Jon L Photo: Blog en-us Jon L Photo [email protected] (Jon L Photo) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:25:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:25:00 GMT Jon L Photo: Blog 120 120 Megan and Chris at the Woman's Club of Portsmouth... I photographed Megan's brother's wedding a few years ago and was so honored that she chose me to be there for her big day with Chris. They were married at the beautiful Woman's Club of Portsmouth, a gem of a venue nestled in a quiet neighborhood. The always joyful Carolyn Celeste Weddings was there to coordinate and make sure things ran on time, and everyone was jamming to the tunes that DJ Shawn Cox expertly put together. It was a fun day seeing a bunch of familiar faces and doing what I love!

Megan and Chris SlideshowWedding day slideshow

[email protected] (Jon L Photo) bride bridesmaids cupcakes dancing fun groom hampton roads wedding photographer love military portsmouth virginia wedding wedding party Tue, 13 Feb 2018 02:17:42 GMT
All I have left are these photos.... Every now and then I look over these old photos and remember some of the happiest times of my youth. Time spent in Germany with my Opa (German for grandfather) in one of my favorite places, his garden. Since he lived in the heart of Wiesbaden, surrounded by urban hustle and bustle, he rented a space in a popular gardening community. There was a little house with a sink, fridge, and stove, you know just the essentials. It had a little deck connected and the rest of the space was dedicated to a little patch of nature among an old world stone and concrete city. He grew cherry, apple, and lemon trees among others. Plenty of variety of flowers and some of the softest well kept grass I've ever had the pleasure of laying in. I would play with my G.I. Joes and matchbox cars while he and my parents prepared all manner of preserves and pastries using the very fruit he grew there. We would listen to music, eat, and play cards while spending the whole day there. This was all 30+ years ago. My Opa was so dear to me, and though I have such fond and vivid memories of him, the passage of time has muddied them up some. It's not until I pull out these old photos and like a cut scene in a movie I'm brought back to that time. The innocence of youth, no responsibilities, and endless imagination. If you haven't connected the dots yet, allow me to sum it up, printed photos are important! Whether you get them from me or you produce them yourself, you need to get these digital images from the computer to an analog form. With this wonderful technological push we've seen, we're losing our past and any connection to it if we forget to make tangible the only method we have of preserving the past. Get that paper in your hands, show it, put it up on your walls, and hand them down to your kids. 

[email protected] (Jon L Photo) analog memories past photos present preservation print Mon, 05 Feb 2018 20:16:25 GMT
Kelsey and Travis in Hampton Kelsey and Travis were married on his families picturesque property in Hampton. This was a backyard wedding where family and friends lent a hand and helped setup a wonderful venue for this sweet young couple. When I saw a classic Corvette tucked away in an old garage, I'm glad I inquired about it. Turns out Travis's parents drove away in that car on their wedding day, so you know I had to get them to bring it out for some photos and keep a family tradition going!



[email protected] (Jon L Photo) bride bridesmaids cupcakes dancing dress elegant fun bridal party photos groom hampton roads wedding photographer military rings vintage virginia wedding Thu, 06 Jul 2017 15:24:29 GMT
Amanda and Marc in Virginia Beach Amanda and Marc - I knew from our initial meeting they would be some of my favorite people. Laid back and in complete control throughout the day, I remember the office manager at the Lesner Inn mentioning how their entire office just loved these two. Marc, being a Navy Officer, gave me an experience I'd not yet had at a wedding. Apparently it's a thing with Navy guys to sing to the bride during the reception a la the scene from Top Gun when they sing the Righteous Brothers - "You've Lost that Lovin' Feeling". All I know is that it was a sight to behold, and I had a great time celebrating with Amanda and Marc.

If you'd like to view Amanda and Marc's highlight video, click below:

Amanda and Marc

[email protected] (Jon L Photo) Lesner Inn dancing fun bridal party photos hampton roads wedding photographer love military photographer top gun virginia virginia beach wedding virginia beach wedding photographer wedding wedding party wedding photographer wedding photos Sat, 09 Jan 2016 02:04:11 GMT
Martina and Chris in Newport News World travelers and dynamic duo Martina and Chris were married next to Martina's grandmother's house. With waterfront views and a majestic tree, they even live streamed their wedding so that those who couldn't make the trip were able to "be there" and celebrate with them. One of Martina's requests was to have some of the bridal party photos take place at the historic Hampton Carousel Park. The carousel, built in 1920, provided the perfect backdrop for some fun portraits and one of my all time favorite wedding party photos.  Their love has no boundaries. 

If you'd like to see their highlight video, click here:

Martina and Chris

[email protected] (Jon L Photo) backyard wedding carousel dancing fun bridal party photos hampton hampton roads wedding photographer hampton wedding love photobooth virginia wedding wedding party Sat, 09 Jan 2016 01:47:50 GMT
Alicia and John, a short notice wedding... From time to time we are contacted about doing a wedding with short notice.  Alicia and John got in touch with us a scant 3 weeks before their wedding date!  We were on our way up to Old Town Alexandria for an engagement shoot when I called Alicia to set up a time to meet and discuss the details of their day, and we moved some things around in our schedule to talk at the coffee shop the next morning.  Something I say to all our wedding couples is that I think it's important that we meet in person (or Skype) to see if we are a good fit for each other.  During our discussion I could tell Alicia was a little frustrated with her current situation and it was in no part a lack of planning on her or John's behalf.  Once we got all the details worked out and got to know each other a little I could see the relief in Alicia's expression; the beautiful smile we would see so much on her wedding day began to show.  Here's a look at some of my favorite moments from Alicia and John's wedding: 

I remember Alicia laughing at the way I held her veil up to my lens to make the right side of this picture go white.

Ceremony: St. Gregory's Catholic Church in Virginia Beach, VA
Reception Site: The Yacht Club at Marina Shores in Virginia Beach, VA
[email protected] (Jon L Photo) active duty bride bridesmaids catholic church dress groom hampton roads navy rings virginia beach wedding yacht club Sat, 17 May 2014 21:00:00 GMT
Tina and Mark at The Manor House at Kings Charter "We trust your creativity and want you to feel comfortable doing whatever you need to carry out your artistic vision on our wedding day."  This is what Tina and Mark said to me on our pre-wedding consultation, we'll maybe not exactly verbatim, but you get the idea.  That trust and belief in my abilities was such a remarkable gesture from this sweet couple, and it spoke to the kind of people Tina and Mark are.  Their love, admiration, and respect for one another is a testament not only to their relationship, but also to their relationship with God.  We were blessed with beautiful late September weather that matched the exquisite venue, which was The Manor House at Kings Charter.  Enjoy some of the highlights of the day, and if you want to see more scroll down to the bottom of this post to find the link to the slideshow.

I usually start the day with detail shots, and since Mark is in the jewelry business I wanted to make sure to showcase the rings properly.

I got so lucky with the wind on this day, most of the time if I'm doing dress shots outside they start spinning.

Tina's sister Niki is helping mom take care of the dress fitting.  

Tina and her mom sharing a laugh, probably about something Kaitlyn (one of the bridesmaids behind us) said. 

Taking advantage a quiet moment and beautiful window light for a bridal portrait. 

Mark is ready for his bride, and looking sharp too!





I want socks like these now haha!




We did a father/daughter first look.  I'm definitely want to do this when my little girls have their big day.



Mark led Tina in prayer before walking the isle, it was such a touching moment.  

I love stuff like this, everyone's attention was on the bridal party behind me and dad was waiting for Tina to arrive for him to walk her down the isle.  As a father of two little girls, I think I know what Rusty was thinking.




I absolutely love witnessing the moment when they first see each other.  It's hard to take it in when I'm working, but I always spend a few extra moments looking at these images when I edit.





I try my hardest to keep an eye out for body language, sometimes it speaks louder than our words.


So I guess I can admit this here, when Niki was singing I just about lost it.  I've never cried at a wedding, but it was everything I had to keep from doing it here.




If I'm able to, I love following the bride and groom to their hiding spot during the recessional.  I take a step back and let them enjoy their moment.


After ceremony bridal party pictures are always fun, everyone is relaxed and ready to party!




And of course, as a car guy, I wasn't going to let this ride get away before we used it for some newlywed pictures.



After some first dances.......



......and cake cutting.....

.....a little more dancing.....


.....and taking advantage of the sunset light.



We ended the night with a sparkler send off, thanks for letting us be a part of your beautiful day Tina and Mark!!


If you'd like to see the slideshow with more images follow the link below and make sure to use either Google Chrome or Firefox web browsers to view it.


[email protected] (Jon L Photo) 5dmkiii bride bridesmaids canon 24-70 2.8ii cupcakes dress groom jewelry rings speedlight vintage wedding Fri, 11 Oct 2013 15:34:51 GMT
Mary Alice and Andrew at Pump House Park. I'm writing this Blog late on Saturday night, 3 days before Christmas.  Mary Alice contacted me a little over a week ago and asked if I'd be interested in shooting a wedding for her up in Richmond with just a few days notice.  At first I thought it probably wouldn't be worth the hassle of driving the 2 hours and finding a babysitter, but then she mentioned " the way it's my wedding".  That certainly caught me off guard, as Mary Alice is also a photographer and there are times when she sends wedding leads my way.  Once I verified it was indeed her getting married, there was no way I would miss it!  As a person that typically thinks outside the box, I knew Mary Alice wouldn't have a typical wedding.  Her chosen venue was an abandoned pump house from 1882.  The pump house is made of stone and has 20 to 30 foot drop offs that will land you in the river if you're not careful.  She found her beautiful dress at a local vintage shop, and it was a perfect match with Andrew's dress uniform.  Notice how their attire bears a similar resemblance to the cake topper which belonged to her grandmother, who's birthday just happened to be the wedding day chosen.  Andrew's birthday was being celebrated by their union.  Mary Alice had a very short guest list: their 3 year old son, Beckham; her parents and brother, Hank;  Andrew's parents and brother, Preston; Bud, the officiant, who also happens to be an excellent photographer.  After the ceremony we took a little time to shoot the family portraits on the awesome bridge and then took Mary Alice and Andrew around the park.  We then made our way back to Les and Mary's log cabin style home for a little celebrating.  Mary Alice and Andrew's wedding was truly classic and charming!  



[email protected] (Jon L Photo) bride cupcakes dress elegant groom heels military rings uniform vintage winery Sun, 23 Dec 2012 18:11:56 GMT
Megan and Anthony in Williamsburg The Williamsburg Winery was the location for Megan and Anthony's September wedding.  Wonderful textures and ambiance are abundant at this venue, and of course, great wine!  The day started off with Megan getting ready at the elegant Wedmore Place Hotel.  We used the courtyard for some bridal pictures and an awesome father/daughter first look.  Our ceremony was to be outside in the vineyards but mother nature had different plans.  At least the storm clouds made for some really cool wedding party pictures before the rain started.  Having the ceremony inside the winery allowed for very classic and regal ceremony pictures.  Although we were looking forward to using the vineyards as a backdrop, we instead took full advantage of the barrel room in the basement for our bride and groom portraits.  As the dancing got into full swing at the Gabriel Archer Tavern, we stole Megan and Anthony away from the fun and dancing for a few more pictures down in the barrel room.  We quickly got them back to the reception to finish dancing the night away surrounded by their friends and family!


[email protected] (Jon L Photo) barrel room bride bridesmaids cake courtyard dancing dress elegant groom groomsmen rain rings stately wedding williamsburg wine winery Fri, 21 Sep 2012 01:31:45 GMT
Paper prints, or 1's and 0's?

Lately I've been thinking about, well a lot of things really, but a common theme for me has been the subject of paper prints versus digital media and how this all plays a role with our children.  Since we are very firmly in the digital age, we are taking countless pictures on cell phones and digital cameras and viewing them on some sort of device or monitor.  The days of framing a portrait of our loved ones to hang on the wall is being replaced by merely posting the picture online and waiting for the "likes" to pile up.  Now I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with going digital, it just seems like many of us do not value the physical photographic print as we once did. When it comes to our children, let's face it, we take THOUSANDS of pictures of them with our phones and make album after album on Facebook....but that's it.  The few prints we do have of them usually come from the school photographer where, and this may sound bad, every one of them look the same.  Technically they are well done photographs, lit from the same angle and with just about the same pose for every child.  These are pictures of our children, but not how we are used to seeing them.  There's no feeling behind them, just a pose and a smile.  Maybe this is one of the reasons we don't value the prints as much anymore, they all look similar.  We've seen them a million times in every home we enter, and everyone of them is a fake smile looking back at the camera.  But when we snap a shot with our cell phone it's different, it's spontaneous, a moment, a genuine's our children the way we know them.  


The lead off picture above is of my daughter Lia releasing one of the butterflies she raised this spring.  It was the last butterfly to leave, and before it went it sat on Lia's arm for a few moments to say goodbye.  It's not the typical portrait, she's not camera aware (looking at the lens) and it's definitely not taken with a cell phone.  While I have taken some posed pictures of her, the ones I take like this mean so much more to me.  When I view this print on my wall it brings me back to, not only this moment but the weeks we spent ordering her butterflies online, them hatching, and Lia waking up and saying "good morning" to her little friends everyday.  If this print isn't hanging on my wall for me to see everyday, and instead exists only as a combination of 1's and 0's in my computer, it effectively remains just a memory.     


The same goes for this picture of my other daughter Lucie.  It's not the typical sit the baby in front of a wrinkled muslin background and shake a toy next to the camera to make her look photo.  Lucie is genuinely having the most fun she could possibly have playing with that window blind.  Every time I view this photo I can hear her adorable little laugh, and relive the joy I felt watching her explore this wide world she is so new to.


This picture of Lia when she was a baby is a little more moody, it's classic in black and white and conveys a feeling to the viewer.  Yes it's the back of my daughters head, but more importantly it's the first time she experienced natures fury.  Again, this speaks to bringing back memories and emotions through photography.  I can remember exactly how Lia acted when the wind and rain picked up, and how cool it was to watch her experience her first big storm.  I won't get that from a picture place in the mall. 


Dean's parents will never forget the first time they handed him a tulip to investigate.  The look on his face was priceless.  I remember when I shot this, how cool it was that the sun lit this flower up like a light.  As Dean pulled the tulip in for closer inspection, the light reflected onto his face and gave him that awesome glow. 


Trevor's parents really love this shot of him on the driveway playing basketball; it's something that he does everyday. When he grows up and leaves for college, his mom is going to look back at this photo and relive her son's playtime for a moment or two.  It's a moment in time when her son didn't have a care in the world and the only thing he wanted to do was get that ball in the hoop.


How about this for a cool family portrait?  Kevin and Jonni-Ann share a love for rock and roll and their long boards.  What better way for dad to remember his little girl than a shot of them enjoying a beautiful day doing something they love.  Sure it's posed; it's them sitting down for a couple of shots but then getting right back to having fun on the boards. 


When you think about going to the "affordable" portrait studio in the mall or when you settle for the pictures that the school provides, take an extra minute and really look at the photos.  If what you want to see is your children looking back at you, well behaved and posed, then by all means enjoy it.  But if you want to remember them the way they really are, the good, the bad, and the adorable look for someone like me, someone who has a genuine passion for the craft of photography and a willingness to really work for the pictures that you will cherish the rest of your life.  There are a lot of us out there, we are generally not cheap and that is for a reason.  We take this craft seriously, personally even, and we invest countless hours and dollars to make sure we have the knowledge and equipment to guide you through the process of capturing images that you will look back on throughout your life with fondness and emotion. 


Click on this link if you'd like to see more of my portrait work:


[email protected] (Jon L Photo) affordable digital emotion passion pictures portraits print tulip Fri, 17 Aug 2012 04:10:08 GMT
Wedding at New Kent Winery with Laura and Josh When you hear the words "wedding at a winery", rolling vineyards, wine barrels, and men stomping on grapes in the south of France come to mind.  Well maybe not the French men stomping on grapes part, but Laura and Josh's wedding at New Kent Winery had everything you would expect at a venue like this.  We were even treated to a beautiful horse drawn carriage for Laura and her dad to arrive on.  For the week prior to wedding day we suffered 100+ degree heat and high humidity, and of course this was going to be an outdoor wedding!  Through some prayer, finger crossing, and much positive thought the weekend of the wedding greeted us with high 80's and beautiful blue skies!......

.....Yeah that doesn't look like sunshine and smiles to me either.  This is what was coming down a few hours before ceremony time and it had everybody on pins and needles.  


While the downpour carried on at New Kent, Laura and her bridesmaids were getting ready at their hotel in Richmond.  The lobby of the Westin had great textural elements for the dress shot and other details.

Thank you to whoever made the green light of the elevator come on.  I really like the green twinkle in this shot haha!

Just 4 of the 9 handbags made by Dickie.  Check out her website at


Awesome cupcake cake by April Pillsbury from Frosted and Dipped.  Check her out at


 While her friend Courtney watched on,  Laura got her time in the makeup chair.  One of the best parts of my day is watching friends and family support the bride and take a part in her wedding. 


Laura is such a gorgeous bride!


The bridesmaids necklaces were custom made by Sola Biu.  Visit her website at


Back at New Kent, the dress was fitted and we were officially ready to start our day.  With limited time and rain threatening, we got some bridesmaids' shots with these wonderful ladies.  I love that Laura let the bridesmaids choose their own dresses.  I also love that everyone was able to keep a great smile and laugh even though the sky behind me was as dark as night with storm clouds.


Karen Roa, owner Aleen Floral Design, did a wonderful job with the bouquets and flower arrangements!  Visit her online at




Don't let the focused intensity fool you, Josh is an incredibly kind and fun guy to be around, and he is definitely a great match for Laura. 


Just look at these dapper men!  They could form a boy band or something, maybe a man band fits better. 


I'm going to let the ceremony photos do their own talking for a while, but I will say that I think the rain and location made for a beautifully classic looking wedding.  Enjoy!

Chris was the perfect umbrella stand during the ceremony, and he took his job very seriously!



Shortly after the ceremony ended, the skies opened up again and forced us to photograph our bride and groom indoors.  New Kent's barrel room made a perfect backdrop for Laura and Josh's photos. 


One of the other benefits of the barrel room is the low temperature and low humidity environment; it was a refreshing break from the heat and humidity of this rainy summer day.


The evening began to wind down with a little dancing.

We finally had a break in the weather and got a cart ride out to the vineyard for one last shot before the night ended.  I think the clouds did a fine job of setting the mood and adding a cool blue cast to this image. 


A sparkler send off to the happy couple!


The day was filled with fun, tears (both human and from the sky), and most importantly LOVE.  We had so much fun being a part of this day!  We hope you enjoyed the images from Laura and Josh's New Kent Winery wedding, please share this link to anyone of interest.  Also feel free to leave a comment below, we would love to hear your feedback.


If you would like to see more images from the Pruett/Marano Wedding, here's a link to their smaller gallery:

[email protected] (Jon L Photo) 1.4 50 bride canon continuous light cupcake cake custom necklace dress facebook first dance frosted and dipped grapes groom horse and carriage onyx feather pinterest pocket wizard radio popper rain richmond umbrellas vintage vintage bridesmaids dress virginia wedding wedding ideas Mon, 06 Aug 2012 18:20:17 GMT