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Every image has a story to tell… a few favorite love stories from 2014

While I am absolutely in awe of beauty, light and color; beyond all of that, I am drawn to people.  I *love* people– I enjoy getting to know each of my clients– their interests, their history, their personalities, what they love most about each other.  At the end of it all, capturing their unique story in a visual way is my passion.  My photography is personal, thoughtful and eclectic.

It is my hope that these photos will give couples a “return ticket” to these moments and memories, and will in a way, immortalize their story and their relationships while also being beautiful pieces of art.  Wow, that just got deep, hahaha.  Anyway, here are just  a few images that I captured recently and the stories behind them.

They lived 800 miles apart and would “meet in the middle” at a coffee shop… more of their story here

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This fire chief proposed sky-high in the moonlit bucket of his firetruck… more of their story here

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Colorful dance lessons for the ring bearer from his uncle, coaxing him to bust-a-move… more here

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Wheat pennies in memory of a loving father who was recently lost his life in a tragic accident… More here

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The prayers of friends– Tina’s bridesmaids praying for her before she walks down the aisle…  More here

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Bridal Transformation-  I wanted to give Lauren her privacy while capturing that transformative moment when she put on her wedding gown…  More here  

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A beach wedding that has been over *FIFTY YEARS* in the making– seriously what an inspiring story involving this couple’s grandfathers!!!     More here

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Elopement under the stars: a couple that decided to tie the knot in a planetarium before his Air Force move…  more here

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Anticipation– Nancy was thinking about how close she is to finally seeing and marrying Kevin, her nephew is saying “limo”…   More here

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Pete’s proposal involved observatory binoculars and a sign held by friends half a mile away…  more here 

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The 50 yard line– a one-in-a-lifetime experience for these Raven’s fans… more here 

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A soul mate from 8,000 miles away– Jessica grew up in rural Pennsylvania and married a bright young man from India.  Here she looks into the mirror while several ornamented hands prepare her in traditional Indian wedding attire…  More here

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Jessica & Devon love Disney World, when I saw this forest I knew a “farytale moment” would be the perfect ending to their wedding album… more here

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Defying Gravity: I wanted to show off Kyle & Kaylan’s playful, quirky sides!   Kyle helps Kaylan to take life less seriously, this photo shows the couple basically walking on air under Kyles lead, More here

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Nick is a talented musician and has played at this pub and many others, these are the same friends who have supported him, coming out to see his shows for many years, toasting on his wedding day… more here 

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Throwing *apples* during a relaxed, beautifully styled backyard farm wedding– more here

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The minister told the bride and groom to make sure to “take time to smell the roses,” Morgan didn’t waste any time, haha:)

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It all started with a camp fire for these summer camp sweethearts, what a perfect ending to their wedding day… more here

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Loving words from a mother to her daughters before this soft, romantic beach wedding…  more here

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The singing groom– one of their first connections as a couple was their shared love for the Beatles.  Here Matt is singing the Beatles song, “Michelle” to Michelle during their first dance… more here

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Meet Grover, the kitten Jen rescued 2 years ago on the day she met her fiance, Matt.  Here she holds him and shows him her wedding dress… more here 

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Her dad surprised the couple and wedding guests with fireworks… more here

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A real-life movie moment in a vintage theatre for this classic Hollywood fans… more here

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Momma’s first selfie– this is her expression as she realized how flattering the selfie angle really is.  More here

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Their first road trip was to the Baltimore aquarium, so we revisited it for their engagement session… more here

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A resilient bride who is able to literally fall down on her wedding day and pick herself right back up again and a groom who is caring for her wounded hands… more here

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My approach is unique and personal, it is custom-tailored to meet the individual needs of my clients.  I am passionate about photographing everyone in their best light and capturing who they are underneath it all as individuals and what matters most to them.  I hope you enjoyed this peek, these are just a few of the thousands of images that I have captured recently, there are many more amazing stories on my blog.

Thank you to my clients for letting me into their world and sharing their wedding day and stories with me.  It has been a pleasure and honor to personally get to know each one of you!  I wish you all lifetimes of joy and happiness!

Chambersburg Wedding Photographer: Natalie & Alex

An elegant, touching, *camouflage inspired* wedding with 20+ law enforcement officers on the dance floor…

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When I was first approached by Natalie & Alex, avid hunters, who chose camouflage as their inspiration for their elegant winter wedding, I wasn’t able to totally wrap my head around the idea.  But as you’ll be able to see in these photos, it came together beautifully!!!

Traditional “Army camo” was not their inspiration, but rather ”realtree” hunting camouflage, which incorporates natural elements like tree branches and pinecones in a neutral color palette.  This made for a perfectly elegant winter wedding aesthetic!  Wedding preparations for the bridal party took place at the beautiful Ragged Edge Inn, which provided both the elegance of a historic mansion and natural, wintery woodlands.

This wedding was incredibly touching due to the close family relationships and tight-knit friendships present on Natalie & Alex’s wedding day.    I love this image of Natalie’s brother Luke, and their cousin, Lydia, watching Natalie reaching for her wedding dress.  The three of them were more like siblings than cousins as they spent a lot of time together growing up, they shared that this moment was almost surreal for them…

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Alex said that a few of the qualities that he admires most about Natalie are her sincerity and strong will and that over time she has become his rock.  I captured several pretty images of Natalie, but this is my favorite as her strength and determination shines through as well as her beauty– timeless & elegant.

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Natalie’s Maggie Sottero gown was purchased at J&B Bridals, actually the same boutique where I found my wedding gown several years ago!

Natalie’s bouquet incorporated pine, eucalyptus, cotton and white roses with touches of gold and lace.  Ellie Clough created the floral design based on a photo that Natalie gave her for inspiration.  It’s interesting, because while it doesn’t read as “camo inspired” to an outside observer, when you look at hunting camo, the colors as well as pine cones, branches are completely spot-on!

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The men gathered in Shippensburg at the Shippen Place Hotel at the University Grille for pre-wedding festivities.  The location was significant because it is where Natalie and Alex first met!  They were invited by mutual friends and when he found out she was a hunter, it was all over, haha.  They stayed out until the bar closed and he asked for her number and the rest is history :).

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Natalie & Alex were married a few blocks away from the University Grille, in the Shippensburg Church of the Brethren, Natalie’s home church.  Everything about the ceremony was extremely personal and very touching.  Here among the stained glass, Natalie’s friend, Jessica is singing as people arrive for the ceremony…

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As Natalie walked towards Alex he did his best to hold back tears, then looked her father straight in the eye and shook his hand.  You could tell that he plans to take care of Natalie wholeheartedly and that her father completely trusts him to do so.  Here Natalie’s dad kisses her on the cheek as he “gives her away”.

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The ceremony itself was touching, sweet, and very personal.  The minister took the time to get to know Alex and Natalie and understand their relationship.  He worked in parts of their personal story into the ceremony and shared about how Alex slowly realized that Natalie had become his rock which brought tears to her eyes…

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The minister advised that even though these two think that they will never miss hunting season, as they both love hunting and even planned their wedding date around it, that life seldom goes according to plan and once children are in the mix etc. Alex might come to realize that “his hunting days are over”.  This resulted in laughter from everyone, but especially Natalie’s parents…

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Following the ceremony, The bridal party stopped at the Ragged Edge B&B for some photos before heading to The Orchards Restaurant in Chambersburg for dinner and dancing.  (The Orchards is also where Kris and I had our wedding reception, fantastic food).  Here is a sweet photo of the new Mr & Mrs…

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I photographed several beautiful image of Natalie and Alex but this next one is one of my favorite because Alex it captures the way he makes her laugh and how Natalie is able to let go of any concerns while Alex supports her:

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Here they are looking at their wedding bands and letting it all sink in, they are finally husband and wife!

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There is something almost ethereal about this next moment–  a window lit kiss as the sun begins to set on the wooded landscape… Here are Natalie & Alex, married, feeling the warmth of the sunlight as the cold air fogs the window pane, just beautiful!

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The Gala Event decorated the restaurant using Natalie’s camo inspiration, they even created an antler chandelier for the event!  Accents of gold and hunter green were incorporated into the draperies as well as pine branches, antler and pinecones– everything surpassed Natalie’s vision for the day…

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The Perfect Cake in Chambersburg brought their simple, elegant outdoor theme to life.  Natalie’s cake stand was made out of pine and used fresh evergreens and pinecones as decoration.  Thier guest favors were pine tree seedlings…

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Natalie’s father means the world to her. She was born on Father’s Day, so it is a running joke that she was “Daddy’s little girl” from day one!  He has always been gentle and compassionate but stern when he needed to be.  They danced to the lyrics “He was a rock when I needed one, he gave me good advice when I needed some… too much heart is the only fault I see”  it is a song called “For My Dad” by Nancy Sinatra.

She chose the song because she wanted to tell everyone what a great man he is.  Natalie shared that when she was little she couldn’t wait to go hunting with him and that when she was finally able to go, her father was completely selfless, he would go many years trying to help Natalie and her brother, Luke, learn to hunt and giving them the first shot, rather than taking anything for himself.  It is just one way that he showed his character, and that meant so much to Natalie.

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Alex is a state trooper — Natalie shared that in todays world that can be tough for many reasons, but that she realizes how she will need to support him and his work.  She added that all of the officers are such a tight knit group that it is really like a family.  It is amazing to know that you have a huge support system backing you up (and that includes the police wives as well).  Here is a group photo of all the officers out on the dance floor…

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Mike from Mix-95, and Mixed-up productions was their DJ and did a fantastic job getting everyone out on the dance floor.  He even surprised Natalie & Alex by letting them mix…

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The Polish Wedding Dance is a popular tradition in southwestern PA and Natalie & Alex’s wedding guests had a lot of fun with it!  First the wedding guests dance with the bride one by one, each taking a shot when they are done, then they circle around her and block her from the groom who is outside of the circle.

It is the grooms job to break through the mass of friends and family and carry the bride out of the circle.  Here you can see Alex in action…

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Alex & Natalie realized their wedding day would be the only time all of their closest friends and family would be under one roof– the people in their lives are incredibly important to them, so one of their main priorities for me was to capture those people.  Here are a few photos from the dance floor that show just that…

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The garter and bouquet toss were hilarious!   The guy who was about to catch the bouquet was blocked and blinded, literally hahaha while the ladies literally ripped the bouquet in half.  It was entertaining to say the least.

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As a total side note here, one of my greatest pleasures at a wedding is seeing past clients who have referred me to the bride and groom which is often the case.  Here I am with Natalie & Alex as well as Roxy and Eric (their wedding and engagement photos are here).

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A real treat for me at this wedding in particular was seeing a few of my senior portrait clients as well– Natalie’s cousin, Morgan and her brother, Luke.   I already knew Natalie’s parents and brother going into the wedding because we all rode together to New York City for Luke’s senior portraits.

Natalie & Alex, thank you so much for choosing to spend your wedding day with me.  It was such a pleasure to see everything come together, from your hunting themed engagement session to your elegant camo wedding day– you pulled everything off beautifully!   I’m so excited to hear what you think of your wedding photography!!!

Linwood Estate Photographer: Becca’s Shippensburg Senior Portraits

Sophisticated & athletic with confidence, a sharp wit & “Mona Lisa smile”…

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When I first met with Becca I noticed a real sophistication and elegance about her.  As we walked through my process together, I suggested timeless, elegant options for her location, wardrobe, etc. that would accentuate her personality and personal style.

The dresses she wore for her senior portrait photography session are from her favorite store,  White House Black Market, and the stunning Linwood Estate in Carlisle was her backdrop.  She went for a simple, classic look which really tied everything together.

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When she was in the window light for these portraits her mom remarked how much she looks like her grandmother in her youth…  I love how sweet, elegant, and timeless this image is and you also get a sense for her thoughtful nature.

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Becca is intelligent and analytical; she thinks deeply about things, and has a lot on her mind (she says she gets it from her dad).  I really like this image because it is able to capture those intangible elements of her personality so well, I enjoy abstract photography– I actually photographed this through a crystal chandelier.

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I believe it was Shakespeare that said, “The eyes are the window to your soul” and Becca’s eyes have intensity, confidence and brightness to them.  I enjoy finding people’s best angles– this one showed off her high cheek bones and bright eyes– the color was brought out even more by the blue-gray wall in the background and the light streaming in from a nearby window.

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Becca has a lovely smile and a playful, sassy side, too– I like how those qualities comes across in this image as well as the reflection which adds some visual interest and depth to the photo…

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I was drawn to the contrast and lines of this image.   I really like her 1920′s inspired fringed dress, it was somehow flirty and modest all at once.  I also like the high contrast between the lines of her shoes, dress and fingers, it’s such an interesting look!  Here is the simple black look she was going for with a bit of edge!

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Now for a final and totally different facet of Becca, her athletic side.  Her brother, Zach, introduced her to Volleyball in middle school.  Her dad spent the summer coaching her (he had played volleyball through highschool and college himself).  With his help, she was able to make the JV team and eventually was team captain for Varsity during her junior and senior year.

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I had the pleasure of meeting with Becca and her mom before posting this blog and am happy to report that they loved how everything came together!  They especially liked how I took the time to get to know her and was able to draw out her personality, interests etc. and capture them in a creative, visual way.

Becca thanks for showing me what an incredible person you are.  It was such a pleasure to work with you (and your mom) please give Zach all my best.  I’ll let you know when your album design is ready!  :)

F a c e b o o k