Day Family: Hampton Homestead

As we hit the one year anniversary this week of covid descending on our nation and changing all our lives in various ways, I have been thankful as I reflect on the people God knit around me in my life as a single lady, so that even in the changes and ebb and flow of covid isolation, I have not felt alone! The Days fill me up and hold a special place in my heart as wonderful, dear friends from my church who have the most crazily wonderful growing herd. Their family has been built through foster and adoption, with eight kids and counting, ranging from 1.5 to 22 years old. Katie & Steve are people I want to be like, embracing dreams and pressing into the hard by God’s strength, going after good works that display His beauty and love to others. I have loved watching how covid has brought GOOD on their homestead, as they’ve done immense work to their property and their familial relationships, and also brought others of us in, throughout covid, in safe ways, to be blessed by their land and animals and food. Enjoy some of my favorite images of their wonderful crew, including some extended family as well!

Baby Nae had just turned one at the time of our session last November… isn’t she the cutest???
A total Momma’s girl!!!
… And sassy as ever!
The Day crew: Steve & Katie with 7 of their 8 kiddos!
Sister sister…!
Look at these handsome dudes!
Brothers!
I just adore these two so much!

Missick Family: City Center, Newport News VA

Last night, I got to meet and hold the little newborn man who is one of the stars in today’s photoshoot… how fast time goes!! (Though for preggo Mamas, I know things can often seen slooowwww… that was Sen during this session, just eager and waiting for baby Judah to get outta her belly!) This family is one that makes me thankful for life, laughter, rawness, and being real a humans and Christians. They teach me so much about the power of prayer and the power of a good meal (preferably Puerto Rican cuisine!!). I loved capturing their growing crew last month and am so thankful that I don’t only call them clients but dear friends. 🙂 Enjoy a few of my favorite images from our holiday-y shoot in Newport News, VA!

Alimentary Roots: Portrait Session

There are moments in photography when you pull your camera from your eye to look at the shot you just captured and can’t help but grin exuberantly, shriek with glee, and freak out your client in the excitement their beauty gives you. I consider it such a privilege to capture people in all their differences and loveliness, and I especially love doing so with people I know deeply.

Shooting the below photos for my bestie and roomy Ruby (some people call her by her actual name… RACHEL….. but not I!) was one such session full of those “oooooooooo!!” moments. She is a beautiful soul!!! Living with her and walking through life with her, I know well her compassionate heart, her stunning face, and her eagerness to help others when it comes specifically to cooking and eating in ways that help, heal, and give happiness to the tastebuds and body! She is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, passionate to show others how powerful food is and how much it matters what we put in our bodies. I have learned so much from her, and continue to pester her for cooking wisdom as I’ve become more accustomed to the kitchen in 2021 through my keto journey!

Ruby has big dreams, big goals, big plans in how to bring hope and healing to bodies and souls through food and farming. She uses her blog, Alimentary Roots, to share thoughts and wisdom as she walks towards these passions, hoping simply to serve others well. Please head over and give her writings some attention! They’re fascinating and fun to read!!!

Rubes, I love you and am so thrilled for what is to come. You and your beautiful self inspire me daily and I love getting to show you some love in this blogpost today!

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!!

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!!!

Rivera Family: Oak Grove Lake Park

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!

Will & Beth: Historic Greenbrier Farms

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.

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Proposal: Matt & Tara

I seriously don’t know how to begin this post. What are you supposed to say about the engagement of one of your very best friends in the whole world?? How do you describe the flashmob proposal her boyfriend arranged with 30+ people that ended with a human tunnel leading her to her boy down by the water?? There are no words.

When Matt Facebook messaged a bunch of us with his proposal plans, I quickly volunteered to take photos. I was honored he wanted so many of us involved in this special night, and nothing would make me more glad but to document it. We all arrived at City Center (Oyster Point) in Newport News with plenty of time to spare before Tara would be led there by roommates, under the false news that they were going to celebrate a few friends’ internships and acceptance to grad school at one of the restaurants. Little did she know what was waiting for her…..

(Note: I switched on and off all night between using my strobe and shooting with a slooooow shutter speed…… I have so much to learn about night photography!)

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So so SOOOOOOOOO excited for you two!!! Matt, I know you’re one amazing guy to win the affections of my dear Tootie. She’s a gem.Take good care of her! Love you both!!!!