The Forrest Gallery

The Forrest Gallery



We are the largest and longest established, independently owned portrait studio in Eastern Virginia, established in 1972, and begun by David Keith Forrest, M. Photog., Cr. Mr. Forrest has created tens of thousands of portraits over the years of local families and personalities, as well as many prominent individuals and families from around the country.

Forrest Studio is located on 3 acres of waterfront property on SHore Dr in Virginia Beach VA. We have unlimited areas outdoors in back of our studio, including on the lake behind our studio, as well as 2 indoor camera rooms, and a large facility. Of course, we also make portraits on location, including your home, the beach, or other locations.

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Bringing beauty, love, and happiness to all through the glorious magic of fine portraiture!


4 employees
51 years in business
Serves Virginia Beach , VA

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    Frequently asked questions

    We like for our clients to visit us before the sitting day, for a pre sitting consultation. Here we give a brief tour of our studio as well as our studio back lot, so you are familiar with our studio, and we go over all the various sized portraits as well as styles and finishes of the portraits.  We will show all the different styles we have, and also find out what you have in mine for your portraits, including location you want to be photographed in, and the sizes you are interested in. We also go over colors and styles of clothing that will make you look your very best. We also go over all of our studio policies and procedures so everyone is in full understanding of what we do. We schedule everything from this presitting consultation to of course the sitting itself, and then the portrait order and final delivery, by appointment.

    Within as little as a day or so (or no later than 7 days) after the sitting, we will invite you in for your view and order appointment,  where we have a large projection room where we can actually show you your poses in lifesize, then actually project into different sizes so you can see what each size actually looks like! New for 2020, we can now show you what they will actually look like in the walls of your home! That's why we encourage people to take some snapshots of the walls in their home beforehand so when you come to view your portraits, we can actually show you how they will look like in various sizes! This has been a real game changer, as we never had one family ever say the finished portraits were too big, but we have had a number take them home and say they were too small! This eliminates that!

    Please note that our whole focus of The Forrest Gallery, is to created actual printed artwork for your walls. Of course, along with this we do offer smaller sized additional portraits for gifts, albums, etc. We do not just make digital files of our work - however, we do provide an image of each wall portrait ordered for social media. 

    We do have a division of our studio that does business portraits  FOR social media, small print maketing use (business cards, brochures, etc.) which IS the one thing we provide digital media. 

    Mr. Forrest began the studio in 1972, and holds the dual degree of "Master of Photography" and "Photographic Craftsmen" from the Professional Photographer of America, the oldest and largest established Professional Photography organization in the world. This dual degree is the highest and most prestigious honor they can bestow. Additionally, Mr. Forrest Has lectured to thousands of other professional photographers over the years on his style of photography, and managing a portrait studio. 

    Our normal sitting fee for in studio or studio garden and on weekdays,  is $250., which covers the photography session itself, and is separate from the actual portraits, which as stated above, ranges from small desk sized up to 60 inch mural sized portraits, with about a dozen sizes in between, ranging from $150 to 3,500. We also make albums, composites, and other art pieces. We do right now have a special until June 30, where if you pay the $250 sitting fee up front, we will then credit that towards any order of $990 or more.  

    We also offer location sittings such as the beach or other locations, as well as evening and weekend sittings, for an additional fee, plus a minimum order, which all depends on date and time and location. Please call 757-464-6800 for details!

    Location sittings 

    We began in 1972, beginning with weddings, then expanding into portraiture, which is our focus today, with family, children, and High school senior portraits our speciality!

    Only the nicest ones!  And Mr. Forrest has photographed many prominent individuals throughout the area, as well as around the country and the world! Including 3 Ambassadors to the USA; many prominent Cardinals and Bishops in the Church; the Official portrait of our current mayor of Virginia Beach, Bobby Dyer; former Congressman Scott Rigell - (R) VA, who was past US Rep for this area; Pharell Williams and family, an internationally known recording star, who is a native of Va Beach, and countless others over the years!

    We are not the lowest priced studio in the area, and so if the only, or main thing you are looking for, is whoever is the lowest priced - then we are probably NOT the studio for you! Although we are not the highest priced either, but you will receive the very best!

    Every sitting we make!

    Check the credentials of this person, visit their actual studio and see examples of their work. Always beware of someone you've never heard of and especially if they have no actual studio you can visit to establish their credibility. Look behind them if all they can offer is a low or the lowest price, and especially if they just want to give you a disk of digital files to print on a copy machine or take to the one hour photo lab at the pharmacy to have poor quality reproductions made. 

     We are not selling just "photos", or "pictures", or especially, "digital files".  We provide memories to preserve, on the highest quality heirloom art pieces, to be passed down through generations. 

    How long have they been in business, if you have never heard of them. Do they offer presitting day consultations, to go over clothing, colors, and all the other details neded to end up with an heirloom art piece.

    Do they acrtually make finished portrait prints, and are they fully retouched and hand finished, or are they just unfinished automated prints? And especially, do they even make prints, or do they just hand someone a disk with digital files, to " do it yourself"  If the later especially, that speaks volumes about how LITTLE they value what they do.....

    Services offered

    Boudoir Photography
    Portrait Photography
    Aerial Photography
    Real Estate Photography
    Nature Photography
    Commercial Photography
    Headshot Photography
    Pet Photography
    Event Photography
    Engagement Photography
    Business Photography