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] 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