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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.

Hotel Dupont Wedding Photographers: Jackie & Mark

An elegant, Hotel Dupont wedding for two people with hearts of gold…

Jackie shared, “From the moment I first looked at your website, I knew that I needed to have you as our photographer.  I love the creativity in your work, but you also make sure to get classic photos, too.  You were super easy to work with, the photography timeline you created for our day was seamless.  It also definitely helped to have the experience with you from our engagement shoot so we knew what to expect, how you worked, and that we could relax and trust you to capture the perfect shot.”

Mark added, “We had a great experience working with you– you were positive, friendly, caring and professional.  There were a few snafus during the day and you rolled with the punches like a champ.  You were able to get really creative and thought outside of the box all day long.”

One thing that Jackie mentioned when we first met was how much she enjoyed my bridal party shots, that everyone was classically posed, like something in Vogue, GQ or Vanity Fair.  I *love* capturing images like that, here is yours, Jackie…

Jackie shared, “I was impressed with your idea to get photos of our rings the clock.  I noticed it as a cool concept because it made me think of marriage, it’s really about promising each other to stand the test of time, and the rings are the symbol of that.”

She went on, “Over the years, we’ll go through so much together, good times, bad times, happy and sad, but we can always go back in time to look back on this day and remember how perfect it was and how much we love each other.”

Jackie you are one deep lady!  Aside from the time-tie in, And loving the sun/moon detail, I also liked the gold touches on the clock, I felt like it really worked well with her color scheme.  I carefully balanced their rings right where the shadow fell, so they would pop against the background.

Jackie explained, “I actually let the florist, Meg, do a lot of the flower decisions on her own.  For the most part,  I gave her my colors and we talked about some basic things, the feel I was thinking of, any particular flowers (snap dragons are my favorite so I definitely wanted them included in my bouquet), etc, but I pretty much just let her do her thing and everything turned out better then I could have thought!”

More gold tones and detailing– for this shot I wanted to show the embroidery on her veil and crystals on her shoes.  For brides who want “the little things” captured, photographing the details like the flowers, rings, shoes, etc are what I do as soon as I arrive…

Jackie shared, “My cousin, Ashley Kane, is the co-owner of Forevermore Paper Co, and she did our save the dates and invitations for us.  We have gotten SO many complements on both of these items and we absolutely loved how they turned out! One of our friends, told us they were the nicest invitations he’s ever seen. I can’t thank her enough for her work on them, and being able to have a family member contribute her talent, makes it that much more special.”

I asked Jackie if there was anything she was hoping to see in her photos, she explained, “I absolutely love the reflection shots you do, one of my favorite shots from our engagement featured a reflection and I just really like how you play with them.”

Here you are seeing double, as Jackie applies the finishes touches on her make-up…

Jackie smiled, “My matron of honor, Megan’s  daughter,  Lilian, was my flower girl.  I was there at the hospital the day she was born, and I’ve had the privilege of being her “aunt Jackie” and watching her grow.  I loved watching her excitement on my wedding day, and still remember her putting her basket in the window of the room we were getting ready in so “everyone could see you’re getting married.”

Jackie, you are beautiful!!

Jackie shared, “My dress is from Claire’s in Wilmington DE, everyone told me that I had to go there.  I also had a certain designer in mind, Essence of Australia, and they carried that line.  I LOVED this dress, between the delicate lace, with just a little bit of sparkle in the bodice, and the overall elegant look, I was sold.”

I like to pack a lot into one shot– in this one I wanted to show the detailing of her dress and the way the light hit that and her veil, the ornate draperies and park view out the window.

Jackie shared, “I wanted an elegant wedding, and Hotel DuPont is the perfect venue in our area to have that timeless, classic look.  The architecture there is so beautiful and detailed.”

The Hotel Dupont is so incredible, that you really have to see it for yourself to believe it, especially the ballroom, but I did my best to capture different elements of the architecture throughout the day, this photo also features the bridesmaids…

Jackie shared, “My matron of honor is Megan who has been my best friend since we were partners in chemistry class.  I also had my friend Rachel who I met our freshman year of college, we were both pre-pharmacy students and living in the same dorm at Pitt.  My sister in law Cassie and my cousin Emily round out my crew.”

Jackie shared, “Mark is the best person, he always puts others first, he’s caring, loving and always, always makes me laugh.  He looked extremely handsome in his tux.”

Here my second photographer, Richard, captured this reflection of Mark in the mirror, I’m guessing you are a fan both of the subject matter and creative approach…

Jackie’s choice of gold matched everything in Hotel Dupont so well.  There were many gold accepts throughout the hotel and many of the rooms themselves were bathed in gold light, too.

Jackie and Mark were wed at Grace United Methodist Church, at 900 N. Washington St in Wilmington, Delaware.

Jackie shared, “We were looking for a Methodist Church near Hotel Dupont, as my home church is about an hours drive away, and happened to notice this one was just a few blocks away.”  Again, love the architecture…

Aw such a handsome groom– I love how Richard placed him in front of a tree with burgundy blooms, way to incorporate the color scheme!

I grabbed this candid moment as Jackie exited the limo, arriving at the church.  I liked all of the layers– the vibrant blue sky with white puffy clouds, the modern buildings of downtown Wilmington, the limo and all key players on Jackie’s side…

Jackie shared, “My favorite part of the day was actually our ceremony.  Being able to stand up in front of our family and friends and become husband and wife.”

She laughed, “I was so nervous about walking down the aisle because I don’t like to be the center of attention and have everyone’s eyes on me, but as soon as I started that walk with my dad and saw Mark, all the nervousness disappeared and nothing but excitement and joy was left to marry this man I am completely in love with.”

Here she begins her walk down the aisle with her father…

Mark smiled, “Watching the bride come down the aisle was definitely my favorite moment of the day.    I was stunned, she looked so gorgeous.”

Jackie’s dad gave her a big hug after walking with her and passed her hand to marks.  I like the intimate feel of this photograph, shot between two wedding guests, as well as the symbolism here, you have a father, husband and child all in one photograph…

Mark shared sheepishly, “I will admit  I did tear up when I saw Jackie.”  So sweet:

 

Jackie explained, “When we went inside to see the church, we fell in love.  Between the stained glass windows and the pipe organ, it was just what we were looking for.”

The light in the church was incredible.  I had so much to work with in that space.  Here you can see gold light streaming in the stained glass windows…

Mark laughed, “If you know my grandmother and/or saw her shoes #goldshoes, I knew she was going to do something.  She has been supportive and loving my whole life, and true story, her heart sign is still being talked about as of this day, it was memorable for sure!”

Grandma’s are the best!  Take a look at her sign…

Jackie continued, “Working with Pastor Edwin was fantastic, we couldn’t have asked for a better pastor to work with through our journey and he gave us a phenomenal wedding ceremony.  He is very kind and even had a sense of humor, too.”

I climbed up to the choir loft for this shot.  I wanted to capture the pipes of the organ, the stained glass, light fixtures, wedding guests… the entire scene & the kiss 😉

A modern portrait of the newlyweds…

Mark shared, “Jackie and I just work.  I think we work so well together because we really balance each other out.”

A nod to the classic architecture…

Jackie explained, “I look forward to starting a chapter in our lives- buying a new house together, starting a family, creating memories, laughing together and falling more in love with him every day.”

Again the sky and modern architecture was calling me… look closely and you will see Jackie and Mark silhouetted in the foreground.

The ballroom, was just spectacular…

Jackie shared, “We wanted a very classic and elegant look and feel, with a little bit of romance thrown in.  I found a color palette I like that included burgundy, blush/rose gold,  and gold tones and loved it.  It also worked super well because we could play off the gold in the ballroom.”

She continued, “We didn’t have to do much in the way of decor as the ballroom is gorgeous on its own so that worked to our advantage.”

Jackie smiled, “I knew I wanted calla lilies and snap dragons from the start and the gold-blush-burgundy palette and really let, Meg go from there.  Everything turned out even better than I could have imagined.”

Love the gold up-lighting, too– such a great touch!  Mr & Mrs Forbes!!!

I loved playing with all of the lighting in the room– the gold up-lighting combined with the band’s shades of blues and added my own little burst of light there, too.

Such a beautiful scene…

It looks like something out of a painting and actually will be!!!

Mark stated, “The painting will be a treasured piece in our home.”

Jackie added, “Mark’s cousin had a painting done at her wedding and I thought it was the coolest thing.”

The father of the bride welcomed everyone…

As did the mother of the groom– it was definitely a family affair!

Mark smiled, “To quote the great Dr Theresa T Forbes- I really did hit a home run by marrying Jackie.”

The band was incredible!

They definitely got everyone to let loose on the dance floor!  Love her energy and that pop of red, stunning!

The kiddos were super sweet, too.

I used the candle light and champagne bubbles to bring some interesting effects into the maid of honor’s speech…

Mark shared, “My best man was my college roommate, we are very similar.  We can go months without talking to each other and pick up right where we left off.  He did a great job on his speech, laughs all around.”

He definitely had everyone laughing, the maid of honor and even the band members are smiling!  With the best man’s toast I wanted to capture the full scene, so I put Jackie and Mark in the foreground of the composition, framing him.  

Father-daughter dance:

Mother-son:

Cake cutting:

Jackie shared, “Bananas foster is my favorite dessert, we had to have it, and the flambe presentation made it all the more fun!  Servers really made quote a show of it!”

Lots of energy out on the dance floor for sure!

Especially from the little ones– I could not get over all of the detailing on the ceiling and decided then I’d incorporate it again later in the night!

Mark smiled, “My friends are a lot of fun.  Despite living in different states and having busy lives, we make time to bust each others chops almost on a daily basis.  For example: when I woke up on my wedding day, I was awoken to text messages – who’s taking bets on whether Jackie will actually show up or not. After a few responses, someone then proceeded to call dibs if she doesn’t show.” 

The band was really top notch.  One of my favorite moments was when they joined the guests out on the dance floor– Jackie and Mark got a kick out of that, too.

Jackie reflected, “People told us the night would fly by, I don’t think we actually believed them until it was the end of the night and it had literally flown by.  But at the same time, everything was perfect and I couldn’t have been happier with how the day turned out. ”

Jackie smiled, “And of course I was super excited to leave the next morning for our honeymoon in the Maldives!”

Mark joked, “What our wedding is over? Didn’t we just start 20 minutes ago? I have to wake up in 5 hours!”

If you’d like to see more of Jackie and Mark, check out their Omni Bedford Springs engagement session here.  Their full set of wedding photos will be live next week with several hundred images :D.

Wedding Vendors:

Melhorn Manor Wedding Photographer: Michelle & Billy’s Engagement

A lake, pup and super sweet couple– you want want to miss Michelle & Billy’s blog…

My husband, Kris and I have known Billy for a long time, “two decades” as he put it– we’ve known his family for years, when he was in graduate school, he student taught with Kris and learned how to teach world history to students in Shippensburg.  He even helped us move!

He explained, “I was the one who started the conversation, I had followed your work for years, so I introduced Michelle to it and she loved how creative you are and just the way you are able to use light and capture scenes, emotion and moments.”

Above is a scene that struck me as so beautiful, the reflecting blue sky with white puffy clouds in the lake and the long path out to the edge of the dock where Michelle and Billy are sitting perfectly balanced, Billy creating ripples in the water from his movement, haha– more on that later 😉

While I love capturing the personalities of couples, I also make sure to photograph a few standard portraits as well, too…

Michelle shared, “We chose Pine Grove Furnace because it was one of our first dates.  We went hiking on one of the trails.  Billy said it’d be a super easy hike, and it definitely was NOT!”

She laughed, “But once we got to the top, the view was phenomenal.”  Speaking of nice views, Laurel Lake is full of them:

Michelle shared, “Spencer, our rescue dog, is a huge part of our lives now. At first, I was the only one that wanted a dog. I really had to convince Billy. We actually applied for a different dog but he had already been adopted out by the time our application was processed. The rescue called us and said they had a dog that they thought would fit us and asked if we wanted to meet him.”

She continued, “I of course said yes and Billy said he would at least go meet him. Well the rest is history because I think Spencer knew who he needed to convince. The minute we walked in to the house he went over to Billy and basically crawled on to his lap and wanted belly rubs. From that moment on Spencer has pretty much been at Billy’s side. I was the one that wanted a dog, and now our dog is definitely a daddy’s boy.”

She smiled, “That just means we need to get another one.”

I love to play with different tools and technique with my camera.  In the photo above I used “depth of field” focusing on Spencer and allowing Michelle & Billy to fade into the background.

In the photograph below, I used a tilt-shift technique to shoot through kayaked that were stacked, adding interesting depth, color, lines and framing to the image.

A stacked kayak rack (try saying that 5 times fast)…

Billy shared, “Basically we are happy with this engagement session if we are outside, are comfortable and have a good time.  You’ve already incorporated our pup and a place that means something to both of us, and I see a smile on Michelle’s face so, I mean we are already happy…”

Michelle added, “Yes, relaxed is the vibe I was going for, too.”

Billy shared, “I tend to be very spur of the moment, spontaneous, while Michelle enjoys the ride and keeps us headed in a productive direction.”

I love the way this photo captures that sentiment so well… I used a slow-shutter speed and panning technique to pull this one off.  I wanted you to really feel the movement looking at it…

Michelle shared, “Billy is finally excited to have pictures of us together when he has a beard. He always comments that I must hate the beard because all of the pictures in the house are of him with a “baby face”, when in reality, I actually like the beard.”

Billy goat gruff…

This scene is honestly too beautiful for words, the adorable couple, the lines of canoes, the deep, dark reflection among the lily pads…

Billy explained, “I love the fact that Michelle is a strong, independent woman. Her smile can light up a room, and she truly embodies the meaning of friendship and love.”

I really wanted to show how this opposites attract by bringing balance to the relationship.

Here Michelle sits, grounded and first, while Billy balances on one leg teetering at the water’s edge.

You better believe I was ready to capture any misstep and waited until the end of the shoot to try this, haha!

Billy smiled, “How Michelle & I ended up together was interesting. A mutual friend kept trying to set us up.  Michelle was working for Central Dauphin, the arch rival of the school I not only wrestled for, but was coaching for at the time. We wrestled @ CD and beat them for their first ever loss in their home gym!  After the match, I felt like having some fun, and got Michelle’s number to text and gloat a little.”

Geese flew overhead–  such an interesting, authentic moment…

Billy continued, “About a week later, I had tickets to see Wicked in Pittsburgh. I decided to fast track the whole dating idea, and realized if I could stand her for a 3 hour ride out, 6+ hours in Pittsburgh, and a 3 hour ride back, she might be ok. The day went great and the rest is history.”

Michelle added, “Our friend must have seen something in Billy, because she kept trying and clearly she was right. I very much felt the same way about when he asked me to go see Wicked.  Wicked is one of my favorite shows, so I figured how bad could it be?!? Even if he did drive me crazy, I would still get to see a show and visit a city that I love. Needless to say, we both survived the trip and had a great time. Almost 6 years later, here we are.”

Could the sky be more beautiful???

Michelle and Billy, after seeing so many other couples on my blog, I hope you enjoyed seeing yourselves.  It was such a pleasure to photograph you two and Spencer.  You have dozens more photos coming your way.  Until then feel free to share your photos and story to anyone you’d like!  😉

Palace at Somerset Park Wedding Photographers: Daniela & Frank

Joyful, elegant wedding for an English teacher and her high-school crush at The Palace at Somerset Park

Daniela shared, “We chose Rhinehart Photography because you offer more than just people posing– you capture the essence of people, you tell their story, your photographs are beyond unique.  All of our vendors were amazing, especially you!”

Frank added, “You are creative, professional, and also made us feel so comfortable.  It was so easy to work with you, we had a great time and I know we will love our wedding photos!”

One part of Daniela’s “essence” is that she is an avid reader and English teacher.  She always carries a book with her.  As I was trying to find a ring shot that would be unique to Daniela & Frank, I found this Alice and Wonderland book… I have more traditional shots of the ring, but thought this was especially sweet with the classic literature tie in…   

I loved playing with all of the gold tones and ovals in the bridal suite   This is actually a reflection of Daniela as she puts on her earrings.

Daniela shared, “Our wedding’s overall look and feel was classic and elegant.”

I love this timeless portrait of her…

My style is very eclectic and I love to get a wide variety of photographs during a wedding day– some that focus more on emotions, some that show off the environment, others that tell a story.

I have many portraits of Daniela, but this one really makes me think of one of her favorite quotes:

Though she be but little, she is fierce!” ― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Daniela is shorter than me, and at 5’1″ that is something I seldom say)

Daniela shared, “One of the best parts about our wedding day was being surrounded by all of our favorite people.  We are lucky to have amazing family and friends!”

Daniela explained, “We all had such a great time working with you!  You were on top of things yet kept us laughing and smiling all day long.”

Strike a pose, ladies!

For this photo, I used a tilt-shift technique.  I really wanted to show off the beautiful scenery and also make everything almost appear to be miniature…

Daniela’s first look (and hug) with her dad…

While I photographed the ladies, my second photographer, Denis, photographed the men.  I love his shot of Frank putting on the finishing touches…

I love the generational feeling you get with this image… the young men in the foreground getting all dressed up as Frank’s dad and grandfather are watching and smiling in the background.

Such a cool space, the guys hanging out and sharing drinks at Gatsby’s

The ceremony space was beautifully decorated by Allure Floral Design and a bright blue sky and white puffy clouds awaited the bride and groom…

Frank explained, “The staff at The Palace was phenomenal. David and Maya were the absolute best. They were the best at their jobs and we were lucky to have them the day of our wedding.”

They are incredible!  Here they prepare Daniela for her walk down the aisle…

Daniela laughed, “When I saw Frank for the first time,  I could not stop smiling. I just kept thinking about how our wedding was truly happening.”

Frank shared, “When I saw her for the first time on our wedding day as they opened the doors, I thought, “Wow I am truly the luckiest man in the world with the most beautiful soon to be wife. ”  I cried tears of joy without caring what anyone thought. I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life with her and growing old together. It is going to be a hell of a time!”

I think she literally took his breath away!

I love to capture all the emotions of the wedding day, here Daniela’s face says it all– I think her eyes are a little glossy, too, Frank!

Daniela smiled, “The ceremony was amazing. It was simple, yet embodied who we were as a couple as well. There was love but also laughter and that is us! The moment with not reaching the microphone is something that happens to me all the time and I had to laugh!”

Daniela explained, “It was also extremely important to us to honor our families well. We spend a lot of time making sure our special day was also special to the people who had a hand in raising us into the people are today. That included a memory table, moments of silence for our loved ones, acknowledging our brother in law who is serving overseas, and having a surprise sibling dance for our brother and sister.”

Here Frank’s sister hears them acknowledge her husband overseas…

The tilt– I have plenty of traditional wedding ceremony photos, but sometimes a simple tilt can do a lot for a scene– in this case showcase so many elements in one photo– the sky and stunning floral arch, the wedding officiant, could and groomsmen as well as the beautiful detailing on the back of Daniela’s dress and of course Frank gazing into her eyes…

Another storytelling moment– as Frank slides the wedding band on Daniela’s finger, you can see all of the wedding guests watching attentively– there were over 200 of them!

Kiss the bride– again a tilt-shift shot… I wanted to put all of the focus on the happy couple and floral arch, I wanted the guests to be there to give context to the shot but not be overpowering since they are in the foreground…

Daniela explained, “As soon as we saw The Palace, we knew it was going to be where our wedding was. We instantly fell in love with the place and everyone who worked there. They were beyond accommodating and made us feel so comfortable. The Palace is beautiful and just felt right to us.”

Simple, elegant, classic– Daniela & Frank with their bridesmaids and groomsmen and the stunning Palace at Somerset Park in the background…

While most of the day, I capture candid moments, I always take a little time to photograph some traditional portraits, too…

Daniela shared, “Of course! I’ve known Frank since we were 11 years old. He was always someone who was in the “background” of my life so to speak. We always kind of orbited around each other but never actually connected until we were in our twenties.”

Daniela continued, “It always surprises me that this person that has always been on the outskirts of my life is now my husband. We had classes together in high school and I was always thought he was cute 😉 but I never would have imagined that he would be in my life in a “real” way. And now I literally cannot imagine my life without him. It is so funny how life changes and how things truly are meant to be.”

Here the newlyweds check out their wedding bands…

Frank shared, “I think we work so well together because we always listen to each other and we are always making each other laugh. It is definitely the way we show love.”

Daniela added, “He is usually serious so when I get to be the one to make him smile and laugh, it feels like winning the lottery every time.”

Frank opened up, “I fell for Daniela because she truly is perfect in every way. I know you aren’t supposed to say that, but it is true. She is the kindest person I ever met. She will do anything for anyone and always puts other people before herself. She is absolutely stunning. I knew I wanted to marry her because she completes me and I am the most comfortable when I am with her.”

Daniela shared, “I fell in love with Frank when I realized I could not picture my life without him.  He is such a serious, quiet guy to the “outside” world, but to me I get to see him completely  carefree. I knew I wanted to marry him very soon into us being together because I have always felt so safe with him. The qualities I like how supportive he is. He always has my best interest in mind and will support any decision I make. He has the best smile and laugh in the world, and it is my favorite thing to see him smile or hear him laugh because it is so genuine.”

I loved the ambiance of the East Ballroom.  The candle light, the chandeliers, everything felt so warm and I wanted to capture that….

Let them eat cake 😉

How fun!!

Frank shared, “My favorite part of our wedding was dancing with my bride and having fun just the two of us and having all of our friends surrounding us.”

Frank explained, “We each have a great relationship with our parents and siblings and both of our families get along so well. We are very lucky.”

Frank explained, “I was most excited to experience both of our families and our friends come together to have a great time. The Palace made sure everyone had an unforgettable experience.”

Here Frank’s best man gives his toast…

Daniela explained, “Our reception was PERFECT. The overall atmosphere was exactly what we imagined and Tommy, our DJ, kept everyone dancing the entire time. We had the time of our lives!”

I wanted to show the lighting set up by Elite Entertainment here, to get the full feel of the room and show off the chandeliers and packed dance floor, and the night was just getting started…

This is how we do it…

Daniela shared, “My favorite part of our wedding was the happiness I felt the entire day. From the ceremony to the reception I was so happy to be marrying my best friend and to have all of the people I love in one room.”

Daniela smiled, “At one point in the reception I just took everything in and it was definitely a moment of WOW for me!”

Again, wanted to capture all of the color and movement and emotion out on the dance floor…

Frank had some serious moves!

Awww Daniela’s dad…  in this show I showed off the blue light and brought in a little white light from my flash, too:

Rock on…

All the guys out on the dance floor were awesome:

I’m blue da-da-dee-da-da-doo…

The ladies were out in full force, too…

Haha, the moment Daniela tossed the bouquet from the balcony and it was ripped apart by the single ladies:

Everybody up:

Daniela shared, “At the end of the day, we work because we challenge each other by always ensuring the other person is living or working to become the best version of themselves.”

She added, “If you would have told me 10 years ago that I would be marrying Frank, I would have never believed you! I am so glad our lives have worked out the way they did.  I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with this amazing man.”

If you’d like to see more of Daniela & Frank, check out their Washington DC engagement photos here.

If you’d like to see more of my work, check out my website, Facebook or Instagram.

Vendors:

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 ;).”

Awwwwwww….

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).

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