Capturing the Magic: Back to School Photos That Sparkle!

September 04, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

It's that time again.... time to capture those first days of school memories. Don't stop at just the first day carry on the memories for the entire first week and throughout the month showing off those new outfits, new backpacks, lunch boxes, and all that encompass the personality of your child for this new year.

The first week of school is a time of excitement, nerves, and new beginnings. It's the perfect opportunity to capture those unforgettable moments as your kids take on a new grade, new teachers, and new adventures. Here are some warm and fun tips and tricks for parents to make those Back to School photos epic:

Young girl red hair model Young Girl Model

1. Choose the Right Location

Pick a spot that has significance for your child. It could be the front porch, a special tree, or a nearby park. This helps create a sense of continuity and nostalgia as the years go by. At home find a nice solid wall!

2. Golden Hour Glory

The soft, warm light of early morning (often called the "Golden Hour") can make your photos look absolutely magical. Plan this time if possible. (Before those buses come down the street.)

3. Get Creative with Props

Consider using props that reflect your child's interests or the school year ahead. A backpack, books, or a chalkboard with their grade or graduation year on it can add a fun and personalized touch.

4. Candid Moments Shine

Posed photos are lovely, but some of the most precious shots happen when kids are being themselves. Capture those candid moments of laughter, curiosity, and excitement.

5. Dress to Express

Let your child's personality shine through their outfit. Whether it's a favorite superhero shirt, a fun dress, or their school uniform, their clothing can tell a story about who they are.

6. Include Siblings and Friends

If your child has siblings or friends starting school together, include them in the photo shoot. These relationships are an integral part of their school journey. And don't forget the dog and cat!!! Pets are a great inclusion to the Back to School Photos! 

Sisters Back to School Fun Photography MemoriesSisters Having Fun

Pro Tips for That Extra 'Wow' Factor:

  • Camera Angle: Get down to your child's level for a more intimate perspective.

  • Zoom In on Details: Capture close-ups of their hands holding school supplies or their backpack zipper. These details evoke strong memories.

  • Try Different Poses: Experiment with different poses to see what feels most natural for your child.

  • Burst Mode: Use burst mode on your camera to capture quick, consecutive shots. This is great for candid moments.

  • Edit Thoughtfully: Don't be afraid to enhance your photos with editing apps, but keep it natural. Brightening and adjusting colors can make a big difference.

  • Print and Display: After capturing these special moments, consider printing and displaying them in your home. They're not just for social media; they're memories to cherish. Back to School Photo Memories Young Boy Back to School Photo

Ready to Elevate Your Back-to-School Photos?

While these tips can help you create wonderful memories, nothing beats the skill and expertise of a professional photographer. Our team at When Skies Are Grey Photography, Media, & Designs is here to make your Back to School photos truly epic and unforgettable. 

Sign up now for a professional school studio photoshoot, and let's capture the magic of this exciting time together! 📸🎒📚 

High School Senior in Chesapeake, VirginiaGrassfield High School Senior

As Always You Make Me Happy When You Choose When Skies Are Grey Photography, Media, & Designs by Denise! 

"Capturing Ezzie's Heart: A Glam Pawtography Session in Chesapeake, Virginia"

August 30, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

White dog in Lilly Pulitzer PajamasEzzie, Island Dog Rescue Hey there, pet lovers and fellow photography enthusiasts! Denise here, the creative behind When Skies Are Grey Photography, Media, & Designs. I recently had the absolute joy of meeting the charming Ezzie, a furball of pure love from Island Dog Rescue, and I couldn't wait to share her heartwarming story with you all.

Glamour Meets Pawtography:
Ezzie walked into my studio with an air of elegance that only dogs like her possess. Her fur was as soft as a cloud, and those eyes – they glistened like treasures from the sea. Ezzie wasn't just a dog; she was a model, ready to rock her very own Glam Pawtography session. As a pet photographer in Chesapeake, Virginia, I've had my fair share of incredible subjects, but Ezzie's spirit was truly something special.

From Rescued to Ready for a Home:
Ezzie, a star in her own right, comes with a unique wishlist for her forever family. She's looking for a loving home where she's the center of attention – the only dog, and without small children. Ezzie's journey from rescue to the spotlight of my studio showcased her resilience and grace. She's proof that love can truly transform a life, and now, she's ready to give that love back tenfold to the family who welcomes her into their hearts.

Local Love:
As a pet photographer in Chesapeake, Virginia, nestled in the heart of Hampton Roads and Coastal Virginia, I'm lucky to capture the essence of local pets like Ezzie. Our community is filled with pet enthusiasts, and Ezzie's story is a reminder that there's always room to open your heart and home to a furry friend in need. Through my lens, I aim to bring out the unique personalities of each pet, highlighting their quirks, playfulness, and, in Ezzie's case, her elegance.

Dog with Floral Necklace Ezzie Island Dog Rescue

Adoption Dreams:
Ezzie's Glam Pawtography session wasn't just about capturing her beauty – it was about showing potential adopters the loving soul behind the lens. Every shot revealed her personality – the gentle way she looked at the camera, the way she enjoyed being pampered during the shoot – it all painted a picture of the perfect companion. If you're looking to adopt, consider Ezzie. With her, you're not just bringing home a pet; you're bringing home a story of transformation, love, and a touch of glamour.

White Dog with Pink and Purple Flowers Ezzie, Island Dog Rescue

Ezzie's journey from Island Dog Rescue to the star of her own Glam Pawtography session was nothing short of heartwarming. I'm honored to be part of stories like Ezzie's – stories that remind us of the power of love and second chances. If you're seeking a loyal, elegant, and furry family member, Ezzie might just be the missing piece in your life's puzzle. Let's find her the forever family she truly deserves. If you are interested in adopting, fostering, or donating contact Island Dog Rescue


Check out Ezzie's Full Gallery of her Pawtpgraphy Glam Session! 

White dog with floral necklace on blackIsland Dog Rescue Ezzie


Thank you for joining me on this heartwarming journey! Stay tuned for more captivating stories and paw-some moments from When Skies Are Grey Photography, Media, & Designs. 📸🐾

As Always You Make Me Happy When You Choose When Skies Are Grey Photography, Media, & Designs by Denise!

#PetPhotography #ChesapeakeVirginia #HamptonRoads #CoastalVirginia #GlamPawtography #EzziesJourney #IslandDogRescue #ForeverHome



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 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! 

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.

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