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

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Rina and I attempted to throw our first Malaya Girls Night In – a  boudoir party where, for a nominal fee, a bunch of girls would get together at a chic local hotel, hang out, eat/drink and each have a boudoir-inspired mini-photoshoot.   There was a lot of interest and several girls RSVP’d and told us how excited they were but as the day grew closer, they started to get nervous and chicken out.  By the time the day of the party rolled around, we only had one girl actually show up.  Nevertheless, we still had a blast – lots of wine, good conversation and a gorgeous subject to work with.  Being the only one that showed, Michelle had our undivided attention so we ended up doing 4 total looks.   She requested us not to post the lingerie shots (although, she looked AMAZING), but here are a couple of our faves for the night:

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Thanks to Michelle for a great night – you were beautiful and we must do this again before you leave for Rome!!

– Cies

I’m running an 8K in a few hours, but of course my workaholic self is here posting blogs.   Today,  I photographed my homie Melbo’s girlfriend, Brittany.   She’s super cute without makeup, so I knew once we got her dolled up in a Malaya session, she would look amazing.   I only had time to edit two of them so far, but I was extremely happy with this shoot.   It was gross and hot outside and I accidentally exposed her to poison ivy (sorry, Brittany!), but we all had a great time and I really love how the photos came out.

She looks gorgeous and I heart the vibrant colors:

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Casual headshot..she’s so cute:

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I actually am shooting AGAIN this afternoon, so these blog posts will keep on keepin on! Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Senior sessions are also new to DCPG, but I’m finding that they are a lot of fun!  Seniors are that magical combo of being old enough to take direction without comment, but young enough to be super excited about having their photo taken – there’s always such great energy in senior sessions.   A month or so ago, we did Tana’s senior portraits under the Malaya division – so we did her hair and makeup and she got several outfits ranging from casual to her crazy bright prom dress (btw, any graduates/rising senior girls…I highly, highly recommend including your prom dress in your session!)  We were pressed for time because she had to attend a family dinner, but we were able to knock out 3 outfits and slight makeup/hair changes in an hour.   Thanks Rina!!

Tana ordered a bunch of prints and requested to have them before her graduation party this weekend.  They came in late last night from the lab and she has been literally dying to see theem, but I can’t deliver until later on tonight due to a shoot I have all day today (I’m literally typing this while today’s client is getting her hair and makeup done haha).

So in the meantime, I will share some of them online.    Since she had such vibrant colors in her hair and clothes, put against the nice greenery of the park, I decided to get them printed on metallic photo paper.   The prints look AMAZING.  Both black/white and color really “pop” on metallic – if you’ve never seen it, ask me about a sample!

She has great eyes…and love the red highlights!

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This photo still makes me laugh.   Her sister would sneak into the background while I was taking pictures, and Tana actually ordered this one as wallet size.    Like I said in my previous post, it’s about the moment as much as the subject:

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I had her stand by this Japanese maple just because I liked it, but it worked out really well w/ both her dress and hair color.   Magic!

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Her prom dress is seriously that color in real life.   It’s awesome.

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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!

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In an effort to blog more frequently, we are going to start posting articles other than recent jobs.   We have worked with some amazing people in our industry and I just want to take the time to highlight one of them.

Human Story Films is based out of Richmond, VA and they have an amazing storytelling sensibility to their films; weaving in wedding highlights with interviews from the couple and their loved ones.     This seamless blending of footage and narrative creates a very engaging, personal and heartfelt wedding day story.

Bill Gaff, Human Story’s chief filmmaker, along with his crew shot Winston and Hazel’s wedding with us back in August and he recently sent us a copy of their wedding DVD.  We watched it and were blown away by the style and quality.   I actually watched it twice haha – definitely a rarity with me and wedding videos.

He was nice enough to add these  kind words to us:

“It was a pleasure working with you guys.  [It’s] clear that you put as much energy into making it a nice experience as you do into the artistic part. Both are outstanding.”

Bill was voted one of the 25 Hottest and Most Influential Event Videographers in the World by the readers of EventDV Magazine and also had a wedding (and really nice write-up) featured on the chic bride site, StyleMePretty.com

If you’re looking for something unique, something truly historical and personal for your wedding day, give Human Story a call.  You won’t be disappointed.

– Cies

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