Rhinehart Photography bio picture
  • Welcome to my blog!

    Hello there-- I’ve been waiting for you!!! You know who you are and are true to yourself, you are a liver-of-life, a collector of moments, a person who appreciates great photography and its ability to press the pause button on life’s most incredible moments.

    You want a photographer who is able to handle all aspects of wedding photography with ease, capturing: candid, romantic emotion; flattering, beautiful portraits; breathtaking scenery & architecture; the joy and energy out on the dance floor and all those sweet wedding details that you have been working on for months in an artful, creative way.

    I have great news for you—I’ve got you covered!!!

    My work is creative & thoughtful. My goal is to share your unique love story. I get to know your interests & personalities in order to capture them forever in beautiful, personal, artful photographs that tell your story. I invest my time helping you become comfortable in front of my camera & find the most flattering lighting and angles for you and your surroundings.

    If this sounds good to you, and you’d like to reach out to me to find out more, please connect here.

Top 20 Wedding Photographers in the USA for 2019!!! 

When I entered my first international photography contest in 2013, I couldn’t even imagine earning one, let alone 15 Fearless Awards!  The world is a big place, with countless incredibly talented wedding photographers I feel so incredibly fortunate to be ranked as one of the top 20 wedding photographers in the United States by Fearless Photographers in 2019.

Awards are given by a rotating panel of judges from all over the world.  They look for innovative photographs that creatively tell a story.  They want to be stunned, amazed, or feel like your images are redefining wedding photography.  Photographers are grouped regionally, and for 2019 I was ranked in the “Top 20 in the USA” and “#1 in Pennsylvania.”  The competition is intense, but I am extremely humbled to be off to a good start in 2020 by earning an award for the photo below.

This is my *15th* Fearless Award— Thank you to Kyle & Kalyan for being your awesome selves & having a killer wedding party who *brought it*!

Collection 55

Other 2020 award-winning images worldwide:

Here are just a few of the other winners across the globe– with stand out images from Mumbai, Florence, Shanghai, Moscow, Wales, and many other locations all over the globe!  Congratulations to all!  (See my photo in the middle of the top row?)

2020 award winning photographers worldwide

How does the competition work?

Fearless Photographer rankings are based on the number of awards given by several panels of judges across the globe throughout the year.  Winning photographs are chosen for showing creative imagery, bold storytelling, and consistent vision.   Narrowing the top wedding photographers world-wide takes time and there are several steps in the year-long process.

In the interest of keeping the judging as impartial as possible, images are anonymous, the panel of curators changes for each collection, and there are rules/limits (especially on photo-shopping, etc).  With so few awards given worldwide, earning 2 in 2019 ranked me #1 in PA and in the top 20 in the USA!

My secret sauce:

In general, I try to fill the entire frame with a story, capture emotion, have a lot of pop (either vibrant colors, bold contrast, or both), and to capture something a little unexpected.  I also keep in mind general rules of composition like the rule of thirds, leading lines, negative space/pattern, etc.

Of over 10,000 images submitted two of mine were finalists in 2019 but didn’t earn awards.  This is one of them:

Lifetime Achievements:

While current awards put me on “top photographers” lists (as I’ve shared I currently have 2), Fearless Awards are also tracked over a lifetime, and I have 15 of those.  While my current awards have kept me at the top of several lists annual lists, including being one of the “Top 50 Photographers Worldwide in 2013” (with 6 awards) and “Top 50 Photographers Worldwide in 2016” (with 4 awards).

If you look at the list of “Top 100 fearless photographers of all time,” I’m currently on that list, too, at the very bottom, haha.  With Victor Lax of Barcelona at the top with 94-lifetime awards and me at the bottom with 15.   Very humbling indeed :).

Here is another 2019 finalist that didn’t make the final cut…

Want to see my other 14 award-winning photographs?

Before I show them to you, I want to mention that something very important to me is incorporating the uniqueness of individuals & capturing authentic moments in my photography– I’ll capture pretty portraits for sure, but what really makes me come alive is capturing authenticity whether that is a country scene in grandma’s back yard, a champagne toast that literally makes you feel a little tipsy, the serenity of having a private beach all to yourself or the hilarious moment when your flower girl attacks the chocolate fondue table in her white gown!

Here is my first award: 

Country: Back in 2013, I was using sepia toning hehe, and I think it works… this is a dress shot from Kyrie & Andrew’s Stormy Lehigh Valley Wedding.   I like the country scene here– a storm rolling in the bride’s gown and her baby’s romper pinned to the clothesline, the woodpile, windchime, cornfield, and the star of the show, her grandma’s dog who just wanted me to throw him a tennis ball!

Wheelbarrow: This image was from the same wedding and actually taken at just about the same spot in grandma’s back yard, haha!  I wanted to capture the motion and excitement so I used a slow shutter and panned at the same speed as the groom was being pushed by his enthusiastic groomsmen in the wheelbarrow!

Window: As the bride’s family members gathered in the sitting room, there was something about the scene through the window that really caught my eye.  Part of it was the original glass pains that gave the photo a painterly quality as well as the way they broke up the scene so perfectly if I stood in just the right spot.   Geri & Nick’s timeless Philadelphia Wedding:

Limo: This one might make you feel a little tipsy, which is exactly my intention.  You might need to take a second look ;).  It is from Lori & Thomas’ fabulous New Jersey wedding:

Tools: So many ring shots are surrounded by pretty objects in photographs, I know I’ve taken many photos like that :).  But for this shot, I noticed light beautifully hitting rusted tools and coins, and I thought there was something fun about having the wrench seem to be tightening the ring.  From Eileen & Kevin’s wedding:

Prayers: When I first met with this couple, they mentioned how important their faith is.  They explained their preparation space to me, they said it’s the room in the church where people have Bible studies.  When I arrived I saw a room with conference tables and fluorescent lighting, when the girls were gathering to pray for Tina, I asked if it was ok if I turned off the lights, they said sure, when I did the conference table disappeared, so did the flicker and squeal of the fluorescents and what was left is the serene scene you see here.   Khoa & Tina’s Harrisburg Wedding:

Glasses: It was about then that I noticed that one of my photography idols, Todd Laffler, was looking to hire his second photographers for the next year, I had one of the dates open, it was even at a venue I had photographed before.  I reached out, showed him some of my work.  He had me photograph the groomsmen getting ready and this is one of the shots I grabbed.

Judges shared, “This show makes you do a little work.  Your gaze enters on the sharp subject in the background, jumps to the out of focus men framing the foreground, and then- finally- circles back to the reflections in the glasses.  This little trick of perspective gives the image a nice sense of depth and narrative, plus a dash of humor.”

You’ll definitely want to take a closer look:

Turkeys: This was actually the first time I met Ashley & Jake, I have since photographed several of their friends and family member’s weddings, the last being Jake’s sister, Joanna, but at this point, I knew that Jake was a turkey farmer… I was like, do you think we could get some with them, too?  (I love to incorporate unique elements that are significant to the couple whenever I can).

Waiting: I still remember the moment I showed Angela this photo, she was like, what??  I don’t even remember you being there!!.  So sometimes I go into ninja mode.  I find a place with an interesting scene with key players and good light and I just camp out quietly.  Here the groom is helping Angela’s brother’s out on finishing touches as his father watches from the back window and Angela watches out the window as the guests arrive on the lawn for the ceremony.

Beach: A private beach all to themselves… I wanted the tranquility of the scene to be palpable with the billowing clouds above waves below and lone sailboat in the distance.  I got sooooo far away from Julia & Max as they just enjoyed the view.  I was shooting with a 200-millimeter lens and was probably 50 yards away because I wanted to get the full compression in the scene.

Jump: When we initially talked about her background Sarah shared that she was a cheerleader and that was something I wanted to bring in to her photos if I could find the right moment.  I liked this space, the light and lines, and kind of camped out there.  Sarah was just about to put on her dress and I could tell she was super excited, a ball of pure energy, she lept down the stairs and we wound up with this…

Judges said, “This scene is absolutely spilling over with lines and frames and gestures,  It took an expert eye to combine them into a composition that works so well.  The two brightest areas of the frame link the main narrative events.  The dress and the excited bride, in a happy tale of the wedding-day preparations.  Everything else either slips away into shadow or guides our gaze back to them.  Tilting the camera to make all the lines diagonal perfectly suited the bride’s unexpected pose.”

Chocolate: Haaaaa, unforgettable– Lauren & Dan’s chocolate-loving flower girl in a white dress and all of the adults are living it up on the dance floor… I used a wide lens here so you could see all the fondue tools to really give a sense of place and filled the frame with elements of the story.

Ladybug: There was luck involved in this image for sure, when Alessia & Tim met me on location for this engagement session, I noticed a bunch of ladybugs hanging out in a very unphotogenic area of the winery, I put on my 100 mm macro lens and headed right for the swarm of them, placing the couple in the best light.

Judges said, “Ladybugs symbolize love, joy, and prosperity– so it’s got to be a pretty good sign to have one land on your engagement ring, right?  The photographer got super close to capturing all of the detail, but didn’t overlook the opportunity to enhance the image with a sweet pose.  Having him hold her hand and lean down to kiss it made the image even more special.”

Anticipation: This was the moment that the limo and Bentley arrived for Nancy & Kevin’s wedding.  Everyone is in the same room viewing the same scene, yet they all seem to be thinking something different.

Nancy’s expression is priceless, such focus and anticipation— she shared that she is thinking about how close she is to finally seeing and marrying Kevin.  Her little nephew is at the window saying “limo” in his cute, tiny voice.  Such a sweet, precious moment.  I shot with a tight aperture so that all fo their expressions were in focus.

It has been an honor for me to have so many of my images recognized and celebrated in such a global way, and to be able to make a living capturing such incredible and beautiful moments.  I’m so happy to be off to a good start with one award for 2020.    I’m really hoping that things will open up soon and that I will be able to photograph weddings in 2020.

Gettysburg Engagement Photographers: Natasha & Robert

Love letters in Paris kicked off these world-travelers’ relationship, these Gettysburg College alums re-visited campus together, stopping at Robert’s proposal spot and the beautiful countryside that was the backdrop for the start of their love story, you need to check out Natasha’s ring and custom manicure, both are seriously stunning!

A friendly, encouraging photographer who creates vibrant, unique photos that capture authentic emotion

Natasha shared, “We chose Lisa as our photographer because of the emotion that she is able to capture in her photography & her use of vivid colors. Both of us tend to gravitate towards unconventional and unique styles, so we liked the personalized nature of her work.”

She continued, “We also are going to have an interesting mix for our bridal party of 9 men and 3 women, and her vogue style photos of the bridal party really appeal to us because they are non-traditional and unique.  Once meeting Lisa we found her to be personable, friendly, encouraging, and funny and we can’t wait to see what she does for our wedding.”

How cute are these two?  The chemistry!!

A Gettysburg College alumni (Robert) & junior (Natasha) meet through mutual friends…

Robert explained, “Gettysburg made sense for us as a backdrop for our engagement photos because we met and graduated from Gettysburg College. I came back to visit friends as an alumnus, Natasha was a junior at the time.”

Natasha added, “Because we both chose to attend Gettysburg College, and our ‘friend groups’ happened to overlap, we are where we are today, soon to be married!”

I considered the campus almost as if it were a third person along on the engagement photography session.  As you look through my work you will notice me incorporating different buildings throughout, for example, the clock tower is silhouette along with the couple in this image:

Penn Hall proposal– a meaningful symbol on Gettysburg College’s campus:

Natasha shared, “Our wedding story began by Rob proposing on the steps of Penn Hall.”

She went on, “The steps of Pennsylvania Hall signify special meaning to us both in our relationship and as alumni of Gettysburg College. On your first day at Gettysburg, you attend a Convocation Ceremony which concludes with all of the first years walking up the steps on the north side of Penn Hall and entering through the building as a symbol of entering the college. It is considered bad luck to walk up the south side steps until graduation day where you come full circle by literally and figuratively exiting the college and returning to your family and friends as a better version of yourself.”

She concluded, “Having you capture a recreation of this moment brought us full circle and was just perfect.”  They were all smiles and giggles.

I used a tilt-shift effect her to allow the American flag and cupula to be in sharp focus, as well as the windows, columns, and couple, including Robert on one knee… I wanted it to look like a miniature, almost like a little scene in a snow globe, a significant moment, paused at the peak…

Robert’s passion for travel and clever, kind, loving nature drew Natasha in…

Natasha explained, “We originally connected because of a shared interest in foreign cultures and languages because at the time Rob had just returned from studying abroad in Russia and I was about to embark on my semester abroad in Paris.”

Natasha smiled, “Rob has an innate kindness that draws people to him, he is clever and curious and has a wealth of random facts tucked into his brain that fascinates me. He is also a very loving person and I feel very lucky that I am the recipient of his love and he makes me laugh.

Sometimes it’s the “little things” like a unique engagement ring and creative nail art that makes the biggest impact…

I complimented Natasha’s impressive nail art and wondered where she had it done…

She smiled, “I started doing nail art while pursuing my Masters at American University as I found for the first time I had enough downtime to let my nails dry because I would paint my nails and complete my readings for class between coats and now it has become a signature of my look.”

She continued, “I love jewelry, I first went to my family jewelers at the age of 7 where I picked out my first ring with my parents for my 7th birthday. Ever since I have loved sparkly things, evidenced by not only my jewelry, but by my shoes. Thus, it made only sense that Rob knowing me would make sure that we went ring shopping together. I wanted something that no one else has and something unique and one of a kind. I technically let Rob pick between 2 rings, but there was really only one correct answer, and he picked the right one, haha!”

I have lots of lenses in my kit and carry them around in a simple backpack as I shoot on location.  Each one is specialized to do a unique job, this 100mm Canon L-series macro lens specialized in getting detail photos, and man, does it help me to really nail these ring shots.  it’s worth the extra weight for sure!

Their love of adventure has taken them around the globe…

Robert smiled, “Our love of traveling has taken us all over the world to France, England, Germany, Austria, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina and we can’t wait for our next adventure, our honeymoon.”

I like to play with perspective, here I am low enough to almost stretch the columns while exposing the vibrant green of the summer leaves and the vibrant blue of the sky:

Natasha’s talent makes him feel like he’s living in his own Broadway musical…

Robert explained, “I really love Natasha’s passion, hopefulness, and bubbly personality. She views the world in such a positive way and appreciates the small things in life.”

He continued, “Natasha is a musician and sings, plays the flute and piano so life with her is never dull, but more like living in my own personal musical.”

Newsie’s, West Side Story, 42nd Street, etc if you are looking for a leading man… 😉

Mostly, they just love spending time together

Natasha added, “We both know that life is meant to be enjoyed and always strive to find something to be positive about and find humor in situations.”

She concluded, “More than anything we just like to be together and we are lucky in that we like to spend our time doing similar things and share a love of similar places.”

I loved the intense gold color of this open field in Gettysburg National Park.  Robert and Natasha were game and just pulled over on our way to the top of the battlefield.  It’s very subtle, but if you look closely you can see that I used a slow shutter speed to show movement as the wind blew through the field.  It takes a lot of math and science to over-ride the camera’s auto settings, and I’m constantly doing those calculations in my head as I shoot.

A gift from Florence, Italy

Natasha smiled, “Rob’s belt has been a mainstay since the beginning of our relationship, as I bought it for him while we were just talking while I was on spring break at the Italian leather market in Florence, Italy. This is because previously Rob had what I deemed the ‘pilgrim belt’ which he immediately threw away after I gave him this beautiful, Italian leather belt to wear as soon as I was back in the US.”

Traditional engagement portraiture:

While My main focus is capturing authentic moments that tell a couple’s story and capture their emotions and significant places in the most beautiful light, I also make sure to capture a couple of more traditional portraits as well.

What a stunning couple, right?

‘Reflecting’ a little on the ‘perfect’ time of day for an engagement session…

For people who love vibrant colors, I often suggest shooting in mid-day where we will have bright blue sunny skies, or near the end of the day where we will have intense yellows at sunset.  I know most photographers lately seem to say “overcast is best” and it is if you want flat light and specific locations, but in this instance, where we wanted campus, in general, we could push the time of day to be intense midday sun that brings high color and high contrast, that really gives the photos some pop that fit these two perfectly!

I love it when I notice a really cool reflection… look closely and you’ll see Natasha & Robert in it, along with an artistic take on one of the buildings on campus.

Seeing eye-to-eye:

Natasha added, “We had gorgeous blue skies with some clouds in the mid-70s so basically perfect weather.”

Robert agreed.  He brought up the way that they tend to agree on the important things in life.

Natasha agreed, “We both have similar values and backgrounds and enjoy spending time together, learning, wine, and of course, traveling.”

6 months of love letters, addressed to Natasha in Paris…

Robert shared, “We met and were initially just friends,  and a few months later, Natasha left for Paris.  I was determined to keep in touch and hoped to woo my friend into hopefully being something more.”

Natasha smiled and added, “My ‘friend’ sent me about twenty letters to Paris and flowers on Valentine’s Day, too.  My girlfriends were like, friend(?) our boyfriends don’t even bother to do that, haha!”

Robert explained, “I have a master’s degree in history, and was working in the national archives as an archivist at the time.  I was sorting through so many historical documents, and am partial to having actual letters.  There is something about having that piece of paper that will last the test of time that makes it more meaningful.”

An incredible shot that had us communicating from 50 feet apart…

I know how much Natasha loves color and dramatic lighting, and I really wanted to silhouette them against the bright blue sky while seeing the vibrant greens and intense shadows of the leaves.  I asked if they were game to try something different and they were 100% in.

I stood downhill and in the bushes (haha) maybe 50 feet away, and tried to explain to them the exact place to stand to be perfectly framed by the shadowy tree limbs as they swayed in the breeze.  It took a few minutes for all of the stars (or leaves in this case, ha) to align and we ended up with this beautiful portrait:

Just because her engagement ring is *that stunning*

I noticed the perfectly lit, emerald green leaf with interesting lines and dark shadows and knew it was ‘the spot’ to place Natasha’s engagement ring to really show off the intricate lines and detailing and bring the vibrant greens and blues from the rest of the shoot full circle.

I pulled out my macro lens and here is the result.  It might look easy, but imagine balancing this with the wind and trying to get it in sharp focus while getting the sun to catch it just right… totally worth it!

Natasha and Robert, thank you so much for sharing your story with me and trusting me to capture the emotion from such a significant time in your life.  When you look at these I hope you see your personalities and favorite places shine through as well as the deep love that you share.  I am over the moon excited to capture your wedding day at The Bond in York, Pennsylvania.

Gettysburg Wedding Photographers: Tia & Andy

A sweet Gettysburg engagement session for a couple that shares a passion for music, literature, games, evening strolls.  They share the exact same “weirdness level” and a love that is deep, authentic, relaxed and 100% home-grown…

Tia has followed me since the start of my career– her home is a mini Rhinehart Photography museum!

When I first met Tia she was a teen, an avid reader at our local library, where I was the children’s librarian. I captured her family photos, her senior portraits (her sister’s too), and now her engagement photos!  What a treat it is to watch this incredible girl become a strong, inspiring, amazing woman right before my eyes!

Tia explained, “I have had the pleasure to watch and be a part of your professional photography journey, too. I’ve got copies of the senior photos you took for me, my sister, and Wolfe Family Photos all around my house. I’ve followed your blog for ages and always dreamed that when I got married, you would be my photographer. ”

She continued, “I love how original and fun your shoots are, and how much time you take to incorporate people’s personalities and styles into the photos.  I’m always in awe of how you can step into any room and instinctively drawn to the most creative, beautiful shots. During our shoot, you noticed a reflection in the frame of a portrait my sister made of one of my senior pictures that you took, you caught such a beautiful photo there!”

It was unreal for me to walk through Tia’s home, I joked that it was a Rhinehart Photography museum with all of my different pieces from over the years, haha…

Tia’s sister is an artist and created this piece based on one of the senior portraits I captured of Tia several years ago.  I noticed their reflection in it and thought it was an interesting tie in…

100% authentic, relaxed, natural, homey vibe…

Andy stated, “We wanted our engagement photos to feel natural, something a little more relaxed, that reflects our personalities and interests well.”

Tia, “Agreed, some may think doing their engagement session around their house and down the street is a little boring, but those are the things we like to do together and there’s beauty and love in that.”

I’m all about authenticity, and I love how well these two know themselves and each other!

Tia sang “I can’t help falling in love with you”…

Andy, “I didn’t think that Tia was going to sing a song during the photos, but I’m glad she did.  She has such a beautiful voice.”

Tia laughs, “We really should have tuned the guitars beforehand.”

Bringing the whole family along to the wedding and engagement…

Tia shared,  “When I was young I started a collection of lockets. My grandmother noticed them and took me to her back bedroom where she had an heirloom locket that originally belonged to her grandmother. It has a picture of our namesake Irene (both my grandmother’s and my middle name) inside.  She told me that she wanted me to have it someday.”

She added, “When she passed away, it was passed on to me. I wear that locket to all my special occasions and milestones in life. It makes me feel like my grandmother gets to be there for them. I know I’m going to wear it on my wedding day, so I wanted to wear it during the engagement photos as well.”

Gettysburg, Water Street is home…

Tia shared, “We chose Gettysburg because Andy and I have lived together here for four years. Some of my favorite memories of us are in our little house on Water Street. We’ve filled our house with plants, art, games, and musical instruments – all things we love. ”

Andy added, “We love to sit out on our front porch together when it’s nice outside, and take walks through the neighborhood.”

I love capturing couples in their element!  If you look closely you can see the water street sign and the neighbors’ roses:

Traditional engagement portraits, too:

While I spend most of the session capturing a couples’ personalities, interests, style, favorite places etc, I do take some time to capture a few more traditional portraits, too.

Here is one of theirs:

Aloe’ve You (get it?): the engagement ring

Andy laughed, “I spent hours at the jewelry store looking at SO many rings to try and find the one that fit Tia’s personality and style the best. I knew she didn’t want anything too flashy, or too plain, I wanted one unique like her. The diamond was my great-grandmother’s.”

(note I used Tia & Andy’s favorite aloe plant for this shot)

Consider your weirdness level matched!

Andy shared, “I think we work so well together because we compliment each other’s styles and personalities so well. ”

Tia laughs, “To be honest, I never thought I’d find someone as weird as me. We match each other’s weirdness level.”

Andy explained, “Gettysburg has paths along the battlefields that are great for taking evening walks together.”

Guitar string bracelet for this music lover

Tia smiles, “The flower bracelet is so cool because it’s made from guitar strings, and was a gift from my parents. I grew up in a house filled with my dad playing guitar, and my parents and siblings singing. I always wanted to grow up and play guitar just like my dad. I love that Andy is musical too, and we get to share that.”

I love their body language here– see the strings?

The wave.  Such a fun mural…

What they love most about each other:

Andy noted, “Tia is a kind-hearted, beautiful woman, inside and out. She always thinks of others before herself. I love how driven and goal-oriented she is, too.”

Tia shared, “Andy is one of the most fun loving, like-able people on the planet. You cannot be in a room with him and not smile, laugh, and have a good time. One of the first things I noticed about him was that he never stopped smiling through our whole first date.”

She added, “What I love most about him is how loyal he is to his friends and family, and I’m lucky to be included in that group. He has supported me through hardships, and celebrated me through successes. Even when I don’t feel like I deserve his loyalty, I still have it.”

Getting a little creative with shadow play…

Their first Valentine’s Day as a couple…

Tia explained, “The first Valentine’s Day we spent together I was overly determined to make it grand, and we planned this romantic overnight stay in DC. We booked the cutest little boutique hotel, and made dinner reservations at a fancy restaurant. Andy bought me a beautiful dress I mentioned I liked at the store.”

She continued, “We hadn’t been dating very long, and it was our first trip together, so we were nervous and I desperately wanted everything to be perfect. I picked Andy up and we drove to DC and I had a complete panic attack over finding parking downtown. The GPS wasn’t loading fast enough, it was snowing, I didn’t know where to go and I just freaked out. I definitely thought Andy would think I was a freak for having an anxiety attack over parking, but he was patient and helped me get where we needed to go.”

She went on, “When it was time to go to dinner, we both got all dressed up and Andy realized he forgot his dress shoes back home. He was so upset with himself, and he ended up wearing his dress clothes with moccasins.”

Tia laughed, “We got such a good laugh out of that.”

I love the distortion here and see it as symbolic, when you are first dating and you try to be so perfect, haha!  It also happens to be at the Old Waldo’s a super cool Gettysburg hang out.

The moral of the story…

Tia concluded, getting a little sentimental, “Regardless of parking lot panics or moccasin mishaps, we had the absolute best time together in DC. We ate great food, drank more than we probably should have, and learned quickly that things weren’t going to always be perfect in our relationship or just the way we planned them, but even so, we could still have so much fun together and get through it. ”

Sunset on the Gettysburg Battle Field, a few minutes from their home:

I snapped my last photos as the sun set on the horizon.  We shot inside Tia & Andy’s home, and as they took their evening stroll.

Nothing fancy or over the top, just them being them and doing their thang.  I love this so much guys!

Tia thank you for following me and believing in me from the very beginning.  I’m honored to see my work all over your home and to hear you say that you always dreamed that I’d be your wedding photographer.  I’m so happy that you and Andy have each found someone who shares your passion for music, literature, games, walks, and shares the exact same “weirdness level.”  I can’t wait for your wedding this fall at the Gettysburg Lodges!

Shippensburg University Graduates: Louis, Cameron & Alex

Hats off to 2020 Shippensburg University graduates Louis, Cameron & Alex…

Louis (center) reached out to me about photographing him and his roommates, Alex & Cameron to commemorate this special time and make it feel real for them, since Covid-19 had prevented them from having the graduation ceremony that they had anticipated.

Louis said, “I could tell right away that you would be the right photographer for us.  Your pictures feel alive and I could tell you take time to work with your clients and help them to be comfortable in front of the camera.”

Individual Headshots of each graduate:

They wanted a nice headshot of each of the roommates…

Candid photos of a few celebratory moments:

To capture them popping a bottle of celebratory champagne…

To show a few of the historic buildings on Shippensburg University’s campus more subtly in the background…

A little nostalgia…

Louis shared, “We all met during orientation, we are so different but just clicked, like they say opposites attract.”

He continued, “My favorite memories with them mostly involve food, haha.  There was a good amount of late night pizza and a time that we all went out to a restaurant together and I forgot my wallet!  I was embarrassed, but Alex stepped up and said, ‘Don’t worry, I got you.'”

Haha, we have a little literal stepping up happening here… a fun pic in front of the dining hall…

When I asked about locations, Louis said, “Meeting at Old Main is perfect– that fountain is magnificent!  It is my favorite part of our campus.”

Louis continued, “Now that I’ve graduated, I have plans to attend graduate school and eventually start a career in the health field.”

Favorite places on campus:

They laughed, “We need to include the big red chair, it’s a Ship classic!”

Louis explained, “At the end of the day, I’d like for our photography session to be relaxed, fun and nostalgic.”

I hope these photographs hit all of those markers for you!

Thanks for reaching out to me, it was a pleasure to work with the three of you, and I wish you all the very best with all of your future scientific endeavors 🙂

If you’d like to see more, check out some more of my full senior portrait sessions, here, or reach out to Louis or his friends to see their full set.

Chambersburg Baby Bump Session: Meredith & LR

What a treat!  I re-visited Meredith & LR’s wedding venue, this time photographing their baby bump, we all enjoyed a beautiful evening of trekking in the woods (my absolute favorite) and revisiting places like the tree where LR proposed, Meredith’s favorite field and witnessing an incredible sunset…

Meredith shared, “We chose you as our photographer because we were so pleased with the photos that you captured from our wedding day. They were unique, authentic, and creative. We were hoping to have photos that captured our personalities- two lawyers that enjoy nothing more than breaking out of our work attire and book it out of town to our “special place” where we are surrounded by nature.”

How chic is this pregnant woman?  Wowza!!

Meredith explained, “I first fell for LR because he immediately saw potential in me that I never saw in myself. I was planning to go back to school to obtain a degree in business management and he encouraged me to look into legal studies. Our first date was a “blind” date and we ended up talking for three hours. We instantly connected and I remember calling my Mom on the way home and telling her that I met the man I was going to marry.”

White dress and wedding rings, this time with the baby bump 😉

Re-visiting their wedding proposal site and the initials LR carved in the tree

Meredith shared, “We loved that you wanted to re-visit significant places with us, like the engagement tree where LR proposed. We knew that we always wanted to remember that special spot, so LR carved our initials into the tree along with the date we got engaged.”

Meredith explained, “I first fell for LR because he immediately saw potential in me that I never saw in myself. I was planning to go back to school to obtain a degree in business management and he encouraged me to look into legal studies. Our first date was a “blind” date and we ended up talking for three hours. We instantly connected and I remember calling my Mom on the way home and telling her that I met the man I was going to marry. I love that he always makes me laugh when I’m having a bad day.”

She continued, “We chose the location because it’s where we got married and we love the outdoors. The land specifically is important to both of us because LR has been going there since he was little and he’s spent a lot of weekends foraging through the woods. To me, the land is special because it’s a place that we spend a lot of time with my in-laws and my brother-in-law and I’m excited to see our child grow up having the woods as a permanent vacation spot where she can foster a love for the outdoors.”

This “ring of honeysuckle branches reminded me of the floral wreath that was part of their wedding…

Revisiting their wedding chapel, this time with a baby bump!

The chapel in the background is the place where LR & Meredith were married a few years ago.  They and their family members built it together on their land and the brick walkway where they are standing was one of Meredith’s special projects.  She found all the brick and laid (and re-laid) it with LR until it was totally level.  They were both amused at the grass peeking through between the bricks.  You can see the wooden “pews” and the chapel arches in the background.

Breaking it down…

Meredith shared, “When I was considering what to wear I wanted something whimsical and elegant that also showed off the baby bump.  I chose the white lace dress because I felt like it gave us the perfect amount of elegance, while the hat kept things more playful.”

Speaking of playing, I love to play with reflections, here is one of them off of the surface of their pond.  I love the color palette that the reflected sky brings into the image:

Meredith admitted, “I have a Type A personality and he balances me out by just going with the flow.  I started planning the nursery layout and design two years ago. For LR, I think this time period brought out his typically calm demeanor. He handled most hiccups during this time with ease and was careful to balance out some of my more hormonal reactions.”

Meredith laughed, “Surrounded by nature- being in nature is our happy place. We don’t need fancy restaurants or vacations but give us a few days up in the mountains and our souls are restored.”

She shared, “LR can build, fix, and create anything that I set in front of him. There are so many unique items that are one of a kind in the nursery because they are handmade and I am so grateful to have a husband that is handy and can bring all of my visions to life.”

“I am most excited to see LR become a father. I think that the new role will look quite good on him.” –Meredith

I thought it’d be fun to re-create a few of their favorite shots from their wedding day.

Meredith shared, “Spinning like we did at the wedding was such a fun picture to create and really reminded me of our wedding day. It was so nice to be able to recreate some of my favorite wedding pictures.”

Meredith, you are stunning!

Prepared and calm in a crisis:

Meredith shared, “We inherited a piece of furniture from my late Uncle and we painted it, added new hardware, and LR extended the width of the dresser to accommodate our changing pad and accessories. In February, LR started talking about Covid-19 and how it was likely going to hit us hard. I immediately purchased all of our big pieces of nursery furniture to ensure that nothing was out of stock and to avoid shipping delays.  He knows how to take care of me and us and I can’t wait to see him as a father.”

Growing something new together:

Meredith explained, “A perfect example of our love and personalities can be seen throughout the past few months in how we’ve handled Covid-19. For starters, I have been saying for months now that all I want to do (other than parent our new child, of course) is to spend some time in our garden.”

Meredith elaborated, “I researched for the majority of last winter and had all of these grand ideas for what our garden could look like this year- brand new drip irrigation system, companion planting, adding fresh dirt to the garden beds, etc. However, with the impending pandemic, I was quickly losing hope that my dream garden would happen this year- I thought the nurseries would close, the garden centers would close, and there go my new plants and fresh dirt.”

She continued, “Despite LR thinking it was a bad idea, we headed out to Snavely’s Garden Corner and secured ourselves a dump truck of new soil. We worked during quarantine to fill up our raised garden beds with new soil. We started a few plants from seed and then, as the restrictions began to lift, we headed out to Lurgan and selected some new plant babies to come home with us. This was my first and only outing into a retail location since the first weekend in March and it was well worth it!”

The mountains and that sunset, lots of purples…

Meredith summarized, “So, despite me giving up hope on having my dream garden this year, LR worked through all of the details and, as always, brought my dream to life! ”

LR added, “I love that we can spend enjoyable time together while working to accomplish something, we plan to raise our child with the same work ethic.”

She added, “He is always teaching me to slow down, not panic, and look for solutions instead of the problem.”

By that time the sun had sunk low behind the mountain and purple turned to indigo, the couple was quiet and just taking it all in…

Meredith and Lawrence, thank you so much for reaching out to me both on your wedding day and to capture your pregnancy.  It has been such a treat for me to watch your family grow through this time and to visit the land you love.

To see more of Meredith and LR, check out their wedding blog, here.

Creative PA Senior Portrait Photographers: Ben

An idyllic landscape surrounds this all-star runner and old soul…

I first met Ben seven years ago, during his brother Nathaniel’s senior portrait session.  I have now officially photographed all four of the Byers boys: Phillip, Nathaniel, Luke & Ben.  It has been such an interesting experience for me to see both how similar and how different each of them are.    This is Ben’s turn in the spotlight!

Ben is a people person– friendly, likable and kind.  He had just been chosen by his classmates to be the “king” at the winter formal.  He enjoys running and spending time on his family’s farm and the surrounding land, especially the mountains and stream.

Ben shared, “I’ve been running for six years now, and absolutely love it. I’ve spent a good amount of my time in high school running cross country and track for sure.”

There was firewood stacked in the corner of the yard and I thought it provided an interesting backdrop.  Ben dove deeper.

He said, “I’ve split wood many a time and that is a type of hard work that brings greater appreciation to the fruits of labor.”

I can envision Ben’s dad saying this for sure, but Ben is an old soul himself, and a deep thinker…

Ben told me that having bright running shoes was a “thing,” the crazier the color the better.  I noticed how the vibrant gold color seemed to match the yellow line on the road.

I captured his movement here, using a slow shutter speed.

At the end of a long dirt road, farms and mountains in the distance, a typical running spot for him.

Ben shared, “Funny story, in my middle school years I ventured out in the woods that borders our home at dusk.  After taking about five steps into the woods, I heard a voice saying, “What are ya doin’, boy?” when I apologized the voice said, “You’re ruining our hunt, boy!”

Ben laughed, “I bolted out of the woods as fast as I could, most likely setting a new personal best in the 400-meter dash. The roots in the field digging into my bare feet as I zoomed past. I didn’t stop until I reached the front door. As I walked inside I smelled the soup my mom was cooking, thinking that the kitchen table was the best place to enjoy the last few minutes of daylight.”

I slowed the speed of my shutter, panning along at Ben’s pace as he ran towards the woods this time, haha.

Here Ben’s trombone sits in the living room on the family piano.  Ben’s family is a musical one, and Ben is no exception.

He shared, “Elanor Rigby was one of my favorite songs from marching band.”

He picked it up and started to play.  I noticed the reflection in his family’s china cabinet and the vibrant blue of the sky and fellow of the field silhouetting Ben.

Ben is friendly and smiles and laughs often.  He is a joy to be around.  I caught him here mid-laugh.

There is something so timeless about Ben.  Like you could be talking to someone from 1940 or even 1700… I felt like this timeless look combined with his genuine expression hit a good note.

Ben shared, “All of my brothers have had there senior pictures done by you.  I was always impressed with your work and knew that you were my number one choice for my photographs. You are excellent at balancing the subject of the shoot with integrating the beauty of the environment around them, creating something far more beautiful than either one or the other. That’s why I mentioned wanting views of mountains, streams, and nature, because I knew that you can really work with the potential in those environments to create the best photos.”

He smiled “At the end of the day I know these photos are supposed to be about me, but I’d also like the beauty of my home that I love so much and God’s creation to shine.”

This shot shows the mountains and woods and open fields behind his home, but also captures Ben and his cat as well as something that is more emotional.  As the sun streamed in my lens, it hit just right to light him up– to me, it expresses his heart and soul, the depth of who he is.

Ben shared, “I was born and raised living in this house and on this property. Much of my life can be traced to these few acres.”

He continued,” Rural living has always been ideal to me, the serenity is unmatched by any other setting. It’s simple.”

That simplicity is so beautiful…

I was trying to get all creative here, check out the cat photo bomb, haha:

I think this is the perfect “senior photo.”  I love seeing the wood in the background symbolizing “hard work” and “simplicity” per Ben’s earlier comments.

As the sun got lower in the sky interesting colors started to appear, here I shot through the fence to add a little visual interest.

Ben explained, “The stream has always been a great part of our property. I remember venturing with my brothers down the stream barefoot for what seemed miles just for the sake of exploring the stream together and expanding our imaginations.”

He was game to run, for sure…

He shared, “The mountains are the greatest source of scenic beauty anywhere, they tower over everything else, so powerful and abounding., yet the gentleness with which they rest seems almost as though they are full of hidden wisdom and untold stories.”

He added, introspectively, “Nothing else brings someone as close to the elements as running through them. It shows how much the body can do, and also how weak the body is as you run by trees that will outlive you and your children by just standing strong.”

As the sun set fully, a cloud formation seemed to frame Ben as he ran, so I snapped this shot right when he was in the center of it.

 

 

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