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!)

Kailey + Kyle | The Barn at Silverstone Rustic Outdoor Lancaster Wedding | Berks County Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

A few weeks ago, Kailey and Kyle got married and I was lucky enough to be there to document it all!  As soon as I met them at their consultation, I instantly realized how deeply in love they are, and I knew that their wedding day was going to be fabulous.  I have been looking forward to this day for almost a year - since way before their amazing engagement session that took place in Berks County at the Wyomissing Park last fall.

Kailey and Kyle's wedding and reception both took place at the Barn at Silverstone, located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  (All of the amazing vendors that worked together to make this day a success are listed at the bottom of this blog post!)  Their details and decorations were rustic, romantic, and simply beautiful.  Kailey and Kyle decided against having a first look, opting for the more traditional choice of waiting to see each other until Kailey was walking down the aisle.  I always love watching the groom's reaction as he sees his bride for the first time, and Kyle's reaction had me in tears.  He absolutely glowed when he set his eyes upon Kailey in her wedding dress, as she was escorted down the aisle by her proud father.  Their obvious love for each other had many of us in tears that afternoon.

Kyle's brother officiated the wedding ceremony, and immediately after their romantic bubble exit, we gathered around the stunning stone fireplace for family portraits.  I noticed that a few guests kept checking their phones and watches, and I quickly discovered the reason why - there was a storm approaching, and we were on borrowed time to finish up our outdoor photographs!

It turned out that luck was on our side that evening, and we finished all of the formal portraits just minutes before the sky opened up and gifted us a lucky wedding day downpour.  The rain didn't last long, and we made it back outside for a few more photographs right as the sun was setting.  It was a beautiful day all around, and the lucky thunderstorm just made it even more perfect.

Kailey and Kyle, I wish you both a lifetime of happiness together.  I can't thank you enough for trusting me to capture your Day #1 for you and your loved ones.

 

Wedding coordinator:  Katie Slauch, Stylish Occasions

Florist:  Amy Stein, Steins Flowers

Cake artist:  Ady Cakes

DJ:  Kevin High, The Party Express DJs

Hair artist:  Paulene Stromberg, Elle Hair Design

Makeup artist:  Belinda Carrol

Bride's and bridesmaids' dresses:  Darianna Bridal

Groom's and groomsmen's suits:  Jos. A. Bank

Bride's rings:  Neil Lane

Bride's shoes:  Michael Kors

Wedding and reception venue:  The Barn at Silverstone

Officiant:  Kyle's brother

Photography:  Carrie Kizuka Photography, LLC

Big thanks to Emilly Ziegler for second shooting with me for part of the day!

 

The Mest Family | Sunflower Children's Mini Session | Berks County Pennsylvania Family Photographer

A few weeks ago, I met up with these adorable kiddos at a sunflower field near Blue Marsh Lake.  They wanted to surprise their daddy with some updated photos on his birthday, so I've been sitting on these for a little while so I wouldn't ruin the surprise.  I received permission to post these now, and I'm so happy that I can finally share their smiles and personalities on my blog!

I have photographed the Mest Family a few times now, and I have loved every single session. This family is so much fun and is so loving and positive.  And, let me tell you about this brother and sister duo - they are so full of spunk and energy, and they love hugging each other (even if just for a few seconds)!  It's really a pleasure to be around them.

Thank you for driving out to see me, Mest Family!  I hope your daddy loved his birthday surprise.

Steph + Al | Joanna Furnace Rustic Summer Wedding | Berks County Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of documenting Steph and Al's Day #1 as husband and wife!  I have been looking forward to this day since long before I photographed their engagement session at Wyebrook Farm last fall.

The weather was absolutely fantastic on their wedding day!  The sun was shining, the temperature was perfect, and there wasn't a rain cloud in sight.  We couldn't have asked for a nicer day, or better people to celebrate with.

I met up with Steph and the rest of the girls while they were finishing up getting ready at It's All About You salon.  Then, we headed to the huge sunflower field that is planted each year by the owners of Please Wash Me Carwash in Elverson.  The owners of the field and car wash are friends of Steph and Al, and it was so sweet of them to offer us the space for a few quick bridal party portraits!

Then, we arrived at the Plow Church for final preparations and the ceremony.  Steph and Al chose not to have a first look, opting for the more traditional moment that they would see each other for the first time as she was walking toward him down the church aisle.  You could see the anticipation and excitement during that moment on both of their faces, and it had me in tears!  (I'm lucky I get to hide my running-mascara-face on the other side of the camera!)

Steph and Al were surprised when they walked out of the church and found a huge tractor waiting for them, ready to take them to Joanna Furnace for their reception!  This had all been arranged by friends ahead of time, behind the scenes.  After a few photos on the Plow Church baseball field (baseball is a shared passion of theirs!), we left for Joanna Furnace and finished up our portraits there.

Photographing a wedding is a lot of hard work, and I am exhausted by the end of the night - but I typically don't notice that until after I pack up my gear and am driving home.  The days fly by so quickly, and I get such an adrenaline rush and full heart from being surrounded by so much love, laughter, happy tears, and celebrating.  I really love what I do, and I'm so thankful for my couples - like Steph and Al!!

If I had to describe their wedding and reception in just a few words, I would choose rustic, casual, country, and SO MUCH FUN!

Congratulations, Steph and Al!!!  Thank you again for trusting me to capture these moments for you and your loved ones.

Big thanks to the following vendors for helping make this day a success:

Hair and Make-Up:  It's All About You Salon and Spa, Reading, PA

Flowers:  Flowers by Jena Paige

DJ:  Rick Bean of B&B Light and Sound

Bride's dress:  Forever Formals in Kennett Square, PA

Groom's suit:  Men's Wearhouse in Wyomissing, PA

Tent/chair rental:  Knights Rental in Leesport, PA

Church:  Plowville Lutheran Church (Robeson Evangelical Lutheran) in Mohnton, PA

Reception:  Joanna Furnace - Hay Creek Valley Historical Association in Morgantown, PA

Huge thanks to Jane Ammon for second shooting with me for a portion of the day!

The Miller Family | Sunflower Field Family Photoshoot | Berks County Portrait Photographer

A few weeks ago, I met up with the Miller Family at a sunflower field near Blue Marsh Lake to create their family portraits.  The weather was on the warmer side that evening, but the light was incredible, we had blue skies and puffy clouds, and we had the entire place to ourselves!  I love when that happens during my photoshoots!

This family was one of my first clients when I went into business, and it was truly an honor and pleasure to photograph them again a few years later.  They are so fun and kind, and I smiled during their entire session.  They have so much love for each other, and are so full of positive energy.  It's always a pleasure to be in their presence.

Thank you again for this opportunity to create portraits for you, Miller Family!  I had a blast reconnecting with you, and am thrilled to share a few of my favorite photos from our time together.

Noah | Camp Hill High School Class of 2018 | Harrisburg Senior Portrait Photographer

I was recently in Camp Hill creating Noah's senior portraits.  Noah is a member of Camp Hill High School's Class of 2018!  I've known Noah and his family for a few years now, because he raced on the same snowboard team as my daughters (Ski Roundtop Race Club).  He recently left the snowboard team to focus more on baseball, but I've been able to keep in touch with his family and was honored when they reached out and asked me to capture his senior portraits for them.

We started our session at Willow Park, then headed over to the West Shore Country Club for the second half of our photoshoot.  The weather and light were perfect for us!  I have really lucked out this past month and had amazing weather for my photoshoots.  I don't want to jinx it, but I've been so fortunate lately!  (The beginning of the summer was a completely different story, so I'm glad Mother Nature decided to reward me with some decent photoshoot weather now!)

Here are a few photos from our session.  Best wishes for a successful and memorable senior year, Noah!  Thank you again for this opportunity.

Winter/Christmas Studio Mini Session Deal | Berks County Pennsylvania Children Photographer

A lot of my clients have reached out to me recently, asking about Winter/Christmas mini sessions for the kids.  I know it's still pretty early to advertise these, but my fall calendar fills up quickly so I wanted to make sure that everyone who was interested in a spot could sign up for one.  The information is posted below, and I expect these to sell out quickly!  (Photos of the actual setups will be posted once my backdrops and other props arrive.)

 

~WINTER STUDIO MINI SESSIONS~

 

I will be offering indoor Christmas/Winter-themed mini sessions at my GoggleWorks studio on Sunday October 15th, Thursday October 19th, and Friday November 3rd!!  The cost will be $150 plus 6% PA Sales Tax and you will receive at least 5 high resolution edited digital files in a shareable online gallery with permission to print.  Images will be delivered within 7 days of the photoshoot.  Sessions will last for 20 minutes.

These sessions are intended for babies who are able to sit independently through children of any age.  Please email me (focus@carriekizuka.com) prior to signing up if you would like to have more than one child photographed at once or would like a photo of the entire family.  These sessions are not intended for large groups, as the backdrops are only 5'x7'.  If you are willing to sit on the floor and squeeze together very closely, we might be able to make a family shot happen, though!

There are four backdrops to choose from.  (See below photo.)  There will be enough time for photos using multiple backdrops, so you don't have to choose just one.  Let me know if you need help deciding on an outfit!

Click here to reserve your spot:
http://carriekizukaphotographyllc.bigcartel.com/product/winter-christmas-studio-mini-sessions

Berks County Reading Pennsylvania Child Studio Photographer

The Moczydlowski Family | Wyomissing Park Family Photoshoot | Berks County Pennsylvania Portrait Photographer

A few weeks ago, I met up with the Moczydlowski Family at the Wyomissing Park to capture their family portraits.  We were fortunate to have incredible golden hour light and perfect weather for their photoshoot!

This was my first time creating photographs for this family, and I'm so honored that they asked me to be their photographer.  They are such kind, loving, and patient parents - and their children are adorable and are so much fun to be around!!  I love photographing kids - their smiles and energy and curiosity are always contagious!  I leave my photoshoots completely exhausted, but completely refilled at the same time - and this session was no different!

Thank you, Moczydlowski Family, for giving me this opportunity.  I had a great time creating these photographs for you.  (Also, big thanks for the care package that you left on my doorstep afterwards!!)

It was difficult to choose just a few portraits to share with everyone here (because I love them all so much), but this is what I came up with.  Enjoy!

Connor | A Mansion Boudoir Session | Berks County Pennsylvania Boudoir Portrait Photographer

 

“What you do, the way you think, makes you beautiful.” ~Scott Westerfield

 

This summer, I received numerous requests from female friends of mine to start offering boudoir photoshoots again.  I have photographed boudoir in the past, but back then I was still teaching full time and had to be very careful about what types of photography I advertised or shared on my website and on social media outlets.  Let me make something crystal clear - I think there is absolutely nothing wrong or dirty or perverted about boudoir photography!!  I think it is an art form that is incredibly beautiful and empowering, and I personally feel that all women should experience a boudoir session at least once (if not multiple times) in their lives.  However, for whatever reasons, society doesn't necessarily feel the same way - especially when it comes to school boards and school administrators.  So, even though I greatly enjoyed creating boudoir and glamour art, I kept those sessions under wraps for the time being.

Well, I am no longer a public school teacher, and I now have much more flexibility in what I feel I can share with the public and offer my clients.  For that reason, I decided to appease my friends' requests and recently began advertising and photographing boudoir photoshoots again.  This summer, I was fortunate enough to photograph a number of fabulous, kick-ass women.  My clients have a variety of ages and backgrounds and life stories - and every one of them is beautiful inside and out.  I often hear women say how empowering boudoir photoshoots can be, and I agree wholeheartedly!  Every one of my clients absolutely glowed during their entire session.  Some arrived more nervous than others, but once we got started, every woman found her comfort zone and connected with me and my camera.  (Sometimes a little bubbly helped this happen a bit faster - but that's not a bad thing, and that's why I offer it at my sessions!)  These sessions are not only empowering for my clients, but also for me as a photographer.  I feel so fortunate being trusted by my clients enough for them to allow themselves to be completely vulnerable in front of me.

 

"I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story – I will." ~Amy Schumer

 

People often ask me what I enjoy photographing the most.  That's a difficult question to answer, because I love celebrating all stages and phases of life and of love.  However, there is something a bit different about boudoir photography that just pulls me in.  I love being able to help my clients realize just how beautiful they are, while being able to use light and shadows and textures to create stunning portraits that we are both proud of.

While I love every single boudoir session that I have photographed, I'm not always able to share portraits from these photoshoots in order to honor and respect my clients' privacy.  As much as I love these images and would love to share them all with the world, many of my clients choose to keep them private, because of their careers or for a number of other reasons.  And, that is completely fine with me!  My priority is creating art for my clients (and sometimes their partners) to celebrate their beauty - receiving permission to share the images is just an added bonus sometimes.

 

"The most beautiful thing you can wear is confidence." ~Blake Lively

 

Connor is one of my recent clients who gave me the freedom to share her images.  I was fortunate enough to meet Connor a few years ago while I was being tattooed at Lucky 13 Tattoos & Body Piercings in Kutztown, PA.  Connor has tattooed me multiple times since then, and I have referred a number of friends to her.  We have benefitted from each others' artistic talents over the years - I have photographed Connor and her adorable daughter, and Connor has created tattoos and paintings for me.  She is not only a gifted artist, but is also one of the sweetest, kindest, and real women you will ever meet.  And she's a hell of a lot of fun to hang out with, too!!

Before I share a few images from our recent boudoir session, I'm going to take a moment to plug Connor.  If you're looking for a tattoo artist, check out her work.  She's leaving Lucky 13 in October and will be joining White Oak Tattoo Co. in West Chester, Pennsylvania.  Look her up, and if you love her style, get in touch with her!  (http://www.whiteoaktattooco.com/contact.html)

 

“We are all born sexual creatures,thank God, but it's a pity so many people despise and crush this natural gift.” ~Marilyn Monroe

 

If anyone wants to join my Ladies Only Boudoir VIP Group, or wants to set up a session of your own, get in touch with me!  You can also follow me on Instagram here.

Without any further ado, here is Connor, in all of her beautiful, vulnerable glory.  Our photoshoot took place at the incredible Stirling Mansion in Reading, PA.  Thank you, my friend, for allowing me to create these portraits for you. And, thank you for allowing me to share them with the world.  We really need to do this again soon!

 

“As if you were on fire from within.  The moon lives in the lining of your skin.” ~Pablo Neruda
 

Niva | Spring-Ford High School Class of 2018 | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Portrait Photographer

Earlier this week, I had the honor of meeting up with Niva and her mom, to capture Niva's senior portraits.  Niva is a member of Spring-Ford High School's Class of 2018, and will be going back to school to begin her senior year next week!  I have had the privilege of photographing this incredible family on a number of occasions, including family photoshoots, seasonal mini-sessions, and Niva's Sweet 16 party a few years ago.  They are such a joy to be around, and there is never a shortage of authentic smiles when they are near.

We decided to meet up at the Royersford Historical Mural, and then moved on to a few different parks in the same area.  The light was gorgeous and the weather was perfect... and the mosquitoes were out in full force!!  I got a record number of mosquito bites that afternoon, but Niva was such a great sport about it all!

Niva is so incredibly kind and talented, and I know that she's going to accomplish some pretty amazing things over her lifetime.  I'm so thankful for having another opportunity to photograph this family, and I'm looking forward to many more in the future.

Congratulations, Niva!  Best wishes for a fabulous senior year!

 

 

Ashley | Everett High School Class of 2018 | Berks County Senior Photographer

I've been slacking on blogging lately because I've been super busy creating portraits for my incredible clients, as well as working on some exciting behind-the-scenes business stuff!  I wanted to break my blogging silence, at least temporarily, and share a few images from this recent high school senior session.

Last week, Ashley and her mom drove all the way to me from Everett, Pennsylvania.  That's in Bedford County, about 150 miles away!!  Having clients willing to drive that distance for me to create art for them is absolutely humbling.  I don't think that anything in the world is more sacred and valuable than time, and when someone is willing to spend that time with me, it really fills my heart.

We started off by creating a few indoor portraits at my GoggleWorks studio, then headed to the Wyomissing Park for the outdoor portion of our session.  The weather was perfect, and the light was incredible!  I have really lucked out by having fantastic weather for my last few outdoor weddings and photoshoots - thank you, Mother Nature, for having my back lately!

Ashley will be graduating from Everett High School in June, and I know that she's going to have an incredible senior year.  Ashley, best of luck on the volleyball court, in the classroom, and beyond!  You were glowing during our entire photoshoot, and I know that your light will lead you to wonderful places and experiences this year and for the rest of your life.

I hope you enjoy this small selection of photos from our time together.

Congratulations to the upcoming Class of 2018!!!

 

 

Melissa | Vintage Headshots | Berks County Photographer

Melissa recently contacted me, looking for a vintage style headshot session.  Her vision sounded like a lot of fun, so we set a date and recently met up at my studio at the GoggleWorks!  She is such a natural in front of the camera, and I love what we created together.

Here is a small sampling of my favorites.  I hope you enjoy them!

Thank you again for this fun opportunity, Melissa!  I had a blast, and I'm really looking forward to working with you again in the future.

Nona + George | Longwood Gardens Engagement Session | New Jersey Wedding Photographer

I don't even know where to begin describing this engagement session.  It was so incredible, in so many ways.  Once you see the photos, you'll know what I mean...

Nona and George live in New Jersey, but wanted to drive closer to me for their engagement session for a little change in scenery.  On our original date, we were going to meet up in Lancaster, but Mother Nature had other plans.  With their 3 hour drive (each way), we decided to play it safe and call it off.  So, we rescheduled for a few days later, and since their original location choice was closed that day we moved the shoot to Longwood Gardens.

We couldn't have picked a better day, time, or location.

We had Longwood Gardens practically to ourselves, and the weather was incredible!  It was a little hot and humid, but honestly, I don't even think Nona and George noticed - they were too mesmerized by each other!!  They have incredible fashion sense, but that was secondary to their chemistry and love for each other.  Everything, and I mean everything, was perfect.

By the way, Nona is a very talented artist herself!  You can find her work here: https://www.facebook.com/DesignByNona/  or here: https://www.instagram.com/designbynona/.

I am so looking forward to their wedding this upcoming winter!  I hope you enjoy this rather large collection of photos from their engagement session - because I had too many favorites to narrow it down any further.

Congratulations, Nona and George!!

Alexandra + Robert | Bethlehem Steel Stacks Wedding | Lehigh Valley Photographer

A few weeks ago, Alex and Rob threw one heck of a wedding celebration in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  I was lucky enough to be there to document their Day #1, along with almost 300 of their closest family and friends.

Their wedding style was romantic and elegant, with the bridal party dressed in traditional black and white.  The colors and Catholic church service were the only formal parts of their day, however.  If I had to choose one word to describe their day, I would hands-down have to say it was "fun"!

The girls got ready at the historic Hotel Bethlehem, while the guys gathered at the Hyatt Place for their final preparations.  Alex and Rob opted against having a first look, because they wanted to wait to see each other until they arrived at the church.  They chose to exchange their vows at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, also located in Bethlehem.  Their wait was worth it - you could feel Rob's anticipation and love as he watched his bride-to-be eagerly approaching him from across the aisle, walking hand-in-hand with her proud father.  Nothing beats the moment that a bride and groom set eyes upon each other for the first time on their wedding day, whether it is during a first look, or the more traditional walk down the church aisle. I love capturing those moments as a photographer!

After the ceremony, we headed back to historic downtown Bethlehem for a few bridal party portraits around Main Street, right outside Hotel Bethlehem.  Our last stop was the reception venue, the Musikfest Cafe at the Steelstacks.  Inside, the flowers and decorations were gorgeous, and outside, the Steel Stacks provided a breathtaking backdrop.  The food stations reflected Alex and Rob's favorite dishes, and the drinks were pouring freely!  There was an entire long table filled with desserts (including the stunning cake) that were all baked with love by Rob's mom!!  There was no shortage of smiles on this day, and it was obvious that Alex and Rob are very, very loved.

Congratulations, Alex and Rob!  Thank you so much for allowing me to be there to document this incredible day.  Best wishes for a long and joyous marriage!

I hope you enjoy this selection of photos from their wedding day.

 

Bridal Party Accomodations:  Hotel Bethlehem

Hair Artist:  Apotheca Salon and Boutique

Make-Up Artist:  Helena Coyle

Cake Artist:  Trisha Shaffer, mother of the groom

Band: Night Moves

Bride's Dress:  Nicole Miller Bridal

Groom's Tuxedo:  Mr. T's Tuxedos

Church:  Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Reception:  Musikfest Cafe at Steelstacks

Big thanks to Rachel Wass for second shooting with me!

 

Philadelphia Lantern Fest | Maple Grove Raceway | Berks County Photographer

One of the recent additions to my Bucket List was to attend a lantern festival.  The last two times one was being held within a reasonable drive from me, I had weddings booked.  When I found out another lantern fest was being planned for June 10th, just 15 minutes from my house, I immediately snatched up tickets and blocked out the date on my calendar!  It's a good thing I did, because this one sold out within a few weeks.  It was so popular that the organizers ended up adding a second day!  (I would have gone both days, but my studio open house was scheduled to take place the following day.)

I'm not a fan of crowds, but crowds can't be avoided at lantern festivals.  So, if you go, be prepared to wait... a lot...  However, I have to admit, the more crowded they are, the more amazing the lantern display looks!  I did, however, manage to sneak away from the crowd and score a perfect viewing spot in the bleachers along Maple Grove Raceway.  My plan was to capture a few photos from that vantage point, then join the crowd below to set off my lanterns.  Once the lanterns started being released, however, that plan went to pieces.  My view from the bleachers was so amazing that I just couldn't bring myself to leave.  I am definitely going to attend another one in the future, so I'll be sure to capture some photos from the ground-level vantage point when I go back.

If you decide to go to one of these, plan to arrive early to find a close parking spot.  When you enter, you'll be given a lantern, a marshmallow roasting stick, and a goodie box (containing s'mores supplies, a lighter, and a sharpie for decorating your lantern).  There are food and drink stands for all ages, live music, face-painting, balloon-animal artists, and inflatable rides for the kids.  Again, be prepared to wait - a lot - but in the end, the wait will be worth it!!!  And this is coming from someone who detests crowds!!

My pictures just don't do this experience justice, but I hope you enjoy them anyway.  I'm so glad that I was able to attend.  The view was breathtaking, and being there with my family was the icing on the cake.  If you ever have a chance to go, I highly recommend it.

Josh | Daniel Boone Class of 2017 | Berks County High School Senior Photographer

Last week, after several reschedules due to rain, I met up with Josh at Gring's Mill to create his senior portraits.  Josh is a member of Daniel Boone's Class of 2017 and will be graduating this weekend! We finally caught a break from Mother Nature and had amazing weather and light for his session!

And with this session, my 2017 senior photoshoots are in the books! It was such a pleasure having so many smiling seniors in front of my lens this year! Best of luck to Josh and all of the other 2017 graduates! I can't wait to see what 2018 has in store for all of us!

I hope you enjoy a few of my favorite photos from my time with Josh... and his lacrosse stick. :)

Colleen | Wilson High School Class of 2017 - Part 2 | Berks County Senior Photographer

In September, Colleen and I met up for Part 1 of her high school senior photoshoot.  Last weekend, we reunited to create Part 2!  We had already rescheduled a few times, and the forecast was once again questionable, so we decided to hold the photoshoot at the GoggleWorks.  I think this venue has a lot of character, and if the weather took a turn for the worse, we would be able to run inside to finish.  The weather ended up holding out for us!  You'll notice that we decided to take a few photos inside anyway.  This building has so much personality, I couldn't choose just inside or outside - so we used both!

Colleen will be attending the University of Alabama in the fall, and they are so lucky to have her!  She has a heart of gold, and a smile to match.  I feel so fortunate to have gotten to know her family over the years.  I'm looking forward to watching her graduate this weekend, as my oldest daughter will be graduating along with her!  Congratulations to Colleen and to the rest of Wilson High School's Class of 2017!!

I hope you enjoy some of my favorite photos from our session...