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!
When was the last time you and your spouse had fun together without the distraction of kids or to do lists?
When was the last time you and your spouse took good photos together, not snapped as a selfie or from the viewpoint of your five year old?
On top of that, how many of you think about Valentine’s Day next month and hope your spouse drops a good hint these next few weeks of something he/she would like other than the chocolate bar and gift card to Starbucks you were planning to grab on February 13th?
If you find yourself in any of the above scenarios, I have the perfect gift for you this Valentine’s Day!
Gift Debbie Dean Photography’s Valentine’s Day package!
For $120, you get a one-hour photo session AND a 10×14″ canvas of your favorite image from the shoot! Not only will the shoot be a fun time of you two enjoying each other and creating a fun memory together (free from kiddos or other distractions that have seeped into your time as a couple over the years!), but you will also have a canvas to hang in your office or bedroom, reminding you of the love you have for this bestfriend, love of your life, & partner in crime for years to come!
Interested? Book today! Inquire to: email@example.com. 703-789-0513.
(Based out of Hampton, Virginia — travel rates apply for photo sessions more than 25 miles from Hampton.)
Last Sunday I had back to back shoots with two families from my church (HRF): Nicole and her crew started us off, and Colin & Myisha with their gaggle of girls followed! It was fun to spend time with these friends and capture them in a variety of spots around City Center. Enjoy a glimpse into our Sunday afternoon fun!
Today I sit at home nursing a nausea/head/achey/exhausted sickness of some kind, and am reflecting on what a full, wonderful few months it has been capturing families in Hampton Roads! Flipping through photos, I cannot stop smiling as I look at the people who have given me opportunities to capture their crew and create something beautiful for them to look back on for years to come! I could fill blogposts for months with these beautiful faces and the hours we spent trying to get dogs, two year olds, grandparents, and farm animals to cooperate for a few minutes (never a dull moment; thankful for so much laughter!). I have loved the relationships I’ve been able to form with my clients during our sessions, and as we wrap up 2018, I am filled with thankfulness for these families, and eagerness to see what 2019 brings in the world of Debbie Dean Photography! Enjoy some moments from my most recent shoots below.