G Custom Photography

G Custom Photography I enjoy photographing children and families in natural light settings. Visit my website: http://www.gcustomphotography.com Contact me to schedule a session: [email protected]


It's a beautiful evening for senior portraits!


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


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, 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 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!!!!


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 -



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


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 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)


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 smile despite chattering teeth.


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 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.


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 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.


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.


Feeling spontaneous? Local with little ones or homeschoolers? I have two monarch butterfly release sessions available today at 1pm in Ashburn. #gmonarchrelease


Gorgeous evening for family portraits!


Can you take the cuteness?!!!! I can't!!!!! This little lady was so much fun to share the butterflies with, despite being woken for a nap once we arrived at our release destination. She won't remember this day, but her family will cherish the portraits forever.


I'll be looking at 20 butterflies in the morning. TWENTY BUTTERFLIES! I'm beside myself, I've never had so many eclose on the same day. Let me know if you'd like to release some in a monarch release portrait, it'll be fun!


One of nine butterflies today, enjoying a different perch #gmonarchrelease


It's peak monarch release time!!!! I love sharing this opportunity with others and capturing it in a portrait. Contact me to reserve a session now! Most sessions must take place between 11am-2pm in order to guarantee a portrait with a monarch.

Due to the nature of nature, I don't know how many butterflies I will have until the night before. The dates below are estimates on when the butterflies will emerge and are usually accurate +/- a day.

2 sessions September 6 (weather permitting)
1 session September 8
2-3 sessions September 9 (2pm session)
5 sessions September 10
6-7 sessions September 11
5 sessions September 12
3 sessions September 13
1 session September 14
1 session September 15


Earlier this month, the International Photographic Competition was held in Atlanta. I entered for the first time, and I'm pleased to announce that one of my images was accepted into the General Collection of Professional Photographers of America's 2017 International Photographic Competition and will be displayed at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, Jan. 14-16, alongside other top photographic works from the competition and traveling and special invitational displays. These images constitute one of the world's largest annual exhibits of professional photography gathered simultaneously under one roof. My goal is to have all four images (the max that can be entered in the photographic open category) accepted into the collection, which means I will continue to improve my art. Always growing!

Monarch Release Interest

I certainly didn't mean to go radio silent on my page, but it's been monarch central here the last month. Next week is a crazy banner week for me, with at least 70 butterflies emerging between tomorrow and next weekend. I know that school has started for the older kids, but for the younger ones, the time and the temperatures next week coupled with the amazing monarchs make it a perfect time to schedule a monarch session! I'll update the schedule on my website tonight, but it's looking like 2-3 sessions available DAILY next week! https://www.gcustomphotography.com/monarch-interest

If you're interested in booking a monarch release session this year, please fill out the form below. Filling out the form does not obligate you in any way, it simply puts you on my list of those people interested in the session. Monarch release sessions take place from approximately the first week o...


Still thinking about whether to book a monarch release session? New this year - if you live in Ashburn or the eastern part of Leesburg and you want to do the release portraits in your yard, I can bring the butterflies to you. This is good for younger children who might be overwhelmed by the combination of the location that's new to them and the butterflies. Here is an estimate on upcoming availability: 2 sessions August 16, 2 sessions August 17, 1 session August 18, 2 sessions August 22, and possibly 1-2 sessions August 25-26. https://www.gcustomphotography.com/monarch-interest/


Six butterflies out already! (One not in the same location). Two more will emerge soon. So exciting!


There's nothing quite like an encounter with a monarch butterfly. Currently booking sessions, reserve your spot now!

Due to the nature of nature, I don't know how many butterflies I will have until the night before. The dates below are estimates on when the butterflies will emerge.

1-2 sessions August 9
3 sessions August 10
2 sessions August 12
2-3 sessions August 15-16
1 session August 16-17

About my monarch butterflies

I created a page on my website to share more about the monarch butterflies I raise, from eggs to butterflies. I'm happy to teach more about it if you're interested in meeting the caterpillars in person. https://www.gcustomphotography.com/about-my-monarch-butterflies/

I raise the monarchs for my release sessions in my home. Less than 10% of the eggs laid by monarch butterflies survive to become butterflies themselves out in the wild. When they are raised indoors, away from predators, disease, and storms, their survival rate increases to 90-95%. I'm passionate abo...


I know the night before how many butterflies to expect the next day. Tomorrow (August 2nd) I will have enough for 3-4 sessions! Today my daughter Natalie happily released 3 butterflies with me. If you're interested in a monarch release session, please contact me. In addition to tomorrow's butterflies, I have many more coming. The tentative schedule is posted here: https://www.gcustomphotography.com/monarch-interest/


It's time!!! I've been busy raising monarch caterpillars, and now the first dozen butterflies will emerge next week. Reserve your spot now! The tentative session availability is listed on this page https://www.gcustomphotography.com/monarch-interest/


I hope all of the fathers out there are enjoying this day dedicated to them. Happy Father's Day!


It's important to capture our kids as they are now, doing what they love to do. Frequently, the 8-14 year old age group is overlooked when it comes to individual portraits outside of the ubiquitous school photos. Capturing our kids where they are today, with what they love today, is one way to show them that we see them, we love them, and they are important. Consider scheduling a session for your 'tween today.


Sweet newborns always take my breath away


Doesn't this butterfly bring a smile to your face? With its wings open, it's less than a nickel in size (smaller than a dime with the wings closed). It's one of my favorites, and I was lucky to see several of them today when I went for a walk with my camera.


I had a great time photographing two terrific young men tonight, I'm so glad they were able to spend the time to have portraits made!


I've been super busy on multiple projects over the last few weeks, one of which is a totally revamped webpage. It's finally up and running, so go check it out! https://www.gcustomphotography.com/

g Custom Photography specializes in newborn, child, and family photography to capture life today to create art for tomorrow. Schedule a session to create your own family art to appreciate for years to come.


Ashburn, VA


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