKING OF HAVING A PHOTO BOOTH FOR YOUR WEDDING? HERE’S WHY IT’S THE RIGHT CHOICE

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In the age of wedding hashtags and bridal selfies, it’s no wonder wedding photo booths have become ubiquitous staples in recent years. Photo booths at weddings are appropriate for lavish, black tie affairs, and backyard nuptials alike; there’s just something magical that occurs when you let your guests express themselves, no matter the setting (and especially when there are fun props involved). If you’re still on the fence about whether a wedding photo booth is for you, here are 5 reasons that may sway your decision:

1. ENTERTAINMENT VALUE

Chances are, you want your wedding to be fun for everyone. Sure, you booked a great DJ and you plan to keep the cocktails flowing, but dancing isn’t for everyone, and if you have children and teens in attendance you’ll want to keep them busy too! A photo booth at your wedding will give your guests the opportunity to strike a pose–after the YMCA, but before the Macarena–and is guaranteed to be a great source of entertainment. I dare you not to crack a smile while watching grandma use the mustache prop.

2. DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR

How many weddings have you attended where they “thank” you for coming with a bag of Jordan Almonds or yet another shot glass? Of course you want to thank your guests for sharing in your big day, but do away with the cliché and gift your guests a personalized photo strip that captures just how much fun they had at your photo booth wedding. Include your wedding date and logo to make sure they remember exactly where they were when they had that big goofy smile plastered across their face.

3. MAKE MEMORIES

You’ve hired a professional photographer to capture the memories from your big day, from the moment you walk down the aisle, to your first dance, and everything in between. But what about Uncle Dennis flashing a peace sign while wearing a feather boa? A wedding photo booth creates and captures memories that you may not otherwise have, and instantly prints a keepsake for those who will always remember.

4. LET YOUR HAIR DOWN

Posed photos of you and your new husband or wife are wonderful, and the family photos that your photographer captures on your big day will forever be special to you, but there is immense value in having some no-holds-barred, un-planned, un-edited photos of your day. So grab mom and dad and capture an impromptu family photo, or meet your bridesmaids and groomsmen in the wedding photo booth for a wacky wedding party photo shoot; trust me, you won’t regret it.

5. BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER

The seating chart that you painstakingly prepared ensures a lack of awkward moments and drama-fueled conversation, but it doesn’t guarantee that everyone–including those friends and family members who haven’t met–gets together and socializes. Trust me, nothing brings people together quite like the line-up for the photo booth. This is where Aunt Sally and your friend Heather from college will discover that they both have an affinity for Justin Timberlake, prompting high fives every time one of his songs comes on.

A photo booth wedding will have people talking long after your big day has come and gone, and isn’t that what we’re all after?

Now that you are Engaged: 5 Tips for Hott Engagement Photos

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How to Get Hott Engagement Photos

Getting ready for your engagement session? If you need some extra tips, check out this list we created just for you!

1. Dress for the season. Think about the season as you prepare for your e-session. If it’s summer, make sure to dress appropriately so you and your fiancé aren’t getting sweat stains and red faces during the session. If it’s in winter, wear bright colors so you don’t blend into the snow. Just be aware of these things so you are comfortable and your photos will look the best they can be.

2. Choosing the best session time. In the morning and later in the evening are the best times for a session because of the amazing ‘golden hour’ lighting. If you have a session at noon, there is going to be harsh lighting and your photos will ultimately suffer. 

3. Be prepared. Make a list of everything you need for your session – brush, lipstick, extra clothes, accessories, etc. Put them in the car and be ready to go. Along with that, get directions and a GPS, or your handy dandy smart phone, and program in the address of the session. You don’t want to get lost and cause unnecessary stress. Leave with plenty of time to spare.

4. Be excited. This is also part of being prepared. If you’re excited, it can’t help but rub off on your fiancé. He or she loves you and gets excited when you’re excited. Your significant other can’t help but get excited, too. So build up the hype and let him or her know how important this is to you and how fun it will be.

5. Relax. Do not, I repeat, do not, stress out about this. This is supposed to be fun. I know you're worried about what you're going to look like, if the weather is going to cooperate, etc., but the more you stress, the more likely you’ll read stiff or uncomfortable on camera. The more relaxed you are, the better your photos will be. Do what you can to prepare for the session and leave the rest up to me. That’s what I’m here for, so just take a breath and relax. Hey, maybe this is a prime excuse to spring for that massage?

3 Key Benefits of getting a Professional Headshot

Award winning business leader, entrepreneur, pastor, mentor, counselor, coach & innovative visionary, Ivory Morgan-Burton.

Award winning business leader, entrepreneur, pastor, mentor, counselor, coach & innovative visionary, Ivory Morgan-Burton.

In today’s world we are surrounded by endless visuals like never before. Photographs and videos are plastered everywhere on social media.  If such visuals are key elements to our personal lives and corporate businesses, shouldn’t it also be essential and beneficial in our professional life? Here are 3 key benefits of getting a professional headshot:


1. The Professional You

Your headshot represents the first impression and introduction of yourself. Social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook have recruiters that are trying to discover your new talent and ambitions. Often recruiters will scope out their potential prospects in advance to get a feel for what you’re all about. It’s smart to go that extra mile and have a polished headshot. In doing such it will  represent you and makes for a positive impression on anyone who has, or is going to discover your profile. In the long run it is crucial to think about the impression that you’re trying to give off and how your headshot will represent your personal branding that is being built.


2. Branding

You want to represent your best self at all times. Professional headshots and personal headshots should be a representation of your style and personality that you want to reflect.  Keep the background selection in mind whether you’re at a particular location or in a studio. It’s best to stay away from backgrounds that resemble your skin tone too closely because this can make your headshot clash as a whole and distract away from your face. Such colors aren’t appealing to the eye and provide a poor visual representation of yourself. When working with a professional photographer they can help you personalize and find your style that you would like to portray and can provide insight on appropriate visual aesthetics, locations, and  lighting. 


3. Be Prepared

What is the first thing that people see when they come to your profile? You guessed it, your avatar or in other words your profile picture. Having an updated headshot is not only crucial, but beneficial to you.. Your employer could ask for a headshot so that they can post it to their website. In doing such it could be because of a blog, or because of announcements or maybe even some type of press release/Marketing. Headshots can be asked for within a short notice. Keeping this in mind you want to make sure that you are always prepared and that you have a headshot that represents yourself at all times.

Wedding Series: The significance of the first look

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Are First Looks Important?

Many of my couples ask me whether or not they should have a first look. If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering the same thing. In my professional opinion, I think they are an excellent idea. I love first looks. I know that they are a tad bit ‘untraditional,’ but let me take a minute to explain the benefits of a first look.


1. Your wedding day will be crazy busy. No getting around it. You have so much to do and so little time to do it in. If you have a first look, it helps to calm down the day a bit. Instead of trying to rush around to get everyone together and have pictures taken between the wedding ceremony and reception while your guests are waiting, you’ll have that time to relax and enjoy your guests and not have to worry about being late to your reception. We can do all of the main portraits before the ceremony even begins – at the very least, the bride and groom and bridal party photos. This way, your hair and makeup are still perfect, as they were just finished. If your family is coming earlier, we can do their photos beforehand, as well, or we will only have to worry about those portraits after the ceremony and not the bridal party shots.


2. A first look also gives you a very special, intimate moment with your new spouse. If you are nervous or stressed out, this will especially help to relax you, and your spouse can comfort you and let you know it will all be OK. During the ceremony, there are many of people around and you can’t fully take in the moment because everyone is staring at you. With a first look, that moment is just between you and your spouse (and your photographers, of course). 


3. Even if you have a first look, your husband will be just as happy to see you walking down the aisle and you’ll still take his breath away. Don’t worry that you’ll be spoiling the moment by seeing him prior to the ceremony.


New Year, New You: 3 Essentials to Nailing the Perfect Headshot Outfit

Amazon #1 Bestseller in under 4 hours “Unchain My Legacy”, Author, Tonya Renada Moore

Amazon #1 Bestseller in under 4 hours “Unchain My Legacy”, Author, Tonya Renada Moore

Are you feeling overwhelmed about what to wear for your headshots? No worries, we’re here to assist you with every step of the way. We know that getting ready for your shoot can be nerve-wrecking, but we will do everything we can to make sure this day goes as smooth as possible for you. Here are 3 essentials to nailing the perfect headshot outfit:

 

Define your Style

To start off you want to think about your style and the image that will represent your persona. Be careful to choose colors that best suit you skin tone. For instance, if you have fair skin, avoid super light colors, if you have medium, or dark skin tones stay away from colors that resemble your skin tone too closely because this too can cause some clashing in camera.

 

Keep it Simple

You know what they say sometimes less is more. With this in mind, keep it simple. Patterns and textured items tend to be distracting and take away from the main attraction, which is you. Bold is okay, but you don’t want your clothing to distract from your face. Jewel tones do compliment all skin tones. Wearing V-necks are a great way to show off your décolleté. If you want to keep your neckline slim and simple, try pairing a collarless shirt underneath a jacket. Wearing just an ironed shirt frames the face very well. By pairing statement pieces like earrings and necklaces this will add a nice touch to your headshot, however you don’t want to wear jewelry that’s too flashy.

 

Look the Part

It is very important to look the part, this can make or break your shoot. Men should take care of any grooming needs such as hair cut and shaving. If your skin gets irritated easily it would be best to find a professional barber to assist or shave the night before using a fresh sharp razor. Ladies make sure your hair and makeup represent the best version of yourself you would like to display to new clients and contacts. Your headshot session is not the time to play with fire by trying new looks. Color matching your foundation to match your neck is important. Avoid make up that has SPF because this can reflect with the studio lights. We want your natural beauty to radiate through your headshot and not be all about your makeup. If you need assistance with hair and makeup, we have trusted professionals available to assist with your look.

 

Bonus

The Dont’s of Headshots

-Avoid baggy or bulky attire even, if it’s in style

-Stay away from patterns or stripes that are too busy

-Leave the Logos out (unless it represents your business)

-Wrinkled, stained, or torn clothing

-Light-reflecting clothing and accessories including but not limited to metallics, sequins, sparkles and glitter. If you do wear them, remember to keep them to a minimum.

 

The Do’s of Headshots

-Make sure to get plenty of rest the night before your shoot

-Arrive early so you wont look rushed in your photos

-Iron your clothes the night before so that they are ready to go for your shoot

-Always remember: Relax and have fun

-Eating beforehand is good to keep your energy up

-Bring water and snacks to stay well-nourished if needed

-Bring extra attire to have a few different options

WHEN YOU RENT A PHOTOBOOTH, LEAVE YOUR OPTIONS OPEN

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For some, the word “photobooth” conjures images of metal boxes found in train stations and shopping malls, filled with pre-teens striking a pose (or four, to be exact). While many of us have fond memories behind the thick curtains of those booths, their design isn’t necessarily ideal for your wedding or event. If you’re looking to rent a photobooth, consider pulling back the curtain with an open air photobooth. Here are a few reasons we think open air is the way to go for your next photobooth rental:

THE MORE THE MERRIER

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Whether you’re looking to rent a photobooth for your upcoming nuptials or a corporate event, more people often means more fun! With an open air photobooth, you’re not limited by available space–you can jam-pack the entire squad into one photo, and no one has to feel left out (FOMO is real). Oh, and your claustrophobic Aunt Doris? She won’t have an issue either.

VIEWING POTENTIAL

Half the fun of a photobooth rental lies in the entertainment value provided not only to those participating, but to those watching! When you rent a photobooth with an open design, everyone waiting in line and mingling at the party can see what’s going on too! One look at the CEO with a faux moustache and your guests’ nights will be made. Not to mention, those who were reluctant to join in on the fun will witness the shenanigans first hand, and they won’t be able to resist!

SLEEK, MODERN DESIGN

With an open air photobooth rental, the professional-grade camera and lighting equipment are housed in a modern, clean tower. Not only will the setup and tear-down be a breeze, the tower looks great at any event! There’s no need for a clunky booth that clashes with your decor; instead, your photobooth rental will complement the style and theme of your soiree.

ENDLESS CUSTOMIZATION

Do you have a vision for the backdrop to your photos? Whether it’s a wall of glitter, giant balloons that spell out your name, or a backdrop that makes it seem as though your guests have ventured into outer space, an open air design can accommodate it. Not to mention that you can make use of the biggest and baddest props with no fear of overcrowding.

PHOTOBOMB POTENTIAL

Let’s get real; you can’t photobomb a picture being taken in a closed booth. Isn’t that reason enough to go with an open air design?

When planning your next event, rent a photobooth that is sure to capture the unforgettable memories you and your guests create!