Amy + John | Wyomissing Park Engagement | Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

I met Amy and John a few months ago when we got together over dinner for their wedding consultation.  We immediately hit it off, and I knew we were going to make a great team!  They are about as real as two people can be - my favorite kind of people.  I was thrilled when they officially asked me to be their wedding photographer, because they are incredibly kind and over-the-top fun, and I know their wedding is going to be unique and fabulous in every way! 

Fast forward to October, when we met up at the Wyomissing Park (The Highlands) for their engagement session.  It was everything I thought it would be, and more.  I love how they make each other smile and how they make each other laugh.  Really, I just love how they love each other.  I'm guessing if you have the pleasure of knowing them in person, you already know what I mean.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from our afternoon together.  My face hurts from smiling so hard looking at them all over again!  Congratulations again, Amy and John.  I'm so looking forward to your wedding next fall.

Becca + Joey | Rustic Fall Bern Farm Wedding | Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Becca and Joey got married a few weeks ago, and I was honored to be the one to capture it all for them!  I had such an incredible time hiking around Jim Thorpe and Glen Onoko Falls with them while we photographed their engagement session last fall.  I knew that their wedding day was going to be incredible!  And, I was right.

If I had to choose a few words to describe their wedding at the historic Bern Farm, they would have to be rustic, romantic, and fun!  Becca's floral crown, stunning bouquet, and gorgeous wedding dress (that she fell in love with and bought 3 years before her wedding day!) all gave off a fabulous boho chic vibe.

There were plenty of tears shed that day, but they were all tears of pure joy.  There were tears when Becca and Joey opened each other's sentimental gifts to each other, tears when Becca and her father saw each other right before they walked out to the ceremony together, tears when Joey set his eyes upon his bride for the first time as she walked down the aisle, and tears from Joey, Becca, and Lily as they officially became a family of three.  (I shed plenty of tears myself - thank goodness my cameras are waterproof!)

Becca and Joey's wedding day had so many personalized touches that reflected their personalities and their story together.  From Becca's handmade rings, to the handgrown flowers for the decorations and centerpieces that Becca was painstakingly growing all summer, to the handpainted signs and mugs, to the gifts they exchanged before the ceremony.  I can't forget to mention the awesome Sweet Ride ice cream truck that made an appearance during cocktail hour, or the Mission Barbecue dinner service!  It truly was an amazing, intimate, and incredibly fun wedding celebration to be a part of.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from their Day #1 as husband and wife.  I hope you enjoy them.  Congratulations, Becca, Joey, and Lily!  I hope to see you out on the snow this winter.

Big thanks to my husband for assisting me that day, and for all of the talented vendors that helped make Joey and Becca's vision become a reality.

Florist:  Majestic Florals

Cake Artist:  Scratch Bakes

DJ:  Sean Shipper, The Party Express DJs

Hair/Make-Up Artist:  Tricia Barrell

Bridesmaids Dresses:  David's Bridal

Groom's and Groomsmen's Tuxedos:  Mens Wearhouse

Rentals:   Knight's Rental

Venue:  The Bern Farm

Photographer:  Carrie Kizuka Photography, LLC

Ashlie + Eric | Westin Ka'Anapali Maui Wedding | Destination and Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

It seems like forever ago that I photographed Ashlie and Eric's engagement session at French Creek park and casually commented at the end of the session that if they wanted me to fly to Maui to photograph their wedding to reach out to me.  I was half-joking when I made that remark, because I was still teaching high school mathematics full time and knew that I probably wouldn't be able to get away to photograph their October wedding, even if I wanted to.  I only had limited personal days, and would use them every year to fly to Colorado to cheer on my daughters as they competed in the national snowboard championships each winter.

Shortly after they received their engagement gallery, Ashlie reached out to me again.  She and Eric loved their photos and wanted to know if I was serious about flying to Maui to photograph their destination wedding - and if I was, they would love to have me join them.  I instantly agreed, and set out to find a way to make it happen... even though I was still teaching full time.  Once I set my mind on something, I make it happen - 100% of the time.  I'm determined, to a fault.

Soon after I accepted their offer and we worked out the details, a crazy chain of events happened in my life that that involved my dog running away (we got her back), me chasing her and running face first into my garage door (and getting a pretty severe concussion and shattered nose), taking time off of teaching, and eventually resigning from my teaching position.  The entire time, in the back of my head, was Ashlie and Eric's Maui wedding that I had booked.  I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and I feel like this was the Universe's way of assuring me that I made the right decision to shift my focus from education to photography, and was helping clear the path for me as I pursued this dream of mine.

Fast forward to late September.

I put out a request on social media asking if any of my friends would like to fly to Maui with me and be my assistant for the wedding day, in exchange for a place to stay and someone to adventure around Maui with.  I was thrilled that someone took me up on my offer and booked my exact flights a day later!  (Bonus: She happens to have a lot of the same interests as I do!)  So, we flew to Maui together, spent a few days sightseeing and surfing, and met up with Ashlie and Eric to photograph their Day #1 together as husband and wife!

We couldn't have asked for a better week.  The temperature was in the 80s every single day, the typical Hawaii rain showers were kept to a minimum (even though we did have a few that brought with them some stunning rainbows!), and Ashlie and Eric and their loved ones were so much fun to celebrate with and photograph!  It was a bit windy on their wedding day, but I think it made their photos even more incredible.  From the beachside ceremony, to the sunset portraits, to the ukulele player/singer, to the incredible Hawaiian buffet and bar menu, everything was absolutely perfect.  A rainbow even made its appearance while Ashlie's dad was escorting her down the aisle.  On top of that, Ashlie looked absolutely breathtaking in her silk wedding gown, and Eric was as handsome as ever!  (Ashlie's wedding dress even had pockets - how amazing is that?!)

I hope you enjoy this small selection of my favorites from their destination wedding.  For a list of all of the local vendors who made this day possible, scroll down past the photographs.

Congratulations again, Ashlie and Eric!  Thank you again for asking me to be your photographer.  And big thanks to my friend Amanda for joining me on this adventure!  I surfed more during that trip than I have in the last 5 years combined, and I probably wouldn't have done it if I didn't have a friend along for some added peer pressure!

(And if anyone else is looking for a photographer for a wedding outside of Pennsylvania, be sure to check out my Wandlerlust deal that is currently running!  Help me check more states off of my list so I can complete a personal project, while you score a great deal on a wedding photography package!)

Thank you to the following people who helped make Ashlie and Eric's wedding day truly magical!

Ceremony and Reception Venue:  Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas

Wedding Coordinator:  Beata Vanderzee

Ukulele Player/Singer:  Music by Kalo

Hair/Makeup Artist:  Melissa Dyckman, Melissa Brooke Hair + Makeup Maui

Wedding Dress Boutique:  Sabrina Ann Couture, Ardmore, PA

Bride's Sandals:  Sam Edelman

Photographer:  Carrie Kizuka Photography, LLC

 

The Gwiazdowsky Family | A Fall Session at Gring's Mill | Berks County Photographer

I recently met up with the Gwiazdowsky Family at Gring's Mill to create their family portraits.  This session was a long time in the making!  I was booked months ago, and we had originally planned for a summer session, but life (and a cast) got in the way and we had to postpone.

Things have a way of working out for the best, and this was no exception.  The light was incredible that morning, the temperature was perfect, and we had the park practically to ourselves.

I'm incredibly thankful that I am trusted by so many families to capture these moments for them.  Here are a few of my favorites from their photoshoot. 

Katie + BJ | An Intimate Backyard Wedding | Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

A few weeks ago, Katie and BJ celebrated their Day #1 with just a handful of guests in my most intimate wedding ceremony to date.  Their celebration took place at a wooded family property in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania.  We couldn't have asked for better weather or light.  Everything was perfect, and all of the personalized details and decorations reflected the unique relationship and love that Katie and BJ share.

Katie and BJ are two of the funniest, most likeable people I have ever met.  Their vows had all of us laughing, then crying, then laughing again.  After they had officially become husband and wife, we snuck away into the woods for a few portraits.  Upon our return, the driveway was turned into a dance floor, and the yard into a firepit.  After the sun went down, s'mores were made, and stories were shared.  And those stories revealed just how perfect Katie and BJ are for each other, and just how loved they were by everyone in attendance.

I'm honored to have been asked to photograph these moments for Katie, BJ, and their loved ones.  I hope you enjoy this collection of images from their wedding day.

 

Big thanks to the following vendors for contributing to their celebration!

Florist:  Cedar Hill Flowers

Cake Artist: Viking Pastries

Hair/Makeup Artist:  Ulta Beauty, Wyomissing

Wedding Dress:  ModCloth

Decor Rentals:  Wolfe's Rental Company

Photography:  Carrie Kizuka Photography, LLC

An Extra Special Engagement Session | Wyomissing Park | Berks County Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Last weekend, I had the honor of photographing Rachel and Mark's engagement session.  I was one of Rachel's high school math teachers more years ago than I care to share, and I was thrilled when she reached out and asked me to be her and Mark's wedding photographer.  I love how my education and photography passions continue to bring and keep amazing people in my life.

We had some extra special guests at this engagement session - Rachel and Mark's son Gavin and pup Venus decided to come along and hop into a few photos!  I'm so glad they decided to get their entire family involved, and I am so looking forward to photographing their wedding in just over one week!!  

Thanks again for this opportunity, and thank you for putting up with the extra-aggressive bugs that afternoon at the Wyomissing Park!  I love how your photos turned out, and I hope you do as well.

See you in a week!

The Jines Family | Christmas Mini Sessions | Reading, Pennsylvania GoggleWorks Studio Photographer

I know with Halloween still a few weeks away, it's a bit early to start thinking about winter and Christmas.  The weather finally started cooling off to fall temperatures over the past few days, and where I live many of the leaves haven't even started changing colors yet.  However, due to a booked fall calendar, I had to offer my Christmas mini sessions a bit earlier than usual this year.  All of my sessions sold out for this past Sunday, and both repeat clients and new clients came to visit me from near and far.  (Some families were local, and some drove all the way out from the Harrisburg and Philadelphia areas!)  I had six different backdrops to choose from, and each of my sessions turned out great!  All of the kids were so much fun to work with - I even had to dodge snow balls that made their way right to my camera lens!  (These kids had great aim!)

I'm so thankful for my clients who made the time to drive out and visit me at my GoggleWorks studio in Reading yesterday.  It was such a pleasure photographing your children and spending time with your families.  I hope you enjoy these previews from your session.

If anyone else wants to get in on the action, I still have some openings for my mini sessions being held on Friday, November 3rd!  Click here for more information or to book:  http://carriekizukaphotographyllc.bigcartel.com/product/winter-christmas-studio-mini-sessions

Up now - the Jines Family!  I had the honor of capturing some lifestyle photos for them in their home outside of Philadelphia after Charlotte was born earlier this year, and I was thrilled when they signed up for a Christmas mini session!  Charlotte has grown so much since I last saw her, and she is developing quite an amazing personality!  She was my last client of the day, and I haven't stopped smiling since.  I hope you enjoy these fun previews as much as I do!

 

 

 

The Pittman Brothers | Christmas Mini Sessions | Reading, Pennsylvania GoggleWorks Studio Photographer

I know with Halloween still a few weeks away, it's a bit early to start thinking about winter and Christmas.  The weather finally started cooling off to fall temperatures over the past few days, and where I live many of the leaves haven't even started changing colors yet.  However, due to a booked fall calendar, I had to offer my Christmas mini sessions a bit earlier than usual this year.  All of my sessions sold out for this past Sunday, and both repeat clients and new clients came to visit me from near and far.  (Some families were local, and some drove all the way out from the Harrisburg and Philadelphia areas!)  I had six different backdrops to choose from, and each of my sessions turned out great!  All of the kids were so much fun to work with - I even had to dodge snow balls that made their way right to my camera lens!  (These kids had great aim!)

I'm so thankful for my clients who made the time to drive out and visit me at my GoggleWorks studio in Reading yesterday.  It was such a pleasure photographing your children and spending time with your families.  I hope you enjoy these previews from your session.

If anyone else wants to get in on the action, I still have some openings for my mini sessions being held on Friday, November 3rd!  Click here for more information or to book:  http://carriekizukaphotographyllc.bigcartel.com/product/winter-christmas-studio-mini-sessions

Up now - the Pittman brothers!  This family was one of my first clients when I just started offering photography services, and I have had the honor of watching these two awesome little men grow up in front of my lens!  They are always so full of energy and joy, and I'm already looking forward to our next session together, whenever that may be.  Thank you so much for stopping by! 

 

 

 

The Bowman Grandkids | Christmas Mini Sessions | Reading, Pennsylvania GoggleWorks Studio Photographer

I know with Halloween still a few weeks away, it's a bit early to start thinking about winter and Christmas.  The weather finally started cooling off to fall temperatures over the past few days, and where I live many of the leaves haven't even started changing colors yet.  However, due to a booked fall calendar, I had to offer my Christmas mini sessions a bit earlier than usual this year.  All of my sessions sold out for this past Sunday, and both repeat clients and new clients came to visit me from near and far.  (Some families were local, and some drove all the way out from the Harrisburg and Philadelphia areas!)  I had six different backdrops to choose from, and each of my sessions turned out great!  All of the kids were so much fun to work with - I even had to dodge snow balls that made their way right to my camera lens!  (These kids had great aim!)

I'm so thankful for my clients who made the time to drive out and visit me at my GoggleWorks studio in Reading yesterday.  It was such a pleasure photographing your children and spending time with your families.  I hope you enjoy these previews from your session.

If anyone else wants to get in on the action, I still have some openings for my mini sessions being held on Friday, November 3rd!  Click here for more information or to book:  http://carriekizukaphotographyllc.bigcartel.com/product/winter-christmas-studio-mini-sessions

Up now - the Bowman grandkids!  Their grandma reached out to me a few days ago because the planets were aligned and they all happened to be in town at the same time I was offering my mini sessions!  I'm so glad they were able to find the time to stop by my studio for some photographs!

 

 

 

The McNeil Family | Christmas Mini Sessions | Reading, Pennsylvania GoggleWorks Studio Photographer

I know with Halloween still a few weeks away, it's a bit early to start thinking about winter and Christmas.  The weather finally started cooling off to fall temperatures over the past few days, and where I live many of the leaves haven't even started changing colors yet.  However, due to a booked fall calendar, I had to offer my Christmas mini sessions a bit earlier than usual this year.  All of my sessions sold out for this past Sunday, and both repeat clients and new clients came to visit me from near and far.  (Some families were local, and some drove all the way out from the Harrisburg and Philadelphia areas!)  I had six different backdrops to choose from, and each of my sessions turned out great!  All of the kids were so much fun to work with - I even had to dodge snow balls that made their way right to my camera lens!  (These kids had great aim!)

I'm so thankful for my clients who made the time to drive out and visit me at my GoggleWorks studio in Reading yesterday.  It was such a pleasure photographing your children and spending time with your families.  I hope you enjoy these previews from your session.

If anyone else wants to get in on the action, I still have some openings for my mini sessions being held on Friday, November 3rd!  Click here for more information or to book:  http://carriekizukaphotographyllc.bigcartel.com/product/winter-christmas-studio-mini-sessions

Up now - the McNeil Family!  This is my 3rd year in a row photographing their family, and I had a great time, as always!  These kids rock, and always put a smile on my face and in my heart.

 

 

 

The Dibeler Family | Christmas Mini Sessions | Reading, Pennsylvania GoggleWorks Studio Photographer

I know with Halloween still a few weeks away, it's a bit early to start thinking about winter and Christmas.  The weather finally started cooling off to fall temperatures over the past few days, and where I live many of the leaves haven't even started changing colors yet.  However, due to a booked fall calendar, I had to offer my Christmas mini sessions a bit earlier than usual this year.  All of my sessions sold out for this past Sunday, and both repeat clients and new clients came to visit me from near and far.  (Some families were local, and some drove all the way out from the Harrisburg and Philadelphia areas!)  I had six different backdrops to choose from, and each of my sessions turned out great!  All of the kids were so much fun to work with - I even had to dodge snow balls that made their way right to my camera lens!  (These kids had great aim!)

I'm so thankful for my clients who made the time to drive out and visit me at my GoggleWorks studio in Reading yesterday.  It was such a pleasure photographing your children and spending time with your families.  I hope you enjoy these previews from your session.

If anyone else wants to get in on the action, I still have some openings for my mini sessions being held on Friday, November 3rd!  Click here for more information or to book:  http://carriekizukaphotographyllc.bigcartel.com/product/winter-christmas-studio-mini-sessions

Up now - the Dibeler Family!  These two adorable guys are packed with personality.  I have the pleasure of hanging out with them and their awesome mom and dad all winter, because we share a mutual love for snowboarding!  Thanks for driving all the way out here from Harrisburg!

 

 

 

The Gumba Family | Christmas Mini Sessions | Reading, Pennsylvania GoggleWorks Studio Photographer

I know with Halloween still a few weeks away, it's a bit early to start thinking about winter and Christmas.  The weather finally started cooling off to fall temperatures over the past few days, and where I live many of the leaves haven't even started changing colors yet.  However, due to a booked fall calendar, I had to offer my Christmas mini sessions a bit earlier than usual this year.  All of my sessions sold out for this past Sunday, and both repeat clients and new clients came to visit me from near and far.  (Some families were local, and some drove all the way out from the Harrisburg and Philadelphia areas!)  I had six different backdrops to choose from, and each of my sessions turned out great!  All of the kids were so much fun to work with - I even had to dodge snow balls that made their way right to my camera lens!  (These kids had great aim!)

I'm so thankful for my clients who made the time to drive out and visit me at my GoggleWorks studio in Reading yesterday.  It was such a pleasure photographing your children and spending time with your families.  I hope you enjoy these previews from your session.

If anyone else wants to get in on the action, I still have some openings for my mini sessions being held on Friday, November 3rd!  Click here for more information or to book:  http://carriekizukaphotographyllc.bigcartel.com/product/winter-christmas-studio-mini-sessions

Up now - the Gumba Family!  These guys always bring so much energy and laughter to my photoshoots!  I'm so glad they stopped by... and I LOVE that they wore matching Christmas pajamas!! 

 

 

 

The Shirk Family | Christmas Mini Sessions | Reading, Pennsylvania GoggleWorks Studio Photographer

I know with Halloween still a few weeks away, it's a bit early to start thinking about winter and Christmas.  The weather finally started cooling off to fall temperatures over the past few days, and where I live many of the leaves haven't even started changing colors yet.  However, due to a booked fall calendar, I had to offer my Christmas mini sessions a bit earlier than usual this year.  All of my sessions sold out for this past Sunday, and both repeat clients and new clients came to visit me from near and far.  (Some families were local, and some drove all the way out from the Harrisburg and Philadelphia areas!)  I had six different backdrops to choose from, and each of my sessions turned out great!  All of the kids were so much fun to work with - I even had to dodge snow balls that made their way right to my camera lens!  (These kids had great aim!)

I'm so thankful for my clients who made the time to drive out and visit me at my GoggleWorks studio in Reading yesterday.  It was such a pleasure photographing your children and spending time with your families.  I hope you enjoy these previews from your session.

If anyone else wants to get in on the action, I still have some openings for my mini sessions being held on Friday, November 3rd!  Click here for more information or to book:  http://carriekizukaphotographyllc.bigcartel.com/product/winter-christmas-studio-mini-sessions

First up - the Shirk Family!  I have been photographing Abbi since she was a newborn, and it's such a joy to be able to watch her grow up.

 

 

 

The Hobbs Family | Maui Hawaii Family Photoshoot | Pennsylvania and Destination Photographer

17 years ago, I decided to leave the snowboard industry (where I worked as a product engineer/snowboard boot designer) to become a math teacher.   Around that same time, I met Caroline (and her mom and brother), when I started tutoring her in math.  They are such a fun, loving family, and I'm so fortunate that our paths crossed all those years ago.  Caroline's mom helped us purchase our first home in Orange County, California, as well as our current home when we decided to pack up and move back to Pennsylvania!

Less than two weeks ago, I traveled to Hawaii to photograph a destination wedding.  While I was there, I met up with Caroline who happened to be vacationing in Maui less than a mile from where I was staying!  It was such a treat to see her again after all these years, and to meet the rest of the Hobbs Family!  Their family is growing by one in a few months, and I'm so honored that I was able to capture some memories for them during this exciting time in their lives.

Just as we made our way to the beach outside the Hyatt Regency, the sky decided to open up and pour on us for a few minutes.  They were such good sports about it all, and we got some great moments before, during, and after the rain - including a stunning Maui rainbow!

Here are a few of my favorite photos from our brief time together.  Thank you again, Hobbs Family, for fitting me into your schedule!  It was such a pleasure seeing everyone and creating these photographs for you.  I hope we are able to meet up again in the near future!

Emilia | Studio Newborn Photoshoot | Berks County Newborn Photographer

Last week, I had the honor of hanging out with the Wisotsky Family in my GoggleWorks studio!  We were there to document the arrival of their newest family member, 9 day old Emilia!  I had photographed Charli's newborn photos when she was born, and I was thrilled when they reached out and asked me to capture Emilia's, too.

This is such a fun family, and they were absolute troopers in my hot studio!  (I always crank up the heat for my newborn clients so that they stay comfortably warm during our time together.)  Thanks for sweating it out with me, and thank you for all the smiles and laughs!  Here is a small collection of some of my favorite photos from our morning together.  I'm throwing in some outtakes as well - they may not be the portraits that end up hanging on the wall, but they are the photos that capture the realness of the moment... and usually end up being my personal favorites!

Welcome to the world, Emilia!  Congratulations again, Wisotsky Family!  I have a feeling that Charli and Emilia are going to be best friends as they grow up.

(Big thanks to my mom for assisting me, spotting for the froggy pose so I could create the composite image, and sweating it out along with us in the studio!)

If you ever happen to be in Reading with some extra time on your hands, stop by my studio at the GoggleWorks and say hi!

Cliff Mautner's Bootcamp | A Workshop Review | Pennsylvania and Destination Wedding Photographer

I am proud to be a lifelong learner.  This desire to constantly add to and refine my knowledge base was instilled in me from as young an age as I can remember.  Learning not only helps me hone my skills in whatever I am passionate about, but it truly feeds my brain and my soul.  I really am in my element when I am in an environment that allows me to apply and improve my passions.

I feel that you can never learn everything there is to know about any given subject.  Although I feel that I am a pretty decent photographer, I also acknowledge that I can always keep improving my craft.  My commitment to learning is not only beneficial to myself, but also to my clients who put their trust in me to produce the most beautiful art for them that I am capable of creating.  In order to continue to grow as a photographer, I try to attend at least one workshop or conference a year.  When I heard that Cliff Mautner was offering his Lighting Bootcamp only 1.5 hours from me, I knew that I had to attend this workshop.  Cliff is a renowned wedding and portrait photographer, and is also very real and down-to-earth.  (That can be a rare combination in the world of wedding photographers, especially for those artists who have won as many awards as Cliff has.)  So, I signed up!

Finally, that much anticipated August afternoon had arrived - I threw my camera gear and an overnight bag into my green VW bug, and headed to New Jersey for 2 1/2 action-packed days of learning.  The first night started off with an informal reception where Cliff got to know all 18 of us attendees (who had gathered from all over the world), and we all got to know Cliff.  Cliff promised to be an open book throughout the workshop, and he kept that promise!  No question was off limits, and Cliff personally made sure that everyone was made to feel heard and valued throughout the entirety of our time together.

The learning and sharing continued over the next two days, where Cliff gave us pointers, hands-on demonstrations, and assignments incorporating both natural light and artificial light.  We started early in the morning and worked long after sunset.  Cliff kept our bellies full and our brains working.  I left the workshop about 10 pounds heavier and with more insight and knowledge and inspiration than I could have hoped for.

I would do you a disservice if I gave away anything that Cliff taught us over those 2 1/2 days.  You really should attend one of his workshops if you have the chance.  So, instead, I'll just show you some of the photographs I created during my time at the workshop.  On the first full day of the workshop, we shot in a few hotel rooms in Haddonfield, New Jersey.  On the second full day, we ventured into Philadelphia and shot at a few of Cliff's favorite public parks.  We had every lighting situation thrown at us during our time together - from dreamy natural light, to harsh afternoon sun, to shade.  And Cliff helped us all gain confidence for creating stunning portraits regardless of the lighting challenges we faced.  He truly helped us learn to SEE the light.

Big thanks to Cliff, the amazing models that worked with us, and to my fellow artists who showed up and allowed themselves to be vulnerable and humble.  And thank you to his talented wife, Susan Stripling, for sharing him with us that week!  I knew that taking his workshop would be a game changer for me and my photography business, and I was right.

 

 

The Sperber Family | In-Home Newborn Photoshoot | Baltimore Maryland Family Photographer

Back in April, Jenna and Jeremy reached out to me to ask if I would photograph their son when he made his appearance.  I am always honored when I am asked to create portraits for people, but there's something extra special about photographing newborns.  It's such a joy and privilege to create photographs that you know will be cherished for a lifetime - if not longer!

After much anticipation, Aiden made his appearance on September 1st!  Last week, I drove to Jenna and Jeremy's home in Maryland to meet baby Aiden and to take his newborn portraits.  This was a hybrid lifestyle/posed session - I started off by capturing some photographs with Jenna, Jeremy, and Aiden together in their beautiful home, then finished with a few poses that Jenna had requested.

I met Jenna a few years ago, when my brother-in-law played football in the NFL for the Baltimore Ravens.  Jenna babysat my niece and nephew, and was always so patient, kind, positive, and fun!  I knew that she would make a wonderful mother one day.  As soon as I arrived at their home for this photoshoot, I witnessed her and Jeremy's strong connection with Aiden.  Baby Aiden was blessed with an incredible set of parents and role models.

Here are a few sneak previews from our time together.

Congratulations again, Jenna and Jeremy!  Welcome to the world, Aiden!  Big thanks to my mom for keeping me company on the ride, and for helping out during the photoshoot!

Camden | A Gold Hope Project Fighter Session | Berks County Pennsylvania Photographer

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by The Gold Hope Project, asking if I could photograph a "fighter session" for a local family.  When I saw the email come through, I was simultaneously excited and saddened.  I knew this email meant that I had the chance to use my photography to help someone in need, but at the same time I knew that it meant that a local family had a child who was fighting cancer.  I'm always looking for ways to use my passion to bring joy to others, so I instantly agreed to take on the session.  The Gold Hope Project quickly responded with the family's contact information and a brief synopsis of their fighter's story.

Camden is a 22-month old boy who is fighting Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma.  Camden has been a fighter his entire life.  He was born in November 2015 with a condition known as Gastroschisis, which is when there is a hole in the abdomen that gives space for the intestines to be outside of the body.  After being treated for that condition immediately after his birth, he was finally able to go home to be with his family.  However, he started getting very sick, requiring additional hospital stays.  In November 2016, he was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma.  Since then, this amazing little boy has undergone chemotherapy, surgeries, and radiation. He has been living in the hospital on and off for the past 10 months, and his mom has not been able to work since he was diagnosed, so that she is able to care for him and drive him back and forth from CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) on a regular basis.

After reading about Camden's story in The Gold Hope Project email and on Camden's Facebook page, I wasn't sure what to expect at our photoshoot.  I wasn't sure how long his energy would hold out during our photoshoot, or what type of mood he would be in.  I decided to show up without a plan, and to let Camden run the show.

When I arrived, all of my worries were instantly put to ease.  Camden is one of the happiest almost-2-year-olds I have ever met in my life.  His smile and curiosity are contagious, and I could barely keep up with him!  He loved exploring the Reading Museum grounds during our photoshoot, and I loved following him around with my camera.  Camden's mom, dad, brother, and sister joined the photoshoot as well, and we were able to get a bunch of great family photos during our time together.  My favorite part was just hanging back and capturing Camden interacting with his family members, playing with the signs his mom made for the photoshoot, and waving sticks around.  He acts like any other toddler, and just by looking at him and playing with him you would never know the battle that he and his family are currently fighting.  This little boy is so full of life, and his light was shining very brightly during our brief time together.

I would like to thank The Gold Hope Project for giving me this opportunity to help a local family in need.  Most of all, I would like to thank Camden and his family for allowing me into their lives, and for reminding me of what is truly important - family and love and hope.

For more information on Camden's journey, click here.

There is a GoFundMe campaign set up for Camden here.

For The Gold Hope Project's website, click here.

For The Gold Hope Project's Facebook page, click here.

The Nelson Family | 10-Year Anniversary Session (With MUD!!) | West Chester Pennsylvania Wedding and Family Photographer

Last week, I met up with the Nelson Family to help them celebrate their 10-year wedding anniversary.  Due to some unfortunate circumstances beyond their control, their wedding photographer never delivered their finished wedding gallery.  So, they decided to celebrate this milestone anniversary by dressing up and recreating some of their wedding day portraits.  This time around, however, their wedding party included their two amazing little boys!

We started off with some formal portraits in the church where they exchanged their wedding vows, and finished at the beautiful Oakbourne Mansion.  Mother Nature threw a wrench in our plans, however, and it poured during their entire photoshoot.  We exchanged a few texts and phone calls earlier in the day about whether or not we should cancel, but the Nelsons assured me they were up for anything and didn't mind the rain one bit.  As you will soon see in the photos, they weren't kidding!!  This is hands down one of my favorite photo sessions ever.

This photoshoot with the Nelson Family reminded me of a few important things.  First, a little rain (or a lot of rain) is only a problem if you allow it to be a problem.  The best thing to do when a hurdle suddenly appears in your path is to problem solve, roll with it, and stop stressing about things that we cannot control.  Second, my favorite families to photograph are the ones who allow their kids to just be kids.  Mud is temporary, but these memories will last forever.  I can still hear the laughter from this session, and I can still feel the joy in my heart.

If rain on a wedding day is lucky, rain on a 10-year anniversary recreation of your wedding day has to be even luckier! Congratulations, Alicia and Jeremy!  I hope you had a nice dinner after you dried off and warmed up from our photoshoot, and I'm guessing the boys slept very well that evening. ;)

Thank you so much for this opportunity. I had so much fun chasing your boys around and capturing these moments for you.

(Big thanks to my daughter Mika for assisting me with my lighting, for keeping my gear dry in the rain, and for scouting out the perfect water and mud puddles for us!)