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.