Rhinehart Photography bio picture
  • Welcome to my blog!

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

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

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

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

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

LVC wedding photographers: Brianna & Mike

A colorful, “autumn fairytale” wedding for two incredible Lebanon Valley College grads…


Brianna & Mike reached out to me looking for vibrant, crisp, bright wedding photos.  They wanted a pair of  innovative photographers who would capture a mix of creative and traditional photos while photographing all the details.

We  notice the little things and opened with a photo of their wedding rings.   The background is actually leaves from outside of the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey.  The leaves bring in the autumn feeling while the sparkling diamond ring says “fairytale.” 😉

I wanted to capture the vibrant yellow leaves of a tree just outside of the hotel.  Here Brianna and her make-up artist are silhouetted at the end of the long hallway.  I like the leading lines and yellow lighting on the wall.  Patricia Solis was fantastic!    She was professional, timely and wait until you see her work, just stunning!


Brianna loves bling, so I went for a very dramatic look in this next photo utilizing light and background to really make her jewelry stand out and sparkle…


With her hair and make-up complete, it was time for her to put on the dress, but her dress had to go over her head, potentially effecting her hair and make-up…

It was a moment of team-work, all of the ladies played their part to make sure Brianna made it though unscathed!

I like this photo as you can see everyone helping her and her look of concentration, haha…


Brianna’s mom was at her side throughout the wedding day, always ready to help.

Brianna shared, “My mom and I are fantastic friends and she and I had so much fun planning the wedding. She worked hours upon hours on the wedding and would stay up until 2 am researching…. She and I shared the exact same vision. I cannot thank her enough for everything she did to give us the wedding of our dreams.”

You can see how happy she is helping Brianna with her earrings…


Brianna had mentioned, “I was looking for a photographers whose photos were so crisp that you could perfectly see every detail.”  I think both of these fit the bill :).

I was overjoyed with the intense sunlight that day.  That combined with the dark walls of the Sheraton really gave me an amazing work-space.


Mike shared, “Brianna is caring and very supportive of me. She is cute, smart and funny.  She is truly my best friend.”

Brianna, you are stunning…


Brianna’s wedding gown was from Exclusively You in Bloomsburg.  She mentioned that the bridal boutique made her feel like a princess each time she visited and created a custom train for her that was over six feet long!


Since Brianna & Mike met on campus at Lebanon Valley College, they knew they wanted their photos and the ceremony to be on campus.  The fall foliage was absolutely amazing and the royal blue dresses really popped against the rainbow of vibrant leaves.


The majority of the bridesmaids met Brianna at LVC, so it was really special to have them all on campus together again!

Brianna’s mom checked the weather the weekend before and realized that the temperature was supposed to drop.  She purchased shawls for all of the women, which they gladly wore :).

Here one of Brianna’s bridesmaids holds her bouquet of ivory and burnt orange roses…


While Brianna had her heart set on a autumn fairy tale wedding from the start, she wanted to incorporate Michael’s interests as well.  He loves boating and spent lots of time at the lake, so the blue color palette was a nod to all things nautical.  You will see more at the reception as well.


Speaking of Michael.  It is worth mentioning that this man is intelligent, kind and has a heart of gold.

He shared, “I loved Brianna’s note… my favorite line was ‘I love you to the lake and back infinity times.’ I also had written ‘I love you to the lake and back’ in my note to her so that was really special.”

Here he reads Brianna’s letter– you can almost feel his emotion…


Michael shares a very close bond with his father.  He coached Mike’s football and baseball teams and has taken him skiing ever since Michael was 18 months old!

I think the look in their eyes says it all…


Family is extremely important to Michael and Brianna.  It is one of the reasons they work so well together as a couple.

Family portraits are generally something that we provide for every couple.  I don’t often post them on my blog, as the blog is more of a “highlight reel” of sorts,  but I thought it would be nice to post this one of Michael’s family…


While Michael was pretty laid-back about the wedding and planning process as a whole, he did mention one thing being very important to him– getting photos with his groomsmen on the LVC field.

Michael played football for LVC and the majority of the bridal party attended Lebanon Valley College as well.  Michael obtained special permission– here they are sitting in the stands…


Lined up on the 50 yard line…


showing off their socks…


In a huddle…


Mike shared that is favorite football memory was winning the game against Albright and participating in “The March to Kreiderheim.”

Haha, a fun reflection in Mike’s glasses…  Kris did a great job on these!!!


The ceremony was held in Miller Chapel on campus at LVC.  Live music really set the stage as guests arrived.


Brianna was escorted down the aisle by her father.

I love candid photos that capture the moment– here you can see guests’ reactions…


Michael shared that he was incredibly happy watching Brianna walk down the aisle towards him.  He said that she was absolutely stunning and just as beautiful as he had imagined…


From a photographic perspective, I really like having a balcony to work with– it is almost like giving me the ability to hover during a wedding ;).

I move a lot during a wedding day, I have been called a ninja haha.   I like to offer different perspectives on the same scene.

For example, I was standing at the front of the church near Michael as Brianna walked towards him, then moved to the balcony for this photograph:


Here I am close to the bride and groom again as they exchange vows.  I know this photo looks like I was standing a foot away from them, but I was actually using a telephoto lens and was standing in the aisle several rows back from the altar…


Michael shared that he is very close with his grandparents and that he and Brianna go to their house weekly.

They typically meet on Thursday for “pasta night” when they all get together and eat pasta with homemade sauce and meatballs.  🙂

All day, I keep an eye out for anything interesting.  Here Michael’s grandmother wipes a tear from her eye during the ceremony.


The candelabras were from Brianna’s Mom and Dad’s wedding.  Brianna’s grandparents restored them so that they could be used for Brianna’s wedding, too!

The kiss…


Brianna shared, “Leaving the church as husband and wife was a long time coming.  I was so excited to call Michael my husband!”

Here is their ribbon send off, I was able to get all of Miller Chapel in the photograph:


It was very windy (25 mph+) but Brianna braved the wind and cold to explore LVC with Michael.  I compensated by shooting more frames than I usually would.  There would be a shot where the veil was in front of her face, straight up in the air and a perfect on like the show below where it is elegantly blowing behind her.

The peace garden was a very sentimental place for Brianna & Michael and the place where they chose to capture the majority of their wedding photos.  It was where they met for Brianna’s Alpha Phi Omega formals and it just seemed fitting to be there on their wedding day.


Brianna shared that she fell for Michael because he is loving, supportive and has a great work ethic.

She explained that they balance each other out and have really grown throughout their relationship together.

I thought about the “fall fairytale” theme throughout the day and did my best to capture that aesthetic.


Brianna shared, “Lisa really kept our theme in mind– she even climbed a tree to get a birds-eye view of us for our portraits (holding a yoga pose) which absolutely exceeded my expectations!”

It was something that the videographer, Matt Stambaugh and a few of the groomsmen helped me with, haha.   It was fun and I think this shot was totally worth it…


I was able to photograph so many colorful leaves from above and slowed down the shutter of my camera to capture the motion of a few leaves…

I showed Brianna the back of my camera and she was like, “Wow!  Yes!  This!”  haha…


Here is a more traditional photo of the whole bridal party…


And a fun one…


Speaking of fun, it is time for me to introduce all of you to Joey.  He has been Mike’s best friend since kindergarten and is known for his crazy, fun, unpredictable behavior.  He did not disappoint!

I was stilling at the far end of the party bus, as bridesmaids pored champagne and saw Joey leap and captured this photograph a split second later!

It is fun to see everyone’s reactions.  I was using a wide angle lens and the angle really makes it look like he is popping out of the photo.


Brianna & Mike’s cake was beautiful and created by Sweet Confections Cakes of Harrisburg.

If that name sounds familiar to you, it is probably because they were just on Halloween Wars on the Food Network, which aired a couple of weeks prior to Brianna & Mike’s wedding.

While a cake shot is pretty standard, the shadow of this cake caught my eye…


The speeches were amazing and it was really the only time Brianna cried all day.   Brianna mentioned, “My dad’s speech made me cry… it was a perfect mix of funny and sweet/serious.”


Brianna’s sisters were her maids of honor.  They both gave excellent speeches.  One of her sisters created a video that interviewed key people, while the other had written her speech a year in advance and memorized it for the wedding day.  Both were very emotional.


Brianna shared, “Mike’s brothers speech was exactly what he was expecting. It was very funny and one of the greatest, best man speeches we have ever heard!!”

Everyone gave their speeches from the dance floor, which really allowed me to play with light and color and give all of them an interesting “look.”


Brianna wanted a unique surprise for the reception at the Harrisburg Hershey Sheraton.  She had quite a few tricks up her sleeve, but the most visually stunning was probably her bananas foster flambe.

It was created in front of all of the wedding guests as a form of entertainment, something I have seen in New York and New Jersey, but this was a first for me in Pennsylvania… wow!!!


Mike’s love of football was incorporated into his garter toss.  He actually put the garter on a football and threw it into the crowd of eligible bachelors…


Funny, the couple to catch the bouquet and garter were already an item!  I have several (kind of hilarious) photos of the garter going on, but will leave you in suspense and show you a show of them on the dance floor…


I told you Brianna’s mom is her best friend– I think that really comes across here…


The party was high-energy and everyone had a blast.  Brianna shared, “Our favorite part of the wedding day aside from seeing each other at the altar, was dancing with our friends and family at the reception.”


Brianna shared, “At the end of it all, we are looking forward to simple married life– cooking dinners together, setting up our new apartment, taking time to travel & hang out with family and friends, and starting a family.”

You can’t have a fairytale without a happily ever after moment, there were so many throughout the day, but this was probably “the moment” that will be the perfect last page to their wedding album…


Brianna & Michael, thank you for choosing me to photograph your wedding day.  I wish you all the very best and cannot wait to hear your thoughts on these photos!!!

If you haven’t seen enough of this adorable couple, you may want to check out their LVC engagement photography blog here.

Frederick Wedding Photographers: Brittany & Eric at Springfield Manor

Charming, rustic & romantic– this church wedding and barn reception united a family focused couple, ready to revisit their country roots and begin a family of their own…


Brittany has been following my work for years, even before she met Eric.  Her friends teased her that she had her perfect wedding planned, now she just had to meet the guy ;).   I have to say that her contact form was one of the most surprising I have received to date as the referral listed Kiersten, my 6 year old daughter, who was now 10– mind blown!!!

Brittany shared, “Kiersten was one of my first graders during student teaching. It wasn’t until I graduated and became friends with Lisa on Facebook that I realized she was a “real photographer” (not that I doubted Kiersten, haha) as well as an incredible, award-winning photographer with the most original style I’d ever seen. So, I knew long before I met Eric that she would be the one to shoot my wedding one day. I followed her posts for years and eventually, once Eric and I had been together for a good amount of time, I showed her work to him. He was blown away just as I was.”


They wanted photos that were unique and would capture people’s emotion and the beautiful settings and details from the wedding day.   Brittany has a great eye for detail and I loved her decor selections, especially those at the reception and wow, the flowers!

Brittany dressed in the church nursery.  It was filled with baby toys, a diaper changing station etc.  She said that it wasn’t much to work with but I assured her not to worry.  I placed her bouquet on top of a radiator and utilized the natural, window light…


Brittany chose gray and a deep eggplant purple for the color scheme and had the girl’s dressed hemmed to show off their boots…


While you get a feel for the rustic barn reception at Springfield Manor in Thurmont Maryland and the purple color scheme in the image of the ladies, you get a feel for the more traditional church setting and see how nicely the men’s tuxes transition there as well.

The church is stunning– Kris was able to get the entire steeple in this image while still showing the groomsmen.  This shot will look awesome enlarged in your wedding album, guys!


Here is a closer perspective on all of the men on the steps of Zion Lutheran.  Eric shared that it was really only his closest friends and family that were in his bridal party.


These dapper gentlemen are Brittany’s nephews.  Brittany said while she doesn’t remember an exact moment when she knew that she’d marry Eric, seeing him with her nephews really stands out to her as a time when she realized what a great father he’d be.

There wasn’t any light in the back corner of the nursery where there was enough room for her to dress, so I made my own, using radio triggered flashes.

I loved the detail of her dress and really wanted to show off the intricate lace embroidery.  The gown was the second one that she tried on at TLC Bridal Boutique in Frederick, Maryland.


About twenty minutes before the ceremony began, tensions were running high.  Brittany & Eric’s faith seemed to be important to  them and I sensed that it would be a great time for her to pray.  It was technically her bridal portrait time, but I just asked her what she thought of the idea.

Brittany shared, “I can’t express the feeling I got when she asked me this but I gladly walked up the steps and took a seat in front of one of the church’s stained glass windows. I was able to pray for continued comfort and peace for Eric and I throughout our day, that we would be able to savor every moment, and that we would be able to feel God’s presence. It took everything in me to hold back tears, I really felt like the whole thing happened for a reason.”


I gave Brittany some space and actually photographed her from outside of the church for the most part.  The next image shows Brittany through the church window.

All of the other window panes reflect Middletown Maryland, the home of Zion Lutheran Church, but Brittany is visible because she is against the reflection of the sky.


Gift giving is one of Brittany’s favorite things.  Eric’s gift to her was simple and touched her deeply.  Here she wipes a tear from her eye.  The ceremony is just about to start…

Brittany’s father escorted her down the aisle.  The same exact aisle that Brittany’s mother had walked down a little over thirty years before.  It was an emotional moment for everyone involved.

Kris photographed this image from the balcony while I photographed Eric’s reaction to seeing his bride for the first time…


Eric shared, “I remember standing by the alter, nervously waiting for her to come through doors. It seemed like forever before she finally did. She was beautiful! I had so many people come up to me at the end of the service and tell me I had a smile on my face from ear to ear.”  If I’m not mistaken, I think you can even see tears glistening in his eyes…


Brittany’s favorite moment of the day was standing with Eric at the altar listening to the pastor’s sermon that he had prepared for them.  She shared, “Everything about that moment was just so powerful.”


I don’t think that it woudl have been possible for the two of them to be more happy, than to be standing there together.

I like the way that you can also see all of the beautiful ruffles of Brittany’s dress here, too!


Brittany explained, “Eric and I both came from religious families and have grown a lot together through our faith. Although it was challenging to work out the logistics of things, we were set on getting married in a church. Our home church is small so we had to find another one for our ceremony. Ironically, we ended up choosing the church that my parents got married at 30+ years ago!”

This is not photo shopped– can you figure out how I captured this?


Just prior to Brittany & Eric’s Frederick Fair engagement photography session, she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.

She shared, “I don’t talk about it much but the emotion behind my sickness played a huge part in the joy of both of our families on our wedding day.”


Following the ceremony, Brittany asked if I could somehow incorporate one of her parents wedding photos into their own.

She said, “My parents are the best example of a sacrificial, unconditional love and Eric and I often talk about how we hope to emulate their relationship.”

I had them hold the photo and kiss in the background.  It was a sweet moment and notable that the same candelabra and tapestries are in their photos, too!


Eric is polite and humble, a gentleman through and through.  I think this next photo gives you a sense of the gentle way he cares for Brittany.

It also shows her stunning engagement and wedding rings 🙂


I love the architecture of this church and liked this perspective because it really captured the columns and stained glass as well as the happy couple.


Eric shared, “Some of the things that made me fall in love with Britt are her caring ways, her love of family and friends and her beautiful looks :).”

This photo says it all– their love is so tender and pure and a beautiful thing!


He went on, “As soon as we started dating I noticed that she was a loving person who would make a great wife and mother.  I cannot wait for us to start the next chapter in out lives together. Buying a house is important to me, but the thing I am looking forward to the most is starting a family.  Family is what is most important in life.”


As for the venue, they both wanted their wedding to have a rustic, country vibe.  Brittany explained, “We are both from rural areas and intend to get back to those roots to raise our family.”

They were impressed with the Barn at Springfield Manor and the fact that it looked like a barn, but had all the functionality of a ballroom venue (heat, air-conditioning, catering kitchen and sturdy walls and floors etc.)

Here you can see the Springfield Manor Winery, vineyard and Distillery as well as Brittany & Eric– this is another one that will look excellent enlarged for an album or canvas…


Brittany went on, “The barn was incredible and the mountains surrounding it sealed the deal. We knew we wanted a fall wedding and couldn’t wait to see those beautiful, fall colors!!”  Check out this vibrant fall foliage:


While there were parts of the venue that were very well manicured and had more of a country club feel, I chose this rustic, natural country side for the majority of Brittany and Eric wedding portraits.


There is something soft, wild and beautiful about this “stolen moment.”

I shot through the tall grasses framing Brittany and Eric.  It really brings in that rustic, romantic feeling.


Brittany shared that a close second for her was spending quality time with Eric exploring the venue together prior to the reception.  “We were able to take everything in.”

Brittany shared, “Eric is the most genuine, authentic person I’ve ever met…  He is incredibly humble, polite, and just an incredible person.”  She said she feels thankful, honored and grateful to be loved by him.


While I focus on more candid, organic photographs, I also make sure to get traditional portraits as well.  Here Brittany and Eric are smiling for the camera.

I love how genuine their smiles are…


While I have some traditional photos of the bridal party, this one conveys all of their excitement and support for Brittany and Eric and really stands out to me.


I told you that Brittany loves her details, so I went out of my way to capture them in a way that allowed her unique style to show.  I present the rustic boot vase, heehee:


Seriously though, all of her details were spot on and perfectly captured her rustic, romantic aesthetic and purple toned color scheme.

She said, “I have talented friends who helped bring my vision to life.  A close friend of mine created the invitations, programs signs and hand-lettered the purple agate place cards, too.  Another friend made our incredibly delicious cake!”


Here is a closer look at the agate slices– they were so lovely, especially centered on gray linen with the fresh greenery below each.


While leading up to the wedding Brittany and Eric were initially most impressed by the creativity of my work, as the day approached, it was my professionalism that provided them with peace of mind.

Brittany shared, “We felt the utmost sense of comfort that no matter what happened on our big day, she and Kris would make it incredible.”

She went on,  “Up until the day of our wedding, it was calling for rain. Typically, this would set me over the edge in worry, but again, I found reassurance in the fact that they had it under control.”


I like to play with photographic techniques that can capture the feelings of the day.  I used a slow shutter speed to capture these shot on the dance floor…


In this shot I used the opposite technique.  I used a fast shutter to freeze the motion of the brides bouquet in mid-air.


Haahaa her face!!


The garter catcher was a little younger than anticipated…


More dancing and party shenanigans…


A perfect *purple* sunset…


Brittany & Eric. It was an honor and pleasure to photograph your wedding day. I am so gad that Kiersten mentioned me all of those years ago and hope that you love these photos as much as you had hoped all of those years ago when you had started reading my blog!

If you want to see more photos of Brittany and Eric, their engagement blog post which includes their favorite place may interest you.


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!


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…


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.”


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…


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.


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.”


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)…


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


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.”


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.


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


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.


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.


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!”


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!!!


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.


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…


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!


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:


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…



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!


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…


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…


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…


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!


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.”


Showing off her dress and boots…


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.”


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!”


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!


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!


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…


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…


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!


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 :).


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…


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!


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…


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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…


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!


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!


Husband and wife…


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.”


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.”


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…


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

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


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!


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!


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.


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!


I love the expressiveness of their hands in this photo!


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!


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.”


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.


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…


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…


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.


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!!!


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!


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:


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…


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!!!


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.”


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…


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…


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….


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!

[…] to see more of Kayla and Mike– check out their fall engagement session in York at Flinchbaugh’s Apple Orchard or Mike’s surprise Soccer Engagement session at the corresponding […]

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