Mika + Zach | Wilson High School Prom | Wyomissing, West Reading Pennsylvania Portrait Photographer

It’s prom season around here, and Wilson High School had its prom last night. It is rare that Mika agrees to step in front of my camera, so I had to capitalize on this opportunity to photograph her and Zach - even though I had only a small window of time to capture these images before I had to leave to photograph a Bar Mitzvah outside Philadelphia. I was determined to make it all work somehow!

Mika and Zach are creative and fun, like doing their own thing, and prefer to avoid crowds. We are very similar in those ways! Last year, they decided to have their prom portraits captured at Stoudtburg Village - and we lucked out and were the only ones there. (You can see those photos by clicking here.) This year, they wanted to use West Reading as their backdrop, specifically the murals. I was game! So, while everyone else attending Berks County proms was fighting crowds at the Reading Museum, Wyomissing Park, and Grings Mill, we had downtown West Reading all to ourselves! Those other places are lovely, and I photograph there often - but I’m impatient and don’t like waiting for my favorite portrait spots on prom day. I also don’t like having hundreds of other people in the backgrounds of my photos. And, as a couple, I think it’s nice just to be able to spread out a little bit and be yourselves during your portrait time.

When we met up in West Reading, we lucked out with both the weather and the crowds - we had great light, no rain, and no competing prom couples. Mika and Zach looked absolutely amazing! Thank you to Iron Roots Hair Salon for fitting in Mika’s makeup and hair that afternoon. (She went there directly after taking the SATs! It was quite a busy day!) Mika has only worn makeup twice in her life - and the first time was for prom last year. They do a fantastic job of bringing out Mika’s natural inner beauty. You may notice that Mika was wearing her Crocs (aka “snowboard tuning shoes) in some of her photos. She’s all about comfort - and I can’t say I blame her - but the “fancy” prom shoes did find their way onto her feet before prom started.

I hope you enjoy this selection of some of my favorite images. Mika is currently a junior at Wilson, and Zach is a freshman at West Chester. One more prom for Mika, then I think we have a few years off until it’s our youngest daughter’s turn…

Megan + Nathan | Bally Spring Inn | Barto, Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of photographing Megan and Nathan’s incredibly fun and beautiful wedding celebration. (If you follow my blog, you may remember their engagement session at the Trexler Nature Preserve.)

Megan and Nate’s final preparations and wedding celebration took place at the Bally Spring Inn, located in Barto, Pennsylvania. This was my first time photographing a wedding at this venue, and I hope I get to return many times! There was plenty of room for the wedding party to get ready, and the ceremony and reception areas had so much charm. Megan and Nate’s wedding day was on the windier and colder side, but we still had plenty of options for backdrops for their photos.

Megan and Nate described their style as romantic, simple, rustic, fun, and elegant - and their decorations and atmosphere reflected just that! They opted against having a first look, choosing the more traditional route of waiting to see each other until Megan walked down the aisle. When that moment happened and they first laid their eyes upon each other, I melted. You could feel the love between them, and their anticipation to become husband and wife. The rest of their day was just as sweet, which I hope you will be able to see in the collection of photos I am sharing.

Congratulations again, Megan and Nate! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to document your Day #1 as a married couple. I had so much fun celebrating with you and your loved ones.

Big thanks to everyone who worked together to make Megan and Nate’s dream wedding become a reality!

Photographer: Carrie Kizuka Photography, LLC

Venue, Catering: Bally Spring Inn

Coordinator: Rebekah Turbett, Bally Spring Inn

Florist: Jonathan Morrissey, Rich Mar Florist

Cake Artist: Peri Anderson, Brooklyn Girl Bakery

DJ: Wes Barrett, Wesley Works

Hair Artist: Skye Henry

Makeup Artist: Ashley

Wedding Dress and Bridesmaids’ Dresses Boutique: Silk Bridal Easton

Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Groom’s and Groomsmen’s Tuxedo Boutique: C.E. Roth Formal Wear

Priest: Monsignor Wargo

Evelisse + Dustin | Stokesay Castle Engagement Photoshoot | Berks County Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

A few weeks ago, I had the absolute joy of photographing Evelisse (Evy) and Dustin at the Stokesay Castle. Evy and Dustin were gifted an engagement photoshoot, courtesy of Evy’s mom, and the management at Stokesay was kind enough to allow us early morning access to the castle grounds. The temps were cold and the winds were high that morning, but Evy and Dustin were troopers and rolled with it. They were so much fun, had the best attitudes, and were such a pleasure to photograph. All three of us were smiling the entire morning - while we were shivering. ;)

Huge thanks to the Stokesay staff for allowing us to photograph there, and congrats again to Evy and Dustin! Here are a few of my favorite photos from our chilly morning together.

Danielle + Jonathan | FEAST at Round Hill | New York Wedding Photographer

I recently had the honor of photographing Danielle and Jonathan’s wedding. Danielle and I met quite a few years ago when we were both students (and fellow Delta Zeta sorority sisters) at Lehigh University. I was absolutely thrilled when she reached out to me and asked me to be her wedding photographer! I’ve mentioned it more than once before, but one of my favorite parts of being a photographer is reconnecting with wonderful people from my past, via my passion for artistically capturing moments in time.

Fast forward to their wedding day - Danielle and Jonathan’s final preparations and celebration took place at FEAST at Round Hill, a lovely venue in Washingtonville, New York. It was my first time photographing at that venue, and I instantly fell in love with its charm and personality. There was still snow on the ground from a recent storm, and even though that made for a slippery first look, it added just the right amount of wintry romance to the scene. It really was the perfect setting for Danielle and Jonathan’s classic, fun, and simply elegant wedding. The bridal party was small and intimate, but the day was overflowing with love and joy - from the romantic first look, to the wedding vows, to the speeches, to the dances. The entire day was a celebration of Danielle and Jonathan’s love for each other.

I hope you enjoy this selection of photos from Danielle and Jonathan’s Day #1 as husband and wife. I know that I thoroughly enjoyed celebrating with them (and some of my fellow Lehigh sorority sisters)!

Big thanks to the following team for helping make Danielle and Jonathan’s dream wedding become a reality:

Photographer: Carrie Kizuka Photography, LLC

Venue, Wedding Coordinator, Caterer: FEAST at Round Hill

Videographer: Reina Stern

Florist: Rene Rodriguez, New City Florist

Cake Artist: Pastry Garden

DJ: A Perfect Blend Entertainment

Hair Artist: Melissa Serraro Walsh, Dutchess County Hairstylist

Makeup Artist: Tiffany Field, Dutchess County Hairstylist

Wedding Dress Boutique: Azazie

Bridesmaids’ Dress Boutique: David’s Bridal

Groom’s Tuxedo Boutique: Foeller’s Men’s Shop

Groomsmen’s Tuxedo Boutique: Foeller’s Men’s Shop

Kirstie + Troy | Snowy Blue Marsh Lake Maternity Session | Berks County Family Photographer

Kirstie reached out to me a few months ago, wanting to book a snowy maternity session to celebrate her and Troy's growing family. This session was originally supposed to take place on a day when there was no snow to be found, and the only signs of winter were the high winds and below freezing temperatures. It would have been a brutal day to hold an outdoor photoshoot. So, we decided to take our chances and reschedule for two weeks later. Luckily, Mother Nature delivered snow a few days before our session, and the temperatures were cold enough all week that the snow actually stuck around for a while. We met up at Blue Marsh Lake, and the weather was perfect on that particular afternoon - we were gifted with reasonable temperatures, zero winds, and amazing golden hour light. Kirstie was absolutely stunning, rocking her maternity glow! (Troy was a great sport throughout it all as well!) I’m still in awe of Kirstie’s ability to change her outfit mid-session in a pickup truck and hike through the snow in her fashionable shoes! (I think she’s a ninja in disguise.) They are going to be the most amazing parents to this lucky little girl!! I’m so honored that they asked me to capture this wonderful time in their lives. I had so much fun creating these images with them, and am thankful that my husband agreed to come along and assist us that afternoon.

I hope you enjoy this little glimpse into their photoshoot.


Olivia + Paul | Intimate Stirling Mansion Wedding | Reading, Pennsylvania Photographer

Last week, Olivia and Paul got married in an intimate self-uniting wedding ceremony. Their celebration took place at the incredible Stirling Guest Hotel, located in Reading, Pennsylvania. This mansion has so much personality and charm, and I love love love photographing events there! I was honored to document Paul and Olivia’s Day #1 as husband and wife, and I can’t think of a better way to start off my 2019 wedding season. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Marten!

(Olivia, you ROCKED those wedding socks and sneakers!!)

Amie + Greg | Meredith Manor Fall Wedding | Chester County, Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

I had such an amazing time photographing Amie and Greg’s October wedding a few weeks ago! The weather was beautiful, and although it was a bit chilly that day, I remember feeling like it was the first day this year that actually REALLY felt like autumn.

When Amie reached out to me almost 2 years ago, asking if I would photograph her wedding, I ecstatically agreed! I have known Amie for longer than I will admit, since I was once her high school math teacher (in my pre-photographer life). I am filled with so much joy when former students contact me years later, asking me to document important milestones in their lives - especially when they have grown into such incredible adults, like Amie and Greg have done. Needless to say, I have been looking forward to this wedding for a long time - but probably not quite as long as Amie, Greg, and their loved ones have.

On the day of their wedding, we met up with Amie and Greg at the Hilton Garden Inn, in Exton, PA. I hung out with the girls while they finished getting ready, and my second photographer, Eric, photographed the guys. Everyone was so much fun, and the hotel provided the perfect backdrop and lighting for stunning photos!

Next, we headed to the Meredith Manor for the first look, portraits, ceremony, and reception. (The bridal party arrived via school bus - awesome, right!?!) This was my first time visiting Meredith Manor, and it didn’t disappoint! This venue is gorgeous, and has so many fantastic backdrops for photos. The staff was so helpful, and really went out of their way to make Amie and Greg’s day as perfect as it could be. Everything reflected their personalities and their relationship with each other, including the speeches, the decorations, and the excellent officiating by Amie’s own father! Amie and Greg’s wedding day vibe was romantic, classic, and formal, with a touch of rustic thrown in for good measure. When you see their photos, I think you’ll see what I mean!

Amie and Greg, thank you so much for inviting me to document these moments for you, and to celebrate your marriage with you. It was so nice seeing you, and reconnecting with some of my other former students (and couples)! I hope you enjoy this selection of photos from your Day #1 as husband and wife, and reliving these moments.

I would like to acknowledge all of the talented people and businesses who made Amie and Greg’s wedding dreams come true:

Photographer: Carrie Kizuka

Transportation: Metz Wilson Bus Service

Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn, Exton, PA

Wedding/Reception Venue: Meredith Manor

Wedding Coordinator: Mimi Reitz, Meredith Manor

Florist: Bridal Flowers - Jenna Shupp-Kemp, Exquisite Designs

Florist: Ceremony and Reception Flowers - Becky Reitz, B&E Floral Designs

Cake Artist: Bakers of Buffington

DJ: Chet Light, Musical Expressions

Hair & Makeup Artist: Prenup Beauty

Wedding Dress Boutique: BHLDN; Jolie; Catherine Dean

Bridesmaids’ Dresses Boutique: Adrianna Papell

Groom and Groomsmen’s Tuxedo Boutique: Tux by Sarno


Morgan + Mikey | Barn at Silverstone Wedding | Lancaster Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

In September, Morgan and Mikey were married in rural Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, at the Barn at Silverstone. Their wedding day had a romantic and semi-formal vibe, with decorations and details that were rustic and shabby chic. Morgan thought that my “moodier” editing style would be a great fit, so she asked me to add that touch to her wedding photos (which I was happy to do!). The weather has been rather turbulent this year, but we lucked out that day. We had a few showers in the morning - perfect for some extra wedding day luck - and then were gifted the most incredible weather for the rest of the day. Admittedly, it was a bit windy, but they rolled with it like champs!

Morgan, Mikey, and their bridal party were so much fun! They were there to celebrate, and that’s exactly what they did. There were a few emotional moments, too, especially during the first look, wedding ceremony, speeches, and sentimental dances. I was laughing and crying right along with them. And their first dance - they were literally on Cloud 9!! (Wait until you see it!)

I hope you enjoy this selection of photos from their Day #1 as husband and wife. Congratulations again, Mr. and Mrs. Antolino!

Huge props go out to the following vendors for making their dream wedding a reality:

Photographer: Carrie Kizuka

Venue: The Barn at Silverstone

Wedding Coordinator: Christine Helwig, Scarlet Runner Catering

Videographer: Rola Cinema

Florist: The Autumn Olive

Cake Artist: Krystal Moran

DJ: Vince, East Coast Event Group

Hair Artist: John Sentell, Alchemy Studio Hair

Makeup Artisti: Nicole Moeser

Wedding Dress Boutique: Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo; Casablanca

Bridesmaid Dress Boutique: Ashley’s Bridal

Groom and Groomsman Tuxedo Boutique: Men’s Wearhouse

Officiant: Theresa Gilberti

Connor, Vera, and Justin | Fall Session at Lock Ridge | Lehigh Valley Family Photographer

I recently met up with Connor, Vera, and Justin for a fall photoshoot at Lock Ridge Park. Connor has been one of my tattoo artists for the past few years, and if you are ever looking to have work done, I highly recommend that you check her out over at White Oak Tattoo! She’s not only insanely talented, but she’s also one of the kindest souls you will ever meet. This was one of my favorite sessions to date, and I’m sure once you see the photos you will know why.

(P.S. I can’t believe I captured Vera’s newborn photos 3 years ago already!?!)


Shanon + Brian | Intimate Fall Backyard Wedding | Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

A few weeks ago, I joined Shanon, Brian, and a dozen of their loved ones to celebrate their wedding day. This was one of the most intimate weddings I have photographed, and I definitely need more of these casual, laid back celebrations in my life. Weddings like this are my JAM! Don’t get me wrong, I love the fun and excitement that accompanies large, chaotic weddings. However there’s something about low-key weddings that just pulls at my heartstrings. I love when my couples are able to take some time to just enjoy each other and breathe each other in, savoring every moment of their Day #1 as husband and wife. And, that is exactly what Shanon and Brian did.

So, without any further ado, here are some of my favorite images from their day. (You may notice that these edits are a little different than what I normally post. I recently began giving my clients a choice between two editing styles - my traditional vibrant style, and my moodier style. Shanon requested moody and I was thrilled to edit these images in that style for her!)

(P.S. I wish I could have brought that vintage couch home with me!!)

Anna + Wiley | Pocono Lake Preserve | Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of joining Anna, Wiley, and their loved ones at one of their favorite places, as they celebrated their wedding in the Poconos. (We were also joined by a few million mosquitoes, but no one really seemed to mind.) All of the festivities took place at various locations around the Pocono Lake Preserve, a place that is near and dear to their hearts. This was my first time visiting the preserve, and I instantly fell in love with the venue - I can tell why they love it so much!

I would describe their wedding day vibe as casual, rustic, and fun (emphasis placed on fun)! Their wedding party had just as many dogs as humans, which added a nice personal touch to their day. Anna’s theme color was black watch plaid, and the flowers and table decorations complemented her colors perfectly! Wiley had two wedding bands - one made of plain white gold, and the other made of elk horn, whiskey barrels and gold (it was so cool!!).

The speeches brought me to tears, the dance moves had me smiling big silly grins. I was so honored to document this celebration for them and with them. I truly have the absolute best job ever. I hope you understand why when you view this selection of photos from their Day #1 as husband and wife. Thank you again for trusting me with your memories, Anna and Wiley!


Big thanks to the following people (among others) who helped make Anna and Wiley’s dream wedding day a reality:

Wedding Coordinator: Elika Almeida

Florist: Leigh Florist; Denise Herker

Cake Artist: Kitchen Chemistry

Band: The Hoopla Band

Hair Artist: Virginia Slonaker (aka Bunny)

Makeup Artist: Lexi Vidal (Bride’s daughter)

Wedding Dress Boutique: David’s Bridal

Bridesmaid Dress Boutique: David’s Bridal

Groom’s Suit Boutique: Brooks Brothers

String Ensemble: Penn Strings

Officiant: Journeys of the Heart; Susanne Wilson

Patsy + Michael | Alvernia University + Heidelberg Country Club | Berks County Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

I met Patsy and Michael at a wedding that I photographed last summer. I was thrilled when Michael contacted me a few weeks later, asking me if I was available to photograph his own upcoming wedding! When I met him and Patsy at my studio to discuss their wedding day in person, I knew we were going to make a great team.

I wasn’t wrong!

Their wedding day was overflowing with excitement, energy, and LOVE! Their decorations (many of them DIY) were so colorful and full of textures - it was truly a photographer’s dream. Their wedding day vibe was an amalgamation of tradition and romance, with a touch of rustic shabby chic thrown in for good measure.

I began my day photographing the final bridal preparations that took place at Patsy’s home. (I was supposed to begin at the guys’ hotel - but that’s a story for another day. A wedding just isn’t a wedding without some last minute chaos - and believe me, we had it! Luckily, I’m great at going with the flow…)

Next, I headed to the Sacred Heart Chapel to photograph their traditional Catholic ceremony. The chapel is located on Alvernia University’s campus, and is absolutely breathtaking inside! Their ceremony was beautiful, and included mariachi music, readings, prayers, the vow exchange, the bringing of gifts, blessings, and communion - and then Michael and Patsy were officially pronounced husband and wife!

We spent some time taking bridal party portraits around the Alvernia University campus, and then boarded the trolley to head to the reception. The reception took place at the Heidelberg Country Club. Once we arrived, we took a few more photos around the trolley, and then noticed that we were in a race with Mother Nature. We finished our final bride and groom portraits seconds before the skies opened up and poured down rain.

At the reception, Michael and Patsy wowed us all with a choreographed first dance. Afterwards, many of their guests joined them on the dance floor as they celebrated their Day #1 as a married couple. Patsy and Michael went all out, adding their personal touches to their wedding ceremony and reception. It really was a beautiful day, and was perfectly reflective of their love for each other.

Here are a few of my favorite images from their wedding day. I hope you enjoy them!

Big thanks to the following people (among others) who helped make Patsy and Michael’s dream wedding day a reality:

Florist: Mary, Sycamore Springs

Cake Artist: Mother of the groom, Lizzette Rodriguez

DJ: Billy, friend of the family

Photographer: Carrie Kizuka

Second Photographer: Adam Naples

Band: Mariachi Flores

Hair Artist: Vanessa New

Wedding Dress Boutique: Pocadiz Bridal (Aime Couture and Pollardi Fashion Group)

Bridesmaid Dresses Boutique: Pocadiz Bridal (Jovani Fashion and Faviana)

Groom’s Suit Boutique: Pocadiz Bridal, Jim’s Formal

Groomsmen’s Suits Boutique: Pocadiz Bridal, Jim’s Formal

Ceremony Venue: Sacred Heart Chapel, Reading, Pennsylvania

Reception Venue: Heidelberg Country Club

Dan + Ricky | World Cafe Live | Philadelphia Wedding Photographer

I don't even know how to start describing Dan and Ricky's wedding day... but I'll try my best!  Dan and Ricky were referred to me a few months ago by another photographer.  (Quick off-topic squirrel moment - I am always honored when other photographers trust me and value my work enough to refer me to potential clients!!  I'm so fortunate to have a supportive network of colleagues in this business!)  Back to Dan and Ricky - I never met Dan and Ricky in person, and all of our consultations happened via email and Skype/Facetime.  However, we hit it off immediately, and never doubted that we would make the perfect team on their wedding day.  Our instincts were correct!

Their day in Philly was filled with so much emotion, energy, and color - it really was a photographer's dream!  Mother Nature tried to throw us off by scheduling torrential rains during much of our planned outdoor photography time, but we were flexible and creative and made some pretty fantastic photographs together in spite of the weather!

Dan and Ricky began their day at The Study at University City, in Philadelphia.  That hotel is one of the coolest venues I have ever visited!  I love the architecture and landscaping, and it perfectly complemented Dan and Ricky's semi-formal, romantic, and modern vibe.  Dan and Ricky got ready in separate suites, then met outside The Study for a quick first look.  After their emotional private moment together, we squeezed as many portraits in as we could before the rain started.

Their wedding and reception took place a few blocks away from The Study at World Cafe Live.  I have never been to this concert venue before, but I have heard great things about it and was excited for this chance to combine my wedding portrait and concert photography passions!  It can be tricky to properly expose photos in concert venues, especially one like World Cafe Live where all of the walls and ceiling are painted black.  Lucky for me, I always overpack gear, and had everything I needed to create beautiful and fun photographs for Ricky and Dan and their loved ones.

After their quick and emotion-filled vow exchange on the stage (that included a sentimental handfasting ceremony), we snuck outside for a few more portraits (just as there was a brief pause in the rain).  Then, it was time for the reception.  I don't think I've ever taken as many dancing photos as I have at this wedding, and I had a blast doing it!  I smiled taking them, I smiled editing them, and I'm smiling again as I share them here.  My face was sore from smiling so much all day, and my body ached in places I didn't even know existed from trying to keep up with this crowd all night!  This wedding was so much fun, and I am honored that I was the one asked to capture these memories for them.

Congratulations again, Ricky and Dan!  I hope you enjoy this selection of moments from your Day #1 as husband and husband. 

 

Big thanks to my daughter, Kaiya, for assisting me all day, and to these amazing vendors for coming together to make Dan and Ricky's wedding day a success:

Florist:  Teleflora

Cake Artist: (the cake was AMAZING!!)  Floured Hearth Bakery

DJ:  DJ Bishop

Hair & Makeup Artist:  Allyson Jones at Contempo Cuts Salon

Suits:  Men's Wearhouse

Centerpieces:  Created by Ricky's mother

Hotel:  The Study at University City

Venue:  World Cafe Live, Philly

She Said Yes! | Outer Banks, NC Proposal | Destination Engagement and Wedding Photographer

I met Victoria and Dmitriy this past snowboard season at a race at Roundtop Mountain Resort, in Harrisburg, PA.  We hung out a few times throughout the season, and were fortunate enough to end the season together at USASA Nationals at Copper Mountain, in Colorado.

A few weeks ago, Victoria and Dmitriy reached out to me to set up a photoshoot while I was going to be spending some time in the Outer Banks.  Victoria was hoping for a couple's session, but Dmitriy had other plans.  He had been waiting for the perfect time to surprise Victoria with a proposal (and a stunning engagement ring)!  The ring was already purchased and was just waiting for the rest of the plans to fall into place.

When they arrived in North Carolina, we met up at my rental house in Waves.  While Victoria was distracted, Dmitriy passed off some champagne and glasses to my husband, so we could bring them to the photoshoot the next day without Victoria suspecting anything.

If you live anywhere along the east coast, you know how rainy it has been the last few weeks.  The day of their photoshoot was no exception.  The forecast looked promising all day - the rain was supposed to clear out around noon, and our evening photoshoot looked like it would go off without a hitch.  Well, as soon as we arrived at our intended location, Mother Nature decided to defy the weather forecasting technology, and the rain started falling.  We decided to wait it out, because the radar showed that the weather would clear up again in about 30 minutes.  30 minutes later, another rain cloud formed, and there were more following behind it.  So, we decided to get back on the road and drive south until we found a dry location.  I was looking forward to this photoshoot for weeks, and was determined to hold their session that night!

We eventually found a non-flooded place near Rodanthe to pull off the side of the road and park.  I ran up to the adjacent beach area and scouted the location, and it was incredible!  There was only one other couple in sight, and the skies and dunes were picture-perfect.

So, my husband grabbed the bag with the champagne and glasses, I grabbed my camera gear, and the rest is history.  You can see how the session unfolded for yourself right here...