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I shot this session about a month ago, but I’m catching up on posting blogs….

You may remember Tiffany from an earlier blog post showcasing her Malaya-styled maternity session.   Her baby Saiphera Marie is part of our Baby Steps portrait plan where we photograph your baby from the newborn stage through age one.   Fun fact:  at every newborn session, since we photograph the entire family, we give the mama a little pampering too.  Mom’s get their makeup done by Rina and it’s totally on the house.  We know how it is just having a baby and although, yes, parenthood is so amazing, you also have to deal with being perpetually fatigued and stained with various baby fluids.   Not to mention the anxiety wondering if and/or when your pre-baby body will make it’s triumphant return and how that translates in photos.   DCPG’s got your back, mamas – we’ll help you feel good and look good!

Jaison, Tiffany + Baby Saiphy

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Love the matching expressions, plus how her tiny hand is clutching his finger:

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Motherhood suits Tiffany well:

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Jaison wanted to do one of those shots where you hold the baby in just your hands, but being that Saiphy was almost a month old at this point, we settled for this.  Still cute!  She’s so photogenic:

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Tummy time!  Check her sweet faux-hawk:

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Jaison is a local musician (an awesome singer/keyboardist/songwriter) and when Saiphy was being fussy he picked up my daughters $10 keyboard and serenaded her with a song he wrote for her.  She was calmed almost instantly – it was amazing.   I wish I took audio of him singing, it had a really catchy melody.   She seems like she’s listening intently:

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Like father, like daughter:

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Adorable polka dot theme:

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By the way, happy 4th birthday to my nephew (Rina’s son) Tonio!!!  He is so cute it’s just ridiculous:

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– Cies

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It’s a small world in Virginia Beach, even smaller between the Filipino community, and Facebook makes it almost microscopic, so needless to say, we’ve been really blessed as far as referrals go. A lot of times, the prospective clients that come to us know more than 4 of our former clients.  Joyce happened to be a fan on our Facebook page as well as a good friend of the Cabatit’s (and about 30 other mutual friends).

I scheduled their session at 9:30am thinking that mornings were optimal for little kids, plus it wouldn’t be too warm, but man, was I wrong! It was HOT.   The kind of heat that multiplies all the indigineous city smells (in this case:  garbage, hobo urine, and seawater).   In typical Tidewater fashion, two days later, the weather was a gorgeous 75 degrees.  Sigh.

Nonetheless, Joyce, Ian and their son Ethan showed up looking fab!  I am loving all these hip, well-dressed families, for real! I heart the purple accents with grey color palette:

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Says Ethan –  “Ethan tired!”  Aww.

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Mama time:

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We saved the awesome new dancing fountains for last hoping it would cheer him up and I’d get a smile or two.   He really liked them, but he was so fascinated that he just stood and stared at it, not moving:

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These photos were taken seconds apart.  Note the barely changed expression:

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Little E, lookin’ sharp!

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Being that I wasn’t able to get E to crack a smile even once, Joyce and I agreed to attempt this one more time when the weather was nicer.   I’m determined to get some happy looking pics of this cutie pie, so stay tuned for part 2 sometime in the coming weeks!

– Cies

We had a triple header on Sunday, with myself shooting newborn Adriana and recent grad Audrianna in VB and the boys shooting the Wrights off in Oceanview.   I’ll have the Wright family pics up in a later post when I get some edits from the guys!

Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but there were lots of similarities between my two shoots:  their similar names,  the milestone portrait session, they were both beautiful girls and both shoots were gifts from family members (brothers, to be exact).    My homie Gary bought the Baby Steps Plan for his brother and Audrianna’s brother paid for her Malaya session as well.    Portraiture is a GREAT gift – especially for important moments like a new baby or celebrating your first steps into adulthood…priceless.

Btw, take note people,  this is a really good example of coordinating outfits without matching.  Cute color palette and good lookin’ fam!

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Baby Adriana was only 10 days old and slept pretty much through her entire shoot.  When we did get her to open her eyes, I was so glad because she had pretty blue/green eyes:

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Proud papa:

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A few hours after Adriana’s shoot, it was Audrianna’s turn.   I never met her nor really knew anything abut her until the day she showed up; her brother booked the shoot and I only spoke to her via text message (kids these days!) but right when she walked in, Rina and I knew it would be a great shoot.   She was a photographer’s dream – super duper nice and also drop dead gorgeous.   We decided to stay close by and just wander around Town Center.   We avoided the fountain area and instead explored the Westin,  the Sandler Center courtyard and the small “park” across the street.

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Her boyfriend tagged along which I give him mad props for…Malaya shoots are extemely long and boring for the people who aren’t the subject but he hung in there.  When we finished up her shoot, I grabbed a couple of shots of them together:

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Upcoming posts:  Hiecee’s Malaya & family shoot (ask about that discount for both shoots!), the Wright fam, and the Kunda boys.  Oh and if you haven’t, please check out our new mini page featuring recent Phototbooth jobs plus tons of information about booking our Photobooth services at your next event.

– Cies

Mendell and I spent a better part of tonight with Erin, Kevin and their 4 month old twin girls, Katie and Abbey.  I’ve been wanting to test drive our lifestyle portraiture, so the Corrie’s graciously agreed to let us invade their household for an evening and photograph a little slice of their lives.   It was really fun – we basically just followed them around on their nightly routine (playtime, feeding, bath, bedtime) and documented.   Ocassionally we’d move lights or furniture around and give very light direction, but mostly, we just sat back and observed.

I really enjoyed doing this and I think it’s great especially for parents with babies.  These days go by so fast and it’s a blessing to have tangible memories of what it was like during the beginning.    It’s not just about recording what everyone looks like; it’s the subtle but important everyday things.   It’s the way a new parent looks at their baby – so proud, so fascinated and so completely in love.  It’s the smile that the baby only gives to their parents.  It’s the tenderness, the bond, the silly songs, the fleeting moments you can’t repeat.   My daughter is going to kindergarten in the fall and if not for our millions of photos, I’d never remember exactly what happened or what our life was like back when she was still a baby.   Being that Kevin and Erin have twins, they definitely don’t have the luxury of one parent taking photos…hard to do when your hands are literally full!

Anyway, here are a few shots.  Thanks again to Kevin and Erin for feeding us dinner and letting us into your home!

Here’s Katie and Abbey staring up at Mendell, who is holding a ginormos reflector over their heads:

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What’s funny about the next photo is that although it looks very dramatic, Erin and I were discussing how you feel like you dropped the ball when someone else cuts your kid’s nails before you remember to.   hahaha.

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I think this is Katie?

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Bath time with daddy:

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Bedtime with mommy:

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The other babies:

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We will be photographing them again as a more official family portrait session later this month.   I’m definitely looking forward to it!

Quick post today! First of all, I’m happy to say that we now are able to take credit cards! If you want to pay via the internet, you still have to use PayPal (or Collages.net if you have a site up), but now you can pay for sitting fees and more w/ a credit card in person or over the phone.  Yay!

Now onto the good stuff….we’ve been shooting a lot more families and kids lately and I just wanted to share some recent pics before we go out of town for a few days!  We try to do something different for each family; we like to tailor the setting and the shots based on the clients personality and needs.   Enjoy!

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Have a great weekend and see you in June!

– Cies

Tiffany is one of our first clients in our brand new Baby Steps portrait sessions program.    She is 7 1/2 months along, so it was the perfect time to shoot her complimentary maternity portraits, which is the first of five total sessions that come with the package (more details after the photos).    It was the first session I’ve photographed since we ceased using our rental studio, so at first I was a little apprehensive in not having as much space and equipment around.   To my surprise, it was much more convenient shooting at home and now I’m not so sad about losing the studio.

I’ve actually known Tiffany since middle school and although we really weren’t that closely acquainted, I always knew her to be very sweet and kind.  In recent years, she worked at the same place as my sister Rina (as do 90% of my first Malaya clients), so when it came time to do her maternity portraits, she contacted DCPG.   We were very sad to hear that about a week prior, her mother passed away.  Despite the sudden and tragic circumstances,  Tiffany was strong and did so beautifully at her maternity session – a true testament to her spirit.  We are looking forward to finding ways to honor Tiffany’s mother in the future portrait sessions w/ her granddaughter.

In classic Malaya fashion, we did a few clothed outfits and then went into boudoir-style maternity portraits.    I tend to favor semi-nudes or tight clothing to show off the bump – pregnant women are beautiful and yes, they can be sultry!  Here’s a clothed one w/ our signature Malaya backdrop:

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Hot mama:

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Stilettos and a smile, baby:

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This next shot was Rina and Tiffany’s idea – here’s Tiffany unwrapping the best present ever:

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Baby Steps is our brand new portrait plan that covers your baby’s entire first year in a series of portrait sessions:

DCPG Baby Steps – $250.00 one-time payment

Complimentary Maternity Session (if you book us ahead of time!)
Newborn Session
3 months old Session
6 months old Session
One year old Session
5″ x 7″  Brag Book with 2 photos from each session
— OR —
24″ x 9″ Wall Collage featuring 1 photo from the newborn, 3 mos, 6 mos and 1 year session

We’re really excited to finally offer a baby plan – contact us today to book your first session!

We’ve been uber-busy with shoots lately and Mendell did a GREAT family shoot the same day as Tiffany’s maternity portraits (the joys of having 2 other partners!), so stay tuned for another blog post.

– Ciesther

I want to get in the habit of blogging more often, especially after we do a session.   Yesterday morning, I did a portrait session of super cutie, Anesa.   My little sister Rina and Anesa’s mom have been friends for years – I remember them as middle schoolers together.    One minute they’re being silly and doing a mime routine in front of my car to pass time and the next thing we know, we’ve all got our own kids.    Time really does fly!

I haven’t gotten a chance to work on more, but for now, here’s a sneak preview of Anesa’s portraits:

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We’ve got tons more shoots on the regular and Malaya portrait side to blog, so stay tuned!

– Ciesther

First off, happy mother’s day to all the mama’s out there.  Hope you enjoyed your day!

Apologies for the lack of recent posts – we’ve been busy! In a good way, of course, but I’m sorry we don’t update the blog as often.   So what’s up w/ DCPG (or “the Peeg” as my sister likes to call it)?  Well, in sad news, we closed down our rental studio temporarily.  We really loved having it, however, it wasn’t quite fiscally responsible to keep it at the moment.  But I have a goal to reopen in another location by the end of the year, so definitely stay tuned for that.   On the plus side, the weather has been staying clear and warm enough to shoot outside , so we haven’t been lacking in sessions. I’ll definitely start posting recent work on here again, but keep tabs on our Facebook page – it has ALL our most recent work.  Become a fan if you haven’t already 🙂

Internally, we have a very welcome change coming up.  My sister Carrie will be moving to Virginia Beach and also joining DCPG as our new Office Manager.  I’m still in the process of training her, but you’ll talk to her via email or telephone very soon if you contact us and I’ll probably have her updating our Facebook and blog as well.   Since I picked up shooting portraits, I haven’t had much time and, frankly, desire to keep up on the back end office work, so I am super relieved to be handing it over to someone that I trust and is way more fastidious (in a good way) and organized than I!

Now on to the good stuff —

**NEW** Mother’s Day Makeover Special!

In honor of Mother’s Day, we’re offering a summer-long portrait special (because you should honor the mom in your life more than once a year):

$200
Family, Solo or Maternity
1 hour On-location portrait session
Hair & makeup included for Mama
All Portrait Products 25% Off
Choice of:
5×7 Photobook w/ images from your session
–OR–
11×14 Canvas Wrap Portrait

Email us for rules and restrictions.  This special will expire on August 31, 2009.

Also…..Lower Wall Print Prices!!

We have decided to significantly lower our wall print prices.  Starting today, regular prints 11×14 and larger are now much more affordable.  Here are some popular sizes:

11×14 $65 (old price $100)
16×20 $150 (old price $250)
20×20 $180 (old price $300)
20×24 $215 (old price $325)

Please note we can make regular prints and canvas wraps in almost every size, including odd and panoramic sizes – just let us know and we’ll quote you!  If you have photos currently hosted on Collages.net, you should see the price changes immediately.  If your site has expired, but you are interested in purchasing a wall print, send me a message!

Weekend sunset sessions in May are pretty much booked up, so if you’re looking into a June shoot, it’s best to book now! Earlier sessions (between 9:30 and 2pm) are also available for both weekdays and weekends.   Also, DCPG will be “off” from May 27th to June 1st for Memorial Day weekend.

I will end this post with some of  DCPG’s favorite mom photos:
Audrey & Jaden
My mom 🙂
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Avigail & Sophia

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Susie & Anna
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Pon & Alexandra
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Happy Mother’s Day!!
– Cies & DCPG

I have been meaning to post some before and after examples for a really long time because one of the main things that separates DCPG from other photographers is our post-processing (aka editing, retouching, and yes, “photoshopping”).   Don’t get me wrong, we do not believe that Photoshop can “save” a bad photo or is a substitute for fundamental photography skills, but we do know that it can make a huge difference.    We know full well we could just shoot-to-burn and make tons of money that way; it works just fine for lots of photographers.   DCPG sees the art in what we do and treat each individual photo as such –  this love and attention before, during and after we take a photograph is what our clients pay for.  

Over the years, we have run into a little bit of resistance.  Some people want photos straight from the camera to save time.   Others wonder why our prints and products are more expensive than say, Wal-Mart or Picture People.   True, there is no cheap, same day, in-and-out service with DCPG.   However, what you sacrifice in so-called convenience is worth it to get a one of a kind piece.   Anyone who owns a small business, has a family or is getting married will tell you how central it is to their lives.    We respect and revere that by making sure that the final product beautifully displays your vision, your love and your history.  Your reflection, our artistry.

Long story short, we are going to break our long-standing rule of never posting unedited images just to show you the DCPG difference.   Here is a sampling of unedited photos and their finished counterparts:

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More “before and afters” can be found on our Facebook page!

In other news, we will be releasing a Mother’s Day promo soon.  Stay tuned…