Trumpet Vine Farm Engagement Shoot| Stephens City, VA

I love shooting at new locations,  it's nice to have something different and FRESH and this location was just perfect.  Gina and Jason are absolutely amazing! They are so easy to talk to and laugh with and boy did we laugh, A LOT!  I'm already looking forward to their wedding next year. The day didn't go as planned and a couple things may have gotten broken or left at home, but it will make for a great story.  Here are just a couple of my favorites and an outtake with a quote from Jason. ENJOY!

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 "Open your legs and let me get in there"- Jason

If I was the crying type, I would definitely be shedding tears over the loss of one of Tiptoe's finest... Last week, we had to say good bye to our Ande who has been with us for the last 4  years. She came to us fresh out of high school and we knew from the moment we met her that she was a Tiptoe girl! She first joined the team as an office employee, responsible for emailing clients, packaging orders, etc. As Tiptoe grew, Ande took on a bigger role. She has painted faces at Third Thursday events, dressed up and passed out candy for Halloween and sat through numerous vendors fairs with us. A few years ago, Ande took up the camera and became our part time photographer, shooting weddings, seniors and couples with a modern and edgy feel which was all her own. Ande has been a huge part of this business and without her contributions, we would not be the success we are today!

We wish her the best of luck as she rides off into the sunset (to Morgantown, lol) to study veterinary medicine.  She will always have a special place in all of our hearts and we will never forget the awesome memories of her time with us. And as we always say, "once a Tiptoe lady, always a Tiptoe lady!"

As she embarks on this new path in life, we wish her nothing but the best!  Ok, maybe I shed a single man tear there...but you'll never really know 😉

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Just a few cell phone pics from our last night together!!


As many of you may have seen recently, we have been on the hunt for a new Tiptoe girl, and after several (really great) interviews, we have our winner! Meet Melissa Grant, the newest addition to Team Tiptoe.  We have known and loved Melissa for over 5 years now, and with her bubbly personality, easy going-ness and flexibility we knew she would be a perfect fit for the team. So without further adieu .... we are super excited for you to get to meet Melissa.  Everyone please take a minute to welcome her and say hello.



Hi there! I’m Melissa, the newest member of the Tiptoe team. I am so excited to be part of such an amazing business and work among some great women. I Am just shy of turning 20 years old (boring). I am the daughter of two loving parents Paula Grant, my go to girl and best friend and Mike Grant, my beautiful angel upstairs, and siblings with my two brothers, Michael and Matthew. I am the middle child out of the three of us and like to consider myself the “peacemaker” of the family. Oh! I also have a little yorkie dog named Maci, who’s currently sitting on my lap as I type this. Maci is uncontrollable, spoiled, and I love her so very much considering I brought her home when I was 14… Let’s just say mom wasn’t very happy about that! I was born in Leesburg, VA and have lived in Harpers Ferry, WV my whole life. Growing up with two brothers has been an adventure and has taught me to always get back up when I fall down. Speaking of adventure… I have a heart for traveling, seeing new places, and experiencing new culture!

I have grown up Catholic and I am a member of Saint James Catholic Church, yes the huge church on old route nine, if you’re familiar with the area. No matter where I end up in life I always know I have a church to call home. Growing up I fell in love with competitive cheerleading and competed for about 14 years, then decided to give my body a rest from the sport. Since I brought up falling in love… I adore my boyfriend, Tyler! He is in the Navy and is a self-motivated, hardworking, loving person who makes me a better person every day. We support each other’s dreams, are best friends, and make the most out of every day together.

So now for a little more about me, me, me! I absolutely love summer time and the beach. Although, there is something about fall that makes my heart warm, ya know things like pumpkin spice, chunky sweaters, crisp air, and football season! (Cowboys fan, don’t hate on it) I also love to go on hikes, bike rides, and kayak down the river. I love to run and run in the Race for Hope 5k every year, 5 years and counting. I don’t watch that much tv… but when I do its Family Feud! I love flowers, books, messy buns, hammocks, waffles, and I can scroll through Pinterest till my thumb is tired. On another note, I really hate bugs and I’m not joking; I REALLY hate all bugs! I hate when my bed is not made and I can’t stand the cold weather! I volunteer to help feed the homeless every year on Christmas day. Through this experience it really makes me thankful for what I have and gives you a priceless feeling inside.

As of right now, I am about to start my last year at Blue Ridge CTC and will graduate with an Associate’s in Business Administration this fall. YAY! I am a member of Kappa Delta Phi and plan to continue my education by furthering to my Bachelor’s Degree. I am an organized person who loves schedules and list! I love working out and lifting too. I go to the gym every day and always keep up on my cardio. I also eat and live a healthy life style that I wouldn’t trade for any other life.

Now you all know a little about me and what makes up Melissa!



At least I can say that I tried. To tell you I'm sorry for breaking your heart...

That's right I am a Jefferson County native too, but I am the ONLY Tiptoe girl that resides on the outside... You know that "little place called Millville" that you had never heard of until you read Jennifer's post? Well, guess what??? This Tiptoe girl hails from Millville too. Fishing down by the river, riding my bike to the rock quarry, and taking a trip to the "end of the road" are all forever in my memory. Some may call Millville "that town where nothing ever happened", but I beg to differ.

It's not typical of me to talk about myself, and I'm sorry... but I have been told that by the "higher ups", (you can thank Tara, Lisa and Jennifer), that it MUST be done. So, here goes:

I moved to Virginia the summer of 2001, graduated from Warren County High School in June of 2003, and met my husband two months after I graduated. Yep, I was engaged to be married at the ripe age of 18, and we "tied the knot" before I turned 20. Crazy right??? Everyone seemed to think so, but I am happy to report that this Sunday, May 29th, 2016 we will celebrate 11 years of marriage. And, truth be told...I would marry him again tomorrow! He is without a doubt my soul mate, and he is pretty handsome too.


In September of 2008, we welcomed our one and only daughter, Brynnen Layne. Most would say she is my "mini me". She has a very strong/outgoing personality, and is destined to be an athlete. We could not be more proud of the fun loving little girl that she has grown to be. She is without a doubt everything and more than we expected her to be. We definitely "broke the mold" with her...which is why we only have one. And, let's keep it real...we "broke the bank" too. She is into EVERYTHING! Softball, training team gymnastics, PRIMS, and a member of the swim team for the first time this summer...I am not sure how people have more than one. Kids are EXPENSIVE, but I would use every last penny I had just to see that smile!


My little family has planted new roots in Winchester, VA. We have lived here since we got married in 2005. In 2013, we bought 9 acres and built our current home which we plan to live in until we retire. (Unless we hit the lottery and can afford a bigger piece of property.) We are so grateful to FINALLY have our horses with us. And with the horses, come the boots. As some of you may have read in a previous blog, my family has a boot addiction. Because remember...EVERYTHING looks better in boots!

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Although I hated to leave Jefferson County, I am thankful that life didn't take me far. They say 'Virginia is for Lovers" , and "everything happens for a reason"...so I know it was meant to be. I may live in Virginia, but I will always remember my roots... and I will always wear my boots!





Hey Everyone! It's Jennifer, the baby out of us three and one of the owners of Tiptoe Studios.  I was born and raised in Jefferson County in a little place called Millville, that not many people even know is here.   I live with my husband, Codie and two boys, Maximus and Maverick. I will be 30 this year and dreading every minute of it.  I swear I'm going to stay in bed all day, and probably cry.  I have the worst fear of getting older.  We are currently living with my parents (I know that sounds so awful) but it's just temporary until we build our dream home on our 2.5 acres that we have in Summit Point.

What makes me, me.....

First and foremost, I'm a daughter to the most amazing parents ever, that will literally do anything for anyone.  I'm the little sister to a twin brother (by only 5 minutes) and two older sisters.  I'm an aunt to 9 nieces and nephews.  I'm a wife to my high school sweetheart Codie and I'm a mommy to two rotten little boys who are my entire world.

The mom life was made for me. I always knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a mommy.  It's definitely not easy..like me trying to write this post that I've had to walk away from 1000 times to wipe a butt, runny nose, tear, pull Maverick off of Maximus...etc.  It never ends, but I take the good with the bad and wouldn't change it for the world.  It's the most rewarding job ever, because at the end of the day...I didn't miss any of it.

A little bit about my boys...Maximus, my oldest, is 5 years old and Maverick oh my Maverick (the name fits him to a T) is 3. I didn't know what love was until I had them.  They have changed me in so many ways and I'm forever learning  from them.  Maximus is a true mommas boy, I mean he acts just like me and I hate to admit it. He has a heart of gold though.  Maverick, well let's just say he is Maverick.  He will for sure do big things when he gets older, I just know it....but he gives you this big smile and in that moment everything in life is perfect.

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Codie- my love, my boo, my babe....I remember the day I saw him, I was 15 years old and I told my mom that I was going to marry him. Sounds super crazy I know, but I'm a sucker for love and I believe in love at first sight.  We have been together for almost 15 years and married almost 7. I love doing life with this man by my side. 

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More about me...

I hate mornings with a passion, if I could sleep all day I would. I'm late for everything...ask anyone, no matter what the appointment is, you can bet your sweet ass I'll be 5-10 minutes late.  I love the gym, I'm obsessed and pretty much live in workout clothes. I love peanut butter, I eat it ALL DAY!   I can't add or subtract...honest, it's sad but true...and to think I even worked at a bank for 6 years.  I absolutely HATE doing the dishes like every ounce of my body HATES it!  I use way to many napkins , like it's bad...every time I need to wipe my hands, I get a new one.  I will never get into an unmade bed...I'll make Codie get out of bed just so I can make it.

So now that you know so much about me, it's okay to think I'm a hot mess....but this is my crazy, beautiful life and I love it and everyone that's in it.




headshot editHello Everyone! Tara here.  I am the lucky first Tiptoe lady in line to bring you my All About Me post so let's get this contest going, shall we?

I am the oldest Tiptoe lady at 36 (gasp!) years of age. I totally feel like I am somewhere around 28 though, on a good day! I was actually born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania but moved to Charles Town when I was 5 years old. Because it is such a small town, I do still tend to feel like a transplant, even 31 years later. I live in Kearneysville with my husband, Donnie and 2 kids, Maddox and Gabriel whom I love and a dog, Milly and cockatiel, Bubbles whom I do not love. As you might can guess, I am not an animal lover!

I, along with my two partners, Lisa and Jennifer own Tiptoe Studios. I actually retired from shooting about a year and a half ago. My current role is scheduling sessions, handling emails and phone calls, assigning shoots, handling the financial aspects of the business and conducting mostly all of the ordering sessions. You know, all the fun stuff, lol! I do thoroughly enjoy what I do and appreciate every day that I have the opportunity to be my own boss and set my own schedule. It gives me the flexibility to be more involved with my kids' school and leaves plenty of Me-Time which I absolutely require in order to stay sane!

A few things that make me, me...

I am a closet introvert! It is through a lot of practice and effort that I can definitely handle myself in a crowd, but what you don't see is the part when I go home and isolate myself in a quiet room by myself to "re-charge my batteries"...for a few hours...and normally with a glass of wine!

I am not a fan of big emotional displays. Or small emotional displays. Or of emotions in general. Please do not cry in front of me unless you are watching a Tiptoe slideshow or you are a small, hurt child.

My nails are painted 99.99% of the time. Plain nails make me sad. (But I don't cry about it, lol!)

My sister is a nurse who happened to also be a hairdresser once upon a time, so she still cuts and colors my hair. My biggest repeat request when I have her do my hair is to not make it look like "PTO mom hair". On that note, I am currently the PTO president of my kids school and have been for the last 5 years!

I love TV, like, ALOT. I frequently put every TV in my house on the same channel when I am watching a show so that I can wander from room to room, cleaning or whatever and still be able to keep a continuous eye on said show!

I do not like blueberries, raw onions or wasabi. A few other dislikes are capri pants, Subarus and Kanye West.

As soon as I drop the kids off at school, I crank the radio up and sing (loudly) along to 80's rock, 90's alternative music or gangster rap, just depending on what mood I am in. AND I think I sound great AND I don't care who sees me rockin' out!

I love TV shows, movies and books about an apocalypse! It can be any apocalypse, zombie, power, natural disaster, whatever.  If it's about the end of the world, I am fascinated!

I retain a lot of useless information about a wide range of topics. But, hey, when I am ready to go on Jeopardy, I am going to kick ass!

Us girls...


The boys...


In parting, I will leave you with what I think is some pretty damn good advice...

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Hi Ya'll, aren't you glad the sun is shining today??!!  We certainly are! Despite the dreary weather this month, we haven't let it put a "damper" (see what I did there 😉 ) on our productivity! We have been super busy not only shooting several sports teams, preschools and weddings but also designing and preparing for the launch of our brand new website! On June 1st, we will be making the big change but in the meantime, we have a little contest to get under way...!

Every day this week, there will be an "About Me" post from 1 Tiptoe lady, giving you the lowdown on her life. You know, personality quirks, likes and dislikes, funny stories; pretty much anything we want to throw out there to our captive audience, lol! Read these carefully and thoroughly because on Tuesday, May 31st we will release our 1st Ever Tiptoe Studios Scavenger Hunt! There will be questions plucked from each blog post for you to answer and maybe a "find the object" portion thrown in for good measure. All answers must be submitted to our email, tiptoestudios@yahoo.com, June 1st by midnight to be entered to win! The prize? One lucky winner will receive a 15 minute Tiny Session with 10 print released images, a $500 value! Want to increase your chance to win? You can receive one additional entry each for liking our Facebook page, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram and subscribing to the Tiptoe Studios blog. So, shall we get this thing going? Here is the first portion of our All About Me Series:

Tiptoe Beginnings...

 Sometime in 2004 in what feels like a galaxy far, far away, Tara Showen, Lisa Mercer and Jennifer Gustines met while working at Jefferson Security Bank in Charles Town, WV. After a few more years of "working for the man" we decided to strike out on our own and Tiptoe Studios was formally created in July of 2008. In the beginning we had no studio and shot on location in Charles Town, Shepherdstown and Harpers Ferry.

Sorry about the picture of a picture but we were disposable camera type of girls back then so enjoy this little gem!throwback

With the addition of a studio around 2010, we also added Ande Compton who we never imagined would stick with us through thick and thin for the next 6 years! Ande started out as our office girl but quickly impressed us with her edgy and modern style of photography and has since escalated to part-time photographer while attending Shepherd University.

In January of 2014, Beth Williams, a longtime client (and Jennifer's cousin!) joined us as our Winchester area photographer. Her eagerness and persistence has helped us spread the Tiptoe word and we consider ourselves lucky to have her!

We moved into our current studio space 4 years ago this September and we have enjoyed being in the center of downtown Charles Town. For those of you who have never visited, stop on by sometime for a visit! We love to show our studio off!

We believe Tiptoe is so successful because of our shared customer service related backgrounds and also because we genuinely love each other and get along so well! We often get inquiries from people who are eager to join our team and the underlying comment is always, "you guys just look like you have so much fun!" Well, we honestly do! It helps that we were friends before business partners and it is something that we try to never to lose sight of, even when we are elbows deep in editing and spending hours upon hours in meetings in the studio. If you follow our Facebook and Instagram pages, you can see that we spend lots of non-Tiptoe time together as well!

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There are a few people who deserve some pretty big thank yous for helping Tiptoe truly flourish along the way:

Art Henderson- Art taught us so much when we first began Tiptoe Studios, including the very basics and, more recently, he taught us natural light girls a little bit more about studio lighting as well! Thank you Art!

Lindsay Hall and Chasity Eggleton- These girls were our Missouri and local photographers and we truly believe they were instrumental to making Tiptoe Studios the success it is today. Even though major life changes have taken us on different paths, we still believe that "once a Tiptoe lady, always a Tiptoe Lady" and consider them our Tiptoe Family even now! Love you, ladies and thank you so much for everything!


So that ends the "Tiptoe beginnings" portion! I hope you read it carefully... Tara is up next and will be posting later on today!


Every year, there's this group of people who collectively express their enmity for February 14th. Some of them just outright hate this day simply because they don't have a significant other to share it with. They just get in this bad mood and they let it be known to the world.  Others, however, shut themselves away with a gallon of ice cream in one arm and a box of tissues in the other.  Adele plays in the background while 'The Notebook' is set to re-run on TV. They turn into a big ol' sob bucket for a day and mope around all because no one loves them like Noah loves Allie.

Now, if you're having difficulty identifying whether you're being a V-Day downer or not, here are a couple signs to determine where to place yourself in this discussion...

You're status updates say something to the effect of, "Ugh!! This is such a stupid holiday.  THIS girl don't need a man in order to be happy.  V-Day's such a joke!"


"I can't even go to the store without seeing hearts and chocolates and all the cute things that no one will be getting me for Valentine's Day....I guess I'll just stay home by myself.  Hopefully 'The Notebook' is on TV. I need a good cry."

Alright, LOOK HERE YOU..... Firstly, you're taking a dump on everyone else's Valentine's Day, so stop.  Don't take away a smile on someone else's face just because you decided not to have one on yours.

Here's why you should have a smile on your face though...

  1. 'Walking Dead' comes back on Sunday night.
  2. You have an excuse to make/buy goodies and eat them!
  3. Because you deserve it - Don't tell me you can be so easily defeated...by a date on the calendar!?  Don't make yourself miserable over it.  It's supposed to be fun and just because you don't have a 'special someone' at the moment doesn't mean you're excluded from the party.
  4. Because life is easier when you make the best of it - Even if you can't see it now, there IS a positive side to every situation.  You might not realize it for years to come, but it's there, I promise. So on Valentine's Day, shut up and make the best of it.
  5. There's enough negativity in the world already - Pleeease don't add to it.  The less, the better.
  6. Lastly, there is ALWAYS someone, something that is in need of love - So spread the good feelings and in turn, it might just brighten your own day. Win-win.

A lot of the time, Valentine's Day is thought to exist solely for the pleasure of those who have husbands, wives, boyfriends, or girlfriends. But there is so much more to it!!  Love isn't restricted to a partner.  Here's some ways to enjoy yourself and let the good feelings flow on Valentine's Day (with, or without a partner).

  1. Spend the day making crafts and baking V-Day cookies with your little one. Decorate one for eachother and chow down while you watch your favorite movies together.
  2. No kiddies? Maybe fur babies are the center of your life...Bake homemade treats for the fluff balls. Do things together that you both enjoy. An outdoor stroll, fetch, a trip to the petstore for a new plaything or a rawhide of choice. Please don't do those things with your cat though... I would suggest inviting them on your lap while you sip tea and read that book that you've been meaning to break out. Afterwards, maybe get real crazy and break into the catnip.
  3. Can't get enough of the outdoors?  Take a day trip to a place you've never been before.  Then, treat yourself to that restaurant you've been eyeing for the past year and end the day with a glass of wine.
  4. Create something, just to create.  Treat yourself to some new art supplies and a bottle of the good stuff. Let the creativity flow.
  5. Bring your co-workers a couple dozen Valentine's Day donuts or have a bake day and surprise them with cookies on Monday.
  6. Adopt a furry friend. There's always a bundle of fluffy love out there in need of a good home.
  7. Give a homeless guy breakfast and a blanket.
  8. Put more gas on your pump than you can put in your car. Let the next person have whatever's left.
  9. Spend the day making your neighbors little gift baskets and leave it at their door for when they get home.
  10. Make cupcakes. Eat all of them.

Y'all get the point. Spend your day doing something you love, being with someone/something you love, or just showing love.  Enjoy life and all it's given you. And honestly, don't just apply this to your Valentine's Day, apply it to any day. With that being said...

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!!<3



For those of you who made a New Year's resolution to learn how to use your fancy camera... We are excited to announce that we will be hosting the first workshop in our Tiptoe Teaches series, this January 24th at 9am! This "Know Thy Camera" class teaches the very basics of photography and explains how to shoot in the Tiptoe style. Book before January 15th and receive 10% off the price of the class!

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Helllllllooooo everyone! We at Tiptoe Studios hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas and New Year! We took a nice long break but we are back and ready to jump right into 2016!

I don't know about you, but right after the Christmas and New Year holidays, I fall into a funk! The Christmas lights are gone along with that awesome feeling of anticipation for the holiday parties, family time and celebration and we are left with bleak January and February. And to me, January + February = super cold weather and static-y hair. Neither of which I am a fan!

Soooo, we turn our thoughts to the next big holiday to brighten our spirits and it happens to be one of my favorite days of the year... Valentine's Day! I know that a lot of people see it as a fake or "Hallmark" holiday but pictures for V-Day are some of my favorites because they are so darn cute! (or super sexy if you plan to go that route, this year!) 😉 I mean take a look at these pics of Olivia and Gabe from last year:

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I mean, seriously!? How freakin' cute is that? And yes, we shamelessly dress our kids up and use them for advertising! We have plans to do it again this year, so stay tuned!

Anywho...let's get on to the part where I tell you about this year's upcoming Valentine's Day specials! We have a few to satisfy every Valentine's Day need! The first up is our annual boudoir special...


We are booking these right now and will continue to do so up until February 1st...plenty of time to get that session album on time for the big day! Ladies, give him what her really wants this year!

For our families and couples, we have a promotion for you as well! Check it out below:

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So, break out your best pink, red and white outfits and give us a call or shoot us an email to book one of these awesome sessions!  We can't wait to see you!