Mark Rodriguez Photography bio picture
  • Hey there!

    I'm a sixteen year old photographer living in Virginia Beach, Va. A couple years ago, when I was fourteen, I stumbled on a little one dollar photo editing app that suddenly gave me an outlet for my love for life and the beauty around me.
    I began taking pictures constantly and over-editing them like crazy. I shot everything from shoes to sunsets and I loved it! By opening my eyes to the world around me, I began to realize how dang blessed I am and how much I take for granted.
    Within a couple years, I developed a love for people and decided I wanted to show these people how awesome they are, and challenged myself to capture their personalities and passions in photography. I opened up this little business, and it's been an awesome journey ever since.
    I think part of why I've loved this "job" so much is how chill it can be. When I pick up a senior, I don't tell them all about everything I have planned out and then drag them through typical poses and locations and setups. I love asking my clients what they have in mind, what they're interested in. What has the potential to be a routine becomes a new relationship as I hang out with these people for an afternoon and hear what they're passionate about.
    I love photography :) It's taken me into the woods, onto dumpsters, up fire escapes, and straight into sunsets. It's shown me how blessed I am, and how much of a waste it is to be self-centered; above all, it's taught me that life is ridiculously beautiful.
    Hope to see you soon!
    Mark

Heaven

I’ve been meditating on heaven a lot lately, and I must say, it wells my eyes with tears of joy every now and then. What a beautiful thought that one day, I will be completely in the presence of God and will actually be able to feel the magnitude of all his love and peace with no earthly fears or worries to distract me. The joy that I feel now, the serenity I feel now, will finally be made perfect.

The presence of God here on earth is enough to make me shudder in wonder. I’ve had some incredible moments in life that can only be explained as miracles where I see my Abba, my Father move in love for me so powerfully; it brings me to my knees in amazement. To think that one day I will be perfectly and totally in his presence….I’m definitely going to need a heavenly body because the joy he fills me with now sometimes makes me feel like I’m about to explode!

I love the image of Heaven because it is perfect, perfect peace. Every quarrel, every hurt, it’s all gonna be resolved. All of God’s children will be together and we won’t hurt each other anymore; we’ll finally understand how to love perfectly. And the fact that we’ll all be worshiping the Lord together in one place, forever….that amazes me.

It makes me so excited to think of the wedding feast awaiting us when we go to be with the Lord. I imagine streets filled with rejoicing, loud trumpets, wedding bells….I’m sure it’ll be far more incredible than I can comprehend now, and I love that.

God is super good. I can’t wait to be with him forever:)

 

When we arrive at eternity’s shore

Where death is just a memory and tears are no more

We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring

Your bride will come together and we’ll sing

You’re beautiful

SEAN AND RACHEL (PART TWO) | ENGAGEMENT

Part Two of Rachel and Sean’s engagement shoot was awesome:)Had a lot of fun enjoying the killer weather down at the beach with these guys. Extremely stoked to shoot their wedding!

You wouldn’t believe how much of a struggle it is to make hands look like the picture in the above right….
Sean makin some sort of gang sign.

THINKING IN POSTS

I recently read a post by a favorite singer of mine that really got me. She was talking about how she’d reached a point of shocking realization that whenever anything cool happened, she would “think in posts,” basically meaning she’d start composing a tweet or pulling up Instagram to capture the moment.

I can really connect with this. I have had many moments in life where I’m just in awe of God’s glory, oftentimes when I’m alone in nature or after being with loved ones. Those moments are so personal and sacred, but sometimes, as strange as it sounds, I kill them by beginning to devise a post in my head. I start thinking about how I’ll phrase it, if people will “like” it, if I’ll get any comments in response. And by the time all that’s done, the  moment is gone.

I’ve realized how simply sad it is to be a slave to social media. And I’m ashamed to say it, but I have definitely used Facebook and Instagram in the past as a place to give myself glory, to create an identity for myself that others will appreciate. And it’s such a bummer that there have been incredible, personal moments with God in my life that have ended as a couple hundred characters and a few hashtags just because I wanted to see what other people think of me, what they think of my life.

There’s a scene in the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty that struck a similar chord in me. Walter Mitty had been searching for this photographer Sean O’Connell the whole movie, and he’s finally found him perched up in a mountain, scouting for snow leopards through a lens the size of a cannon. Eventually, a snow leopard is seen through the lens, framed beautifully by snow capped peaks. Walter watches in eager expectation, waiting for O’Connell to take the shot. Finally, anxious that the moment is about to pass, Walter turns and asks:

“When are you going to take it?”

To which O’Connell replies: ”Sometimes I don’t. If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it.”

“Stay in it?”

“Yeah. Right there. Right here.”

There are so many incredible places and people all around me, so many blessings and moments that I can’t even fathom. When I stayed on an orphanage in Nicaragua for a month last Summer, I’d go out for these prayer times where I’d sit on a work bench, all alone, and just pray surrounded by ridiculous testaments to God’s wondrous ability to create. I remember one time I was just resting on that bench, relaxing in God’s presence, surrounded by beautiful mango trees that rustled as a light breeze filtered by. And I am so thankful I didn’t have my camera then, because there was overwhelming beauty all around me and nothing to take my attention off of it.

I don’t want to think in posts. I don’t want to be constantly checking to see what people think of my latest photo, or my latest status. Sometimes, I’ve just gotta turn off my radio, turn off my iPod, turn off my phone, and just be thankful, engaged with life and engaged with God. Because I know when I do that, I feel fulfilled in the most amazing way.

 

March 16, 2014 - 12:03 pm

Lindsey Marie - Thank you for sharing this, it is totally convicting. In all good ways. How fleeting life is and how available God is in everyone of those moments, how tangible. Yet, we set to try and capture it and or put Him into words; He is worthy of so much more. Praise instead of posts, like you said, “how sacred” moments as these are.
Thank You for sharing!

March 17, 2014 - 7:56 pm

rod4god@gmail.com - You’re very welcome Lindsey :) I’m glad this spoke some truth to you :)

JOHN DOE RELEASE PARTY

John Doe recently dropped an incredibly genuine, great album called Collision Course that you can check out here: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/collision-course/id794523983

I had a great time working with these guys. Such fantastic musicians and rappers that are doing some incredible things with their gifts.

And now for the photos:)

Sound Check

Showtime
Nigel Anderson, ladies and gentsAnd now for John Doe!

February 9, 2014 - 3:31 am

Helena Meadows - Awesome pics of a great concert!

SEAN AND RACHEL | ENGAGEMENT

Sean and Rachel are an incredible couple. I had a great time hanging with these guys and getting to know their story a little better. This was my first engagement shoot, and what I loved about it was that it wasn’t at all tough to get these guys to smile. I can tell that they’re so excited for their wedding and I’m looking forward to getting to shoot it!

Congratulations on your engagement guys!