Reaching for Creativity

It’s amazing what a little bit of creative energy can do for the soul.  This morning (in my “other life” as an elementary technology teacher), I walked into a room of 18 quiet subdued fourth graders taking lunch count and gearing up for another predictable school day. When the teacher announced my arrival and shared that we’d be spending the morning in our computer lab collaborating and creating the students cheered and gave me a round of applause. (P.S. – I so wish everyone could start their day with a cheer and round of applause, the world would be a much happier place indeed!). The students were so engaged, so invested, so aligned with the lesson presented to them that they hardly realized all the learning also taking place in the process of them working together and making digital art.

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”
Albert Einstein

I’ve always thrived on creativity energy.  But, two years ago when we lost our first daughter, she ignited a passion in me to create behind the lens of a camera. She inspired the birth of Be Young Photography and I’ve never looked back.  Building this family portrait business from the ground up has been one of the hardest, most mentally exhausting, yet rewarding things I’ve ever done. And I’m certainly not done yet.

But, for a long time now I’ve felt like I’m reaching in the wrong direction.

Because in my heart of hearts I need to not only be a photographer, but I need to be a teacher too.

The work I’ve done over the past 9 months mentoring aspiring photographers, teaching local momtographers, and providing photo therapy online to grieving mothers has been incredible. And the feedback I’ve gotten from each of you who have taken part in one of these ventures has been like a constant cheer and round of applause for the help I am able to provide.

You’ve been asking for more classes. More assistance. More help.

But I can’t keep reaching in all of these directions. A full time teaching job, energetic toddler, husband, portraits, in person and online classes. Something has gotta give. Something has to go.  My own creative energy is being stifled and if I don’t do something soon I’ll be running on empty and they’ll be nothing left to give.

So, beginning today I am taking a break from portrait work. I am no longer booking portrait sessions for the foreseeable future. 

(If you are already booked, don’t worry I’m not going to leave you hanging – and if you are currently looking to hire someone fabulous for your family portraits please please go check out my good friend and fellow photographer Kelly Nelson at Kelly Nelson Photography. She does amazingly incredibly awesome lifestyle work).

It’s time for my creative sabbatical. I need to start reaching in all the right directions for where Be Young Photography is going next on this creative journey. I need to refuel. Fulfill some of my own creative goals. And make room for some amazing new opportunities for YOU. For the next few weeks it’ll probably be pretty quiet around here.  But I promise if you’re patient and stick around for the next chapter, you won’t be disappointed.


Casting Call – Models Needed!

In my ever continuing quest to creatively grow as a  photographer I have begun an online class this month with the amazingly talented lifestyle photographer Brooke Snow.  I am super excited to begin this creative exploration and can’t wait to share my upcoming sessions here on the blog with all of you!

In prepping for class I am seeking models for sessions scheduled to take place between January 15 and February 5. If you are interested, or know someone who might be interested, please read the following for all of the details and share with your friends.

Models must have fun personalities and a willingness to be spontaneous and creative.  Models will be required to sign a model release form but will be compensated with a 10-15 high resolution images and full printing rights.

1) Family Models

Date(s): Saturday January 22nd or Sunday January 23rd

Location: Session to take place in your home. Must be within a 30 mile radius of Loudoun County, VA.  Must be willing to allow furniture to potentially be moved for the shoot (all furniture will be put back after the shoot!)

Family Description:  Family with 2-3 children.  Children must be preschool age or older.

2) Couples Models

Date(s): Saturday January 29th or Sunday January 30th

Location: Loudoun County, VA (must be willing to photograph a portion of the session outside).

Couple Description: A young (or young at heart), fun couple – either engaged or married.

3) Teen Models

Date(s): January 15th, February 5th or February 6th

Location: Loudoun County, VA (must be willing to photograph a portion of the session outside).

Teen Description: Young, outgoing girl or guy ages 16-20.

If you think you fit the description and are interested in participating in this project, please email a current picture to

Why Custom? | Northern VA Lifestyle Photographer

A few weeks ago we invited the very talented photographer Kelly Nelson into our home to capture some special moments of My Calmer, Brie and I as a new and growing family.  Being a photographer myself it’s of utmost importance to me to preserve these memories that we’ll never get back. Brie’s smallness.  Parental instinct. The love and adoration we have for her and each other. With all the sleepless nights and the whirlwind that parenthood brings I wanted something special to remember this time in our lives. It’s often hard to stop and enjoy these fleeting moments and Kelly was the photographer we chose capture them for us. Her casual. documentary style of storytelling was exactly what we were going for in preserving the memory of this time.

Kelly, like myself offers a custom photography business. Custom photography allows you to pick a photographer who fits your style and your needs. It’s about building a relationship with a photographer, connecting with their style, and allowing their vision to create works of art that preserve the important moments in your life.  I absolutely adore being a custom photographer. I love meeting new people, building relationships, shooting photographs, and retouching them to make timeless art pieces that tell the story of a moment in time.

So why go custom? Custom photography is expensive. Why not just go to the portrait studio in the local mall?  It’s so much cheaper and faster. Custom photography is all about the EXPERIENCE. The overall package.  It’s not the portrait studio mentality of next in line, everyone smile at the camera, one size fits all.  Think about Starbucks vs. McDonalds or Nordstrom vs. Walmart.

Your custom photography experience starts from the time you begin scouring the internet to find the photographer who speaks to you and your style. Some custom photographers work in studios while others only shoot on location in parks or cities. Some have a flair for drama while others are quite casual. Some focus mainly on posed portraits while others focus on telling a story in their images.  Once you’ve chosen your photographer the rest of the process unfolds from there. From planning a wardrobe, to taking the photos, to retouching and editing, to gallery review, and finally product selection and ordering.  Custom photographers usually share a gallery culled to only the best images from your session and offer an extensive array of products to choose from (prints, enlargements, storyboards, albums, canvas, etc…).

Custom photography is expensive. But there is a reason.  The experience your photographer is creating for you takes time. Much more time than your visit to the mall’s portrait studio. There is time spent planning with you. Time shooting you and your beautiful family. Time culling, editing, and retouching your images. And time helping you get the most out your images through product consultation and ordering from the most reputable high quality vendors out there.

Isn’t the custom experience what you’d want when preserving your most important family memories?  I’d love to be the photographer to help you create beautiful family memories.  I know I will certainly be treasuring these images for a lifetime thanks to Kelly.

Casting Call! Pregnant Mamas, Newborns, Children, and Families Wanted | Northern, VA Children and Family Photographer

I have been waiting on pins and needles all week to make this exciting announcement. Now that the LAUNCH workshop is over I am more motivated and determined as ever to get my business off the ground successfully.  And my workshop gave me the tools I need to get where I want to go.  But I need to round out my portfolio a bit more to help me get there. With Spring right around the corner I know many of you are beginning to think about investing in some new family photos. And I would love to be the one to help capture your memories.

For a limited time I will be waiving my session fee and offering 50% off my print, album, and collection pricing to those of you interested in booking a maternity, newborn, child or family session. All I ask is that you’ll sign a model release allowing me to use the images from our session to build my portfolio and use on the web in my promotional materials.  I will provide you with 3 web ready images to share online with friends and family. You will have no print ordering minimums and you’ll have the option to order or not once your images are edited and complete.

I have recently made some changes to my pricing and you’ll now find on my website that my session fee is $150 and my print prices start at $25 with collections starting at $550.

Please get in touch soon if you’re interested in booking me for this fantastic special and want more information on my complete price list.  My weekends are limited and I want to make sure to get your session on my calendar as soon as possible. I am so excited for warmer temperatures, green grass, and blooming trees and flowers. And, I would love to get out in the beautiful Spring weather with you and your family and make some amazing memories.


If you’ve been following along in my journey you may remember this post from back in November.  I had big dreams for my photography and I took a big step to making them a reality. I registered for Stacy Larsen’s LAUNCH weekend. It’s hard to believe that last weekend was IT! I was in Tampa experiencing the LAUNCH weekend.

I have so many things to share about my experience. It was an amazing 3 days. I met some awesome budding photographers, and I learned so much. I need a few more days to put my thoughts about the weekend in order and post what the experience meant to me and how much it helped me grow.

For now, I want to share some of my images from the weekend.  Part of our workshop experience was getting to participate in newborn and family photoshoots.  I can not take credit for a lot of the posing in these shots, but the camera work and edits are all mine.  I am really proud of these shots and am excited to be able to use these in continuing to build my portfolio. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

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