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.

Ranked “Top 50 Wedding Photographers Worldwide for 2016”!!!!

I am delighted to share that Fearless Photographers has listed me as one of the “Top 50 Wedding Photographers Worldwide for 2016”!!!!  I share this honor with fellow photographers from  Indonesia, France, Romania, England, China, Italy and Brazil to mention a few :).

It is humbling to be surrounded by such amazing photographers, literally in this case, haha– see me in the middle?

2016 Top 50 worldwide

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.

Fearless Photographer rankings are based on the number of international photography awards given by several panels of judges throughout the course of the year.  Winning photographs are chosen for showing creative imagery, bold storytelling and consistent vision.   Narrowing the top wedding photographers across the globe 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).

In 2016, there were 689 photographs that earned Fearless Awards worldwide.  I received 4 of those awards, which placed me of the “Top 50 Photographers of 2016 list.”  If I would have earned one more award this year, I would have made the “Top 10”, that can be a goal for next year, haha!  Here are my award-winning images for 2016.  I am surprised by how many are black and white!

This one requires a closer look ;)…


Alessia & Tim’s surprise engagement guest:


Cheerleader, Sarah’s wedding morning:


A fondue-loving flower girl at Lauren & Dan’s Lehigh Valley Wedding:


This is my third year being listed in the top 100 wedding photographers internationally by Fearless Photographers, as I was on the top 100 list in 2014 (top 50), 2015 (top 100) and 2016 (top 50).  This is also my second year on the “Top 100 Photographers of All Time” list due to my 13 international award winning images over the past three years.   Here are my 9 other award winning images from previous years:

Kyrie & Andrew’s Stormy Lehigh Valley Wedding: 


Geri & Nick’s timeless Philadelphia Wedding:


Khoa & Tina’s elegant Harrisburg Wedding:


Kyrie & Andrew’s Stormy Lehigh Valley Wedding: 


Lori & Thomas’ fabulous New Jersey wedding:


Eileen & Kevin’s artful Hoboken wedding:


Max & Julia’s sophisticated beach Wedding:


Angela & Sean’s Harrisburg riverside Wedding:


Ashley & Jake’s turkey farm engagement in the Lehigh Valley:


Thanks to the support of my family, friends, fans, colleagues and amazing clients I am able to have a career that I am passionate about and absolutely love! Congrats to all of the others on the top 50 list, your work inspires me!!!

To see the full top 2016 list visit here.  If you’d like to see more and even give little hearts to your personal favorites please visit my Fearless Profile here.

Thanks for checking out this article! Please feel free to comment below.  😉

[…] you!!!) but I know that one of he photos from Ashley’s sister’s engagement received an international photography award […]

[…] and Joel reached out to me after checking out Fearless Photographers in search of an international award-winning wedding photographer in their […]

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[…] wonderful photographer to have as part of our special day!  You never cease to amaze us with your artistic ability and breathtaking work. On our wedding day, you kept everyone on time and captured all of the shots we wanted while adding […]

Harrisburg Wedding Photographers: Nicolle & Horacio

The state capitol, a cozy coffee shop, wine, art and dancing– you won’t want to miss Nicolle & Horacio’s Harrisburg engagement session…

After following my work for *6 years,* long before she even met Horacio, Nicolle knew I would be her wedding photographer…

Nicolle smiled, “Several years ago, family friends posted the most incredible wedding photos! I was blown away, and started following their photographer, Lisa Rhinehart, on social media with the setting of “see first,” so I would never miss a post. When Horacio talked about proposing, I told him Lisa was our only option. Horacio, being true to himself, spent an entire evening researching other wedding photographers, but by the end of the night, he couldn’t help but agree that Lisa was “the one.””

She laughed, “Even before the proposal, we reached out to Lisa about dates!  I knew she booked up quickly, so we decided to book her before we even got engaged!  She accommodated us by meeting over video chat when I was visiting Horacio in Texas!  There was no doubt in my mind, photography was always my number one priority when it came to our wedding budget, and we had to have the best! ”

Horacio added, “Another big plus was the affordability of someone of her caliber. We compared her price to other photographers and really none we could find could even approach her skill and artistic ability. Lisa seems to have a way of documenting the parts of the wedding in such a detailed but personalized way for each couple and in a way that has an incredible impact. We are both very excited about our wedding and having it captured beautifully by such a talented individual.”

Wow, thank you so much, guys!  This is really the highest compliment I can receive and it means so much to me that you have put your trust in me!  Speaking of finding “the one” uncountable they have found that in each other!  They have so much chemistry and are so affectionate.  It’s really sweet.  How incredibly loved is this woman?

I knew how much Nicolle appreciated the color and creativity of my photography.  Here I snagged an interesting perspective from under the stairwell, capturing the natural wood and golden light streaming through the window, drawing attention to the happy couple as they share a glass of wine.

I love to support local businesses and suggested a few places that might work well for their shoot.  One was Millworks, which I love.  They both shared a glass of wine there.

Here I took that a step further, capturing their reflections in the wine glass– look very closely, do you see them?

I like the dramatic shadows and bold color in this as well…

Millworks not only has tasty drinks and food, but art as well!

Nicolle and Horacio met dancing…

Nicolle explained, “I flew from Pennsylvania to Texas to visit my twin sister. Before the trip, my sister would joke that I would meet a cowboy while I was down there and fall in love. Little did we know, haha!!!”

Nicolle shared, “My sister took me out two-stepping with a group of friends that evening.  It was the last song before we were going to go, when Horacio came over and asked if he could sit next to me. We started talking and he proceeded to teach me how to two-step in the back corner of the bar…”

Nicolle continued, “I felt drawn to him– he was fun, happy, and attentive, and I started falling for him on the dance floor.  Even though everyone told me I was acting crazy and very unlike myself, but my heart was telling a different story.  It’s funny, I feel like God was telling me from the minute we met that this boy was something special.”

Horacio shared warmly, “I love her cute smile, big beautiful brown eyes, and her confident aura. Outward appearance is nothing compared to who I know she is on the inside – a beautifully sweet, down-to-earth individual, who God has truly blessed me with. I had no idea that this girl who I’d meet on the dance floor and then leave to go back to Pennsylvania (1700 miles away), would end up one day becoming my wife!”

He continued, “She went from stranger to the one who I feel most comfortable to be my true self with and have the most fun with. We both have a love for life and desire of living in the moment, and I feel we always try our best to embrace whatever new journey or adventure comes our way.”

These two love coffee, so we stopped at Little Amps Coffee Roasters on State Street in Harrisburg

Nicolle explained, “It’s also amazing how much we have grown together through 2.5 years of long-distance, and now two months of being together here in Pennsylvania. Horacio is energetic, paaaaaaasionate (as he would say), super silly, spontaneous, surprisingly introverted, and has such a big heart. The way he cares for me and shows his love for me can take my breath away. I know that sounds cliché. It’s just really incredible to look back at our journey thus far, to see where God has brought us, and to see how we are better together than we ever were apart. I never knew I could love someone this much.”

I loved the colors and lighting of this shot.  Vibrant green, red and blue– all the lines, the intensely warm sunlight and cool tones.  To me, it said: fun, happy, modern, passionate and authentic.”  It felt so right to me…

Horacio humbly admitted, “We went from meeting on the dance floor right into a long-distance relationship and I had certain nagging feelings that even though it felt so right and that literally no one else understood me so well, the long-distance aspect caused me to fear that it could unexpectedly end or that our relationship could fizzle out due to either of us growing tired of the distance.”

He went on, “Over time though, this changed and I eventually came to realize that as our trust and love for each other grew, it gave way to the confidence and knowledge that we’d one day marry and that nothing would be able to separate our love. God continued to open the doors and lay the path to our being together, and I thank God for his provision and blessing me with my beautiful future wife.”

While I primarily focus on candid moments and getting creative, I do take some time during a session to photograph more traditional portraits… this one is my favorite of them and came right at the end of the shoot when they were feeling most comfortable in front of the camera:

The proposal…

Nicolle laughed, “Horacio told me he wasn’t proposing until Thanksgiving, which I wasn’t happy about. I wanted to be engaged that summer, because we had already decided on August 2020 for our wedding (I mean, we already booked the photographer…haha), and I wanted as much time as possible to plan the wedding. We had a New England road trip planned for the end of summer, and I hoped that he might propose to me then! Horacio had been talking nonstop about this castle he wanted to take me to in Connecticut, and I was certain that would be the backdrop to our proposal story.”

A bit of a steamy backdrop to set the scene…

She continued, “After two days in Boston, we woke up the morning of the third day, with our destination of Connecticut and the castle. Horacio encouraged me to wear this cute dress I had bought the day before, which got me more suspicious. We stopped in this cute village near Mystic and walked around…until it started pouring rain. It wasn’t even supposed to rain that day!! To leave, you had to go over the only bridge in town, which was very backed up. Sirens were going off, and we discovered they were closing the bridge due to all the flooding. By the grace of God, we were the last car over the bridge!!”

She went on, “We were so stuck in traffic that Horacio said maybe we should forget about the castle, it might be closed by the time we arrive. I was not about to let go of my possible proposal due to getting delayed in traffic! So, after a quick bite to eat, I encouraged him to head straight for Gillette Castle. We made it just in time for the last tour! It was so beautiful, and we walked around the grounds taking pictures and laughing. The sun had come out, and it was a beautiful afternoon. We were out on the patio, and beside us *a wedding had just concluded* and everyone was so happy. I felt warm and content, and I was just soaking in the moment.”

Oh yeah, you know what’s coming…

Nicolle continued, “Horacio pulled me close, said a couple things about the future, and I knew the moment was here!  He looked deeply into my eyes, and said, ‘we need to head to dinner, you’ll get hungry soon.’   I was so confused and disappointed though I tried not to show it!  He also mentioned that he had written something for me that he wanted to read to me…”

She went on, “We shared the most incredible Vegan meal, but still no proposal, he didn’t even read what he had written!  We ended up walking along the water, and he asked me to turn around and look out to the water as he read his letter to me. I looked off into the distance and literally three words into his speech, I started emoting all at once – it was this strange laugh, cry, hiccup thing going on, haaaaa – I literally have never done that in my life!”

She concluded, “As he finished reading, I turned around, and he was down on one knee!!!  It was one of the happiest moments in my life. We walked back to the car, and Horacio broke down crying, too– filled with emotion and love. It is that vulnerability that he continues to show throughout our relationship that makes me fall in love with him more and more every day.”

She added, “Our engagement story isn’t a quick one to tell in passing – I haven’t been able to shorten it without leaving out key elements. I feel like it is so us – unconventional, with twists and turns, taking turns encouraging each other, lots of emotion, and so much love and joy – just as our journey began back in Texas, and as it continues into marriage and our new life together.”

Nicolle, I cannot thank you enough for following my work, and having it show up at the top of your newsfeed for six years!  For placing your trust in me and for booking me before Horacio had even popped the question!  I am incredibly excited to photograph your Westchester wedding this summer!

Harrisburg Engagement Photographers: Sarah & Matt

You won’t want to miss this cozy, authentic, Harrisburg winter engagement…

Sarah shared, “We chose you as our photographer after viewing your photography on the Rhinehart Photography website.  We loved the vibrant colors and uniqueness of your photos.”

I opened with a vibrant photo at dusk, here is a unique, black and white photo.  It’s soft, intimate and timeless– it really gives you a feel for these two and their “keep it simple” motto for their relationship…

While I love to get creative, colorful, unique images, I also value a good solid portrait and here is one of Sarah & Matt:

I met Sarah and Matt at their home.  They were in socks and t-shirts, cozy, comfy, natural.

I love to play with reflections, here is one I caught from the glass covering their fireplace:

Sarah explained, “Matt and I have similar interests and met through a mutual friend.”

She added, “I am more extroverted, and Matt enjoys his time at home relaxing when he’s not working or at the gym. We are alike and different at the same time.”

Sarah said that her two cats were in her life before Matt.

She added, “Matt loves animals and *claimed* them immediately.”

Sarah shared, “Matt and I are pretty simple when it comes to our relationship.  We don’t talk a lot about how we feel, we show it with our actions and enjoy the little things and each other’s company.”

I really wanted to capture that laid back, authentic feel, here I focused on their socks and gave them a little privacy…

The way they laugh together, though…

Warm hot cocoa– yes, please!  I love the rich color and ripples in the cocoa and all of the cool tones surrounding the warm drink:

Sarah shared, “We really enjoy the outdoors, especially hiking together, which is something we started doing early on.”

Sarah added, “We also love to travel together. Some of our trips include punta Cana, Antigua, Boston, and New Orleans.”

I love the understated, comfortable vibe of this and how cool is this trail?

Sarah shared, “I love having a real tree for Christmas, the whole Christmas Tree Farm experience. I know Matt is fine with a fake one, but it’s important to me.  I’ve grown up with the tradition of cutting a tree down with my family the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Matt saw his opportunity for his perfect proposal…”

She continued, “On Thanksgiving, he said he would meet me later, because he was going to talk to my family about Christmas gifts. (He was actually asking if he could propose!) The family kept it a secret all weekend!”

She shared, “When Sunday came, we walked around the farm and I chose a tree. Matt handed me the saw insinuating that I should cut the tree down. I laughed and said, “I’m not getting down there.” Matt said, “okay, I will,” and he knelt on one knee as asked me to marry him!

She conclueded, “My aunt and uncle brought champagne to celebrate while they cut down the tree.”

Their “forever” home…

Sarah shared, “We both enjoy relaxing at home, watching sports, especially the Steelers, and gardening.”

Cheers, guys!  Check out the bling:

I know Sarah really likes color, and while the wintery park provided us a more natural palette, I was really able to play up the color at twilight and with my own lighting equipment once the sun went down…

Thank so much for entrusting me to capture these, I hope they are just as unique as your relationship is!

Majorly looking forward to your Linwood Estate wedding coming up…

Palace at Somerset Park Winter Wedding: Charolotte & Matt

A *real indoor snowstorm* was only one of the highlights of Charlotte and Matt’s incredible winter wedding at The Palace at Somerset Park…

Charlotte shared, “From the moment I saw your unique photography style, I immediately fell in love with your work.  The colors.. the contrast.. the way they portray so much emotion– I’ve never seen photos like yours before!”

Charlotte almost didn’t hire me, explaining, “I initially contracted with another company simply based on pricing. Throughout the engagement, I kept wondering if I had made a mistake. While their work was very affordable, I wasn’t going to be assigned a photographer until shortly before the wedding. What if I don’t like their work or our personalities don’t click? In contrast by hiring you, I’d know that you’d be the one personally shooting our day, and I already know that I love your photos. I initially contacted you inquiring about a wedding after session, but quickly realized I’d rather have you capture our day. Our wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I didn’t want to risk having photos I didn’t like or weren’t flattering. I would rather feel extremely confident that I would love our photos. And you did not disappoint! We loved working with you and Jim. I love that you went out of your way to really get to know Matt and I so that you could create exceptional photos that are personal and made to fit us. You’re so sweet and pleasant to be around that it felt like you were part of the bridal party, hanging out with us. We really enjoyed your company. Matt and I really trusted you to “do your thang” because: 1. We’ve never done this before, while you have shot a ton of weddings (and multiple weddings at our venue) and 2. (can’t stress this enough) we love your work and trust your process in being able to get these magnificent shots.”

Matt shared, “Yes, basically we wanted to know exactly who was going to be there on our wedding day taking photos of us. Someone who we could meet before the wedding and be comfortable working with. We loved your photos especially the personal touches on each photo. We loved how our engagement photos came out with you and how easy it was to work with you. This made us very relaxed and comfortable on our wedding day because we knew we wouldn’t have to worry about how the photos would be because we knew they would be great. We cannot wait to see them!”

Thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing your story, guys!  Your experience is so unique and may help others who are making the same considerations… Charlotte is so much fun and an absolute joy to be around!  I love the contrast and emotion in this photo…

Charlotte shared, “I really wanted to have a winter-themed wedding, we love winter, and it’s actually when Matt proposed, too.  We chose cool colors for our winter wedding, purples and blues with gold accents to match the gold Chiavari chairs at the Palace. Our invitations were printed on shimmer cardstock with blues, purples, and soft white dots to symbolize snow.”

Usually, the first thing I do when I arrive is photograph the details.  I loved playing with the metallics and cool winter colors and incorporated Charlotte’s vows, invitations, streamers, and rings into her ring shot:

Charlotte smiled, “I loved my wedding dress! Especially the lace. My mom told me it reminds her of the embroidery style in the Philippines.”

I chose to use this dramatic lighting to show off the lace of Charlotte’s wedding gown– exquisite!

She continued, “I really wanted something that had off-shoulder sleeves. The dress that I got doesn’t normally have off-shoulder sleeves, but the bridal salon suggested adding sleeves to provide that look. I thought it went together so well!”

Charlotte explained, “My sister, Charlyn, is one of my best friends. I used to be her annoying little sister who she shared a room with and would cling onto her and her friends. As we grew older, we definitely started appreciating the fact that we have each other. I’m so glad that I was able to have her as my maid of honor. She helped calm me down whenever I was feeling overwhelmed about wedding planning and was at my side, ready to help throughout the wedding day.  I am grateful for her!”

Charlotte shared, “My mom, sister, and I are so close; we try to have weekly dinners whenever we can.’

She laughed, “It means so much to me that my mom loves Matt, too. Before we got engaged, she said that she wanted to adopt Matt so he could officially be her son!”

Charlotte smiled, “Right from the beginning, I knew we had something special. Being around him made me feel so safe and happy. I’ve never felt that way before but knew I wanted to feel that way forever. One thing that I like about Matt is that on the outside, he seems so stern and reserved, but he’s actually a goofball and a complete sweetheart. He makes jokes so often and makes funny side comments. It’s even funnier when he says them in a serious tone.”

I felt like this shot of Jim’s really captured the serious side of Matt well…

Jim is such an incredible photographer and I feel so lucky to have him on my team– check out his use of angles and light here, the gold pattern on the chair pulls in so well with the rest of their look and adds so much visual interest.

Charlotte explained, “We toured The Palace and I knew right away that this is where we were going to get married. Everything about it is so beautiful. We love the fireplace in the ballroom and were so excited that it would be the backdrop to our ceremony, as well as our sweetheart table. We really appreciated that The Palace had a generous-sized bridal suite, making it possible for all of the bridal prep to be onsite, while the guys had a room with a big-screen tv to hang out and chill before the wedding. We’ve only heard good things about The Palace. The staff, the food, and the Viennese hour!! All of it was amazing, and I couldn’t have imagined our wedding anywhere else.”

Charlotte smiled, “I wanted to find the perfect card to give Matt, and didn’t find it until the week before the wedding. I was just browsing on Amazon and saw a card with a cat on it. It was perfect! Matt loves cats, and the front of it said: “I kinda sorta like you.” Ten years ago, when I first told Matt that I liked him, I messaged him those exact words!”

Matt smiled, “I loved the front of the card it was perfect.”

Charlotte shared, “When I looked through the glass doors to see Matt waiting on the terrace, I remember thinking that he looked so handsome. It hit me that our wedding day was finally here, and I couldn’t wait to start celebrating our day together.”

I love to tell stories with my photography.  I wanted to incorporate Charlotte inside the Palace wearing her veil and fur in the dark surrounded by lux windows and draperies and show Matt waiting in the vibrant sunlight with the intense blue sky, pine tree and terrace detailing of The Palace.

Matt smiled, “When we did the first look outside, I remember waiting there with the sun right on me, looking towards the ground waiting to see Charlotte’s shadow as she walked towards me and touched my shoulder.”

Awww her smile– you can see the door she was peering out in the distance…

Charlotte recalled, “I looked at the forecast prior to our winter wedding and bought a faux fur shawl to help me keep warm during the day. Turns out, I didn’t need it at all. I didn’t feel cold the entire day. Maybe it was the excitement and adrenaline from our wedding day keeping me warm.  It was also so sunny on our wedding day!”

Charlotte shared, “Matt is so caring, loving, and is willing to do anything for me, even if it’s out of his comfort zone, if he knows it’ll make me happy, the sky is the limit.  No matter what kind of mood I’m in, he can always make me laugh.”

Matt shared, “It was amazing exploring the outside The Palace with Charlotte even though it was just a few minutes. We hadn’t seen each other since the morning beforehand, we had a lot of catching up to do.”

He got a little sentimental, “It feels like Charlotte and I have been a part of each other’s lives forever, and I can not imagine my life without her.”

Charlotte explained, “Matt’s ambition is admirable. When I first met him, I had the impression that he was a lazy high school kid. Which he was. Lol. But when he has something that he’s passionate about, he puts everything he has into it. He has this unexplainable drive to reach his goals, no matter how much effort is needed.”

Matt said, “I love Charlotte’s cheerful, positive attitude. She’s very ambitious and passionate about anything she cares about.”

I love playing with light to convey different emotions.  I like the intimate feel provided by the dark room and the way that the sunlight was just kissing the edge of Charlotte’s cheek and reflecting in her eyes.  You can tell that she feels so loved by him.”

Matt added, “Charlotte and I are best friends. We can get along and do anything together.”

Partners :).   Here you can see the happy couple among the evergreens with a little snow on the ground, the soft blue tones in the sky and one of the columns, too, in the foreground.  I like how the wind picked up Charlotte’s veil just at the right time as she walked.

While the majority of the wedding day is spent capturing candid moments– the preparations, the vows, the first dance, exploring the grounds together, etc… I make sure to capture a few traditional portraits as well…

And here is a totally not traditional portrait.  Charlotte and Matt talked and laughed as I shot through Martini glasses in the foreground.  They added some visual interest and I also played with my camera’s white balance, too bringing out the cooler tones that would really play up that wintery feel…

I love many aspects of working at the Palace and am proud to be a preferred vendor there.  One of those elements is the different lighting packages they offer.

I especially like to shoot in the east wing with their custom lighting set up, but even here, in the lobby, they usually have something going on.  I thought this purple played well in their color scheme.

One thing that I’m kind of known for is my editorial style bridal party shots.  I know how much Charlotte and Matt like the fireplace and like how it ties in that winter feel, especially with her “winter tree” decor flanking either side.  Looking good, everyone!

Matt shared, “All the wedding guests arrived and I stood by the fireplace waiting for Charlotte to come down the stairs. The string trio started playing Gabriel’s Oboe, the song she has been telling me she wanted to walk to that song on her wedding day even before we were engaged. I couldn’t believe it was finally happening. There was so much anticipation and it felt so much more real and emotional to me compared to the first look.”

Here he wipes away his tears…

He continued.  “I was overwhelmed with emotion realizing that this was actually happening. I was actually going to be marrying my best friend in front of our friends and family.”

Matt explained, “Charlotte and I loved the view of the fireplace and the chandelier in the ballroom. We just thought how nice it was going to be in front of the fireplace as we got married.”

Here you can see the gold uplighting adding real warmth to the room.  Combine that with the light from the chandeliers, fireplace, and candles and there was such a glow.  I even caught the reflection of the main chandelier in the mirror above the fireplace!

I believe the ceremony lighting was provided by The Palace and the videographers.  I liked the crisp winter white and used that rather than using my own flash for this shot.

One of Matt’s best men was the wedding officiant.  He was able to make the ceremony personal and left them both grinning ear to ear…

I move around a lot on a wedding day.  It’s not uncommon for me to log 5 miles on my apple watch.  I’m constantly on the go.  Here I moved from being at the center aisle to get a bird’s eye view of the ceremony.

For me, it’s worth hustling to capture different perspectives of the day.  My goal as a wedding photographer is to transport people back to their wedding day and to capture as many elements as are possible.  I wanted to really show off the chandeliers and allow you to see the crackling fire in the fireplace in this shot…

I captured that last aerial shot and this intimate one as well, I told you I move around like a ninja on the wedding day!

I love the intimacy of this image Matt holds Charlotte’s hand to place on her wedding band.  You can see the subtle details of her dress sparkling…

Kiss the bride…

Here I used my white balance and flash to really play up the sunset.  I was going for drama and color and contrast and emotion, all those elements that drew Charlotte to my work, and really wanted to show off the embroidery of her dress as well:

Charlotte explained, “I really loved our centerpieces. I knew I wanted to have trees, and the candles hanging off it looked so beautiful. Definitely captured both winter and warmth.”

She continued, “The wedding cake was covered in white fondant and each tier had about an inch of sugar crystals along the bottom to appear like snow or ice.”

Such a challenging thing to catch, the couple making their entrance into the reception as the room is so large and people are really far apart…  I used a funky tilted angle and complimented that with a tilt-shift lens effect so that I could have both the couple and guests in focus and clearly visible in one frame– I love everyone’s expressions and how they pop in black and white:

*** Real snow on the dance floor, this was a first for me, for sure!!!***

Charlotte shared, “One of my favorite things about winter is how beautiful snow is, so I wanted to have snow during our first dance. I thought it would really make a statement and make our first dance look extra special.”

Mission accomplished on that one, Charlotte!

The wedding guests loved it!

Haaa Jim snagged this pic of me– snow in my hair and on my camera– such a cool (hehe) experience!!!

Father-daughter dance… I really wanted to play up the sparkle in the background, it felt elegant and wintery…

Charlotte laughed, “The best men’s speech was hilarious! I love how it started off as a roast for Matt, while also including the Scout Law since they all met in boy scouts, and gradually became more endearing. It started off with them saying there were two of them giving the speech because it takes two people to come up with nice things to say about Matt.”

Matt added, “Their speech also talked about how happy Charlotte has made me. How we have known each other and supported each other for so long, and how it’s like we are family.  We both really appreciated that.”

Charlotte smiles at the speech and unknowingly flashes her blink among the sparkling champagne flutes etc.

Charlotte noted, “The Palace used lavender-colored uplighting with warm colors on the chandeliers that really complimented out the overall look and feel.”

Here both are visible as the wedding guests dance the night away:

Charlotte added, “I’m also glad that my cousin Alyssa had fun! She was tearing up the dance floor, and people had a blast watching her dance.”

Charlotte smiled, “Lucas is the son of one of my bridesmaids, Julia, and also my godson. I met him five hours after he was born, and visited him every day for the first year of his life. I love him so much and am so happy he enjoyed himself at the wedding!”

So I captured a photo of this dude dancing, but really like this one because it focuses on the reactions from the guests… love his moves!

Matt shared, “One of my best men began yelling at me to “spin”. This reminded me of our high school days and his crazy personality. I knew he was going to be there the rest of the night telling me to spin on the floor until I actually tried it, so I did.”

Charlotte added, “What?!?!  I did not know Matt spun on the dance floor!!! ”

Yes he did and here is some proof… used a motion blur technique to make everyone as dizzy as Matt haha:

Jim was up on the balcony with Charlotte while I was down on the ground with the single ladies ;).

Charlotte explained, “The bouquet toss was so funny to watch from the balcony. I knew my sister really wanted to catch it and knew the majority of my friends wouldn’t want to.”

I was in a very crazy yoga-like position to get this shot.  I wanted to show the chandelier and get a good view of the bouquet and everyone’s expressions.  It really was a close one– a photo finish ;).

Charlotte smiled, “I thought for sure my sister was going to get it, but then comes my friend Reika out of nowhere who was so quick that she ended up with it. It’s okay though, I’ve known Reika’s boyfriend (Jeff) since he was 3 years old, and they’ve been dating for 10 years. Maybe they really will be the next ones to get married!”

It was a fight to the death, haha!

Charlotte shared, “I surprised Matt by hiring a live painter. I knew he would love it because he loves to have art decorating our walls.   Katherine Gressel is extremely talented, and the painting was so beautiful. I can’t wait to get the final painting!”

Charlotte explained, “Matt is Vegan and that is really important to him.  I really wanted to do something special for Matt and wanted to surprise him with a Vegan cake.  So I told him I would get him a vegan cupcake planning an all-out cake, but he was so disappointed!  He also really wanted to experience a cake tasting like I had at The Palace, ha!”

She went on, “So I told him that we would have a vegan cake tasting and cake at the wedding, but the design would be a surprise. I had it designed with a Super Mario theme. Matt loves everything and anything Nintendo; that way it’d be personalized and special.”

Matt added, “I loved the Vegan Mario Cake. I wasn’t expecting the cake to be a multi-tier Mario cake, it was a really great surprise.”

On a photographic level I need to say that Jim nailed this, Charlotte and Matt are perfectly exposed, you can see the chandelier and fireplace and uplighting as well as the Mario cake in perfect focus in the corner of the frame, and snapped at the exact moment that matt took a bite and charlotte stuck, out her tongue empathetically… that is tough to do, and he got it!

The flambe, it only lasts for a few seconds and is tough to capture and predict (as you have to guess how bright the flame will be and adjust camera settings accordingly or else your photo could be totally black totally white, etc).    It was also important to me that I got the moment of the kiss and be close enough to nail the shot but not get burned and to be at an angle and use lighting would be flattering to the couple.  I really did my best guess to imagine how bright and where exactly the flame would be and am super pleased with the results… you can even see the bananas browning in the foreground…

These two were troopers in the cold and it was cold– the ground was frozen, I know because I sat on it to get this shot haha!

Partway through trying to capture this image I started questioning my sanity, haha!

My hands were so cold that pushing the multitude of buttons needed to pull off this shot was really feeling impossible.  And while I was on the frozen ground pushing the buttons with pointer finger and thumb and trying my best to hold my heavy camera with the other three fingers on my right hand I was trying to hold my cell phone at just the right angle with my left hand to reflect only the top of the building in a symmetrical way.

Jim came over and was like, do you need my help?  I was like– um yeah…

I hope you guys like it!

Charlotte and Matt, thank you so much for trusting me enough to hire me after you already had a different wedding photographer!  I think you guys will probably have the biggest non-buyers remorse story every and thank you for sharing it with me and spending your wedding day with me by your side.  I had a blast!

If you’d like to see more of Charlotte and Matt, check out their boardwalk engagement session here.



DC Wedding Photographers: Katie & Zac at the Carnegie

A classic winter wedding at The Carnegie Institution for Science and the National Mall in Washington DC with a southern twist…

Katie & Zac shared, “We chose Rhinehart Photography because we wanted photographers who would work well indoors and outdoors, authentically capture emotion, & execute a variety of shots and styles with unique perspectives and angles. We are so pleased with our beautiful engagement photos— Lisa highlighted bold fall colors at the Capitol as well as the architecture of DC that we love so much. We also used one for our Save-the-Date and enjoy looking at our engagement album.”

They continued, “Rhinehart Photography came highly recommended by the staff at Carnegie, and it was great that they were already familiar with the location. We enjoyed working with Lisa and her team so much on our wedding day. Lisa was such a calming force, who kept us on time and organized. She was literally part of the family by the end of the night.  We & our parents even hugged her and thanked her for her professionalism, warmth and help throughout the day!”

They concluded, “Gosh, the wedding day goes by so fast!! We hope that our photos capture all of the moments, both big and small, that occurred throughout our wedding day. We know there are so many moments that we weren’t able to see, so we’re looking forward to different perspectives and some surprises too! We can’t wait to see the photos and share with our family and friends.”

Thank you so much for your kind words!  Here is one of those tricky indoor shots that captures emotion while showing a unique perspective of the architecture:

If couples are interested, I ask them to gather a few items that are sentimental or aesthetically complement their wedding to give me some personalized, inspirational pieces to work with for the detail photos.  Katie had several items for me, that are visible in this photograph, including her fur:

There were also plenty of homages to Katie’s upbringing in New Orleans too, including magnolia leaves in her bouquet, the centerpieces as well as garlands throughout Carnegie.  Here I incorporating a magnolia leaf into the photograph of their wedding rings:

Katie explained, “My feathered Something Bleu wedding shoes were such a fun statement piece! With my dress being seemingly simple in the front, I loved having such a flirty accent.”

Zac shared, “We used a letterpress store from Katie’s hometown of New Orleans for our invitations and thank you notes. She has admired their work for years and owns several of their other paper products. The Scriptura designers were so easy to work with, even from afar.”

Katie added, “They were happy to bring some of our ideas like the DC map liner to life. As I love all things paper-related, this was a highlight of the wedding planning things. I have an eye for details, like down to the vintage DC stamps used on the invitations.”

Katie shared, “We went with navy velvet fabric to add some texture and warmth, along with winter white flowers accented with blue thistle.”

Zac explained, “It was really meaningful for Katie to use her family’s ring as my wedding band. The band has been used by two generations of her family. About a year prior to the wedding, Katie’s dad, Mike, passed unexpectedly. Both he and his father had used this ring as their wedding bands. Inscribed inside are their initials, along with Katie’s grandmother’s and mom’s names, and their wedding dates. Mike was so excited for our wedding and had traveled to DC tour wedding venues with us. We enjoyed knowing that he was there in spirit to celebrate with us during this huge moment.”

Katie shared, “I can’t say enough about how beautiful my Allison Webb dress was! Webb is a newer designer hailing from the South, and she previously worked for the wedding line at J.Crew, one of my go-to brands.”

Katie continued, “Allison Webb’s Kingsland gown was so unique with a beautiful asymmetric bow that added to the structure of the dress. It provided a classic, timeless look that had modern elements like the low back and the bow. The dress worked amazingly well with the venue and the monumental architecture on the Mall.”

Here Katie’s sister’s face is silhouetted as she and Katie’s mom and bridesmaid help with the stunning bow detail…

Katie smiled, “My mom is my best friend.  I typically talk with her multiple times a day. She’s an endless source of love, strength, and calmness, which was particularly important as she and I tackled most of the wedding planning. I joke with her being retired that she should enter a second career as a wedding coordinator as she did a great job!”

Here she puts the finishing touches on Katie’s gown:

Katie shared, “I was so glad to have my sister there as my Matron of Honor. She and her family were in the midst of moving back to the States from abroad, but it meant the world to have everyone there.”

To me, there is an element of symmetry here, like a reflection in the mirror…

And an actual reflection in the mirror 🙂

Wow, Katie– that smile!

She’s right that bow pairs perfectly with the architecture!

She’s ready for the first look…

Katie laughed, “It is still so wild to say that Zac is my husband! It was hard not to fall for Zac, he is one of the funniest, most confident and easy-going people I know.”

There was one tree handing on to its fall leaves, my second photographer, Jim found it… such a handsome groom, and he’s all ready for his first look!

Zac shared, “At our first look, I was stunned at how Katie could be even more beautiful than she usually is. The moment took my breath away. We can’t wait to see how these photos turned out!”

Zac smiled, “I love to make Katie laugh, that makes me very happy. With her in school and me living in various cities due to work over the past 5 years, it was always a good thing to have someone you can feel comfortable with and laugh with, even at the stupid things. We’ve shared a small space for some time now, and being able to enjoy each other’s company and laugh at and with each other has been the best.”

I love to play with dramatic light.  Not just because it brings out the vibrant colors, but because, like in this care you get really high-contrast images with rich shadows and highlights.  Here I framed Zac against the white and Katie against the black so they’d pop:

Zac shared, “I’m extremely proud of Katie. She got her MBA (at Georgetown no less) while working full-time for three years, and she was able to come out on the other side. She is very intelligent, hard-working, beautiful, and fun to be around.  I am a lucky man.”

They explained, “For our wedding, we wanted an intimate but formal, timeless and elegant feel. From our first tour, we knew Carnegie – which is in our neighboorhood & a place we pass frequently – was the right location for both our ceremony and reception. The beautiful exterior architecture proved perfect for our first look!”

Katie added, “The entire bridal party lives or have lived in DC; many of us for over a decade, so incorporating the Mall into our photos was a no-brainer.  It’s not only an iconic background filled with beautiful architecture, but it’s also part of the fabric of our city and home.”

She went on, “We’ve all spent time on the Mall from watching fireworks to battling crowds during the cherry-blossom season to running and biking on weekends.”

The iconic Washington Monument stands tall against the vibrant blue sky.  Look at all these bundled up beauties…

Zac added, “Pictures on the Mall with our crew was a fun, memorable highlight of the day!”

Yes, that’s the Lincoln in the background:

Katie shared, “One of our best ideas was having a dear friend on hand who was willing to clear tourists from the background of our photos!  So many people there were excited to see us and congratulate us and accommodate us by moving a few paces to the left or right, it was sweet.”

I used a tilt-shift effect to bring the bridal party as well as the monument (roughly 1 mile away) in sharp focus…

Those columns against the blue sky though…

While I spend most of the day capturing natural moments, I do make sure to get a few “smile and look at the camera” photos, too ;).

This one happens to feature the Lincoln and Washington Memorials:

Taking some time to smell the roses ;).  I love shadow play!

Zac reflected, “Katie is affectionate, curious, and loving. She is cautiously adventurous, very cautious, yet can be a willing co-conspirator at times. She takes her time to enjoy the good things and takes her time to do just about everything, but the relaxed pace leaves time for real love and reflection.”

Katie shared, “Zac is incredibly handsome, as well as adventurous and a rule-breaker at heart, which challenges me and my rule-loving ways. He is a great chef, which comes in handy as I’ve burnt things in the Crockpot. I look forward to continually pushing each other out of our comfort zones to explore, travel and enjoy everything life has to offer.”

Katie shared, “We were so pleased with our flowers, and the lanterns + magnolia leaves both outside Carnegie, on the stairs and fireplace!  They were stunning and complimented the space perfectly, adding that New Orleans touch.”

Zac shared, “Prior to the ceremony we signed our beautiful Ketubah from Israel. It is a Jewish marriage contract that outlines the responsibilities of the groom and bride to each other.”

He continued, “We chose to have a childhood friend and family friend read the English and Hebrew versions of the Ketubah during the ceremony. Having that as a central part of the ceremony reinforced the importance and seriousness of our choice to enter into our marriage.”

Katie shared, “We limited kids at the wedding to our family (two nieces and one nephew) and twin sons of a bridesmaid. It was just the right amount, and they loved being part of the big day. The twins kept saying that Katie looked like Elsa from Frozen. They all had a blast and stole the show at many points throughout the night!”

Katie shared, “As I entered the rotunda from upstairs, I had the perfect balcony view of the entire bridal party procession and guests prior to walking down the aisle. It was such a heart-warming moment to see the rotunda full of people we love. The spiral staircase provided a dramatic and picturesque bridal entrance. And that was one of my favorite parts of the day.”

Here comes the bride:

He looked at Katie and quickly looked away with this expression, how sweet:

Zac shared, “We wanted elements of our Catholic and Jewish faiths woven into our ceremony, while also having a highly personalized and meaningful ceremony. It turned out really beautiful with the help of our dear friends, a married couple who Katie met in undergrad at Catholic University, as our officiants.”

She added, “They compliment each other amazingly well, plus theirs was the first wedding Zac and I went to as a couple! All of our wedding guests seemed to comment on what a great job our officiants did (it was surprisingly their first time!) and how moving the ceremony was.”

While Jim captured the more traditional photo shown above, I captured the image below.

I’m always looking for a unique angle or vantage point to tell the story or capture the beauty of the setting.

I tend to move around a lot on a wedding day. It is not unusual for me to log 5 miles on a wedding day, like I did at this one :).

Here is a much lower perspective I captured, as I wanted to capture the reflection off the marble floor, yet still show the detailing above the door…

Awww this little flower girl was so sweet… just wait until you see her at the reception though, this is just a power nap!

Katie smiled, “While so emotionally overwhelmed with the importance of the day and culmination of a year plus of planning, being literally surrounded by all of our friends and family – with Zac smiling ahead – was like something out of a movie.”

At the end of the ceremony, Zac broke a glass crushing it with his foot as guests shouted “Mazel Tov!” (Hebrew for congratulations).

I like how his foot is poised and his gold wedding band is glistening…

While I have a more traditional capture of this as well, I used a motion blur technique on this one to give it that soft, swept away feeling…

Gold pine cones as place card holders, so sweet and wintery…

The gold uplighting and table cloths along with navy linens and winter white flowers hit the perfect note:

They were all smiles during the first dance!

While Jim captured the moment above I was working on the full scene and playing up that beautiful reflection:

Sealed with a kiss…

I played with the champagne bubbles during the best man’s toast:

The speeches were definitely enjoyed by all:

How sweet it is:

The hora:

Don’t fall, Zac:

Guests hit the dance floor like:

She’s awake!  Good thing she took that power-nap 😉

Zac shared, “I lived in a group house with the best man’s wife, also named Katie. I became good friends with both of them and they both happened to be there the night “my Katie” and I met over 5 years ago. When all four of us lived in D.C. at the same time, we would spend most of our weekends together hanging out.”

Here is a candid shot of the best man and his wife, Katie:

Katie shared, “My mom came up with the rainbow tambourine ideas from a family friend’s wedding in New Orleans. As you can imagine NOLA people really know how to throw a good party!”

Katie continued, “The tambourines along with the Mardi Gras masks from my bachelorette and the sparklers were quite a hit! They also made for great photos. Laissez les bon temps rouler!” (Let the good times roll) 😉

Katie shared, “The boardroom is so uniquely DC with the grand fireplace, portraits, and wood-paneling. I love how it looks like we’re at someone’s grand, historic home.”

As a preferred vendor at the Carnegie, I photograph a few weddings there each year and one thing I love to do is to challenge myself to find a new spot or photograph it in a different way.

While photographing a couple in front of the fire place is something I have done before, I belive this is the first time I’ve specifically shown off the beautiful detailing at the top of the columns on the rotunda:

Here is the same space but I used completely different lighting and a totally unique perspective!

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Katie and Zac, thank you for inviting me to be part of your special day and introducing me to your friends and family!  I hope these photos are just the sort of creative, authentic, architectural images that you were hoping for!  If you’d like to see more of Katie and Zac, check out their engagement photos, here.

Wedding Vendors: 

  • Bridal Store: Jennifer’s Bridal I loved working with the staff at Jennifer’s Bridal. They were so hospitable to accommodate me for a last-minute, weekend appointment to try on dresses while up visiting Zac’s family. They went above and beyond to call the designer, see if they could get a sample dress sent down from NYC overnight in a particular fabric, and worked with me to get a dress within my price range. I’ll be forever grateful!
  • Dress Designer: Allison Webb
  • Venue: The Carnegie Institution for Science
  • Catering: Susan Gage Caterers
  • Invitations: Scriptura
  • Makeup: Beyond the Veil
  • DJ & Lighting: DJ Cuban with Entertainment Exchange
  • Tuxedo: Generation Tux
  • Flowers: Growing Wild Working with Barbara, the owner of Growing Wild, was a great experience. She graciously invited us my mom, future mother-in-law and me to her farm in Virginia to tour her workshop, see containers and view her past work. We were so pleased with our flowers, and the lanterns + magnolia leaves both outside Carnegie, on the stairs and fireplace were stunning and complimented the space perfectly.
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