VA Wedding: Mr. & Mrs. Joe Tenney

Wedding season is underway and I’m in all my feels thinking about the weddings I was blessed to shoot last fall. When I moved to Hampton in July 2018 to be part of HRF, Rachel was a fellow church member and renter of the house I moved into. Our months living together were sweet, as I got to know this dear sister and have a front row seat to all her waiting and preparing for her and Joe’s big day in October of 2018! I’ll never forget our times giggling and praying together as we prepped for our days in our little bathroom, or early mornings clinging to caffeine via pour overs in the kitchen! Wedding prep memories will always stick with me, from ironing table cloths late into the night to fumbling around other church members’ yards the week before the wedding to gathering sticks to be spray painted gold for decor. October 19th was a joyous day and I love that I got to capture it for this dear brother and sister of mine. Enjoy some highlights from 10.19.18!!!

Our church family, Hampton Roads Fellowship, was the muscles and machine behind every detail of this wedding. From makeup, hair, decor, the event planner, etc… Joe & Rachel’s day was propelled by HRF brothers and sisters!

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While Joe is originally from Indiana and Rachel from Washington (and much of their dating relationship was long-distance), Joe & Rachel’s life together began and continues to be in the good wonderful happy ol state of VA! (My home state. ;))

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One of my favorite aspects of photographing weddings is getting to work with bridal parties. These guys kept me laughing all day…

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Off to the wedding venue, an event center in Hayes, VA!

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Joe’s ridiculous comments and sarcastic banter throughout our portrait session kept me and Rachel both laughing…

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Then we were back to the venue for reception festivities!!

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Time to go!!

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Love these guys and most importantly, I love that I still get to do life with them in Hampton through being in the same church family!! Love you dearly, Joe & Rachel!!!

City Center Christmas Cheer

Last Sunday I had back to back shoots with two families from my church (HRF): Nicole and her crew started us off, and Colin & Myisha with their gaggle of girls followed! It was fun to spend time with these friends and capture them in a variety of spots around City Center. Enjoy a glimpse into our Sunday afternoon fun!

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Highlights from the Season

Today I sit at home nursing a nausea/head/achey/exhausted sickness of some kind, and am reflecting on what a full, wonderful few months it has been capturing families in Hampton Roads! Flipping through photos, I cannot stop smiling as I look at the people who have given me opportunities to capture their crew and create something beautiful for them to look back on for years to come! I could fill blogposts for months with these beautiful faces and the hours we spent trying to get dogs, two year olds, grandparents, and farm animals to cooperate for a few minutes (never a dull moment; thankful for so much laughter!). I have loved the relationships I’ve been able to form with my clients during our sessions, and as we wrap up 2018, I am filled with thankfulness for these families, and eagerness to see what 2019 brings in the world of Debbie Dean Photography! Enjoy some moments from my most recent shoots below.

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How Did I Get Here?

One of the most humbling – but exciting! – aspects of life is how few things go according to our plans. God graciously (repeatedly!) reveals this to us in His Word, as Proverbs 16:9 states, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps, ” and again in 19:21, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”

Sitting here typing this blogpost is a testimony to that truth. If all Debbie’s plans and dreams would have come to fruition, I probably would have gotten married right out of college and have two kids by now. Or three. Or four. (Raised in a big family = big family dreams.)

Many inquiries have come my way since I have started posting on Instagram & Facebook again under Debbie Dean Photography, and I hope this blogpost gives you a bird’s eye view as to how I am back here today. This will be broad and brief, but I welcome more questions at debbiedeanphotography@gmail.com!

I last used this blog in college when I was building Debbie Dean Photography as a CNU student, interning under the Staff Photographer with the university’s Public Relations’ office and booking weddings on the side. (Scroll back through my old blog posts if you so dare. I keep them up here to remind me of the journey photography has been and all the sweet experiences God has blessed me with in using this gift.) Below is a glimpse into the fun of those CNU PR days…

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Then, on May 11, 2013, I graduated from CNU! (Wow, who let that happen??) Here’s me as a 22 year-old enthusiastic grad…

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And my amazing parents who made those four years possible…

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(Sidenote: if you are wondering about my bigger size in these first photos, I wrestled with various eating disorders throughout college, and the Lord graciously brought me out of those the summer after I graduated in 2013. Another post on that will come one day.)

Following graduation, I moved to East Asia for two years. I lived as a university student, taking language classes and diving into the culture and people of that city for the sake of getting to know them and share the gospel. There are a million words I want to say about those two years (some of the best of my life, to date), but contact me individually to learn more. I will just share a few photos below for now…

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After those two years in East Asia (2013-2015), God led me to join full-time staff with Cru.

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After a year back in Northern VA raising financial support (2015-2016), I moved to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and began working at Salisbury University in August 2016:

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These students were the bomb diggity… Love them!

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Small but wonderful Cru staff team! Love them dearly!

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The above events lead us to the spring of 2018. During all this time, since I left CNU and headed to Asia in 2013, my Canon 7D camera would come out every now and then, but quick iPhone photos and the craziness of full-time ministry life crowded out any time or desire to schedule photoshoots or weddings. I truly never thought I would go back to the world of photography… I did not even think I would ever leave staff with Cru!

Through a series of events in the spring of 2018, God led me to start praying and thinking about life outside of Cru staff. (Please don’t get any wacky ideas… nothing horrible happened, Cru did not do anything wrong, and I truly continue to praise God for what He is doing through this worldwide parachurch ministry.) I just had never considered the working world or what it meant to bring glory to God in a life lived simply as a faithful church member and woman in the workforce. Also swirling in my head were the many struggles of college students (suicide, depression, eating disorders, etc) that had driven me to the Word to find answers, and I wanted to be better equipped in biblical counseling to care for others. So, in the spring of 2018, God released me in a new way to transition off Cru staff and move in freedom to Hampton Roads, where I had my eye on a sweeeeet church and plans to pursue biblical counseling. After finishing out the school year at SU, I began job applications and moved to Hampton VA in July 2018.

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After a few months of job hunting and interviews that didn’t go anywhere, I started to rethink photography. People who knew me and remembered my CNU days were pushing me to dust off the camera again. As the months continued on and involvement in my new church community grew, God brought part-time babysitting jobs, an internship with the church (focused on biblical counseling), and a part-time admin job for one of my pastors. While the sources of income were not looking as I expected, God was providing! My day to day schedule was inconsistent and crazy, but I truly didn’t mind! In taking time to pray and honestly ask myself if I would rather be in a 9-5 office desk job compared to all the various part-time jobs God was knitting together, I came to a place of peace to continue this road as long as God allows. More thoughts, counsel, and prayers specific to photography grew my desire to steward the gift with people and pictures God has given me, and thus, Debbie Dean Photography is beginning its rebirth, of sorts.

Thinking back to 22 year old Debbie running around CNU’s campus photographing sports games and social events, I never could have planned or imagined the life that was to come… two years living in East Asia, joining Cru staff, going to work with students in Maryland, heading off Cru staff, moving to Hampton without a job… and now working a few part-time gigs, soaking up life in my local church, and diving back into the world of photography! I amazed daily that God allows me to have this life, and thankful that it is HIS purposes and plans that prevail. I am excited for what’s to come, and grateful for your support along this journey!

 

 

Tis the Season

With the passing of Thanksgiving, the Christmas season is officially upon us. As a photographer, however, I have been celebrating the coming holidays with photography clients in the Hampton Roads area since they started booking family portrait sessions back in September. Christmas card prep and photo gifts have kept business booming these last few months, for which I am incredibly thankful. Not only has it been fun to rekindle my love for getting behind the camera with my recent transition off of full-time Cru staff (Christian campus ministry work) and into the working world, but I also have been freshly reminded of the joy it is to get to know people more deeply through each photography session. My church family here in Hampton (Hampton Roads Fellowship) has booked up most of my schedule, and I have immensely enjoyed learning some of the ins and outs of each family unit in the time we spend together throughout our shoot.

Enjoy some below shots of various photoshoots from this holiday season! And if you know anyone still looking to get Christmas cards done, give them my info: debbiedeanphotography@gmail.com (shoots start at $100/one hour session, plus gas for driving over 15 miles from Hampton).

One of my bestfriends from college, Tara, and her family were a fun bunch in Newport News park!

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Mika, Austin, and little baby Riley enjoyed their first shoot as a family at Ft. Monroe, in Hampton VA…

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The Logsdon family and I had a great time in Williamsburg!

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Back to Ft. Monroe (a favorite location of mine… the locations for shots abound!) for fun with out-of-town friends, the Harrisons…

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The bridge at Newport News Park was a hit with these two sisters, Artresah & Siedah, and their sweet families…

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Christmas Cards: Book Your Shoot Today!

Virginia finally decided to end its summer temperatures here in Hampton Roads and give us some autumn colors and crunchy leaves! Interested in gathering your family to create a holiday card in Colonial Williamsburg? Wanting an updated group photo including the two youngest kids who weren’t born the last time you did a family session? Hoping to give Grandma a canvas of her favorite grandkids for Christmas? I’m ready for you! Downtown Norfolk, nature-filled Chesapeake, Ft. Monroe beach in Hampton, and more! Hampton Roads has innumerable places for capturing your family this holiday season. Book your shoot today!

$100, one hour session, 50 digital images. (+gas mileage money if traveling further than 20 miles from Hampton, VA)

Email: debbiedeanphotography@gmail.com

Instagram: debdeanphotography

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Proposal: Matt & Tara

I seriously don’t know how to begin this post. What are you supposed to say about the engagement of one of your very best friends in the whole world?? How do you describe the flashmob proposal her boyfriend arranged with 30+ people that ended with a human tunnel leading her to her boy down by the water?? There are no words.

When Matt Facebook messaged a bunch of us with his proposal plans, I quickly volunteered to take photos. I was honored he wanted so many of us involved in this special night, and nothing would make me more glad but to document it. We all arrived at City Center (Oyster Point) in Newport News with plenty of time to spare before Tara would be led there by roommates, under the false news that they were going to celebrate a few friends’ internships and acceptance to grad school at one of the restaurants. Little did she know what was waiting for her…..

(Note: I switched on and off all night between using my strobe and shooting with a slooooow shutter speed…… I have so much to learn about night photography!)

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So so SOOOOOOOOO excited for you two!!! Matt, I know you’re one amazing guy to win the affections of my dear Tootie. She’s a gem.Take good care of her! Love you both!!!!

Throwback Thursday: Happy Birthday, David

Last week was my older brother David’s 25th birthday. So hard to wrap my brain around the fact that the four “older kids” in our family (as opposed to the three “little girls”) are all in their twenties. Where the heck has time gone…

This Throwback Thursday is in honor of David. He didn’t get to spend this past birthday as us Deans prefer with “sugar” cereal, a King For The Day crown, Happy Birthday signs around the house, and spoiling love and care from family members. Instead, he put his boots on and went about an army officer’s normal day in Afghanistan. He’s been there about eight months now, and MAN has it provoked growth in my prayer life! Any anxieties and fears have to be taken to the Lord daily because I am in no way in control of Dave’s safety over there. (Praise the Lord he only has a few weeks left and he’ll be out of Afghanistan and back to his post in Italy!)

To celebrate his belated birthday, the photos in this post show snippets of the past 25 years of David’s life. (That’s quite a few years so these photos compose just a short summary. ;)) Dave, I love you so much and am eagerly waiting for May when you come to the States and I get see your face in person! Thanks for making me proud and encouraging me through your faith, servant’s heart, humor, strength, perseverance, affection… and lushus eyelashes. 🙂 Love you!

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Yes, we WERE a darling, homeschooled, true-90s bunch…

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Skip a few years …… crazy as ever.

100_2096100_2171Plebe year at West Point….. true to his Black Knights.

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Best big brother…

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Granny and Papa Beaumont’s 50th wedding anniversary, 2008! David surprised them. 🙂

DSCN4312DSCN7233Ring Weekend at West Point, during Firstie (senior) year…

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Sandhurst military competition at West Point, 2010…..

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West Point graduation, 2010!

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Pillow fight with little Abby and handlebar mustache ……

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The parents and little girls visiting him in Italy before his deployment….

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Aaaand Afghanistan……….

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Love you, Dave.

Weekend At Home: The Patchwork Girl of Oz

This weekend I’m in Northern Virginia, home to see my sister Tori’s drama play, “The Patchwork Girl of Oz.” My roommate Arielle and I drove up yesterday evening through the snow and craziness of I-95 to arrive in time for the 7 o’clock showing. Though the drive was rather frightening, I was so glad when we arrived safely, with time to spare before the show. I pretty much tackled this guy when I saw him at the church (little brother Clarky)…

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He’s on crutches because he recently tore some ligaments in his right foot while playing basketball… crazy boy!tori_13webThe play was SO good! Tori and rest of our church’s Homeschool Co-op Drama Club did a fabulous job performing this stage adaption to the book by L. Frank Baum. The sets were incredible, the kids did great, and I was laughing all night. Tor Tor was a sassy Porcelain Cat, and she was incredible. SO proud of her!

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Yes, she’s the white feline in the unitard….

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Me with my Dad and all but one of my sisters. So proud of Tori!!

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This kid……

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The two cats, Tori and Wes (the Cowardly Lion)…

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Our crazy cat….

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Love her!

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So glad Arielle could come with me!

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My brother Clark (with the crutches) and good friend Chris….. 
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They’re ridiculous.

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It was a great night, and I’m so glad to be home and able to relax for the rest of the weekend. I love home. Now off to talk wedding stuff with my sister….. Happy Saturday!

A Needed Laugh

Today has been one of those days. The kind when you get out of bed 15 minutes before class. When you can barely move because of the previous day’s workout. When you forgot more than one of the homework readings you were supposed to do. When you get off your bike and immediately trip, slamming your knees on the pavement first before the rest of you goes down. When you aren’t dressed for the negative a MILLION degree weather that’s come over Virginia. When you go to class and your professor adds assignments due next class period that aren’t in the syllabus. When you see friends and they ask if you’re tired. When you miss your family terribly despite it only being two weeks into the semester.

MMMMhhhmmmm…. love these days.

If you’re having a day like this, know that I’m 100% feeling your pain. (Literally. My knees are bruised and throbbing from my bike fall.) These next words and funny pictures are for you. I hope they put a smile on your face and bring you encouragement!

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, nor let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.” (2 Thessalonians 3:16a)

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

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