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: ‘Life Art’

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!

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? :)

Bebe Firsts Nursery Decor | Virginia Beach Baby Photographer

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Remember my Bebe Firsts Ambassador Baby E?! I’m so excited to share what we have going on in his rockin’ nursery! Take a look! His momma did a fabulous job with the Rocker theme. When we met for her initial consult, we had ideas going back and forth and decided on this idea for the baby on guitar. Then we put together this silver metallic frame idea to fit in with the nursery decor and also the b&w guitar image we had in floating around in our minds. The hand painted metallic crib frame fits a gorgeous 18×36 fine art print which is mounted on 1/8″ masonite. It is truly a stunning heirloom piece that will act as an anchor piece in their home and room decor.

And just for my Bebe First clients, I am custom designing Birth Announcements! The first 25 are complimentary with your Bebe First sessions. Here’s the one we designed for Baby E.

Thank you to this special family for sharing the next year of E’s life with me! I cannot wait to capture his 1st year milestones and help you add life art to your home!

{Home.Life.Art Featured} | Virginia Beach Life Art Photographer

Monday, March 7th, 2011

I love walking in to a former client’s house and seeing the life art that I’ve created for them displayed on their walls. It’s the reason I’ve taken my business to a new direction of creating custom life art portraits that add new depth and inspiration to a home. What I loved when I walked into this home is that she blended frames and sizes, prints and canvas. She built upon layers and I (naturally) was instantly drawn to this side of the room.

I will be featuring completed rooms that I’ve helped design through my Home.Life.Art family sessions and Bebe Firsts baby sessions here on the blog. If you are interested in one of these sessions for your family, please contact me at 757-675-7985 or Each session includes a consultation where we will be designing a custom life art portrait session with the goal of decorating your home! You can view more information at my website:

When is the Right Time for Family Portraits? | Virginia Beach Family Photography

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Almost 3 years ago I thought of having a family portrait taken. Logan was just born and we moved into our first house. Then I started thinking… He’s only an infant. He’s going to change so much! I’d rather wait until he’s walking and curious. A year passes and I thought again of having our family portrait taken. But deployments came up, then the possibility of being restationed and again our wall sat empty. Then I started thinking… I know we are almost ready for another one. I’d love for that portrait to represent our whole complete family. So Brayden was born and I feel confident now that we can get that portrait done. And of course my mind starts running again. Well, now Brayden is an infant. Let’s wait until he’s walking and has developed his features a bit more. Can you see where this is going?

What if we have a 3rd? What if we move?

In life there are what if’s. In military life we notoriously call them limbo’s. They suck out our ability to decide on the present. They bind us and obligate us to do nothing, at the moment. They are crafty and sneaky and have no concept of time. And before you know it, life passes you by. Logan is turning 3 now, and we still have never taken a family portrait.

A family is fluid and ever evolving. A family portrait should be a carefully planned out investment. It’s purpose is not to document then hide in your hard drive, or even to drown in size (or lack of) on your walls. It’s an expression of you collectively and should be celebrated and announced in your life on a daily basis. I said this on my facebook page, but I look around my house at the portraits that I have decided to display. The smaller ones, framed on a shelf never get a second glance. They hardly get a first glance anymore as they mold into the surroundings of the everyday. But a select few that make a statement in our home, I look at every day. I pass by them and I notice them…the details, the smile, the memory of the moment I took it, and I light up everytime. No other piece of furniture, appliance, car or “thing” in my home gives me that reaction or sense of pride for my children.

So the question then becomes “how often”, instead of “when”. Because if you keep putting it off like I have, then that feeling of “I need to get this done” turns to regret, year after year. I do by the way, have a date later this year with a photographer for our family portraits. It was a decision that the hubby and I made together and budgeted and saved for, just as we would have done any other high ticket purchase in our house. And I can’t tell you how excited I am!

What are your family portraits regrets? Are you putting yours off this year because of a what if?


Be a Bébe Firsts Ambassador! | Virginia Beach Children’s Photographer

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

C.S. Photography, Inc. is looking for 3 Bébe Firsts Ambassadors! New for 2011 is my Bébe Firsts baby plans.
Sessions are done at the newborn (under 10 days), 4 months, 8 months, and 1 year stages. Before delivery, we will meet at your home for an initial consultation. Although a variety of products are available at all stages, each session has a corresponding product recommendation that you will be introduced to at your consultation. Our goal at the end of the Bébe Firsts year is to have complimentary portraits and products that decorate your home or nursery without consuming the décor in only first year images, leaving options available for growth and family additions.

So, what is a Bébe Firsts Ambassador?
Your newborn will be my first baby planners! We will meet at each session stage to document you baby’s growth and spirit and work towards decorating your home and/or nursery in 1st year images. I am only taking 3 Ambassadors!

What do I get out of it?
Your Bébe Firsts creative fee is completely waived! This means there will be no creative fee for your newborn, 4 month, 8 month, and 1 year portrait sessions.
There is a purchase requirement of Life Art products (see below), however these will be available to you at 50% off!

What is required of me?
All Bébe Firsts Ambassadors will be required to fill out a model release form allowing me to use images from our session in my portfolio and for business use. Final products will also be photographed in your home for business use in a catalog form, etc.
Bébe Firsts Ambassadors will also be required to purchase Life Art Décor products recommended at each stage, however these products will be offered at 50% off only for Bébe Firsts Ambassadors.

If you are currently in your 3rd trimester and are interested in being a Bébe Firsts Ambassador for 2011, please contact me at 757.675.7985 or to set up an initial phone consultation to answer any questions you may have. After our phone consultation, I will require you to talk it over with your spouse/partner to make sure you are comfortable with the Life Art investment and that it is a priority in your decorating goals. Once you are accepted into the Bébe Firsts Ambassador program we will set up an in home consultation to go over portrait and design goals and also to look at the products that will be suitable for your home and/or nursery. Ambassadors must be living in the Virginia Beach, Norfolk, or Chesapeake area for the duration of the 1st year program.

{Framed} Life Art Home Décor | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

I am so excited to be able to feature some of my Life Art home décor products! The first I would like to introduce you to are these absolutely gorgeous hand crafted Wild Sorbet frames. These can be customized in countless color, pattern, and design combinations. I literally gasped when I pulled these out of the packaging. These come paired with a stunning Giclée print to create a truly treasured piece of Life Artwork to compliment and personalize your home. Still not convinced? Did you know that each session I offer includes a design consultation? Let me create a custom shoot designed around your home décor goals. You will be able to visualize a wall gallery designed exclusively for you with a custom digital design of images from your photo session on your wall. This particular wall gallery includes one 20×30 and two 10×20 framed Giclée prints. And don’t forget about the nursery décor! Beautiful pieces can be customized to add truly breathtaking complimentary décor above a crib or changing table.

To schedule your Life Art session, visit or email Christene at Home.Life.Art Family sessions are now being booked for March and don’t forget about the unique Love Fest night sessions only offered in February!


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