We Are Not a Brand | DCPG Behind the Scenes

Unlike Beyonce, I did not wake up flawless, but instead with a phrase rattling around my mind.

We are not a brand.

We’ve been in this business for almost 10 years now, so we admittedly rose on the tide of digital photography to its current flooded state. If I were to believe the current social media landscape, the most successful photographers are walking perfection with their trendy outfits, impeccably decorated studios and stylish branding. They look amazing, seem to be making tons of money and are shooting lavish, magazine-ready weddings.

I mean, I know DCPG is great at what we do. And successful enough that I’ve been running it this whole time without having to work a day job (being your own boss totally rules, by the way)! But every now and then, a teenage sense of doubt creeps in watching these beautiful photographers with their Beyonce-level confidence and knack for self-promotion. I see the adulation they get from their lifestyle alone and secretly fret if that’s the ideal we need to live up to. In those moments, I feel like a brown Laney Boggs.

I mean, I’m over here wearing mismatched sweats (#iwokeuplikethis), typing this blog while sharing some Oreos with my daughter. I’m not at my studio/office because the elevator over there is broken and the only other way in is the creepy alley fire escape. There is a 75% chance we are eating cheap pizza for dinner and a 100% chance I will not move from this chair. No Louboutins or cake stands of artfully arranged macarons ’round these parts – the struggle is real!

However, once that flicker of doubt passes, I remember two things:

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

(Side note: I love this quote, but I love even more that you can buy a print of this locally! Lettering, photo and print by Norfolk studio, Maple & Belmont.)

At the end of the day, I know who we are and believe in our work. We built our business slowly and steadily, so the foundation is strong. I know that we’re not “less than” others for just doing things differently. This isn’t to say rockstar or lifestyle marketing is wrong, because, let’s be real, it works amazingly well for a LOT of people. Nor do I believe our way of handling our business is perfect or better than another. Like the corner of Kempsville and Princess Anne Rd, we are a never ending work in progress. However we choose to present ourselves to the world, I just want it to be authentic to ourselves and always in service to others. Even if it means looking like a weird combination of these:

If you haven’t meet DCPG, these photos pretty much sum us up. We are a bunch of happy weirdos that love each other and what we do!  Keep reading for our “manifesto” and some of our favorite DCPG images.

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The moment Rina realized sh*t just got real

I know the angle says otherwise, but Lester is in fact NOT photographing my butt.



We are not a brand.

We aren’t concerned with labels. We can’t inspire you with a Pinterest-worthy lifestyle. We know you care more about substance than glitz. You’re not cookie cutter, and neither are we.

So, who are we?

We are family. Every single thing we do comes from a place of love. We love what we do the same way we love our families —

Wholeheartedly, selflessly, fiercely.


We are photographers. More so, we are your photographers.

This makes us both your historian and your mirror and we treat that responsibility with passionate care.


We are respectful of everything that you are and that you love.

We strive to create images that reflect the beauty we find in

your happiness, your life, your uniqueness.


So yeah, we’re not a brand, we’re just us.

We may not be the loudest or coolest kids on the block, but we don’t mind.

The love we put into our work speaks for itself and, hopefully, it speaks to you.

Because (your) life is beautiful.

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