The Hughs Family Session | Bayville Farms Park | Falls Sessions

Oh how I love when my families return for more moments together… Each so unique and full of character. And my sweet family here made sure to bring the laughter with them… Showing us all just how amazing The Hughs family is. 🙂

The whole session was full of laughter between Father and Son. Each taking their turn to make their Queen of their home laugh and smile at every turn. Whether that be tossing acorns her way, photo-bombing her images, or just by making silly faces.

I can’t help but laugh as I write about their story. I can just see that day and watch how this Queen would laugh and tease them back. A family full of love and adventure. Each showing their own side and personality. And of course in the end they were full of hugs and kisses. Knowing that they would have to make sure their Queen was safe and loved.

I know many families who joke about their uniqueness and beauty… But The Hughs family will ALWAYS stand out as one of the most lovable, sweet, and carefree session to date.

It’s families such as this one that make me enjoy capturing stories and moments I know my families will forever treasure. A blessing the Tashena Shaw Photography Family will forever be grateful for. ❤


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A Fly In Homecoming! | The Truman | Jolly Rogers | Virginia Beach

She was so beautiful! Dressed all in white, her hair perfectly long, make up all in place, and her son beside her dressed in white too. From just looking at her you could see the wonderful military wife. The perfectly composed beauty holding on to her son waiting for their other half to land so they could run to his arms. But with all the perfectly beautiful look on the outside… You could see that wife full of nervousness and love. Holding on with every breath she has, as each fighter jet flew over. Each time looking back at her Mother in law and her family standing beside her. You could see all her love and fears rushing to her eyes. She was strong and poised. Holding on to that moment she has been dreaming of. Then it happened… She saw HIS plane land. She saw HIS team lining up. She saw HER love so far away, and yet so close she could reach out and grab him.

And yet like all the woman and children standing beside her… She had to wait till the man standing all the way at the other end gave the clear for those pilots wives to go rushing at them. She stood there holding her own, grabbing her sons hand, looking back and forth between that man at the end, and the love of her life walking to her.

I watched the moment they gave the clear and how she grabbed on to her son as they both launched themselves forward.  As if they were looking at a mirage they may never reach. With all the women around us reaching their loved ones… It was their love and story that mattered. It was his son reaching around his mom and grandma to get to his father. It was the love you see in the movies… But never will fully understand. Finally all the noise came to a close and you could hear the beautiful tears falling around those they love. Showing the world just how loved these men are. And just how great our country is to have fighters like this standing up for us all.

It was a gift to watch this family come together. To watch how this beautifully stunning wife held her own, while holding on to her family beside her.

It was beautiful!

It was priceless!

It will be a homecoming I will NEVER forget!

To this family I can’t thank you all enough for sharing your story with me along the way. How you kept your hearts open and allowed me to capture your one of a kind story for all to see. You are a blessing to us all! And I am grateful for all your family has done for our nation. ❤



The Marshall Homecoming | USS Harry S. Truman | Virginia Beach Photographer

Let’s tell the truth… Most of us have no clue what it is like to be away from our families for such a long time. Most of us don’t know what it is like to serve our country and have to leave our loved ones behind for so long. Most of us will never understand the sacrifice and dedication both sides of the military goes through just to keep our country safe.

But what we do know… What we can honestly say from the bottom of our hearts is… That no matter what ‘WE’ AMERICA WILL BE FOREVER GRATEFUL TO THOSE WHO SERVE OUR GREAT COUNTRY! That we are not only thankful for them… But for the wives, husbands, and children who are left behind to take care of life on this side, on the home front.

Their job isn’t easy. It’s hard! And when you are standing their with these loved ones surrounding you on a hot summer day. When you see that ship pulling in and when those loved ones catch the first glimpse of that ship they prayed over for month. When you watch those around you fighting back tears. When you see young children trying to jump up and down to see if the see their Mommy or Daddy on that ship. When you watch how so many are screaming and are bursting in to tears because the emotions become so much… You realize you REALLY HAVE NO CLUE ALL THEY HAVE SACRIFICED FOR US ALL!

I was so beyond blessed to watch Mercedez stand there with so much strength. I watched how she kept that smile beaming from ear to ear. I watched how she would comforted her son and helped him laugh through the crazy emotions. I watched how this wife stood there looking at each sailor standing at the edge of The Truman… Searching for her love. I watched when the moment her phone rang and she jumped for joy to hear his voice. I watched how this sweet family who stood in the blazing heat for hours… How they kept the light in their hearts shinning as they waited for that moment their loved one could reached their arms.

My heart broke so many times when I saw them both looking for him. How they giggled the moment he stood at the top of the ship waving his arms. But that moment their little boy grabbed Mama’s phone and screamed, “DADDY!” as he realized the man on the top of the big boat waving was his very own Daddy. And even then they had to wait a few more hours before he could reach their arms.

That moment Anthony bolted from those around him, from around the gate, and launched himself to pick up his son. How that smile they both shared was so overwhelming. How Mercedez waited so calmly and smiled as her two loves met again. But nothing was more precious then the moment Anthony placed his son down and pulled his love in to his arms.

I know I was the photographer… But even in those moments… The whole world around them went silent… And time stood still as they embraced each other. Even now writing this I have goosebumps. I can see those moments all over again. I can only imagine how they must have felt.

Thank you so much to The Marshall Family and all of those who served on The Truman!

The Tashena Shaw Photography family is forever grateful for you all !!! ❤

And now for some of those priceless images and moments! ❤


If you are interested in booking your loved one’s Homecoming please feel free to email Tashena Shaw Photography!  We would be honored to help document these moments for you as well!  ❤




Family + Loved Ones Photo Shoots | Military Appreciation Special | Virginia Beach

After the past few military homecomings… My heart has wanted to share a very special Tashena Shaw Photography deal for our Military families. If you are interested in setting up your family or a loved ones session please email us or message us on our Facebook page. We would love to hear from you and have you join in with this special.  We will have a few mini sessions open this Saturday May 14th 2016 for any families who will be interested.  🙂


MESSAGE US ON FACEBOOK: Tashena Shaw Photography



Military Specials

****These specials are good till June 1st 2016****


Mini Session: Perfect for our small families or loved ones looking to capture images on a budget. But still allowing those priceless moments to be captured.

20 Minutes
15 Edited Images
Previews Can Be Found On My Tashena Shaw Photography ‘Like’ Page
A Gallery For Viewing & Downloading Your Images In High-Def
Images Are Also Saved & Backed Up For 10 Years!


50% OFF Our Full Session Package: This is an amazing deal for our full families to capture so many images while still having fun and not feeling rushed to capture images with one another.

1 Hour
60-100 Edited Images
Previews Can Be Found On My Tashena Shaw Photography ‘Like’ Page
A Gallery For Viewing & Downloading Your Images In High-Def
Images Are Also Saved & Backed Up For 10 Years!


Military Homecoming | Part 2 | Extra Images Along The Way | Virginia

Well as any photographer who has been to a military homecoming knows… you understand you must be ready for an emotional ride. You must be ready at all cost to capture moments and memories that those around you may never fully see. We are there to document our clients day as they express every emotion they have. You have to be ready to tell a story with your camera that shows just what it is like to be in a military family. Because many never will understand the craziness that goes on while our loved ones are deployed and serving our country.

I’ve been blessed to grow up in Virginia Beach where you knew that you lived in a city that was full of military. I remember growing up and going to so many of my friends homecomings. Watching how they stood there holding back tears with their brave faces… Looking through the crowd as they searched for the one they loved. Watching at the moment your could hear them scream because their Father, Mother, Brother, Sister, Loved one was walking towards them. Watching how in the quickest of moments they rushed past all those around them to be able to jump in to the arms they have missed for so long. But the sweetest of moments was watching how a childhood friend of mine ran to her Father and in the moment they reached each others arms, they fell to the ground crying and yes giggling all at the same time.

We take for granted those moments we can’t see those we love. We take for granted the moments we joke about the military, those over seas, other countries, and even the President of The United States of America…  And what those jokes mean to those around us.  We forget and take for granted the sacrifices our loved ones give up for us all in the name of freedom.

I think that is why I love what I do so much. Maybe it’s because I watched my friends growing up and all their joys, fears, and sorrows all explode at the moment they make eye contact with the ones they love. But no matter the reason I capture these homecomings… I know each family has their own story to tell. That each homecoming is unique and should be treated with love and respect. And I for one am grateful for all our men and woman over seas and on the home front that sacrifice so much for us.

So when I am at each homecoming I make sure to give my all to my clients and their families… But I also remember to capture moments along the way of those I see and hear. Because I just might see or capture something no one else does.

So I wanted to share the other images, stories, emotions I saw along the way. So please if you recognize a face in the crowd, or know of someone personally… PLEASE LET ME KNOW! I would love to get them (good) copies of these images. As you never know if they had time to capture those moments themselves. ❤

(These images may not be perfect…  Or perfectly captured…  But I am sure they will mean something to someone…  Even if it’s just one person.)



Noah + Taylor | Military Homecoming | Virginia

I will just have to start this blog out with the truth… I wish MORE Americans would go to a military homecoming! You know why? Because you will NEVER understand the true sacrifices our Men and Women give up to keep us all safe. You can never truly understand what a family goes through until you stand their watching the Moms, Dads, Wives, Husbands, Children, Or Friends all those sailors standing around waiting for that ship to pull in. Waiting to see their loved ones face in the crowd. If you ever have the pleasure of such an event… I promise you will NEVER forget what you see! You may even find yourself more grateful then before for your country.

This young sailor Noah came home to so much love. I was blessed to stand around with his family as they told stories of his life. I watched how his Wife Taylor stood proud waiting for her sailor to return to her arms. I saw how his Father and Mother held back tears waiting for their boy to get off that ship. But most of all I saw the pride this family had for Noah.

It was such a pleasure to help document this families love for each other. Seeing some fight back tears, while others were full of laughter… It’s something you will never forget.

Thank you so much Noah and Taylor for the love and sacrifices you have made for your country! I will always be grateful to you all!  ❤


Forced back to the basics…  |  Canon Rebel  | Photographer Confessions

I was standing there excited to work with my Bride and Groom again. A chance to capture their 1 year wedding anniversary session. The light was perfect, the warm air on a November afternoon, the way the sun shined through the trees was so beautiful.  I made sure to check my battery to my camera, my memory card, and to make sure my settings were on point. I took a few quick pictures of the things around me and waited for my clients. I had so many ideas and poses running through my mind. I knew this was going to be a fun session. After all this Bride and Groom saw me when I captured my very first wedding. They hired me knowing I was new to the wedding world. So I was thrilled when they followed up with me for their 1 year anniversary.

The moment had come. They drove up and we greeted each other with hugs and smiles. As we were walking to the area I had planned to capture their session, we talked about their year together. We were catching up and smiling along the way.

It took a few minutes to get to where we were going to shoot their session. I made sure I spoke to them like I do all my clients. I showed them were to stand, gave them direction, and snapped away. Making sure my setting were still on point. I was thrilled to see the first image on my camera. As I spoke to them about how to move I snapped another image… And then I heard that awful sound.

My heart fell…
My body went warm…
My thoughts were darting all over the place…
And I told myself to check everything…
And from there I had realized my fears had come to life…

I hated having to look at my dear clients and tell them I had only captured 4 images. I hated having to explain I believe I just lost my camera. I hated more then anything having to see the looks on their faces as I apologized from the bottom of my heart.

Then like true AMAZING clients they are… They smiled and laughed. They weren’t angry (I’m sure disappointed though)… But they took this moment with grace, laughter, and told me it was okay.

All though I knew it was okay. The session could be rescheduled… I still felt awful. I wanted to cry and scream all at the same time. I wanted to snap my fingers and my camera would be fixed, new, and back in my hands so I could continue on with their session.

But that wasn’t the case…

The walk back to our cars was my longest walk ever. I felt ashamed and as if I did something wrong. As we made it back to our cars and said our goodbyes with plans to try again… I found myself wanting to cry and cry.

I walked to where my husband was parked waiting for me. I hopped in the jeep and felt all my fears rush around me. My camera had died… And I knew it.

After returning home and allowing the moments to rush past me… I was praying and praying it was an error on my part. That maybe, just maybe the settings were off, the battery wasn’t really charged, or that maybe it was a fluke and I just screwed something up. But none of that was the case. My cameras shutter button had died.

I was screaming in my head!

I knew I had a back up camera (Canon EOS Rebel xs). The one I used when I first started capturing sessions. But it just wasn’t the same. It was a ‘baby’ camera after all.

I knew the next day I had a family session… And that following Wednesday I had a military homecoming for a newlywed wife to capture. I knew I had families counting on me. And I was afraid I would be laughed at when I showed up to capture their memories.

But something in me SNAPPED! As I was praying and begging God to allow this to be a joke. I felt a calm rush over me. I knew I had this! I knew my camera, I knew her settings, I knew my job, and I knew my clients.


I was being pushed out of my comfort zone. God was pushing me back and showing me he was in control. I just had to have faith. I had to have confidence in myself and my work.

The Sunday family session came and I was challenged. But I prayed and reminded myself our Lord has me.

I kept reminding myself… I CAN DO THIS!

When I returned home that evening… I started to load my camera and her images to my computer. I was in shock at what I was seeing. I mean, I knew I did my best. But I was seeing more then I had expected. And two days later I had delivered my clients gallery to her. I waited for her reply.

And was in shock when a reply returned that my client was in love with them all.

I was pushed and challenged… I was pushed out of my comfort zone… And our Lord showed me I was not alone. He showed me I knew what I was doing… I just had to have faith in him…  And faith in myself.

But then today rolled around. I woke up to having to capture a military homecoming with that same ‘baby’ camera. Again allowing fears to wash over me.

In the moments of this homecoming I watched photographers walking around with their BIG cameras and gear. I felt like a little child searching for acceptance around photographers who may have been laughing at me and my baby camera.

But in those moments I was proud of myself. I knew my settings and my gear I had with me. I knew that no matter what I would make this homecoming a beautiful memory and something to be proud of.

I was being remind again that our Lord was in control. And that I knew my gear was perfect for all I was capturing. I was reminded that my ‘baby’ camera wasn’t the end all, be all. It was only a few steps back.

And because of those steps back… I was forced to do and think outside of the box, outside of my comfort zone.

And I did….

I was proud…

And I was most thankful for clients who accepted my ‘baby’ camera…

For clients who trusted me and my photography…

I did my job… And did it with so much love…

So today had come and gone. I had survived. I had captured memories for a military family that I was most proud of! I captured memories that will last a lifetime.

I guess I’m sharing this blog to help show us all… That when we are forced out of our comfort zones we can still accomplish greatness!

After all I’ve always believed… It isn’t our gear that makes us great photographers. It is our love and passion for our clients that make us great!

So if you are happening to read this and feel defeated by your ‘baby’ camera, or set backs in your business. Please know you’re not alone! Use this challenge to better yourself. To better your passions. To better yourself.


This was the ONLY good image I was able to capture Saturday evening of my Bride and Groom.  Then my camera said goodbye to me.  😦  I am left to only imagine the images that would have been captured on this beautiful day.  ❤


Two images from the following day shooting with my ‘baby’ camera.  And I was damn proud of these!  🙂


And these were from today’s homecoming.  Using my ‘baby’ camera…  Showing it can be done.  🙂  ❤