I create elegant, expressive, fine art wedding photography, engagement photos, family portraits, and maternity photos in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia
Winter Micro Wedding DC | Mahogany and Milton Enid A. Haupt Garden Bridal Session
Lincoln Memorial Surprise Proposal | DC Engagement Photographer
Winter Maternity Session at Glenview Mansion in Rockville, MD
If you don’t know, women portrait photography, is important to me. As your go-to black female portrait photographer, I decided to step into the vulnerable space of being the subject rather than the artist. Up until this point updating my headshots has been the extent of my portrait experience as an individual. As a creator of visual narratives, I recently decided to fully turn the lens on myself for a 40 over 40 portrait session. I entrusted the talented Martha Felix Photography from Phoenix, Arizona, to capture the essence of this significant milestone in my life.
Turning 40 was more than just a birthday; it was a pivotal moment that sparked deep self-reflection. Questions about identity, purpose, and legacy danced in my mind. And so, for my birthday in September, I embarked on a journey to celebrate the woman I’ve become and the journey that brought me here. I sought to define myself beyond the roles of wife and mom. Losing my mom to breast cancer after Covid made me acutely aware of the void in my visual legacy. Trying to find images of her at different life stages was a challenge. I knew many others shared this struggle. This realization fueled my commitment to photographing women over 40. Creating a space for them to see their beauty at every age. Investing in this experience was a decision not just for me but to walk the same beautiful path I offer my clients.
Beyond the lens, it became a powerful lesson for my daughters—they witnessed firsthand the importance of self-love, embracing every aspect regardless of societal norms. My 40 over 40 session wasn’t just a photoshoot; it was a personal journey, a celebration of self-worth, and a testament to the beauty in imperfections.
At the tender age of 40, I envisioned myself in the best shape of my life, and excelling in various aspects. Life, as it often does, had its own plans, and those goals took a backseat. As women we have to share ourselves with our husbands, children, family and friends but it shouldn’t be to the point where we lose ourselves. However, at 44, I’ve started checking off some of those boxes, a testament that it’s never too late to become the person you aspire to be.
In particular, starting my photography business, LaTonya Photography, played a pivotal role in my personal development. It became a conduit for finding my purpose. The business also allowed me to capture women through portrait photography and empower them through the lens. As a plus-size woman, I’ve intimately understood the challenges of being photographed and finding flattering, fashionable clothes. This realization birthed the idea of building a client closet in my studio. It now contains a treasure trove of styles and sizes from online retailers like Amazon, Shein, Fashion Nova, and more.
I carefully curated my wardrobe for the session. Drawing from my favorite pieces that not only flattered my body but also reflected different facets of my personality. The black leather pants and copper crop top combo served as a business casual look for updated branding headshots.
The green universal dress portrayed elegance and formality. A multipurpose black sequin dress from Etsy added a touch of sexiness to the portrait session. And the showstopper? A black sheer dress with a train, a nod to my sensuality and femininity.
Beyond the outfits, this experience was about empowerment and leading by example. Like many of my clients, I also value investing in myself, seek guidance during photoshoots, and feel those nerves when standing in front of the camera. The surprising delight came in realizing how much I enjoyed the entire process. Leaving Martha’s studio, I felt an extra layer of confidence, beauty, and I walked away with images that my daughters now cherish.
Investing in myself annually has become a commitment, a celebration of the evolving version of LaTonya. This 40 over 40 portrait session was not just about capturing a moment; it was a transformative journey of self-love, empowerment, and embracing the beauty of the present. Here’s to every woman who, like me, is navigating the beautiful complexities of life, one portrait at a time.
Weddings | Engagements Maternity | Portraits