Leigh Skaggs Photography » I am a wedding and portrait photographer in Hampton Roads Virginia.

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So I know this is silly, but I am very proud of myself today.  I jumped outside my comfort zone and signed up for The CrossFit Games:​ Open.  Not because I think I am the fittest in the world…(I am definitely NOT), but because I thought it would be fun to see where I rank with others in my age category all over the world, to see my progress this past year and to get a good idea what I need to work on in the coming year.  If you don’t know what the Open is…it is a series of workouts designed to challenge every athlete in the world.  The workouts are a series of crossfit standard movements thrown into a blender and then cooked into a devilish concoction.  Every Thursday for 5 weeks at 8 EST you can tune into the website at Crossfit Games and watch two of the fittest people on Earth perform this weeks grueling WOD (Workout of the Day).  Last week the movements consisted of an AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) for 9 minutes of 15 Toes to Bar, 10 Deadlifts, and 5 snatches.  Followed by 6 minutes to establish your best 1 rep Max of a Clean and Jerk.  This is an exhausting workout…the toes to bar end up being quite a lot of cardio…and once you start huffing and puffing it is hard to get your breathing back under control…not to mention the forearm burning that all of the movements elicit.  This year you can choose to do the workouts RX (as prescribed) or scaled (an easier…but not really) version. 

Last year I was pretty new to Crossfit when the open happened.  I was still trying to figure out how to read all the acronyms and make my arms move the day after a workout…(truth be told I still have THAT problem).  This year, I can do all of the Olympic movements (I am not great, but I can do it), I can do pull-ups, and burpees don’t make me want to cry anymore…so I thought I would step outside my comfort zone and throw my name into the mix.  My goal…don’t be LAST IN THE WORLD!!!  So I went to my first “Friday Night Lights” at my “box” Crossfit Norfolk.  I know I have said this before…but I LOVE this place!  They help me to be a better version of myself everyday, from the coaches to the friends I have made there.  But back to Friday Night Lights…there was palpable tension in the air.  Everyone was excited and nervous to test their skills on 15.1 and 15.1a (as this workout was called.)  All night after watching the two best Men in the world complete this, I was in my head thinking…”can I even do this workout?”  “Will I have to scale it?”  “Can I even snatch 75# 5 times in a row??”  So during my warm-up I tested the 75# snatch.  If you don’t know what this it, it is a lift where you take the bar from the ground to over your head in one fluid motion.  I like this movement, but 75# is a lot of weight…especially after all the other things you have to do.  But I got it there pretty easily…so I decided to go all in and RX this workout.

When it was my heat, I stepped up to my bar and went for it.  I got in the zone.  I heard nothing from the large crowd of people that were cheering on the participants…except for an occasional “Go Mom!!” from my kids.  And honestly, that was all I needed.  “Go Mom” made me push myself as hard as I could.  In the end, I wasn’t too happy with my reps (99), but I did get a 15# personal record (PR) on my clean and jerk…which is pretty awesome!!

So today, I signed on to the Crossfit Open’s website to see if I am in last place.  And I was so happy to see that not only am I NOT in last place, but of the 10,228 people in my age group participating in the open…I am 2,697!  And in the Mid-Atlantic region there are 920 registered in my age group and I am 245th.  So I am considering this to be a great start to the open games for me!  I hope to continue to push myself as hard as I can.  And I will continue to learn what I need to work on in the coming year.

Trying new Things and being Judged for them!  Trying new Things and being Judged for them!

And I am so proud of Jay and Truman who also did the workout.  Truman Rx’d it as much as his mom will let him :-)  and Jay scaled it but got a sweet PR on his clean and jerk!  Proud of you two!!  Keep up the good work!

 

 

 

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Amanda and Paul have been friends of ours for several years now.  We have played soccer together, enjoyed lazy beach days together (well most of us…Amanda doesn’t really love the beach…), Built enormous snowmen and had epic snowball fights!!  I have watched Kailey grow from an elementary school kid to a beautiful young Woman, I have taught Danni to use her camera manually…(she is quite a good budding photographer), and cheered for the Steelers with her!  I have watched Riley play soccer numerous times…and I have photographed Easton since he was literally days old.  I really adore this Family!!  So of course I was excited to get out of the house, despite the snow, and meet them at Northside Park in Norfolk Virginia for a Family Session!

Paul is getting ready to deploy and I know this is so hard on them all.  A few times during this shoot that I had to hide behind my camera because I was starting to get misty eyed and I didn’t want them to see that.  They are a tough Navy Family and will definitely get through this.  And Amanda if you need anything, let me know!  I am glad that you will have these photos to take with you on your deployment, Paul and that the kids can keep you close to them while you are away.  Safe travels and return to us all as quickly as possible!  XOXO!

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My baby girl turned 16 the other day…see HERE…and for weeks our Family has been keeping a very BIG secret from her!  We all pitched in (my Mom and Step-dad, Dad, and her Dad and I) to make sure that she got a GREAT and SAFE first car!

When I turned 16, I was not given the keys to a car.  I was instead told to save up as much money as I could and my Parents would help match me so I could buy a car.  I worked as much as I could and saved all I could…and at $4.25/hour that was not as easy as it sounds!  But I did it and my Uncle found me my first true love…my Chevy Citation.  Now if you don’t know what a Chevy Citation is…it looks like a TANK!  No really!  It was old, it always smelled like oil, there were NO airbags, the seats and roof had holes in it, it had a permanent film of dirt on the floor, and I had to constantly put transmission fluid in it….but it was mine and to me it meant FREEDOM!!  I LOVED that car…still do!  You never forget your first car because it changes everything in your life!  I was free!  Free to go where I could, to learn what I was made of!  And I worked hard for that!  So I will be honest, when my Step-dad and Husband started talking about getting Morgan a car, I was a little hesitant to GIVE her something that I worked so hard for.

But, Morgan has a different life than I did.  She takes AP classes and classes I didn’t take until I was a Senior, and she is a Sophomore.  She works pretty hard at school, she is a great kid!  And to be honest I don’t want her to work as hard as I did at such a young age…there is PLENTY of time for that!  And as long as she keeps working hard at school so she can get into college, then I will be happy.  And I love that her car is little (like her), reliable and safe!  Also, we have lots of time to teach her how to drive her adorable little “June Bug” before we set her free into the world in a few months.  So while I wasn’t initially on board because it wasn’t the way it happened for me, I am excited for her.  Excited for this new stage in her life, excited to watch her take on more responsibilities, and excited to watch her grow up even more.  Happy Birthday Morgan!!  P.S.  Don’t EVER let me catch you texting and driving…or I will be driving that cute little bug!  XOXO!

The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  My Dad!The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  Freezing while we wait!The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  Here she comes!The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  I am about to be hug attacked!The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  Hugs for everyone!The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  Even Truman, who kept a secret for a very LONG time!The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  Cute car for my adorable girl!The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  I think she likes it!The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!  The Milestones we reach!   My Daughters First Car!!

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How did this happen?  I know how cliché it is to say, “you were just a baby yesterday”…but you WERE!!  And now you are 16 years old.  And soon you will be driving, on your own, and then you REALLY won’t think you need me anymore.  I am always reminded of the scene in Toy Story 2, when Jesse is telling her story to Woody about how she used to have an “Andy”.  And the song “When She Loved Me“, by Sarah McLachlan, plays in the background.  And her little girl, grows up and drives her to a pick up station and leaves her in a box…because she doesn’t need her anymore.   I have known this was coming your whole life…but it doesn’t make it easier now that it is here.

Raising Daughter’s is HARD!!  When they are little, you are their WHOLE WORLD!  Their number 1 playmate, their best friend, their snuggle buddy, their let’s play together “ALL DAY MOMMY”!!  But then they start to grow up.  They go to school, they make friends and hit the dreaded teen years.  And your relationship changes.  They no longer think you are super smart and wonderful…in fact they pretty much think everything you do is annoying and stupid.  (I know some of you think this won’t happen to you…and maybe it won’t…but I am betting it will!!)  And, ya know what??   It’s OK!  Because it means you have done your job!  You honestly can’t treat anyone in the world like you treat your Mom!  No one else would put up with the eye rolling and snarky way they speak to you, and still go out of their way to make sure you have everything you need.  And the fact that they know this, means you have done it right.

It is their job to pull away from you, to learn to face life’s tough challenges head on, to figure out who they are separately from you…and it is so HARD to watch!  Seeing your once cherub-like, sweet and naive Daughter navigating her way through High School is a very unique experience.  It changes her.  It changes you!  You can try all you want to give advice and be her friend…but the best thing you can do is be a shoulder to cry on, a steady rock in the storm and take some of the brunt of the UMS’s (Ugly Mood Swings).

And it is YOUR job to make sure that they know that no matter what…at the end of the day…you LOVE THEM!  And you will be there for them, ALWAYS!!!   So sometimes they test.  Just to see how far they can push.  And sometimes they push too far and you will fight it out.   But in the end, you forgive and you will forget…because you know that this is just a phase…like potty training and checking under the bed for monsters…and all too soon this will end.  And then they will be gone.

But see this is where I am different from Jesse, the yodeling cowgirl.  She got put into a box and left at the end of her story.  And if I have done my job really well, the end of my story will just be the beginning!  You see the magical thing about Daughter’s is that after all the fighting, bickering, pushing, eye-rolling, and yes…even hatin…they come back to you.  And if you are lucky, they become your best friends AGAIN!!  I think Morgan and I will be lucky like this.  She and I share a love for hilarious sarcastic humor.  Morgan is literally one of the funniest people I have ever met, in my life!!  And if you know anything about me, funny is high on my list of awesome personality traits!  She is also smart, kind, easy-going and thinks about things in a way I have never even considered, which I love!  It floors me to listen to her talk to me about issues.  She will come up with a point of view I never would have even imagined!  And I LOVE this!!

I LOVE YOU my little girl!  You will always be my FIRST baby, my number 1, my DAUGHTER, even when you are grown and have kids of your own.  And I will always be here for you.  There is NOTHING that you could ever do that would change that!  Happy 16th Birthday!  (Gosh I feel OLD!)

To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  Morgan got her braces off this year!To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  Kissed an Ugly Duckling!!To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  Had several hair colors!To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  Hiked to the top of a mountain!To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  And was a GREAT KID!!  Proud of you Baby!!To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!

Also Happy Birthday to my Daddy!  His Birthday got hijacked 16 years ago…I don’t think he really minds though!  We LOVE you!!!

To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!

And some of Morgan in the Winter Wonderland…on her actual Birthday!  We braved the frigid temperatures to snap a few photos.  She was so excited to have NO SCHOOL today!

To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  To my Baby on her 16th Birthday!  Happy 16th Morgan!!  Love you!

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Weddings are a whirlwind of emotions, chaos, and epic fun!  There is so much to fit in, in such a small amount of time.  Imagine…getting your hair and make-up done, wrangling Bridesmaids into their dresses, don’t forget travel to and from venues takes a good chunk of time from your day, how long will your Ceremony last, and shooting Family photos, Bridal Party Photos, Romantic shots of the two of you…all with enough time to get you to the reception….WHEW!  It can totally be a daunting task!  But with a good timeline, we can make sure it all happens and with as little stress as possible!

A perfect timeline looks something like this…

2:15-3:15- Photographer’s Arrive to Venue where the Bride and her Bridesmaid are getting ready.  You are kicked back, relaxed and getting your hair and make-up finished…(your Bridesmaids should be mostly done with hair and make-up at this point, and making sure you are laughing and chillin.)  My team and I will come in ready to shoot the details of your wedding!  We love when you have the dress, shoes, veil, invitation, rings, jewelry, Groom presents, and anything else you may be wearing or holding on your special day all gathered up for us, so we can get right to work!!  Around 2:30 we will ask the Bridesmaids and Mother-of-the-Bride to start getting into their dresses.  It typically takes them the longest to get ready, because there are so many of them, they are so excited, and inevitably someone can’t find their shoes or earrings. Lets Talk Timeline!  Why this is so important for your Wedding Day to run smoothly!

Lets Talk Timeline!  Why this is so important for your Wedding Day to run smoothly!

3:00-  Photographer Arrives to Groom and Groomsmen.  Please ask him to have any details he will be wearing gathered up for my shooter.  This can include cool socks, cufflinks, presents from the Bride, or presents to the Groomsmen.  Since it never takes the guys very long to get ready, they can all do it at the same time! Lets Talk Timeline!  Why this is so important for your Wedding Day to run smoothly!

Lets Talk Timeline!  Why this is so important for your Wedding Day to run smoothly!

3:15-  It’s time to turn you into a Bride!!  We will have the Bridesmaids and your Mom gather around and get you into your dress.  Once you are laced, buttoned, or zipped up, they will help you put on your jewelry, shoes, garter…etc.  Then we can shoot some quick Bridal portraits.

Lets Talk Timeline!  Why this is so important for your Wedding Day to run smoothly!

4:00 Now it is time for one of my FAVORITE parts of the day!!  If you haven’t already considered a First Look, please read HERE about why I love them so much!!  I will find us the perfect location and we will make sure it is as secluded as possible.  This is just for you and your Groom.  It is an intimate moment that gives you time to just be alone together before the day really turns wild!  Please make sure that the Groom is wearing his boutonniere and that your flowers are available for us for this time.

Lets Talk Timeline!  Why this is so important for your Wedding Day to run smoothly!

4:15-4:45- After the two of you have had some time to enjoy each others company and reflect on the coming event, we will start taking some romantic portraits.  The light will be the best determining factor for where they will be done.  All day long we will be in search of the most beautiful light!  While I am shooting these portraits, the Bridal Party can be making their way to us for their photos.  Please make sure that the Bridesmaids have their flowers and the Groomsmen are already wearing their boutonnieres !!

Lets Talk Timeline!  Why this is so important for your Wedding Day to run smoothly!

4:50-5:20- When the Bridal Party Arrives, we will go right into taking all the portraits.  Some will be just the Bride with her Bridesmaids…some just the Groom with his Groomsmen and then some of the whole group!!  This is always so much fun!!

Lets Talk Timeline!  Why this is so important for your Wedding Day to run smoothly!Lets Talk Timeline!  Why this is so important for your Wedding Day to run smoothly!

5:30-  This is when I like to have the Bride go into “hiding,”  so that she isn’t seen by the arriving guests.  This way you will also have plenty of time to touch up your hair and make-up so you are ready for the main event!!

5:30-5:50-  If the reception is in the same venue, I will use this time to shoot the details at the reception, while the decor is still untouched.  If they are in different locations, I recommend having a cocktail party outside the main location so that I will be able to shoot these details before the guests start putting their coats and purses on the tables!

Lets Talk Timeline!  Why this is so important for your Wedding Day to run smoothly!

6:00-6:30 The Ceremony!!  Most Ceremonies last about 30 minutes!  Of course if yours is shorter or longer, we will make adjustments to your timeline!

Lets Talk Timeline!  Why this is so important for your Wedding Day to run smoothly!

6:40-7:10-  Family portraits are best done after the Ceremony, because everyone is together in the same place.  I will send out a questionnaire before the wedding so that I know who your VIP’s are for the Family photos.  I recommend shooting Grandparents, Parents, and Siblings at this time.  If your second cousin and great-uncle are someone you feel HAVE to be photographed at this time, we will DEFINITELY do it…but I typically like to shoot immediate Family at this time and everyone else at the Reception.  Please give our VIP’s a heads up (maybe at the rehearsal dinner) that they should stay after the Ceremony for Family portraits.  I also prefer to shoot these outdoors (weather permitting) as this will give us the best lighting and usually the best backgrounds, too!

Lets Talk Timeline!  Why this is so important for your Wedding Day to run smoothly!

7:17-7:30 Extra Romantic portraits in a different location…to make the MOST of your photography experience!  This is usually when the light is the best during the day and we can take advantage of your “Just Married” glow to make some more magical portraits for you both!

Lets Talk Timeline!  Why this is so important for your Wedding Day to run smoothly!Lets Talk Timeline!  Why this is so important for your Wedding Day to run smoothly!

7:30-7:45-  Bridal Party lines up for Grand Entrance!  This is typically when the DJ takes over the event and me and my crew start to blend into the background and take photos of everyone having fun!

10:30-  Photography coverage ends!  I give lots of hugs to you all and clean up my gear.  If you are doing a grand exit, we can stage it, or we can discuss extra hours of coverage!

Lets Talk Timeline!  Why this is so important for your Wedding Day to run smoothly!

Like I said, this is an IDEAL timeline!  It might not be perfect for YOUR wedding day…and that’s okay!  When you hire me, we will make the perfect timeline to capture everything on your perfect day!   The important thing is that we work together to make sure that everything that is important to you gets done.  I know that wedding timelines rarely run on time, so I purposely build extra time into them to make sure we will not miss all the special parts of your wedding day!  Wanna learn more?!  Email me at Leigh@LeighSkaggsPhotography.net

 

 

 

 

 

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