Clarissa + Jack | Norfolk Virginia Maternity and Baby Photographers

I’m reviving our blog for the first time in a year (!!!!) to share a few sweet photos of Clarissa + Jack’s at-home maternity session. Apologies for lagging behind on our blog game, but after giving birth to Ellie (follow my personal insta @dailyelliejoy for baby photo spam!) last year then doing a big office and house move/renovation at the same time, social media and other administrative duties for DCPG definitely fell by the wayside. We’re all moved into both home and new studio and FINALLY back in the saddle shooting regularly and devoting attention and love back to DCPG :)

Clarissa and Jack have been repeat DCPG clients since 2012; we’ve photographed two of Jack’s deployment homecomings and their tiny wedding in Norfolk:

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I remember  chatting with Jack’s mom back then and she said, “Maybe you can photograph their baby when the time comes!” And so, I am! I’m so happy Clarissa got back in touch in order to sign up for the Baby Steps plan :) She opted for one of our more popular combos – Maternity, Newborn and One Year. We decided to do at at-home session for maternity. I absolutely love doing at-home sessions for any baby steps shoot because not only does it add a layer of uniqueness to the portraits that can never be duplicated, when these photos are viewed by their future children, they’ll get to see the first place their new little family called home.


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I love that she chose to rock a glamorous, sequined dress!


She requested these poses and although their dog Rob was hilariously uncooperative, I loved the quick interaction I was able to capture:

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To book a consultation or a session under our Baby Steps plan, click here:

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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 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!



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:

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!

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, 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

Holiday Lights (and babies!)

We are strobists and love the challenge of mixing flash w/ decorative, ambient lights in the background.  The holidays were a great excuse to play with some cool effects!  I loved getting to shoot at our client’s homes to give each baby their own unique environment, but it was also fun to set up the studio or go out into the city.   Enjoy the holiday cuteness and I hope everyone had a great season!








Photography by Ciesther dela Cruz, lighting/setup assistance by Mendell dela Cruz.

DCPG Halloween Fun-sized Photoshoot!

We know it’s last minute, but some studio time has opened up so we are doing mini-sessions at our Norfolk studio over the next few days just for babies and kids in their Halloween costumes! :)


We’ll keep it simple; each session will last about 10 to 15 minutes, we’ll view the proofs right after and you can pick a photo to take home as a 4×6 print right there and then!  We will also email you a collage you can use as a Facebook timeline cover (or a standard web sized photo if you don’t want the Facebook timeline cover)  and a link to an online proof gallery if you were interested in purchasing prints.  Prints will be at a discount since these photos will have really basic editing.

Ready to do this? Please visit our online appointment site to schedule your session: then pre-pay for your session online by clicking on the “Buy Now” button (click on the drop down if your child has siblings).

The fine print:
  • Offer expires October 31, 2012
  • Costumed babies and children only.
  • Halloween fun sized sessions must be booked and prepaid for online only; no phone calls please.
  • Please note the age and number of children in the Special Request part of the online booking form.
  • Our office/studio is located on Granby Street in downtown Norfolk; directions will be emailed to you after payment has been received.
Please email us at dcpg(at) if you have any questions.   We can’t wait to see you!

Kaylee is 1! | Virginia Beach Child Photography | Baby Steps

Sweet little Kaylee recently turned a year old, and her mama asked me to shoot her final portraits at her birthday party so we could use all the decor as a backdrop.  Before I get to the photos of that ridiculously well-styled party, here’s a quick recap of Kaylee’s sessions at 6 days, 3 months and 6 months old.

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Kaylee’s mama Yvonne is an talented graphic designer, which she easily translated into talent at interior design, headband-making and of course, party planning!  When we arrived a little early, baby K was still napping, so we took our time to setup lights and then photograph all the awesome details and decor Yvonne had set up.  Yvonne blogs faithfully over at Simplyvonne and I’m sure she will detail the behind the scenes and where she found/made everything.  The theme was “You Are My Sunshine” and she did an amazing job.  I am fully expecting to see her party re-pinned all over Pinterest and featured on other blogs! :)

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Lest we forget the reason for the season, here is the pretty birthday girl!!  She was still defrosting a little, so we gave her various things to play with including lemons…



The iPhone is always a good kid distracter when things go awry! :)


My 8 y/o daughter Mia even gave her a tiny teddy bear to play with too.  I also overheard Mia “vlogging” a behind the scenes commentary with Mendell’s camera phone.  I will post that later as I’m sure it’s adorable and hilarious.  We capped off the session with a few shots of Yvonne, Le and Kaylee.  Right when we were done, the first party guests arrived and Mendell, Mia and I packed our gear up and since Yvonne had graciously invited us to, we converted from vendors into party guests (the food was delicious, by the way).  Lester arrived a little bit after and took more photos and video of Kaylee’s super cute cake smash, which I will update this post with later!

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Happy birthday Kaylee, it’s been a pleasure photographing your sweet, smiley face over this past year!!

– Ciesther

P.S.  Readers, be sure to keep an eye on Yvonne’s blog to read more behind the scenes and see more photos.  While you’re there, browse through her past entries, they are full of awesome fashion and craft ideas and of course, millions of additional photos of Kaylee!

Andrea + Jerome | Chesapeake Maternity Photography

Andrea and Jerome are the latest parents to join the Baby Steps portrait program.  It’s such a small world amongst our clients; Jerome’s brother Gabe was one of our recent grooms and Andrea’s cousins with two couples who are also in Baby Steps (as well as coworkers with two OTHER Baby Steps moms!!).  We love it!  For their maternity session, we traveled out to their home in Deep Creek.  It’s been a while since I’ve been out that way because I miscalculated our travel time by a full 45 minutes.  Yikes! Luckily, they were very cool about it and it ended up timing well with the sunset.  They live in an adorable new construction neighborhood, so although greenery was a little sparse, I can’t wait to see what the neighborhood will look like when its time for Lily’s one year old portrait next year!

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