Saturday, November 10, 2012

Portrait Session

Meet Brandon, the subject of one of my latest shoots.

We had a great time on a private farm capturing the last bit of fall color before Hurricane Sandy swept across the Eastern Seaboard and pulled down all the leaves.

I've done a great many portrait shoots, but this one was the only time that I've ever had a horse take part. Fortunately Brandon's mom had a handle on the reins while I was shooting!

These are just three of my favorite shots and the one of them together is definitely my favorite. Josh, however, prefers the one at the top of the post. Either way, I'm really excited about the results and I hope that you'll enjoy them too.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Family Portraits

Busy doesn't begin to describe the past couple of weeks at Hagy's Photography. Since my last post, I've had  ten separate sessions and I've processed a few thousand photographs. I still have plenty more to process, but I thought I'd better take a moment and reconnect with the world.

These sneak peeks are from a family portrait session that took place a couple weeks ago at The Swinging Bridge Restaurant in Paint Bank. It was one of the first cold mornings we'd had, but a hearty breakfast put everyone in the mood for photographs.

There were quite a few photo opportunities to be found around the restaurant, including a working gristmill powered by a waterwheel and a nice trout pond full of some of the largest trout that you'd care to see.

I won't write much tonight, except to say that there are plenty more photos to come. Now that I have a better handle on the processing, I'll be happy to share some more sneak peeks before I take a week off for vacation.

If you want to find out more about Hagy's Photography, log on to our Facebook Page or send an e-mail to and stay tuned to this blog over the next few days for a lot more sneak peeks!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hello World

Meet Lilly, who was born on October 4, 2012 and was only a little more than three weeks old at the time these photos were taken.

I was lucky enough Friday and Saturday to be able to take her newborn pictures and she was my first true newborn photo shoot. Most of the babies I'm fortunate enough to photograph are three months old or older by the time their parents bring them to me. While small babies can be a challenge, newborns require an entirely different set of skills since they are so new to the world.

The trick, I've learned, is to photograph them while they're asleep. Lilly was in such a deep sleep that I was able to place her in quite a few poses. I had plenty of help from her grandmother and mother, as well as a good friend of mine and we were able to capture the preciousness that you see here.

The pumpkin hat was a last minute addition that I found at the Clifton Forge Fall Foliage Festival on Saturday morning. Her dad's an author, her mother enjoys reading, as does most of their family and friends, and if the books you see in the photograph below are any indication, she's going to grow up in a warm, loving environment filled with countless exciting stories.

Speaking of exciting, this past weekend has been filled with plenty of adventures and photographs. Over the course of two weekends, I have seven separate shoots booked and my stack of photos to process is growing by leaps and bounds. You'll be seeing plenty of sneak peeks over the next few days if you "Like" Hagy's Photography on Facebook or follow this blog.

As always, all photos appearing on this blog are a copyright of Hagy's Photography and may not be printed or reproduced without the express written consent of Bethany Hagy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bridal Sneak Peek

Now that her wedding has passed, I can share a couple of sneak peeks from a bridal shoot that I enjoyed a couple of weeks ago.

Douthat State Park has always been one of my favorite places to shoot and one of my favorite places to take brides for their bridal sitting.  It was a beautiful day with just the right amount of clouds in the sky to make for a pretty backdrop. The dock that hangs out over the lake always makes for some great shots and that day was no exception. My bride was very excited about her "ruby slippers" so I had to make them a featured portion of at least one photograph.

On a related note, did you know that Dorothy's famous ruby slippers were made out of silver in L. Frank Baum's original "The Wizard Of Oz" novel? I didn't either until I read it yesterday and that can be your handy piece of trivia for the week that may help you win the big money on "Jeopardy!" one day.

Fall has turned out to be a busy season for me and I've yet to have a weekend pass that hasn't involved at least one shoot. I know this weekend I have two big ones, including the first portraits for a little girl who has only been in the world for about two weeks. That shoot will be a lot of fun.
Of course, every portrait shoot creates at least three hours of post processing and every wedding creates much more than that, so I won't be running out of things to do for the foreseeable future. 

I don't know how it is in your neck of the woods, but around here the fall colors are really beginning to flourish. I'm a bit surprised at how they've shown up, however, since the trees appear to have turned at the bottom of the mountains first, instead of turning at the top as they normally do. Either way, the colors make for some great fall shoots!

I hope you'll follow the link to the Hagy's Photography Facebook page and hit "Like" to keep up with all of my latest shoots. Judging by my calendar, there will be plenty more photographs added to the page in the near future!

As always, all photographs appearing on this blog are a copyright of Hagy's Photography and may not be reproduced or printed without the express written consent of Bethany Hagy.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Different Strokes

Every now and then, I loan my new camera to my husband, Josh, when he gets the urge to chase a picture or needs a better camera than his Rebel XT to shoot a sporting event. We have two entirely different approaches to photography, as well as different areas of expertise. We've had different training, different classes and different jobs and I love to study the contrast in our styles.

If there's a label for Josh's style, it's journalistic. He began studying photography more than 10 years ago when he started his career on the staff of our high school yearbook. By the time we had graduated from Alleghany High  School, he'd found employment at the Virginian Review, our local newspaper. Believe it or not, those were the very early days of digital photography and the first thing he learned how to do was process film in a darkroom. 

While my interest is in people, Josh's interest lies in storytelling. My shots typically center around the emotion people are experiencing at some of the happiest times of their lives, or finding just the right pose that brings out my subject's personality. When I shoot weddings, my attention is focused on the bride, groom and their families because I know I'll find the emotion with them. 

Josh's photos, on the other hand, are more often notable for their absence of people. He's happiest when he's wandering around a waterfall and at wedding's he's usually off on his own creating a still life photograph out of the decorations. Our styles complement each other really well, however, and I have faith that he'll come up with at least one interesting photograph.

Josh took the photo at the top of this post during halftime of Alleghany High School's football game against William Byrd. Ten years ago I was a senior playing in the marching band and I remember well the short break we were given after the halftime performance. We bolted for the bathrooms and the concession stand and we left behind a mess of hats, music and instruments, just like those band members did Friday night. The photo is as much a memory for me as it was an evening's work for Josh.

I don't know that I would've taken this shot, or even seen it, but he did. That's one of the reasons we work so well together.

To see more of my wedding, engagement, bridal and portrait photography, follow Hagy's Photography on Facebook and keep coming back to this blog for the latest sneak peeks from my shoots.

As always, all photographs appearing on this blog are a copyright of Hagy's Photography and may not be reprinted without the express written consent of Bethany Hagy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Sneak Peek

I never know where my photography is going to take me.

My shoots for little babies typically take place in my home studio, or the home of my clients. As you might imagine, that adds the challenge of learning how to pose babies and keeping the ideas fresh from one client to the next. So when I had a request to conduct this photo shoot at The Homestead in Hot Springs, I was excited to have the chance to do something different.

The Homestead, for those of you who haven't been there, is a resort hotel that can trace its origins back to 1776. While construction is currently underway on the hotel's new water park, The Homestead is known for its old school luxury and it earns the capital "T" in "the." I've taken portraits at the hotel a couple of different times, but they've always been engagement, bridal or wedding photos. A baby at The Homestead was going to be a new experience.

As it turns out, the hotel was just as perfect for a baby as it is for a bride. There were plenty of fall colors outside the hotel and I was able to take advantage of this perfect window seat for this beautiful three-month-old girl. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Look Back

I thought I'd start this week off by taking a look at the engagement session that dates back to my very first post on this blog.

The photos were delivered last week and, now that the happy couple has seen them, I want to share them with you as well. It was a fun shoot, as you can hopefully tell from the photos. Not only did I get to break in my new Canon Rebel T3, but I also had the opportunity to explore some new photo opportunities at Douthat State Park and downtown Clifton Forge.

The most challenging aspect of this particular sitting came in post processing. If you're unfamiliar with this area of Virginia, then let me tell you that we have a serious gnat problem. In the summer, clouds of the irritating little bugs follow you everywhere you go. Not even copious amounts of bug repellent will hold them off. Photoshop, however, is a pretty effective remover of gnats even it if takes a little extra time to erase them from the frames.

I won't say much today, except that I'm hoping you enjoy the new blog design, courtesy of a helping hand from The Student Knitter, a good friend of mine that I had the chance to hang out with over the weekend after I finished up a great shoot at The Homestead Saturday afternoon. I'll be sharing a sneak peak from that shoot on Wednesday, so stay tuned!

Be sure to check out and "Like" Hagy's Photography on Facebook to see more from my wedding, bridal, engagement and portrait shoots.

As always, all images appearing on this blog are copyright of Hagy's Photography and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of Bethany Hagy.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Few Of My Favorite Shots

One of the great things of being a photographer is that you never know what you're going to see next. While on the surface, every wedding is the same, but every wedding is incredibly different. Sure, the bride and groom are always the center of attention and there are usually a couple of cute little flower girls and ring bearers that try to steal the show. The couple dances, the cake gets cut and then we all take our memories of the day and go our separate ways.

There's always a story, however, and that story is always different. If there's one thing I enjoy about wedding photography, it's immersing myself in the story of the couple I'm spending the day with. I like to look for the little things that set them apart, be it a special moment with a loved one and especially that first moment between the bride and groom when they see each other for the first time. There's nothing better than a good story and everyone I've ever met has at least one.

My favorite are the moments that are absolutely impossible to recreate. Magic happens every day, whether we're paying attention to it or not. Sometimes, if we're paying attention, we'll find a great photo in it. I was once fortunate enough to be shooting a wedding on a summer day that was filled with thunderstorms. While that may have been a problem for a lot of people, this lucky couple had a rainbow appear in the field where they were wed. It was the first and only time I've ever been able to stand at the end of a rainbow and it was something I'll never forget. I hope they won't either.

I also was fortunate enough to attend a wedding with fireworks, as you can see. Of course the bride and groom wanted a photo of the fireworks, which was something I'd never attempted before. It all came together at the end, fortunately, and I was able to capture what's become one of my favorite wedding pictures. You can't see their faces in the photo, but for me it conveys the perfect end to a fairy tale day that every couple deserves.

Some moments are just too precious. I was waiting for a reception to begin and the bride and groom to arrive from the church when I noticed the flower girl and ring bearer anxiously awaiting their arrival. I think the little ring bearer was just looking to get out of his tux, but the flower girl was eagerly awaiting the bride in her dress. I remember distinctly how happy she was when the bride finally arrived. I have other photos of them together, but this was the one that will always bring the story back to mind.

I love couples that are adventurous and always open to new ideas. I especially love it when they're willing to bring their own ideas to me, as the couple at the top of this post did. We had a great time hanging out with the entire wedding party during a laid back morning of preparations and the after ceremony shoot was one of the most fun I'd ever had the pleasure of conducting. The photo of the two halves of the bridal party pulling the bride and groom apart has been done by countless photographers, but I'm happy with how my version turned out. More importantly, the bride and groom had a great time making it.

I tell all the couples I work with that, if they want great photographs, they must allow me time to work. I generally plan for an hour between the ceremony and the reception for portraits and I have a list of shots I'm going to be working on and looking for. But sometimes photographs just happen. I've attended only one reception at The Vinton War Memorial and it's a wonderful site for a wedding or reception. We were walking across the street from the church when I saw this wonderful structure sitting perfectly against a clear blue sky. Even though we were about to enter the reception, it was just too perfect a photograph to pass up.

My husband is a writer and he tells me that writers never read their own work once its published. Considering the amount of work and editing that goes into a novel, I can understand why he'd be reluctant to read his own stuff, but I certainly go back and take time to enjoy my own work. When I'm looking at a photograph, I'm not just looking at what I've taken and how I can improve on it later, I'm looking at memories I've made and people who have been gracious enough to let me be a part of their story.

You'll find all these images and more on the Hagy's Photography Facebook page and if you're interested in learning more about booking a shoot with me, please feel free to contact me at

As always, all images appearing on this blog are a copyright of Hagy's Photography and may not be reprinted or reproduced without the express written consent of Bethany Hagy.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Maternity Pics

Rebel XT, 1/80 at f/5.6

Maternity shoots haven't been a staple of Hagy's Photography, but they sure are something I enjoy doing. I've only had the pleasure of a handful of maternity sessions and this one, which took place a few weeks back, was definitely one of my favorites.

Rebel XT, 1/80 at f/5.6
Not only were the subjects involved close friends of mine, but the shoot gave me the opportunity to break out my studio gear and work inside for a change. It presented an entirely different set of challenges as opposed to shooting outdoors, but it also opened up an entirely new set of possibilities. Not only was I more in control of my lighting, but I had the privacy of the studio to try some interesting poses and the luxury of not having to deal with rain, high temperatures or the clouds of gnats that hang around this part of Virginia.

There are countless ways to approach maternity shoots, but I like to take the time to show the quiet moments of contemplation as well as the excitement and joy of expecting a new arrival.

A maternity portrait, however, does require a slightly different approach since the focus of the portrait often isn't usually the face, as is typical with most portraits. Whenever I'm faced with the challenge of capturing a subject's personality, as well as telling the story, I've found that a simple approach is often the best. A white shirt against a nice, basic black background went a long way toward quietly emphasizing the impending arrival of a newborn and I thought the bow, along with the tag that reads "Do Not Open Until September 7, 2012" added just the right touch of whimsy. The little fellow didn't wait that long, however, and I'm glad we were able to get the maternity photos done before he happily arrived into the world.

Rebel XT, 1/80 at f/5.6,
Converted to black & white in Adobe Photoshop
Of course no maternity shoot would be complete without the big brother. I had a blast working with him as well and the photo at left is a rare moment of calm in the midst of the madness of posing a three-year-old. I wonder if children that young really understand what's going on until their new sibling arrives, but who can fathom the mind of a child?

A newborn child truly is a miracle to be cherished and I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to share in my friend's miracle in some small way. There is a lot of beauty to be found in this world and a lot of magic. I think that a newborn child exemplifies this in a way that we should all take more time to notice and appreciate.

If you're interested in seeing more of my work, click here to visit my Facebook page and "Like" Hagy's Photography for exclusive looks at my latest photographs and blog posts. If you're interested in learning more about Hagy's Photography, or in booking a shoot, send an e-mail to and I'll be happy to get back in touch with you.

As always, all images on this blog are a copyright of Hagy's Photography and may not be reproduced or reprinted in any format without the express written consent of Bethany Hagy.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Shoots

Rebel T3, 1/400 at f/1.8, 50mm focal length

Some days are just easier than others.

Rebel T3, 1/500 at f/1.8, 50mm focal length
Josh and I spent a very busy Sunday afternoon with a charming little one-year-old and a beautiful bride. While we can't show you the results of the bridal shoot until after the wedding, we can happily share these photographs of Athan.

There is an old newspaper adage that you can't go wrong with photos of kids or dogs and I can certainly see how that's true. Athan was the subject of my shoot a couple weeks ago when the shutter on my old camera gave out. Everyone jokes about being the person that breaks the camera, but Athan really was. Its hard to believe a kid this cute could break a camera.

Athan is a regular customer at Hagy's Photography and we've enjoyed photographing him since very soon after he was born. I enjoy photographing children, especially young children. We've learned over the years that the best way to get great results from little kids is to take them somewhere fun and just let them play and be themselves.

Rebel T3, 1/400 at f/1.8, 50mm focal length
This afternoon we shot on the campus of Dabney S. Lancaster Community College. The campus is beautiful and we spent the entire shoot in the shade of the tremendously tall pine trees near the armory. The weather was great, with plenty of sunshine and a cool breeze that whispered of the coming fall every time it hummed through the trees.

It was even better up at another of our favorite locations, Douthat State Park, where we were just a little later Sunday afternoon. We spent a couple of hours walking around Douthat Lake for an extensive bridal shoot. I'll share the photographs as soon as I can, but I can't let the groom see the bride before the wedding!

Fortunately, my schedule this week looks like I will finally get the opportunity to get caught up on the backlog of photographs I have to process. I added quite a few photos to that stack Sunday afternoon and I hope to get them cleared away before I add another wedding to the mix on Saturday. It's a busy season, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

If you're interested in booking a shoot with us, feel free to call me at 540-968-1483 or send an e-mail to Of course, you can always log on to the Hagy's Photography Facebook page to see more of our work.

As always, all images on this blog are copyright of Hagy's Photography and may not be reproduced or reprinted without the express written consent of Bethany Hagy.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Homecoming Memories

The Alleghany High School Marching Band Drum Line. (Rebel T3, 1/640 at f/10)

I graduated from Alleghany High School 10 years ago. It doesn't seem like it's been that long, but it also doesn't take long for me to notice that things are different whenever I return to the school. The band uniforms have changed. The principal is new and so are many of the teachers. Not only that, but their are hundreds of other little differences, from new paint, posters and new classes. I suppose there is also a decade's worth of new history to study, but I'd rather not think about the things that make me feel old.

One thing that never seems to change, however, is the sound of a high school drum line. I bet you cannot hear a drum line take up a beat without being transported to your own days in high school. The first note sounds and its Friday night again, cold and clear, with bleachers full of cheering fans and the gridiron covered by high school heroes.

Last night was Homecoming for the Alleghany Mountaineers. The game didn't so the way the coaches were hoping, since the Cave Spring Knights left town with a 35-2 win. The band sounded good, however, and the Homecoming festivities at halftime were everything my family and I hoped they would be.

Homecoming Hug. (Rebel T3, 1/60 at f4.5)
Catie Carpenter, my little cousin (and I guess she's not so little anymore), was crowned Homecoming Queen last night. She was just the latest of my cousins to be part of the Homecoming Court. I couldn't miss the chance to share the moment with her and take some photographs for her to cherish.

The best part about photography is that it captures a perfect moment in time. That moment can be heartbreaking or heartwarming, but either way, photography is an amazing way to tell a story. Catie spent the second half of the game wandering around the track that circles the field and couldn't catch the end of the game for all the people stopping to hug her and offer their congratulations. I enjoyed photographing those moments for her in the same way that I enjoy photographing weddings. I feel honored when people ask me to shoot these moments and record them for later. I'm happy to be a part of them and the people that I have the opportunity to meet and work with are everything that I enjoy about being a photographer.

If you're interested in booking a shoot, feel free to contact me at 540-968-1483 or send an e-mail to You can also log onto to the Hagy's Photography Facebook page to see more examples of my work.

As always, all images appearing on this blog are a copyright of Bethany Hagy and Hagy's Photography and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of Bethany Hagy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sunset & Silhouette

I'm not normally a nature photographer. Josh tends to enjoy creating landscapes and other aspects of nature photography while my focus tends to be on people and their stories, but sometimes I just can't help myself.

A couple weeks ago I came home from shooting Brent and April Ball's wedding and reception to find a beautiful sunset. Before I finally packed my camera away for the day, I couldn't resist trying to capture the fiery sunset.

I took quite a few different photos and this one was my favorite. I like how the tree in foreground shows up only as a silhouette. There are ways around that, mostly involving the use of either a flash or the more complicated high dynamic range photography, but sometimes going the simple route is the best.

The shot was taken with a shutter speed of 1/250 at f/9, with an ISO of 1600 and a focal length of 35mm.

It's been a busy, but productive, week here at Hagy's Photography. I put the finishing touches on an engagement shoot and after the happy couple gets to see them for the first time, I'll share my favorites here with you (hopefully by the end of the week). I'm still working on processing my wedding photos from the Ball wedding and I have a shoot booked for one of the Homecoming candidates at Alleghany High School on Friday. Saturday and Sunday will feature a bridal shoot and a birthday shoot for a one-year-old if the rain doesn't get in the way of my plans.

The fall season tends to be a busy one for photography and this year is shaping up to be no exception to that rule, but I can't imagine a better way to spend my fall. If you're interested in booking a shoot, you can always send an e-mail to or call 540-968-1483. You can also find more of my work on my Facebook page.

As always, all images on this blog are copyright of Hagy's Photography and may not be copied, printed or otherwise utilized without the express written permission of Bethany Hagy. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

My First Post

Welcome to Hagy's Photography's Blog, the new spot on the web where we show off our latest shoots and share with you the images that catch our eye.

For those of you who may be new to Hagy's Photography, the business is run primarily by me, Bethany Hagy. My goal is to share my love of photography with you and to capture your special moments in photographs that you will be able to enjoy for years to come. I hope you'll let me share in your moments of happiness, from engagement portraits, bridal portraits and weddings to photographs of your newborn children all the way to their senior portraits.

It's been an exciting week for me. Two weeks ago, I was at a shoot celebrating a first birthday when my camera malfunctioned. And by malfunction, I mean seriously broke. The shutter gave out, forcing me to make a quick trip to Roanoke to find a new camera. I came home with a shiny new laptop and a Canon Rebel T3, which has 12 megapixels of photographic goodness and the capability to shoot 720p HD video. Video is something that I've never been able to offer before and I'm looking forward to exploring the possibilities of moving pictures.

While my husband, Josh, was able to test the camera out at a local football game on Friday night, this weekend was my first opportunity to take my new camera out for a spin and see what it can do. I'm pretty happy with the results, as you can see above. The photograph is a sneak peek at an engagement shoot I held Saturday at Douthat State Park for a young couple. Douthat is one of my favorite places to shoot and the rangers are constantly working to improve the setting. Saturday was the first time I'd been up there since they'd hung the "Almost There" sign and it was a perfect addition to my engagement shoot.

For those of you interested in the technical details, the photo was taken with a Canon Rebel T3, 1/500 at f/2.2 with an ISO of 400 and a focal length of 50mm.

On Sunday night, Josh and I made another trip to Roanoke. After dinner, we wandered around downtown for a little bit in order to test out the camera's night shooting ability. Josh learned the art of photography while working as a reporter and photographer for the Virginian Review and, oddly enough, he learned to shoot in the dark before he ever learned to shoot in broad daylight. We braved the traffic on Williamson Road with camera and tripod in hand and Josh came away with this photograph of the Taubman Museum of Art.

The museum probably has the most unique architecture of any building in Roanoke. You can see it from Williamson Road, which has just been cropped out of the bottom of this photograph. The interior lights painted the museum in surprising colors that you just don't get to see during the day. The sky was overcast, so the long exposure provided a uniform background for the city lights to bounce off of. I have to work early on Monday mornings, so we didn't spend much time walking around downtown Roanoke Sunday night, but I did see plenty of interesting photo opportunities that I hope to revisit later.

The museum shot was taken with a Canon Rebel T3 and was a 30-second exposure at f/9 at a focal length of 28mm.

Fall is coming up and it's my favorite season. I love to be outside and enjoy the cool autumn days and all the fun that comes with the season, from Halloween to corn mazes, all the way to Thanksgiving. It's also my favorite season to take photographs and I hope to have some great fall foliage shots to share with you soon. 

If you're interested in booking a shoot with me, be it for senior portraits, wedding-related or anything else you wish to have photographed, send me an e-mail at or call 540-968-1483. I work out of Clifton Forge, Virginia, and the surrounding areas and would enjoy the opportunity to work with you. You can also find Hagy's Photography on Facebook, where you will see more of my work there.

In the meantime, I have a lot of processing to catch up on and more photographs to take and I'm looking forward to sharing them with you.

As always, all images on this blog are copyright of Hagy's Photography and may not be copied, printed or otherwise utilized without the express written permission of Bethany Hagy.