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Rebecca Danzenbaker Photography |Ashburn, VA

Rebecca Danzenbaker
Rebecca Danzenbaker Photography
Ashburn, Virginia

This session is of my own extended family! I’m the one with the blonde curls. ;-) I have two sisters and we each have two kids – a boy and girl. We spend 5 days over Thanksgiving week together every year, including my parents as well, and we always do a photo session that I photograph for us.  

About a month prior to the session, we decide on a color scheme for the photos and then we all go out and buy clothes that match our own families’ styles. This year, our colors were cream, white, taupe, khaki, light gray and a small pop of mauve (only one person per family was allowed to wear mauve).  

This field my very favorite place to take photos, but it is slated to become a baseball field in the near future, so I didn’t want to miss out on using it for our family portraits. I love that we can see the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background!

We sometimes luck out with 50 or 60 degree temps here in Northern Virginia for Thanksgiving, but this year was COLD for us! It was 32 degrees for our photo session, a start contrast from the high 60s only a few days before. We set up each shot with our coats on, and then I had everyone throw their coats beside or behind them for their photos. I had to keep reminding everyone to relax their shoulders and faces since their bodies wanted to tense up to stay warm!  

Doing family photos for yourself is tricky! Previously, I used the built-in camera timer or a remote control, but the remote range was never long enough for the long lenses I prefer to use and the timer left me little wiggle room as I would dart 50 feet in a few seconds to try to make it into the shots. Now, I use a Canon 5D Mark IV, which creates its own wifi network, so I’m able to set up my camera far distances away and still fire the trigger from my smart phone.  

For the photos of the four of us in my own small family, I set up the camera for my brother-in-law, told him where to stand and what to push, and he snapped the photos for us, frequently stopping to show me the back of the camera to make sure he was doing it right.  

This is a great family tradition for us, and we all have our photos from every year displayed in our homes. It’s also important for me to experience what it’s like to be on the front side of the camera every year so that I know how my clients are feeling during their photo sessions.

Hi! I’m a newborn, family and maternity portrait photographer located in Northern Virginia. I started my business in 2008 and have been a full-time photographer for 5 1/2 years now! I try to blend both classic portraiture with modern style and trends, and focus most of my sessions on capturing a connection with and between my portrait subjects. My family photography sessions are usually done outside, most in my own neighborhood, Willowsford, which has lots of conservation land – open fields, nature trails and other beautiful landmarks. My newborn and baby sessions (not pictured) are done in my home studio, which takes up the basement of our home and offers 7 different backdrop options including an all-white studio bedroom for a more lifestyle look.


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