Virginia Whalen

About Virginia Whalen Photography

Spokane Newborn, Child, Family, and Senior Portrait Portraiture. Call Virginia at 509-999-5347 to schedule your portrait session.

Jonna & Benjamin ~ Spokane Engagement Photographer

January 4th, 2013

November afternoon, gray skies, the threat of rain, packing to do.

But nothing could stop us from an impromptu photo shoot. Benjamin was in town.

There’s nothing better than the opportunity to photograph people that I love–other than photographing people I love who are in love! The love Benji and Jonna have for each other is beautiful.

Jonna is a fellow Gonzaga classmate, one of my housemates, and has quickly grown to be one of my closest friends. She and Benji are getting married in June. I’ve only had the pleasure of meeting Benji a few times, but I’ve grown to know him through Jonna’s stories. A heart can grow to love someone through stories, of this I’m sure.

I couldn’t be happier for these two.



Everett ~ Spokane Newborn Photographer

January 2nd, 2013

I swear to you, there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell. – Walt Whitman


Now Offering Family Portrait Mini-Sessions (And a contest!!) ~ Spokane Newborn, Child, Senior, & Family Photographer

July 8th, 2012

I am excited to announce my new family portrait mini-sessions, available exclusively from July 23rd – August 5th.

$175 includes:

30 min shooting
Password protected online gallery of 7-10 proofs
Full resolution digital files of all proofs
50% off a la carte print prices


Why a mini-session? A mini-session is for you if you’ve recently had a session with me, but would like new photos for your holiday cards and aren’t ready for another full session yet. Or maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve had family photos taken and you’ve been meaning to book a session with me.

Why now? I first considered adding family mini-sessions upon my return from the East Coast last summer, where we celebrated my Grandma’s 80th birthday. My dad and I and his 7 siblings and their families all traveled to the Jersey Shore, where we enjoyed abundant sunshine, story-telling, and laughter. We dedicated one evening to portraits at the beach. I took quick individual family portraits and then I handed over my cameras to our good friends L & R for a group shot of over 40 people! As we strolled back toward our hotel, I apologized that the photos took so long (it was HOT in New Jersey! As soon as you step outside you’re a sweaty mess). My cousin Kevin replied that it didn’t matter; family photos were the single most important thing we did the whole trip. I share his sentiment.

(And I must share a few photos, of course.)

Give yourself the gift of family photos to be treasured forever. I expect these mini-sessions to fill up fast, so contact me today ( to hold your spot!


Would you like to WIN a family portrait mini-session with me? Find the post on my facebook fanpage here that shows the image below, tag yourself, and come back to this post and leave a comment!

The contest will run through 7 PM EST July 15th. The winner will be chosen at random. The mini- session must take place between July 23rd and August 5th.


Photography Tips & Tricks #1 ~ Spokane Newborn, Children’s, Senior, & Family Photographer

June 20th, 2012

If you’re reading this blog, you probably A) have had your photo taken by me and appreciate good photography, B) are hoping to have your photo taken by me (ya!) and appreciate good photography, or C) are interested in learning more about good photography. (Notice the common theme here?) What makes up a good photograph, you ask? Many different things, which I will cover over the next few weeks. But first and foremost…drum roll please…GOOD LIGHTING!

You know what they say about buying a home: location, location, location. Well with photographs, it’s more like lighting, lighting, lighting. No matter what camera you’re using, lighting is crucial to getting a good photograph. My absolute favorite lighting is that hour before sunset when the lighting is golden and gentle. Typically mid-day is when the lighting is harshest. During that time of day, photographs are best when the subject isn’t in the direct sunlight (think inside or under some sort of overhang like at the edge of a covered porch or in a garage). Direct sunlight tends to create harsh shadows, which don’t flatter anyone.

This photo was taken near sunset. See how soft the lighting is? I like to shoot with the sun behind the subject (called backlighting).

Another good rule of thumb is to make sure that there’s light in the eyes. See the reflections in his eyes? Those are catchlights. In this photo, he’s looking up toward me and the sky is being reflected in his eyes. Sometimes light from a window, light-colored sidewalk, or a white t-shirt in front of the subject will create catchlights. This light in the eyes makes subjects look alive.

In sum: place your subject near a window for inside photos and for outside photos shoot when the lighting isn’t directly overhead. Furthermore, make sure that there’s light in the subject’s eyes.

More on lighting and other photo tips to come! Leave a comment..was this helpful? Any other photo questions you want answered?



Two Years Old ~ Spokane Children’s Photographer

June 13th, 2012

This was a wonderful session with a wonderful family that I’ve had the privilege of knowing both through Gonzaga and as Sarah’s babysitter.

Miss Sarah started off the session pretending to be shy…

…but then suddenly she took off moving and never slowed down. She was full of energy and took full advantage of the spacious green park. She loves carrying around her purse (or her mom’s purse…or my purse.)

Mom and dad brought some yummy snacks for a picnic in the park. Although it didn’t work out quite as we had planned (two year olds don’t seem to like to sit still), they kept Sarah happy and full.

She has the most beautiful little brown curls!

Once Sarah saw the slides she refused to stray from them, despite our attempts to distract her. Needless to say, when a two year old makes up her mind, there’s no fighting it.

Thanks you three for a fun night!


A Day at the Lake ~ Spokane Children’s Photographer

May 25th, 2012

No summer is complete without a day at the lake. These photos are from a year ago (!!) when family came into town to compete in the Ironman triathlon. After all of the Ironman festivities, everyone settled in quite easily to the lakeside life of leisure. The kids played with squirt guns, swam in the warm shallow beach water, and giggled for hours on end while the adults chatted nearby. We took the boat out for a ride though Lake Coeur d’Alene and thrilled the kids who took turns on the inner-tube pulled behind. The evening was full of barbecuing, baseball, bonfires, roasting marshmallows, and sleepy kids.

Just a few more weeks until I’ll get to see these kiddos again and hang out at the lake! Needless to say, I can’t wait.


Gonzaga Graduation

May 23rd, 2012

Congratulations to these recent Gonzaga grads, especially to my wonderful friend Liz! We had a little photo shoot to honor the occasion.

Watch out, these girls are about to set the world on fire.


Joy ~ Spokane Family Photographer

October 20th, 2011

I can’t help but feel joyful looking at photos of this gorgeous family taken at Finch Arboretum. Family Sessions are the best!


Katie ~ Spokane Senior Photographer

August 17th, 2011

Meet Katie, an ambitious young lady with a passion for reading and creative writing:


Can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the future, I know you’ll do something amazing.


L is for the way you look at me ~ Spokane Wedding Photographer

August 17th, 2011

Did I really just write “Spokane Wedding Photographer” on the title of this post? Weddings really aren’t my area of expertise, but when my awesome summer boss nicely asked me to please photograph her brother’s wedding I just couldn’t help but say yes. Only for you, Bethany. (; On a warm summer night, we walked over to a spot overlooking the little Spokane River where the light streaming gently through the surrounding trees created a sense of peacefulness and intimacy.

Congratulations you two!



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