Results for category "Weddings"

Brand New Website!

Our new website is now live!

All new pages and easy to use.  Visit the site right now by going here:  Or, you can just copy that into your browser.  Either way, you get to the same place.  The first ten visitors to take advantage of online booking for a regular portrait session will get a FREE set of THREE 8×10 prints from their session!

Here are some features we’re happy to include as part of our new site:

  • Cleaner design (much less stuff and more information & pictures)
  • Quicker access (fast one- or two-click access to the things you want to know now)
  • Integrated online booking (you can book online from most places on the site, 24/7)
  • Easy to see our current specials and promotions (it’s right on the home page under “Book Now!” – you don’t have to book to see them)
  • Blog and contact access on the first page.  Don’t hunt for a way to get in touch with us, it’s right there!
  • Completely mobile-friendly.  Now, all aspects of our website and support sites are mobile-friendly.  This means regardless the device you are using, or which functionality you are using on our website, your phones, tablets, laptops AND desktops will adjust properly for the best view.
  • Easier updates.  It’s now quicker and easier for us to update the pictures and information on our website.  So, expect to see new stuff more often!

A sneak peek at the area's BEST photographer new website at TLC Photography

Thanks for taking the time to look at our new site.  We hope to hear from you soon!

Spring Flings!

Now is the time for lots of new growth, just about everywhere.  We have started to really settle into our new studio space in downtown Martinsburg, and have so much to be grateful for.  We’re getting familiar with our merchant & residential neighbors and there’s just something in the air that feels positive!  And we’re not about to stop there!

The response to the baby contest was amazing to us, and we were so happy to see so many people acknowledging our posts about it.  But that is our big winter promotion, and now it’s spring.  So, time to offer a little more.

What’s coming up?  Easter is upon us, and we’ve seen more than our share of chicks, bunnies, eggs and pretty dresses.  Now it’s time for high school proms, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

And a new website.

A sneak peek at TLC Photography's new website

And online booking.

Our new website debuts on Friday, April 3.  We’re putting it through its final paces and will reveal the “new look” on Friday at 11am!  There are several new features, including many new links to our social media outlets.  We also simplified our website considerably, making it easier to find what you’re looking for (which users of our old site will remember as tedious and time-consuming), and integrated directly with our client galleries and our new online booking system.  Clean, simple, and easy to use.  Take a look on Friday!

Online booking has been a long time coming… it’s integrated into our new website, and will be prominent on our Facebook page and other social media sites, as well as our blog.  Look for “Book Now” on any of those locations to book portrait sittings, senior portraits, special mini-session opportunities and more.  Soon, we’re going to add much more functionality!  You’ll be able to book your sessions and events 24/7!

Want to try out our online booking?  Here are three specials we have running right now:

Book your prom pictures!  There are area high school proms on April 25, May 2, and May 9.  You can get your pictures taken in your prom best without having to wait in line!  Choose from several different backdrops, have multiple poses taken, and even get some custom-designed street shots taken!  Want to know more?  You can, if you just click Book Now!  But here’s a little secret… there are coupons floating around out there (Dana’s Tuxedo, Sokel Skin Care & Makeup, for example) to take $10 off your picture package!

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are both rapidly approaching.  We’re ahead of the game, though, and have created two mini-session opportunities for you to take advantage of.  You check either or both of them out below:

Mommy & Me sessions in Martinsburg

For our Mommy & Me mini-sessions on April 18, click Book Now!

Daddy & Me mini-sessions are here!

For the Daddy & Me mini-sessions on May 30, click Book Now!

See how easy that is?  We’re looking forward to showing off more of what we can do in the near future.  Meanwhile, it’s back to work shining up the new website for you.  See you on Friday!

Portrait: Kayla’s Trash The Dress Session

So, Kayla got married to the love of her life.  But not before we had a conversation about trashing her dress.

A few weeks prior to her beautiful wedding, Kayla asked about doing a Trash The Dress session between her ceremony and her reception.  And me being me, I told her I was totally up for it.  But there were some shortcomings to consider.  One was the amount of time it would take to get to a proper location for a good shoot, as well as setting up lighting and hoping for good weather.  With that, and the consideration that she would be going through her entire ceremony in a sopping wet dress, she chose to have a separate session on a later date.  This is what we achieved.  Captions are below each image.

Trash the dress session in Martinsburg WV

Enjoying the location and Kayla’s wonderful camera presence.


Trash the dress session with TLC Photography

The perfect moment of lighting & posing.

A beautiful portrait in the water

Perfect lighting is seen & used.

Water shoot with a wedding dress on.

From a different perspective, Kayla was a beauty.

The best part about the work we did with Kayla was that we have known her for awhile, and expected no less than a bride who was ready for an adventure.  We had a lot of fun, and the planning process made a huge difference in how the shoot went.

See our website for more information about our weddings or portraits.

Wedding: Kayla and Cody’s Shenanigans

This is one bride whose wedding I was very much looking forward to because we have known each other for over 15 years.  As a dancer, she was precocious and full of life.  And as a dance instructor, she keeps the happy in the dance.

Starting at the beautiful McFarland House in Martinsburg, WV, the wedding preparation was done in their now infamous “bride room.”  Lots of laughter and plenty of smiles, along with those awkward moments that are only shared by sisters and best friends when trying to make sure that the clothing “fits.”  We took a few photos in there, and elsewhere within the McFarland House.

A short trolley ride, courtesy of our friends at Detailed Destinations, and the ceremony was on at the eras-old St. John’s Lutheran Church.  After a few more photos there, we headed back to the McFarland House, but this time the bride and groom rode back via horse and buggy.

Then the real party began!

The happy couple spent the day enjoying their family and friends, the wonderful food and the delicious cake.  There was plenty more shenanigans (see the cake pictures), and lots more laughter.  It was my idea of the “perfect wedding.”

Congratulations to Kayla and Cody.  It was a lovely wedding.  And only a couple of weeks after this lovely wedding, we did a Trash the Dress session the very dress she wore to her wedding.


The bride getting ready at McFarland House's Bridal Suite A portrait of the bride by TLC Photography in Martinsburg WV Dad helping the groom with his boutonniere before the wedding ceremony Some last minute adjustments by the bride Just before heading to the ceremony. Cody on his way to St. John's Lutheran Church A smiling bride in Martinsburg WV Kayla on the trolley to St. John's Lutheran Church A first look no-look for Kayla and Cody at the church Moment of decision at St. John's Lutheran Church Sealed with a kiss Beautiful wedding photography in Martinsburg WV Hijinks on the sidewalk at Kayla and Cody's wedding Kayla pets one of the animals after her wedding ceremony Another kiss before the horse and carriage ride to McFarland House in Martinsburg Beautiful Kayla at the wedding reception The maid of honor's toast The best man's toast A cautious moment at the wedding of Kayla and Cody Fun moments at the beautiful McFarland House First dance at Kayla and Cody's wedding Wedding photography fun in Martinsburg WV Pownall373 Bouquet toss at the wedding Pownall425

Top 9 Reasons TLC Photography is Moving

Dance Portraits

We’ve been working in photography in this area for almost 20 years, and have moved our studio twice. We’re moving it again… and we’re convinced that we’re doing it for all the right reasons. But we wanted to make sure that you, our valued followers and clients, understood our reasons and what led to this very big decision. So, we’re sharing our reasoning with you!

9. Our market, clients, and the photography industry have all changed. The shooting space that we have now is no longer suitable for our needs, and we would rather have a more focused space in which we can concentrate on the things that we do best. The new space will be plenty big, and we can still photograph large family groups (up to 35) with ease, as well as babies, seniors and boudoir.

8. We want to feel “at home” in our studio. Since the building we are in was originally designed in a different era of the industry, and with differing goals in mind, adapting to a new and ever evolving landscape in photography would not be as easy as starting with a blank slate. In our new space, we are starting fresh. No fixed sets or fixed backdrops, but a few things we like and use most, along with our own creativity.

Trash The Dress, Shenandoah River

7. We realized that we don’t need a “park” in our backyard, as we have partnered with a few local (and very generous) farmers and other land owners to use their property for sessions. The best part of this is that you will almost surely have exclusive imagery for your on-location sessions. Plus, we have been working on many new technological approaches to putting you where we need you to be for the perfect shot.

6. Our new location does not have any “neighbor” issues, such as barking dogs, skunks, and cats that use our backyard as a litter box. Let’s just leave it at that.

5. The building we are in now, and the property it is on, have a host of issues that we cannot easily overcome. So, changing our location so that we do not and cannot have those issues is a best option. That doesn’t mean we won’t have issues at our new studio… but at least there we have more control over them.

4. We want to make a bigger impression. We have tried several ways to get people to see our work. Facebook and other social media outlets help some. But seeing our work is most of what draws people in. Route 11 (Winchester Ave) is a 40-45MPH road, and even just seeing our sign is not easy. Trying to put pictures out for people to see, even large ones on the deck, would be met with maybe a second’s worth of exposure. In our new facility, we have five huge 5×7′ windows… and we have a lot planned for those big beautiful sunshine gatherers! Plus, in a building with no windows, we get NO sun exposure… now, we will. Every day.

Hummingbird Cooper Captures

3. Cooper Captures (the wildlife and scenic photography started by Diana early last year) needs to shine… the work is exquisite, and it needs a place to really be seen by many. There are NO windowsin our current studio, and like you saw in #4 above, you can’t make an impression by showing it to a few people online. Diana will be setting up a wonderful display of her work in the corner windows, and we will be offering retail sales of matted prints, gallery canvases, greeting cards and much more. Plus, it will be much easier to see other wildlife photos on our large, color-corrected monitors!

2. We need to create… for awhile now, we have wanted total control of our sessions. While we take every measure to ensure that we provide each of our clients with a unique experience, we are surrounded by the sameness of a studio that was designed to churn out session after session with everyone getting the same treatment. We want more than that for our clients, and plan to offer very unique photography you can only get from the creative genius that gets its inspiration from other artists, both performing and from those who create works of art all the time. We’re looking forward to some very new and original work!

1. We crave interaction. In the last year or so, we have gotten much more involved in our community and with fundraising and “people” events. We’ve found that doing that from a building that is located nowhere near any of that, we can’t help as many people as we wish. Being in a downtown location will give us the ability to not only support our merchant neighbors, but to hopefully give them a reason to do the same. We know that is something we will have to earn, but it is also something we are more than prepared to do.

Between now and November 1, we will give you lots more information. This will include a big Open House we are planning, and lots of fun specials you can look forward to for the holiday season! But mostly, we’re looking forward to setting up our first BIG window display in town. It’s going to start small, and grow. Keep an eye out… you won’t be able to miss it!


Jennifer & Mike’s Engagement Session: True Love?

The purpose of an engagement session for us is to show off their love without the formality of the wedding.  It also gives us an opportunity to get to know the couple in a more casual environment.  This usually pays off on the wedding day, because we have a more open rapport and a relaxed bring & groom.

So, when Jennifer and Mike came to us for their engagement portraits, a couple we already had some exposure to before, it was just like taking pictures of friends.  There was also the requests for them to have a couple of individual portraits, as well.  They’re a good-looking couple and we wish them the best of luck in their future.

Do You Really Want The CD?

So, when your photographer advertises that big special offer, which might include a CD of images from the session, you’re ready to jump on it because you love getting the CD, right?  What’s not relevant here is how many images you get, or the circumstances.  What’s important is that if you only got a CD, you’re not only cheating yourself, but you’re getting cheated.  Read on.

Notwithstanding that a CD might cost less than a buck, and that your photographer with a certain style might spend less than a hour on your images, what are you really getting?  Yes, you get the experience and professional photography.  You get good customer service, a fun time with a genuinely nice person, and even some good pictures.  But are you getting something that will last forever?

Do you remember the 8-track tape?  Cassette tape?  Most people don’t use CDs anymore (they only hold about 700MB), and most use DVDs (which hold over 4GB).  But with the advent of Blu-Ray, how long will it be before that DVD is out of date?  Or that file format?  What will you do in ten years when DVDs are no longer supported by computers (most computers today no longer support floppy drives)?

Here’s something else to consider… where will you store your disk?  What will you do with the images on it?  Post them on Facebook?  How long will they stay there?  They may remain on your photo gallery for a long time, but they will get pushed to the bottom like all the others have over time.  And forgotten.  The disk may get lost or damaged (do you know how to take care of a DVD properly?)

It’s time for you to take control.  If your photographer offers only a disk, ask for more.  Demand prints.  Tell them you want your images to be on the wall, in full view, for all to see.  Be proud of your portraits, your wedding, your children and your family!  Don’t hide them away on a disk anymore.  Put them out for the world to see!

Here’s more to consider.  Did you know that children who see pictures of themselves on the walls have a greater sense of well-being and self-confidence as they grow up?  They can’t see those pictures of they’re on a disk.  And couples who put their wedding pictures on the walls and in an album are more likely to stay together than those who don’t. We have clients who regularly share their pictures on the walls with us – and they have fabulous relationships, wonderful families and beautiful children!

Listen… this is not hard to understand.  And yes, we DO sell the image files for most of our sessions and weddings.  But we always offer you prints at the same time.  And we always will, because they mean you will always see the pictures that you have tucked safely away in a dark storage place (after you made a backup, right?)

So, what are you going to do next time your photographer offers a disk-only portrait session?  That’s right, demand prints!


A wedding photographer’s preparation

A photographer prepares for a wedding just as they would for any other shoot, ensuring that the equipment is ready, the personnel are ready, and that there’s a working plan.  The difference with a wedding is that these events have a special kind of emotional attachment, as well as a sense of urgency… you can’t do it over, in other words.

My preparation is fairly simple.  But here it is…

  • I review the schedule to make sure what time I’m suppose to be there and when, making sure I have plenty of gas in the car to get there. I review some names of the accompanying party so I can make people a bit more at ease by using their name and not just a general reference.
  • All of the equipment gets cleaned, even if it isn’t dirty.
  • All of the batteries get charged; camera, flash, remote, extension, and portable hard drive.
  • I review the camera settings to make certain that everything is where I want it, and if it isn’t I set it that way.
  • I familiarize myself with the assistant/second shooter for the day and write reminders for myself on things I need to tell them about procedures that we should follow for this wedding.
  • I pack all my equipment the morning of or the night before.  Everything should be ready to go when I get to the wedding.

The actual pre-coverage preparation is a bit more complex, but this gives you an idea of what goes into the before the wedding agenda.

Any questions?

You can view our wedding coverage, including photos at

Studio for Rent

When was the last time you were working on a project and said to yourself, “I wish I had a really nice studio space to work in, with plenty of lights, props and backdrops to do what’s really in my head”?  Well, we’re going to help you with that… AND offer to train you to use it.

Here’s the link to check out what we’ve put together for you (there are more pictures to come): TLC Photography’s Studio Rental Page.


You can rent for as little as two hours, or for entire days at a time.  Small projects to large, we can accommodate you.  And here’s the best part: while the studio introduction is free of charge, Tony is also available for one-on-one mentoring for a smaller additional charge than his usual rate when you are also renting the studio.

Go take a look at the link.  All the information, including the equipment data, rental rates, and a gallery of pictures is right there.  We’re preparing an introductory video as well, which will come soon.  Questions?  Ask!

304-263-3100 or


Engagement: Kaysie & Matt

We had done the family portraits for Kaysie’s family, and she contacted us about photographing her wedding.  The best part is that she is already familiar with us, and us with her, so adding Matt into the fray is all that much more fun.  We spent some time (on a rather coolish winter day) getting some pictures for them.

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