2015 Valentine Mini Sessions



Be ready for Valentine’s Day with a simple session featuring your little one(s) on a modern, minimalist background! Our 2015 package includes 2 digital images for you and adorable wallet-sized giveaway prints in our signature metallic paper.  The wallet prints are great to pass out to friends and family and are a much nicer alternative for your school age kids to use instead of cookie cutter store-bought valentines.


You will have a choice of 3 backdrops: Grey Paper | Plain Wall | Damask



Babies will be on a bean bag or the floor with a neutral colored blanket:


Other Info

  1. This is perfect for elementary aged kids, but babies are welcome as well! Just email me at dcpg@dcpgphotography.com with a heads up on your baby’s age so I can make sure I have proper equipment on hand.
  2. Newborns are welcome, but bear in mind this shoot will not permit time to get “sleeping” poses or poses with props – I will photograph the baby as he or she is in the time allotted.
  3. Siblings are welcome in the photos and I can attempt to snap a few solo shots of each child, although be aware each session is only a 10 minute block. You’re more than welcome to purchase multiple sessions; let me know and I can manually schedule one after the other.
  4. Final choices must be made by February 9, 2015 to ensure delivery before Valentine’s Day!
  5. If you require less than 24 valentines, let me know – they come in sheets of 8. Getting less cards does not change the price of the mini session.

Add-ons (purchased later):

  • $20 for set of 24 additional valentine cards (for example, we photographed 2 children in your timeslot and you’d like another set for the 2nd child)
  • $5 per additional sheet (8 cards per sheet)
  • $50 per additional digital image. I will show 5 to 10 proof images.

Card Designs

This year’s custom design hasn’t been announced yet, but here are a few past card designs, which are available to be used this year as well:

Meems  DCPG2014Heart


Your Valentine metallic wallet prints will come looking like this, die-cut with nice rounded corners. If you wanted to be able to write on your Valentine’s let me know; standard cardstock (paper) options are available as well!



Privée Bride Of Ghent | Norfolk Wedding and Commercial Photographers

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of touring and photographing a beautiful new bridal salon called Privée Bride Of Ghent, located in Palace Station (Norfolk, VA).  Privée is owned and operated by Reamie Tabin:


She created such a lovely show room; we really appreciated the open floor plan, luxe touches and upscale merchandising. If you are a bride or planner, definitely make an appointment. Not only is it a gorgeous space, Reamie and her sales manager are such nice people to spend time with as well.  They have a few trunk shows coming as well, follow them on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with future events!

Keep scrolling for more photos:

Flower arrangement by Michelle Samson of Taffy

Flower arrangement by Michelle Samson of Taffy

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Photos by Mendell dela Cruz and Ciesther dela Cruz of DCPG

Cotton flower arrangement by Michelle Samson of Taffy

Privée Bride Of Ghent
350 W 22nd St Suite 112 & 113
Norfolk, Virginia 23517
Phone (757) 337-2087
Email | Info@priveebridal.com
Website | http://www.priveebridal.com

DCPG New Pricing and Fall Portrait Specials | Norfolk Virginia Beach Family and Baby Photographers

DCPG has some brand new pricing and some fun fall incentives, PLUS the magical return of Family Portraits!! We are making a big move toward all-inclusive pricing, which means more photos, faster!

For on location portraits, we have a few options:

On-Location Portraits

We’re only offering Family portraits til the end of the year; but this pricing will be good in the future for any on location portraits (engagement, senior, etc)

Psst…scroll past the family photos for a studio kids special!

But wait! There’s more!

Simple Studio Mini-sessions (kids + babies only)



Here’s what you may be thinking: Can we still buy large prints, canvas and albums? Please and thank you!! We love to see our photos on your walls! High-end wall and album products are still a major part of our product lines; in our opinion, photos are meant to be printed and displayed outside of a computer! We will would like you to come in to view your photos in person that way we can discuss wall displays and albums. The switch to an all digital delivery system was meant to make access, sharing and gift printing much easier for you, but we still would love you to come by* and talk about products! Here’s a quick sampler on our most popular products:


  • 25 Photo cards $75
  • 25 Flat cards $125
  • 25 Folded cards $200

Canvas Wraps

  • 16×20 Canvas Wrap $450
  • 20×40″ Panoramic Canvas Wrap $875
  • 20×24 Canvas Wrap $575
  • Canvas Clusters (groupings of 4 or more canvases) starting at $750


  • 6×6″ Press Printed Album $400
  • 8×8 Flushmount Album $675

Bonus Discounts!

If you come in for an in-person purchasing appointment, you get 20% off whatever you buy that day. Every time!


Earlier I mentioned all-inclusive pricing, what does that mean?? This means:

Your photos fully edited and  sent in a week or faster

New policy that benefits everyone!  This also includes a brand new Baby Steps w/ several different package levels – email me for info.

Gorgeous new online gallery

called PASS that not only looks amazing, but is highly responsive, looking/working exactly the same on your computer, phone or tablet.
Here is a sample of a PASS gallery: http://dcpg.pass.us/ace/

Inexpensive small prints

Your PASS gallery also gives you the ability to purchase very inexpensive (seriously, between $1 and $4) prints up to 8×12″ from your phone or computer directly from your gallery.

Instant Access

No more USB drives or discs! You will be able to view and download your photos from PASS and the downloading will be restricted to your email or Facebook login so no randos are downloading your kid’s photos.  If you change computers or lose the photos, you have a place to re-download them.

How big can we print the digital files?

Up to size 11 x 16.5″, which is large enough for small canvas wraps, prints and even albums. If you require a larger print, we would love it to be purchased through DCPG for the highest print quality.

What if I’d rather do the 5 or 10 image rate for an on-location session?

We want to make on location sessions worth the while for everyone since we will all be traveling and and bringing along our equipment (and most likely an assistant). Plus, we tend to shoot in more than one part of your location, so 15 or 25 images will give you the best from every setups. Also, it never hurts to ask – we are always open to discussing payment plans if need be.

What if I am getting a studio session, but want more than 10 digital files?

Easy! Just upgrade to our on-location rates. :)

Why only kids and babies for the studio rate?

Our studio size is better suited to kids, plus we believe family portraits look so much nicer outdoors. Hampton Roads has so many pretty parks and waterfronts to take advantage of!

Audrey + TJ |Williamsburg Wedding Photographers

Everything about Audrey and TJ’s wedding was too pretty not to share right away! Will write more later but for now, enjoy the beautiful details.

Quick shoutouts:  Coordinating and Design by Janel Bailey Keen of Vivid Expressions, amazing location at Williamsburg Winery, insanely GREAT food from East Beach Catering, the always fun Cedric of Big Dreams Entertainment Inc., beautiful cake from Gourmet Bake Shoppe, makeup by Candice, and getaway car from James River Transportation


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Riley | Virginia Beach Senior Photographer

We shot this last fall, but I am just getting around to blogging it now.  Rina and I had a blast at Riley’s senior sessions, thanks to her awesome mom Bev for booking us!  Funny story about the first photo; at our first appointment, I mis-judged the timing of sunset and we had to shoot in the dark right after night fell.  Setting up our lights through the trees actually produced a cool effect, which I hope to try again someday.


We got it right the second time and were able to go into two locations, Red Wing Park and First Landing Park.  There are so many great parks in Hampton Roads and it was actually our first time shooting at North Landing.  It was a beautiful location – so beautiful we were dodging other photographers left and right :)  Even though it was cold at the time, Riley gave us beautiful shots!

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  • Photography | Ciesther dela Cruz
  • Hair + Makeup | Rina Parrilla Garcia

Mia at age 9 | Norfolk Child Photographer

Disclaimer:  this is a personal post, so if you’re not interested, avert your eyes! Haha! Anyone who has worked with us and/or follows us on Instagram should know my sweet daughter/DCPG mascot, Meems.  About 90% of the DCPG instagram is either her insanely detailed drawings or cute outfits.

We bought Meems a fancy dress for no reason and she’s probably growing out of it as we speak, so we did an impromptu portrait session at the Pagoda.  I didn’t get to do her 9th birthday portraits back in February, so I was glad to finally get a free moment to take some “official” photos of her! We kept it simple; natural light, barely any editing and no makeup or fancy hair.   We were really pushing it that day time-wise, so by the time we got to the Pagoda it was cold and we literally had 15 minutes of usable daylight.  Everything worked out; the soft sunset light was perfect, she was a trooper about the weather and she magically did not argue once about posing or location.

Taking a cue from my friend at http://mamamccuan.tumblr.com, here is Mia at age 9:


  • Drawing
  • Drawing
  • Drawing
  • Did I mention drawing?
  • Doing things by herself (even if it means running away from Mama at stores)
  • Manga, anime and collector toys esp. from Madoka Magica, Yotsuba
  • Mark Crilley tutorials
  • Blazers, skirts and skinny jeans
  • Kali at IMPACT Martial Arts
  • Her new iPod
  • Japanese culture
  • Fancy dinners


  • Being told to take a shower
  • Meat that’s too chewy
  • Clothes w/ baby-ish designs or text graphics
  • When adults talk about her in front of her
  • Onions
  • Singing in front of anyone
  • When Mendell asks her too many questions while she’s trying to sleep
  • Wearing socks
  • Soda (thank God)

What’s new at age 9?

She was accepted into Old Donation Center’s visual arts program, which was a no-brainer.  We’re letting her do more things on her own, simple things like making her own breakfast, riding the elevator at the Creative Space w/o us or being home alone for short periods of time.  The baby steps toward independence are mostly for the sake of Mendell and I because we’re so used to hovering around our only child, haha.  She’s very entrepreneurial minded; I’ve stopped her many times from attempting to sell her drawings to people at parties and suggestions she’s made to me about DCPG or business ideas in general are surprisingly practical. Sometimes talking to her is like talking to an adult; her tendency toward introversion makes her really thoughtful and insightful for a 9 year old.  Even if the end result is her not getting what she wants, she is always open to listening to reasoning and for the most part understands, even if she doesn’t necessarily agree.  She is shy to strangers, but outgoing to people she knows/loves.  She’s a pro at ordering her own food at restaurants.  She is still working on doing cash transactions at stores by herself, but loves doing it. She has Mendell’s inherent and effortless kindness, which draws people to her.  Babies love her! We also noticed a funny trend where shop owners/restaurants will give her free cookies for no reason at all.   She was an orange belt in Muay Thai, and a yellow belt in Kali (Filipino Martial Arts) but discovered this year that she wants to focus only on Kali.  She craves independence but still likes to snuggle with us at night before bed.   She still sleeps w/ her favorite bear from when she was a baby.  These years of her still being a little girl are fading fast so we’re trying to hold on and savor this time before the tween years hit! Being the self-aware person she is, she says, “I hope I stay sweet, even when I’m a teenager.” Me too, Meems.

All in all, she is a lovely little person :)


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My favorite people in the whole wide world.  I love them so much!!


These two are like living anime characters, haha.


I hope to make portraits an annual thing for her and her cousins; it’s nice to shoot for yourself and your family every now and then!

– Cies

  • Dress, shoes, flower pin | Target
  • Moto jacket | Dillards
  • Photography | Ciesther dela Cruz

1933 Packard Twelve | Vintage Car Photographers

RM Auctions is a leader in the collector car auction industry. Last summer, they reached out to us to photograph a locally-owned 1933 Packard that was going up for auction in October. Automotive photography is Lester’s specialty as well as he and Mendell’s all time favorite type of commercial photography, so naturally, I sent them both off to Newport News for the shoot.  They had pretty strict brand/photo guidelines we had to follow, so they weren’t able to employ Lester’s usual strobist/extreme angle style, but they did an amazing job of lighting the car up,  yet maintaining the clean, natural look the client requested:

Here are the tearsheets from their auction catalog:

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A few shots I personally loved:

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RM Auction’s website has more details about the car itself and even more photos! It ended up selling for $451,000!!:  http://www.rmauctions.com/lots/lot.cfm?lot_id=1055900

  • Photographers |  Lester & Mendell dela Cruz of DCPG Photography
  • Client | RM Auctions
  • Location | Seller’s land in Newport News, VA.

Crystal Leigh Endsley | Norfolk Commercial Promotional Photographer

One of the best benefits of being a photographer is getting to meet fascinating people from all walks of life.  I especially have a soft spot for entrepreneurs or people with very diverse professions/hobbies.  Crystal Endsley, or as we like to call her, Dr. Crystal or the Good Docta, is definitely one of a kind.  I first knew her as a bad-ass spoken word artist, then later learned she is also a working professor w/ a Ph.D.   She is quite literally, a hot teacher.  Personally, she’s one of the nicest, funniest most enthusiastic people I’ve ever met.  Rina and I had a BLAST doing her photoshoot, where we captured a variety of looks for her to use in her teaching, spoken word and activist collateral.   She was also the very first session we did in our new studio/office!

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  • Hair, makeup and styling | Rina Parrilla Garcia
  • Photography | Ciesther dela Cruz

[From crystalleigh.com] Crystal Leigh Endsley, is currently Visiting Assistant Professor in Africana Studies at Hamilton College. Previously she was an Instructor in the Women’s Studies Department at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania where she also served as Interim Assistant Director for the Paul Robeson Cultural Center. Endsley completed her graduate studies at Penn State’s main campus where she earned a dual Ph.D. in Women’s Studies and Curriculum & Instruction…in addition to her academic career, she is internationally recognized as a spoken word artist, activist, and actor, performing and presenting workshops and lectures both in the United States and abroad.

Sierra | Virginia Beach Senior Portrait Photographer

I LOVE photographing senior sessions.   Not that I don’t love all my babies and toddlers, but now and then it’s nice to photograph a kid who will actually listen to you AND wants their photo taken :)  We did four outfit changes, starting in Mt. Trashmore for photos of her in her jersey.   She won a college soccer scholarship so she wanted to show off her moves.  Unfortunately, she just had ACL surgery so we were limited on what movements she could safely do; we stuck to low kicks.   I wanted the movements to look real and not staged, so I told her to kick away.   Her mom got a great workout chasing after each shot and I was directly in the line of fire and almost got nailed a few times…all totally worth it:

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The sun was setting really fast, so we raced over to Sandbridge to get some beach shots.  They ended up purchasing this photo as a 16×20 canvas:


16x20 Canvas Sierra

The sun set while we were there, but we had lighting so we were able to get a few fun shots of her in the water.   It was September, but surprisingly it wasn’t too cold:


The second half of our session took place a few weeks later at Redwing Park in Virginia Beach.   She is so beautiful!

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Thanks to her mama Exzelle for choosing DCPG! Fun fact: Exzelle and I grew up down the street from each other.  This job always has me reconnecting with old friends, neighbors and acquaintances, I love it.


Photo credits:

  • Hair and makeup by Rina Parrilla Garcia
  • Photography by Ciesther dela Cruz

Jared + Liz | Virginia Beach Backyard Wedding Photography

Liz + Jared’s beautiful, intimate wedding came to us by accident…literally.   We already had a wedding on the books for that day, but our friend Rich-Joseph Facun (one of our fave photojournalists) called us two days prior because he had broken BOTH of his arms – pretty much the worst non-fatal accident a photographer could have the week of a wedding.   He heard we were already booked, but thanks to the insistence of his awesome wife, Jasmine, he called us anyway.   Anyone who has worked w/ DCPG knows we roll deep and this time having 3 shooters came in handy (again, literally) because we were able to spare Lester for a few hours without missing a beat at Kris and Christian’s wedding the same day.

I originally intended to post more images but I was too excited to share these.  Lester is known for his intricate lighting setups, so it was a nice change and surprise to see so many au naturel, ethereal, sun-drenched images. It was a perfect sunset wedding on the water.   Congratulations to Liz, Jared and their adorable kids Quinn and Staylor!

– Cies

(I may add more images from the “reception” later; stay tuned!)

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Want to hire DCPG? Contact us!

Photography by Lester dela Cruz, thanks for rolling solo!