"Congratulations; you’ve found your photographer.
Thera is the best at what she does. She is a consummate professional whose passion and ability are evident in every photograph she takes. I first found Thera online while looking for someone to capture engagement pictures in a clandestine fashion. I wanted to surprise my then-girlfriend, but I also wanted to capture the moment for both of us to treasure forever. I lived in Georgia at the time, and was coordinating the proposal and photoshoot for a visit to Front Royal, Virginia. Out of state and unable to see for myself, Thera not only recommended the perfect scenic overlook on Skyline Drive, she went there to observe the exact best time of day (the right amount of sunlight) to propose there, monitored the weather as we got closer to the day, and even met with me the morning of to walk through the location pointing out where I should pop the question for the perfect pictures and where she would be. Execution: flawless. The proposal went well (see below review of Thera’s wedding photography for us), Hollywood couldn’t have done a better job capturing the moment, and the bride-to-be was surprised and, later, in love with the pictures. Thera even immediately edited a few of the photographs and sent them to us later that afternoon to share with friends and family. Did I mention it was Christmas Eve? She did all of this on Christmas Eve. Looking back to that morning, as I spewed fabricated errands hoping one would stick to get my wife out of the house with me, Thera remained patient, flexible, and reassuring. I couldn’t be happier, and I was convinced that Thera couldn’t have possibly been any more accommodating.
I was wrong. Since we didn’t get to take as many pictures as a traditional engagement photoshoot, Thera met us months later (on a separate visit to the area) for round two. She changed her personal schedule to come meet us when we were free to take even more beautiful photos.
Now knowing her and what she’s capable of, we had no choice but to ask Thera to shoot our wedding. Again, we could not be happier. Throughout the entire wedding ceremony and reception, she felt more like a genuine, welcome family friend than a hired, professional photographer, but the quality of the photos she captured and perfected said otherwise. More than a thousand photographs… all perfect. The best part for me: her keen eye instantly earns your trust, and you get to relax. If you have an eyebrow hair out of place, she’ll somehow see it through her lens at 25 feet away, and kindly ask you to fix it. If you have something in your teeth, she spots it and lets you know. I’m convinced that even if I tried to jokingly sabotage a picture in the most subtle way possible, Thera would have caught it. Being able to rightfully and completely trust her with how we looked removed all of the stress from wondering if anything was wrong in these pictures that would probably end up hanging on every wall in our home. She allowed us to focus on what the day was actually about… us. Because of Thera, this day didn’t slip by in a nightmarish haze of stress, logistical worry, or social anxiety of hosting. It wasn’t a blur at all. I was there, I remember every moment, and I enjoyed every second.
This floored me (and I’m still not quite sure how Thera and one other photographer managed this): she captured every angle of every moment of the entire event. More thoroughly than the Google Street View Car. Looking through all of the pictures, I’m able to relive the day and retrace my steps through the sequence of events. Hand selected by Thera, her second photographer was excellent as well.
I think part of how she captured everything so brilliantly is due to how Thera is so highly organized and efficient. Honorary Wedding Planner status. She kept everyone on track perfectly; this was even more impressive considering the audience she had in my groomsmen (energetic, former Marines…with alcohol). She never rushed anything, and never lost patience (impressive!), but she kept us moving forward. For the pictures that I wasn’t in, I found myself on the sideline watching a conductor masterfully leading an orchestra. What my wife enjoyed most was how quickly and effectively Thera adapts. If anything starts going off track, she doesn’t let it get away. We actually just missed the window for taking some sunset pictures, because it was slightly overcast and we had gotten held up entertaining some long-lost family members after Thera asked us to come outside for the sunset. Having just rained outside, Thera was able to shoot some perfect pictures of us under a rainbow that stretched across the field we were married in. Incredible. She made sure we got every photo opportunity we wanted throughout the night, and checked with us right as she was leaving to make sure there was nothing else we needed.
I wouldn’t change anything about our special day, and my wife feels the same way. We were so extremely pleased to have Thera there to preserve all of the love and happiness for us in her work. Without experiencing any other photography professionals, I can confidently say that there’s probably exactly zero reasons to. Thera is the best, and anyone who seeks her services won’t know disappointment.
Happily married on 6 May 2018."
"Thera was fabulous! She knew our venue well and had great suggestions about the timing of our event, the sun angles for best lighting, and locations on the property to capture our special day best! She was sweet and thoughtful and so much fun to work with.
Thera went above and beyond to make sure she captured all the photos our family wanted to remember our special day."
"I cannot say enough about working with Thera. I met her at a wedding expo and hit it off right away. We met for a consultation and she walked through the entire photography process with me and was so patient in answering all of my questions. She also went above and beyond to make sure she covered items I didn't think to ask. On top of everything else, she knew I was looking at others, and made sure to tell me what I wanted to look for. She was truly concerned about me getting a good fit, rather than just winning my business.
Thera's pricing is competitive and is worth every penny. She ensures her second photographer is as experienced or more so than she! Her attitude, flexibility and general good natured personality matched so well. She worked out the schedule for the day, worked with me to scope out locations and guaranteed that our more urban setting would still provide beautiful photos - and it did. She worked through permits so we could shoot at the monuments and was sooooo good with all of our family quirks and dealing with family portraits.
The albums and canvas prints we ordered are gorgeous and she did a wonderful job of laying them out. Again - Thera is so personal and accommodating, she lays out a separate album for each set of parents to tailor for the families. WHO DOES THAT?!
You will not be disappointed with Thera. You'll want to invite her to Thanksgiving dinner by the end of your big day. :)
And - I loved our engagement session in Old Town. I really thought she was going to quit because we were so awkward and silly."
"Thera was extremely flexible in meeting our needs. We only needed photography for a small window, which she was able to do. When my maid of honor wanted to pay her to stay an extra hour, she did. Thera and her assistant made everyone feel very comfortable and integrated themselves right in. We were very rushed during our wedding with unexpected family in town the week before. She didn't make us feel unprepared, even though we didn't fill out her inventory of the photos we wanted. We kind of winged it and she did so with us, while still getting amazing photos. I also did not like some of the photos of me- - not because of Thera but because I didn't like my hair. Thera worked with me to delete those photos out of the album, which I very much appreciated. When I also had various family who couldn't get into the photo site, she was very quick to help. Hire her!!!"
Gary & Meredith | September 2, 2017 | East Lynn Farm, Round Hill, Virginia
"Working with Thera was an absolute delight! Prior to our wedding, we shopped around and chatted with several photographers in the area and chose Thera based on her portfolio and price. Little did we know that there is so much more to wedding photography than that, and we really lucked out when we picked Thera!
Some of the things we really appreciated about working with Thera include:
1. There were so many thoughtful things Thera did for us during our wedding. For example, during her dinner break, Thera worked on putting together a slideshow of the photos she had taken through that point. Our family loved seeing the family portraits and pictures from the ceremony only moments after they were taken.
2. We felt like we got a great value for the price we paid. Thera's package included an engagement shoot, a personalized USB drive/box, a custom album, and a large canvas, in addition to all of the standard services provided by photographers.
3. Finally, she was professional and easy to work with. Thera and her assistant were non-intrusive during our wedding, but still somehow managed to capture the best moments of our wedding. During our engagement shoot and our family/bridal party portraits, they were great at directing traffic without being too bossy. The turnaround time on our pictures was much faster than we expected, given that we got married in the middle of wedding season.
Any couple would be lucky to book Thera for their special day!"
Katie & Jeff Z. | August 19, 2017 | Bretton Woods Recreation Center, Germantown, Maryland
"Thera went above and beyond to make my wedding day so special. The quality of pictures and her professionalism was outstanding. She responded to my emails/texts quickly and was extremely organized. She sent us notes, gifts, etc leading up to the wedding which was so nice. The canvas print, wedding album, and personalized USB drive with all the pictures were immaculate quality and something I will cherish forever. This girl is talented and I would recommend her highly. Thera was such a good sport during our engagement photos. We made her hike up a huge hill to get some amazing views of the Shenandoah Valley. I had forgotten how steep it was and we were all sweating by the time we got to the top. The pictures turned out fabulously though."
Caroline G. | October 7, 2017 |Cloverdale Barn- Winchester, Virginia
"Thera is absolutely amazing! From the very beginning when we took our engagement pictures. She is so fun and laid back. She is truly a great photographer and has an amazing sense of what will look great. And our wedding day was a dream, she truly captured all the beautiful important moments for not just myself and my husband but our family. We couldn’t have asked for better pictures. And she even gave us a sneak peek at the photos as well as some prints we could take with us to enjoy on our honeymoon. I am truly appreciative for the time and care she takes to design the wedding album. She is a top notch wedding photographer and I couldn’t have imagined our day without her. The fact that she got a picture of us with our entire group of wedding guests was something so special for us."
"Thera was so good with my kids! She was patient and understanding when they didn't want to cooperate. She was just WONDERFUL! Our pictures were no less than absolute stunning and I am so grateful we decided to go with her over others."
Brandi N. | November 4, 2017 | Christmas Mini Session
"I’ve been working with Thera for years - my college graduation pictures to couples pictures and her yearly holiday sessions and I am never disappointed! I can’t stop coming back for more. She’s very knowledgeable, timely and creative. If you have a specific idea in mind she will make it happen. Or if you have nothing - she’s got you covered. I would highly recommend having Thera as your photographer and ANY occasion. ."
Kellie S. | November 4, 2017 | Christmas Mini Session
"Thera did a great job and we would recommend her for future work. She has keen attention to detail and knew where were the spots to execute the shots we wanted. We received our high res edited photos at the timeframe she provided and ahead of schedule which was great since some vendors take forever. She was great with the kiddos, having two toddlers is always a challenge but she captured them smiling and great “off the cuff” shots that showed their personality. We have had her twice for family shoots when the kids were babies and then toddlers and look forward to future shoots to capture their growth and spirit shine through the photos.
You knew the locations ahead of time that worked best for the shoot and what we could execute. We could have spent all day in the park but we went to the best places and with toddlers time was critical."
Mayra F. | October 21, 2017 | Family Portraits
"Thera was great from start to finish. The photos were amazing, as was the experience of taking them! I sincerely had fun during the shoot, which I have experienced other times as stressful (which leads to fake smiles!). I highly recommend her as a calm, awesome photographer with a great eye! Our family-of-three photos are ones I will cherish forever. Thera went so far above and beyond to make our photo shoot successful. After my toddler threw up all over my shirt and I didn't have an extra set of clothes for myself, she drove me to her own house and offered up several replacement options for the shoot. What other photographer would do that!?!?! Not to mention, the whole time she stayed extremely calm. Amazing. The photos came out so beautifully, and you couldn't even tell what had happened before we starting shooting!"
Amy F. | October 15, 2017 | Family Portraits
"We used Thera for my daughter Rebecca's wedding, and were thrilled with the beautiful pictures she took! The lighting was perfect and what I was most amazed about was that she was able to capture priceless expressions on both the groom's and bride's faces as they first saw each other. I had been afraid since Thera was up front taking pictures of Rebecca as she walked down the aisle that she would miss Gunnar's emotions as he saw her walking towards her, but she managed to get pictures of both! I never noticed Thera walking around during the ceremony, but she must have done so very discreetly because she had pictures taken from the front, side and back of the ceremony. The pictures she took of Gunnar and Rebecca after the ceremony were creative and natural. She captured them in the moment of their joy. She had many close up candid pictures of the guests before the ceremony that I also was thrilled to see. I highly recommend Thera! She was great to work with, and very flexible on the day of the wedding. Her pictures are gorgeous and she had some posted the very night of the wedding. I am so thankful we found out about her!
Rebecca & Gunnar D. | October 16, 2016 | East Lynn Farm, Round Hill, Virginia
"On March 13th, my then fiancé, my mother, my best friend and myself went to the Tour of Loudoun (wedding venue tour). Our first stop was East Lynn Farm and it was there we came across a vendor offering wedding photography.
Now with my own personal experience with photography I knew that I didn't want a "snapshot photographer" but someone who captured the moment and emotions. And after looking at her portfolio i knew that I had found the photographer after my own heart and the ...one I wanted for our wedding. However, we continued with the tour and met several other photographers, but honestly, I had already made up my mind.
We got home that night and I went to call her but couldn't find her business card. So i contacted the venue who got in touch with her and within hours she contacted me. Immediately we booked our wedding as well as our engagement shoot.
I've always believed that everything happens for a reason and I am so grateful that she came into our lives. I am so proud to say that not only is she our amazing photographer but now a dear friend.
Thank you Thera VanDerveer Saylor from the bottom of my heart. For not only capturing our special day....but our story!
~ Krista C."
Krista & Cody C. | September 10, 2016 | The Osprey's at Belmont Bay, Woodbridge, Virginia
"My husband and I loved working with Thera from the first time we met. Thera was welcoming and professional. She not only demonstrated skill but she also worked with us to ensure our vision was met. Thera continuously communicated with us from our first meeting. There were no surprises or hiccups within our process because Thera was so flexible and creative. She did not simply show up to snap photos, she was engaged and wanting to know us as a couple. At the wedding, my father enthusiastically claimed that she was the most engaging and fun photographer he’s ever had the pleasure to meet. I HIGHLY recommend Thera to help document your memories!"
"I would recommend Thera VanDerveer Photography to anyone, especially someone who is worried about not knowing how to pose. No matter the scenario, Thera always makes sure her subject is comfortable and is posed in the most flattering way. She is completely professional and makes you feel at ease. I will definitely be contacting her again in the near future!!!"
Courtney Crawford | Bridal Boudoir | Winchester, Virginia
"I don't know how you thank someone for being so talented, but thank you for being talented! I had no idea what to expect, but I didn't expect this. You blew my mind. I just can't thank you enough!"
Abby and Greg T.| Married March 11, 2016 | Glen Gordon Manor
"Thera did our engagement and wedding photos. We couldn't have made a better choice! Thera's work is amazing! Her shots are breathtaking. There wasn't one photo in either session that we didn't love. She captured every special moment of our wedding from getting ready with my bridesmaids to dancing the night away at the reception. She delivered the photos in a short timeframe! She is so sweet, very personable, and so much fun to work with! We highly recommend her and we definitely will use her in the future!"
"If you are searching for a photographer in the Shenandoah Valley, you should look no further than Thera VanDerveer! Thera was the chosen photographer for our engagement photos and did such an amazing job, we selected her for our wedding. The engagement shoot was in January and the weather that day was cold and icy. Weather never was a factor for her, Thera worked right through it and she was determined to get a great set of photos, which she nailed! Thera was also kind enough to follow us on our destination wedding to Nags Head, North Carolina. She spent the week in Nags Head and insisted on 3 separate photo sessions to capture all of our perfect moments due to the impending hurricane and constant weather changes. Thera is kind, caring, and a true professional at what she does. Our photos turned out incredible and we have her to thank! She was truly a blessing to have as part of our wedding and Josh and I cannot thank her enough!"
"We were lucky enough to have Thera do our engagement and wedding photos and we could not have had anyone better to capture these special times in our life. Thera was with me for the entire wedding day, from getting my make up done to the very last dance. She captured every single moment and detail of our big day perfectly. Looking back at the photos makes me feel like I'm reliving every aspect of my very favorite day. Thera is such a talent and such a delight to work with.. She makes you feel comfortable in front of the camera and will deliver amazing photos. There is no question who we will call for future photography needs."
Chad & Stephanie K. | Married June 6, 2013 | Front Royal, Virginia