Becoming a Virginia Beach Photographer: Why I Love My Home Base
For five years I called Lynchburg, Virginia, my home. It’s there that I learned how to walk with Jesus, how to be and make disciples, how to love people well, and it’s where I started my photography business. The people there became my people. Through a handful of events, a door opened for me to move to Virginia Beach and continue running my business from there! Here’s the story of how I moved and what I’ve learned from becoming a Virginia Beach photographer.
To be honest, when the opportunity first came up, I was hesitant to move. I never thought Virginia Beach was where I would end up after college since I loved my time in Lynchburg! I adore the mountains and I do miss them sometimes (fortunately, I still do shoots there)!
A friend of mine offered the idea of moving to the beach together as roommates with a few other girls. At first I rejected her offer, but a few months later she came back to me having found a house that was super close to the beach. Most of my college friends were planning to move away from Lynchburg, so in my mind, I thought, “I have nothing to lose, and I can run my business from anywhere so, why not?”
I realized that instead of trying to manipulate my circumstances I could allow them to just be and rest in that. Resting in the fact that our illusion of control is just that, an illusion, can be so freeing! So, off to Virginia Beach I went!
Wedding season always seems to sneak up so quickly and it followed right after I first moved to Virginia Beach. I was stoked to be traveling a bunch, and returning home to a cute little beach house! The ability to rest in between traveling is so crucial to both my mental, physical, and spiritual health as a travel elopement photographer.
I had so much peace about the idea of moving and everything just fell into place super easily. I think there’s something to be said about following your peace as a creative entrepreneur. It’s not the same idea as “following your heart” but your peace. I firmly believe that peace is something that must be listened to and followed because it comes from the Lord who is the author of peace itself. This peace is what has made becoming a Virginia Beach photographer feel like home.
WHO you live with can matter just as much as WHERE you live. One of the most unexpected parts of becoming a Virginia Beach photographer was the community that plopped into my lap. This gift makes me beyond grateful! I came into this city knowing hardly anyone, and within a year had some of the sweetest friends I could have ever requested or imagined.
All of my friends are in the same general age range and enjoy so many similar fun activities. If I’m not off at a Virginia Beach wedding venue on the weekend then my roommates will join me on a walk to the local farmers’ market. Most of our favorite activities to do together are completely within walking distance.
I have the sweetest roommates and the most special neighborhood community! This entire move to becoming a local Virginia Beach photographer has made me realize that you don’t need 30 friends to feel at home. Find people who feel like home and keep them close, it’s so worth it.
Virginia Beach is the perfect spot for weddings, engagements and elopements because depending on the time of year, the tide and ocean colors can look so different. I love shooting here all year round even in the rain or cold! It’s such a great spot that my co-host and I even brought our content day to Virginia and a beach session was one of the shoot locations!
No matter how much I love where I live, as a travel photographer, I can’t exactly be a homebody. I still leave a lot, driving to other shoots in the Virginia area or flying out around the country for destination weddings and elopements. Thankfully, I love traveling, so even the distance added by living on the coast isn’t a huge deal to me.
The walking everywhere aspect of Virginia Beach has totally changed my perspective on transportation. I started using a longboard and have really grown in my love for cycling too! I even included a long board trip in a couple’s local adventure engagement session and brought one with me on our content day shoot!
The beach is completely accessible so I also picked up surfing. I realized that I had officially become not just a Virginia Beach photographer, but an actual local when I even went surfing in the cold water of Portland in a place newbies totally don’t board. That’s when you know you’re legit!
I’m still true to myself though and have kept my existing hobby of finding the best local coffee shop and camping out there during my editing sessions! Thankfully, my favorite one is just a quick longboard or cycling trip away.
Experiencing this much change so fast hasn’t been easy, even though it has been blessed. Even later moving from one home in Virginia Beach to another was a transition that took time. If you’re experiencing a season full of constant change: I see you, and Jesus sees you. Let me encourage you that change is OK. Change is good!
I still have a dream to move west one of these days, but for now I’ll stay on the east coast and keep saying “yes” to where the Lord leads!
Are you local to Virginia? Travel fees are usually waived for local weddings, elopements, and engagements!