I offer sunrise and sunset Midshipman photography sessions on location at the US Naval Academy, but the truth is that sunrise photography sessions reign supreme! Here are three reasons why:

Just want to see some photos? Scroll to the bottom of this post!

#1 – It’s My Specialty

Backlit sunrise photography is my specialty and is unique to sessions with me.  When the sky is ablaze, I get to work!  I aim to capture the drama, beauty, and colors that nature lays out on the Severn River every single day. I have a matter of minutes while the sky is on fire to capture it and the Midshipmen just perfectly. I purposely choose dynamic lighting and angles, then couple them with powerful posing to create an image that signifies the strength built during the Midshipman journey at the USNA.

The spectacular colors and light of the Annapolis waterfront are everything my photography dreams are made of. They may also be what USNA parents didn’t even know they were dreaming of! 

Sunrise Photography is the photography I am most passionate about and the one I am known for. I take pride in them. These photos are the ones USNA moms and dads tell me they tear up over. The ones they hang. The ones that make their jaws drop. They are surely worth the wake-up. 

#2 – Less Interference

If you have been attached to the Naval Academy for more than three minutes, you know the yard is a busy place! It’s rare to find a day and time without an event happening or people everywhere! This is particularly true in the Spring leading up to graduation and in the Fall as the new school year kicks off! However, when we book a sunrise session, we negate the possibility of having to work around events, event setups, training, tours, etc. We also lessen the likelihood of distractions and photobombs from other Midshipmen as these sessions are usually before morning PT or classes. Less people makes it easier for me to keep the background clear and to keep the full attention of my client. 

This timing is also ideal for any Midshipmen who may be a little shy to be seen having their photos made. Not sure what I mean? Read a little about hecklers here in this post. 

#3 – The Bandaid Effect

They say that in the Navy you get more done before 9 am than most people do all day. Being a Veteran myself, I completely agree with this. At our sunrise session, we get the job done quickly and pain-free. The portrait session of your dreams (or at least the one of your MidMom’s dreams) is over and done before the rest of Annapolis even wakes up! Then you are free to be first in line for breakfast or go back to sleep! It is an added bonus that, due to the early hour, you will likely get your sneak preview the same day as your session!  


For sunrise sessions, I often show up with a free cup of coffee and usually drive the Midshipmen from location to location since parking is not an issue. In the winter months, I usually have hand warmers for my Midshipmen as well!  So, if you like coffee, don’t want to walk, want the best light, and don’t want others to see you taking photos, this is definitely your time to schedule. 

Sunrise Reigns Supreme

Regardless of the time you chose to schedule, we are going to get lovely results you will look back on for years to come. Either way, I assure you we will find a way to include some dramatic lighting for photos that make you say “WOW!” 

But for optimal results, Sunrise photography sessions and the US Naval Academy will always reign supreme.

Here Are a Few Photos From Sunrise Photography Sessions

USNA Midshipman Photography at sunrise in Annapolis by Kelly Eskelsen.
USNA Midshipman Family Photography at sunrise in Annapolis by Kelly Eskelsen.
USNA Midshipman Photography at sunrise in Annapolis by Kelly Eskelsen.
USNA Midshipman Photography at sunrise in Annapolis by Kelly Eskelsen.

Want sunrise photos of your own at the U.S. Naval Academy or in the Annapolis, Md area?

Book a Sunrise Session!

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Kelly is a USNA Midshipman photography specialist in Annapolis, Maryland. She is also a Navy veteran, wife, and mom of 4. She talks way too much and loves to do anything outside! Find more out more about her on her website! Kelly Eskelsen Photography

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