Hello, friends! Happy 2020! Having time this month to slow down, regroup, and pray & plan for 2020 has been so refreshing. (Aside from the week I spent nursing my sick younger sister (a freshman at CNU) back to health from a virus, only to catch some kind of the bug myself and be out of commission for a week. Ah well, tis the season.)
As I look back over 2019, I am so humbled by the faces that fill folder after folder on my harddrive, from engagements, families, expecting parents, and more. As I posted on Instagram recently, 2019 was a year where love for the camera and really truly learning people, serving people, and enjoying people with photography came back to life for me. Selecting a slew of photos to share in this post was so hard because I wanted to use them all!!!! My smile kept growing as I put this selection together. Y’all have been such a joy to work with. I am beyond thankful!!!! I want this business to be a vehicle where people feel the love of God and know the value they hold as His creatures. While I have dreams and goals for Debbie Dean Photography in 2020, I pray that stays primary in all the work I do. Y’all are beautiful, unique, and emulate joy in your own ways. I love the gift it is to capture y’all. Instead of planning today, I’ll just continue scrolling through highlights of 2019, thankful to God for you all and humbled that I get to work with so many different image bearers of our great God!!!
Exploring new areas of Hampton Roads through photography is such a perk I enjoy in this line of work. New locations bring fresh creativity and challenge me to try new things, and this senior portrait session at Windsor Castle Park in Smithfield, VA, did both those things! I have been to Smithfield a few times (about 30 minutes from my home), and have always wanted to do photo sessions in that area. When I booked Chase’s senior portraits and Windsor Castle Park was our designated portrait location, I got so excited with getting to wander the grounds and see what we would find!! Chase was a natural and I love the shots we ended up with. Enjoy some of my favorites!!!
Know a High School or college senior who is graduating in 2020? Wanting to gift them a photography session for Christmas? Contact me today and find out how they can receive a FREE canvas photo from their session if you book by December 31, 2019!
Chase has been an avid soccer player most of his life and wanted to include that element in his session! He will be attending Liberty University in the fall of 2020 and hopes to play soccer with the LU Flames.
For years I have driven past the Cavalier in Virginia Beach and marveled at its beauty. When Beth (a CNU alumni friend) suggested it as their location for our family session last month, I was thrilled to get to see the grounds and enjoy some of the historic hotel’s grandeur! We gallivanted around (Baby Shark stuffed animal in hand to keep their little Jack’s attention!!) and I loved the images we captured! Enjoy some of my favorites!!!
Thanksgiving is tomorrow and tonight I am sitting on the couch with some of my sisters, at home in Northern VA, bouncing between Hallmark movies and Say Yes To The Dress while I edit photoshoots. I know we all say this annually, but the holidays definitely snuck up on me this year. Life is so full, so fun, and so go go go… I feel like I blinked and I’m home now, smelling my Mom’s Thanksgiving Eve cooking and wondering why I keep deciding it’s a good idea to kick off Thanksgiving with an early morning Turkey Trot run (tomorrow’s race route I’m doing this year is SO HILLY, and I’m hoping the wings on the turkey onesie I’m wearing will give me umph to soar up and over all the inclines!!!).
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, a brother at Fellowship Group (my church‘s version of small groups) prayed last night that God would help us recall the many things this past year that we have ignored or forgotten to thank Him for, and that He would help us to remember and praise Him. I was so humbled by that prayer because I often plow through life without spending much time reflecting specifically on God’s past grace to me, not often being still and thinking across the span of months/years with thanksgiving. In light of this, I am looking over 2019, and tonight I’m particularly humbled by God’s provision of business for Debbie Dean Photography.
A few months ago, I had no idea I could have this life, making a living doing childcare and photography (while learning and studying biblical counseling on the side in the process). Yet, God has opened door after door and I find myself floored at what each day holds! Strangers and friends alike have blessed me to serve them with photo sessions this fall. Reflecting on all the couples and families I’ve captured is stirring great thankfulness to God for the gift and experiences with photography He’s given over the years to bring me to this place. I pray He continues to grow me and show me His purposes for Debbie Dean Photography, and look forward to how I can keep serving others with photo experiences down the road!
In light of all this… enjoy a fun autumn family session I did recently, featuring Marcell, the brother in my Fellowship Group who’s prayer I referenced above! I have loved getting to know him and Hillary and their little guy, Max, since coming to HRF last year, and I hope you enjoy their session from Cullipher Farm in Chesapeake, Virginia!
The Navy isn’t always our friend here in Hampton Roads, often stealing loved ones away for months out at sea. But one joy of photography is getting to capture families together in a memorable photo experience that they can hold onto when those big ships come calling to take sailors away on their all-expenses-paid cruises to foreign waters.
The Riveras are one said family, with Papa Jonathan having just headed out for a few months. Taking their family photos recently in Chesapeake was all kinds of fun, especially knowing these images are now printed and sitting on Jonathan’s desk on the ship!! Enjoy some of my favorites from our Oak Grove Lake Park adventures!
Oh how I’m loving these fall photo sessions! A few weeks ago I gallivanted around Greenbrier Farms in Chesapeake, VA, with these two sweet friends from my church, Will and Beth. Beth in particular has been a sister who’s care and wisdom for me is continually a source that humbles and refreshes me! She challenges me faithfully in how to practically live out gospel truths and she exemplifies quiet servitude. I am so encouraged by how she and Will serve our church body! We had so much fun at Greenbrier Farms and I hope you enjoy some of my favorites from our session.
This summer and fall have been busy seasons for pregnancies and baby arrivals within my church, Hampton Roads Fellowship! (Though to be honest, there’s somethin in the water at HRF and the children just keep multiplying!) But between babysitting gigs and photoshoots, my heart overflows from all these bundles of joy!!
A way our church encourages personal care and accountability is through small discipleship groups, where we intentionally, purposefully walk through life with a few brothers (for guys) or a few sisters (for girls) during a designated period of time (usually 3-4 months). Krystal and I formed a discipleship group last fall with another sister from HRF, and I loved our early Sunday mornings together in Panera Bread (my favorite restaurant ever!!!). We walked through highs and lows of life during that season, going through Scripture and praying, crying, and laughing much each week.
I still remember the morning Krystal told us she was expecting! So much anticipation and prayers had lead up to her sharing the news, and it was a surreal, sweet gift to watch her belly grow in the months that followed, even after our formal discipleship group time ended. She has continued to be a dear friend who blesses my life richly — she and her husband Brandon are faithful, encouraging church members to do life alongside. They were such a relaxing pair to do maternity photos for last month. Their baby boy, Matthias, has since arrived and he is one of the most healthy, handsome little gentlemen residing in Norfolk these days!!! Hopefully he will be gracing this blog in the coming months. 😉 Enjoy some of my favorites from our time around the Pagoda & Oriental Garden in Norfolk, VA!
Wedding season is underway and I’m in all my feels thinking about the weddings I was blessed to shoot last fall. When I moved to Hampton in July 2018 to be part of HRF, Rachel was a fellow church member and renter of the house I moved into. Our months living together were sweet, as I got to know this dear sister and have a front row seat to all her waiting and preparing for her and Joe’s big day in October of 2018! I’ll never forget our times giggling and praying together as we prepped for our days in our little bathroom, or early mornings clinging to caffeine via pour overs in the kitchen! Wedding prep memories will always stick with me, from ironing table cloths late into the night to fumbling around other church members’ yards the week before the wedding to gathering sticks to be spray painted gold for decor. October 19th was a joyous day and I love that I got to capture it for this dear brother and sister of mine. Enjoy some highlights from 10.19.18!!!
Our church family, Hampton Roads Fellowship, was the muscles and machine behind every detail of this wedding. From makeup, hair, decor, the event planner, etc… Joe & Rachel’s day was propelled by HRF brothers and sisters!
While Joe is originally from Indiana and Rachel from Washington (and much of their dating relationship was long-distance), Joe & Rachel’s life together began and continues to be in the good wonderful happy ol state of VA! (My home state. ;))
One of my favorite aspects of photographing weddings is getting to work with bridal parties. These guys kept me laughing all day…
Off to the wedding venue, an event center in Hayes, VA!
Joe’s ridiculous comments and sarcastic banter throughout our portrait session kept me and Rachel both laughing…
Then we were back to the venue for reception festivities!!
Time to go!!
Love these guys and most importantly, I love that I still get to do life with them in Hampton through being in the same church family!! Love you dearly, Joe & Rachel!!!
My friend Josh and I have known each other since college, first meeting when we were thrown together on a Cru summer mission adventure in 2012! I never would have thought that summer as we roamed the streets of Asia with university students and hammered down 饺子 that seven years later I would be living in Hampton Roads, Virginia, and photographing Josh, his wife, two kids, his parents, and brother! How crazy is life??? It has been so fun to live in this area and reconnect with Josh and Olivia and their beautiful family. Enjoy some of my favorites from our Williamsburg session a few weeks ago!
Kai & Yesenia are dear fellow church members and friends here in Hampton I have loved getting closer to this past year. I met Sen initially at a biblical counseling conference that I went to with a group from HRF in February 2018, even while I still lived in MD, before I had decided to relocate to Hampton Roads!! (Let’s just say that conference and my time with those HRF members was instrumental in God moving me here!)
Watching God work in the lives of Kai & Sen has been such a gift. Through the beginning days of little Grace being found in Sen’s belly to her arrival on Christmas Eve 2018, I have watched this couple trust and worship Jesus Christ and His plan for their blended family. I love you guys and am so thankful for how your example of clinging to God’s Word and God’s people in daily life encourages me continually!
Kai deploys to South Korea in just a few short weeks, so doing this newborn+family photoshoot for them last weekend was so sweet to me, knowing these images will be held tightly in the months to come. I love you guys so much and am excited for how your beautiful family of FIVE will continuing growing and showing me and others how to follow Christ daily in the grace He gives!