whatever Makes Your Soul Happy, Do That.- Self Portraits

When i’m stuck, when i’m down, when my heart is heavy. I try to hold on. i continue on daily, but what sets my heart free is being places that make me filled with joy, and with people who never resist hugs and make me laugh until it hurts. I take time for myself and even take self portraits, to see myself literally through a lens. I upload those photos and instead of picking them apart, i point out the good, the things i’m capable of, and the abilities i was given. It continually makes see the good and appreciate the little “flaws.” 

I take self portraits for social media content sure, to update my profile photos and the changes in my hair and almost 30 year old self. But it always does something much deeper than that. We take thousands of photos, so why not have a few of YOU, where you can see beauty in yourself and embrace the things we spend way too much time worrying about. (Things most people don't ever even notice.) To, even if for a moment hold onto some self confidence to carry around. to believe in ourselves the way to tell others to. 

If you’ve been down and feel your heart is too heavy lately, i want to encourage you to go. you may not be able to travel to places with familiar faces or to a place you lived almost across the country, but you can find those spots near your home that give you peace and you sense something more. i have these spots everywhere i visit so when i need to fill my heart again, there’s never one too far. whether it’s a park in Red Wing Minnesota, White Sands in New Mexico, a secluded walking spot to the beach in Virginia, or even in a chair in your backyard with a book. do that. do more of what makes you happy. and don’t forget to think of all the wonderful things you are. 

Self love and time for you isn't selfish. it's the necessary part to continually be able to love those around you in time of need and shine with genuine happiness.

beautiful self portraits on a windy day white sands national park
Davista photography Shanna Magnuson self portraits
Davista photography white sands New Mexico
bombshell sports leggings yoga pants at white sands New Mexico
bombshell sportswear yoga pants self portraits
New Mexico fitness photography at white sands
glamour and beauty photography Davista photography Shanna Magnuson


Keep Shining

Shanna Star

Fitness- It's more than exercise

I posted something on my fitness instagram page that people related with, and even got a few messages about. I thought i should dig a little deeper into what it said. 

Fitness is SO much more than exercise and looking good. it's a catalyst for positive changes, and it affects every aspect of your life. After I started being consistent I realized how much time I had, and how valuable it is. I i used my time more wisely. Reading, praying, reaching out, even working harder at my job and becoming more confident in all of it It may seem shallow to many, but what it does is spark energy, motivation, discipline, in all areas of life. I still have down days but it made me better. 

3.5 years ago when I started being consistent working out and eating healthy, it literally changed my whole life which is why I'm so passionate sharing it with you! Absolutely exercise can change your body, but it changes so much more than just an outward appearance. Inwardly,which is the real reason it's important. Not only benefiting your organs and whole body system it changes your mindset and soul. It even allowed me to see that I was spending time at the gym, so why not better other parts of my life, like reading and praying. So i started making deals with myself, everyday i go to the gym, i have to spend time in prayer and reading so i'm bettering all of me, not just my body. 

 We all waste time, and I admit I still do sometimes, but I used to waste SO much more time and i didn't see the value in the time each day I have. One of the reasons people don't workout is because they say "I don't have time." But when you MAKE time, you realize how valuable it is and how you can accomplish so much more each day with being wise with your time. (and yes still have down time, we all need that too!)

I am not saying you have to be a complete gym rat like I've become. THAT does take more time that not everyone has. But I can't think of too many more things that are as important as your health, spending 30 minutes a few times a week to strengthen not only your body, but your confidence, heart, and maybe make your kids tired if they're with you sounds like a great way to encourage yourself for productivity and for your kids to see the importance of taking care of the bodies we have. 

It's truly hard to explain to those who don't have some of those workout, reading, and eating healthy routines in place. Because before i started, i couldn't see the value and how it would change. All i could say is i don't have time, i'm way too busy. So maybe i should CHALLENGE you to see what it does for you. Go on a 2 mile walk 3x a week if you don't workout at all. (kids or no kids) Women, the book captivating is a good encouraging book i recommend starting with. Read one chapter and journal 3x a week. (pssst that's only 6 days ) implement a healthier meal once a week. I hope you see fitness is more than exercise and it will spark positive change in your life. 

-Keep Shining

Shanna Star

White Sands, New Mexico Yoga Photoshoot- Tiffany

My first yoga photoshoot, and it was seriously so much fun! Tiffany has been practicing for just over a year, and we got connected on Instagram. You can follow her account here. We decided that it would be beautiful at white sands, even though it would be more difficult for balancing. 

I brought Brandon and Austin with to help assist and record behind the scenes, and after we had our try at a few poses (which you can see in the video below!) We decided to try a few Acro Yoga poses too using Brandon, and they did them with ease thanks to Tiffany! I explain in the video the differences for the silhouette and lighted shot so if you're curious about it, don't forget to watch!

One of the first questions I had for her is where she got her fantastic outfits. She's wearing Altar Ego Apparel and you can get 15% on the website link if you use Tiffany15 

So here's a few of my absolute favorites from the session with Tiffany!

yoga poses photoshoot warrior
white sands national park fitness portraits
yogi in alter ego apparel
alter ego yoga pants apparel
beautiful poised yoga fitness photography
beauty outdoor womens portraits
spirit meditation yoga poses
womens fitness model fashion apparal
yoga the crow chakra pose
silhouette of acroyoga couple pose
high flying whale acro pose photographer
outside yogi back bend spirit body and mind
partner acro yoga couples poses
beautiful silhouette body strength and body weight portrait
yogi headstand at sunset mediatation
strong warrior womens pose portrait
mermaid pose in alter ego apparal new mexico fitness
silhouette backbend in sunset
gorgeous king pigeon yoga photoshoot pose in sand
Bird of paradise for yogi

Don't miss the video above! Cut to show how the acro yoga poses got into position, and some of us at the end trying it out!

Tiffany- Thank you so much for your time and skills, but also for being such a good sport. I truly loved our shoot and hope we can work together in the future! 

Brandon, Austin, and I are weight lifters so it was SUCH a great experience to see a different type of exercise in action and how difficult it is! Props to all you yogis, my balance is nowhere near that! 

Keep Shining

Shanna Magnuson

Womens Figure Competitor- Fitness model portraits, Molly

I love photographing these strong women. Goal oriented, hard workers, and positive mentality. I love when they’re able to take a small break from it just to see their hard work in print. To capture forever what they’ve worked hard for, for months, and years. Molly has competed a few times, always in women’s figure and her last show was in Vegas for the NPC USA. 

We started out at White Sands National Park, and then to my studio to show off those gorgeous muscles! Molly brought all the outfits you see, except for the blue one.. i happen to purchase it for a shoot in mind but never got around to using it yet.. and it fit her perfectly! (it’s from Amazon if you all are curious) So here’s just a few favorites from our shoot. and she KILLED it! 

white sands fitness cowgirl photoshoot
womens figure competitor photographs
beautiful woman npc figure competitor
gorgeous sky photographs and cowgirl
girls with muscle fitness model photos
new mexico fitness photos
hampton viriginia fitness photography outdoor poses
NPC competitor las vegas fitness
gorgeous beach virginia beach fitness and boudoir photographer
virginia beach shape magazine photographer
beauty fitness poses with abs and muscles
posing for women with weights
weight lifting booty competitor
glamourous virginia beach photography
in studio virginia photography
back muscles and poses magazine photographer
sexy lingerie and boudoir virginia hampton
beautiful NPC pro poses
virginia photographer boudoir and physical fitness
boudoir in studio hampton VA
lingerie and swimsuit photos


You can follow Molly on instagram: molly_maya and don't forget to comment and leave her some love! she worked so hard and looks FABULOUS! 

-Keep Shining

Shanna Star

7 places to purchase clothing for your fitness photoshoot

If you’re thinking of doing a fitness (or boudoir) shoot especially around the time you’re getting ready for a show it can be overwhelming to get some new cute things without spending an arm and a leg and looking in store after store (if you’re getting ready for a comp, money, energy, and time can be tight!) so instead of spending hundreds on a few outfits and then not having enough for the real keepsake.. photographs; i’m going to give you a few places to shop and ideas! 

where to purchase clothing for fitness or boudoir photoshoots

1- Your closet- You probably have a few things already around that would be perfect! Shirts, shorts, or leggings that you love. Your favorite sneakers, heals, crop tops, and a fun swimsuit. And to add something a little different... make your own out of things you already have! You know that old ribbed tank you have? rip it. make it a crop top. that oversized t-shirt. cut it, make it a cute sleeveless tank. a cute but plain sports bra? copy paige hathaway. just put one shoulder strap over your head so they’re on the same side. Don’t forget about oversized sweaters, leather jackets, or bra and panty sets. Also your favorite brands you already own. especially if you want to tag them in photos! 

2- Charlotte Russe or Forever 21- Known to be inexpensive, I shopped here for my fitness shoot. They always have short shorts and crop tops for super cheap. i’m talking under $5 so don’t spend a ton of money on outfits you may not use again. 

fitness photography outfits

3- Amazon- Basically my go to for everything including bodysuits and swimsuits (and adorable floaties and accessories) you can get these for under $20 and sometimes under $10. Cheap enough to get something a little different you may not wear often.  They have SO many options and you don’t have to even leave your home! --- bodysuit to the right is the same from Amazon pictured above!

4- Ask your photographer.  Okay okay, so it's not purchasing clothing but close enough. I just started shooting fitness about a year ago so i don’t have TONS of options but i do have a leather jacket, a few crop tops, and a few short shorts. 

5- Target- They always have cute graphic tees, inexpensive sports bras, and swimsuits! 

6- Classic sets-Calvin Klein or Victoria’s secret underwear set. But if you purchase these, make sure you’ll wear them again! If you’ve had your eye on a set and needed a reason to splurge, you’re definitely worth it and wearing it for the first time in a shoot is great before it gets worn in. Just don't make these big purchases last minute add-ons! you'll have plenty without.

7- Outlet stores- Underarmor Outlet (one of my personal fave)  always have GREAT deals and you’ll wear those again. 


EXTRA TIP: What size should you get if you’re in-between? Opt for the slightly larger (not baggy) why?- even the leanest of ladies would get that squished skin look if it’s too small and that's much harder to edit that out.

here's a few more fun Amazon that i have saved ;) 

purchasing clothes for photography

Keep Shining

-Shanna Star