Jackie + Dustin | Neag Planetarium + Reading Museum | Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Happy Mother's Day!  I thought it was the perfect day to post this fabulous, romantic, unique, and FUN wedding on my blog!

Jackie and Dustin got married on Earth Day, and it was out of this world!  (Pun intended.)  They opted for a galaxy theme for their nuptials, and it was amazing!  All of their details and decorations fit the galaxy theme perfectly - their constellation invitations, the groomsmen's constellation socks, their hand-painted galaxy guest sign-in canvas, their vow exchange under the planetarium dome, their constellation table placards, and their stunning purple, blue, and pink flowers!  When you see their photos, I'm sure you will agree!

That morning, I met up with Jackie and Dustin at the Crowne Plaza in Wyomissing for some "getting ready" and detail photos.  Then, we headed to the Reading Museum and Neag Planetarium for their first look.  Let me tell you about that first look - it was my favorite one yet, even in spite of the falling rain!!  Jackie walked up behind Dustin ever so slowly, the anticipation of seeing her soon-to-be husband visibly building on her face.  The instant Jackie tapped Dustin on his shoulder and he turned around, Dustin set his eyes upon her and spurted out some obscenities that shouldn't be repeated on my blog!  He just couldn't contain his excitement, or his love!  It is so obvious that they are crazy in love with each other, and it was so much fun to witness!  They couldn't take their eyes off of each other, taking each other in and realizing that they were going to be husband and wife in just a few short moments.  I posted a bazillion photos of the first look below, so you'll be able to see for yourself!

Everything about this day was all about Jackie and Dustin - as it should be.  They had their first date at the Neag Planetarium, so they decided it would be the perfect location to exchange their wedding vows.  As Jackie's "something blue", she painted the bottoms of her stunning heels a gorgeous shade of blue.  Dustin provided all of the groomsmen - and Jackie - with personalized karate belts.  They threw tradition to the wind, opting for an ice cream sundae bar over a cake, including their own signature ice cream flavor!  Even their wedding rings reflected their unique love for each other, bearing infinity sign designs.  Their officiant was a close friend of theirs who actually joined them on their first date at the planetarium!  And, they exchanged vows in the planetarium underneath a starry sky... which turned to fireworks as they shared their first kiss as newlyweds!

I'm so honored that I was able to celebrate this special day with Jackie, Dustin, and their loved ones.  Big thanks to my friend and fellow photographer April Westhafer for second shooting with me for part of the day!

Congratulations, Jackie and Dustin!  I hope you enjoy this selection of memories from your Day #1.

 

Here are the vendors that helped make Jackie and Dustin's wedding day a success:

Getting Ready:  Crowne Plaza Hotel, Reading, PA

Florist:  Holly, Froggy's Garden

DJ:  Nick Talarico, The People's DJ

Hair Artist:  Michelle Fischer

Makeup Artist:  Fawn Monique 

Wedding Dress Boutique:  Bijou Bridal

Groom & Groomsmen's Tuxedo Boutique:  Men's Wearhouse

Caterer:  Laurin Fegley, Simply Smooth Catering

Wedding Coordinator:  Laura Oswald, Reading Public Museum

Maddie's Senior Portraits in Fort Collins | Colorado Destination Photographer

While I was in Colorado in April, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Maddie and her family to capture her senior portraits!  She'll be a senior next year, and attends high school in Fort Collins, CO.  If you've ever been to Fort Collins, you know it is beautiful and is overflowing with character.  I was so excited to be able to create these images for her in such a great location!

I first met Maddie when I lived in Southern California in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when she was just heading off to elementary school.  Being able to come full circle and photograph her now as she gets ready to begin her senior year made this session even more special.

Congratulations, Maddie!  I hope you have an amazing senior year!  I have no doubt that incredible opportunities await you.

Here are a few of my favorites from our photoshoot...

Luna's 1 Year Session | Copper Mountain, Colorado | Destination Photographer

This is my 4th "catch up" session of the week, and my fourth newborn client turned repeat client of the week!  Seriously, how lucky am I?!?  Having a client return to me to make more art for them is one of the best compliments I could ask for!

This session took place in Colorado - one of my happy places!  Luna's daddy is one of my daughters' snowboard coaches, and since we were all attending the USASA Nationals competitions together in April, right around the time of Luna's first birthday, we thought it would be the perfect backdrop for Luna's annual photoshoot.

It took her some time to warm up to the camera - but once she sat in that big red chair, she couldn't stop smiling!!  I wish I would have discovered that sooner! ;)

Here are a few of my favorite photos from my quick sessions with Luna and her mommy and daddy.  Enjoy!!

 

David's 3 Year Session | Blue Marsh Lake | Berks County Children Photographer

David and his mommy are starring on my third "catch up" blog for the week!  I have been photographing David since he was a newborn, and several times since then.  I feel so lucky to be able to watch these children grow and interact with them as their incredible personalities develop!  I really feel like I have the best families as clients!!  It's easy to forget that this is my job when I'm having so much fun.  It sounds cliche, but it's true!

Here are a few of my favorites from my April session at Blue Marsh Lake with David and his mommy.  We took these just in time to celebrate David's 3rd birthday!  I hope you enjoy them!!  As you can see, his personality just shines through in these images.

The Maulick Family | Blue Marsh Family Session | Berks County Photographer

This is the second installment of my scheduled make-up blogs!  Today I present to you the Maulick Family!  We met up at Blue Marsh Lake in early April to create a few photographs in honor of Kinley's 2nd birthday!  I had the honor of capturing her newborn, 1-year cake smash, and some other photos, and I knew this session was going to be a blast!  She has such a fantastic personality, and with such an awesome mom and dad, it's easy to see why!

Here are a few of my favorites from our session.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

The Deely Family | Berks County Family Photographer

I've been so busy lately, I completely forgot to blog a few of my early spring sessions!  I decided to catch up on them, and first up is the Deely Family!

Rory was my very first newborn client, and I have had the honor of photographing her and her family multiple times since then!  It has been so incredible watching her grow up.  Her mom and dad are some of the nicest, most genuine, most fun people I have ever met.  I feel so lucky that this family came into my life, and that my photography has brought us closer together.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from a session we had at Blue Marsh Lake this past March.  Rory and her unicorn friend wanted to get as close to the water as possible, and it made for some great shots!  Rory's grandpa even made his way into a few photos! 

Big thanks to the Deely Family for driving out this way all the way from the Lehigh Valley for our photoshoot, and for waiting out the rain so we could create these photographs!

Annabella's Baptism | Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church | Berks County Photographer

Last weekend, Annabella was baptized at the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Reading, PA.  This was the first Greek Orthodox baptism I have observed, and it was such a beautiful ceremony!  There were so many stunning details and traditions to photograph and observe.  I could have spent hours photographing the interior architecture of the church alone!

After the ceremony, the celebration continued at Dan's Restaurant in Green Hills.  The food was incredible, and the decorations were simple yet beautiful.  I could tell that special attention was taken to make sure that all of the children in attendance had a wonderful experience!

I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity to photograph Annabella's special day!  Here is a small selection of photos from her baptism and luncheon.

Kaiya and Mitch | Wilson HS and Cocalico HS Proms | Berks County High School Senior Photographer

My oldest daughter, Kaiya, is a senior at Wilson High School.  Last year, as a junior, she decided to forego prom.  She wanted to wait until this year to attend.  This year rolled around, and she ended up going to not one, but two proms!  Her boyfriend, Mitch, is a senior at Cocalico High School.  So, they attended his prom on April 22nd and her prom on May 6th.

Cocalico's prom took place at The Eden Resort and Suites in Lancaster.  I was shooting a wedding that day and was unable to take prom photos, but I came up with a backup plan.  Kaiya and Mitch agreed to stop by the Reading Museum so my friend and fellow photographer April Westhafer could snap a few photos of them (which I later edited).

For Cocalico's prom, Kaiya wore a stunning navy dress from Rent the Runway.  I love that website and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a dress for a special event or photoshoot, without the added commitment of purchasing it!  Kaiya's hair and make-up were done at Iron Roots Salon in West Reading.  Mitch rented his tux from Fifty-Fifty Tuxedos in Sinking Spring.

Wilson's prom took place at the Wilson High School.  Since Kaiya and Mitch had a "floral" backdrop for their first set of photos, we decided to go with more of an urban backdrop for this session.  This time we ended up at the GoggleWorks.  (This is also the location of my new photography studio which will be opening in June!!)

For Wilson's prom, Kaiya wore a gorgeous navy dress from Macy's in New York City and elegant nude heels (also from Macy's).  (Big thanks to her aunt Amy and uncle Yoshi for offering to take her on a prom shopping excursion in NYC!)   Kaiya purchased material on Etsy and made her own beautiful choker!  Kaiya's hair and make-up were again done at Iron Roots Salon in West Reading.  Mitch rented his tux from Fifty-Fifty Tuxedos in Sinking Spring.

Here are a ton of photos from both April 22nd and May 6th.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!  I can't believe how quickly my little girl has grown up, and I'm so amazed at the gorgeous, talented, strong young woman who she has become.  I will forever cherish these photos and memories.  Thank you, Kaiya and Mitch, for taking the time out of your hectic prom days to create these photos with us!  You both looked absolutely incredible at both of your proms!

Kenyon (and Zoe) | Boulder, Colorado Headshot Photographer

Every year when I visit Colorado, Kenyon and I try to meet up to update his headshots.  Kenyon is the founder of a company called The Bucket List Life.  In that role, he tries to help people fulfill their dreams and goals, and to live the fullest life possible.  You can learn more about The Bucket List Life here.

This year, we put away the studio lights and had some fun with natural light in the basement of Kenyon's new home.  As it turns out, his Australian Shepherd Zoe is quite fond of the camera and insisted on being in a few shots herself!

Here are a few of my favorites from our session.  I love when people opt for headshots that break the traditional mold!

Chapel + Emarosa + Sum 41 + Pierce the Veil | Freedom Hall, Lancaster County Convention Center

My good friend (and my daughter's drum instructor!) is currently touring with Emarosa as their drummer.  Last week, we caught their show at Freedom Hall (at the Lancaster County Convention Center).  Emarosa was one of the opening bands for Pierce the Veil, during their "We Will Detonate" Tour.  The other bands were Chapel, and Sum 41.  Brent was kind enough to score me a photo pass, so I hung out in the pit and created some art while enjoying the show.  I'm definitely in my element when I am photographing concerts.  I really enjoy being able to combine my loves of music and photography, and to capture other artists sharing their passions with others!  Something about the lights, shadows, colors, and emotions on display during concerts just fills my soul to the brim.

Here are a few of my shots from last Tuesday.  I hope you enjoy them!  Thanks again, Brent!!

A First Holy Communion Session - for Twins! | Wyomissing, PA Children's Photographer

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of capturing photos for the Mauro Family, to celebrate their twin daughters' upcoming first Holy Communion.  These young ladies were so much fun to photograph!!  They were so happy, so cooperative, so full of energy, and so adorable!!  As we were getting ready to begin our photoshoot, I found out that it was their birthday, too!  I'm honored that they took time out of their celebration to come hang out with me and my camera!!

I love how these photos turned out, and I have been so eager to share these!  (I promised their mom that I would wait until the day of their first Holy Communion to share them on my website.)  I hope that their smiles, hugs, and dance moves put a smile on your face as well.

Congratulations, Mauro Family!!! 

Ryan, Conrad Weiser Class of 2017 | Berks County High School Senior Photographer

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to meet Ryan for his senior portrait session.  He was so much fun to photograph - and his parents are pretty fun, too!  You know what they say about apples and trees...

Ryan is graduating from Conrad Weiser in a few weeks and will be attending Penn State in the fall.  So, we thought it was fitting to capture a few photos on the Penn State Berks campus!  At the end of our session, we headed to a local football field, where he and his dad tossed around a football for a few minutes.  I could tell they were completely in their element!

I hope you enjoy a few of my favorites from our photoshoot.  Congratulations to Ryan and the rest of Conrad Weiser's Class of 2017!!

Late Night Netflix is Dead | High School Senior Session | Harrisburg Photographer

Last week, Kaiya and I took an impromptu trip to Harrisburg to snap a few photos.  We brought along one of her prom gowns, just for fun!  We started off at the Late Night Netflix is Dead mural, then wandered around the surrounding area.  There are so many great spots there!!  I definitely want to go back.

On the way home, we stopped at Stoudtburg Village for a few more photos before the rain eventually chased us away.

Here are a few of our shots from the day.  Enjoy!

Procrastinating with Momo | Berks County Pet Photographer

I have a Shiba Inu named Momo.  (Actually Momoko, but that sounds too formal, so we call her Momo).  She rocks.  If you've met her, you understand.  If you haven't met her, you really should.  She has the best personality and is so freaking photogenic!  She's stubborn and doesn't listen most of the time, but I'm the same way so I find those qualities endearing.

We procrastinated together for a few minutes today, and here is the outcome.  I hope you love these half as much as I do. <3  If you want to see more of Momo, she has her own Instagram account now!  Check her out at:  http://www.instagram.com/the_real_momo_the_shiba.

P.S.  After the photoshoot, I'm really thinking about offering pet photography sessions...

A Snowy Session with Akina | Berks County Family Photographer

You may have seen my recently blogged snowy session with Mika.  If not, be sure to check it out!!

Well, before we left the house for that photoshoot, Akina (my youngest daughter) asked to come along with us and have a quick session of her own!  I was ecstatic!!

The three of us ventured out into the deep snow together, and shot for as long as we could tolerate the cold.  They were both troopers in the cold and wind, but Akina was a beast!  When you see what she was wearing, you'll understand.  She was sporting long underwear and snow boots under her dress, but her arms were completely exposed - and she was totally fine with it!  I actually had to scold her to put her jacket back on and zip it up after we were done with our photos!  (Oh, how I miss my fearless and carefree childhood!!)  We were probably only outside for about 10-15 minutes total for both photoshoots, but it seemed so much longer than that!

Here are a few photos from Akina's snowy session.  Enjoy!  (Thank you for this late-winter treat, Mother Nature!)

 

A Snowy Session with Mika | Berks County Family Photographer

Last week, after winter storm Stella dropped almost 2 feet of snow on us, something amazing happened...

Mika (my typically camera-shy daughter) asked me for a quick photoshoot with her and her snare drum!  If you know Mika, you know just how momentous this occasion was!  She is absolutely stunning, but refuses to have her photo taken 98.5% of the time you ask her.

Needless to say, I jumped on this opportunity!  We ventured outside, drove around the neighborhood looking for the perfect spot (and a place to park nearby without getting stuck in the snow), and shot as many photos as we could before we both froze!

I had a blast!  I'm sad that winter is ending and that I'll have to wait until next winter for more opportunities like this one.  I hope you enjoy these photos from our super quick session!

 

An Exciting Announcement! (aka Everything Happens for a Reason)

Everything happens for a reason.

Last weekend, on a whim, I suggested that we stop by the GoggleWorks to see if there were any studio spaces currently available that would be perfect for setting up my studio. (I've been thinking about it for a while, but now the timing just felt right.)

As we walked around, I saw a few spaces on the 3rd floor that I thought might work, and I made a note to see if they were available. Then we made our way up to the 5th floor. Even though this area is away from most of the other artists and has a different "vibe" than the studios on the 2nd and 3rd floors (no natural exposed brick, less of the warehouse feel that I liked), I wanted to check it out anyway. I'm so glad I did!

As we arrived, the person who was currently renting Studio 541 was in the process of moving out. Literally, they were moving out that minute of that hour of that day. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't have timed my random visit any better! I had walked by this space a handful of times before and was always in awe of the size of the space (it's actually two separate rooms), and the gorgeous natural light that comes in through the windows. The wooden floor and high walls are pretty amazing, too. And, it was opening up THAT DAY! I had always pictured myself in that space, whenever I had walked by during previous visits. I thought to myself there was no way that this space wasn't already spoken for.

As soon as I got home, I emailed the GoggleWorks and inquired about the three spaces I was interested in, hoping at least one was still open (and hoping beyond all hope that 541 wasn't already spoken for). I heard back two days later - All three were open! Then I asked about the rent, hoping (but doubting) that it was something that I would be able to fit into my budget. It was. :)

And, since I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, I jumped on this opportunity to rent Studio 541. It's happening! The lease is signed, the security deposit and first month's rent have been paid, and the lease begins ON MY BIRTHDAY!! How freaking awesome is that??? I get the keys on April 11th, and then the real fun begins! After I repaint the space and furnish it, I'm going to be hosting an Open House. You are all invited! I can't wait to celebrate and share my excitement with you!!

Thank you so much for your support over the years. I still can't believe this is happening! (And my family is pretty stoked that my photo gear is moving out of the house so we can reclaim a lot of space and start making our house look like a home again, instead of a studio.)

I am so stoked.

Everything happens for a reason.

 

 

P.S.  Starting April 11th, my studio address will be:

201 Washington Street
Studio No. 541
Reading, Pennsylvania 19601

Czech Republic | (aka I finally czeched Europe off my Bucket List!)

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of traveling to Europe to cheer for my oldest daughter as she represented the United States as an alpine snowboard racer at the Junior World Championships.  It was our first time visiting Europe, and it would be an understatement to say that we were both excited.

Kaiya had a fantastic two days of racing!  She finished 23rd on the first day and 16th on the second day, and was the the top American finisher both days!  It's such an honor for her to be so high-ranked among the top junior athletes in the world, and I'm so proud to call her mine (not just because she's an incredible racer, but because she's an incredible human being).

Her races took place at Klinovec, a ski resort right along the border of Czech Republic and Germany.  Before and after her races, I was able to take some time to sightsee and take a few photos of Prague and the spa town Karlovy Vary.  My time was not nearly enough to take in all of the history and sights that Czech Republic has to offer, but it was a good start!  I definitely want to brush up on my history and go back when I have more time to act like a tourist.

Anyone eloping, renewing vows, or looking to have portraits done in Czech Republic?  You know who to call! ;)

Here are a few of my photos from our quick trip to Europe.  Enjoy!!

Glasbern Inn, Fogelsville PA Wedding | 2nd Shooting

When I'm not shooting my own weddings and portraits, I often second shoot weddings for other talented wedding photographers.  I love getting out there and meeting new people, celebrating love, and being creative without always having to be in charge. ;)  A few weeks ago, I second shot this wedding for Jodi Chandler.  It was an honor working alongside Jodi to capture Emilee and Elliott's Day #1.  They were such a fun couple, and their day was filled with so much love and support.  The Glasbern Inn was the perfect backdrop for their wedding day!  Thank you again for asking me to be your sidekick, Jodi!  Here are a few of my photos from their day...

Jackson, Wyoming - Part 2 | Kaiya, Class of 2017 | Destination High School Senior Portrait Photographer

While Kaiya and I were in Wyoming in November, we decided to add a few photos to her ever-growing high school senior portrait portfolio!  Here are a few of our favorites from Grand Teton National Park, Mormon Row, and downtown Jackson Hole.

Here's a fun fact about the incredible antler arch that you will see in the photos...  Jackson is home to a National Elk Refuge, and the roughly 8,000 antlers that make up the four matching arches in downtown Jackson Hole all come from the elk's annual antler shedding.  No animals were harmed to obtain the antlers to create these enormous and iconic arches.