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


Why are Generational Photography Memories Everyone Needs?

September 13, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Generational Photography encompasses the value of memories. The addition of Grandma or Great Grandma to a family photography session catapults a family photo into a family heirloom. For generations to come they will see a succession of those that came before them. The reality is while we do live way more years than our earlier generations we do not live forever so capture those memories when you can.

Generational Family PhotoGenerational Family Photo

We all know the more people involved in anything the more stressful the planning can be! As a KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetie) kind of girl, I am the first to shy away from the big plan of getting the entire family, the his… the hers…the theirs….the thems…the everybody…. all together for that BIG production of an event with one exception… a portrait! The generational portrait is one big production that the benefit and value outweigh the stress and complication. And what if the stress and complication vanished and all that remained was this big 50x75 guild canvas of the entire family … laughing … all together … and having fun? Sound impossible? Well, it’s not and, the value is immeasurable. 

So, what’s stopping you?

The where? 

The when? 

The what? 

The who? 

The how to? 

Enter …. ME!

Let me guide your family thru the process. From the color scheme to the laughs, let me take you to the immeasurable portrait in every family member’s home. This treasure isn’t just for the family of today either it’s a legacy for generations to come.  


As a memory maker, I value photos of the past possibly more than the ones in the moment. A photo’s power stops time. It allows the viewer to go to that moment to react and take in the details of that second in time. Who hasn’t looked at a family photo and said oh my goodness look what mom was wearing or can you believe how small I was now I’m 6’ 7”…. all my clients just chuckled as they envisioned me on my stool all 5 feet three-quarters of an inch of me! A generational photo allows future generations to take in the culture, fashion, and trends of the time as well as see their family.  I know you all love that feeling you get when you see that Facebook memory or TimeHop reminder come up from 5 years or 10 years ago. Sometimes just looking thru a photo album … (hopefully you still put your photos in albums) can remind you of Grandma’s perfume or Grandpa’s cologne. It’s amazing how the brain works! A photograph can literally trigger the 5 senses of a memory. 

Grandma & GranddaughterGrandma & Granddaughter

Now I’ve convinced you …. What next? 

Step 1 Let’s chat

Step 2 Contact the family! Put that Family Group Messenger in action. AND don't forget the PETS! Schedule the date. 

PRO TIP… if little ones are involved consider nap times, if pets are involved take them for a walk before to get their energy out. 

Step 3 Check out the color palette guide. The last thing you want is everyone wearing clashing clothing! 🤣 Consider having each smaller family group wear their own color. Of course, you can go with neutrals tans, white, grey & black to show cohesiveness. But don’t be afraid of adding color and complimenting colors to show the personality in your family dynamic. You can even have family shirts made. Whatever choice you make I am here for guidance along the way, so the end result is valued by all. 

Step 4 HAVE FUN! I know I know we all want that perfection but remember some of the most perfect photos are the authentic in-the-moment ones where you aren’t trying so hard.

So, RELAX … laugh a little and have fun! 

Generational Family PhotoGenerational Family Photo

As always you make me happy when you choose When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise! Schedule your studio or outdoor session with us!

It's that Time of Again... Tips & Tricks for your 1st Day of School Photos

August 29, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Back To School Chesapeake PhotographerBack To SchoolBack To School Studio Sessions The backpack is bought... new outfits are hanging up ready.... the pencils are sharpened... and now it's time to Capture That 1st Day of School ... or better yet 1st Week of School Photos!

They are already starting whether it's the College Students heading into their dorms or Pre-K thru Seniors our social media feeds are filling with those soooo important 1st Day of School Pictures!  We all know how much we treasure looking back on those first day of school pictures but we really realize how much we love them when we don’t get to take them anymore. 

So here’s a few tips and tricks to capture those moments and make the memories of your child’s school career! Because before you know it those 12+ years will be gone. 

  1. For little ones maybe have them sit on a step or lean against a wall. This helps the antsy moves and any first day nerves. BONUS… stairs   are a great place to pop a sign up with all their first day stats! Looking for a sign, check out this  Chalkboard Back to School Stats. Don’t fear the close up! Have them sit down and prop their hands under their chin and look up at you! Back to School Photos 1st Day of School PhotoSchool Photos
  2. Now you don't just have to focus on that crazy hectic morning. Make it a full day theme and snap candid pictures from the clothes laid out to the goodnight kiss! Sometimes the best moments you capture are the candid ones where you aren’t saying say Cheese….PRO TIP…. stop saying cheese! 😆 It actually makes the face unflattering in lots of cases. 
  3. Don’t think the front door is the only place … Use a tree, garden or florals to spruce up the scene. Make sure to put the sun behind your child if you don’t have a shaded spot. No one wants squinty eyes or worse yet a child yelling the sun is in my eyes.  Cherry Blossoms In Virginia BeachCherry Blossoms In Virginia BeachOn Location Photography Session at Red Wing Park Cherry Blossoms
  4. If taking inside shots try to position by a window or with a doorway. This allows for natural light.
  5. Get some Props! Get a Custom Sign or try a little nostalgia and each year have your child hold their first first day picture and watch that growth from the first year to the twelfth year. Wanna try something so fun, grab an Adult Sized Shirt with their Class of and each year let them grow into it! ***For safety if you plan on posting on social media leave out locations and be less specific. ****
  6. No one says mom, dad or the siblings can’t crash the 1st day picture party so grab a selfie when you have a silly moment and bring in the whole family or some of their friends at the bus stop. DON"T forget the pets! Boy and Dog Photos 1st Day of School Photos with the family Pet Photos with Children
  7. Don't stop at the first day.... make it a week long showing off all their new back to school outfits and each day focus on one of their favorite moments from the day before. I always love those at the end of the day photos too! Perfection in the morning and disheveled by the end of the day!




Don’t just put them up on social media and let them fade away in the virtual world print one from every year and display them BONUS you now have your first decoration for their Graduation Party!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Last HAVE FUN with it! Even Empty Nesters can get in on the fun … insert crocodile tears….while it may be a super emotional moment seeing your baby leave the nest and head to college take some silly pictures to make the transition a little more of a laughable moment! So grab that BYE BYE sign or bottle of wine and make those moments laughable.  

Parents Celebrate becoming Empty NestersEmpty Nesters Parents Celebrate Becoming Empty Nest with Bottles of Liquor

Now there’s always a moment we want captured by a professional. If you want some Back To School professional images Let's Chat! If you are homeschooling or looking for a little more in those school pictures this year we can create some wonderful memories for all ages. And don’t forgot those Senior Experiences. From the Snappy Quick to the Paparazzi Package When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise can create those Senior Moments tailored to your Senior.

         As always you make me happy for choosing When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise !


It's All In The Details When Planning Your Photography Session

May 14, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

It’s all in the details do you sometimes wonder why everybody else’s photos always seem to look a little bit better, but you can’t really place why?


The same photographer, the same place, same scene, or backdrop but there’s just something that’s a little bit different and you’re just looking at it and you’re wondering why does my not look the same.


Fashion Model PhotographyFashion Model Photography

Well, it’s all in the small details. When you schedule your professional photography session you think I’m going to go get pictures taken. I’ll wear a nice outfit or I’m going to wear a nice jacket for my head shots maybe decide to include some props but it’s the fine details that sometimes we overlook that set the difference between nice photos and stunning photography.


Your photography session shouldn’t start the day before your session it should start a few weeks prior.

Here’s the Stages to Prepare for the Stunning Photography Session you are seeking.


Step 1


Book your When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise Photography Session! Easy Enough! Now you will complete your personal Client Questionnaire and I will begin planning your customized session. Each person/ family is different and each session I create is personalized to my client.



Step 2


Schedule an appointment with your favorite hair stylist for a cut, color, trim. Depending on your stylist you may need to do this 3-6 weeks out. The hair appointment should be about a week prior to your photography session. Freshly cut hair is not ideal so try not to have it any closer than 4-5 days prior to you session.


All you bearded gents make sure your beard is trim and neat. Try not to shave the day of your session but let the last shave be the night before. That helps reduce any redness or irritation from shaving.


If your pet is included in the photography session call the groomer it’s time for Fido to get a nice bath a few days before and a nail clipping.


Step 3 Clean Healthy SpaClean Healthy Spa

Hit the nail salon…. Yes, gentlemen this applies to you too! Freshly manicured nails may not stand out and be a focus, but poorly manicured nails stand out like a sore thumb… literally! 

While you are at the nail salon take care of any waxing that needs addressed. (Only need to worry about the waxing of what can be seen in a photograph.)

This appointment is best 1-3 days prior to your session. No waxing the day of!


Step 4

Consider adding Hair Stylist and a Make Up Artist to your session. I can connect you with Professional Hair Stylist and Make Up Artist to add that special pizzazz to your session. After all, if you plan to hang this family photo over the fireplace for the next 10 years you want to look your absolute best or if your headshots will be billboard size you want those finishing touches! Seriously, if you are taking the moment to make a memory value it. Does every session require this maybe not but consider your intended plan for the photos. It’s one of the questions on your Client Questionnaire so you already know the answer.


Step 5

Have FUN! Let me take you on your photography adventure and have fun. We will talk, we will laugh, you will forget we are taking photos at some points until maybe you see a flash!

Cherry Blossoms In Virginia BeachCherry Blossoms In Virginia BeachOn Location Photography Session at Red Wing Park Cherry Blossoms

When you are ready to look at your images come join me in the studio for your own personal viewing of all your wonderful stunning photos from your professional photography session or view them thru your private online gallery. 


As always YOU Make Me Happy When YOU Choose When Skies Are Grey Photography, Media, & Designs by Denise. Let me capture, create, and craft your moments into forever memories.


January February March (1) April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March (1) April May (1) June July August (1) September (1) October (2) November December
January February (2) March (1) April May June July August (1) September (1) October November December