I'm Patricia Lyons and welcome to my blogsite. I am an international lifestyle photographer based in Virginia.
I shoot, well, everything, but you'll find I mainly photograph editorial for select magazines, as well as beautiful weddings in Virginia and around the world. Some photo slideshows are stacked below to the right, and you can even watch them all if you have a whole lot of time and a jug of coffee (and I've been told a box of tissues). You can also 'search' the blog if you are looking for something specific.

Or I suppose you could just enjoy the ride back in time, as everything happened.
I know I have.

You can find me at (804)387-5722 or email patricia@patricialyonsphotography.com

Sensational Cakes

So I'm checking my phone messages last month and one begins in an unmistakable New York accent. "Hellooo Patricia" she starts, "this is Sylvia Weinstock calling from New York." I'm thinking, wow, telemarketers are getting crafty with their recordings.

Now, Sylvia Weinstock isn't a household name to all, but if you are getting married, enjoy a little Martha Stewart TV or read her gorgeous magazine, or like to check the footnotes on celebrity weddings (oh wait, that might just be me), you have probably come across Mrs. Weinstock. You may have even caught her in a guest spot on "Gossip Girl" in her signature owl glasses. Or read that she provides cakes to folks like Oprah, Donald Trump, Mariah Carey, and the royal family in Saudi Arabia. Her cakes literally ship all over the world, and recently two came via the fabulous party planners at Easton Events to my little corner of it.

I clued in that it was a real message when she continued, saying she had seen some beautiful images from two weddings I photographed in Charlottesville, and that she had chosen them to be included in her new book "Sensational Cakes". Cool! And they'd like to use them for publicity. Even better! We spoke several times of the phone and she is a seriously savvy businesswoman in addition to master baker. She was lovely, sharp as a tack and I do hope to work with her again someday. Her cakes are masterpieces, each and every item on them 100% edible. The flowers are little sculptures and people come up to her cakes constantly, their noses inches from the decorations, still disbelieving that these precise and intricate petals are handmade.

Oh, and they taste delicious too (shhh.....).

Elizabeth and Bernie

There was an uninvited guest. Her name was Hanna. But she was gracious enough to head out as the ceremony began.

Hurricane Hanna hit Virginia Beach on September 6, 2008. Bernie and Elizabeth's wedding day. I packed my lucky yellow galoshes, and Jamie and I hit the road early. We white-knuckled across bridges and through tunnels wondering what to expect as we drove toward the storm, but as we approached the skies turned to a bright white gray and the rain seemed to soften.

Elizabeth and Bernie were the calm eyes of the storm. Nary a freak out, nor a frown, just easy breezy beautiful calm. About ten minutes before the ceremony we peeked out the windows one last time and saw a little patch of cerulean blue. And another. And in the distance a whole beautiful lot of it. The sun broke through and voila, golden light enveloped the Church. It was stunning.

Our plans for a post-ceremony beach shot of the couple was out of the question as the hurricane was being pushed out by a stiff wind that would have sandblasted us all, but we did manage a brisk walk from the Church to reception. It was pitch black when I took these, but my favorite lens absorbs light like nobody's business. I just love this image, how happy they look. How relaxed. And if you look hard you can see our uninvited guest leaving in the distance.

You can watch Elizabeth and Bernie's Wedding Slideshow here.

Of Dads and Brides.

I woke early and slowly opened my eyes. In the warm morning light I saw my daughter had crawled into our bed while we slept and snuggled up tight under her Daddy’s arm, he on his side. Her tiny arms were wrapped back around his long, tanned forearm which was the width of her little shoulders, swallowing her up in a toasty cocoon. She looked small but protected, content and blissful, like there was no safer place she could be and no place she’d rather be. She opened her big brown sleepy eyes and smiled at me, reached out a hand to grasp mine, then closed them again, burrowed in, and drifted back off to that happy place, still smiling. Basking in this supremely comfortable place. I kept saying to myself, don’t forget this. Don’t forget this beautiful scene.

They grow up so fast.

My own father’s eyes filled with tears when we danced at my wedding. It was the first of only two times I have ever seen him cry. I can’t help but carry these images and memories with me when I shoot any wedding. It’s the best part of my job, that I get to capture these incredible moments as they unfold for my brides. Fathers giving their daughters away, so to speak, and fathers probably wondering where the time went. Fathers, so deeply proud. It is a truly unique bond and such a privilege to observe.

So forgive me if I tear up when you are about to walk down the aisle. Or when you have that dance with your father. Or hear a sweet toast. But I’ll be right there, the not-so-professional professional, hiding my eyes behind the camera, snapping away, to help you remember too.

Julie and Matt

Well, hey there! Yes, indeed, it's time for a little blog love. Poor thing has been terribly neglected and I have a bit of catching up to do. It's been a WILD few months and I have stacks of weddings and fun editorial bits to post, even a coffee table book inclusion! Top that off with the usual bizarre stories about my kids (let's just say one went to school with his face painted in magic marker by his, um, artiste brother who was inspired during sleeping hours) and I might have to post every day this week. Actually, I am going to try to. No, really. I will.

So let's get started!

Julie and Matt. Charlottesville. UVA. Gorgeous day. Sweet couple. Love and laughter, and of course, the talents of uber-party planners, Easton Events. Sound familiar? Yep, three weeks, back to back, same location but entirely different weddings! Truly, you can shoot 20 weddings in the same place for a year, and because of all the different elements involved and pieces of themselves that couples put into a wedding, they are never, ever 'the same'. It also inspires me to come up with different ways to shoot the couples and locations (while keeping some of the tried and trues that totally work, of course).

Julie couldn't suppress her happy giggles from the moment we came into the hotel room where she and her girls were getting ready. She was all smiles and hugs, loving her friends and family, eager to become Matt's wife. We had an incredible day for photos on the Lawn, and it was such a pretty night at Farmington Country Club we just kept snapping until the light was completely gone. They danced the night away, wrapping things up with a rousing Wahooo-wa (go UVA!) and driving off into the night, beaming.

You can see more images from their wedding by clicking on Julie and Matt's Wedding.