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.

Hershey Gardens Engagement Photographers: Claire & Earl

Hershey’s kisses, butterflies and palm trees, oh my!  You won’t want to miss my latest blog from The Hershey Gardens and Butterfly Atrium

Claire shared, “From the moment I first saw *one* of your photos, I was immediately intrigued. After finding your website and blog, I was blown away by the artistry and quality of your work. I actually got goosebumps viewing one of the Vogue or GQ-style portraits! It was then that I realized I simply had to reach out to you and ask you to be our wedding and engagement photographer!”

Earl stated, “As a photographer, I wanted someone who could capture my relationship with Claire in a dynamic, unique way.  I was blown away by the quality of your work, I could tell right away you did not take a “cookie cutter” approach.    Your passion for photography came across right away, you are also so easy to work with, patient, and easy to follow– you made us feel very comfortable.  Without seeing any of the photographs, I am already confident that you will be able to capture the relationship that Claire and I have and the love we have for each other in them.”

Wow, thank you both for having confidence in me right from the start.  I so loved working with you two in the beautiful Hershey Gardens!  What a cute couple!

The Hershey Butterfly Gardens offered just the sort of vibrant, romantic, sentimental ties that Claire and Earl were looking for.

One of our biggest challenges was that the butterflies were constantly in motion and not very predictable creatures, haha!  Shy, and delicate, I had to get creative with my approach….

Here I was able to photograph the engagement ring, their hands and a butterfly all in camera… way tougher than it seems to get that depth of field and positioning just right to have the butterfly and engagement ring tack sharp and allowing the rest to fade into the background.

Earl mentioned wanting photos that were dynamic and unique… I loved playing with the various plants and all of the window light in the atrium…  here everything comes together to create a dramatic scene… I purposely under exposed the scene to give it a mysterious, sexy feel– Claire those cheekbones, wow!

Claire explained, “Earl and I originally met in Hershey, when I was attending school to become a dermatologist.  We chose the Gardens for that reason, but mostly because they are so romantic!   I love fresh flowers, chocolate and who doesn’t love butterflies?!”

Earl added, “We both really enjoy the outdoors and Claire loves color and flowers, so the Hershey Gardens were our number one choice.”

Claire explained, “One of the great things about Earl and I is that we are totally ourselves with each other. Whether I’m on a call with a patient or co-worker to being silly and relaxing, he never judges me. I feel pretty, confident, and funny when I’m with him. He makes me feel good about myself, and all the while, I feel like I’m the lucky one. I have a crush on Earl ;).”


They shared, “We are hoping for photos that show the different parts of our personalities.  Particularly the relaxed, natural vibe we have together and the beautiful surroundings, we’d love to see you capture that in a creative way.”

Another creative way I was able to bring in the busy, fluttering butterflies was to play with my aperture and catch them in sharp focus and allow the couple to show subtly in the background… here I focused on the butterfly and yellow flowers… doesn’t it look like we are in Hawaii?

A few things that stood out to me on the shoot were what a natural fit these two are, how they make each other laugh and smile a lot… and seeing them smile just made me smile!

Everyone needs to find someone that makes them laugh this hard:

They shared, “With the garden setting, we wanted a wardrobe that was bright, airy, and would complement the setting. Our honeymoon will be on a tropical island so we were able to tie that in a bit incorporating mostly neutrals with a touch of color.”

Again, it almost looks like we flew to Hawaii for this shoot!

Claire shared, “I love bright colors, and I love summer time.  I loved the colorful flowers on the bottom of my dress. They worked well with my blue sandals and orange painted toes!”

I found a place with even more color so that everything really popped!

Claire smiled, “I remember when I realized Earl was “The One.” It was around our third or so date. We were at Millworks in Harrisburg for brunch. I wore a navy dress with flowers on it and wedge sandals and he was waiting for me across the street (of course he got there on time, I a few moments late haha). It was windy and I got out of the car and my hair was blowing all over the place. I felt excited. I had the tacos, he got pancakes. As we ate, I realized, hit like a ton of bricks, “I really like him.”

She continued, “Then we went for a walk over the Walnut Street foot bridge to City Island. He said, “I’d like to take some pictures of you.” I was like, “Who? Silly ol’ me?!” So I walked toward him, and he was backing up, snapping away. At that moment I realized, “I could spend the rest of my days with this most interesting man.  I’ve never met anyone like him.  What a gem!” 

You can’t be in Hershey, Pennsylvania without a little bit of a Hershey kiss reference… in this shot I imagine them shrunken down to miniature versions of themselves, haha…

Claire explained, “I would describe Earl as a wonderful man. When I first saw him in that restaurant, I thought to myself, “Boy, he sure is cute!” I immediately recognized him as a confident, kind, thoughtful, smart person, and I was definitely interested in getting to know more. He helped that along, because from early on in our relationship, he would text me every morning, and if he was traveling for work, even in the beginning, he would text or call before going to sleep. I felt that he actually courted me, which was so romantic.”

Earl explained, “I love photography and Claire loves calendars, after realizing she was the one that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with I needed to find a special way to propose. I decided to make a personal calendar filled with places I’ve visited for work, our vacation trips, special moments, and family. After I asked her what her perfect wedding month would be, I decided to insert a photo of the engagement ring on that month!”

He continued, “So, after planning to have my family come to her parents’ home and giving Claire an excuse of, “they just wanted to hangout” I was able to get everyone that was important to her and myself together for the special moment. This is when I walked her through the calendar that showed our special moments from day one to our future. The excitement, surprise, and pure joy everyone felt is unforgettable.”

Here is a ring shot, feel free to add it to any future Claire calendars…

Claire shared, “One of the things I love most is that he is a true Renaissance Man. I am always learning new things about him. Most recently, I learned out of nowhere, that he is an excellent skateboarder! Who knew, haha?! He’s just constantly surprising me in the most wonderful and unexpected ways, but at the same time, I know exactly who he is and admire his stability. What makes us work so well together is that we share similar goals and interests. We support each other’s hobbies and are interested in learning more about them. I never thought I would know so much about cars, the Marines, or photography. I could go on and on, but the last thing I will say he is simply the coolest.”

Haaa I nearly climbed in the rose bush for this shot!  I love all the vibrant pops of color that burst throughout this photo as a result…

While I love to capture creative shots in the moment, I also know how important it is for couples to have a few nice, traditional portraits, too.  I always set aside a little time for those, too during the photo session…

Claire enthusiastically shared, “I LOVE roller coasters!  I always have and they’ll always remind me of my time at Hershey, as I worked to study my trade, dermatology.”

I love to play with perspective and use multiple lenses throughout my shoot… here I capture the whole scene– the flowers, atrium, even the blue sky with the happy couple…

Earl smiled, “I fell for Claire on our first date, her energy before she even spoke was unbelievable and it was the first time, I ever experienced something like that. I love that she’s the right amount of extrovert to my introvert which I feel is why we work so well together. She is supportive, determined, funny, and lovable. We both have similar interest and strive to meet our goals.

I love the idea of symmetry here and matching it fit.  I know I used the heart-hand idea earlier in the session, but with a butterfly here, I just thought this was perfect!  Nope, not photo-shopped!  😀

Claire and Earl, Thank you so much for trusting me whole hardheartedly to capture the two of you in your element!  I can’t wait to photograph your upcoming Harrisburg State Capitol and Harrisburg Hilton Wedding!

Wilson College Photographer: Music & Dance Collaboration

A dramatic collaboration between music and music professors in Wilson College– this was so much fun to photograph!!!

Music professor, Lisa, shared, “We reached out to you because we loved your work previously with Orchesis and my professional shots!  You are prepared, kind and professional while also being creative, laid back and flexible. You do so well working with natural light, and improvising to find new, interesting places to play with structure and space.”

She continued, “We hope to share these images online, in our portfolios and as keepsakes. Photos reflecting our time rehearsing and collaborating together.  It has been an amazing experience for both of us and we love working together!”

Something I noticed right away when I was working with these two, is their ability to work with each other to achieve balance and symmetry, while both remaining strong and independent, they were able to support each other fully.  It was so cool to witness!

They explained, “We both enjoy interdisciplinary collaboration, and exploring how live music can influence dance (and vice versa).”

Megan added “The balance is interesting, we’ve spoken about ‘blurring the line’ between between being a “singer” and a “dancer.”

I wanted to capture an image that would convey each of their talents…

Megan shared, “We work well together because of our open-mindedness, love of singing and dancing, willingness to ‘play’ and try new things. We are both dependable and laid back.”

This visual takes open and laid back into the literal, physical realm…

I first photographed opera singer, Lisa a couple of years ago… we snapped a quick update to her headshot:

They shared, “The tone of the photo shoot fluctuated between intimate/lighthearted (at one point the two of us were laughing) to melodramatic (I think of  shadowy scene at sunset). We can embody the two, depending on the sounds and movements we explore in each improvisation.”

Here’s a playful one…

Here is something a little more dramatic.   I love the organic feel of their movements and the vines.

Lisa shared, “Our gowns reflect our singer and dancer backgrounds, while being flexible enough to move fluidly. As for the location, we wanted a raw, organic and natural feel, that would meld well with our improvisational structures.”

I had also photographed Megan a few years ago, so here is a little update for her as well… love the strength of her expression mixed with soft body language…

Megan explained, “We met three years ago, when I moved to Chambersburg to begin working at Wilson College. When I found out there was a professional opera singer on campus, I knew I wanted to work with her!”

She continued, “In a place where we don’t have as many outlets to create beyond teaching, this is an incredible outlet to create, explore and work on our own professional practices. We’ve both lived in cities, and have recognized, in each other, we can continue professionally collaborating on our small campus.”

“We were fortunate to receive the 2019 summer research grant stipend at Wilson College, supporting our time rehearsing, shaping and structuring this duet. There’s a lot of give and take during the improvisation, moments where we feed off each other melt into moments of pure independence. One pushing , the other pulling. Sometimes both pushing or pulling. All of this involves the constant act of being present in each given moment. Deep listening and mindfulness is integral to this kind of collaborative venture.”

Now for my personal favorite, “stealing her voice”…

Lisa explained, ” We are looking forward to sharing our work on Arts Day: Wednesday, October 9th at 9:30 a.m. at Sarah’s Coffeehouse, Wilson College.”  You can see Megan and Lisa in person on Arts Day or check out their previous sessions with me, here (Lisa’s) or here (Megan’s).

Shippensburg Wedding Photographers: Alexis & Spencer

Hometown wedding for high school sweethearts on the hottest day of the year… lots of love, color and a packed dance floor… and everything was within a mile from my home!

Alexis shared, “We chose Rhinehart Photography because we love Lisa’s work! Her photos have an artistic feel, she captures emotions well and has such a unique perspective.  Lisa and Kris are professional, fun, super creative, and have a very unique vision. We are hoping to see love, excitement, fun and laughter with our photos, featuring all the friends, family and people we love.”

I have never shot this close to home before– everything was within *1 mile* of my house, I’m talking hotel, church, reception!  As someone who spends many weekends in NYC, DC, Philly etc, this was such a treat to have a wedding at a church that I can literally see out my office window, and to be photographing two Shippensburg High School sweethearts was the best…

Here Alexis puts on her finishing touches in the mirror…

Wow, such beautiful lace, beading and applique– it’s something you have to see up close…

Alexis finished her wedding day preparations at the Courtyard by Marriot in Shippensburg.  Everyone was so excited for her!

Small town! Emily, the bridesmaid laughing below, and I share the same nephews!  (Her brother is married to my husband’s sister).

Alexis shared, “My family is very close. I can go to my mom with anything and everything. We just have the best relationship. I’m very blessed.”

She added, “I feel the same way about my sister!”

Spencer shared, “I love that Alexis is very caring and someone I can talk to and trust. She is my best friend.  I wanted her to be my life my partner because I knew I would never find a girl in the world like Alexis.”  

Alexis listed, “The flowers were: quicksand roses, eskimo roses, baccara roses, red rubicon roses, majolica spray roses, dark burgundy scabiosa, lisianthus, chocolate lace flower, ect. There was so many!! A ton of roses because they are my favorite flower and I love greenery.”

Giggles all around…

Alexis shared, “I wanted a rustic feel for our wedding, mixed with a little vintage. Our colors were burgundy, dusty rose and rose gold. These colors are so pretty together and I just loved how it all came together!”

Spencer shared, “Our wedding day was sooooo hot. It was 97 degrees outside, but it felt much hotter. We were very grateful for the AC that day!”

Spencer smiled, “My parents and brothers are my best friends.  My nephews are also a great blessing.  I adore them.”

Spencer explained, “I went to Shippensburg University for a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, so I have spent a good amount of time on campus.”

My second photographer, and husband, Kris, did an awesome job on this shot… so cool and modern!

Alexis shared, “In high school, Spencer was a football player and I was a cheerleader.  Some of the football guys drove us to a bonfire they were having. Spencer was there and immediately I started crushing on him. He was flirty and I was extremely shy back then, but it all worked out! I will never forget that night. After the bonfire, another cheerleader gave me his number.”

She continued, “I asked him if I could wear his jersey for our 2012 LBJ game….he said yes!! I was so nervous and excited. We started dating  November 3rd 2012. I am so glad I got the courage to ask to wear his jersey!”

Alexis explained,  “We chose the catholic church, Our Lady of the Visitation because it is the church I grew up in.”

This also happens to be the church I can see out my office window and the one many of my neighbors and friends attend.  The last time I was inside was to attend one of my friend’s weddings.

Alexis shared, “The kids in our wedding were the cutest, the flower girls were so pretty and our nephews mean the world to us.  We love them very much.”

I have many photos of the kiddos, but I really like this show because it really gives you a sense of space… the flower girls, the ring bearers the church etc.  I used the flower girls to frame the cross, stained glass and bearing.

What color!  I think he’s ready, guys…

Alexis shared, “When I first saw Spencer on our wedding day. I just could not stop smiling. I was so happy at that moment. I knew I was about to marry the love of my life and my very best friend.”

Spencer shared, “When I saw Alexis for the first time on the wedding day, I thought “OMG this is actually happening.” I did choke up a little and was just amazed that I get to spend the rest of my life with this beautiful human being!”

So cool to see two different perspectives of the same moment!  While I was down on the ground capturing all the emotion in Spencer and Alexis’ faces, I had Kris stationed above in the balcony, getting the entire scene.  Wow Alexis, that dress!

Tears of joy…

I love the layers in this shot… the stained class, the bible, a candle, the groomsmen, the priest, the family, the bride and groom…

I move a lot during the wedding, here I climbed up to the choir loft and got that perspective.  I really wanted to show off the wood ceiling.

Awww more happy tears from Spencer!

We captured all the expected shots, the kiss, the recessional, but sometimes these moments that are less visible to the public are some of the sweetest…

Spencer shared, “My family is extremely close and tight-knit.  I hope to be half the dad my father has been to us 3 boys.  My mom is an angel who has done so much for me and has helped me every step of the way in my life.”

When we first met, Spencer and Alexis mentioned wanting to see emotion and color in their photos.  The above showed here is some of both…

While I love to capture emotions,  I also make sure to capture a few more traditional photos too.

Alexis shared, “I fell for Spencer as soon as I saw him. He is so funny and friendly. I absolutely adore everything about him. His dimples are my favorite thing and I am praying our future kids are going to get them one day!”

I love to give my couples a good variety of photos– some up close and some father away, showing the whole scene…

Wow, the architecture of the Luhrs center!

Alexis continued, “Spencer is so caring and compassionate, I know he would do anything for me. He always puts everyone else’s needs before his own. He is such a hard worker and is so positive about every day. He makes me a better person and I fall more in love with him every day.”

What you can’t see is that the heat index is well over 100 degrees.  We waited for a while in the air conditioned vehicles and were only outside for literally ten minutes total, haha!

Here I played with perspective as Spencer danced with Alexis, complimenting her dress ;).

Spencer shared, “The number one thing that made me fall for my wife when I first met her was her smile.  It was and still is, so beautiful.  Alexis is my best friend, she’s a funny girl who is also very caring and I appreciate that about her so much!”

Spencer smiled, “I am most looking forward to continuing our love and eventually starting a family of our own!”

Spencer shared, “We both went to Shippensburg High School, we started dating when Alexis was 14 and I was 16. We have taken a lot of pictures for school dances in front of the fountain at old main, now we’ve been there for our wedding photos, too!”

Strike a pose!  Vogue…

Alexis shared, “The Tuscarora room was the perfect reception room because it is very close to the church and the hotel we had our guests stay at. Colton Staver decorated the reception beautifully and totally transformed the room. I wanted a very rustic feel and that’s exactly what we got.”

Here clothespins hold the seating chart– this and all of the other details were so beautifully and meticulously executed…

Spencer shared, “The reception was awesome.  It was amazing coming in and seeing everyone cheer us on!”

Aw the time of their lives…

Spencer explained, “Heaven by Bryan Adams has been our song since we started dating. Alexis loves the 80’s. She chose the Shane Filan version because she wanted a slower feel.”

Alexis raved, “Colton Staver and the JDK group was AMAZING. All my flowers and decor was beyond what I could have dreamed my wedding looking like. It was exactly what I wanted- rustic and vintage. When I walked into the room it took my breath away, so beautiful.”

I wanted to bring in a little more of the scene with Alexis and her dad during dance.  Here I used my radio triggered flash and used the curtain in the background and candles in the foreground to bring in a little of that beautiful atmosphere.

Here I brought in a lot of it.  I wanted to capture all the emotion of Spencer and his mom during their dance…

Alexis explained, “The backdrop was huge for me, I saw it on Pinterest and absolutely loved it. I have always been a fan of “twinkle lights” and I just thought the whole idea was classic and elegant.”

Spencer shared, “My brothers are my ride-and-die and best friends. We talk every day on the phone if we do not see one another in person.”

He laughed, “My brother really roasted me by telling my “lawn-mower story”… PRICELESS!”

Bouquet toss…

Alexis smiled, “Ava is very competitive, so it is not surprising she tried very hard to catch the bouquet. Spencer’s cousin, Shea, caught the bouquet.”

Garter time…

The grandparents reaction to the garter toss was *the best*….

Let them eat cake…

Spencer shared, “I was so happy to see everyone having such a great time celebrating together.  The dance floor was packed!  Our DJ did a really great job with that.”

It was so great to see so many familiar faces…  The woman clapping in the frame above hired me for senior portraits, the one below is my physical therapist!

Their grandson is my nephew!

Check out here hair!!!  Love it!!!

Alexis continued, “DJ Jenergy took care of everything. She was so awesome and helpful. She knew when to play what kind of music. She kept the crowd dancing the whole night, no one wanted to leave the dance floor! I could go on and on! She was just perfect. The best DJ I have ever heard play at an event.”

Smiles all around…

How cute are these two…

Alexis shared, “We loved that everyone danced and had a good time. Our goal was to get everyone up and dancing.  We just really wanted everyone to have a good time.”

Alexis smiled, “At the end of it all, we felt so happy and loved. We were a little sad that our wedding was over, but we were so happy to finally be husband and wife.”


Check out more of my local weddings, here.

Palace at Somerset Park Wedding Photographers: Michelle & Dan

Fireworks, a packed dance floor and marrying her elementary school crush in the school chapel… you won’t want to  miss this unique, heartfelt wedding… oh and I lost my voice for this one guys, there is a first time for everything, but it all turned out picture perfect ;)…

Michelle shared, “Lisa photographed Dan’s friends Kristin and Brian’s wedding two years ago, (they actually got to celebrate their 2 year anniversary at our wedding!)  I looked at her website and loved the way she captured strong emotions creatively in photos.  They looked natural and were a great mix of traditional and candid photos that really seemed to capture the personalities of the couples she worked with. We reached out to  Kristin and she said that choosing Lisa was one of the best decisions they made for their wedding!”

She continued, “After meeting Lisa, we instantly knew she was the photographer for us. Not only is she talented but after chatting with her for only a short time we immediately felt comfortable with her.  We truly enjoyed working with Lisa for our engagement photos and loved how the photos came out. We went into the wedding day  with full trust in her,  knowing that she was the best person to capture the special moments of the wedding through photography.  She and her assistant, Denis, really fit in with our bridal party and were so easy to be around.  They gave us a few suggestions here and there, but for most of the day, they seemed to be invisible!”

While I love capturing candid, creative shots, I also make sure to photograph traditional portraits, too.  I love the classic feel of this one:

While I’ve photographed many weddings at The Palace, each couple is unique and I try to find new places and new perspectives, and use different lighting and camera techniques and push myself creatively…

Michelle shared, “For the flowers, I chose a blush color scheme with roses and lots of greens.”

I liked the idea of subtly incorporating a few of the family antiques in the foreground and background of the shot, elevating it with some gold.

Note the name of the bottle 😉

Cheers!  Michelle’s bridesmaids bought her the balloon for her shower, and it was still in good shape for the wedding, so she mounted it over the bed.  It adds some depth and context to the photo along with the wedding dress in the foreground…

Michelle explained, “My “something blue” was my wedding shoes that I dyed steel blue to match the bridesmaids’ dresses.”

A modern take on a family heirloom… Michelle mentioned to me that she had an antique photo of her grandmother using the same heirloom mirror she’d be using on her wedding day.  She asked if I might be able to use it for anything, I was like YES!!!

The photo is of her grandmother’s reflection, so I wanted to capture Michelle’s reflection *on* the photograph.  I wanted to show the heirloom mirror, but in a sleek, modern way, so I photographed Michelle’s silhouette and I pulled in the blues of the window light and also played up the gold sepia tones of the photo and frame using the ambient light in the room….

It was really a challenge to pull off, to get everything looking just the way I wanted, but I’m so happy with the results…

I have *so many* beautiful bridal shots of Michelle, but there is something about the veil and the sparkle in her eyes here that I really like…

I played with silhouettes and reflections a little more with this shot…

While I was photographing the ladies, my second photographer, Denis was working with the men…

Michelle shared, “Not many people can say they married their 7th grade crush! Back in elementary school Dan was outgoing, funny, kind, and as an added bonus was a Yankee fan. At my friend Megan’s wedding in 2016, our mutual friend, Danielle, convinced me that “grown up” Dan still possessed a lot of these qualities and thought that we would hit it off. I am so glad I took her advice!”

When the groomsmen arrived here was a special drink waiting for each of them.

He pulled in elements of their personalities, interests and tastes and came up with quite a selection…

There are so many elements of a wedding day to be captured, from little details to epic scenes to little moments that capture emotion…

These cool guys are all dressed up and ready to go:

I love all the reds, whites, and blues in this silhouette of Dan catching a limo from the hotel to the church…

Michelle shared, “We had our ceremony at Saint Matthias Church. Dan and I both went to school together at Saint Matthias and so did many members of the bridal party! It was the perfect place for us to get married!”

Their journey is about to come full circle…

Michelle explained, “When I saw Dan on our wedding day he looked amazing in his navy blue suit. As I walked up the aisle with my father at the church, well I don’t think I’ve ever had a bigger smile on my face.”

Dan shared, “Watching Michelle walk down the aisle towards me was a moment I will never forget, especially seeing how big her smile was, I genuinely thought to myself how did I get this lucky?!”

Here her father joins their hands and gives his blessing on their marriage.

I love to play with different visual elements, here I caught a reflection of Michelle and Dan off the church floor…

Michelle explained, “Our organist was my choir director growing up, and our officiant, Deacon Steve, is my bridesmaid Sara’s father.”

I wanted to get a really unique photo of Deacon Steve, and played with colorful reflections again, this time using the stained glass…

Michelle laughed, “All I kept thinking was, “This is the best day ever and I can’t wait to marry him!”

Playing with the reflection again, Love their expressions here…

Offering up prayers and songs, I wanted to focus on the wedding guests’ hands and allow Michelle and Dan to be visible, but only softly in the background.

Michelle smiled, “It felt great to walk out of the church for our first time as husband and wife!”

Aw their faces say it all!

Something most of my clients get is a guestbook.  It features photos from their engagement session and has spaces for the guests to sign and write well wishes…

Michelle shared, “My bridesmaid Katie is my cousin, but like a sister to me.  I’ve been friends with the rest of my girls for 25+ years. Some of us went to preschool together and all of us went to Saint Matthias together. Throughout the years we have all remained close. Even  though we don’t all live near each other,  when we are together it’s like no time has past. The distance also gives us good excuses to go on trips together and have enjoyed girls’ trips in Costa Rica, Mexico, San Francisco, Nashville and the Outer Banks. ”

Taking a unique perspective on a familiar venue– I love the columns!

Dan explained, “I was really excited to have my best friends together in the party with my brother and soon to be brothers in law. They all clicked together really well- especially as we were taking  photos together and doing football and other funny poses.”

Michelle shared, “I chose steel blue for the bridesmaids’ gowns, because I thought it would be a nice color for a summer wedding and would look great on all the girls. I wanted everyone to be happy with their look so I let my girls pick the style of their dresses. I’m glad I decided to do this because all the girls looked amazing  wearing the dresses they selected.”

Dan shared, “Denis made taking photos together an enjoyable process. He blended in well and it felt like he became one of the guys.”

Dan smiled, “The groomsmen did a great job keeping me relaxed and allowing me to enjoy the moments and they even bought me a variety pack of my favorite Scotch which included Johnny Walker Blue!”

Michelle shared, “Lisa lost her voice on the day of our wedding! Something that never happened to her the day of a wedding, before. With the help of water and cough drops, she was able to direct the wedding party and get all of the photos we wanted as if she was feeling 100%. Lisa really fit in with the wedding party and it was fun to have her their while we were getting ready.”

This was the shot I was most nervous about as it does take quite a bit of communication to set up (unless your friends actually area supermodels).   I dunno guys, it looks like you might be…


Michelle explained, “I live in Somerset, where the Palace is located, and have heard great things about it ever since it opened .  We had over 250 people at our wedding and the East Side which proved to be the perfect location for our wedding guests.  The Palace grounds are so beautiful in the summer and we were lucky enough have a sunny day…

I love to capture the entire scene, so that you can really get the feel for a venue.  I tilt-shifted this shot to almost make Michelle and Dan and the scene look like a miniature…

Dan shared, “I always knew that Michelle was such a sweet and loving person.  I love how smart and how hardworking she is.  I knew for a long time that Michelle is the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and that she would be there for me in good times and in bad.”

He continued, “I’m really looking forward to my future with Michelle– buying our first house together, going on great vacations, exploring the world together, and hopefully one day even buying a beach house.”

Playing with a crystal to get some cool effects, Denis knocked this one out of the park!  I’m really particular about who I hire to work with me.   😉

Michelle shared, “It was so nice to have alone time with Dan during our photos.  Dan is kind, loving, funny, and hardworking.  I feel so lucky to have him in my life!”

I really had fun with this cake shot!

I found just the right spot so that I could layer candles in front and behind and play with, I also played with the crystals in the decor (great minds think alike haha) and then used a lighting technique to really accentuate the layers of textured icing on the cake!

I thought the blue and yellow were great contrasts and the dark background really made the cake pop!

A bridal party arch on the dance floor is always fun!  Here, with this wide perspective you can see the excitement of the bridal party and the wedding guests… I even see Kristin and Brian in the background, happy anniversary, guys!

Michelle shared, “The ballroom itself is gorgeous with high ceiling and chandeliers.”

I tried to pull the architecture into my photos, for example, in this photograph during toasts, I really show the chandeliers…

Michelle shared, “I am extremely close with my extended family and as my Dad mentioned in his speech (and the family confirmed through applause!) Dan fit in immediately.  It’s like he has been a part of the group forever! I am excited for what our future holds and can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with Dan.  We loved my dad’s speech, it was so touching.”

Happy tears!

I have several shots of their first dance but this one is my favorite.  You really get a sense of the whole scene, the grand ballroom, all the weddings guests, even the cake along with Michelle and Dan.

Michelle shared, “My dad and I danced to Lullaby by Billy Joel. The song has a lot of meaning to us because my dad and I used to dance to it when I was little. It was very appropriate as Dan actually asked my dad if he could marry me at a Billy Joel concert!”

Now THIS is a packed dance floor!

Michelle smiled, “My strapless organza ball gown was perfect for a July wedding: lightweight, comfortable, fun, and easy to dance in!  I also loved the fact the bustle did not take away from the look of the dress. While I was dress shopping last year my bridesmaid and family all said that the dress looked exactly like what they’d expect me to get married it in. I agree and couldn’t imagine wearing another dress on my wedding day.”

She continued, “I was pleasantly surprised that I actually had more time to dance then I was expecting. It’s not every day that you get to dance to songs you hand-picked with all of your favorite people!”

Michelle shared, “I don’t know what I’d do without my mom!  She was so helpful with wedding planning, she is such an amazing mom, and she is also always so much fun to be around!”

Go, mamma, go!

So funny, Michelle has such a similar expression on her face in this shot…

Dan shared, “I loved that Michelle and I were able to spend a lot of time on the dance floor and enjoying the evening. It will always be a favorite memory of my life dancing to ‘You Can Call me Al’ with my wife along with many other of our favorite hits!”

The people’s expressions in this photo are incredible!!!  Such a cool moment…



Michelle smiled, “I am so glad we had fireworks at our wedding. Many of our guests knew that the Palace can do fireworks and asked if we would be having them. I am glad we decided to keep them a surprise. Our DJ called the guests outside for the cake cutting. As soon as we kissed after cutting the cake, our maitre d ,Richard, cued for the fireworks to begin.”

She continued, “Everything  about the  experience was amazing! From cutting our 6 tier cake, the sound of the fireworks beginning during the kiss to the absolutely phenomenal show  accompanied by the fireworks themed music we selected with our DJ. It was definitely an experience we will never forget and felt like something straight out of a fairytale.”

Your kind referrals to friends and family are seriously the biggest compliment I can receive!  I so appreciate your very kind works, Kristen and Brian!

It’s so nice to see families grow, I photographed this family of 5 while they were on vacation at Long Beach Island several years ago, I can’t believe you remembered me!

Thanks so much for checking out Michelle & Dan’s wedding blog!  There are literally hundreds more photos coming soon in their full set!  Until then, please feel free to check out their Lighthouse engagement session here.

Vendor List:

  • Venue: The Palace at Somerset Park– Maitre D-Richard, Bridal Attendant: Stefani, Event Planner: Alex.  I was so grateful to have such an amazing team leading up to and on my wedding day! Their attention to detail is outstanding. Everyone at the Palace made sure our wedding was everything we had hoped for and more.
  • Hair: UFO Salon and Spa  Stephanie and her team did hair-She’s been my stylist since my senior prom and I am so glad I selected UFO for my wedding day. Steph went above and beyond to made sure everything ran smoothly and that everyone left happy and looking beautiful .
  • Make-up: Make Me Up Eva Jamie and Christine both did a great job at ensuring everyone in the bridal party-from those who never wear makeup to those who could practically be makeup artists themselves- had the look they wanted for the day.
  • Flowers: At Touch of Elegance-Laura  Laura did a great job at helping my vision come to life. I absolutely loved my bouquet!
  • Limo: Santos VIP  – Marla, our limo driver, was clearly a seasoned pro. She had an amazing personality and great sense of humor. She made sure everything ran smoothly from the hotel to the church and to the venue.
  • DJ/videographer/photobooth: This Magic Moment: DJ adam &  Videographer Julie Conroy:  DJ Adam was awesome to work with. He was there for us every step of the way during the wedding planning process and went above and beyond to ensure the entertainment for the night was top notch. Julie was also great to work with and made sure to capture all the important moments of the day without being obtrusive. We love our highlights video!



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