The Mentrikoski Family | Wyomissing Park Family Session | Pennsylvania Portrait Photographer

Next up on my series of catch-up blogs is the Mentrikoski Family! I had such a great time chasing the sunlight with them and their adorable pup. He is one of the largest - and gentlest - dogs I have ever met!! I hope you enjoy this selection of photos from our time together at the Wyomissing Park last fall.

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.



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.



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

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

Lisa + Collin (+1) | Hershey Gardens Engagement Session | Central Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Last week, I met up with Lisa and Collin for their engagement session.  I was so excited to see them again, since we actually first met a little over a year ago at one of my favorite weddings ever!  (I'm talking about you, Jackie and Dustin!)  Even though I only live an hour away from Hershey Gardens, this was my first time visiting.  I can't believe it took me so long to go, and I'm definitely planning on making another trip in the near future.

I'm so glad that Lisa and Collin chose this location as the backdrop for their photos.  We got there as soon as it opened (on one of the hottest days of the year), and we practically had the place to ourselves!  They were so much fun to photograph, and I could tell right away how absolutely head over heels in love they are with each other.  Their engagement session also doubled as a maternity photoshoot, since they will be welcoming a baby into their family in a few short months!  I'm so excited to photograph their wedding next year, and I can't wait to meet their little one the next time I see them!

Here are a few of my favorite photos from our time together.  Big thanks to my husband, Mako, for assisting me.

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!

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.

Snow Day Fun With Momo The Shiba Inu - On The Second Day Of Spring! | Berks County Pet Photographer

I've been so busy lately that I haven't made much time to take pictures just for me, just for fun.  When winter storm Toby arrived today and gifted us with over 12 inches of snow, my work plans had to be rearranged.  (I'm not complaining at all - I'm actually very thankful for the unexpected day off!)  My Shiba Inu, Momo, absolutely loves the snow - so when she refused to come inside and warm up, I decided to join her outside and take a few photos of her snow day shenanigans.  Winter is my favorite season, and I'm really sad to have to say goodbye to it.  So, I'm extra thankful for this early spring gift from Mother Nature!  Finally, a storm that didn't miss us...

The Mauro Family | Historic Shady Lane | Central Pennsylvania Children and Family Photographer

If you live on the east coast, you may have noticed that the temperatures have been a bit on the colder side lately.  I thought I would add some warmth to your hearts by sharing this fun session from November!  Now that holiday cards have all been sent out, it's safe for me to start sharing some of my end-of-year photoshoots that I've been keeping under wraps.

Thank you, Mauro Family, for driving out to Historic Shady Lane for your family photoshoot this fall!  I love the images we made together, and I hope you walked away with some amazing memories as well.  Whenever I photograph this family, I find that my mouth is sore at the end of the session from smiling and laughing so much during our time together.

This was such an incredible venue, and I definitely plan to go back for future sessions!  If you're ever in York, you have to check out this gorgeous gem!

 

 

Amy + John | Wyomissing Park Engagement | Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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!

 

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