Smith Family: Ft. Story Beach, Family Session

The beach, these beauties, and braving boisterously cold temps… These are who shower the blog today! I loved my time on Ft. Story military base with the Smiths, and they were such troopers in the 40 degree wind chill! Their images leave me smiling and thankful for the beautiful people I get to capture!

Hoping to snag some family photos like theirs? I still have spots left for my May Minis on Saturday, May 1st at Ft. Monroe in Hampton VA! Twenty minutes, $89 ($50 to reserve your spot). Sign up here!

Noah & Amber: Sandy Bottom Nature Park Wedding, Hampton VA

Covid weddings might make gatherings smaller in size but definitely not in joy, sweetness, fun, and the multitude of memories made! Noah & Amber were a last-minute addition to my 2020 wedding year (as in, they contacted me the day before their wedding!!!), and I adored their intimate gathering at Sandy Bottom Nature Park, last November. Their parents, siblings, and a few friends surrounded them for a sweet celebration at the park, with colorful leaves still blessing us with much bright scenery. Then we headed over to Vanguard Brewpub & Distillery for a fun reception dinner.

Noah & Amber were so kind, flexible, and just excited to be married! They made wandering the park fun, and they were one of my most laid-back couples… just happy to be together!!! I adored getting to capture their wedding day. Enjoy some of my favorites!!!!

The Father-Daughter and Mother-Son dances had us all tearing up!

Then we headed to the Vanguard (brewpub and distillery) in downtown Hampton for an intimate reception!!

Favorite Wedding Moments of 2020

“God creates the beauty. My camera and I are witness.” (Mark Denman)

That is how I feel when I am doing wedding photography. I have yet to get over the immense joy and privilege it is to be so intimately involved in individuals’ wedding celebrations, just seeing how beautifully created they are and the joy that exudes from their togetherness. SO MANY times throughout wedding days, I find myself smiling from ear to ear, watching the perfect light illuminate such stunning people. As I rapid-fire shoot images, I am amazed at what I get to capture. What a privilege to do what I do!

While covid brought many changes and postponed dates to the wedding world last year, I was still able to have the privilege of working with Dani White Photography throughout 2020, and second shooting a handful of weddings for her! Spending those days alongside her was such a joy and help to me as a person and a photographer. I grew in confidence and excitement to be in the industry, and renewed thankfulness of what it means to use our gifts to serve clients with excellence!

Below are a few of my favorite photos I captured on wedding days throughout 2020. I hope the beauty within them makes you smile as it has me!

David & Gwen: Pemberton Park Engagement Session

WOOOOHOOOOO, these two are such a delight to me! Gwen found me through the Instagram grapevine, and I was so thrilled to learn she was a Salisbury University connection!! (For those who don’t know my story and the time I spent with SU students, see this post!) Gwen & David are getting married next October and our engagement session last month at Pemberton Park in Salisbury, Maryland, sealed the deal for me in how fun that wedding is going to be.

These two met back in High School when Gwen was semi-tricked into going to a Youth Group event, where she had been promised she would be able to blend with the crowd… Only to show up to a “crowd” of four: Gwen, her friend, David, and his friend! Their journey began there, and friendship changed to dating, and now they eagerly await their wedding in the fall of 2021!! The comfortability and ease they have with one another made our photo session SUPER easy. I love how quick they are to make one another laugh, how gently they care for each other, and how you can tell they have great depth with one another AND fun, around the clock. I can’t wait for October and how sweet it will be to be with them as they celebrate becoming husband and wife!

Will & Beth: Norfolk,VA, Family Session

Oh. My. Lanta. How I love these photos and these THREE people!!! Beth is a sister from my church who I have walked through life with more closely these last two years. She is one of the kindest people I know, so full of compassion and sincere care for others. Her husband Will is also a man of character, hardworking and genuine, so eager to serve others. Walking with Beth through her pregnancy has only amplified how much I see this couple’s trust in God, awareness of His grace, and declaration of how much we all need Him. I am so eager to see how God will continue revealing Himself to them and through them as little baby boy Palmer enters the world in February 2021!! We had a great time waltzing around downtown Norfolk a few Saturdays ago… enjoy a few highlight shots of our time together!!

Braga Family: Sandbridge VA Beach Session

Virginia continues to give us a run for our money with a mixture of fall and summer weather, and I ain’t complainin’!!! Families are still enjoying the beaches of Hampton Roads to get in some long-weekend vacations, and when Jasmine hit me up saying she and her little crew would be near me this October, I was so excited to capture them along the shores of Sandbridge Beach in Virginia Beach! To top it off… the day we chose was Jasmine and Lucas’s wedding anniversary!!! I loved grabbing a few of just the two of them as well during our shoot.

As beach goers wind-down, my pumpkin patch / autumn colors city attire / fall leaf galore sessions are coming in hot!! Stay tuned for upcoming posts. And enjoy the Braga beach beauties below!!

Eric & Sharon: Gloucester Wedding

Anyone else miss the pre-covid wedding days? Celebrating with friends and family, sans face coverings and social distancing? While I know our current circumstances and the various regulations upon us are limits we all just have to accept as reality for right now, I still peruse weddings I shot in 2019 with such awe and glee, seeing mask-less faces and guests cozied up next to one another! I pray we get to be there again soon. Until then, enjoy some highlights from a wedding I shot back in May of 2019 for a dear couple from my church, Hampton Roads Fellowship! Watching their little blended family (Sharon & MJ, Eric & Cameron) become one surrounded by our HRF family was such a relaxed, joyful celebration!

(Note: I’m still shooting weddings in this season, maneuvering covid restrictions and seeking to bless couples as they deal with these crazy times! Message debbiedeanphotography@gmail.com to get wedding packages and booking details!)

Daric & Holly: Salisbury University

Last month, I was able to take a weekend to see friends in Salisbury, Maryland, where I resided from 2016-2018. A couple who I loved doing life with during those few years were Daric & Holly. They showed me how to love Jesus and love people in such practical ways, being constant fun, encouraging presences at meals, Bible studies, movie nights, and the like. Daric even offered to teach me guitar and we had a few great sessions… before I flaked!! They both supported me both financially and in being good friends during my time as Cru staff, and those years in Salisbury would not have been the same without them!! (I’ll especially always hold dearly the time a friend and I visited Daric at work and got a FULL tour of a crematory!!) Y’all bring much joy to me and others, and it was SO fun to photograph y’all that weekend. 🙂

Enjoy some favorites from my session with Daric & Holly around Salisbury University!!

A Swing Through 2019

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!!!

A Note on Thanksgiving + Cummings Family: Cullipher Farm

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!