5 Great Spots to Capture Your Spring Memories in Coastal Virginia

March 17, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Coastal Virginia exemplifies a four-season area. With each season renewed, beauty astounds residents and vacationers. One of the top questions a photographer is asked is WHERE can I get the best photos? We never tire of that question because when we give suggestions all factors encompass those recommendations. Does that mean we do not want a client to say I want my session here! Absolutely not! We strive to provide clients with exemplary photography experiences but when a client doesn’t have an idea or specific location in mind you often receive the photographer's best-found secrets!

No full secret locations will be shared here today … sorry that’s for clients ONLY! But I will share some great locations in the Hampton Roads and Coastal Virginia area that checks all the boxes crosses all the t’s and dots all the i’s for Spring Photography Sessions!


  1. Let’s start with a GREAT well-known goodie but HAS to be mentioned! The Cherry Blossoms at Red Wing Park. This is what we call a LIMITED OPPORTUNITY! Limited not because we are using a marketing ploy for you to BUY NOW! Limited meaning the trees decide when, for how long, where, and sometimes just plain so NO! Yep! It happens sometimes, more so the wind says HA Not this year photographer! The prime season of Cherry blossoms is a PACKED house meaning MANY MANY other Hampton Roads families, Seniors, Expecting Mommas and pets will be there with you on your photography session, but I do have a hand full of suggestions to capture the moment of Blooms with fewer lookers-on! Cherry Blossoms In Virginia BeachCherry Blossoms In Virginia BeachOn Location Photography Session at Red Wing Park Cherry Blossoms
  2. Now anyone that subscribes to my Newsletter knows I have two FAV Months for beach photography… April and October. Each month on my FAVS list acquired its own reasoning but they are definitely the month to plan your beach photography session in Coastal Virginia. I won’t bore you with the reasons… but Humidity MAY top the list. So Number 2 & Number 3 are beach favorites of mine for the Spring. First is Lynnhaven Beach. Why does it make the list… Less crowded, easy walk (if you know where to park), and dreamy view! Great for families with little ones too…. No big waves to take a toddler down in the middle of a session. Don’t laugh people… THAT CAN HAPPEN!
  3. So on to our 3rd location and 2nd beach… Hampton … yes I said it Hampton. Why Hampton? Rocks people! I love the looks of rocks at the beach and if you do too then I have the place for beach photography for you! Again, this one touches on easy walking too, and is such a great option for those on the Peninsula. Who loves the HRBT on a Saturday!  Beach Engagement Session Hampton, VirginiaBeach Engagement Session Hampton, Virginia
  4. Now our 4th location is a little broader as there are LOTS and LOTS but not all are created equal and that’s our wonderful public farms. Don’t forget that word PUBLIC! Don’t think just because a farm has a wonderful, dreamy backdrop it is at your photographer’s disposal. Not all locations that are beautiful allow professional photographers but the list I compiled is quite extensive. Let me take you out to the farm and create EPIC photography experiences for lifetime memories.
  5. The 5th Top Location is the BEST and the BEST comes with a Fee. Norfolk Botanical Gardens offers extensive beauty and this beauty comes with a Cost. The professional photography fee is worth the cost but if you are being budget friendly this one may not be for you. However, I strongly suggest when you have a monumental moment to commemorate consider this local beauty.

Five spots, all lovely, how do you choose? This is where I help! Let’s chat! I compile your list of likes, wants, and personality to custom design a short list of 3 locations for you to make a decision which is YOU. These are your memories. You are the participant I am the observer capturing them. 


As always YOU make me HAPPY when YOU choose When Skies Are Grey Photography, Media, & Designs by Denise! They say a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words Let Me Get YOU a Thousand Memories!

Denise Powers, is a professional freelance photographer, commercial photographer, pet photographer, copywriter, and brand specialist based in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Voted Best Photography/Photography Studio by Virginia Media Children Photography Session In Virginia BeachChildren Photography Session In Virginia Beach

                                                    Beach Pet PhotographyBeach Pet Photography

Milestone Birthday Memory Photos for the Entire Family

February 28, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Milestone Birthday Sessions aren’t just for the Kardashians! While they may be lavish and posted all over the world the importance of birthday photography sessions is a documentation of time.

Birthday Photography at Hampton CarouselBirthday Photography at Hampton Carousel

A photograph is to keep a memory and a birthday photography session keeps those memories engulfed in a portrait.  The portrait is a memory for yourself, your family, and the ones you love. Of course yes it can be Instagram-worthy, but the memory itself lives on forever. After all, a photograph is a snapshot of a moment to keep a memory forever.


So why are milestone sessions so important? And who needs to have them?


First– The memory of course but what does that memory entail? It’s your style, your favorite color, the color of your hair, the length or lack thereof your hair, and all that encompasses who you are at that exact moment in time. We often refer to those birthdays as Chapters and this documents the beginning of your next chapter.


Second- It’s not just for babies' milestones! Of course, you should become a member of our Mini Membership to document all the changes in the first year of life but life continues to go on every year and changes may slow down but still occur. Even for your pets you should bring them in for a Puppy Session and/or One-year session and then for a Senior Session. Pets are on average only with us for 10-12 years so Pet Milestone Sessions allow your pet to live on with you for future generations. Just think of the stories you will have to talk about the fun adventures or snuggly kisses you experienced with your pet after they are gone.

Dog 1st Birthday PhotographerDog 1st Birthday Photographer

Third – Creativity! Sometimes you just need to step outside the box and express yourself from who you are at that moment. A yearly self-expression photography session allows just that! Taking a moment to pamper yourself, your child, or your pet to prepare for this special moment. Be creative and ask your photographer to assist in spotlighting your likes in a creative fun session.


Fourth – Mental Health…. Self-expression, joyous memories, and life documenting …. All these assists in your mental health and awareness. Photos trigger endorphins and dopamine. A photo's impact on your emotions can make a difference in your overall mental health. Have you ever had a bad day and just sit down and scroll through your phone looking at pictures to make you laugh? Well, think about how much a custom art photo wall in your home could elevate your happiness level. Just walk down the hallway to smile!


Fifth – FUN! Yep! It’s just plan ole’ FUN! Whether you are blasting Insta with your creative birthday memories, creating custom art for your walls, or just keeping the memories for yourself you have FUN in the making of the memory. And more importantly FUN for those future generations to look at those photos of their loved ones.

First Year Birthday SessionsFirst Year Birthday Sessions

Now you know How Important it is to capture those Milestone Birthday memories for yourself, your children, and your pets so Mark the Date & contact us for a Milestone Birthday Session NOW!


Denise Powers, is a professional freelance photographer, graphic designer, and brand specialist based in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Voted Best Photography/Photography Studio by Virginia Media


Preparing for Dance Picture Day ... 5 Easy Tips to Make the Day Fun and Stress Free

February 09, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Dance Studio Picture DayDance Studio Picture Day

Dance Picture Day is such an exciting time! It’s almost like a trial run for your upcoming end-of-year performance. The best picture days are the prepared picture days!

As you start preparing for your individual pictures look up photos of dancers! See if there are any specific poses you want to do or ask your dance teacher for suggestions. Having poses prepared will help you in preparing for your individual photos.  Practice your poses at home so you feel ready and confident for Picture Day. With just a little preparation you can make your Dance Pictures the absolute BEST memories!

We have 5 easy tips for Preparing for the Most Successful Fun Picture Day. 

  1. Prepare Costumes, Shoes & Tights:

Make sure you have your accessories for each costume, the costume itself, proper tights, and shoes put together the night before pictures. A simple way to keep up with costume accessories is to place them in a Ziploc bag and attach them to the hanger. Also, don’t forget to label all the items. Quick changes can sometimes lead to things getting mixed up between dancers.

  1. Hair:

If you are trying a new style or putting your child’s hair up for the first time, practice prior to picture day. Remember some styles may take longer than you expect so practicing in advance will keep you and your child stress-free. A stressed-out dancer will not present their best self to the photographer. Remind little ones that “the photographer” will be taking their dance pictures. This is a stranger to most of them so make sure they are prepared.

  1. Makeup:

Do a trial run the week before. As a previous dance mom, I remember mascara being the not-so-favorite part of the dance! No one wants a teary-eyed photo of their child in costume so come up with a makeup application plan prior to picture day to avoid the tears. All dancers should wear performance makeup per your studio’s requirement. Please check with your dance teacher for their specifications.

  1. What not to wear & the small details:

No nail polish, unless allowed by your studio. Make sure your fingernails are clean and cut. This includes toenail polish if your dancer is barefoot.

Earrings/Accessories: No earrings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, or any other form of jewelry unless your dance studio allows it or it is part of your costume.

  1. Have FUN! Remember this last step…..SMILE…Bring your show face & Have FUN!

 I promise you will love looking back thru all your dance photos and you will be happiest knowing how much fun you had while taking them! 

Passe Dynamic Dance Center Passe Find Your Dance Pose

As always YOU make me happy when YOU choose When Skies Are Grey Photography, Media, & Designs by Denise

Denise Powers is a Professional Photographer based in Chesapeake, Virginia. Denise captures, creates & crafts your moments into memories. 

Contact When Skies Are Grey Photography, Media, & Designs to schedule your dance studio's Picture Day.

5 Great Spots in Hampton Roads to Capture Your Fall Memories

October 26, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Chilly weather, shorter days, sweaters… boots… fall leaves.  

The 5 signs it’s time to capture fall photo memories. Each season brings a plethora of reasons to illustrate the memories. Finding the perfect spot is often a struggle. That’s your photographer's specialty! We see those perfect spots and match our client's needs with the place that fits their personality, vision, and ability. Not every spot is perfect for everyone. Our 36-week pregnant mom may not feel up to a half-mile walk from the parking lot or our family with their dog may not be up to a park full of dogs as a distraction.


Here are 5 spots we love in Hampton Roads for Fall photography sessions and the reasons why and the downfalls too!  Plus you’ll get two of my secret spots that I will only share the city and pros and cons because well one of the pros is it’s exclusive so I’m trying to keep it that way!


1. Oak Grove Lake Park - Beautiful foliage! This large park in the middle of the Greenbrier area in Chesapeake is easy to get to right off of I-64. Nestled back with enormous trees, colors galore in the fall, and options for water views too. All a perfect setup for fall photography. The downfalls of this spectacular location are… long walk to achieve those beautiful spots, limited parking which means even more walking, and overcrowded with photographers. On a Saturday or Sunday thru the peak of Fall, it’s difficult to find your own space without almost a mile walk.  It’s beautiful and almost always on my recommendations list unless you don’t want the walk.  

Fall Senior SessionFall Senior Photography in Chesapeake

2. The Chesapeake Arboretum… this small forestry trail is one of my absolute favorites for all year but Fall is spectacular! Fall leaves to throw, beautiful artistic trees… yes I said artistic trees! These trees are masterpieces. This location is full of pros .. short walk, fall leaves, masterpiece trees, a red barn, a lovely gazebo, and seasonal florals …. It has it all! The only con would be the walk across the street from the parking lot to the trails. It’s a short walk but the cars driving are not always obeying the speed limit so I always encourage caution as we cross the street. It also gets a little crowded with photographers but still fairly easy to find a spot to create the most wonderful fun fall photography shots.

Fall in Chesapeake, VirginiaFall Family Photography

3. Secrets Spot in Chesapeake … not letting this location out but I Love Love Love it! Why you ask??? Fall galore … barely any people… and literally you can capture all the colors of fall just steps out of your car!!! This spot is ideal and perfect for any and all of those fall fun photography sessions and even has a couple of water options …. If you want in on this one for your Fall Photography Session reach out for the Shhhhh it’s a Secret in Chesapeake and we can schedule your fall fun photo session in one of my best kept secret spots!

Fall In Chesapeake, VirginiaFall Maternity Photography

4. Secrets in Hampton! Now I am a Hampton Roads Photographer and while I do keep fall fun close to the studio in Chesapeake I do have locations throughout the 7 cities that work and this one is a beauty! Again a secret because it’s not overly used and I want to keep it that way! It’s a beautiful spot in Hampton along the water and offers fall foliage beauty. The con for this fantastic location would be the walk but beauty can be captured without a walk there too so don’t count this one out if walking isn’t in your plan.

Fall In Hampton, VirginiaFall Engagement Photography

5. The studio in combination with the Intracoastal Waterway at the Battlefield Waterways.  Remember our studio is nestled along the Intracoastal waterway in the heart of beautiful Great Bridge. Studio sessions can be filled with all the fall and with a short drive or small walk we can access the beauty of the Waterway trail and all the fall feels.

Pet Studio Photography Pet Photographer in Chesapeake

Now you have the 5 options for your Fall Photography Session! Remember peak fall colors for coastal Virginia are typically the first two weeks of November. But you can actually see those fall colors into early December. If you are looking for meaningful holiday photo gifts schedule your photography session and make sure to tell me which location you want your memories made at!

A few great options that did not make the list are options with a professional photography fee. While we love shooting at these locations just remember they will be a little more costly to cover the additional cost of the site. Greenbrier Farms and other great local farms and gardens offer exquisite fall beauty but the space does incur an upcharge for the fees charged. 

Fall Photography Senior Photography Session As always YOU make me HAPPY when you choose When Skies Are Grey Photography, Media, & Designs by Denise


Denise Powers is a professional photographer in Chesapeake, Virginia.


5 Steps to Personalize Your Senior Photography Portrait Experience

October 02, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

We have 5 Easy Steps on How to make your Senior Session personalized and capture your monumental Senior memories. This is one of the checklist items in your Senior year. Not only a checklist item but one that will be a forever visual memory of your Senior year for your family. 

Althea Class of 2023Althea Class of 2023

Let’s look at the 5 Easy Steps to making your Senior session a true representation of you and your personality during your high school years. 

Step 1

Schedule your appointment!  Well, that was easy! Now select which senior session you would like! 

Step 2

Make an appointment with your hairstylist and your favorite nail artist. Make sure your hair appointment is at least one week prior to your photography session.  Your nail appointment should be no more than three days prior to your photography session. 

Step 3

Now it’s time to start thinking about the hardest part… WHAT TO WEAR! Depending on how long of a session you decide to choose, what season, whether it’s a studio session or on location, your personal style, favorites  colors etc.  There are a lot of variables that play out in deciding what to wear when it comes to perfecting the practically perfect outfit(s) for your Senior Photography Experience.  Make sure you take time when filling out your Senior Photography Questionnaire because this is a great tool for your photographer to plan your personalized session but it is also a great place for you to look back at your answers to help you decide what to wear and how you want your Senior memories commemorated. We love when seniors make a studio session part of their Senior Experience so they can take a look at our Client Closet and try some of our fun “dress-up” and accessories to customize your Senior memories.  Make sure to check out our client closet when visiting the studio to see if we have something to express your individuality. 

High School Senior Studio PhotographyHigh School Senior Studio Photography

Step 4

The week of and days leading up to your Senior session. Drink plenty of water! Hydrated skin is perfect! Use Chapstick (guys this is for you too) chapped lips are impossible to photoshop! Get plenty of rest! Hang your outfits on hangers and attach zip lock bags with any accessories. DON'T forget a change of shoes for outfits. Make sure to bring your class ring if you have one! 

Step 5 

Have FUN! This is a special moment! Be yourself! Come with an open mind and ready to laugh, possibly try some new things, and ready to make those 44 x 22 art memories that will hang on your parents' walls forever.  (Don’t laugh! I’m almost 50 and my 60 x 60 guild canvas is still on my parents' living room wall!) 


As always YOU make me Happy When YOU choose When Skies Are Grey Photography, Media, & Designs by Denise! They say a picture is worth a thousand words, let me get you a thousand memories.  High School SeniorHigh School Senior


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