Christene Schaaf, Photographer

About C.S. Photography, Inc.

C.S. Photography features the unique Home.Life.Art family sessions and Bébe Firsts sessions. What is Life Art? Well...Life Art is YOU! It is the relationship that is captured between family. A moment... a portrait created by me and turned into beautiful Life Art décor that makes you smile every time you walk by it and inspires your home to greet you.

My blog is filled with the inner workings of my photography passion. I will be featuring sneak peeks, tutorial tidbits, Life Art Décor suggestions, product offerings, client gallery designs and inspiration.

If you would like more information or want to schedule a Home.Life.Art or Bébe First session, please visit or email

Archive: ‘Decor’

Williamsburg Wreaths | Virginia Photographer

Friday, December 16th, 2011

It’s become a tradition of ours to head to Williamsburg to see all the beautiful wreaths. If you haven’t done it before, it’s worth the drive. I’m hoping we can see these for a few more years before moving on to our next duty station. Traditions are hard to come by in the military. :)

DIY Fabric Photo Leaves | Virginia Life Art Photographer

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

I’m a huge Pinterest junky. This table I found there along with the tutorial on how to make it. And I had a few Wild Sorbet frames just laying around the house that I knew I wanted to incorporate into my entryway. So, instead of filling the frame with a print I decided to leave them open and hang a smaller print from a wire. But, what I really wanted to share with you is the idea of these fabric photo leaves that I also pinned from the site. These are so easy to make and can beautifully decorate a Thanksgiving table! I can imagine digging out old photographs of family members who aren’t able to be there with you and decorating your table with these fabric leaves. So, to make them I printed out photos onto a sheet of fabric paper. Then I took a leaf from outside and made a template from a plain sheet of paper. I traced the leaf template onto the fabric photo and cut out the picture in leaf form. From there I cut out some small strips of floral wire and used Fabric-Tac glue to glue down the floral wire. When I did this I pinched the fabric to the wire a bit so it gives it that vein look. The wire I left long enough to give me a bit of a stem at the bottom of the leaf. Hopefully this gives you some inspiration!

Photo Block Ornaments | Virginia Life Art Photographer

Friday, October 28th, 2011

As promised, I’m showcasing more ways to bring Life Art into your holiday gifts! This project idea came from a dear friend who has way too many craft supplies on hand. ;) Her hubby had cut these 1.5″ blocks out of scrap wood for us and she painted them black and predrilled holes through the middle. If you are like me and are terrified at the thought of using a saw to cut tiny little blocks, you can search your local craft store or buy some online. I found these on Etsy. Or you can repurpose your child’s ABC blocks that he no longer uses.

The finished ornament:

How to:
1) Cut blocks to suit your size. These were 1.5″ cubes
2) Paint a color of your choice
3) Predrill holes through center big enough to fit yarn, rope, ribbon, etc. through.
4) Print out and cut pictures to fit on side of block. You will need 3-4 pictures per block. You use one side of the block to write on.
5) Using Mod Podge or other decoupage product, brush Mod Podge on one side of block. Place precut picture on top of Mod Podge. Brush a final coat of Mod Podge over picture. Repeat for all 4 sides of block. Let dry

6) When blocks are dry, tie a knot in the end of your rope, ribbon, etc. You can use a large needle to thread through the hole in the block. After each block is threaded, tie another knot to keep the block above from slipping down. Do this for all three blocks and tie off with a loop on top to hang your ornament with.

Just a note: If you are writing in one of the block spaces, do that before you Mod Podge. I photoshopped out the names on the blocks above because I’m an internet safety fanatic when it comes to kids. :)

What a great and simple gift this is! I’m thinking grandparent gifts! And if you really want to go all out, then wrap it in one of the Photo Gift Bags we made!

Cotton Photo Gift Bag | Life Art DIY Photo Crafts

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

I love these bags in the Somerset Magazine. I thought they would make perfect photo gift bags with a few modifications. I’m thinking of using these in my business to wrap gifts, gift cards, etc. but you can use them to bring your own family life art wrapped up!

I bought a few yards of White Cotton Muslin fabric. It was $1.99/yd not on sale, so an incredibly cost effective way to present a unique gift. You can either use an iron on transfer paper to transfer a printed image to a piece of fabric, or follow this DIY way to print using a common kitchen item, which is how I printed the image in the picture above.

1) Using a standard sheet of printer paper, trace and cut a piece of freezer paper. Trace and cut the same size piece of muslin cotton fabric.
2) Iron the fabric to the shiny side of the freezer paper. Cut off any lose strands of material to make sure they don’t get caught in the paper.
3) Feed one sheet of fabric paper at a time through printer to print directly on fabric. I found the best way was to print the image on the bottom half of the sheet. The paper seemed to get caught when it had to print right at the top of the paper. This way it fed half of the sheet through first before printing. If I wanted 2 images per sheet, I printed the first image on the bottom, turned the paper around and fed the sheet through again.
4) Remove freezer paper backing from fabric and iron out fabric again.

I trimmed the fabric photo to size and frayed the edges by pulling at the end strings.

In the meantime I cut out two same sized pieces of the same cotton muslim fabric. Mine ended up being about the size of an 8×10 sheet of paper.

Using a brightly colored thread, I sewed the transferred image onto one of the pieces of fabric in a messy circle and went around twice.

I pinned and hemmed the top of each piece of fabric, fit them together with the image sandwiched in the middle of the two pieces and sewed around the edge of the two pieces leaving the top of the pouch open. I actually decided to add a button flap to my pouch so I cut out two smaller pieces of fabric the same width as the bag and sewed along the edges leaving a small opening to be able to turn the small pieces of fabric inside out revealing the clean edges. I sewed this piece of fabric to the top of the back piece of fabric to my bag creating that messy 2nd hem line on the top of the bag.

Then to add the button I cut a button hole in the position I wanted and started hand stitching around the button hole since my sewing machine is missing that handy feature. I sewed the button on in position and that was it! I love the way it turned out!

This bag is going to go with one of my gift certificates for a client, which by the way make for great holiday gifts coming up!

Home.Life.Art Featured Client Display | Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake Photographer

Monday, August 15th, 2011

I’m so excited to feature one of my client’s bedroom decor from their Love Fest session back in February. We did a 16×20 Metallic bronze frame with rubbed silver trim above her bed to compliment the wall color and charcoal gray colors in the room and I love how it turned out! We also may add 2 smaller circle frames flanking the 16×20 at a later date with life art from that same session. Did you know I offer circle frames? :)

{Inspired} Wall Gallery Decor | Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake Photographer

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

If you follow my facebook page, I’ve been searching high and low for an example of custom portrait wallpaper. I am just dying to have a client let me wallpaper an accent wall in a playroom with a simple black and white portrait. Well, I finally found one! (Still working on the client :) ) Laura Novak is a huge inspiration for me and when I saw what she had done in this room, I fell in love with her work even more.

Photo used with permission.

{Inspired} Wall Gallery Decor | Transferring Photos onto Wood | Virginia Beach Photographer

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Photo Credit: Laurey W. Glenn
Southern Living

Sometimes your portraits don’t have to be on a big scale to make a grand statement in your home. I love this foyer/entryway idea featured in Southern Living. When you have this many small pictures, tying them together with one cohesive theme will give your home character and depth. In this case they were all done in black and white. The last thing you want is your home to look like your college dorm room with pictures of friends pinned to the walls. :) I was blown away when I read that these prints were copied onto wooden plates! Yes, they aren’t even regular prints pinned to the walls! So, I had to find out more and found this video on how to transfer prints onto wood. (The 2nd half of the video is where you will be amazed.) Did you know that could be done?! I’m eager to try out this process for myself.

{INSPIRED} Wall Gallery Decor | Virginia Beach Family and Child Photographer

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

The bathroom isn’t the first place you’d think to add family portraits, but wait until you see this beautiful design from Brooke Clarke of Studio B Portraits! She grouped stunning 30 inch panoramics around a 24 inch square in her own bathroom. Going BIG makes such an incredible impact in this space. I can imagine her smiling every time she walks in there. Wouldn’t you love to start your day with this view?!

Photo used with permission by Brooke Clarke.

{Inspired} Wall Gallery Decor | Virginia Beach Family and Child Photographer

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

I was so excited to come across this weeks featured inspired wall gallery. I have a similar wall in my entryway that I would love to do this too! Kate at Centsational Girl has a completely awesome DIY project that adds storage and a functional gallery ledge and wall to display your family portraits.

And to think she started with this all too familiar looking wall!

Thinking of taking on this project for yourself? You can find her detailed directions here!

Photos used with permission by

{Christmas in August} Mini Sessions | Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake Family Photographer

Friday, July 15th, 2011

C.S. Photography is announcing Christmas in August Mini Sessions! I know it’s so hard to think about Christmas in the middle of summer but remember how fast Christmas crept up on you last year?! (Or was that just me!) Wouldn’t you love to have your annual family portrait out of the way and holiday cards ordered and ready to go? (You’ll still have your summer tan too!) This will be the only time of the year I offer mini sessions! Visit the FAQ page for full details and to help you decide whether a Christmas in August mini session or fall Home.Life.Art session is right for you. Ready to book? Use the online appointment calendar at


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