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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.

Codorus Wedding Engagement Photographers York: Kayla & Andy

People say that the best relationships start out as friendship and Kayla and Andy have experienced that first hand!

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Kayla & Andy reached out to me looking for creative, unique wedding and engagement photos that capture their relationship and personalities.  They were hoping for photos that really stand out visually and enjoy photography with contrast, color and interesting lighting and composition.

I opened with  a photo that provides a unique vantage point of their engagement location.  The under-stated composition gives it a relaxed feel, while also adding a little dramatic tension, their body language giving a glimpse of Kayla’s strength and Andy’s relaxed nature.  🙂

The next photo shows them in their natural element with their dog, Maddie…

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Maddie has been a part of Andy’s life and his relationship with Kayla for a long time!  Kayla and Andy actually met ten years ago as freshmen in Delone Catholic High School.

He was a football player and she was a cheerleader and would even paint #55 (his number) on her cheek on game days.  They were “just friends” for years, but that actually provided a perfect foundation for their relationship.

Kayla shared, “They say friendship is the foundation of any good relationship. I think Andy and I have found this to be true. We are each others best friend and always know how to make each other laugh.”

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Kayla really wanted Maddie to be involved in the engagement photography session and shared that she knew it woudl be difficult to get a nice “family picture” where they were all smiling and paying attention, but that she really wanted to try.

She also mentioned that whenever they try to get pictures of Maddie, she usually turns out to be a black ball of fur– you really can’t make out her dark features.  I am happy with the way this photo turned out, you can really see the detail on Maddie and Kayla and Andy look great…

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Andy shared, “I loved Kayla since the first day I met her. We became friends almost instantly and she was always someone I could count on. I always knew I wanted more with her but our timing was never right.”

He went on, “After college we both started our careers and began finding our ways in life. Eventually we crossed paths again and I made my move. This time the timing was right… Kayla  helps me to step outside of my comfort zone and pushes me to always do my best.  She is smart, caring and has the biggest heart.”

I think this next image shows Kayla’s caring, nature and a like how Andy is watching her interact with Maddie.  He watched and waited for the right time to start dating and for the proposal, too.

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Andy said he shares everything with Kayla, so keeping his proposal idea a secret was no easy task.  Kayla interjected that her highly-organized, opinionated personality didn’t help things at all, haha!

She shared that the things Andy was doing just didn’t add up, from him wanting to drive (when she was eager to do so), to him wanting her to park somewhere weird (not aware of the surprise he had planned), even his mom wanting to take their picture (when Maddie had just gotten Kayla soaking wet)…

Kayla said,  “I looked over at Andy to see him kneeling down on one knee with this beautiful ring in his hand…. In sheer shock, I gasped and eventually said yes to marrying my best friend and love of my life.”

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Andy had managed to do a whole lot of work behind the scenes which really impressed Kayla.

He managed to get Kayla’s father alone so that he could ask for her hand in marriage.  He asked his mom and grandmother to go along with him to the jewelry store and pick out the perfect ring and came up with the lakeside proposal idea.

Kayla really loved the unique setting (of Lake Marburg in Codorus Park and the ring, haha)…

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When we first met, they mentioned loving crisp, vibrant photos that captured emotion.  I think these really fit the bill…

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Kayla shared, “While Andy and I were “just friends”, I learned how wonderful of person he truly is. He loves me for me. I love how kind and caring he is. He is patient and loves me regardless of my faults and stubbornness, haha. He is thoughtful and takes time to understand my wants and needs.”

She went on, “Andy reminds me to not take life so seriously all the time and have fun.  He can always make me laugh – I swear we spend most of our time together cracking up over the littlest things.”

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I love using creative composition and photography techniques.  For the last photo, I used the dark shadows to dramatically silhouette Kayla and Andy and in the next one, I allowed the sunlight to illuminate the frame giving it a very different feeling that was light and ethereal.

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Another more traditional portrait… I love how natural their smiles are here– you can see how happy they are together:

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Kayla mentioned, “We enjoy any activity that involves just spending time together”  Here they are playing around in the leaves, haha.

I like the  vibrant green grass and trees and the way you can see the tiny leaves floating around Kayla.

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They have gone through some difficulties and challenges and really came out on top because of each others’ support, love and understanding.

It made them both realize even more that they had found the perfect life-partner.

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Andy shared, “Did I mention Kayla’s an amazing cook?  Literally the girl does it all, I am so very blessed to have her and can’t imagine my life without her. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with her!”

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Kayla and Andy, I loved working with the two of you!  I enjoyed your relaxed personalities and capturing all of the fun you have together.

Thanks for sharing your story with me.  I hope that these photographs provide a visual reminder of all the things you love about each other!  🙂

» Rhinehart PhotographyOctober 10, 2017 - 4:38 pm

[…] to see more of Kayla and Andy (and their dog Maddie) or hear more of their story, check out their fall engagement session here.  […]

Creative Pennsylvania Wedding Photographers: Katie & Patrick

A rustic, romantic family-farm wedding with a bridal party of twenty, surrounded in autumn brilliance!!!

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While most couples reach out to me looking for creative, high-quality photography Katie and Patrick’s rationale for choosing Rhinehart Photography was unique.   They had worked with several different wedding photographers as guests/family members and their experience working with us on Pamela & Jose’s wedding stood out to them.

They realized their bridal party and family were large and wanted someone who could be professional (organized, timely) and creative while displaying friendly leadership when it was needed.  They were also at Pamela & Jose’s house as their custom-designed wedding album was delivered.  Katie shared, “The album was so well thought out and absolutely stunning.  We liked how it really showed their love of family.”

They mentioned that photography was a huge priority for them and they wanted to make sure to get it right.  They liked my attention to detail and enjoyed the creativity of my work that incorporated interesting perspectives and an eclectic mix of candid and posed photos.     A tall order, haha!   I’ll begin with an image that captures Katie’s wedding dress.  😉

I knew how much they loved fall and the natural aesthetic of their rustic, outdoor wedding, so I brought her dress outside for a few minutes to photograph it against the vibrant autumn color palette.

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Boots were Katie’s wedding shoe of choice.  Getting married on a family farm definitely made them sensible, but Katie also loves country music (her bachelorette party was in Nashville).

Here she is slipping on her boots.  I love the way the window back-lit her veil and how the detailing on her dress and boots really stands out in this high-contrast image as well as her mega-watt smile…

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Patrick shared that he fell in love with Katie from the moment that he met her.  He quoted their wedding song by the Zac Brown Band, “She’s got whatever it is.”

He shared, “Her beautiful smile caught my eye, but her other attributes will make us last for a lifetime. She is a loving person and takes care of everyone around her. She is driven personally and professionally to be the best she can be. She has an innocence about her that lets us have fun like kids. She makes me a better man and truly gives my life meaning.”

While I spend most of a wedding day taking candid images, I set aside time for portraits as well.  Here is one of Katie’s more traditional photos.  I captured her beautiful smile as well as those bright blue eyes and the delicate lace detailing on her dress.   Katie you are stunning!

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Katie has a very close bond with her mom.  Her mom was her loudest cheerleader at sporting events, and has always been there to listen, advise and support Katie in all of her adventures (personal and professional).

Katie’s mom was very busy, helping behind the scenes, but  avoided the spotlight (and getting her picture taken), but I snuck her in a photo here, as she adjusted Katie’s veil:

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The bridesmaids were just as taken-back with her revealin their matching monogrammed robes.  I like how the open bedroom doors frame them and give you a sense of place…

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These ladies have range and I wanted to show it all.  Here they are ready for a spread in Modern Bride ;).   Katie’s favorite color has always been pink.  She had a bubblegum pink room with a raspberry rug growing up and left the shade of pink up to Patrick’s sisters (three of whom were bridesmaids).

They chose a bold fuchsia as they thought it would look best against an autumn color palette.  I chose this yellow-green background to compliment the fuchsia and really make it pop.  The lighting was perfect and their confident expressions are priceless.  You are totally rocking those boots, ladies!

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Katie shared, “I always cherish handwritten notes from Patrick, so he writes them to me on special occasions. I am old-school, and still love sending snail mail.”  Patrick wrote her a note for her to read on her wedding day.

I focused on his hand-written lettering and allowed the intimacy of this moment to show through my use of close perspective and the dramatic side-light adds to the emotion and makes her engagement ring stand out…

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Katie went on, “His note touched me because it talked about when we met, what we have been through, and why he knew we were going to be amazing as a married couple.  It was him saying that having me officially by his side forever would make him always be happy.”

Her expression says it all…

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To the farm!  Oddly enough, while Patrick and Katie met in Los Angeles they both had family living *very* close to each other in Pennsylvania.  So close that Katie was able to begin her wedding day preparations at Patrick’s parent’s home in Newtown, PA and exchange vows twelve miles away at her family’s farm in New Hope, PA.

It is a working farm and absolutely gorgeous.  The inside of the farm house is beautiful and so artistically decorated.  I wish I could say that it was a public venue, but right now they are holding family members weddings.  Though I do know of a similarly amazing venue outside of Harpers Ferry  that is open to the public, if you are looking for this sort of place.

Here are two of the family farm residents…

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Patrick shared, “I see Katie everyday, so I thought, “what’s the big deal about a first look?”

The time for the first look arrived and Patrick was beginning to understand…

He’s smiling already behind his covered eyes, haha!

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Patrick went on, “When I saw her on our wedding day, I just couldn’t help myself…. she was the most beautiful bride.  I couldn’t stop smiling the entire day.”

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Showing off her dress and boots…

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Katie shared about seeing Patrick for the first time– “I fell for Patrick the first night I met him and thought that I was crazy for thinking that. He had an electric smile with the cutest dimples.  He was wearing casual clothes which is not common in LA where everyone takes their appearance so seriously, so it was refreshing and showed that he was relaxed and down to earth.”

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Katie continued, “We talked non-stop for 5 hours on night-one, despite being in a bar for an orientation gathering that my class was supposed to be running!  I tell him absolutely everything…. He is my best friend!”

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I’m going to take a brief pause from this love story to talk about something you have probably noticed– Katie’s dress.  It is probably one of the most unique and perfectly-suited gowns I have photographed to date.  It was custom-designed for her by Cocoon Silk who took several dress concepts Katie liked and wove all of those ideas together cohesively and beautifully.

For example, she wanted a long, flowing dress for the ceremony, but didn’t want to be stepping on it all night, so they made her dress two pieces to solve the problem– a short sheath dress with delicate lace detailing was worn beneath a satin-belted, long, flowing silk skirt.  It really showed off her boots!

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Wearing a comfortable gown, shoes and hair style not only allowed Katie to enjoy herself, but it also allowed me to do so much photographically!  She was able to move anywhere worry-free and really get lost in the moment and fully experienced and appreciated the connection and commitment She and Patrick made together on their wedding day, without being uncomfortable or worrying about ruining her shoes or hairstyle.

Here they are in the middle of a field.    I was able to capture their outdoor, active  lifestyle and that playful spontaneity that Patrick loves.  I was crouched low in the grass at this time (yes I wore boots, too haha) which gives this photograph a sense of intimacy and captures the light-hearted freedom that makes their relationship fun!

No my camera lens isn’t dirty, the hawks were migrating heavily over the weekend and several soared above them ;).  I can’t get over the vibrant blues and yellows in this photograph!

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Katie shared, “Living in California, we do not get the typical fall with leaves changing colors. We both missed fall the most and were so excited to be back just in time for the fall leaves.”

Hello fall!  Here you can see dozens of fall leaves in the foreground and background…

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She continued, “Our love for the outdoors and being healthy and active brings us together for many workouts, camping trips, hiking, biking, beach volleyball, etc.”

Katie articulated, “We work so well together because we always have the other person’s best interests at heart.   Patrick challenges me to be more spontaneous and plan less, which helped us to have many more unplanned adventures during grad school. I challenge Patrick to step out of his comfort zone in his career and in nature.”

While I captured much of the autumn foliage and landscape throughout, I really wanted to take a moment to capture that vibrant blue sky!  I love photographing fabric that has ease and movement.  It really gives images such a romantic, swept-off-your-feet sort of feeling…

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I take time to understand the priorities that are important to my couples and try to keep an eye out for those throughout the day.  One of Katie and Patrick’s was that they love their family and getting nice photos of them especially the cute kids would be something that they would love.

I have a few different photographs that capture the kids.  Here their ring-bearer straightens his tie, what a handsome little dude!  The tie is almost bigger than him!

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Here Patrick’s sister Pamela and her husband Jose (whose wedding I photographed a few years ago) play with their little girl, Sienna.

This has to be one of the most rewarding elements of my job– being at people’s sides as they exchange their wedding vows and then seeing them start families of their own!

I can’t believe it has been four years already!!! What a pleasure to see you two and your family :).

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This was a really unique moment as well– wedding guests walked through a path in an open field from the farm house to the wedding location.

Here you can see them dwarfed by the tall grass, surrounded by fall foliage…

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Their ceremony began with a traditional procession which was lovely, but this blog post is only my “highlight reel” so I’m going to jump to a candid shot that shows a natural moment and an adorable kid!

I’m not sure exactly what is happening in this moment but it looks like this flower girl is being instructed to stay put  while also considering her mother’s ability to chase her down given the current circumstances…

I like the way you can see the finger point and the little girls sweet expression, even the lone petal floating to the ground.  It almost looks like there is a piece of candy in her mouth (bribery? haha!)  It is all just so sweet!

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Katie shared, “My dad has always been there for me, from spending an entire weekend watching my volleyball tournaments, to surprise visits in college, to participating in my entire summer training program with me, to all our outdoor hiking and camping adventures, to welcoming Patrick into the family when he first met him.”

She went on, “I am my daddy’s little girl in every sense of the phrase–  his first born and the last to get married.”  His face says it all, such a beautiful and very sweet photograph…

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Katie elaborated, “It was an emotional moment… I was ecstatic because I was walking toward Patrick, but sad because it wouldn’t just be my daddy and me against the world anymore.”

I think that both of that can be seen as they walk through a clearing in the woods together towards Patrick.

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This next photograph speaks volumes of Patrick– first off you can see him fully engrossed and lost in the moment as he watches his beautiful bride approaching, but you also see the two men he has chosen to have at his side during his wedding day.

Jose (the groom I photographed a few years ago) is the officiant and Patrick’s father is in the place of honor as his best man.

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I really like the interaction here– it is especially apparent when you know all of the interconnected relationships involved…

Katie smiles at Jose, her wedding officiant and soon-to-be brother-in-law.  Patrick hugs Katie’s father as his own father looks on standing in a place of honor.  What a moment!

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Katie shared, “Our favorite part of our wedding day was staring into each other’s eyes while holding hands and being in our own little world, fully in the moment together.”

She may be reffering to a time earlier in the day while we were exploring the property together, or it may have been here.  She looks very happy here, so I’ll go with that for now :).

I focused on Katie’s expression but like how you can see her bridesmaids blurred but visible in the background.  I like how one of Patrick’s sisters is holding her child.  It gives you a feel for the relaxed family atmosphere that Patrick and Katie created on their wedding day.

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When we initially talked about the ceremony site, Katie shared that it would be in a clearing in the woods beside a pond and beneath the boughs of an immense tree.  I sought out to capture it all!

I used an extremely wide angle lens to capture the entire tree in one frame.  I like how the image itself is framed by the branches of nearby trees and if you look closely you can see the pond behind them.

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I try my best to get several different perspectives of the ceremony.

I move around a lot yet  try my best to be quiet, respectful– I don’t stay in any one place for too long.  I have been told by several officiants and couples that I’m a ninja, haha!  I also have a range of lenses that allow me to stand relatively far away, but capture close-up images.

Here is a photo similar to the one of Katie smiling, lost in Patrick’s eyes…

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I like this laugh-out loud moment during the ceremony!  Jose went out of his way to gather personal stories and weave them into the ceremony, even interviewing Katie and Patrick’s parents.

I like the symmetry of this photo and the way that Katie’s sister and Patrick’s father flank either side of the photograph and seem to understand Jose’s reference as well!

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The big moment!  I like how you can see five hands in this photo– they form a diagonal line from the top left to bottom right corner of the photo and draw your eyes from the wedding officiant’s hand to Katie sliding on Patrick’s ring to Patrick delicately grasping Katie’s ring, ready to slide it on her finger!

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Husband and wife…

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Katie and Patrick really prioritized spending quality time together on their wedding day and set aside time alone at the beginning of the day during the first look and some more again as the sunset following their wedding ceremony.  It gave them time to stop and smell the roses and take it all in.

Katie shared, “We absolutely love the outdoors so having a chance to celebrate our whole day in nature was an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up.”

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Katie reminisced while simultaneously thinking of the future– “Our relationship thrived during grad school, which was one of the most stressful times in either of our lives, so I know we will be able to make it through any future challenge.”

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It was getting dark, and I wanted to keep the soft, organic look for their farm wedding.  I also wanted to show their fun, active lifestyle and the movement of Katie’s dress.  All of those elements came together for me in this photo.  I used a slow shutter speed and panned along with the couple as they walked  through the field.

I like the depth of the image with tall grasses as they wave in the wind in the foreground, while streaks of high-contrast golden light create visual interest from my open shutter.   I also like the way Katie and Patrick are in focus as her flowing dress is caught by the wind.

It is a tricky shot to get, but they were comfortable, had the time and were up for anything and so was I, the result was some pretty unique imagery…

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Using the vanishing light, I caught one last romantic image.

I had to really max-out camera’s capabilities, but it worked!

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Katie shared, “This is the 100th year celebration of the National Parks and they are running a campaign called #FindYourPark. Glacier National Park is our favorite one we have been to with Arches as a close second. The other parks we have been to include: Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Grand Teton, Badlands, Yosemite, Sequoia, Redwoods, Crater Lake, and Joshua Tree.”

Patrick was actually the one who created the concept for thier table numbers.  Katie explained, “Patrick came up with the brilliant idea to name our tables after parks and he wrote the blurbs about us in each one. Then, he shared his idea to have our sign for the name cards say FIND YOUR PARK, which I thought was genius and perfectly described us and our love of the outdoors.”

Here are two of their National Park table numbers, I am blogging the two that are their favorite– Glacier and Arches.  Great photography skills, guys– wow!

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During cocktail hour, guests enjoyed time together playing yard games.  Patrick’s cousin made them and they are amazing!  Here one of their flower girls gets a high five for her corn-hole success!

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There were so many great moments during their reception that it was hard to narrow it down.

Patrick’s mom shared that whenever she heard Tim McGraw’s song “Humble and Kind” on the radio, it makes her think of Patrick and the way he sets out to live his life.  A week later, Patrick’s family joined him in Nashville and explored the city while Katie and Patrick’s sisters participated in the Bachelorette party.

Patrick shared, “We were eating breakfast at the hotel when NPR set up for a live recording and brought in Lori McKenna for an interview and live music. We wondered who this was, so we quickly Googled her to find out that she was one of the writers of Humble and Kind! We were able to get a picture with her and talk to her about her family roots that inspired her to write the song, which gives it even more meaning than we ever expected.

I used the string-lights to create bokeh and add some magic and visual interest to the photos.

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Several touching speeches were given, the one that Norman, Patrick’s father, gave particularly hit home for him.

“My father pushed me in sports and in academics but also was always there to show me a good time. He has supported me in every one of my endeavors, whether simple or crazy. His speech brought up a lot of memories from my past and the way he described them, while it was comical in nature, touched me emotionally. The way he spoke about Katie and hearing his side of our story (how I ditched him for a date) made me laugh but also took me right back to our first week together on the beach in California where we fell in love.”

Time to get the party started– Katie’s bridesmaids were among the first to hit the dance floor!

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I love the expressiveness of their hands in this photo!

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Another cute kid photo, I couldn’t resist!  It shows you how genuine and down-to-earth the groomsmen were.   This groomsman extended himself so far to reach out to this little man and give him a high five.

I braced myself to capture him toppling over or splitting his pants haha, neither of which happened but either of which had potential to be quite comical!

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Patrick said, “I have always been very close with my grandmom, Rita. One of the reasons we chose to have a local wedding was so that she would be able to make it (and so that all my sisters and their babies could make it too!)”

He continued, “She has been in and out of the hospital over the past few years and is now living in a nursing home. I was so grateful that she was able to make it to the wedding and I was so thankful that she was able to dance with me, standing up from her wheelchair, because it meant so much to both of us and to all of the family.”

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Photographers reading this blog post may have caught this earlier– the sun was setting and I didn’t silhouette the couple, despite the fact that I love silhouettes.  I did capture one, but I wanted to save it for the end as it is a great “happily ever after” moment!

Being surrounded by forest and mountains, it was incredibly difficult to silhouette Katie and Patrick against the sky, I could barely manage it with a wide lens and the lens distortion bugged me.  As I pondered my options I was well aware that the vibrant colors of sunset were quickly fading.  I really thought creatively with this one– I had to be quick.

I was able to silhouette their reflections in the pond without having to deal with the mountains or forests blocking the light behind them while also being able to avoid the distortion created by a wide lens quick enough to manage to capture those rich blue and gold hues which wouldn’t last if changing locations.  If you look closely you can see some of the ripples in the water, the the water was quite still where Katie and Patrick stood.

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Katie and Patrick, thank you so much for reaching out to me to photograph your wedding!  You were a pleasure to work with and it was such a joy for me to get to see the O’Rourke family again!   This time with so many more members!!!  I am so excited to hear what you think of these photos!  Feel free to comment here on the blog and/or on Facebook & share away!

A York PA Autumn Wedding Engagement: Kayla & Mike

A romantic, autumn orchard engagement for a loving, free-spirited couple…

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Mike and Kayla love the fall– from the weather to the warm drinks and scary movies, it is one of the things they bonded over during the beginning of their relationship.

They chose Flinchbaugh’s Orchard for their engagement photography session because it was the perfect autumn location and a place that has warm family memories as well.

Kayla & Mike contacted me looking for wedding and engagement photographs that would be fun, colorful, and full of life and spirit…

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Kayla received devastating news in 2013, she had cancer in her abdomen…

Even though they were “just friends” at the time, Mike was there for her through every hospitalization.  He supported her then and continues to do so now, as her fiance.

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Mike had planned a Christmas proposal for Kayla, but those plans abruptly changed when she was hospitalized in the ICU.  Mike spent every night in the hospital by her side for the entire week.   As soon as she regained her strength in January, Mike told her he wanted to take her out.  She got all dressed up, despite the pic line in her arm.  She didn’t suspect a thing…

Mike drove Kayla to a fantastic restaurant where he asked her how long they had known each other, it had been seven years since he doodled little dinosaurs in her  microbiology notebook.  He said, “Seven years, that’s quite some time… I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives has in store for us.”  He opened the box and her jaw dropped.  “Oh my gosh!!!  Are you sure?!?!?” she asked.  He said, “Yes, I am sure.”  The whole restaurant burst into applause.

Here is his little reenactment…  what a beautiful story!!!

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Kayla shared that they are really open and honest with each other and that avoid a lot of pitfalls by making communication a priority.

They are not afraid to show anything, even their dorky sides to one another.  I used a little “forced perspective” to make them both look like “pumpkin heads,” haha!

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While I love capturing creative images that are unique, I also really enjoy photographing more traditional portraits as well.  I like how close they are in this next image, you can also see how genuinely happy they are and it just feels natural.

I chose a location with beautiful lighting that brought out the color of their eyes creating a soft, smooth background:

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Speaking of their spontaneity, let me show you how they walked down this path– they were just walking, smiling side by side for a moment, then Kayla pulled Mike, he played along and spun her around…

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He spun her a few more times and then dipped her back.  I like the soft light, the tiny colorful orbs of  light and their body language and connection– wow!!!

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Both of these photos feel ethereal and other-worldly.  I love the way that you can see Mike’s strength here as he holds her up and fully supports her.

It captures that part of their relationship so well!  Mike, a man of few words noted, “I’m all in.”

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Back on the ground, surrounded by hay-bales I captured a portrait of them that is more natural and relaxed, I think you really get a feel for their lifestyle and love…

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They climbed the hay bales and I climbed onto a wagon, haha.  This gave me another creative perspective of the orchard.

The hay bales, orchard and farm house were all visible, but I focused my lens on Kayla and Mike and how happy they are in each others’ arms…

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At the end of the night I wanted to try something a little creative/unique.  I wanted to illuminate the corn field but leave them dark and shadowy, just silhouettes.

It was a nod to their love of scary movies and also fits the autumn theme so well….

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Kayla and Mike, your love for each other is very apparent and it was such a pleasure to spend an evening with you and watch as you lived life and enjoyed the little things.

Your story is beautiful, inspiring, and it has been a privilege working with you two and capturing it!  If you haven’t seen enough of Kayla & Mike, checkout the soccer portion of their engagement session!

York PA Wedding Engagement Photographers: Kayla & Mike

A surprise soccer engagement for a groom that supported his bride through her battle with Cancer…

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Kayla received devastating news in 2013, she had lymphoma in her abdomen.  While Kayla and Mike were “just friends” at the time, he was there for her through every hospitalization, and now that they are in an official relationship (and engaged!) he continues to be incredibly supportive.

Kayla wanted to do something special for Mike, and while she had her heart set on fall engagement photos at an orchard (more on that soon), she knew that US Soccer was totally Mike’s passion and that it was something unique that they enjoyed together.

She went all out– surprising him with personalized jerseys and shoes.  He was on cloud 9!  I love the detail and vibrant colors in this next photo that shows off their team spirit and fan gear:

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Kayla shared that she and Mike fell in love with my creative, personalized approach to photography after her mom had suggested that they check out my work.  They especially liked the way I tell a couple’s unique love story in images and words.

They wanted me to capture the deep love that they have for each other and  show their spontaneous sides, with photographs that are full of fun, life and spirit.  😉

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Mike played soccer throughout school and while he felt like we was pretty rusty, I caught some of his moves in camera and I must say, I have *never* been able to do anything like that with a soccer ball!

I had them face off and Kayla did manage to score on him once, haaaaa love this next photo as it shows his downtrodden expression and her victory dance!   Adorable!

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Kayla shared that there are things in life that you have to take seriously (her situation with her health for example), but when life doesn’t demand seriousness, she’s a firm believer in having fun, laughing it off, loving and living.  🙂

Kayla and Mike overlook the little things, enjoying the time that they have together.  They are spontaneous, playful and just a whole lot of fun to be around.

This has to be one of my favorite photographs from the shoot– Mike picked Kayla up and spun her around, both of them laughing, it was just a really sweet moment.  I used a slow shutter speed to capture their positive energy:

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Kayla was introduced to soccer when she and Mike started dating and she said that she was blown away by her first soccer game.

She was most impressed with the international soccer community and how they put their differences aside for the love of the game, she found it to be such a beautiful thing!

Something even more rewarding for Kayla at a game is seeing how happy Mike is– seeing him happy makes her happy.  🙂

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While I love capturing spontaneous, candid images, there is something to be said about having a couple of high-quality, professional portraits as well.

I wanted to show their authentic smiles, soccer jerseys and engagement ring while capturing them in great light from a flattering angle.  I focused my lens of the happy couple and allowed the background to blur into creamy greeness…

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OK, enough seriousness, back to that love story and all of that sweet emotion!

Kayla and Mike met in college.  He sat next to her and would sometimes flirt a little by drawing a dinosaur in her notebook in class.

He still draws them now, as a little love note, sometimes on their calendar at home, sometimes on on random pieces of paper.   😉

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Kayla had her jersey personalized with the last name she will be changing to in the near future.  She said she can imagine them wearing the gear going to USA soccer matches in the future, when she is Mrs. Kapusta.

This photo focuses on her new last name and also shows their natural affection…

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The sun began to set and I wanted to capture a silhouette against the vibrant sky– the purple and orange tones were quite amazing.

Mike (the guy with zero soccer ability, haha) was able to head the ball in the near dark, lol!  I like the color  and the high-contrast action captured in this next photograph.

I think the ball almost looks like a moon, in some sort of crazy eclipse, but the real moon is that tiny bit of light shining over Kayla’s head :).

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The color of the setting sun intensified and I photographed a more intimate image of Kayla and Mike at close range.

I think that you get a real sense of the love and deep respect that they share for one another.

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Kayla and Mike, I hope you enjoy this soccer blog post!  I hope that I was able to capture your loving, supportive, playful relationship and your now combined interest in US Soccer!

You have more soccer photos coming soon, then a blog post featuring your orchard portion of the engagement session soon.  🙂   I can’t wait to hear what you think!!!

Reeds at Shelter Haven Wedding Photographers: Allie & Tim

A sweet, nautical wedding on the bay of Stone Harbor…

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Allie was first introduced to my work by her wedding venue, The Reeds at Shelter Haven in Stone Harbor.   She liked how all of my couples looked very natural and at ease, and said that she was able to experience that first hand during her own Boat House Row engagement session in Philadelphia and again on the wedding day.  I think that level of natural comfort can be seen in the image above.

She said she was impressed by my crisp, bright photography and my use of different photographic styles.  She liked how I was able to create an editorially inspired group photo and pose the bridal party as if they were in a magazine spread, and then also capture more emotional, artistic images, too.  The next image has a more artistic feel.

I captured her reflection off of the artwork in her bedroom– it showed umbrellas (which I thought gave a little nod to the beach vibe of her wedding) and I liked the lines that it created and how they meshed with the lines of the blinds in her window…

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Allie absolutely loved her dress.  It was Carrie by Hayley Paige.  In the photo below you can see the crystal straps, and draped, sweetheart bodice.

It was perfect for her and she said she was so comfortable and happy to wear it.

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Family is very important to Allie.  She and Tim chose The Reeds because of having fond memories of summers at the shore with Allie’s family.  They enjoyed relaxing at her parent’s beach house and being on the bay.

Allie’s wedding day preparations began at her parent’s beach house.  Here her parents are seeing her as a bride for the first time– you can see how close they are:

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The architecture of their beach house is lovely, I like this aerial perspective of the winding stair.  I think the lines of the stairs are interesting and I like the way her white dress pops against the dark wood.

I also like how you are able to see some of the crystal detailing on Allie’s veil and keyhole back of her dress.  It also offers and interesting view of her bouquet….

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Here is her reveal to the bridesmaids.  I included Allie’s arm and part of her dress in the frame to help to tell the story.  You can see that she is turning the corner and all of her girls have such fantastic reaction to seeing her in her wedding gown!

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Allie said that selecting her sister as her maid of honor was an obvious choice.  “When I went to college in Baltimore and Kim was also living in Baltimore, as well, we became more like friends than sisters.  I know that she will always be there for me.”

Here you can see a watercolor portrait of Allie and her sister as children.  I wanted to emphasize the portrait and show that it wasn’t just something that happened to be in the background.  I used a shallow depth of field and focused on the portrait while allowing the sisters to be soft, framing the painting in the foreground.

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Allie chose a navy and coral color scheme as she wanted a preppy, nautical look that was fun and vibrant.  The ladies bouquets are wrapped and navy and white striped ribbon.

I think that vibrant, fun feeling really comes across in this next photo– the vibrant green lawn and landscaping in the background while the ladies laugh as Allie’s veil is caught by the wind.

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Again the wind was really on our side as I photographed Allie’s bridal portrait in front of her parent’s house just before we left for the Reeds.

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As we arrived at The Reeds I noticed several seagulls flying in formation, checking out activity on the deck that overlooked the bay…

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Allie and Tim chose to have a first look.  This allowed them to be able to enjoy cocktail hour with all of their weddings guests and to take their time and enjoy the venue together without missing the reception.

They stood on the deck of The Reeds for their first look.  Tim had his eyes covered and was so happy to see his bride-to-be!  He said, “When I first saw her, I thought she looked beautiful!”

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The bridesmaids didn’t want to miss the moment and viewed it all from the balcony of their suite– here they are waving from above, haha…

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Tim shared, “One of the many things that made me fall in love with Allie was how much she loved her family, and how much it meant to her to also love my family and friends. She has told me about how nervous she was the first time she met my parents, and it was because she really cared. A few nights before Allie met my parents, she spoke to my brother on the phone. Brian said, even over the phone you could tell how much she wanted to make a good first impression and how much Allie cared for me as well.”

I think you can really see the affection that they have for each other here and you can also get a feel for how big Allie’s heart is.  I like the natural feel of this photograph and the way that the wind has captured a single strand of Allie’s hair. It just feels right.

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While I love to capture more candid moments like the ones above, I also enjoy traditional portraiture as well.

Here you can see genuine smiles, flattering poses and the docks, bay and beach houses subtly in the background giving a sense of location.

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Here Allie laughs as Tim kisses her hand.  Tim’s manners were one of the first personality traits that caught her eye.  She shared, “I knew on our first date that he would be my husband, I just knew. He was such a gentlemen!”

She was really impressed with his kindness and how well-mannered he was…  yes, this is another reflection 🙂

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Tim and Allie compliment each other well.  They are both caring, supportive, family-focused people.  I think their body language conveys much of that care and support in the next photograph.

Allie shared, “We are looking forward to so many years of anniversaries, and raising children together some day.”

I like the bright, natural lighting in this photo– for me it conveys purity.  I also like how the light fixtures in the background provide a little sparkle and seem more modern and futuristic.  😉

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Allie had mentioned enjoying the Vogue/Vanity fair inspired group photos that she had seen on my website.  I created one for her using the lobby of The Reeds at Shelter Haven.

The bridal party was great to work with– they were all on-the-ball and ready to go, even Allie’s little nephews were part of the portrait!  If you haven’t heard about their involvement in the proposal, you might want to check out their engagement story, here.

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Allie & Tim’s ceremony was on the lawn on the Reeds.  They loved the open-air ceremony and reception concept.  This is a wide, aerial view of the wedding processional.  You can see the wedding guests, lawn, bay and houses…

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Allie shared, “For both of us our favorite part of our wedding was probably our ceremony. Our philosophy throughout the wedding planning process was that as long as our ceremony went well, the rest would be icing on the cake. Our ceremony really meant a lot to us as it was the time in which we actually got married and became officially a Mr. and Mrs. before God, our family and friends. Not to say that the rest of our wedding wasn’t great (it was!!), but as a couple we were looking forward to the ceremony and were ready to be Mr. & Mrs. Timothy Pacek.”

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I love this next scene– from the happy couple surrounded by thier closest friends and family, to the background and wow– the florals!!!

Manic Botanic created amazing floral arrangements throughout the day.  The creativity and uniqueness of these pieces, and the way they were tailored specifically for Allie’s event conveying that bright, preppy nautical feeling really impressed me, and I see a ton of floral arrangements.  😉

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Throughout the heartfelt ceremony, Allie’s nephew continued waving his “here comes the bride” sign.  He was adorable and it was so sweet to see his little hand pop up and wave the sign from time to time.

Here you can see Allie’s mother noticing him, too.  Look at that little hand!  (I certainly have photos of him processing down the aisle as well, but this moment was truly unique and made my “highlight reel”) 😉

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I love the elegance and simplicity of this next image.  As Allie and Tim listen to their reading, they hold hands.

Their hands stand out, rim-lit by the sunlight– they are symmetrically balanced, flanked by the florals and you can also get a closer look at some of the intricate detailing on Allie’s wedding gown while also seeing a vague outline of some of the beach houses in the background.

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The ring exchange– again so classic, elegant, simple and beautiful.  I  kept her ring and bracelet (showing a heart shaped lock) in sharp focus.  You get a feel for the intimacy and purity of this timeless moment.

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Man and wife…

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Large navy blue pom-pom balls were tossed as the bride and groom recessed down the aisle.  It was a fun gesture that was so celebratory, fitting and joyful.  Watch out, Tim!

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Speaking of celebrations, here is a unique perspective of Tim and his groomsmen toasting on the deck…

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Allie & Tim’s preppy nautical theme was elegantly executed using navy and white stripes, rope and pops of coral.

They cleverly used *beach tags* as place cards, having them personalized for the event.  The reception centerpieces looked as if the flowers were anchored in the sand by a knotted rope and surrounded by coral.

Again, unbelievable work by Manic Botanic!

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I think I caught Tim wiping a tear from his eye during the first dance.  I focused on his hand and love the way you are able to see his wedding band and Allie’s dress sparkling.

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The best man’s speech was a little long, haha…

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Allie’s dance with her father was very special.  I really like the expression on his face and the sparkling bokeh in the background…

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Allie shared that not only was her family amazing, but she also really was looking forward to having wonderful “in-laws.”   She said, “Tim’s family was always so welcoming, that I felt like a Pacek, long before I actually was Mrs. Pacek.  It made our love that much sweeter knowing that I would be a part of his loving family.”

Tim surprised his mother by having the band play “Wind Beneath My Wings” for their mother-son dance.  She used to sing it to him when he was a baby.  This thought touched her very deeply…

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Tim also had a special song picked out for the cake cutting, “Sugar” by Maroon 5.  Whenever they heard the song, Tim would pretend to smash cake in Allie’s face, haha.   So Jen, Tim’s sister, offered to help protect Allie.  She put together a whole kit of things– goggles, a poncho, etc.

Allie recalled, “I was definitely expecting a cake-smash, but, in true Tim fashion, he didn’t smash cake in my face when we cut the cake.  He did however put a little bit of cake on my cheek when we got back to our seats and no one was looking.”  😉

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The Tribecca Grand Band provided entertainment for the night and was phenomenal, so talented!!!  They could play anything and really had everyone on their feet.

Allie mentioned, “Everyone just loved the band. My favorite moment was when the DJ started rapping to Beyonce, it was so unexpected and fun.”

I have several photos of band members, but this one is really unique, I love the vibrant colors and lighting it really gives the impression that he is singing something that is full of soul…

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To say that people enjoyed the reception would be a huge understatement…

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It was very important to Allie to have time to appreciate the sunset and get a few minutes alone with Tim as the sun set on their wedding day.

While it was cloudy most of the day, there was a vibrant strip of sky just at the edge of the horizon.

I liked the unique look of the sky and the gulls dipping down low in the bay.  Here they are silhouetted against the reflection of the orange sky.

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Allie and Tim, It was such a pleasure to work with you and your families and friends during this whole process, from the engagement session to planning to the wedding photos, and we still have albums to go :).

I hope that these wedding photos captured the love, joy and heartfelt emotion of your friends and family members.  I hope that they are just the sort of unique, crisp, bright, vibrant, stylistically eclectic photographs that you were hoping for.  These are just a few of my favorites, there are hundreds more coming soon!

I’m so excited to hear what you think!

 

F a c e b o o k