G Custom Photography

G Custom Photography I enjoy photographing children and families in natural light settings as well as newborns and babies in studio. Visit my website: http://www.gcustomphotography.com Contact me to schedule.
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I'm currently attending PPA's Imaging USA, which is a fantastic conference for professional photographers.  Last night w...
01/21/2020

I'm currently attending PPA's Imaging USA, which is a fantastic conference for professional photographers. Last night we got the majority of the members of VPPA (Virginia Professional Photographers Association) together for a group photo after the first full day of the conference and I had to share that here, as I'm proud of my fellowship with these wonderful people. #imagingusa #vpparocks

A very belated share from a super fun senior portrait session this fall! We have a lot of fun during our senior portrait...
11/27/2019

A very belated share from a super fun senior portrait session this fall! We have a lot of fun during our senior portraits, such a fun age to spend time with.

It was a beautiful afternoon for senior portraits!
10/24/2019

It was a beautiful afternoon for senior portraits!

It's a gorgeous day for a senior portrait session!
09/07/2019

It's a gorgeous day for a senior portrait session!

Last week was a big week for photographers, the annual International Photographic Competition (IPC), which is like the O...
08/26/2019

Last week was a big week for photographers, the annual International Photographic Competition (IPC), which is like the Olympics, or the World Series, or the Superbowl of photography. It’s a competition not against other photographers, but against ourselves as each image is scored based on its own merit, based on 12 elements of a merit image. Five jurors evaluate each image and determine whether an image is a merit image. There are different levels once an image is determined to be a merit image: merit, excellent, superior, and exceptional. Through image competition, I find that I am challenging myself to do better, not just with images that I plan to enter, but with all of my portrait work. This year I entered four images in the photographic open (four is the limit in each category) and three of them were judged to be merit images. This is my 3rd year of entering IPC and I’m very pleased with how well I did. These three images will be on exhibition at the Professional Photographers of America photographic convention this coming January in Nashville.

Please join me at the Davis Mansion at Morven Park for the closing night of the park's new exhibit "Morven Park Moments:...
08/21/2019
Morven Park : Private Calendar

Please join me at the Davis Mansion at Morven Park for the closing night of the park's new exhibit "Morven Park Moments: A Photography Partner Showcase". The exhibit highlights the work of photographers that have chosen Morven Park as the location for capturing their client's most precious moments. Two of my portraits will be on display. The opening night reception will be held on Thursday, September 5th from 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. and admission is free. White wine and desserts will be served. Please RSVP here: https://bit.ly/2xEoEgU

The "Morven Park Moments" exhibit will be featured in the Davis Mansion Ballroom July 19 - September 5 and is your chance to view the Park through the creative lens of local photographers that are members of the Park's Photography Program.

I hope to see you there!!

Please join us as we celebrate "Morven Park Moments: A Photography Partner Showcase". The exhibit highlights the work of photographers that have chosen the Park as the location for capturing their client's most precious moments. Admission is free. White wine and desserts will be served. TO RSVP, CLI...

I still need to share photos from this gorgeous senior portrait session, but I'm happy that Morven Park is sharing her t...
08/01/2019

I still need to share photos from this gorgeous senior portrait session, but I'm happy that Morven Park is sharing her too.

For the July #PhotoOfTheMonth we've selected this image by G Custom Photography from the "Morven Park Moments: A Photography Partner Showcase" exhibit currently on display in the ballroom of the Davis Mansion. Check the exhibit out during the month of August (mansion admission is required).

#MorvenParkMoments #thisplacematters #PhotographyPartners

07/18/2019

Update: The HVAC system can't keep up with the crazy heat. The reception will be rescheduled toward the end of the exhibition.

Please join me at the Davis Mansion at Morven Park for the opening night of the park's new exhibit "Morven Park Moments: A Photography Partner Showcase". The exhibit will highlight the work of photographers that have chosen Morven Park as the location for capturing their client's most precious moments. Two of my portraits will be on display. The opening night reception will be held on Friday, July 19 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. and admission is free. White wine and desserts will be served. Please RSVP here: https://bit.ly/2xEoEgU

The "Morven Park Moments" exhibit will be featured in the Davis Mansion Ballroom July 19 - September 2 and is your chance to view the Park through the creative lens of local photographers that are members of the Park's Photography Program.

I hope to see you there!!

Do you ever take a picture and then think to yourself, "a guitar would look perfect here!"? I can't say that I usually d...
06/25/2019

Do you ever take a picture and then think to yourself, "a guitar would look perfect here!"? I can't say that I usually do, but the way this little guy posed himself I just couldn't resist!

PPA's district image competition is going on this week, starting today. I have four images entered, and my fingers are c...
06/02/2019

PPA's district image competition is going on this week, starting today. I have four images entered, and my fingers are crossed that they all do well. This is one of the images that did well in the international image competition last year. We don't compete against others, just against ourselves (in a way). Our images are scored based on 12 elements of a merit image, so the higher the score the better. This is a good explanation of the 12 elements in case you'd like to learn more: https://ppmag.com/news/a-fresh-look-at-the-twelve-elements

It's a beautiful day for senior portraits!
04/28/2019

It's a beautiful day for senior portraits!

Missy hits the nail on the head with this, I see it with my own kids when they notice themselves on our walls.  And I th...
03/23/2019

Missy hits the nail on the head with this, I see it with my own kids when they notice themselves on our walls. And I think about my own childhood and the printed photographs that show me where I fit in my family and life. She sums it up so well, don't you think?

Never underestimate the power of a print. xoxo

My nephew came to visit today, isn't he so sweet?!
03/17/2019

My nephew came to visit today, isn't he so sweet?!

Last weekend, the Virginia Professional Photographers Association held their annual image competition. I entered 6 image...
02/22/2019

Last weekend, the Virginia Professional Photographers Association held their annual image competition. I entered 6 images, and 5 of them earned a blue ribbon (which is a score of 80 and above). There were 607 images submitted for the competition, which is the new record for a state competition. I couldn’t be there for the awards banquet, and so I didn’t find out until after the fact that one of my images won Best Child Portrait! I’m beside myself!

I can’t share any of the images here just yet, as there are two more competitions still to enter, the second being Professional Photographers of America’s International Print Competition in August. However, I’ll share one taken when I took my Best Portrait of a Child image. The little girl in the middle was the subject in the award-winning image, and all three girls were such great models for the specific project I did specifically for competition.

In honor of today's snow, I thought it would be fun to share Natalie's 13th birthday portraits taken after the last big ...
01/29/2019

In honor of today's snow, I thought it would be fun to share Natalie's 13th birthday portraits taken after the last big snow.

The last monarch of my raising season will emerge today. Sadly the rainy September did not lend itself to scheduling mon...
10/04/2018

The last monarch of my raising season will emerge today. Sadly the rainy September did not lend itself to scheduling monarch sessions. Next year!

The International Photographic Competition (IPC) by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) was held earlier thi...
08/31/2018

The International Photographic Competition (IPC) by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) was held earlier this month. Two of my images were accepted into the General Collection and will be displayed at Imaging USA in Atlanta in January. Over 5000 images were entered. It's not a competition against others, each image is judged on 12 elements of a merit image. I'm pleased to share these two images with you.

I know it's been a while since I've posted, but I thought I'd share this. I taught a class at our summer seminar yesterd...
08/12/2018

I know it's been a while since I've posted, but I thought I'd share this. I taught a class at our summer seminar yesterday for the first time. It was different and it seemed like everyone enjoyed it.

Visit the Davis Mansion on Friday, July 13th for an opening night reception! Enjoy wine and cheese and an opportunity to...
07/08/2018

Visit the Davis Mansion on Friday, July 13th for an opening night reception! Enjoy wine and cheese and an opportunity to see your favorite park through the eyes of a professional photographer! All images on display feature Morven Park and the exhibit will run through August 12th. Two of my portraits will be on display.

This event will be held in the Mansion ballroom and is FREE to attend. Space is limited, you must RSVP to attend: https://morvenparkorg.presencehost.net/misc-payment-pages/july13.html

I hope to see you there!!

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. Happy 4th of July as we celebrate our country's independence.
07/04/2018

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Happy 4th of July as we celebrate our country's independence.

U2 packed a lot of messages into tonight's concert. This is just one of those messages.#womenoftheworldtakeover
06/19/2018

U2 packed a lot of messages into tonight's concert. This is just one of those messages.
#womenoftheworldtakeover

Continuing education is essential for me as a business owner. Today I'm learning about branding with Bailey Fox as part ...
05/14/2018

Continuing education is essential for me as a business owner. Today I'm learning about branding with Bailey Fox as part of a series sponsored by the Virginia Professional Photographers of America organization.

It's a beautiful evening for senior portraits!
04/18/2018

It's a beautiful evening for senior portraits!

Happy 15th birthday to this awesome and talented teenager!!!
04/14/2018

Happy 15th birthday to this awesome and talented teenager!!!

Jump for joy!  Now booking First Communion portrait sessions.
04/09/2018

Jump for joy! Now booking First Communion portrait sessions.

More continuing education, today it's Ted Linczak presenting "The Architecture Of Imagery".  My goal is to hone my craft...
03/14/2018

More continuing education, today it's Ted Linczak presenting "The Architecture Of Imagery". My goal is to hone my craft, always improving, to create better art for you.

The theme of this year's convention for the Virginia Professional Photographers of America was Steampunk. They had shoot...
03/05/2018

The theme of this year's convention for the Virginia Professional Photographers of America was Steampunk. They had shooting bays with models for photographers to use during our time there. BB the dog was the model in this photo which took second place in their People's Choice contest. I call this image "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore" #vpparocks

Cooper's family saw his portraits today, so it was fitting that he should see himself too.  What a cutie!!!!
02/28/2018

Cooper's family saw his portraits today, so it was fitting that he should see himself too. What a cutie!!!!

The Virginia Professional Photographers of America are doing a fun contest from our convention last weekend.  Currently,...
02/27/2018

The Virginia Professional Photographers of America are doing a fun contest from our convention last weekend. Currently, they're asking people to vote for their favorites, and then the top 5 will be judged with the top 3 winning a prize. My photo is #6, and currently, I'm in second place. I'd love it if you could take a minute to "like" or "love" my image and help get me into first place. Thank you!!!

Thank you for entering VPPA's Best STEAMPUNK Photo CONTEST! It's NOW LIVE!!!! Tag yourself and market your image to all your friends to LIKE the entry on OUR page (We will not be able to count the LIKES(Or Loves!) on your personal page.

Voting will be available through Midnight EST- Feb. 28th -

TOP 5 with the MOST LIKES (Or LOVES!) will be juried by the Board of Directors

sponsored by our Diamond Sponsors: Richmond Professional Lab

1st Prize - $150
2nd Prize -$100
3rd Prize - $75

These prizes would be for any Richmond Pro Lab products or services. This would not apply to anything from RPL's retail stores, or for any orders placed on their retail website, www.richmondcamera.com.

Must have taken photos during 2018 VPPA Convention - Feb. 16-18th. EMAIL TO: [email protected] - we promise! that's the correct email address - (a receipt showing that we have received it will be emailed back to you.)

Entries will be posted on www.facebook.com/virginiappa by the morning of Monday, Feb. 26th for VOTING ONLINE ONLY - through Feb 28th -

WINNERS ANNOUNCED ON MARCH 1, 2018

02/25/2018

Image competition is something that photographers use to grow, to improve their technique, style, storytelling, and skills overall. Image competition isn't a photo contest, images are judged on their own merits, not against others. There are 12 elements that are judged, and overall if all 12 elements are evidenced in the image, that image does well in competition. As a professional, my desire is to create works of art and to continue to improve my images.

Last weekend, the Virginia Professional Photographers of America hosted their annual image competition. 589 images were submitted. I entered 6 images - 5 received red ribbons (above average) and one received a blue ribbon (deserving of a merit). I can't share the images here yet, as there are two more image competitions where I will enter them again. I'll share the high scorers here this summer after the International Print Competition. But I wanted to share my latest news here, as I'm happy about it!

Last day of convention, happy to augment my knowledge of light with this session with Rob Behm
02/19/2018

Last day of convention, happy to augment my knowledge of light with this session with Rob Behm

Continuing education as a photographer sets me apart from others in my field. Currently attending a session with Christi...
02/18/2018

Continuing education as a photographer sets me apart from others in my field. Currently attending a session with Christie Newell, who is an incredible photographer. #vppa

Happy New Year!!!!  2018 is just like this precious sleeping baby boy, fresh and new.  I hope that it is a wonderful yea...
01/02/2018

Happy New Year!!!! 2018 is just like this precious sleeping baby boy, fresh and new. I hope that it is a wonderful year for all, filled with wonder and curiosity and the beauty of life.

Merry Christmas!(My cursive leaves much to be desired but the sentiment remains)
12/25/2017

Merry Christmas!

(My cursive leaves much to be desired but the sentiment remains)

One of Andrew's 16 year portraits, very handsome young man
11/29/2017

One of Andrew's 16 year portraits, very handsome young man

One of Jordan's 14 year portraits, isn't she lovely? She was actually freezing at the time but she pulled off a good smi...
11/29/2017

One of Jordan's 14 year portraits, isn't she lovely? She was actually freezing at the time but she pulled off a good smile despite chattering teeth.

My sweet girl Homecoming 2017
10/15/2017

My sweet girl
Homecoming 2017

It's the last week for monarch release sessions! The butterflies I've raised are all heading to Mexico, and I only have ...
09/27/2017

It's the last week for monarch release sessions! The butterflies I've raised are all heading to Mexico, and I only have a few left. I have sessions available Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday this week, one per day around 11am-12pm in Ashburn. It's $99 (sales tax included) and includes a 5x7 print chosen after the session. I bring 2-3 butterflies to each session to try to guarantee a great portrait. Just send me a message or give me a call if you're interested in scheduling one of these remaining sessions.

09/25/2017

I had so much fun with today's monarch release clients that we stayed an extra hour just to talk! It's Mondays like this which make my week wonderful.

If you schedule a session with me, I'm quick to tell you that my goal is to have your family as your art as prints hangi...
09/24/2017

If you schedule a session with me, I'm quick to tell you that my goal is to have your family as your art as prints hanging in your home. I also like to tell you that the lifespan of a digital image is 10 seconds, as your friends and family will look at your portraits when they see them but they are not likely to revisit them. When people come into your home, they see the love of your family decorating your home. What I neglect to mention is technology failure. Even as I write this, I'm staring at my dead data drive, removed from the dead computer on the floor next to me. I've taken care to back my files up both online and in external drives so I've lost nothing but my time troubleshooting and now computer shopping. But not everyone does this, I don't know what my clients do with their images after they receive them. Printed portraits are your legacy, not 1s & 0s. Please take a few minutes and read what a fellow photographer has shared about what just happened to her. And know that as businesses, we want you to be able to hold on to your legacy, to be cherished by you and generations still to come.

I have an urgent message I want to share about the importance of printing your pictures!

I absolutely back up my family's pictures and my clients pictures onto external hard drives. I have externals upon externals of storage crowding my office of images I have taken.

However...

I hope that no-one puts all of their trust in me, or any photographer you work with, to keep your sessions forever.. And I also hope that you don't put all of your trust into a CD or USB you receive from your session before printing your pictures out because I've mistakenly trusted my externals for my own pictures before printing them, and this is why I stress this problem.

At the end of 2016, my external hard drive crashed. Thankfully I have insurance through PPA and only had to spend $200 out of $1500 to have it recovered...but about 30% of my images - including clients - were nonrecoverable.

Today I was going through the hard drive they gave back to me with both the recovered and ruined files, and this is one of them of my own children that I took. Along with this image, there are SEVERAL others that are no longer able to be printed that I hadn't printed in the first place. Why didn't I? Well, because I constantly told myself "I'll do it soon", "tomorrow, I'll print them", "when I figure out how I want them printed, I'll do it", all while relying on technology to hold on to my precious pictures.

I'll go ahead and be completely honest, too. If you've inquired with or worked with boutique-style photographers like me, you've probably wondered why the digital files are a tad pricey, and sometimes even the same cost as the prints.

THIS is why.

Digital files are not complete pieces of art. They are for temporary archival purposes or for immediately sharing with friends and family. But they are not created to last forever, they are not heirloom, they are definitely not the best purpose for your beautiful pictures.

Aside from the fact that they are destructible on a grand scale (meaning, if a print gets messed up, that one print gets messed up. But if a USB of your pictures gets messed up - that ENTIRE collection of images gets messed up), they also may not be useable in years to come.

Think of VHS tapes, cassette tapes, even CD's. Most computers don't even come with CD drives these days!

For an even better visual, a USB of your images can be compared to the original film from a film camera. Today, it's much more difficult to get those images from a roll of film than it was 50 years ago. Even so, if you damage a roll of film, most images will be unusable, just as it would be if you damaged your USB. However, we still have prints available from 20, 50, 100 years ago. Actually, did you know the oldest photograph is about 190 years old? Can we say that the longevity of a VHS, CD, or even a USB can match that?

My stomach turned when I saw this image and the several others that are not completely unprintable. This is actually a screenshot of the image because it wouldn't load in this post since there just isn't enough data there. This is a broken image that will forever remain on this external, and eventually we probably won't even have the resources left to open it.

I've been trying to implement a way to give my clients the incredible art they deserve, while also giving them the digital files they want so that they can immediately share with friends and family, and I think I'll finally be able to do that for 2018. When I receive our images from our own sessions, or when I finish pictures of my own family, I have the habit of letting them waste away on my computer because I think "I'll print them later", and I never do. I don't want that for my clients. I want them to immediately be able to enjoy them for now, for tomorrow, and forever, before technology does its damage.

If you have pictures sitting around on your desktop that have never left that safe haven, please print them soon. You absolutely won't regret it, I promise.

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Ashburn, VA
20147

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