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: ‘Military’

Welcome Home Rawhides! | Norfolk Homecoming Photographer

Monday, November 5th, 2012

The USS Enterprise returned home this past weekend and this lucky lady was one of the first to greet her husband in the 1st wave of homecomings. After two extensions and a hurricane delay it was an emotional sight to see the ear to ear grin on her face. Thank you for your service and sacrifice and WELCOME HOME!!!

VFA-34 Wives | Virginia Beach Military Photographer

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Back-to-back deployments and the dreaded extension have left these wives understandably exhausted and ready for their husbands to be home. I don’t normally get into politics, but sometimes you just have to say something. I was at the hair salon the other day and the salon was abuzz with chatter about the F-18 crash that happened the day before in Virginia Beach. One person in particular made the comment that she hoped this incident would be the final straw that closes Oceana and moves the jets out of the area. What broke my heart was her reasoning. “The jets were so loud over her home that every 2 seconds she had to pause her TV show just so she could hear it.” Sometimes I feel like the average person in our country is so far removed from this war. Unless you have a loved one serving, you probably hardly think about those serving overseas. Or the wives left back home expecting their husbands to return for the birth of a baby, only to find out that an extension has pushed his arrival back a few months. Put yourself in their shoes. The scariest day of my life was hearing about that jet crash and not knowing if my husband was safe. 30 minutes of what-if. 30 minutes of calling close friends and family. 30 minutes of prayers and crying until the phone finally rang. If the only thing you have to sacrifice is listening to noise during your tv show, I’d say you are doing pretty good. Imagine those without the freedom to turn on the tv. Imagine those who are flying…and training…so they can go to war for you and back up the men and women who are on the ground taking a bullet for you. I am so proud of my husband for what he does for this country. I’m so proud of these women for what they do! All I can say is shame on those of you who want the freedom but just can’t sacrifice your 30 minute tv show. *Stepping off my soap box now.*

VFA-34 Blue Blasters Sneak Peek | Virginia Beach Photographer

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Here’s a quick sneak peek for the wives of the Blue Blasters. The Easter bunny came early for their deployed hubbies. ;)

Portraits for Benny | Virginia Beach Mini Session Announcement

Friday, January 27th, 2012

For those of you not on Facebook, we recently lost a dear friend of ours. Ben Cittadino was a pilot in our last and current squadron. His passing was so sudden and the impact so great on our military community. Thank you to all who have expressed interest in the mini sessions for Benny. All proceeds for these sessions will be donated to Benny’s scholarship fund. Right now I’m only opening March 17th up. If this day fills, I may be able to open an additional day in April. These mini sessions can be used for Family (5 people or less), Maternity, or Couple sessions. I will not be able to accommodate any individual newborn portraits. The location of the event will be announced to participants as the date gets closer. It will be in the Virginia Beach area, but will NOT be on the beach. Thank you again for your support for this family! I look forward to working with everyone!

Click on the link below to learn about the details for this special mini session event! To sign up for a session, you will be asked to visit to request your session time. Sessions will be held for 24 hours until I receive your donation amount via paypal to, or you can make arrangements by email to mail a check to me. Your session time will not be confirmed until I receive your donation and signed portrait agreement. Portrait agreements will be emailed out to participants. Thank you for your understanding!

Welcoming Home the Sunliners | Virginia Beach + Norfolk Military Homecomings

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

They love passionately. I could tell from the moment he planted that first kiss on her. I don’t think they could hug any tighter. She is a service member herself and they’ve been on opposite deployment schedules. This wasn’t just any homecoming. They are both home. Together. For a little while at least. Thank you both for your service and sacrifice! Here’s a quick sneak peek for you!

She came early | Virginia Beach Newborn Photographer

Friday, May 27th, 2011

She decided to come early just so she could meet her daddy before he left. He would have already been long on his way by the time her due date rolled around. Something tells me this little girl is going to have him wrapped around her finger. :) Thank you both for inviting me into your home during those precious days left.

Military Spouse Appreciation | Choose your Winner!

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Thank you to the military spouses listed below and to those who nominated them! Help me choose a winner by voting for who you would like to see win the Home.Life.Art Family Session and 16×20 gallery wrapped canvas. Voting is limited to one vote per IP address and will end on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 9pm EST. The winner will be announced and contacted on Wednesday, May 11th. Good luck!

Here are the nominated spouses!

Julie Devlin nominated Jennifer Campagna:
I would like to nominate Jennifer Campagna, CO’s wife of VFA-15 Valions. I met Jennifer in 2009 when her husband joined the Valions as the XO. From the beginning Jennifer has opened her home and her heart to the Valion Family and continues to do so as we prepare for the upcoming deployment. She dedicates her time and passion to her family, her daughter’s school activities, the spouse’s club, and still manages to find time to exercise and maintain a beautiful home. During our last spouse’s club meeting she told us that she thinks of us as her friends and that we will get though deployment together. Jennifer is the ROCK of the Valions spouse’s club and I am confident she will help all of us as we go through the ups and downs of deployment. I know she has no idea how much her acts of kindness really mean to other military spouses like myself, and this is exactly why Jennifer deserves to be honored. I believe it is true that a woman’s outer beauty is reflected by her inner beauty, and Jennifer is a beautiful women inside and out. Her energy and smile are contagious and she will warm your heart instantly. Jennifer is truly deserving of this acknowledgment and opportunity.

Bryna Sampey nominated Karen Ziegler Smith:
I’d love to nominate Karen Ziegler Smith. She and I met when they were stationed in Monterey, and we lived there. (We are civilian, but my husband does contract work with NOAA and ACoE and is gone quite a lot) and we bonded over common ground and long walks with our new babies. She was so wonderful and warm to welcome me into her walking group just moments after meeting me. She now lives across the country from us (we’re in WA and she’s in VA) but we keep in touch over Facebook! Talk about a dedicated Mama! Not only is she amazing, but her family is just beautiful, making for excellent subjects for your photo shoot! Thanks for considering Karen!

Melissa Meeks nominated Dana Karstensen-Bryan:
I nominate Dana Karstensen-Bryan because she needs a beautiful image of her family to hold onto when the tides of life overwhelm. With wit, charm, and unbelievable strength, she handles anything the Navy throws at her husband and whatever a rare genetic condition throws at her son. Plus, she tends to collect animals, causes, and people with equal frequency. Your camera could hardly find a truer golden heart.

Joye Karstensen nominated Dana Karstensen-Bryan:
I would like to nominate Dana Karstensen-Bryan for the picture. She is a wife and mother truly committed to doing the best for her family no matter what life throws at her. When they were told their son had a rare genetic condition, she has been determined to get more information out there for the families of other children who have this condition. She has created a blog for others to follow. She has taken calls from new parents to give them as much information that she can with as much positive feed back that she can deliver. She does all of this with a small child and five (5) rescued animals to take care of daily. She also does this with a military husband who is in and out serving and protecting our country. I am proud she is my daughter and I feel she is most deserving.

Jennifer Foster nominated Emily Lacklen Foster:
I nominate Emily Lacklen Foster for this wonderful opportunity! Emily is the wife of LCDR Matthew Foster Captain of PC Crew Echo…currently deployed and stationed in Bahrain. She is my sister-in-law, but more importantly, a friend. She has been a Navy wife for 7 years this May and has seen her share of deployments. Emily and Matthew have two children, one just turned 3 and the other is turning 1 the end of this month. Emily is such a caring person….just a really rare woman. I married into the family last November and Emily was there for me every step of the way, to bounce ideas off of, to freak out to and to stand by my side as I said “I do”. With Matthew being stationed in Viriginia Beach, I’ve been lucky enough to spend a quite a bit of time with Emily since Matthew deployed in March. On a daily basis she is a Captain’s wife, a “single parent” (when Matthew is away), the one who wants to make sure everyone else is taken care of and thinks of herself absolutely last. I’m nominating her because I think this would be a pretty cool treat for her and her family. I can only imagine she thinks of Matthew coming home every second of every day. What better way to capture the love of this family than with one of your works of art. Thanks for reading! Oh, and Karen Z Smith is also a great choice….she and Emily are really good friends.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day | Win a Home.Life.Art Session and 16×20 Gallery Canvas!

Friday, May 6th, 2011

I am a Navy Spouse! I know the sacrifice families make, the commitment, the duty of wife, mother, father, keeper of secrets and magic boo-boo fixer. I am always thankful when businesses give a discount to military, but saddened at the same time when it only applies to the active service member. Like the sacrifice we as spouses make is insignificant. I am so grateful for our military spouses. To the wives who have kept me sane through deployments, who act as stand-in family when mine are so many miles away. Who always have a bottle of wine open, who have just had a baby and are still offering to take my two kids just to give me an evening alone. The husbands who are spouses who brave the estrogen and are so incredibly proud of their wives for their duty. Who take on homemaker while they are away. I am so grateful for your service and your sacrifice and I want to say THANK YOU in a BIG way! And, I want to give everyone else the opportunity to say thank you as well! So, here’s your chance. I want you to NOMINATE a spouse. It can be your wife, your husband, your friend, sister, daughter, mother, father, anyone who is married to a service member. Leave a comment on this blog post telling me who they are and why you want to thank them and what you are thanking them for. I want to know why they are special to YOU! The person you are nominating must be in the Virginia Beach, Norfolk, or Chesapeake area OR willing to travel to the area. The winner will be determined by a voting poll. I am going to take nominations until Sunday, May 8th (which is also Mother’s Day!) at 11:59PM EST. The winning spouse will receive a complimentary Home.Life.Art Family Session AND a 16×20 Gallery Wrapped Canvas to get you started on your Life Art decor ($470 value!). Session must take place by November 1, 2011 (I may make an exception if your spouse if deployed until then). Please help me spread the word and thank as many spouses as we can on this Military Spouse Appreciation Day! Follow the blog and my Facebook Page for updates. I will let everyone know how to vote when the nomination deadline ends so stay tuned!

How will you thank her…or him?!

The Boys are Back in Town! | Virginia Beach & Norfolk Military Homecomings

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Even being a part of the military, I am always in awe at homecomings. The emotion is indescribable, almost painful with joy. Sometimes I think the hour wait at the hangar passes by slower than the whole deployment. And it’s funny how a moment can erase all those months away like it was only a weekend. Welcome home to the Blue Blasters! Please join me in thanking them for their sacrifice!


First Kick | Virginia Beach Homecoming

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Oceans away, he found out she was pregnant. That he was going to be a daddy and his life would forever be changed when he returned. She has probably felt it countless times, but today it was pure joy to watch him feel it…for the first time. Those kicks, the first hello’s as he welcomed his daddy home from a long deployment. And because I know how much she loves black and white, I thought I’d do a b&w sneak peek for her!


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