DuVal Family...Photography?

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Joy and I are creatives at heart. Whether it’s writing a screenplay, painting a landscape, playing the guitar or listening to that awesome song with a hot cup of coffee; we gravitate towards anything creative. Joy and I had both been through creative highs and lows. Joy is an awesome writer (in case you didn’t know) and when we were dating, she actually let me peak into her collection of poems and stories she had written over the years, at the same time I was trying to master Super Mario Kart 64…she’s on another level. I, too, have a creative streak. It started as soon as I could pick up a crayon and has really never left me. From filling sketchbook after sketchbook, to entering those corny art competitions you saw on infomercials where you had to send in your entry on the back of a postage envelope; I did it all. I attended college to get my B.S degree in 2D Studio art because my passion was to be a professional illustrator. Throughout college I dabbled in multiple mediums (including photography) and found my first love: Watercolor. I was immersed in the art culture and loved every minute of it. This is what I was born to do and be. Well, when I graduated, reality sunk in that RVA really didn’t have an abundance of decent paying Illustration gigs, so I slowly let my creativity get suffocated until it was almost gone (Wow…this sounds really depressing…bear with me).

 

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Over the years, encouraged by my awesome and beautiful wife, I started to exercise my atrophied artistic muscle slowly. I started drawing and painting watercolor again (my first love) and eventually had a show in Carytown. In the meantime, I encouraged Joy with her writing, and she entered several screenplay competitions and even started writing a full-length novel. I eventually branched out into taking photos (thank you, Steve Jobs): mostly sunsets, lol. To me, there is still few things as beautiful as a fiery, cloud-streaked sunset which slowly fades into deep magentas and blues. I say this all the time, but there are colors in those sunsets that we haven’t even invented yet. Something was missing though. Joy and I would often have conversations at night about our dreams and passions, and how we could intertwine them and make something together. We came to find out that we actually both just love being creative, and we both really love helping people. We also found out that we both had a hidden passion for capturing photographs. The spark was born.

 
 Taken from the balcony of our honeymoon cruise ship with...you guess it, our iPhone.

Taken from the balcony of our honeymoon cruise ship with...you guess it, our iPhone.

I convinced Joy to let us get one of those probably overpriced camera deals on Black Friday. You know the one that every parent of a sports kid gets to capture their Heisman moves and Lombardi-trophy winning moments? It was scary. To us, being newly married (~2 ½ years) it was a big investment. After immediately putting in an order for some books for a crash-course in professional photography and editing; I immediately put an ad on Craigslist offering free portrait sessions. Learning by immersion, right? I wanted to see if I had the stomach and skill for it. Thankfully, many people gave me a chance and it turned out that I loved every minute of it. Speaking to the clients, talking about their dreams and goals, being with them on one of the biggest days of their lives. We’ve been given some awesome opportunities from people we now call dear friends, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We are full steam ahead and hope to touch many more families’ lives going forward with our photos. Thanks for reading.

 
 From our first Portrait shoot. Candice Kirk @ Carillon Monument RVA

From our first Portrait shoot. Candice Kirk @ Carillon Monument RVA

 First our Maternity shoot. The Cassidy's @ VA Beach

First our Maternity shoot. The Cassidy's @ VA Beach

 First our Wedding shoot. The Smiths @ Shutters on the Banks in OBX

First our Wedding shoot. The Smiths @ Shutters on the Banks in OBX