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.