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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.

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.

Wedding Vendors: 

 

Heritage Restored Farm wedding photographers: Dani & Dustin

A rustic, autumn barn wedding only six miles from my home…

If you follow my blog, you know that I love to travel, and often photograph weddings in DC, NYC, etc.  But there is something very special about photographing people I have known for many years in my own community and capturing the beauty of the land and spaces that we call home!

Dani shared, “As soon as I saw Dustin’s senior portraits, I knew I wanted Lisa to photograph my wedding.  Every time she worked with another one of his family members, (she photographed his sister, brother, and entire family) that initial thought was confirmed over and over again.  She truly has a creative eye and can photograph traditional things in such a unique and beautiful way.”

She continued, “It was so easy working with Lisa, and her husband, Kris, on our wedding day.   They are both so friendly and relaxed, which made us feel comfortable and allowed us to be completely ourselves! They were open to hearing our ideas, but didn’t need them as they came so prepared that we didn’t need to think about a thing! Lisa was very helpful the day before the wedding too- she spent almost an hour of her time with me, walking me through the timeline and events of the day, which really calmed my nerves.”

The image above shows their first dance, in a traditional barn, captured in a unique way– the draperies at heritage restored are absolutely stunning!  For the shot below, I balanced their wedding rings on a velvet pumpkin one, incorporating a bit of their decor into their ring shot– a little tradition a little creativity…

While I like getting up close and personal somethings, like with the ring shot haha, I also love to capture scenes play with spaces and angles and light.  Here I showed Danielle’s wedding gown along with the rustic ladders, Edison bulbs, draperies, light coming through the slats of the barn, etc all peering through the rungs of a ladder…

Dani shared, “Having all of my bridesmaids pray over me before the ceremony was such a special moment! I love them all so much and felt so blessed to be surrounded by six caring, beautiful, strong Christian women.”

I love so many things about this moment!  For me I like how the women are in shadow with these rich vibrant colors while Danielle appears to be illuminated by their prayers, I like the top down perspective too, as it makes for some interesting lines while also showing off Danielle’s gorgeous hair and lashes…

Dani explained, “I felt so blessed to have all 6 of my lovely bridesmaids with me on my special day! They perfectly demonstrate three different parts of my life- 2 family members, 2 college roommates, and 2 that I met through Dustin and our “couple” friends.  I couldn’t have imagined my wedding day without them all by my side!”

I like capturing different scenic elements as I’m photographing different moments and traditions.  In the image above I wanted to show the mature oak tree and string lights and in the image below I wanted to show the barn and bring in that maroon color.

Dani shared, “Over the past couple years, my Dad and I have formed a really special bond, so having a moment with him before the wedding was so sweet.”

She went on, “I’m his baby girl, so I know letting me go was difficult for him- he’s officially an empty-nester now!”

Dani smiled, “I am so fortunate to have such fantastic friends!  They were amazing planning my Bridal shower and Bachelorette party, as well as helping me on the wedding day!”

I enjoy working with layers in a photograph, it can make something that is two dimensional feel more three dimensional.  Here I have the string lights in the foreground, wood slats in the background and lovely ladies in the middle framed in the beautiful white fabric that really pops against the background…

Awww how sweet is their little nephew?

Dani shared, “Heritage Restored was the perfect place for our wedding– from the stunning draperies, to the string lights, the sunlight trickling in through the wood slats, and the breathtaking mountain views, we knew it was the perfect location for our ideal rustic wedding reception.”

One final “traditional” portrait…

Dani shared, “Dustin is the most caring, selfless, and kindest man that I have ever met. Falling for him was easy- he makes everything more fun and he always knows how to make me laugh. He is a great listener, my biggest supporter, and my forever best friend. I truly can’t imagine my life without him!”

Dustin explained, “All of my groomsmen have been an important part of my life. They come from my family, grade school, church, and college. I have so many memories with all of them.”

My second photographer and husband, Kris, really knocked this shot out of the park, I love the symmetry, lines and pop of color…

I was photographing Dani’s dress in the barn at this point, but couldn’t help myself from grabbing this quick shot of the guys that Kris was setting up but from a different perspective.

Just chillin…

Lifting him up, literally!

Dani explained, “Dustin and I both agreed that we didn’t want to do a first look, but decided to do a letter exchange instead!”

She continued “I have kept every single letter, note, or card that Dustin has ever given me over the years, and I’m excited to add this letter to that collection. It is a keepsake that I know I will cherish for the rest of my life. It will be fun to look back on our wedding someday and be able to remember how we felt in that moment!”

Here I got at just the right angle to get Dani and Dustin both reading their letters, filling the frame with the vibrant red of the barn wall.  I got low enough so that you can see Dustin’s inscription, “To: the bride” and some of his handwriting through the paper.

Dustin shared, “The wedding was at my home church- my family has been going there for longer than I’ve been alive. I have many memories at that church over the years of attending service, youth group, and a lot of church activities. I enjoy the archery league that is hosted in the gym there every winter.”

I like how you can see the full scene here– Dani with her father, Dustin waiting at the far end, all the guests watching the processional, the fixtures and stained glass of the church, her train and veil…

Dani smiled, “Before walking down the aisle, I was extremely nervous…and then all of those nerves went away as soon as the doors opened and I saw Dustin. It was a moment that I had dreamed about for a long time, and it was absolutely perfect.”

She continued, “He looked so handsome! When I got to the front of the church, I saw tears in Dustin’s eyes, which was a big deal to me because I had never seen him cry before. I can’t even describe how loved I felt in that moment!”

Dustin added, “We also wanted to include a family member in the service and my grandfather was a good fit because he’s a Pastor. It also made sense because we wanted him to read something that my uncle, his son, wrote.”

I liked the gold light streaming in through the window and how it somehow skimmed Dustin’s grandpa’s hand, illuminating his gold wedding band as he spoke.

Dani explained, “We knew we wanted to get married in Dustin’s church but also wanted to incorporate my home church, too.  In order to do that, we had my Pastor from Enola marry us- I thought it was a cool way to combine both of our ‘Church of God’ backgrounds!”

Here Dani places the ring on Dustin’s finger as her home pastor speaks…

I move around a lot during a wedding day, usually walking at least five miles throughout the day!  Part of this is due to my quest for capturing all of the elements that come together to really tell the story of the wedding day.

I was crouched down low in the center of the aisle towards the front of the church for the shot above, and for the shot below I climbed the stairs to the choir loft and was able to capture the full scene, including the lines of the rafters and lighting fixtures…

Dani shared, “When we left the church together as husband and wife, I was probably the happiest I have ever been in my whole life. It was what we had been waiting on for 4 and a half years, and it felt so good to FINALLY be married!”

Dani shared, “We went to Dustin’s family’s farm immediately following the ceremony.  We met at summer camp, but fell in love on the farm.  It was the location of so many dates and adventures. ”

She continued, “From playing basketball in the barn, fire pits in the driveway, kayaking down the creek, pumpkin carving on the porch, riding the four-wheeler around in the fields, snowball fights in the yard, homemade drive ins against the house, riding tractors, Dustin teaching me how to hunt, watching sunsets on the hill… the farm is where it all went down.”

You can see Dustin’s childhood home in the background…

Dani explained, “Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE cats! So of course I love the black cat that lives on the farmhouse porch! For years I was the only one that gave it any love and attention when I was at Dustin’s house. Sometimes when I would pull up in my car, the cat would run to my car door to greet me! So I loved that the kitty tried to get in our wedding pictures!”

Streeeeeetch…  the black cat with its claws out and pumpkins in the background– such a sweet autumn scene…

Something blue…

Tire swing… this has been Incorporated into many a Labonte photo shoot, so I had to include it, haha…

Dustin recalled, “When I first saw Danielle walking down the aisle, I was just so excited and she looked so beautiful! I was pretty nervous before the ceremony, but having her up there with me definitely calmed me down.  I’m so lucky to have a woman like her!”

Dani explained, “I think the saying “opposites attract” really describes us and how we work so well together. Dustin is an extrovert, I’m an introvert. He’s always looking at the big picture, I’m more of a detail person. And he can’t sit still, whereas I love a good movie marathon. We balance each other out.”

For me this photograph captures the balance in the idea of opposites attracting.  Here fun-loving outgoing Dustin clicks his boots and Dani watches, hands in her pockets, smiling…

Dustin shared, “Danielle is the best, hands down. She is willing to do anything with me and is always a joy to be with. The wedding day was a blur, but what stood out to me was how gorgeous she looked. I am very fortunate to have found a great woman like her!”

Danielle shared, “I am simply looking forward to sharing my life with Dustin- the small moments, big moments, and everything in between. I can’t wait to build a family and a life together, wherever and whenever that may be. I am so excited to keep falling more and more in love with this incredible man every day!”

I love to play with vibrant complimentary colors and balance in my compositions.  The yellow of the bridge and the blue of the sky reflected in the water gave me the perfect color palette, and having the couple in the top right of the frame and the water at the lower bottom really brought in the balance I was looking for.

Dustin laughed, “I still can’t believe we left you behind after the ceremony!  We were so excited to be husband and wife and to get some time alone at the farm, that we started driving there without you!”  (True story:  I called them and was like, where are you? haha).

Something so moody and dramatic about this one!  I water to catch the light playing on the leaves and the soft layers of Dani’s dress, the fact that Dustin is being a gentleman and helping her walk on the road, carrying her train and bouquet are all so sweet.

I also like that they are just starting out on this path and have a long winding road ahead of them.

Dustin explained, “Until now, we’ve dated long distance, now we’ve pretty much only seen each other on the weekends. I am looking forward to getting to do fun stuff together every day.  I can’t wait to build our lives together.”

He continued, “Our wedding was perfect, it couldn’t have possibly gone any better. It was literally THE BEST day!!”

Swept off her feet…

Dani shared, “Because Dustin and I are such opposites we really help each other to learn and grow. He pushes me to try new things, and I challenge him to rest and relax!”

She continued, “We realize that sometimes we have to sacrifice for the other. We just work.”

Haaa the barn where they’d play basketball and the path they’d walk to watch sunset, I even recall photographing Dustin’s senior portraits at this barn door…

Dani explained, “We chose Heritage Restored for our reception because we have a family-friend connection with the owners, and it is absolutely gorgeous! We had been in that barn for Halloween parties in previous years, so it was really cool to see how the Williams family was able to transform it into a beautiful venue!”

While I love capturing candid moments as the wedding day unfolds, I made sure to get more traditional photos too, this one also showing the barn at Heritage Restored…

I’m pretty active with hiking, kayaking, biking, etc and so enjoy being in Cumberland Valley.

Shippensburg is nestled in the middle of the great Appalachian Valley (that extends from Maine to Mississippi).  The Appalachian Trail is accessible almost anywhere nearby.  We are between the Lebanon Valley and Shenandoah Valley and have access to waterfalls, forests, rivers, caves, streams, mountains, lakes.   I love it here!

These mountains, right?  Again, playing with layers, if it were a painting, the background could be three large brush strokes– 1/3 grass, 1/3 mountains, 1/3 sky…

Strike a pose– bringing out their inner super model:

Dani shared, “My favorite part of the decor for the reception was all of the pumpkins and fall leaves on the tables and around the barn. My family members generously contributed from their fall decoration collections so that I could have as many pumpkins as possible- they are my favorite thing about fall!”

She continued, “I was excited to see all of my work on the calligraphy come together- I hand wrote all of the name cards, the table numbers, the bar signs, and the entire seating chart.”

I have so many photos of their lovely decor, but thought this one captured a few different elements, Danielle’s beautiful calligraphy, the rustic table scene created using two barrels, a screen and a door:

Dustin shared, “My favorite part of the day was probably when Danielle and I sat down together at dinner, enjoyed the good food, and watched and mingled with all of our family and friends.”

He continued, “Mission BBQ was the only place we tested and we picked them right away. The food was great and their service was excellent. They offered a variety of options for the day so everyone could find something they enjoyed. We like that kind of food and it fit our theme really well!”

So the entire day was overcast, but just at the right time, as the sun was setting, the clouds began to open up and sunlight started beaming through.  Vibrant blue storm clouds combined with yellow beams of sunlight are definitely my favorite!

By the time I grabbed Dani and Dustin it was even more purple!

Dani shared, “Lisa always showcases such amazing sunset photographs, but I honestly thought we weren’t going to get one because of how overcast our wedding day was… and then the clouds moved just right to catch the beautiful pink and purple of sunset! It was so beautiful!”

Dustin made this moment extra sweet…

Dustin shared, “My little brother, Dillon, has been a huge part of my life, so it was a no-brainer to pick him as my best man. He did great with the speech!!”

Cheers!  I tried to quickly focus on the glasses as they clinked at just the right spot to get the “groom” lettering illuminated…

Over a thousand cookies!!!!

Dani shared, “Dustin and I love cookies and brownies, so we were really excited to have a cookie bar at our wedding! I was so thankful to have such amazing family members help me bake all of the cookies and brownies! Together we made over 1,000 cookies!”

Father daughter dance…

Mother and son…

While the photo I opened with of their first dance was really my favorite, I like this one too…

Dani explained, “The dress was definitely the perfect choice for me, as it allowed me to sit, hug, and dance freely!”

Hitting the dance floor…

Awwww….

Bouquet toss…

Dani explained, “Having music and a dancefloor at our wedding was a MUST because I love to dance! I really wanted our guests to have fun dancing too, so I created a playlist for the evening! I included different decades and genres so everyone would hear something they liked! I had an absolute blast dancing with my family and friends!”

The illuminated barn at night– so pretty!  I love how people gathered inside and out and that there was a space for everyone.

A moment alone…

Back to the party!

Dani and Dustin, thank you for entrusting me to capture such significant places, people and moments in your life!  If you want to hear more of their story, visit their engagement blog post here, or visit other LaBonte family photos here.

Wedding Vendors:

F a c e b o o k