The Maria Family | Studio Newborn Session | Berks County Pennsylvania Family Photographer

Waaaaay back around Christmas time, I photographed the Marias, shortly after they welcomed their son Donato into their family. Jimmy is one of my favorite local tattoo artists, an incredible painter, and a fellow GoggleWorks studio renter. I was honored when he asked me to capture these images for their family. You can tell by looking at these images how in love Jimmy and Abby are with each other, and with their handsome little boy. (You can also tell by looking at these images how long ago this session took place, and how bad I have been about blogging the past few months…)

Thanks again for the visit, Maria family!


Macy + Merlin | Reading Museum Engagement Session | Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Next up on the blog-catch-up marathon are Macy and Merlin! We met up at the Reading Museum for their engagement session this past fall - you can tell by their outfits that this photoshoot didn’t take place recently! This is another session that fell victim to my crazy fall photography and dissertation schedule and was skipped over on my blog - until now!

Macy and Merlin are getting married this coming November, and I am so excited to be able to celebrate with them! They were so relaxed during their session, and so easy to work with. They were also incredibly fun - and even more in love - which is going to make for fantastic wedding day photos! I’m so honored to be the one capturing their love story for them, and I hope you enjoy these photos from their engagement session.



Patsy + Michael | Heritage Center, Gring's Mill Maternity Session | Pennsylvania Portrait Photographer

I met up with Patsy and Michael at the Red Covered Bridge (aka Gring’s Mill, aka Heritage Center) last Sunday for their long-awaited maternity session! (If you follow my blog, you may recognize them from their Alvernia University/Heidelberg Country Club wedding photos here.) I was so excited when they reached out to me and asked me to capture this wonderful time in their lives, and was looking forward to seeing them again.

Mother Nature attempted to throw a wrench in our plans, however, as we were receiving thunderstorm warnings throughout the day - for right about the time our photoshoot was supposed to take place.

We decided to move forward with our plans to hold the session anyway, and I am so glad that we did! The weather was on the warmer side, but we had the park practically to ourselves. The light was fabulous, and we finished the photoshoot just as the thunder began rumbling and the first drops of rain started to fall.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from our time together. It was so hard to choose just a few! Patsy has impeccable taste in fashion. She was absolutely stunning, and I know this is going to be one well-dressed - and very loved - baby! Congrats again, Patsy and Michael!!



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…

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.

Owen's 6-Month Photoshoot | Milk Bath Session (with Cookies!) | Berks County Pennsylvania Children's Photographer

A few weeks ago, I had the absolute pleasure of capturing Owen’s 6-month milestone portraits. His big brother, Gavin, came along and posed for a few photos as well. I can tell that these two are going to be the most amazing friends as they grow up together. The grand finale was a milk bath, complete with Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookie cereal!

This was one of my favorite (and messiest) sessions to date, and I can’t wait to get these guys in front of my camera again. I have had the honor of not only teaching their momma in my high school math class back in the day, but also photographing their mommy and daddy’s wedding and Owen’s newborn session!

I hope you enjoy this selection of photos from our time together in my studio!


Olivia's One Year Cake Smash | Berks County Pennsylvania Family Photographer

I cut back on non-wedding sessions for a few months while I worked on finishing my PhD. As a result, there are a few sessions that I photographed but never blogged. Now that I’m nearing the end of my dissertation work (Yippee!!), I wanted to share a few of the sessions that I photographed but never had a chance to blog.

Here are a few of my favorites from Olivia’s one year cake smash session. Olivia wasn’t really a fan of cake that day, but we still managed to create a few adorable images together. Big thanks to Kakes by Kim for creating another stunning (and delicious) cake masterpiece for us!

One thing is for sure - Olivia’s big sister LOVED the cake!! ;)

Deciduous Life | Clothing Brand Commercial Shoot | Pennsylvania Photographer

I recently created a few images for my friends over at Deciduous Life. Click here to get your hands on some of this merchandise, as well as other awesome stuff.



Violet | Berks County Lifestyle Newborn Session | Pennsylvania Family Photographer

My next catch-up blog is of sweet little Violet. This family is near and dear to my heart, and I was so happy to be able to capture these portraits for them while Violet and her mama were in town visiting Violet’s grandma. I love how relaxed and authentic lifestyle newborn sessions are. They focus on the bond between baby and family, and I think this session demonstrates just that.

I hope you enjoy this selection of photos from Violet’s newborn photoshoot (even though she was actually about 1 month old here). ;)

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!!)

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

The Murillo Family | Wyomissing Park Fall Family Session | Berks County Family Photographer

I recently met up with the Murillo Family to document this fun time in their lives. They have an adorable little guy, and he’s mobile and so full of personality! We lucked out and were gifted some amazing weather that afternoon - it was a tad on the chilly side, but there was surprisingly no rain to be found! We did a quick lap around some of my favorite spots in the Wyomissing Park, letting Louie lead the way. I’m so glad that they asked me to be their photographer, and I hope this session was the first of many more to come. They are so full of joy and love, and I am sure that I had a big, silly smile on my face during the entire session. Scroll down to view a few of my favorite images from our time together and you’ll see why!

P.S. I am a sucker for baby feet - you’ll see what I mean when you view the images from their session! Seriously - how could anyone resist taking photos of those cute toes??

Colleen + Chad (+ Lola) | Reading Museum Engagement Session | Wyomissing, Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

This past weekend, I met up with Colleen and Chad at the Reading Public Museum for their engagement session.  This was our third attempt, due to Mother Nature gifting us with torrential downpours and extreme heat and humidity on our other previous dates.  They brought along their newly adopted puppy, Lola, and I couldn't have been more thrilled!  I love animals, especially dogs, and Lola has just the right amount of sweetness and sass to make anyone's heart melt!

I love how their photos turned out, and I can't wait to photograph their wedding next summer.  I have the most amazing, laid back, fun couples, and I am so thankful for that!  Colleen and Chad patiently navigated through some record-breaking crowds at the museum grounds that evening... including a zombie film-making crew!  In spite of the crowds, zombies, and uninvited gnats, we made so many great photos together.  Scroll down for a few of my favorites!

(Big thanks to my mom for assisting me on this one!  It's an added treat when my own loved ones can be a part of my sessions!)

Jan + Ian | GoggleWorks Center for the Arts Wedding | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Jan and Ian recently got married at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, and I was lucky enough to capture their memories for them.  I would describe their wedding day as romantic, semi-formal, and fun!  Jan grew up in the United States, and Ian grew up in Northern Ireland.  As a result, their day was an amalgamation of US and UK traditions, and it was perfectly reflective of Jan and Ian's unique relationship.

I started my day off with the ladies at an amazing Airbnb rental in Reading, Pennsylvania.  I just don't have the words to describe exactly how fabulous that home was!  I had never been there before, but I will definitely be checking out that hidden gem again in the near future.  (It would make an incredible venue for a day of photoshoots, both indoors and out!)  Meanwhile, my second photographer was hanging out with the guys while they were finishing their preparations at the nearby Doubletree by Hilton.

As soon as everyone was ready, we met up at the GoggleWorks for Jan and Ian's wedding ceremony and reception.  The ceremony and reception decorations were simple, elegant, and fun, consisting entirely of personalized elements.  In fact, Jan created all of the ceremony and reception decorations herself!  Jan threw, glazed, and decorated all of the vases that were used as table centerpieces.  She dyed and arranged the sola wood flowers that were used at the ceremony site and as reception centerpieces.  She made the guest book, table cards, and ceramic tile table numbers.  She even made hundreds of atom-like hanging orbs, to honor Ian who is a physicist!  She painted the wedding arch and arranged the flowers and vines that covered it.  She painted the chandelier that hung in the reception room.  She needle-felted the adorable penguin and bear cake toppers.  She even baked the delicious macarons that served as wedding favors for all of the guests!  She is one of the most talented and creative individuals that I have ever met, and I am truly in awe of her skills (and patience)!  To top it off, the girls even made their own bouquets.

Jan and Ian began their Day #1 as husband and wife surrounded by over 120 of their loved ones.  No one was actually local to Berks County, except for me - most of the guests and bridal party members traveled from places such as Philadelphia, Northern Ireland, and other places in the UK.  As an engineer-turned-teacher-turned-photographer, I felt right at home surrounded by so many other academics and creatives.  I hadn't actually met Jan and Ian prior to that day, but by the end of their ceremony and reception, I felt like I knew them for ages.  The (numerous) speeches had me laughing and crying and laughing again, and the dancing was fabulous!  The food looked and smelled absolutely amazing.  (I didn't actually remember to take a break to taste any - I was having too much fun taking pictures and forgot to take my dinner break!)

Between the ceremony and reception, we managed to sneak outside long enough to capture some great photos of the bridal party, and then of Jan and Ian alone.  We made it back inside just minutes before the sky opened up and poured for the next few hours.  (I tried my hardest to play it cool while texts of tornado warnings kept blowing up my phone...)

Jan and Ian's wedding day was perfect.  I'm so thankful that they asked me to photograph their celebration for them.  And, their celebration isn't quite over yet - they are doing it all over again in Northern Ireland this month!  Oh, how I wish I could join them.

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

 

Big thanks to the following vendors for helping make Jan and Ian's wedding day a dream come true:

Photographer:  Carrie Kizuka Photography, LLC

Second photographer:  Adam Naples

Venue:  GoggleWorks Center for the Arts

Hair and Makeup Artist:  Daneene Jensen

Bride's Wedding Dress:  Sabrina Ann, Ardmore

Bridesmaids' Dresses:  BHLDN and other various shops from Philadelphia and Northern Ireland

Groom's Suit:  Men's Warehouse

Groomsmen's Suits:  Various shops in the United Kingdom

Cake Artist:  Jennifer Low, Frosted Fox Cake Shop

Catering:  Farm Truck Philly

Chairs:  Wolfe's Rental Company

Jes + Chris + Ronan, Part 2 | St. Peter's Village Session | Chester County Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Jes, Chris, and Ronan are lucky enough to have two blog posts dedicated to their love story!  Since it poured all day long on their wedding day (see that blog post here), I offered to meet up with them for more portraits on a later (and much sunnier) date.  They happily agreed, and a few weeks later they dressed up in their wedding outfits all over again (plus a floral crown!) and met me at St. Peter's Village.

Luckily, I brought my husband along to assist me.  Without the extra set of hands and eyes, I know I would have ended up falling on boulders and into the water - with thousands of dollars of camera gear attached to me.  I can be extra clumsy at times, especially at awesome locations like St. Pete's.  I'm extra impressed by Jes' and Chris' bouldering skills while donning formal wear!  We all escaped bruise free, and with great photos to memorialize our evening together.

Here are a few images from our adventures at St. Pete's.  Enjoy!

Jes + Chris + Ronan, Part 1 | Kula Kamala Ashram Wedding | Reading, Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Jes and Chris exchanged vows in an intimate ceremony at the Kula Kamala Ashram in Reading, Pennsylvania.  They got married on Earth Day, which is pretty appropriate considering how prominent nature and spirituality are in their lives.  This was my first time visiting the ashram, and as soon as I stepped inside I fell in love with the colors, the smells, and the overall sense of calm that existed there.  This was the perfect place for Jes and Chris to be wed in the presence of their loved ones - including Jes' son Ronan who played an important role in their celebration.

Their decorations were simple yet beautiful, and created a romantic backdrop for their very personalized celebration.  Because the reception was taking place inside the ashram, strict rules had to be followed regarding the ingredients and preparation of the food.  In addition, no alcohol was to be served.  That didn't have any impact on the celebration, though, and I witnessed some of the best dance moves I have ever seen.

Mother Nature decided to bless them with ample amounts of luck (i.e. rain) on their wedding day, so our outdoor portraits were kept to a minimum.  These were rescheduled for another day, which is shared in Part 2 of their blog post.

Without any further delay, here is a selection of photos from their wedding day.  Congratulations, Jes, Chris, and Ronan!

 

Big thanks to the following team of people for working together to pull off this amazing wedding celebration:

Photographer:  Carrie Kizuka Photography, LLC

Videographer:  Brian DiRenzo, Artistic Hands

Venue:  Kula Kamala Ashram

Florist:  The Rustic Bunch

Cake Artist:  Amanda Blake, Savory LLC

DJ:  Greg Nyce

Hair Artist:  Iris, Salon EveLeila

Makeup Artist:  Alisha, Alisha's Spa Euphoria

Wedding Dress Boutique:  Adrianna Papell, Macy's

Groom's Tuxedo:  Men's Warehouse

Officiant:  Sudha Allitt, Ashram Co-Founder

Henna Artist:  Yenna Hill

Harmonium Player: Charles Feenstra

Readers: Sam Watson, Felicia Walk

"Lord of the Rings": Ronan Ayres

Jeni + Mark | Intimate Wyomissing Park Wedding | Berks County Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

A few weeks ago, Jeni and Mark exchanged wedding vows in an intimate ceremony at the Wyomissing Park.  This is one of Jeni's happy places, and I was thrilled with her idea of getting married here!  She asked me to accompany them on their stroll through the park that would culminate in them becoming husband and wife.  We started our walk at one end of the park, while their loved ones waited at the other end.  One of my favorite images (and memories) of this day is when Jeni and Mark crested the hill and saw their loved ones waiting for them at their ceremony location.  Their smiles were huge, and their excitement, joy, and LOVE were palpable.  It is obvious that family comes first in their lives - I'm guessing that is one of the things that they love most about each other.  Jeni and Mark compliment each other perfectly - Jeni is spontaneous and high-energy, and Mark is calm and pensive.  Those are my impressions at least - you can form your own opinions after you check out a small selection of my favorite images of their day.

Jeni and Mark, thank you for you inviting me to be a part of your celebration.  I'm so happy that your hearts found each other, and I know that you're enjoying your time together as husband and wife.

Tara + Joe (+ Delaney + Darla) | Blue Marsh Engagement Session | Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Wedding season is in full swing and I've been so busy that I've slacked on blogging lately.  I am determined to get caught up, so be prepared to have your newsfeeds filled!  Now starring on my blog are Tara and Joe and their fun-loving (and incredibly well-trained) pups Darla and Delaney!  We met up at the Stilling Basin at Blue Marsh Lake, one of their favorite places to hang out together.  What was supposed to be a warm (or at least mild) spring session ended up being unseasonably cold and windy!  They were such troopers, though, and I love how their photos turned out.  I can't wait for their wedding this fall!

Here are a few samples from our session.  Enjoy!

Mika and Zach | Wilson High School Prom | Berks County High School Senior Photographer

My middle daughter, Mika, is a sophomore at Wilson High School.  Her boyfriend, Zach, is a senior at Wilson this year, and yesterday they attended his prom together.  Mika chose to wear a simple yet elegant navy dress that she found online at PromGirl, and sparkling silver heels that accentuated the dress details.  Mika's hair and make-up were done at Iron Roots Salon in West Reading.  Zach picked out coordinating accessories for his suit, and did a great job picking out flowers for both of them!

Wilson's prom took place at the Wilson High School.  Since Wilson, Exeter, and Twin Valley were all having their proms on the same day, we decided to drive to Stoudtburg Village for their prom photos and avoid the local crowds.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from yesterday.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!  I can't believe how quickly Mika has grown up, and I'm in awe of the gorgeous, talented, creative, and strong young woman she has become.  I will forever cherish these photos and memories.  Thank you, Mika and Zach, for setting aside some time on your special day to create these photos with me!  You both looked absolutely stunning.