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  • 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.

Historic Acres of Hershey Wedding Photographers: Lauren & Cary

This romantic, fairy tale wedding united high school sweethearts, Lauren & Cary, while incorporating their strong faith (with a home-made outdoor chapel & heartfelt visit) and their football/cheer-leading backgrounds (with a tailgate-themed cocktail hour and more!) at Historic Acres of Hershey

I first met Cary several years ago when I was photographing his senior portraits involving football and VW busses!  Since then he went on to play college football and earn a pre-med degree at Bucknell and propose to his high school sweetheart, Penn State grad, Lauren.

Cary and Lauren reached out to me looking for vibrant wedding and engagement photography that would be creative and personalized to tell their unique story.  They were looking for an eclectic mix of photos the captured their relationship in a personal, thoughtful, artistic way.

Lauren and Cary shared,“We really appreciate is your ability to photograph the individuality of each couple, you allow each couple to be different and unique. We love when your photos highlight the environment and capture the energy and emotion in the moment.  We are so thankful for your creativity and are very excited to relive our day over again through your eyes!”

I wanted to start by capturing their unique style– the romantic, rustic, natural aesthetic of their wedding day…  I photographed Lauren’s dress against the wooden interior of the barn and her shoes among the ivy and stone and her flowers on a weathered bench…

I really like the mystery of this next photograph– I used a low perspective and focused sharply on a wisp of lace detailing and bead work on Lauren’s dress and veil while allowing the rest be subtly fade into the background as she makes final adjustments in the mirror…

Here is another photograph taken within seconds of the first, this time I changed my focus to be on Lauren’s reflection in the mirror…

Lauren’s faith is very important to her.  Here she prays on the morning of her wedding day…

Beautiful bridesmaids…  I wanted to use the weeping willow as the backdrop for Lauren’s photos with her bridesmaids because the soft, airy, romantic look would perfectly compliment her bridesmaids’ gowns.

Lauren allowed each bridesmaid to choose their own elegant gown in the gold, rose-gold or blush pink tone.

Here I placed Cary’s ring on Lauren’s grandfather’s Bible– I wanted to signify the two families joining and the important role that faith plays in their marriage.

I also wanted to incorporate Lauren’s grandfather, a life-long pastor who had intended to marry them, but passed away a few months before the wedding…

Lauren shared a few of the attributes that drew her to Cary, “He is a handsome, ambitious, intelligent, and has a genuine heart filled with compassion for others. His strong-willed, all or nothing mindset, mixed with morals that keep him grounded, has always attracted me to him.”

Lauren continued, “Cary’s gentle, kind heart made it easy for me to entrust giving all of my heart for him to protect and keep.”

Cary loves football through and through and played both in high school and college.  I suggested that Kris set up a shot with Cary as quarterback– Cary loved it!

Cary bought each of his groomsmen super hero t’s to wear under their tuxedos– something a little quirky, playful and well, Cary….

Kris also captured more traditional photos, too– all buttoned up and dapper 😉

One of the most touching moments of the day was when Lauren visited her grandfather’s church and grave site before exchanging vows with Cary.  She really wanted to honor him on her wedding day.

Lauren shared, “I always thought about how special it would be when the day came for my Papa to marry Cary and I.  Unfortunately he passed before he was able to.   I wanted to comfort that void by visiting a place he held near and dear to his heart – his church.”

She continued, “I could feel his presence seeing his little, bricked church – I could hear him preaching to the congregation, telling the church what page to turn to in the hymnal and joyfully singing.”

In this photograph I captured her grandfather’s little brick church, his grave site and the moody sky and wind that blew as she walked:

Lauren continued, “My walk with God has been largely influenced by my papa and his exemplary love for his wife, his church and family.”

Lauren kneeled down and touched the letters of his name, the wind blew her hair.   I used a slow shutter to capture the beauty and intimacy of this simple moment…

We returned to Historic Acres of Hershey, and shortly after the men began processing into the outdoor chapel.

I love this photo, it reminds me a little of the Beatles cover on Abby road, haha!

Cary explained, “When I first saw Lauren on our wedding day my breath was taken away, literally.”

Here Cary closes his eyes for a moment as Lauren’s father kisses her cheek and places her hand in Cary’s…

Lauren shared, “When I got my first glimpse of Cary on our wedding day, I saw him for the first time as my husband– I was just in awe!”

Cary continued, “Lauren will tell you that when she took my hand the first thing she noticed was how pale my hands were and I had to remind myself to breathe!”

Lauren explained, “Since our ceremony was outdoors, our hope was to create an outdoor church space with the doors and cross at either end of the aisle and string quartet placed off to the side playing hymnal songs such as “The Lord’s Prayer.”

Cary shared, “I was really excited to build the cross, with the help of my family, for the ceremony. I think it is a great representation of our faith and how it is the foundation of our relationship.”

Here is my photograph captured during nearly the same moment– it is interesting how two perspectives on one moment in time can look so different.

I love how they both come together to tell a more unified story and capture the environment and aesthetic that were important to Lauren & Cary.

Lauren shared, “Both Cary’s and my parents have been married for over 25 years.  They have both been examples for us as we have watched them take on life together, endure difficult times and celebrate the good times. ”

She continued, “They have set an example for us and the type of spouses we can be for each other and the type of parents we hope to be one day.”  Here Lauren’s parents watch as she and Cary exchange vows.

While I make sure to capture all of those key moments of the ceremony: the ring exchange, vows etc in a more traditional way, I also keep an eye out for any special intimate moments as well.  Lauren’s father had the sweetest smile on his face as they exchanged vows and I captured that here:

Unity candles can be tricky with wind, lol…

Lauren’s brother stood in her Papa’s place as the wedding officiant, I love that he is smiling in the background as they kiss, hehe:

Husband and wife!  I photographed this moment through the “chapel doors” capturing the wreaths as well as the happy couple and cheering guests (with pom-poms, a little nod to Lauren’s cheer-leading background)…

Three cheers for the Mr & Mrs 😉

They wanted an eclectic mix of photos, so here is a more traditional photo of the bridal party…

And also something more modern– strike a pose, guys!

Lauren and Cary spent some time alone, taking it all in as I snapped away– I love their laughter here:

Here I focused on some wildflowers to give them a little privacy, haha…

Cary shared, “I am looking forward spending each day with her, something that we weren’t able to do when we were dating, and seeing our family grow one day.”

Cary shared, “I first fell for my *wife* way back in high school.” 🙂

He continued, “Lauren is strong, driven and resilient, she’s always able to handle anything that comes her way. If she said she was going to do something or achieve something, she just went out and did it without questioning the ‘what-ifs.’ And even if something happened that would change her path she easily adapted to it and changed her plan so that she would still achieve success.”

He went on, “I wanted to make her my partner for life because of how she supports me and eases my anxiety even if it is over something silly. I hope that I can return the support she gives me every day.”

I liked how Cary encouraged and really lifted up Lauren and her personality and character– I thought this photo would really capture that attribute of their marriage well…

I love to get creative and have fun playing with some more artistic elements on the wedding day.  Here I captured their reflections in the pond.

I really like the emotional, surreal look and love how Cary is such a gentleman, here he carries her wedding gown as she walks…

Lauren shared, “I loved spending time alone with Cary, exploring Historic Acres of Hershey.  One of my favorite moments was when Cary and I were standing out on the farmhouse on the balcony – we seemed like a fairy tale king and queen up there, with my cathedral length veil overhanging the balcony in the wind.”

I love the lines and layers in this photo– it has so much depth.  It is definitely a unique, fairy tale moment…

Lauren shared, “I’m looking forward to everything. From day-to-day life and Sunday morning church services, to watching Cary evolve into becoming a father and growing in life and love.”

I loved the timeless, classic, romantic feeling of this black and photograph– I wanted to capture this intimate moment and Lauren’s beautiful gown, which she found at Tamzen’s Bridal in Carlisle.

Tailgating!!!  Football played an important role in their story, that you can read more about in their football engagement blog post.

Lauren shared, “We wanted to incorporate football and cheer-leading since it was the kickoff to football season, as well as a throwback to our high school and college days. The background football theme also added a fun element for our guests with a tailgate themed cocktail hour.”

Lauren continued, “We strayed from the traditional photo booth idea and went with a less common vintage face cut-out board for our guests to recreate a photo we already had of Cary holding me in his football uniform.”

Both Penn State and Bucknell were represented by their unique tailgating yard games.  Here is their Penn State Football themed bean bag toss–  it is such a fun detail that they will be able to re-use in the future when tailgating as a married couple ;)…

I love how they incorporated their engagement photos throughout the reception as well…

Here they had wedding guests sign gold “Hess” Jerseys with their wedding date in lieu of a guestbook…

Lauren shared, “Historic Acres of Hershey was the perfect venue for our wedding because it had rustic elements with the barn, corn-crib and farmhouse, but also a touch of elegance with their elaborate chandeliers and floor to ceiling windows wrapping around the entire reception area.”

She continued, “We loved that our guests were able to stay in one location and grab a drink to hit the dance floor, or the lawn for yard games, or even have a quiet moment walking around the lawn by the pond.”

Guests thoroughly enjoyed tailgating and the more traditional elements of cocktail hour as well…

The decor elegant and romantic, provided by Pencil Me In by the amazing Colton Staver…

Heidi Fittery of I Do Details coordinated Lauren & Cary’s wedding.  She was awesome!!!  I found her to be dedicated, friendly and professional.

She allowed each member of Lauren & Cary’s wedding team to shine and play their roles while taking care of any little glitches behind the scenes before they came to light.

Cary wipes a tear during one of his toasts…

Lauren shared, “We wanted to keep the first dance timeless and classic, which is why we chose the song “At Last” by Etta James.

She continued, “Cary and I ‘You-tubed’ ideas for a lift to add a fun element to the dance, and take advantage of our height difference, found one that worked, and ran through the dance a few times before the big day.”

Lauren shared, “We surprised some of our guests when we did the cake smash! It was a great way for us to let go, have a little fun, and make an incredible memory.”

Yum!

They incorporated the football theme again, this time by attaching the garter to one and making a pass…

I love her joyful reaction to catching the bouquet…

Josh from Klock Entertainment really got the party started!  Everyone was out on the dancefloor…

The pom poms were a huge hit 🙂

Rock on, mama!

Group photo!

It was the end of the night and the dancing was still going strong, so were those pom-poms– I totally recommend bringing props onto your dance floor 🙂

Cary and Lauren stepped out for a minute at the end of the night and shared a few moments underneath the branches of the weeping willow together in the moonlight 🙂

Cary and Lauren, Thanks so much for choosing to have Rhinehart Photography capture so many awesome moments– from your senior portraits to your engagement and now wedding!  It has been such a pleasure to get to know you two and share your story!  Please feel free to like, comment below and share with your friends and family!

If you want to see more photos of Lauren and Cary, you can check out their two part engagement session here:

Part 1: The Lake, Part 2: Football Stadium.

Highland Lodge at Liberty Mountain Resort Wedding: Kayla & Andy

A soft, romantic, rainy-day wedding for two best friends and high school sweethearts at the new Highland Lodge at Liberty Mountain Resort

Kayla shared, “We chose Rhinehart Photography because we simply fell in love with your work. We wanted unique photographs that would capture our personalities. We absolutely loved working with Lisa and Kris on our wedding day. They kept us on track throughout the day and were super flexible, especially in accommodating our large bridal party. Lisa was great at coming up with fantastic ideas for pictures even though the weather wasn’t cooperating.”

I love capturing a couple’s look and style and when I saw the misty greens, blues and purples of the scene below and the plants that resembled succulents, I knew it was the perfect place to have Kayla and Andy take a stroll during their wedding day.  It really brings the whole soft, romantic, natural, purple-succulent look together.   It also captures Andy’s gentlemanly personality– I’d totally recommend opening your wedding album with that image, guys. 😉

You see what I mean about the bouquet?  Such a similar look and feel– it is by Koon’s Florist in central Pennsylvania…

As Kayla prepares to dress, the flower girl admired it and told her how beautiful it was.  Kayla shared, “It was so sweet to share in that special moment together. She was so excited to be a part of the day and she looked so beautiful in her dress!”

I like the way the sunlight illuminates the bodice of Kayla’s gown and her veil and bounces on the cheeks and fingers of the tiny flower girl– I have this photograph in color as well, but like the drama and contrast that the black and white image brings…

I like the intimate, timeless feeling of this next photograph.  Kayla’s maid of honor helps her to dress.  As she nimbly fastens buttons the beading on her veil and gown shimmer…

Andy shared, “I knew I loved Kayla from the moment I saw her.  I was so young, only 13, yet I was instantly captivated by her smile– it was (and is) so beautiful and genuine. Once I got to know the person behind that smile, I quickly discovered she’s as beautiful inside as she is out.”

Kayla shared, “I really wanted to wow Andy with my wedding dress.  I chose a lace gown that would be romantic, with an open back to keep it modern and fun.  I was so excited to show it to him!” No doubt that this will absolutely knock him out!   The dress is from Lilla’s Bridal Boutique in York, PA.

Kayla shared, “The first look with my dad was so incredibly special. Besides Andy, my dad is my best friend. We share a very special and unique bond. It was so special to have his blessing to marry Andy and to share this moment on my wedding day!”

Kayla explained, “I loved being able to see the look on the girl’s faces as I was walking down the stairs. They all looked so beautiful and happy!”

Now it was the boys turn in front of the camera–

Kayla shared, “I have always had a very special connection with Andy from day one. He’s such a caring and kind person. It’s hard not to love someone who is so thoughtful. Since before we were dating, Andy had this unique ability to make me feel like I was the only person in the room and that he only saw the beauty in me. He always made me feel like I was enough.”

Looking dapper, gentlemen…

Kris captured several great portraits of Andy, but this one is my favorite because it includes Maddie :).

Kayla shared, “Maddie has been a huge part of Andy’s life since his senior year in college. She’s an awesome dog, such a sweet girl!  It was so cool that she could still get some pictures with Andy on the morning of our wedding day!”

Kayla & Andy headed to the church.  Andy shared, “St. Joseph of Hanover is the Church Kayla went to since she was a little kid. She even went to school there. It was a very special place for us to gather our friends and families and share our wedding vows.”

Andy explained, “I was absolutely awestruck when I saw Kayla for the first time on our wedding day. She was just so beautiful and I kept feeling the urge to pinch myself because I didn’t think it was real. Her walk down the aisle seemed like it took days. I couldn’t wait for her to get up there to me so I could tell her how amazing she looked. It was the most surreal moment of my life and a moment I will never forget.”

They both had looks of pure joy on their faces when they met at the altar.  I snapped a couple of photographs during this moment, but this one is my favorite.  You can see their joy in the foreground, but you can also see wedding guests’ reactions.  Andy’s mother is framed between the two of them.

Andy shared, “We both aspire to strengthen and grow our marriage to be as strong as the relationship that my parents have.  They put each other first and are such an inspiration to us.”

Kayla continued, “The Kale’s were a huge part of our day. Andy’s mom had helped us out with anything and everything — they were so happy for us.”

Kayla explained, “Andy and I both grew up going to Catholic school since Kindergarten. We met in high school and were best friends immediately.”

I like the lines and textures in this photo–a subtle and beautiful capture by my best friend/husband/photographer, Kris…

Kayla explained, “We agree that the most special part of the day was just finally being able to see each other at the Church after much anticipation. Andy was dying to see my dress and I couldn’t wait to catch up with him. The days leading up to the wedding were packed full of things to do, it was nice to finally have the pressure off and to just be able to enjoy our day.”

She laughed, “We could not stop chit-chatting at the Church. We are best friends and have a hard time not being able to share everything with each other.”

Andy shared, “Kayla is my best friend and she makes my life better every day. I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of life with anyone else. She will make an amazing wife and she will be an incredible mother. I’m so excited that I get to spend the rest of my life with her.”

I love capturing natural, candid moments like this– Kayla feels her wedding band on her hand for the first time and laughs out loud!   Things just got real for these two, haha ;).

Another natural, candid moment– the bride and groom receiving communion for the first time as husband and wife.  Here the priest holds up the body of Christ.  I focused on it sharply, moving a bit so that it would stand out against the dark wall, also capturing the lines and shadows on the priests face and allowing Kayla and Andy to subtly frame the photograph.

The blessing…

Kiss the bride…

Andy shared, “Kayla makes my life better every day. I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of life with anyone else. She will make an amazing wife and she will be amazing mother. I’m so excited that I get to spend the rest of my life with her by my side!”

Check out this cast of characters!  I really wanted to capture Kayla and Andy’s entire *seventeen* person bridal party in one image and also have them show some personality…

Kayla shared, “Andy and I chose Liberty Mountain Resort for our reception location because it was such a beautiful space. We loved the ‘wow” factor we had when we entered the building. We loved the fireplace and the awesome view of the golf course from the deck.”

While I captured the fireplace in the background during their wedding reception traditions, Kris captured the groomsmen with the beautiful mountain view behind them here:

Haaaa!  When Andy was in high school he dressed up as a penguin for Halloween one year.  He continued wearing the costume to college Halloween parties, so here the groomsmen showing off the playful twist to their wedding attire…

Pretty in purple…

Kayla shared, “I love the color purple so we decided to go with different variations of the color to keep it interesting.”

She continued, “Each of my girls are unique and I wanted to show that off. I felt that the colors and the styles of their dresses were similar enough to allow the girls to be unique. The flowers helped to tie that look together.”

Kayla shared, “We really liked that they had a hotel and bar so all of our guests could enjoy themselves before and after the official reception. We knew you would be able to capture some really awesome pictures there!”

Andy laughed, “Kayla is always down for a good time and is the only girl I’ve met who likes to party as much as I do!”  Kayla really wanted to do a shot with all of her bridesmaids at the bar before the reception– bottoms up, ladies!

Kayla shared, “Andy and I met in high school and became best friends immediately.  He played football and I cheered. I always asked for Andy to be ‘my football player’ so I could wear his number on my cheek, decorate his locker and give him candy before games.” 🙂

Andy explained, “Once our relationship finally took that next step it all came so naturally, the strength of our existing friendship made everything so easy. I fell in love with her so quickly and I never had anyone love me and care for me as deeply as Kayla does. I’m so blessed to be able see the same beautiful smile I fell for when I was 13, every day for the rest of my life!”

Kayla shared, “Andy was always my go-to person in time of need or to celebrate life’s successes. I knew Andy had feelings for me but didn’t want to lose my best friend if things wouldn’t work out. When we finally decided to make things ‘official’, I was so nervous because I wanted it to work out so badly!”

She continued, “Dating Andy felt natural. We had the firm foundation of our strong friendship to build on, so our relationship really flowed naturally and we have never looked back!”

For me this photo captures that connection, commitment and sentiment of “never looking back.”  I wanted the shot to feel soft and romantic and chose my lens and position (adjacent to the weeping willow) accordingly…

So happy together…

Andy shared, “Kayla is absolutely perfect for me in every single way. She is so loving and caring and is the type of person that would do anything for anybody. She is always down for a good time, yet is also driven and extremely hard working. Her work ethic is unmatched, she has so many goals and she is always achieving them. She is so supportive of me in everything I do, she doesn’t allow me to settle for less than I deserve. She pushes me to better myself every day and is always there to help pick me up when I am down.”

I love playing with reflections– here the water is moving, creating interesting patterns on its’ surface.  Kayla and Andy in this image…

Kayla explained, “Andy and I work well because we complement each other – Andy is very laid back and easy going, whereas Kayla is very detail oriented and a planner. We push each other to be the best people we can be. Even though we grew up quite differently, we are able to share our differences to teach the other.”

Andy shared, “I’m looking forward to cherishing each and every day with her.  I look forward to making that house our home together with our dog Maddie and then eventually growing our family. Every day will be an adventure and I wouldn’t want to spend it with anyone else.”

Andy was always quick to lend a helping hand.  Here he helps to carry her train as they explore the grounds of Liberty Mountain Resort and Highland Lodge together.

Kayla shared, “Andy’s wedding band was picked to tie into his Irish heritage and love of Norte Dame. The Celtic knot has strong ties to the Catholic Church.”

Always a gentleman, here Andy helps Kayla to warm up, offering her his jacket….

Kayla shared, “We really enjoyed having that space and alone time to ‘catch our breath’ after the whirlwind of activity earlier during our wedding day.  We really enjoyed having that quality time alone together as you took our pictures.”

Liberty Mountain Resort‘s new Highland Lodge is stunning with its’ vaulted ceilings and exposed wood beams and can accommodate over 250 guests.  A truly unique venue in Central Pennsylvania.

I appreciated the natural, neutral backgrounds and could imagine them working well with any color scheme…

And for the first time in public the Mr & Mrs, I love how excited they are here…

I knew that the fireplace was a real highlight for Kayla and Andy and one of the elements they loved about Highland Lodge, so I made sure to capture it when I could.  Here are a few of the reception traditions…

Here is their naked cake– that’s right, no fondant, accented with different shades of purple flowers, matching her bridesmaids’ gowns… beautiful job as always by Main Street Sweets:

Crazy cake smash…

Kayla shared, “At our engagement party, I was able to really get Andy good in a cake smash. Fearful of revenge in a white dress and perfectly applied makeup, we swore to each other to not smash cake. Our DJ (Bill Cappetta of Music Productions) actually came up with the idea to smash the cake in our best man and maid of honor’s faces. We loved the idea and thought it would be hilarious.”

The color photo shows the start of the smash, the photo below shows the “trick,” it all ended with clean-up, laughter and hugs…

Speaking of hilarious, check out the garter toss…

Yep, the kid caught it!

Andy shared, “Kayla’s grandparents and great aunt and uncle won the anniversary dance. They both were married 6 months apart from each other and married for 57 years!”

This is the moment they were announced the “winners”…

Kayla shared, “The popcorn favors were something we picked because we wanted something our guests would actually enjoy – who doesn’t love popcorn?!?  We added cute stickers to make it a little more personalized and ‘us’.”

Andy shared, “Kayla is slightly obsessed with popcorn – so it was perfect!”

By the end of the evening it was still raining, but Kayla and Andy embraced it and stepped out in it for a few minutes.   

Kayla shared, “The rain didn’t stop us from our happily ever after… if anything it made it unique and more memorable. I begged Andy to do the ‘Dirty Dancing’ lift for full effect, and he did, it was awesome!”

Kayla & Andy, thank you for choosing us!  It was so much fun to spend the day with both of you and I can’t wait to hear what you think of the blog!

If you’d like to see more of Kayla and Andy (and their dog Maddie) or hear more of their story, check out their fall engagement session here.  🙂

English Manor Wedding Photographers: Steph & Ryan

Converse sneakers, blue-hooded onesies and even Ironman himself– you won’t want to miss this fun, one-of-a-kind garden wedding…

Stephanie is such a character– she is intelligent, witty, fun-loving and a total planner.  I liked her from the moment that she reached out to me.  Her initial email made me laugh out loud!

It said, “My name is Stephanie and I am about to get engaged. For the last 2 years I have been obsessively following your work. While I am not engaged yet, I do know that I want a Saturday wedding in 2017. I know that you are in very high demand so I am reaching out preemptively to see if you have any available Saturdays for the summer of 2017. My fingers are crossed very tightly that you do. Thank you for your time. I hope that once my boyfriend does pop the question I will be able to make a much more formal request. –Stephanie”

We had our initial consultation before Ryan had popped the question and before she had chosen a venue!  After the meeting, I wrote in my notes, “I like them a lot– her personality needs to be captured– they have such an amazing story!” He did propose, and I captured part of their amazing love story here as we went back to the cabin where they met and photographed them skiing down a double black diamond among other things, it was epic!

As for capturing that fun-loving, energetic personality, I found the perfect opportunity when I saw the gift she bought her bridesmaids, flannel hooded onesies with names on the front and titles on the back.   I asked her how she felt about jumping on the bed– she was game (of-course)…  haha her bridesmaids’ expressions!!!

Ryan shared, “Stephanie and I bring out the best in each other, while I am more relaxed and calm her down she brings out my more adventurous side. She always puts me and our relationship first in everything she does, she helps me seize every moment of the day.”

Again, you can just feel the joy radiating from Steph here, looking at this photo makes me smile…

Steph shared, “Rhinehart Photography has a way of capturing a couple and a wedding that is completely unique. They truly take the time to understand the couple and capture their personalities and interests.  They are also adaptive to change, in our case this was running 45 minutes late.  While things were sped up – Lisa and Kris took care to make sure that Ryan and I had all of the shots that we wanted, to tell our unique story.”

When we first met Steph described what she liked and was hoping to see in her wedding photos, she used words like: creative, unique, different, natural, fun, personal, authentic, artistic and I knew we’d be a perfect fit!  Here is one of my more subtle, artistic shots of the day… if you look closely you can see a bride and groom slow dancing along in the top left corner as well as the maid of honor reflected in this single photograph:

Another reflection, but less subtle, her Steph’s mother puts on her pearls as Steph watches in the mirror.  I used a shallow depth of field to draw all of the attention to the reflection but like the intimate feel of peering through Steph’s veil and the way the veil and Steph’s mother create a frame…

Steph shared, “A month and a half before the wedding, my father had a hemorrhagic stroke. There is a 30% survival rate for this type of stroke. My dad spent 28 days in the hospital, had to have a drain put in (and removed) from his skull, and had to work so hard to make sure that he was able to walk me down the aisle.”

She continued, “Him seeing me as a bride on that day was such an emotional time for both of us.  He had been through so much and I knew how hard he and my mom had worked to make sure that he could be there on my wedding day to support me, to walk me down the aisle, to dance together at the reception…  but that first look with him was so special.”

Steph and Ryan exchanged hand-written notes in the morning and read them to themselves, it was an intimate moment.  I wanted the photograph to feel soft and private, yet crisp and clear– high contrast.

I carry 8 lenses with me on a wedding day and had the perfect lens in mind and settings to capture all of that in a single frame:

The venue was lovely!  Steph shared, “Ryan and I chose the English Manor because of their outdoor space. We were going for a “Hamptons Rustic Garden Party.” The English Manor maintains beautiful gardens around the property with many vibrant colors, I chose the green and white because I thought it would “go” with any colorful backdrop there.”

Steph explained, “As for the bouquets, I wanted movement in all of the pieces and non-traditional flowers, and Alisha Simone from Elegant Event Flowers made it happen!”

She continued, “We had roses but they were damask, we played up the greens with different types of foliage and even an artichoke, we went through the process of picking unique flowers.”

Speaking of movement, I love to capture movement whenever I can.  I wanted to capture the movement of the bridesmaids circling Steph, I like how it’s almost foreshadowing for the Hora to come during the reception.  😉

I created this look in-camera using unique manual camera settings, dragging the shutter to capture the bridesmaids while allowing Steph to be in focus…

Out story turns now to the men– Kris totally nailed these men’s photos– they look slick…

Stephanie shared, “From the moment I met Ryan – he made me happy. He has a similar sense of humor to myself. We bonded over retelling Forgetting Sarah Marshall to each other on the day we met. But beyond that – he truly is the nicest and most caring person I have ever met.”

She continued, “When my dad was sick – he did not want me to lift a finger. He said he would figure out how to move us out of the apartment, into Queens, clean, and still work his day job. He told me that I should just be with my family.”

He also looks a heck of a lot like Robert Downey Jr, hence the cufflinks:

Stephanie continued, “When Ryan took on all of that to support me and my family, I didn’t know it at the time, but he was nervous about being able to do it all.  He actually reached out to his friends for help and they supported him.  We have the best friends.”

Chucks– I love Kris’ perspective on this shot– it’s really perfect 🙂

And here he is again pulling off beautiful visual symmetry and the rule of thirds, zen-master Kris :).  You look great, guys!

On to Ryan’s favorite part of the day– the first look, when he saw Steph for the first time on the wedding day.   First Looks have really become a staple of modern wedding traditions.  Having a “first look” allows a couple to really take their time and soak in the moment while also helping the flow of the day and allowing the couple to enjoy the cocktail hour with their guests.

Ryan shared, “My favorite part of our wedding day was meeting Stephanie on the bridge for first look. Knowing that she was going to be so beautiful when I was able to turn around and then seeing her finally being more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. Knowing that she was going to be my forever and I will have always have that moment in my mind.”

It was such a beautiful moment for both of them…

Stephanie shared, “Ryan has this way of taking care of me that makes me feel totally safe and loved.  Even when he is mad at me or we have a fight – he still does everything to try to make sure I am ok, and takes care of me, and still will do anything to  make sure that I am taken care of.”

She continued, “That kind of selflessness is so rare and it is something that I am so lucky to have found in my partner.”

Ryan shared, “What made me fall in love with Stephanie was in the simplest words “her weird matches my weird”. We are able to make the littlest moments fun and engaging together, while life is happening around us we are able to step into our own little world together.”

For me, this image captures Ryan’s sentiment…  I see life blurring at a frenzied pace and them stepping out together, laughing…

While I love capturing more creative images, I make sure to take a few more traditional photographs as well.  

They are opposites but similar, and balance each other out…

Steph explained, “People always say that opposites attract. And on the surface we seem to fit that mold. Ryan is more type B and I’m more type A. One of us always feels like we need to be on the go and the other really does take the time to smell the roses. We balance each other out. Ryan reminds me that it is ok to just sit sometimes. That not everything needs to be planned. And I bring Ryan out of his shell and push him to try new things. On the surface it seems that we are opposites, but really we are so similar.”

She continued, “We share the same thoughts about marriage and our future. We can anticipate each others’ moods. We have the same sense of humor. We both like to get out and do things. We truly are best friends. And that means we are honest, even if the other person doesn’t want to hear it. We support each other. And we would both do anything to make the other person happy.”

I think this photograph captures that “opposites but similar balance” well…

Steph shared, “Ryan and I have been extremely lucky when it has come to friends. We had 9 people on each of our sides, the majority of which we have known for most of our lives. These are the people who have really shaped us into the people we are today. When you know your friends as long as we have they truly are family. But the best part is – is that they all get along. They might not hang out all the time, and some might have met that weekend, but they all talked to each other and really seemed to bond over the bridal party experience. We know that not everyone has a friendship that lasts decades – but we are lucky to have so many friendships that have lasted that long. We are just so grateful for the 18 people who did not hesitate to stand by our sides.”

I wanted to capture this bridal party of 20 in a unique way and capture their excitement as well as the gorgeous English Manor

Time for the ketubah–

Steph shared, “Ryan really embraced my Jewish traditions and supported me in my faith. Being an interfaith couple is not always easy, but what Ryan did for me really made me love him even more.”

I liked the symmetry of this next photo, the bridesmaids listening to the Rabbi’s words as he prepared the Ketubah…

Signed!

Steph continued, “We found a Rabbi, signed the Ketubah, and filled the ceremony with special Jewish traditions…Ryan’s selflessness is inspirational and it makes me want to be just as supportive of his needs.”

Rabbi fist bump 🙂

Both of Steph’s parents walked her down the aisle and have really taught her what marriage is…

Steph shared, “My parents have been married for 38 years. And they have really shown me what a real marriage looks like.   When my dad had his stroke, my mom was there to help him along, and cheer him on.  She was completely invested in helping him to be able to do all the things that a father does at a wedding.”

She continued, “Together they got my father ready. They both walked me down the aisle.  The moment was unforgettable.”

Ryan is blown away by Steph all over gain…

Dad hugs…

The English Manor garden ceremony was held beneath tree boughs against a wrought iron gazebo…

The florals were absolutely stunning.  Here they perform the traditional Jewish circle ritual

They share wine in accordance with tradition…

Family members were all smiles as they witnessed the ceremony…

At the end of the ceremony, Ryan broke a glass, as the guests shouted “Mazel tov!” (“Congratulations”)

Kiss the bride:

Steph shared, “When I think about our forever – people ask what I am looking forward to most – I am looking forward to everything. I am looking forward to many years in our home, and starting a family… I am looking forward to the hard times because they are what make the better times all the better. I am looking forward to taking on everything that comes our way together… holding hands (we really like to hold hands).”

Dad fist bump: 

As soon as everyone entered the reception, the Hava Nagila began to play and Steph and Ryan were lifted up on chairs– Ryan looks a little nervous, no?

But he was enjoying himself in no time!

The first dance…

Ryan had tears in his eyes as he watched Stephanie dancing with her father…  it was a very special moment for everyone.

Stephanie’s grandfather blessed bread…

One of the most touching moments of the evening was Stephanie’s father’s speech.

Stephanie shared, “One of the most special moments for me was when my dad went to deliver his speech he started to get emotional.  Without hesitation my mom went to go stand by his side and help. It was so touching to see, and a little funny when she couldn’t even get the first word out either, haha!”

She continued, “But with my mom by his side my dad had all the support he needed to get the speech out.  Here is the moment that she stood up to support him:

Cake cutting…

Stephanie stated, “We wanted to make sure that everyone danced the night away. We have friends and family that know how to have a good time. It was great to have everyone out there with us!”

The lighting, created by FNA events was pretty incredible and really set the tone for the evening.  In this shot I tried to capture the elegant setting as well as the packed dance floor.

People had an amazing time and pulled out their best dance moves…

Gotta love the flying tie…

I set out to try and capture the high-octane experience that was the dance floor– this photo almost makes you feel tipsy, right?

At the end of the night be went back to the bridge where Ryan and Steph had their first look.  The atmosphere was quiet and cool, crickets were chirping…

Kris and I took some time to set up interesting lighting while Ryan and Steph were enjoying the party.

For me this photograph says, “and they lived happily ever after” 😉

Steph shared, “When I think about our forever – people ask what I am looking forward to most – I am looking forward to everything. I am looking forward to many years in our home, and starting a family… I am looking forward to the hard times because they are what make the better times all the better. I am looking forward to taking on everything that comes our way together… holding hands (we really like to hold hands).”

Steph and Ryan, it was such a pleasure getting to know you two and I will never forget hour incredible adventure at Hunter Mountain.  Thank you for choosing Kris and I to capture your precious memories.  You two are amazing and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you!

If you want to see more of Ryan and Steph, check out their Hunter Mountain engagement session here.

Longwood Gardens Wedding Engagement: Chrissy & Sean

A colorful, romantic, modern fairytale wedding engagement at Longwood Gardens…

 

Chrissy shared, “When Sean and I started to talk about wedding photographers, you were the first person to come to mind. I saw your photography from a few of my friends’ weddings and was impressed by how creative and stunning their photographs were. I knew you would be able to capture amazing photos of Sean and I.”

We arranged to meet at Longwood Gardens, and felt that the location was perfect as it has stunning grounds as well as indoor options that would work for in climate weather.  While we spent some time in the greenhouses, we had an incredibly beautiful day and were able to spend much of the evening outdoors as well!

I set out to give Chrissy and Sean an eclectic mix of colorful, creative images that captured their personalities.  We also captured a few more traditional portraits as well.  This is one of my favorite, because they look so comfortable and happy together and because of that gorgeous glowing sunlight!

Chrissy shared, “Sean and I balance each other out. Sean keeps me calm and always makes me appreciate the fun in every situation and I keep us focused on the task at hand!”

She continued, “Sean is the most caring and thoughtful person, it’s one of the many things I love about him.”

For me, this photo really captures Chrissy’s sentiments well– you can totally see his relaxed, calming presence here:

The gardens are truly stunning!  You will see so many beautiful areas here, and I really only touched the tip of the iceberg!  Longwood Gardens was created by the Du Pont family as a place to entertain friends and now is a living legacy that sets out to inspire the millions of visitors that arrive on the property annually.

Chrissy shared, “I’m beyond thrilled that we took the picture at Longwood Gardens. It reminded me of a fairy tale, between the beautiful greenhouse with the lily pads and the rose gardens.  We couldn’t have asked for a better place to take our engagement pictures!”

Sean shared, “Chrissy is an easy person to love.  She is the most passionate person I know. Her dedication to everything she does is second to none. She is the smartest person I know – I learn from her every day. What I love most about her is that she never puts herself before anyone else. She is the absolute best daughter, sister, aunt, friend and wife to be.”

Chrissy talked about the way Sean can always find a way to make her laugh.  Here is a candid moment I caught of the two of them laughing and enjoying each other’s company.  I used a shallow depth of field to really make them pop from the background and waited for the moment and lighting to be just perfect…

I noticed these flowers through the glass of one of the greenhouses and loved the way they looked so similar to the fuschia of Chrissy’s dress.

I framed them in the doorway and love their modern, confident poses.

They shared, “We both love to relax and our favorite thing to do in our free time is to spend it with family and friends, doing anything or nothing but hanging out! The connection we each have with our families is one of the things that bonds us together.”

This is the sort of photo that would look amazing printed on a huge canvas.  If you look very closely you should be able to spot Chrissy and Sean!

Here is the same shot, just a little closer up– there is actually a huge expanse of water separating us, so I moved to a 200mm lens to capture this photograph:

I love to play with interesting photographic elements and particularly enjoy capturing reflections.  Again the I liked the purples here and the ripping water– a really unique shot…

Here is one that looks a little more crisp and polished, I like it even without the color, for me it draws your attention to the couple and all of the texture in the photograph:

Chrissy shared, “Lisa, you made us feel so comfortable in front of the camera!  Sean and I are usually shy and don’t consider ourselves to be creative people.”

She continued, ” We didn’t know what to expect, but you really made us comfortable and guided us through the process.”

Wow!!!  What a beautiful engagement ring!!!

I totally got my shoes muddy for this one– I saw them reflected in this beautiful antique window with long flowing curtains.  I framed them in a single windowpane.

Chrissy and Sean explored the topiary and rose gardens as the sun got low in the sky.  I love the golden light created on clear days like this one…

Here I gave them a little privacy and focused on a rose, hehe: 

A fairy tale ending, such a romantic moment!  The light, the ring, the kiss, roses, water droplets and rosebuds we couldn’t have asked for a prettier scene…

Chrissy and Sean, it was such a pleasure working with you and I am so excited to be photographing your upcoming Lehigh Valley wedding at the SteelStacks in Bethlehem next month!

If you like what you see, please share this link or click “like” below 🙂

Rutgers Gardens Wedding Engagement Photographers: Nicole & Steve Part 2

Two foodies re-visit the restaurant that brought them together!  You won’t want to miss this love story…

Nicole shared, “Choosing you as our wedding photographer was probably the easiest choice we made while wedding planning. Your photos capture love in exciting and interesting new ways. In our wedding photos we are hoping that you will be able to capture our love in a fun and unique way that ‘wows’ us and everyone who sees them!”

Thanks so much for your vote of confidence, Nicole! That means a lot to me!

Nicole mentioned wanting interesting, unique photos– it really gave me the freedom to play with different techniques that I find creative and interesting.  In the photo above I manually set my camera to allow the dining room to look intensely dark and only allowed in a touch of golden sunlight, silhouetting the couple and illuminating their wine glasses.

For the image below, I played with Nicole and Steve’s reflections in the window while again intensifying that golden light.  I like the surreal feeling it creates, to me, this photograph almost looks the way love feels– intense, soft, warm…

I love the character and decor of Luca’s, it is naturally charming– such a perfect place to fall in love ;).

Nicole shared, “Steve and I met working in Lucas years ago, I was still in high school at the time.  We had a real flirty relationship going on for almost a year before we decided to start actually dating, haha!”

She continued,  “It was a lot of fun to go back to Luca’s, just like old times, but with an amazing photographer following us around! We credit our relationship to our time spent working together at Luca’s. Andrea and the rest of the employees at Luca’s will forever hold a huge place in our hearts.”

Here is some of that fun, flirty, romantic relationship and the charming decor of Luca’s…

Nicole shared, “The owner of Luca’s is from the island of Ischia, which neighbors Capri, and has decorated the entire restaurant with hand crafted artwork imported from local artisans in Ischia.”

She continued, “We had heard so many stories about the beautiful island and experienced the food first hand that we eventually had to see it for ourselves and enjoyed a vacation there.  It was unreal, I’d highly recommend it!”

She went on, ” The most memorable part of the trip was visiting Andrea’s cousin Rita’s little waterside restaurant called Bagno Ciro where we enjoyed the most delicious linguine with mussels and clams and bruschetta!! ”

They sat inside waiting to order, seated below a hand-painted tile and rustic wood mural depicting the seafood market and landscape of Ischia.

Nicole shared, “Luca’s happens to have the most *amazing* food!!!”  Nicole and Steve literally insisted on treating me to an incredible meal at Luca’s– thanks again, guys!!!

It is a place I will definitely return to, it’s actually a perfect place for Kris and I to stop on our way to photograph weddings the Palace at Somerset Park as it is only 15 minutes away.  I know Nicole & Steve have one coming up ;).

Nicole explained, “Fico is a particularly delicious dish.  It is made of fresh figs, mascarpone, pine nuts, prosciutto di Parma, balsamic reduction, mixed greens, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.”  Seriously my mouth is watering as I describe it!

I placed Nicole’s beautiful pear shaped diamond ring on the plate of Fico before the 3 of us devoured this decadent, melt-in-your-mouth appetizer.

Stephen poured each of them a glass of red wine.  I captured the wine as it bubbled and splashed on its way into the glass, keeping it in sharp focus.

Stephen shared, “We met at a young age and have been together for so long.  It is something different about us and our relationship.  I feel like we were able to watch each other grow up into the people that we are today.  Nicole has become an amazing woman.”

Something about his sentiments and context make me think of wine, getting better with time.  ;).

Nicole shared, “At the end of the day all we want is to make each other happy and enjoy an excellent meal and bottle of wine while we are doing it.”

Nicole and Steve, thanks for sharing your story!  I absolutely love capturing meaningful, sentimental places like this for my couples.

I believe many years down the road you will be able to look back at these photos and show your family “the place where it all started”!

I’m looking forward to seeing you two again for your 2018 wedding in The Palace at Somerset Park.

F a c e b o o k