Author archives: Bessie Black

  • Harrisonburg C-Section Birth Story

  • The Loan Family C-Section Birth Story

    The birth photography story of a second child birth, the 3 emotions of a c-section momma

    This family has a passion  for recording life’s moments! Everyday fun moments to the big life changing moments, like today! They post to social media to keep distant family up to date on their everyday life.  If you remember a few weeks ago, they were featured in a an elegant family maternity session, just one of those many life moments I have covered for them.  

    SENTARA RMH Nighttime

    I have been honored to be apart of many of their life stories, from engagement to wedding. Updated family pictures each year, company openings to Tropical Smoothie Christmas Parties! And then, some of the most special, the arrival of the “first” daughter in 2013, where I was there to capture the hospital birth of Miss August!  I was honored to be asked to be apart of such a private and vulnerable moment, I took great care to make sure to not be in the way and stay as unobtrusive as possible. During this birth, Corri experienced shoulder dystocia, a rare specific case of obstructed labor.  This created a higher risk in future pregnancies for it to happen again, determining the need for a future cesarean section.

     

    THEN TO NOW

    Fast forward a few years later, Corri & Travis are expecting their third baby girl, second pregnancy for Corri!! Corri was unsure of the photography regulations in place for coverage of the actual surgery, so after the date was set for the arrival of Miss MK, she found that it would be up to the staff to decide what was best for her, the baby and the team working for them!

    THE DATE WAS SET

    The date was set and all calendars were planned accordingly, hopes for this little girl to wait to make her planned debut were fulfilled, even after several friends went “early” the previous days and weeks.  I arrived at 6:30am to Sentara RMH Medical Center, to find Corri & Travis in a hospital room getting prepped for surgery… We were all anxiously awaiting hoping for positive feelings towards allowing me to go in with Travis for the reveal of the baby!!!

    …..We will let the rest of the story be told by the pictures!

     

    SHE’S HERE!

     

    As you can see, all went well and we were able to capture this moment for them in addition to the many others.  Nerves, excitement, and fear of the unknown were the three feelings Corri had moving into the operating room.  Through prayer from friends and family, hand holding and encouragement from Travis, the step by step guidance by her doctor, midwife and nurses Corri and Travis were blessed with a healthy baby girl!  There were expectations of an 8lb baby, 8 lbs 11.6 oz to be exact, and at 19 inches she was a perfect little snugly bundle! Only crying out a few times, otherwise perfectly content throughout the rest of the morning and afternoon.  

    It was so amazing seeing all of the support team making sure we were able to get amazing photos of this entire experience.  I was so blown away by the willingness and overwhelming support and assistance shown to us by everyone.  One nurse even commented about the benefit of having a professional photographer there so the family could just concentrate on celebrating mom, dad & baby.  Even the anesthesiologist, commented on the benefit, because I guess, he normally get’s stuck with the camera!!  Happy to be of service!!

  • Elegant Staunton Maternity Session

  • A classy & glamorous maternity session at the Red August Farm in Waynesboro, Virginia!

    The Loan Family Maternity Session

    This maternity session in Waynesboro, was a little different than the normal session we have with this family!

    This year, we get to see a lot of each other with a baby girl coming in just a few short days!! It got kicked off with a gender reveal earlier in the summer, now with a maternity session and to follow with birth & hospital photography.  We will complete the trio with a family and newborn session once little MK gets here!  Whewwww, this family sure has been busy!

    Can we stop for a minute and just take in the beautiful “bridal suite” at the Red August Farm?

    Be on the look out for a feature post coming up on Red August Farm!  

     

  • Blair's Garden Party Bridal Luncheon

  • One Eleven South Main Bridgewater, Virginia

    Blair and her family & friends came together this past Sunday to celebrate her upcoming wedding in September.  Blair’s mom, Robin (aka her twin) channeled her inner Martha and created a garden party luncheon her guests wouldn’t forget.  From the exquisite venue, to the family collected tea cups and tea pots no detail was left out.  Floral fans were placed at each setting along with a succulent plant Blair’s grandmother grew, in you guessed it…a tea cup! The pink and green table clothes were adorned with paper butterflies, garden cut flowers and hand crocheted doilies. Guests were greeted by Blair and her sister Bryli (maid of honor) at the side gate while others enjoyed mimosas from the bar inside the Magnolia Cottage.  Close friends and family were busy in the Dinkle Tavern preparing the food and catching up on the happenings of their life.  Once everyone had arrived, Robin welcomed us and quoted one of her favorite “Precious Moment’s” Quotes from a special book given to her in celebration of her wedding, from her husband Charles (Blair’s Dad).  

    You are young and life is beginning in a wonderful way for you. The future reaches its welcoming hand with new, challenging things to do. And here is a prayer for you that you’ll walk with God every day, remembering always in whatever you do there is only one true, righteous way. May you trust His almighty wisdom and enjoy the fruit of His love. And life on earth will be happy as you walk with the Father above. 

    The shower continued with catching up, enjoying homemade food and treats and watching Blair open her thoughtful gifts from her friends and family.  I think some of the favorite gifts were handmade and personal items such as: monogrammed towels, a framed map art print of their “special” places, wall portraits, crocheted dish clothes,  Mr & Mrs sign, “Hoffman” flags for every season, wine rack and so many unique items.  Then there were all the “needed” items: like  a “Ninja” blender, special “white” towels…make sure to ask Blair about this one (wink, wink), AND all of the necessity kitchen and bathroom essentials! One other special touch…instead of cards, everyone was asked to bring a favorite recipe to share with the couple…yum we should have made copies for everyone!!  Blair did you and Tyler find a home for all of these lovely new and pretty items?  I know your guests sure enjoyed the afternoon together, I am sure you did as well!  Thanks for having us to celebrate with you, looking forward to the wedding in just over a month!  Blessings to you and Tyler!

    You can see more of this Garden Luncheon in Blair’s Gallery at: https://bessieblackphotography2.shootproof.com/gallery/4850669/

  • Rebecca & Matt

  • A White Oak Lavender Farm Wedding

    Harrisonburg, Virginia

    What an honor to capture these two love birds lavender infused wedding at While Oak Farm! This is what weddings are supposed to look like! A view to die for, flowers for days, a special ceremony performed by the bride’s mother…cake, food, lighting, dancing, wine, music, toasts….I can’t even list all of the fabulousness!! Most of all a Happy Couple!

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    Bride, Groom & Wedding Party Attire //Amanda’s Touch Bridal & Formal

     Wedding Jewelry // Finks in Charlottesville

    Hair & Makeup // Amanda Haney and Tasha Lonas

    Flowers // Mary Jo Swartzendruber // Mary Jo’s Flowers

    Appetizers & Catering // Taste, A Food Company

    Wedding Cake // Bittersweet Bakery

    Garden Party Music // Jazz Trio

    Ceremony Music // Bloom Trio and Harpist

    Live Reception Band // Randy Black and Stone Rolling

    Wedding Coordinator/Planner // Julia Define // Down the Aisle Events

     

  • Hunter 2017 | Turner Ashby High School | Bridgewater, Virginia

  • SENIOR SPOTLIGHT

    All American Southern AG Life

    HUNTER 2017  |  Turner Ashby High School  | TA FFA Chapter President  | Lover of Lake & Beach Life

    Hunter is a well-rounded young man who enjoys being outside, weekends at the lake, Florida beaches, travel, water skiing, photography, shopping, spending time with friends and family, public speaking, school organizations, summer ball games, gardening, sunsets, sweet tea, and all things southern.

    Favorite Stores/Brands:
    Ralph Lauren  |  Belk  |  TJ MAXX

    Future Aspirations:
    Hunter is planning on taking a year off to pursue a state FFA officer team in June.
    Later, he plans to pursue a career in agricultural outreach, business, or education.

  • NEW BLING??!! WAHOOOOO! NOW WHAT?

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    bessieblackphotography_018From girlfriend to FIANCE!  The first 5 things to tackle, after receiving your BLING!

    Besides telling the family, and making sure all of the key people know BEFORE it hit’s social media…here are 5  things to start with once your new bling has found it’s home!

    If you’re like me you just want to know the five things and get on with it…So for the “see it now” people like myself here are the top 5 and a BONUS!

    1. VENUE & PRIORITY VENDORS
    2. A WEDDING DATE
    3. WEDDING PARTY AND SPECIAL HELPERS
    4. MORE DATES (SOCIAL FUNCTIONS)
    5. GUEST LIST

    **BONUS** WEDDING DAY TIMELINE, with the assistance of your photographer & planner!

    Now, if you’re looking for a little more detail, READ ON!

    1. VENUE & PRIORITY VENDORS

    There are quite a few vendors that you will need to secure for the wedding day and hiring knowledgeable & experienced professionals is your first BIG step to creating the perfect day.  There are a few that can only take on ONE wedding/event per day.  Be sure to secure these first, especially if you have always known that you wanted to use them!  

    They include your venue, the photographer(s), videographers, DJ, and wedding planners!  

    Other vendors that typically can take on one or more events per day: caters, bakers, florists, musicians, stationers, rentals, rehearsal dinner locations, makeup and hair stylists, wedding dress and tuxedos….

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    1. A WEDDING DATE

    Why is the second on the list you ask?  Well, it’s because there are super popular dates for weddings that get booked way over a year in advance.  So If you have your heart set on a favorite photographer or place to get married your date may need to be flexible.  By looking into your favorite vendors first, you will save yourself potential heartbreak, by making sure the date you have in mind is available!  

    Also, a side note…make sure to check all holidays and big sporting events/graduations that happen around your dates as well.  Hotels and restaurants book up quickly around these popular dates years in advance. Just make sure you are ahead of “the game”(pun intended)

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    1.  WEDDING PARTY and SPECIAL HELPERS

    It’s time to secure those that are closest to you to assist in the creating of the wedding and making it easy for you to enjoy and be pampered through the process! Who has been by your side for the long haul?  When you pick up the phone to call someone to share the special news, the sad news who do you call first?  (besides your mom??.. although she can be a bridesmaid too) Find a fun way to ask them to join you in the planning and the celebrations, make sure they have an idea of the time commitments and financial ones as well.  Giving them the opportunity to decline if they don’t feel up to the dedication.

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    1. MORE DATES…

    It’s the year of the full calendar!! There are so many fun and traditional events to plan and organize before the wedding!  Be sure to get them on the calendar early to make sure your family and friends can attend all of the festivities! Some of the occasions include:

    Engagement Photos

    Wedding dress shopping

    Bridal Shower Planning & Bridal Showers(s)

    Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

    Tuxedo shopping and fittings

    Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties/Getaways

    Rehearsal Dinner

    Honeymoon

    ….and more

    See this post for a more in detail look at the “dates to plan”.

     

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    1. GUEST LIST

    All though it may seem like one of the “not so fun” things to do.  It is one of the staple items that you will need to determine quite a few key things:

    -Determine how many people you will need seating for.  Some venues have an occupancy limit and you want to be sure you will be able to comfortably accommodate everyone with room for your dance floor, DJ and food stations!

    -Your rentals (tables, chairs, place settings etc…) You will need an approximate count to determine cost of these items as well as for catering.  

    -Keep in mind the more people you invite, the higher the budget will need to be. Catering is typically based on a person basis.

    Farmington Country Club

    …well gals (and guys) this should keep you busy for a little while!  Check back soon for PART 2 on your “next steps”! Remember, these steps are a starting point and can be done in ANY order, just as long as you get them completed!!

    OH….One more IMPORTANT aspect of the wedding is your wedding day TIMELINE!!

    It’s one of the “to-do’s” I’ll take off your plate, so give me a shout and let’s talk wedding, photography and schedules!  Why me for the schedule you wonder?  I am one of the vendors (besides your planner) that will be with you the majority of the day.  Setting up realistic blocks of time for photographing the getting ready, details and portraits are key to making sure the day goes as planned!!

    Let’s chat!!

    Plan on,

    Bessie

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  • Bold & Bright Backyard Garden Inspiration

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    An inspiration shoot featuring

    ONE ELEVEN SOUTH MAIN

    Bridgewater, VA

    As most of you are anxiously awaiting for fall to arrive, I find myself still holding on to summer for a little while longer. Don’t get me wrong I love these cooler days, makes shooting so much more comfortable! In my desire to put off the fall sweaters I thought it was about time to share some images from earlier in the summer from a collaboration of amazing vendors.

    I fell in LOVE with this venue after getting the opportunity to tour it over a year and a half ago! I have to admit that I ALWAYS wanted to see “behind the fence” every time I passed this Main Street property.  It was for sale for quite some time, and when the owners Alan and Shelia scooped it up they had no idea how popular it would be!

    Fast forward to this summer, when talking with Alan upon my first meeting him. A styled shoot was suggested to feature the venue and to provide some wedding images to show off all of the amazing features of the property…. you won’t believe all that is tucked behind this main street gem.  Alright… thanks for sticking with me, drum roll, please! Leave some love in the comments if you find any favorite images, vendors, or ideas!

    A TOUR AROUND THE PROPERTY

    One Eleven South Main Bridgewater Va

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    VENDORS FEATURED: ONE ELEVEN SOUTH MAIN {EVENT VENUE}

    DOWN THE AISLE EVENTS {WEDDING PLANNER/COORDINATION}

    DRESS, DETAILS & DECOR

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    VENDORS FEATURED: CAMPBELL PRINT CENTER {PAPER SUITE}

    AMANDA’S TOUCH BRIDAL AND FORMAL WEAR {BRIDES ATTIRE}

    HARMONY HARVEST FARM {FLORALS}

    CHRISTOPHER WILLIAM JEWELERS {BRIDAL BLING}

    BRIDE AND GROOM PORTRAITS

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    MAKEUP BY OUR WONDERFUL MODEL, ALLISON

    HAIR BY TAMMY CIERI/High Tech Salon

    BESSIE BLACK PHOTOGRAPHY 

    CLASSIC TUXEDOS {GROOMS ATTIRE}

    CEREMONY DECOR

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    VALLEY HEIRLOOMS {RENTALS/CHAIRS}

    HARMONY HARVEST FARM {FLORALS}

    A LOOK INTO THE RECEPTION GARDEN

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    SO MANY SWEET TREATS

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    VENDORS FEATURED: HERITAGE BAKERY {CAKE AND MACAROONS}

    LOCALLY SOURCED FOOD, BRIDGEWATER RESTAURANT JALEPENO

    SPECIALTY COFFEE BAR & ONSITE BARISTA {JOSE THOMPSON}

    A {CREATE YOUR OWN} CONFETTI SEND OFF

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    SUPPLIES FOR THE CONFETTI BAR WERE PURCHASED FROM HOBBY LOBBY

    AS WELL AS THE BLACK AND WHITE FABRIC FOR THE HOMEMADE TABLE RUNNERS

    SO MUCH MORE PRETTY-NESS!

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  • Jenny & Stephen

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    A Farmington Country Club Wedding

    Charlottesville, Virginia

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    Around Farmington Country Club…Jenn & Stephen 1

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    A bridal suite suited for a princess!!

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    A very sweet bride and groom first look…Jenn & Stephen 14 Jenn & Stephen 15

    and then right into a first dance trial run…and cooling off with their favorite beverage…

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    Jefferson Room Bridal Portraits

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    So many perfect places for bride and groom portraits at Farmington Country Club!

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    Okay Stephen! Yes, the clouds and rain were approaching VERY quickly!

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    Father, Daughter First Look…

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    It had started raining during our formal photograph time, right before the ceremony…the

    bride and groom had to make a call…push the ceremony or keep it?  They choose to keep their

    ceremony time, and guess what??? The rain stopped, and cleared up just in time!

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    A gorgeous wedding party…

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    Classic, sparkly chandeliers and timeless floral decor!

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    Heartfelt toasts by the best man, maid of honor and bride’s father…

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    Sunset after the rain…

    Jenn & Stephen 36Lovely Farmington Country Club, delicate decor and delicious dinner

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    A groomsman tribute song to the bride and groom…

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    A very memorable and FUN time on the dance floor for all (myself included)! Thanks to the BEST DJ Astro DJ’s- Virginia Beach

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    Let me explain….The grooms niece caught the bouquet (see middle photo) The groom’s brother did not approve and tried to return the bouquet…

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    Thanks to Jenny, Stephen and their wonderful family and friends!  Everyone was so accommodating and helpful!  It was truly a pleasure and honor working for you ALL.

    The fabulous team that assisted in making the day a beautiful one for the couple and for me to photograph:

    Venue                             {Farmington Country Club}

    Brides Dress               Sealed With A Kiss Charlottesville

    Bridesmaids Dresses {Davids Bridal}

    Groom & Groomsmen  {Joseph A Banks}

    Hair                                 {Shari at Hair Cuttery/Charlottesville, VA}

    Makeup                          {Sonya with Bobbi Brown} -Belk Charlottesville VA

    Wedding Bands/Ring   {Zales}

    Catering & Cake           {Farmington Country Club}

    Music & DJ                     {Astro DJ’s- Virginia Beach, Virginia}

    Wedding Coordinator  {Event Details by Edelina}

    Videographer(s)          {Whiddon Productions}

    Florist                             {Colonial Florist- Gordonsville, Virginia}

    Transportation              {Camryn Limo} & {Central Virginia Wine Tours}