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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.

Caboose Farm Wedding Photographers: Garrett & Alex

He comes home from work to see that she’s adopted a puppy!  You won’t want to miss this colorful autumn day for this adventurous couple, their jeep and pup at the beautiful Caboose Farm…

Alex shared, “We chose you as a photographer after seeing my cousin’s wedding pictures.  We both loved how you were able to capture moments and emotion and were especially impressed with your ability to take such beautiful photos in the rain!   So many people are worried about it raining on their wedding day, but you made the best of it and captured a magical moment!”

She added, “Layla is a huge part of our lives, if we do something there’s a really good chance she is with us and I’m glad you were up for having us bring her, even if she didn’t cooperate for the camera.”

Aw thank you!  I remember that rain photo, and yes absolutely, I work with whatever!  As a young dog, Layla was constantly on-the-go, but I did grab a few sweet shots with her throughout our time at Caboose Farms, which I’m so excited for you to see.  In this one, it seriously looks like she’s smiling, haha!

Garrett added, “I’d say Lisa’s biggest strength as a photographer is her dedication to get a perfect picture.  She walks through mud and literally climbs trees to grab the shot…”

Alex laughed, “At one point she literally laid down on the dirt with sticks and leaves and I’m pretty sure I accidentally stepped on a stick that poked her in the face… now that’s dedication!”

Haaaa here is the “poked with a stick picture,” I’d do it all over again– check out the yellow birch leaves and white birch trunk, plus a super playful perspective, love it!

Garrett explained, “What I liked about Caboose Farms is it felt like we just belonged there.  It reminded me of our favorite places, the mountains, the cabin, the lake…”

Alex added, “We both love exploring and going on new adventures.  We love being outdoors whether it be hiking, fishing, going to the lake, camping.”

I love to show off a beautiful setting, here you can see the barn and get a peek at the 200-acre space.  Look closely and you can see Alex, Garrett & Layla:

Garrett smiled, “The jeep was my first  ‘adult’ purchase of my life and has taken us to so many new places already. I really liked that you wanted to incorperate it into our engagement photos!”

He went on, “Fall is my favorite time of the year– football, hunting, colder weather and the changing of the leaves, it definitely puts a smile on my face… then add Alex and my jeep, perfect.”

Alex shared, “One of the first things I noticed about Garrett was his personality.  He’s kind of reserved at first, but once he opens up he is absolutely hilarious.  His laugh instantly makes me start laughing, sometimes even more than whatever I thought was originally funny.  The more we hung out, it was clear that we had so much in common.”

She continued, “We have the same goals in life, we appreciate the same values.  When Garrett proposed he said to me “You’ve been there through the best parts of my life and the worst, and you’ve never left.  I want to do the same for you for the rest of our lives.” We really stick by each other no matter what.”

I wanted to layer a few different things in this photo, the fall leaves, Alex’s ring and the way they hold hands.  I may have been on the ground for this one, too, haha!

Alex shared, “What I love most about Garrett is that he will do absolutely anything for the people he loves.  He’s so forgiving and protective.  I’ve pushed his buttons in every way possible and no matter what, he is always by my side and loves me unconditionally.  I’ve never felt more secure with anyone in my life.  I think that’s what makes us work so well together.”

I love how secure Alex looks in this photo and how happy they both are.  The sun was getting lower in the sky and I let some of the golden glow into my lens, I think it really captures the feeling well!

Alex smiled, “Garrett LOVES his jeep.  It really adds to our adventures and travel life.  We went to the beach last summer and we got to drive around with the top off along the ocean- it was absolutely beautiful and made our trip even more memorable.”

She added, “It’s a stick shift, I’ve been begging him to teach me how to drive it, but I think he’s afraid I’ll never give it back, haha!”

I love to play with different elements, reflections are one of my favorites– here I caught them giggling in the driver-side mirror of the Jeep:

Alex and Garrett hit that autumn window right on the nose! Lots of couples try to plan for that day, and I can definitely stretch out “fall” for a long time, using lighting and angles to my advantage, but this day was I think the most fall of the year, especially for Maryland.

Here I placed their ring on a vibrant yellow-orange-red maple leaf against an old tree.  I love how the ring pops against the red and the contrast of the clean bright lines with the rich texture and vibrant colors of nature!

Alex shared, “On one of our beach trips, we went kayaking in the ocean.  I was scared because I kept thinking of everything that could go wrong (the kayak could flip, we could see a water snake, a shark could eat us, hahaha) but Garrett encouraged me to do it.  Not only that, but he stayed by my side and kept us close to the land until I was comfortable.”

She continued, “We saw so many fish and wildlife in their natural habitat and things that you’d never get to see from the shore.  We saw stingrays and crabs so clearly under the water.  It was one of the most thrilling experiences I’ve ever had.  Garrett really pushes me to be a better person and to enjoy life.  He encourages me to do things that scare me, and he stays by my side until I’m comfortable, which makes life so much more exciting.”

Garrett shared, “Our dog is our world, she’s pretty much our child.”

Alex explained, “When we first moved to Kansas, I didn’t know anyone and was pretty sad about it, then I saw there was a pet adoption event at the local shelter.  I went “just to look” and saw Layla cuddling up with one of her siblings napping.  When I went over to see them, she woke up, got up and put her little paw up on the glass at me.  We went to the playroom, and instead of running around she came right up, sat on my lap and licked my face.  I really think she chose me.”

She continued,  “Then we went home and Garrett walked through the door after work to find out we had a puppy!  You could see his heart-melting the second he saw Layla.  It’s funny, because now she can do no wrong in his eyes.  She really is a daddy’s girl.  Seeing how he is with her really makes me excited to have kids one day… I know he’s going to be a great dad.”

Garrett gave an overview, “So Alex moved to Kansas on a Monday, then when I came home from work on Friday I found out we adopted a puppy!!  As soon as I walked in the door I felt like we really started a life together with our new little family.”

Ummm how cute is Layla?  Very hard to say no to this adorable ball of energy:

Garrett: “For a while, I’d joke with her about not being able to leave her unsupervised for fear of her adopting some sort of animal.  But I honestly couldn’t be happier.”

Garrett laughed a little,  “So early on in our relationship, Alex came to visit me at college.  She decided to make a ‘high-class dinner’ for me and impress me with her cooking skills.  She spent about $50 on all this seafood to make me a ‘hibachi’ meal.  During the whole time, I’m laughing and joking with her saying we can just order Chinese for less than half of this.  She keeps saying she can do it and has confidence, which I liked…”

He continued, laughing, “So later on in the evening she’s trying to figure out how to cook these scallops, shrimp, and other items she got.  Well, she finally finishes up and brings me a plate.  I was super excited because I was hungry and it smelled delicious.  I try some and instantly I did not like it, but I know I cannot tell her that.  So we’re eating and she says ‘if you don’t like it we can get Chinese.’  I didn’t want to hurt her feelings because I know how hard she worked on this and the cost she spent on it so I keep telling her ‘no I like it’ or ‘its really good’ as I keep eating.

Alex laughed, “This went on for about 10 minutes before it got to the point where I finally looked over at him and said ‘we’re getting Chinese.'”

Garrett smiled, “Even though this was early on in our relationship I will never forget it.  Partially because of the overcooked seafood, but mainly because of how she wanted to do something so nice for me just because she can.  She does things out of the good of her heart.  She makes me want to be a better person.  She really is my best friend.”

Garrett continued, “Alex always makes me laugh. We get along so well, from our humor to our hobbies we just clicked instantly.  We can do pretty much everything we love to do, with each other (excluding shopping,  because I don’t like going at all).  Alex is always pushing me to be the best person I can be and is always by my side encouraging me to work harder for what I want in life.  Alex is always up for an adventure and to try new things, even if she needs a little push at the start.  She knows what I like, even when I don’t, and I’m the same way with her.”

So I told you I love reflections, well here is another from a pond!  If you look closely upside down you can see their actual legs and feet!!  I like how clear the water is that it’s almost not perceptible, yet it brings in a purple-blue that you wouldn’t normally see in the sky, those aren’t clouds they are lily pads.

One final photo, a shot of one of the many buildings at Caboose Farm in Sabillasville, Maryland (yes right next to Camp David!).  It is a gorgeous 200-acre space with 6 guesthouses on the property (each sleeping about 10, so you could have your closest friends and family stay on the premises for the rehearsal dinner and even a wedding weekend with hiking, wineries, golf, etc.).  It is so unique and absolutely stunning.  A big thank you to them for allowing us to use the space!

Alex & Garrett, thank you for allowing me to capture such an important time in your lives and thanks for following my work ever since your cousin, Calli’s wedding!  I am so looking forward to your labor day weekend wedding at Woodsgate in the Stroudsmoore Country Inn.

Mary Ann MatskoJanuary 3, 2020 - 7:47 pm

Beautiful pictures and beautiful story. All of this is excellent

Gettysburg Hotel & Greek Orthodox Church: Brittany & Michael

A vibrant, romantic, Greek Orthodox wedding with fiery fall foliage, intense blue skies and a joyful couple being showered with love and even dollar bills at The Gettysburg Hotel

Brittany shared, “We have witnessed Lisa in action multiple times and have many of her pictures in my house (my Sister’s senior pictures, Mike’s cousin’s wedding, our engagement pictures). She lives two doors down from my parents and we have so much in common! My nerves were a mess on my wedding day but Lisa made me feel so calm and having known her for so long she is like family to us.”

She continued, “I love the stories Lisa tells through her photos and her blog. Each image has so much emotion and color. Every time I look at a new blog post I feel like I know the couple and can feel the love they have for each other. I also love art and almost majored in Art History in college. Having professional pictures taken by Lisa is like having a piece of art on your walls! I love how creative she is with light, depth, and color.”

Thank you, Brittany!  I opened with a photo that had depth (couple, trees, Gettysburg Hotel, sky), emotion and vibrant color.  This next shot is modern, artistic, and much closer perspective.  I wanted to show the intricate details fo the diamonds on Brittany’s rings and the fiery orange shape and color of the leaves surrounding the Gettysburg Hotel.

Brittany shared, “I was going for a secret garden vibe.  My colors were gold, mauve, and burgundy. I love flowers  and floral patterns and those colors always seem to find a way into some of my favorite patterns and flowers.”

Brittany smiled,  “Michael is literally tall, dark, and handsome. He is also quiet, intelligent, reliable, caring and has the best smile!”

Here he shows that beaming smile as he gathers with his groomsmen in One Lincoln, the tavern located on the street level of the Gettysburg Hotel.   

The first look… I love the clean modern lines and the way there is a single block of sunshine encapsulating Brittany as she leans in for her first look with Michael:

She shared, “We weren’t sure if we wanted to spend the night before our wedding apart, but we did, so on the day of the wedding, I could not wait to see Michael. We are hardly ever apart so seeing him after a night away just made me so happy and calm. I always know everything will be ok as long as I’m with Michael.”

Brittany continued,  “He is my best friend. We are always open to each other and talk about everything. I cannot wait to spend the rest of our lives together!”
While I spend most of the day capturing candid moments, I also make sure to capture some more traditional portraits as well…
One thing Brittany mentioned to me was *loving* my work in DC, just how I incorporate the architecture and bring it into photos.

If you know this building, it is on the square in Gettysburg and always flooded with tourists.  It was today too, but I just got low and basically cropped them out of my frame, focusing instead on the architecture that Brittany loves so much and the colorful sky: 

As they followed the crosswalk on the square, we headed towards the vibrant, historic architecture of The Pub and the wind caught Brittany’s dress perfectly as Michael held her hand. 

Brittany shared, “We bonded early on over our love for movies and TV. However, over the past 8 years, we have continued to bond over so much more. We take tons of day trips to historic places like Gettysburg, Washington D.C., and Harpers Ferry. We go to museums, wineries, etc. I feel so lucky to have a partner who is willing to go on adventures with me and support me in that.”
Brittany explained, “We visited Gettysburg several times before our wedding day.  We knew we really wanted to enjoy the classic architecture downtown when we were with you and also have some fun with the chessboard outside of my favorite store, Nerd Herd, haha!”

King and queen for a day…

Brittany shared, “Michael and I get along so well. He tends to be more introverted, while I’m more extroverted so we definitely challenge each other when it comes to being social. I’m also spontaneous, while Michael is very deliberate. That makes our adventures challenging sometimes, haha but still exciting!”

I noticed this skeleton in one of my favorite stores, and Brittany’s too, The Lark.

It says, “Waiting for my wife to finish shopping.”

Brittany laughed, “I love shopping, and Michael is usually really patient with me when I want to explore.”

I *loved* Brittany’s wedding gown.

She shared, “I’m still obsessed with the Hayley Page Pascal gown. I literally knew as soon as the consultant showed it to me that it was the one. It looks like a Secret Garden! It has the most delicately beaded flowers and vines in teal, pink and white. It was shiny and flowy and everything I never knew I wanted in a dress!”

I try to give couples a really eclectic mix of shots, here is a more serious portrait of the two of them:

Brittany shared, “As I said our love of similar TV shows and movies is one thing that really brought us together at the start… one of our favorite TV shows and now movie is Downton Abbey, so once we saw that on the marquee at The Majestic, just behind the Gettysburg Hotel, it was like fate!”
Here is the famous train station where President Abraham Lincoln rode into and stood in order to give the Gettysburg Address.

Strike a pose!  

Brittany smiled, “Years ago, after attending my first Greek Wedding, I wanted my family and friends to experience it too. They are so much fun!  Now they have!”

Here is the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in York, PA, it’s unique and beautiful inside and out…

I love all of the ornate detail work on the inside– here is a more traditional bridal party portrait showing that off…
I love seeing all of the different elements of faith that I see nearly every weekend as I photograph weddings.  Here a wedding guest lights a candle to offer a prayer…
The priest chanted in Greek throughout the service– the atmosphere was loving and reverent…
Brittany explained, “There is so much tradition and symbolism in a Greek Orthodox Wedding Ceremony. Marriage is a sacrament in the Greek Orthodox Religion.”
During a wedding day, I move around a lot, haha.  The last photo I posted I captured from the front side of the church while this one I captured from the balcony in the center so that you can see all of the intricate detailing on the floor, ceiling, and altar…
Brittany smiled, “One of my favorite parts of the ceremony has always been the exchanging of the crowns (stefana).   The Koumbara accompanies this act. They are the “sponsor” of our marriage and are making a pledge to be a guide and support to the marriage. It is a huge honor.”

She continued, “We asked Michael’s Aunt, Effrosiny to be our Koumbara. She is his Mother’s sister and ever since his Mom passed away in 2005 from Cancer, she really stepped into the lives of Michael and his siblings as a mother figure.  Seeing her in this role in our wedding meant so much to Michael and I.” 

The glowing gold candlelight along with the gold trim and detailing was just stunning.  I got a little extra creative with this shot and brought all of that in here:
The mood was reverent and I really wanted to capture that– the dramatic gold, black, white, red– the young men, poised and non-descript in the foreground in tuxedos while the reader is illuminated as he speaks, just felt like it was something that I needed to capture:
Haaa also the playful moves of this sweet flower girl:
I love the symmetry of this image.  To me it captures the order and tradition of the ceremony:
Haha, here Michael stoops so that his aunt can reach over his tall frame, Brittany giggles:
Communion:
Brittany explained, “After being pronounced husband and wife I felt so happy and proud.  When we walked out of the church to the receiving line I felt such a rush of joy and relief.”
Brittany shared, “Of all the things we have in common, most important to me is that Michael loves family – mine and his. We spend a lot of time with both of our families and that is so important. I love the fact that he comes from a big family and has over 15 cousins in the U.S. and Greece.”

Here are a few of Michael’s family members:

While my second photographer, Jim, captured the more traditional family portraits, in the church, I headed to the reception to focus on the florals and other reception details.

Brittany smiled, “I have always known that I wanted big floral centerpieces that made a statement. I’m very picky about flowers too so I was  pretty specific about what types of flowers I wanted.”

She continued, “Michael’s Mom’s favorite flower was the Snapdragon so it was really important to me that there were touches of them in the centerpieces. The Flower Shop was absolutely amazing to work with and made my flower dreams  come true!”

She winked, “My Mom knows how much I love flowers too and made my dream happen by increasing the flower budget.”

Brittany explained, “I was so in love with my cake which was covered in fondant flowers! I wanted a grand traditional wedding cake that tasted great and that’s what I got! Each tier was a different flavor!”

Hard to believe but the tulips, dahlias, and peonies on that cake are 100% fondant icing!!!

Brittany’s parents, my neighbors…

Awww how happy are they, and their guests, and check out the stunning ballroom!
Brittany explained, “Michael and his siblings are so close. Losing their Mom at such a young age kind of forced them to be. Michael is the oldest and has always been the one they look up to. Michael’s brother Nick touched on that in his Best Man speech. He did such an amazing job, calling Michael the true best man.”
Brittany explained, “My favorite part of the wedding day was the toasts. They were so heartfelt and emotional.”

Brittany shared, “Hearing Michael’s aunt speak on behalf of her sister and acknowledge how much I have been trying to embrace the customs and traditions of not only the Greek Orthodox faith but the Greek way of life, meant so much to me and Michael.  I really did get emotional.”

The band began playing Greek wedding music and the guests, no matter what their background, joined in, holding hands and forming large rhythmic circles with the bride and groom and around them!  Here one of Brit’s sisters laughs as she spins.  I used a slow shutter to capture the movement and love how that turned out!

Brittany smiled, “Money being thrown while the band plays is always the highlight of a greek wedding reception. The first dance of the evening is with the whole bridal party and was led by me because it  is “The Bride’s Dance” which is done to the dance, Kalamatiano.”

I worked with my lighting and shutter speed to freeze the falling money and allow it to be the subject of the photo…

Brittany continued, “The money is very unique and fun, I think it’s called Hartoura. Throwing it at the bride and groom symbolizes good fortune and prosperity.”
All of the wedding guests really got into the dancing, even one of my friends and her family small town, haha…

Brittany explained, “Having all of our family and friends together in the same room celebrating together was just amazing.”

I love using my shutter speed to stop time– now that is a ponytail!

Brittany smiled, “The end of the evening felt amazing. Planning a wedding was one of the most overwhelming things I have ever done. I had so much fun and it was all worth it, but I was so happy when it was coming to an end, haha.”

She went on, “Being outside in the cool air with Michael under the lights was exactly how I wanted it to end. He is the light in my life and always will be.”

Brittany & Michael, thank you so much for sharing your special day with me!  It has been such a pleasure to see be there for so many key points of you and your family members’ lives!

If you’d like to see more of Brittany & Michael, check out their Harper’s Ferry engagement session here.  A few of those other family events were Michael’s cousin’s wedding and Brittany’s sister’s senior portraits.  🙂

Wedding Vendors (along with Brit’s comments) :

Stroudsmoor Ridgecrest Wedding Photographers: Lauren & Dan

A vibrant autumn wedding filled with breathtaking scenery, a jam-packed dance floor fun, and heartfelt joy…

Lauren shared, “We chose Lisa as our wedding photographer because her work is AMAZING, we absolutely loved every photo we saw on her Instagram and blog. Her photos aren’t just photos they are pieces of art.  We believe Lisa captures the emotion of the moment better than anyone else.  We were looking for a photographer that could do more than take tradition shots that everyone expects. We chose Rhinehart Photography because  wanted someone with an artistic eye.”

She continued, “Working with Lisa on our wedding day was wonderful, she is a joy to work with. ALL of my friends still comment on how nice and personable my photographer was.  When we get out photos back are really looking forward to seeing the ones capturing the raw love of the day! We know all of them are going to be amazing!”

Awww, thank you!  I opened with a photo from Lauren & Dan’s first look, on that artistically captured the raw emotion.  This next photo is a close up of their wedding rings, I chose a background and lighting that would give it a luxe autumn feel…

I love capturing unique perspectives and bringing a lot into a frame.  As Lauren finished her make-up I noticed that she was looking at the autumn leaves outside of the window.  I was able to bring them into the photo by going outside and shooting through the glass– I love how it turned out!
Lauren’s friends gave her a massive scrapbook full of memories on the morning of her wedding.  It was so sweet!  Here she beams thanking them:

Lauren shared, “The overall look I was going for with our wedding was classic and romantic.  Dan and I also really love the outdoors.”

I knew all of this going into the wedding day, here I brought in the romantic look of her gown, the classic look for the window panes and drapery while also bringing in the autumn leaves in the background.

Here Lauren’s mother button’s her wedding gown.  I love the classic black and white look and how it really shows off the lace and button detailing of her wedding gown.  

Lauren’s sister held Lauren’s hand as her mother added her veil. I used the natural light to silhouette Lauren and to rim light her sister…

Awww her beautiful and proud mama…

I love the intimate feel of this image!  You are able to see every detail in her floral crown and even the pattern on her veil which was barely visible to me in real life!

Lauren’s sister drying her happy tears…

While the ladies were prepping in their suite with me, my second photographer was with the men capturing their pre-wedding preparations, too– bottom’s up, boys!

Here Dan reads a letter from Lauren, almost time for their “first look”

Dan shared, “When I first saw Lauren on our wedding day, I remember thinking that she looked angelic, she literally took my breath away and I stopped thinking entirely– I was just overcome with a happiness and excitement that I had never felt before.”

Lauren shared, “When I saw him for the first time on our wedding day I remember thinking, wow, I am one lucky girl. I also remember thinking omg this is really happening, I get to marry Dan today!”
Lauren continued,  “Simply put, he is the best person I know. He has such a unique personality and there is something just so special about him. Anyone that has met him knows what I am talking about. “
Dan stated,  “Lauren makes every day a good day.   I am looking forward to spending every day with her for the rest of my life.”

Dan continued, “Once I got to know Lauren, I fell in love with her sense of humor (and the witty banter we share) and a great sense of adventure. She radiates kindness and lights up any room she is in. She is my best friend.”

While I love capturing candid moments and emotion, I also make sure to capture a few more traditional photographs as well.  Here is one of Lauren & Dan:

Lauren explained, “We both love the outdoors, especially  this  time of year.”
Lauren shared, “We work so well together because we make light of any situation. Our favorite thing to do together is “go on adventures.” We love going to new places and trying new experiences. With that being said, on an adventure, there is always a risk of the unknown and you are never really sure what to expect. We both try to look at every day like an adventure- that way every day if fun!”

Lauren smiled, “We also loved being able to have Abby (our puppy)  join us for a little while on our wedding day. She is such a big part of lives and makes up our little family- we knew we had to include her in some way on our wedding day.”
Party of 22—your forest is ready…

Strike a pose:

Lauren explained, “Fall is my favorite season so I overly excited when the trees began to turn colors and fall, just in time for our wedding day.”

All smiles:

So I basically climbed up into the trees for this shot!  One thing I love about having a second photographer with me on the wedding day is that I can take more risks and get really creative shots during real moments.  Here I was able to frame them in the trees and really capture the romantic feel of the whole scene while Pricilla captured the processional from the center aisle.

Daddy’s  little  girl:

The wind kept picking up Lauren’s veil, on this shot I let the veil, flowers, and gown be the main subject of the image:

It was very important that dan’s father was able to attend the wedding, here you can see the blue sky and a stunning view of the valley as well as Dan’s father in the foreground.

Working at Ridgecrest was such a treat for me– the open sky the deep valley, I moved throughout the ceremony space like a ninja looking for unique angles to capture the moments.  Here I was able to show Lauren & Dan’s vows along with all of the fall foliage and the beautiful flowers and detailing on the gazebo as well…

The unity candle!

The ring exchange:

Kiss the bride…

Again, the same moment, two different photographers’ perspectives…

Celebrate!

Proud mama!

Proud Papa:

Lauren explained, “We loved our first dance, we did not choreograph it because we decided that would put to much pressure on us the day-of to perfect it. We wanted that time to be special and fun for us so we decided just to go with the flow and hope for the best when we got out there.”

Lovely speeches… here I got really low and worked some of the candlelight and champagne into the shot, adding some sparkle and shine, it complimented the bridesmaid’s gowns well…

Cheers!

Father-daughter dance:

Party time!  The dance floor was packed!
So many delicious choices…

Kickin back, Hava Nagila style!!  I love their expressions and Lauren’s bare feet!

Lauren’s father!

Lauren explained, “The Ridgecrest at Stroudsmoor Country Inn was a perfect fit for us, it felt romantic and cozy and has one of a kind view of the valley.   One of the highlights for us was the cigar bar, as we felt it really created a unique experience for our guests.  We feel so grateful to have had such an amazing experience to kick off our lives as husband and wife.”

Wedding Professionals:

Big Cork Vineyards Wedding Photographers: Ali & Joey

A vibrant, rainy-day engagement at Big Cork Vineyards in Frederick, Maryland…

Joey shared, “I’ve worked with you a few times (as a fellow vendor in the wedding industry).  It didn’t take long to see how talented you are, every photo is unique, your style is inspiring.”

Ali explained, “I was looking for something beyond your typical wedding photography, and wanted someone that would give me a “wow” factor.   After seeing your work I knew you could give me exactly what I was looking for.”

Thanks, guys!  While I love to play with my photography, pushing the limits of my camera and creativity, I also make sure to capture more traditional portraits as well… the wildflowers and pond made the perfect backdrop for this one:

Working with Ali & Joey was so much fun.  They made it clear that they fully trusted me from the start, so when I noticed a spot in the parking lot that offered a lovely view and incredible color, they had no doubts and went for it.  Here is the result:

Joey smiled, “When I fell in love with Ali, she was (and still is) a beautiful & caring cheerleader that loved to cook. It was inevitable.  Of course, I fell in love with her. We work well together through teamwork, communication, and a touch of sarcasm.”

Ali explained, “Joey is genuine, caring, smart, and funny. It was easy to fall in love with him. He challenges me and keeps me on my toes with his jokes. It’s just easy with us. Our teamwork and communication get us through everything.”

Joey recalled, “One night I surprised Ali by bringing her to a jewelry store. She picked out three rings that night that she liked and I bought it the next day. Not only did I love the design, but it was a Neil Lane engagement ring, that I know Ali loves from watching The Bachelor, haha. I was also having a hard time choosing between rose gold and white gold, so the easy choice was both.”

Ali shared, “Choosing Big Cork was a no brainer to me. We love visiting there with the rolling mountains and gorgeous views.”

The view at Big Cork is stunning and Ali and joey were up for whatever, which allowed me to capture them in a lovely field with a legit *purple mountain* in the distance, America the beautiful for sure!

Ali continued, “We have been going to Big Cork for a couple years for their end-of-summer bash and always have a good time. The atmosphere is relaxing and fun.”

Joey smiled, “I’m usually the one with the crazy ideas that Ali gets dragged into. Guilty. But sometimes the ideas turn out to be the best.”

I used a really unique technique here… I used a slow shutter speed and panned my camera keeping in time with Ali & Joey.  For me, it’s a visual for Joey’s crazy ideas, haha!

She laughed, “I know the weather didn’t cooperate for us, but I’m super happy with everything you were able to capture, even if a lot of it was in a tent in the rain.”

I am used to working in all sorts of weather conditions and try my best to come prepared with the proper equipment and mindset to handle it.  If you didn’t mention the tent, I don’t think anyone would know it’s there, hehe. 

The storm gave us very interesting purple hues and the white wine gave a great contrast.

If you look closely in the glass you can see Joey and Ali reflected inside!

Every once in a while someone comes along who can turn your world upside down…

Joey reminisced, “I met Ali at a get-together before winter break at Shepherd University with friends.  Eventually, we fell in love and a few years later bought a home on the Potomac River. We had our own boat and dock and spent most of our Summer days swimming and riding around the river.  We have been that couple that took our time with everything. ”

He continued, “In Summer of 2019 we went on vacation to Outer Banks. The first hour we were there we went straight to the beach. We set up a small tent and I nervously snuck the engagement ring in my pocket.  We walked up to the water and I told Ali to wait and then I proposed to her right there next to the water.”

Ali shared, “I was hoping it wouldn’t rain on the day of our engagement photography session, but we decided to embrace and work with it instead of against it. I’m really glad we were ‘all-in’ as it made us more relaxed and let us go with the flow.”

Joey added, “Luckily it didn’t rain the whole time and the surrounding storms made the sky look even cooler.”

I agree 100%!

I carefully managed our time, realizing a storm was on its way but hadn’t appeared yet.  We got all of our outdoor shots first, then went under the tent once the rain started, then back outside to fully embrace the rain for this shot:
Ali & Joey, it was such a pleasure to work with you two, especially after knowing Joey professionally for the last decade, haha, and being that you were so go-with-the-flow and up for adventure, it really allowed me to get you the sort of unique images that you were hoping for, even if it did rain for half of the session!

I’m looking forward to your wedding at The Morningside Inn in Frederick next autumn!

Saint Francis Hall DC Wedding Photographer: Kerissa & Phillip

A romantic wedding at Saint Francis Hall— you two transported me to Spain, what a fabulous venue!

Kerissa explained, “I knew Phil and I would have a DC wedding and was looking for a venue that would be unique, Saint Francis Hall was the perfect location for us!”

She shared, “We visited the reflecting pool and monuments often during the first few months we started dating. We got engaged there and had our engagement shoot there, so that area of town will always hold a special place in our hearts.”

She continued, “I have always loved the cherry blossoms. Before I moved to the District, I always loved visiting my sister in the Spring seeing the blossoms bloom, always signifying warmer weather was on the way!”

Here, I photographed Kerissa & Lauren’s silhouetted reflection on a photograph of the cherry blossoms in Washington DC’s tidal basin, as Lauren buttoned Kerissa’s wedding gown:

Kerissa explained, “I am so glad I took my mom’s advice to keep it simple with my wedding gown, as I chose something completely different than I had envisioned.”

Here I photographed Kerissa reflected in a simple gold mirror, bringing in more gold tones with the lamp and curtains at the Omni Shoreham.

Kerissa shared, “We chose you as a photographer because we trusted you really would know how to play to our strengths and catch us in unique and romantic moments. We knew you could bring a very creative approach and find angles and see opportunities that other photographers wouldn’t even notice.”

She continued, “For my sister Lauren’s wedding, you were able to catch their raw emotions and beautiful moments.  I’m so excited for you to do the same for us!”

Kerissa you are stunning!

Kerissa explained, “I was really special to have my sister, Lauren and my mom there as I was getting ready along with my bridesmaids. ”

She continued, “My dad was later allowed in for the first look, which was really special.”

Kerissa laughed, “He didn’t cry as much as I expected, so I was hoping I looked pretty! Typical girl.”

Sisters!  While most of my work throughout the day is capturing candid moments as they unfold, I make sure to capture plenty of traditional portraits, too.  I like this one because it has a less formal feel.

If you look closely in the background you can see the photograph.  Keep an eye out for it taking a spotlight in a few shots…

Her parents are adorable– This is the third time I saw them, actually…

I photographed their daughter, Lauren and her husband, Sean’s wedding in 2016 and their friend’s daughter’s wedding in 2017 (Steph & Ryan).  One of the shots from Steph and Ryan’s wedding actually landed in the Huffington Post as one of the best wedding photos of 2017.

How sweet are they– and Kerissa and Lauren’s mom is absolutely gorgeous!!

I love to play with reflections and composition and color– I actually fit in a silhouette here as well… does the photograph look familiar to you?

I love working with a wide variety of lenses and keep them with me throughout the day.  That way I can get a wide-angle shot that can bring in the full scene or get the most intricate detailing if you look closely you can see the stitch pattern of Kerissa’s veil, something I could really see with my own eyes…

Kerissa shared, “The morning of our wedding day was probably the least stressful day of the whole wedding planning process. Everything was already in place and we thoroughly trusted all of our vendors to execute our vision.” <— (this is the way to go brides to be, hire the best vendors and trust them to do their thang) 😉

She laughed, “Once I was loaded up on coffee and Diet Coke, I was good to go (we also made sure to get a picture of me drinking diet coke, my first true love. Sorry Phil).”

While the women prepared, the men did, too, they honestly spent most of the morning watching sports and eating chips, haha, but did bring it together and get really dapper here, love the glasses, guys!”

Phil has the coolest glasses of all, and the reflection of his hands on one side and the rose on the other is pretty incredible!

When Kerissa arrived at Immaculate Conception Church, everyone was so excited to see her, waiting in the vestibule, she was radiant…

I walked into Immaculate Conception Church and was blown away by the classic architecture and intricate stained glass, it definitely had a European cathedral vibe.  I liked the yellow glow bright in by the illuminated stations of the cross and the blue detailing at the top of the windows…

There is something so captivating about the shot, maybe the vastness of the church and the window light streaming in the front door to illuminate tiny Kerissa and her father, it gives you a feeling for the scope of it all…

As I captured the image above, I had my second photographer, Darren, stationed in the choir loft to get a top-down perspective of everything from above.  Beautiful shot, Darren!

Phil shared, “When I saw her walk down the aisle, I thought she was the most beautiful woman to ever live.  My eyes watered, but I did my best to keep it together.  It was a great moment and one that I will never forget.”

Here Phil wipes a tear as Kerissa hugs her father one last time before exchanging vows with her husband to be…

Kerissa smiled, “When I first saw Phil, he looked as sharp as I had anticipated in his suit.”

She laughed, “I kept thinking ‘don’t look directly at him, you’ll ruin your makeup,’ but I had to check if there was a chance a tear or two. I got one!”

Again I am always switching my perspective and camera lenses, bouncing back and forth from capturing candid moments to showing the full scene…

The yellow and blue in the church really struck me throughout the ceremony, this scene is no exception:

The vows: for better or worse, richer or poorer…

The gold rotunda was exquisite!  I was able to get double the impact by getting low enough to capture the gold reflecting off the marble aisle, surrounding the couple in gold…

Kiss the bride… one of my favorite shots of the day… the tilt-shift effect really puts the key players in focus and lets the rest fade away but still bring in all that color and shine…

It’s official, leaving the church as husband and wife…

We headed straight from the church to the gardens at St. Francis Hall.   They were closing soon, so we hopped right in and played a little in the golden light.

Kerissa, that veil, that smile, wow!

Kerissa explained, “We chose our venue because we felt it had a lot of natural charm and a romantic, rustic feel. We wanted to avoid a cookie-cutter look and thought our venue was successful at accomplishing that, providing a unique atmosphere.”

Phil shared, “Kerissa is the most kind, considerate, and loving person I have ever met.  I couldn’t imagine my life without her so I knew I had to marry her.”

I do believe that “most beautiful woman ever to live” thought was passing through his mind again at this point, haha, he just looks so pleased:

I love playing with unique architectural elements and Saint Francis Hall looked like something directly from Spain– combine that with the golden light streaming in, it literally felt like we had been transported from Washington, DC to Europe…

I made sure to capture a few more traditional shots, too… check out Phil showing off his new bling 😉

Kerissa explained, “As for decor, we were really excited about our string lighting, centerpieces, and to see the stage transform with garland, tea lights as well as the awesome ambiance our DJ Mark Maskell provided. We kept our color scheme pretty neutral with whites, blushes and taupe tones, with slight pops of green leaves.”

Introduced into the reception, smiles all around in the sweet light of sunset, Kerissa you are glowing…

Their first dance– I had my second photographer, Darren, stationed on the ground getting more traditional shots, while I ran up to the top and captured sunset streaming through the windows and a captured a bird’s eye view of the first dance…

Phil shared, “I was so proud to have my brother give the best man speech.  He did a great job, and I am proud of the person he is.”

Phil continued, “It was such an honor to have my sister do a reading at the church as well.  I know my parents are proud of all three of us.”

Phil’s dad sure looks proud:

Sean also looks so proud of Lauren (theirs is the wedding I photographed a few years ago), sweet to see him looking at her in the same way!

Kerissa smiled, “My sister’s speech was amazing, sharing our memories throughout the years, also filled with inside jokes no one else would get but for us, but that’s what made it so intimate and special. I am the only one who truly understands her fear of the movie E.T. and shares the same passion for A Goody Movie.”

Kerissa continued, “The day was filled with love, speeches from those we love and it was amazing to celebrate with those closest to us. My dad already had practice on speeches, granted the speech he gave at my sister’s wedding was 9 minutes long and on YouTube, so I knew he was well equipped to deliver a touching and memorable speech.”

I really played up the warmth of the candlelight and string lights during his heartfelt speech…

Phil reflected, “I wouldn’t be the person I am without my parents.  They two of the best people I know and have helped me so much.”

His dance with his mom, again I got that epic perspective, it reminds me of a castle now!

Even the first time we met, Kerissa mentioned how excited she was to have the lighting– it reminds me of an outdoor market:

The DJ, Mark Maskell, was awesome, resourceful and kept the dance floor packed…

Put your hands in the air… wow what a cool vibe:

Kerissa and Phil stepped outside, the night air was cool and the setting was quiet.  It didn’t feel like a party and certainly not one two miles from the heart of downtown Washington, DC!

Happily ever after…

If you’d like to see more photos of Kerissa & Phil, check out their Washington, DC engagement session and story on my blog, here.

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