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

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I say this every year…but honestly, I don’t know how this happened!  Just yesterday, I was meeting Truman face to face for the first time and now he is 13 years old!  Truman came into this world, locked eyes with me and I don’t think love is a strong enough a word to describe the feeling I had.  Maybe adoration is.  I adore my little go getting, hard working, try your best, give your all, never stop moving, jelly legs, sensitive, sweet, kind boy. 

Truman is a Teenager!!!  | PersonalTruman is a Teenager!!!  | PersonalThis year, I have seen the changes in our once very close relationship.  We used to be inseparable…now he spends more time away from me.  He doesn’t ask for my help as much…doesn’t need me to tuck him in anymore, he rolls his eyes and challenges me more.  He is doing his job as a 13 year old.  He is pulling away.  I was told this would happen.  I told myself, it wouldn’t happen to us…but here it is.  And it is okay.  It is what is supposed to be. 

So, now I cherish even more those fleeting moments when he snuggles with me on the couch…or asks me to sit with him before bed or our talks in the car on the way to school.  And I adore so many things about this new person he is trying to become.  His sense of humor is coming in…and if you know me, you know I value laughter above most things in life!  He is still a hard worker, never stops moving, gives his all and is kind…he is forming his own opinions about how life works and I adore watching him become his own person…separate from me. 

But I would be lying if I didn’t say it hurts a little….sometimes a lot!

We have been inseparable for 13 years, and now our relationship is evolving.  I know it won’t be the last time it does this. I also knew I wouldn’t always be your number 1!  And this is okay!  It is how life is supposed to work!  But you will always be my baby boy.  The one who likes to sing in the car with me, who goes to the gym with me, who makes warming stations for us when it is cold outside, who likes to play cards with me, who helps me with my chores and doesn’t complain, who is up for any challenge, who is brave and silly, who thinks about other peoples’ feelings and who I will carry in my heart forever! 

I love you Truman!  Happy 13th Birthday!!!  XOXO!

Truman is a Teenager!!!  | PersonalTruman is a Teenager!!!  | PersonalTruman is a Teenager!!!  | PersonalSpecial Thanks to Alisz Hatch for these photos of Tru and I!  🙂

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Okay, so if you read the last installment of my Education series, “why do we need an engagement session,” you totally understand the need for an engagement session!  But now what?  “What should you bring to our session?”  “Where should we go to shoot it?”  “What should you wear?”  So many questions!!  Don’t worry, I got you!! 

We have discussed my wedding collections and you decided to hire me (GREAT choice, by the way!) Now, it is time to book your engagement session!  I will be sending you a questionnaire so that I can learn all about your love story!  I love to read about how you two met, what you love about your partner, what you do on weekends for fun and how you got engaged!  Then we will start brainstorming places to shoot your engagement session!  We want to incorporate things you two love into your session!  If you love to go hiking, to picnic at the beach, to walk your dogs, then we should work this into your session!  Whatever speaks to you as a couple!  This session should be FUN and all about YOU as a couple!  There is no wrong answer here!  I have done engagement sessions in movie theaters, on boats, with your pets, and at your homes.  If you can dream it, we can do it!!

What do I need to know about my Engagement session? | Education Series

After we have chosen our location, the next piece of the puzzle is what to wear!!  My engagement sessions generally take about 1.5 hours.  I advise my couples to bring 2 outfits…one dressy and one casual!  Your outfits should reflect your personality!  Please consider that there will be some walking involved with our session, so if you aren’t a high heels girl…but want to wear heels…choose wedges or bring some flip flops for the walking!  Personally, I like outfits that don’t match but instead compliment one another!  I find lots of inspiration on Pinterest for this!  Try to stay away from logos on shirts and tiny stripes (they photograph weird!)   Don’t forget about textures, layers and accessories!  These compliment a photo session so well!   Lastly, I think this is a good time to schedule your trial makeup session.  You want to check that off your list anyway…and you might as well put all that glam to great use!  

What do I need to know about my Engagement session? | Education Series


Okay, so we checked off where to shoot, and what to wear…what do you need to bring to our session??  Some couples like props, their pets, and some bring only themselves.  There is no right or wrong answer!  I would recommend bringing a brush, a small mirror, lipstick or gloss if you are wearing some and maybe some water (especially if it is a hot day!)   If you want to bring props…blankets, signs, paddle boards, etc…try to limit this to 1 for each outfit.  I want to make sure we have enough time to get through all the things we have to learn at our session.   One thing you do NOT want to forget…your engagement ring!!  You could even have it cleaned before our session so it is extra sparkly…if you remember!!  🙂 

What do I need to know about my Engagement session? | Education Series

Pooch Tips:  If you want to bring your pooches to our engagement session (and please do!!!) a couple of tips…1. make sure they get a good walk before the session so they are a little worn out!  2. Bring water and some snacks for them!  3. Bring a friend who can hold on to them when they are not in the photos!  4.  Make sure we choose a pet friendly place!

What do I need to know about my Engagement session? | Education SeriesWhat do I need to know about my Engagement session? | Education SeriesWhat do I need to know about my Engagement session? | Education Series

You are ready to tackle your engagement session armed with all this knowledge!  But if you still have questions…don’t hesitate to email me at Leigh@leighskaggsphotography.net!  I am here for you 100% throughout this process.  And I promise, there are no bad questions!  XOXO!

Happy Planning!




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I get asked this question all the time…”Why do we need an engagement session?”  Lots of times this is followed up with… “I already had one from a friend!” or “My Fiance hates to have his picture taken!” and “We were hoping you would give us an extra hour at the wedding instead!” or “We don’t need that many photos of us!”  And every time, I tell my couples the same thing…I believe that the engagement session is SO important that I actually give this to all of my wedding clients, FREE!  Why, do I think it is so important??  Well, I am so glad you asked!!  I could go on and on about this topic forever…but let me give you the highlights!

Why do we need an Engagement session? | Education Series

Weddings are a little like being in a tornado!  There is lots of parts spinning, there are people pulling you in all directions and the day moves lightening fast.  When I come into a getting ready room of a Bride and Groom that I haven’t worked with at an engagement session, we are at a disadvantage.  We don’t really know each other, yet.  We aren’t completely comfortable around one another.  And you probably don’t 100% trust me, either. Trying to get to know each other on a wedding day is nearly impossible!  And besides, there are tons of people that flew in just to see YOU!  You don’t want to spend time trying to get to know me!

When I enter the room of a Bride and Groom I have done an engagement session with…the vibe is completely different!  You already know that I am freakin hilarious, we are comfortable around one another, (I probably picked something out of your teeth, or my teeth) and you trust that not only am I going to document this amazing day…but I am going to make you look and feel amazing, too!  Your Fiance, who hates to have his photos taken, knows that I am not going to torture him…in fact we are all going to joke around and have a blast!  So he is happy to see us too.  This is because we already shared an experience when there was no wedding pressure…it was just us…and we had FUN!!  You will spend more time with your wedding photographer at your wedding than any other vendor…so taking the time to get to know each other will really pay off, I promise!

Why do we need an Engagement session? | Education Series

There is some teaching going on at engagement sessions!  These things seem little but on the wedding day it makes it so much easier when the Groom already knows several things to do with his hands!  😉  And the Bride feels confident in front of my lens.  Having an engagement session helps us learn essential things about one another!  I learn what your preferences are for PDA, and if you have a side you like to be photographed from.  Are one of you a blinker?  What is your height difference?  Are you reserved and shy or more outgoing?  All of these things are important for me to learn at our engagement session!  And you learn that this really is very fun, pretty easy and you build confidence with one another.  This makes the wedding day portraits run so much more smoothly!

Why do we need an Engagement session? | Education Series

Another thing I love about engagement photos is when I give them back to you, you can let me know if there is something that you would like me to shoot differently.  This helps me greatly on a wedding day because I can have this in mind when I am shooting to make sure we get the best images possible!  For example, I once had a Bride that told me she didn’t favor one side of her face.  During the engagement session, I took a lot of photos of her from the side she wasn’t as happy about.  On the wedding day, I made sure to photograph her most often from the side she preferred…and she LOVED her wedding images!  If we hadn’t done an engagement session, she wouldn’t have been able to give me feedback and maybe would not have been so happy about her images!

Why do we need an Engagement session? | Education Series

As with anything in life, practice makes perfect!  For most people, it isn’t every day you go out and have a photo shoot.  Being in front of a camera can cause anxiety!  But if we take the time to do our homework…you will exude confidence  on your wedding day!  And that is when you look the most beautiful anyway!!


Happy Planning!!




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Well another year has gone by…(too quickly I might add!)  And today, I am another year wiser!  I like to use my birthday as a time for reflection to both on my business and my personal life.

This year I would like to keep striving to give my clients the best experience possible.  They are the reason I do what I love and I love what I do!!  I will work on making some of my processes more automated to help save me time that I can use to become better at other aspects of my business.  I would like to blog more to give my clients lots of helpful information that I have learned over the years.  I would like to revamp my brand and make my website and blog more streamlined and more, ME!  I would also like to travel more to capture your amazing memories!!  This year we will head to Mexico, Charlottesville, Richmond and lots of places around Hampton Roads for our amazing couples!!!  BUT, we are ready to head ANYWHERE your memories happen!!   Just say the word!!

Some of my personal goals are to be tied to my phone less.  I feel like sometimes I spend too much time with my face buried in my phone and I miss some of the amazing things life is trying to show me.  I would like to purge the mass quantities of junk we have accumulated over the years and reclaim some organization in our house!  And I would like to update our kitchen!  Also, I would like to travel more with my Family!  I know that life is short and I love the memories we make when we all spend time together…even if it is just to First landing State park!

I would also like to keep working on ME!  I love going to the gym and have really worked hard to learn more about nutrition this past year…and found something that works well for me.  I would like to continue to challenge myself to eat healthy, work hard at the gym and be the best version of me that I can be!  I would like to keeping working on my mom skills, too!  I know I can be more patient and could be a better listener!

And I would still like to learn to play the guitar!  So, this should be a good start to 2017!!  What are YOUR Goals!?! 

2017 Goals and Aspirations | Personal

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I was so excited to finally meet Keelie!  She is Beckie and Tyler’s beautiful daughter and is honestly the BEST baby!!  I have known Beckie since she was in elementary school…yes you read that right!!  And I have had the pleasure of photographing her and her Family several times over the years.  They were actually one of my first customers!  But now Beckie has a Family of her own and it was such a honor to document this special time in their lives!!  It was so COLD the day of our session, but Keelie was so good.  She didn’t cry at all and was memorized by all the sights at the park!  I LOVE her big blue eyes (just like her Mama!!)  So excited to watch her grow!!   She is awesome you two!!  XOXO!

Beckie, Tyler & Keelie | Monkey Bottom Family SessionBeckie, Tyler & Keelie | Monkey Bottom Family SessionBeckie, Tyler & Keelie | Monkey Bottom Family SessionBeckie, Tyler & Keelie | Monkey Bottom Family SessionBeckie, Tyler & Keelie | Monkey Bottom Family SessionBeckie, Tyler & Keelie | Monkey Bottom Family SessionBeckie, Tyler & Keelie | Monkey Bottom Family SessionBeckie, Tyler & Keelie | Monkey Bottom Family SessionSMOOCHES!Beckie, Tyler & Keelie | Monkey Bottom Family SessionBeckie, Tyler & Keelie | Monkey Bottom Family SessionBeckie, Tyler & Keelie | Monkey Bottom Family SessionBeckie, Tyler & Keelie | Monkey Bottom Family SessionBeckie, Tyler & Keelie | Monkey Bottom Family SessionBeckie, Tyler & Keelie | Monkey Bottom Family SessionBeckie, Tyler & Keelie | Monkey Bottom Family SessionBeckie, Tyler & Keelie | Monkey Bottom Family SessionBeckie, Tyler & Keelie | Monkey Bottom Family SessionBeckie, Tyler & Keelie | Monkey Bottom Family Session



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