2017 Holiday Cards

This year's holiday card designs are simply stunning!  The newest trend in cards is the script overlays and we have three designs that feature full page photos with script design over the top of the photo.  These are gorgeous, but do require the right spacing to work without having letters over the important part of your family picture!  We have four other script designs that will work with most any image as they are inside a box and the script is outside.  The other type of card we have this year is the Botanical collection which has elements of greenery to make a festive design.  These will be especially perfect for our Xmas Jammies & Santa session images as well as those families who chose to dress in holiday colors for their family minisession!  

Whatever design you choose, know that most of the wording is customizable (with the exception of most of the large script designs).  You'll want to think about how you want your card signed.  There are three common ways - here they are for my family:
 The McGhee Family
 The McGhees
Amanda, Ryan, Ava & Carter

Please pay attention to the direction of the images when choosing your card design.  If your favorite family photo is vertical, it won't work on the horizontal full page script design. The back side of the card is more adjustable with most designs and can accommodate 1-4 images, just ask!

If you purchased the Deluxe Package for your family minisession, you will receive 50 cards and envelopes. If you would like to purchase more sets, they come in packs of 25 (with envelopes) at a discounted price of $50/set.  If you purchased the Standard Package, but would like to add cards, the first set is $65 and then each additional set of 25 is $50/set. 

Christmas Minisessions 2017

Here's the lineup of our KGP Holiday Minisession offerings for 2017!  


Family Minisessions at the Tree Farm

Location: Santa's Forest & Nursery (5151 Carolina Rd/Rte 32 Suffolk, VA 23434) 

Dates:  Sunday, November 12th **SOLD OUT**
 Saturday, November 25th **SOLD OUT**
            Sunday, December 3rd **SOLD OUT**

Standard Package - $300
*20 minute minisession for children or full family
(Contact us to add grandparents/cousins, etc. please!) 
*10 digital images in online gallery with print release within 7 days of session date 

Deluxe Package - $450
*30 minute minisession for children or full family
*15 digital images in online gallery with print release within 7 days of session date
*50 holiday cards
*16x20 mounted print

Christmas Jammies


Location: Our Studio (4500 Pretty Lake Ave Norfolk, VA 23455)

Date: Saturday, December 9th  **ONLY 4 LEFT**

Standard Package - $125
*15 minute minisession for children (best for 1-3 children)
*5 digital images in online gallery with print release within 7 days of session date

Deluxe Package - $175
*30 minute minisession (best for larger families)
*10 digital images in online gallery with print release within 7 days of session date
*Guarantees the jammies set AND a bonus holiday 'twinkle light' set, too!

**Holiday gifts (ornaments, grandparent albums, etc. available as add-ons)


The Santa Experience

Location: Our Studio (4500 Pretty Lake Ave Norfolk, VA 23455)

Dates:  Sunday, November 26th & Saturday, December 2nd

Standard Package - $195
*Scheduled session (no waiting in long lines!)
*10 minute minisession for children of all ages
*Interactive visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus
*Custom set (different each year)
*5 digital images in online gallery with print release within 7 days of session date

**Holiday gifts (ornaments, grandparent albums, etc. available as add-ons)

The Unexpected Quick Induction | DePaul Medical Center Birth in Norfolk, Virginia

When most people in the birth industry hear the term "induction", they often cringe.  Inductions have come to be equated with long, unproductive early labor sometimes resulting in days-long augmented processes and nearly 50% csection rates.  But we all know that birth is unpredictable and you never really know what will happen.  Such is the case with this birth story!  

After a few elevated blood pressure readings, the decision was made by her care providers to induce labor - and when the options were laid out, this couple chose to go with Cytotec as the first method of induction. They would move forward with pitocin after that and then hopefully not need other interventions. This was a much different plan than the low-intervention, completely natural path that they had planned to walk. But they moved forward positively and with great hope that their baby would be born and their labor would progress as naturally as possible.  I was kept informed throughout the evening and the text messages kept coming every 3-4 hours saying "Still at 3cm. Going to rest for a while.  We'll let you know when things pick up."  It was getting to the wee hours of the morning, so I headed to sleep hoping to be woken up in the morning with a progress update. 

The next update was a phone call, not a text. I heard, "She's complete!" and I hopped out of bed, threw on some clothes and FLEW to the hospital as quickly as I could.  I think when I looked back at my time stamps, my first image was taken 23 minutes after that phone call!!!  

When I walked into the room, there was a flurry of activity, multiple nurses, and I heard "Push Push Push PUSH!"  I quickly unzipped my bag, threw on the flash, set my camera to what I thought was right for the lighting and turned on the video to get at least one pushing sequence.  It turned out that my settings were not correct and I fiddled for a second before I heard "You can reach down and touch him if you want".  I searched for a spot to get a good vantage point (at this point there were more bodies than I could count) and all of a sudden there was a baby on her chest!  It happened so incredibly fast - not one person in the room was expecting a first time mom who had never pushed before to go from 3cm to crowning in less than an hour and a half and then push her baby out in mere minutes. 

But the room was full of joy and everyone was healthy and happy and little Roux was adored by all.  I went back the next day to get a full account of the birth story from his parents and I strongly recommend clicking on the video to watch their account and see more precious images of this sweet family! My heart was so full being able to be there to capture their birth story and I'm sure that this is one for the books!

Moment of birth Virginia Beach Birth Photographer
DePaul Labor & Delivery Norfolk Virginia Birth Photography
Birth Photography in Hampton Roads Virginia
Newborn Baby on Warmer Virginia Beach Birth Photography
Inked Baby Feet Footprinting at Birth Photography
First Breastfeeding Birth Photography Norfolk Virginia
Daddy skin to skin with newborn in hospital

Watch the birth story as told by his parents:

Incredible Captures of Doulas At Work | World Doula Week 2017

In over 7 years as a birth photographer, I have been privileged to capture over 75 births and many of the families I've worked with have also hired a doula to help them manage labor, delivery & postpartum.  If you had asked me 10 years ago what a doula is, I would have had virtually no idea. But through this work, I have come to know some of the strongest, most compassionate, knowledgeable women in the Hampton Roads area.  Here is my take on what a doula does:

Doulas watch.  

doula support

They watch a laboring woman carefully. They have seen labor.  They have seen the dance, the sway, the instinctive movements of a laboring mom. They have heard the sighs, the groans, the grunts.  They have seen the power and the grit.  They know what to watch for and what it means, oftentimes before the laboring woman, her partner or even her care provider!  They focus all of their energy on watching a laboring mom and giving care in ways each individual woman needs.

Doulas guide. 

They guide women through the labyrinth of labor. Birth is unpredictable and ever-changing. One of the things I love the most about capturing birth stories is that each journey is unique and powerful. And doulas help parents navigate the uncertain waters. They provide a shoulder to lean on, a helpful presence, answers to questions, and a calming nature essential to protect the birth space.

Doulas walk alongside their clients.

Doulas walk along side their clients in times of struggle...they walk in times of triumph...they walk in times of heartache...they walk in times of joy. They are called to walk no matter the journey.  

Doulas do not replace partners. They support partners.

I have seen the most loving and incredible couples work through labor as a team, totally in sync. Doulas do not disrupt that relationship. Instead, they work alongside it, helping partners to anticipate a laboring mother's needs, suggesting alternative coping techniques when needed and strengthening the support system that is already present. Alternatively, when a spouse is deployed, a doula can be a vital part of a birth plan and help to stand in when needed for family and spouses who are not able to be at the birth.

Doulas comfort in times of struggle

Doulas are a great source of comfort in those moments when a laboring mom doubts herself or doubts the process.  They draw on their wealth of knowledge about birth and their experience guiding women through. They use soothing words, a healing touch, an encouraging look. When plans go awry or the unexpected happens, a doula is there to comfort.

Doulas hold legs, hips, and more

When needed, doulas physically assist laboring moms in a variety of ways.  They spend hours hunched over applying counter pressure, they walk up and down the same hall week after week, they hold a hand, apply a cool cloth, or fetch ice chips for the thousandth time.  They hold a leg and encourage as a mom pushes for much longer than anyone thought was possible.  Doulas stay awake all night but never look tired, never letting on that they are exhausted.  They seem superhuman at times and always put their clients needs above their own.

Doulas assist with that precious, (sometimes awkward) first breastfeeding 

A first time mom often needs just a little help with that first latch. And doulas are perfect for assisting! Nurses often help, too, but a doula can help not only at the hospital but also in the first few days or weeks at home! 

Doulas celebrate with you

They stood beside you and walked with you on that great adventure called labor....and when you finally get to meet the new baby you worked so hard for, there is no one who celebrates with you as much as your doula!  I've seen the tears in their eyes and the giant grins on their faces time after time after time.  They feel the joy as if it were their own because each client is forever a part of their history. 

Happy World Doula Week to all of you!!  
If you are interested in seeing more images, please visit my Birth Photography page!