My Top 5’s! {Ruckersville Virginia Portrait Photographer}

Taking a cue from a fellow awesome photographer, for the past two years I’ve looked back at my body of work and chosen the top 5 photos for that year. Here are the posts from 2011 and 2012. This year I wanted to do something different and choose my top 5 photos from different categories. I have transitioned into photographing portraits the majority of my time–and I love that! But each type of portrait is different and how can I choose between a toddler & a high school senior? That just seems unfair! And pitting my own children against others…how could I do that? So as I enjoy the final day of 2013, and remember all the challenges and triumphs from the year, I share with you my Top 5’s:

Babies & Toddlers:

Indoors 3 month old shoot

Three-month-old studio shoot

9 month old outdoors photoshoot

Nine-month-old outdoors photoshoot!

Outdoors 1 year old shoot

Adorable 1 year old reading outdoors shoot

Enjoying the autumn leaves

1 1/2 year old autumn photoshoot

Big brother photo

Can his smile get any bigger for this toddler?


family two daughters

Family with two daughters, close together!

Mother with three sons

Summer session with a mom and her three sons!

Family with their dogs

This family is awesome with their greyhounds! Early fall session in Orange County, Va.

Sisters by the lake

Sisters by the lake in Orange County, Va.

Family with dog

This adorable family with the amazing Zach (the toddler) and the fun Jake (the pup) and everyone is looking at the camera! Doesn’t get better than that!


Maternity with dad

This mother always looks radiant when pregnant! She’s expecting Baby Boy #2!

Bride and groom

The sky was absolutely perfect for this lovely wedding in Vienna, Va.

Bride and groom first kiss

The bride and the groom first kiss in Charlottesville, Va.

Intimate wedding Charlottesville

This intimate wedding ceremony was held at The Clifton Inn in Charlottesville. So lovely!

Couple with candy canes

Couple with candy canes on UVA Lawn

William Monroe High School Girls Spring Soccer Season:

girls soccer team

The girls gear up for one of their first games with a rally together! They really fought hard and came in third in the district for the first time, ever!

girls soccer players

Everything about this photo makes me giggle! Why is that girl’s leg up so high? Why is Kinsey jumping? Hannah looks ready to fight for the ball. It’s just a fun shot!

tough girl soccer goalies

That’s our goalie in blue on the ground. She dove for the ball while all three of the other team’s girls were trying to kick it. It was an amazing play! Go Danielle!

girl soccer ball hit face

That’s my girl, #15, as a freshman on varsity–a little biased sure–but I love this photo because that ball hit that girl’s face so hard she went down in the next photo. And Hannah’s face behind #11 is saying “ow!” No foul called either!

goalie save

I loved this photo because Kinsey jumped away from the goalie making the save at the last minute to try to keep from injuring the goalie. Great save by the goalie!


deer peeking around a tree

This deer had no fear of us in Gatlinburg, Tenn., this summer. I loved it!

Clingman's Dome

I loved the view off Clingman’s Dome which is the highest point in Tennessee Blue Ridge Mountains at more than 6,000 feet!

Stony Man Summit

One early morning this fall I took to Stony Man Summit by myself in Shenandoah National Park. I’m lucky enough to live close to the Blue Ridge Mountains and I love it!

Deer in snow Shenandoah National Park

This deer was spotted at Big Meadow in Shenandoah National Park in March. There was no snow where we live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, but there was still some left up there. Love watching them.

Key West Sunset

I loved the soft pinks of this Key West sunset.

High School Seniors (and one of my favorites to photograph):

senior best friend session

Full disclosure, only the one on the bottom was a senior, and the one on the top is my daughter, but they are best friends! This was my first best friend session and we had a blast in Downtown Charlottesville, Va.

senior girl

This girl is simply breath-taking (and an awesome soccer player as seen above–she’s Hannah)!!

ballet dancer city

We wanted to do a different kind of dancer location so we chose Downtown Charlottesville and Kayla is beautiful!

soccer girl high school senior

I loved all Jess’ photos, but this is one of my favorites because the light was gorgeous and she looks so fierce in the net! And on the field she’s pretty fierce too!!

high school senior guy fall

Sean is a pretty amazing high school senior, and one who is going to play baseball in college–I couldn’t be happier for him! We picked the perfect weekend to get some gorgeous fall colors in our session!

GFC Premier U15 Fall 2013 (OK I decided to break up the sports postings by team, sue me):

soccer girls goal blocked

Yes, it is my daughter blocking the goal, but Meridith was there and ready to stop the ball herself, too. Quick thinking all around!


I’m not sure how it happened, but the ball went right between the goalie and another player! Perfect aim, Emily, in this tournament game!

soccer girls tournament

The girls had to wake before dawn to get to this tournament game in time and I love how it looks like Morgan’s giving the other team the “hand” as she controls the ball! Also, she doesn’t look nearly as winded as the other player!

Roughing the goalie

I had the entire series here, as another player comes up to rough the goalie as well! It was not good. The other team parents started yelling…oh it was bad! But the face on Meridith shows she’s not faking it y’all!

soccer girl slide tackle

Yes, it’s my daughter, again, taking out another player. But the slide tackle was all ball…she got called for it, but the team didn’t score in this 5-0 blowout game!

My Family (I had to break it out this way, I didn’t want to pit my family against other families I photographed this year!)

brother and sister embrace

I loved this photo of my children because it was spontaneous! She just hugged him on top of Clingman’s Dome! Is anything more heartwarming for a parent than that?!

teen girl snow portrait

I have been dying to do a portrait session in the snow for the past two years and we finally had some snow and the kids were actually at my house. I love that my daughter is totally willing to do crazy stuff like this! She’s awesome!

Kids on Drillfield at Virginia Tech

I graduated from Virginia Tech and when Juliet had a soccer game scheduled for Blacksburg we all packed up for a road trip and made a special trip to the campus prior to the game!

fairytale teen girl portrait session

I’m working on fairytale sessions with Juliet. Here she is in her Sleeping Beauty dress in a field of buttercups!

grandmother with grandchildren

While in Gatlingburg, Tenn., we scheduled family portraits–of course! We definitely wanted to get one with my mother and all her grandchildren in front of our cabin. Love this one!

Not everything went as planned in 2013–in fact a lot of things were completely messed up and I’m trying hard to bounce back from that! But, what I learned from the mistakes and challenges are invaluable lessons that will help me be successful in the future. And no matter what, I had a serious blast on all the sessions this year and  cannot wait for spring soccer season (of course) and debuting a new high school senior model program. But all that is to come in the future! I want to wish you all a sincere Happy 2014 to all of you!

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