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…

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.

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...

 

Gabe | Wilson High School Class of 2017 | Berks County Senior Photographer

Meet Gabe, a member of Wilson High School's Class of 2017!  Last weekend, Gabe and I met up to create his senior portraits.  (We wanted to do them earlier, but Mother Nature had other plans for us!)  I met Gabe and his family back in 2004, the day we moved back to Pennsylvania from California (we shared backyards).  That also happened to be the summer before he entered kindergarten, along with our oldest daughter. It means so much to me to have been able to capture his senior portraits for him and his family! It feels like our families have come full circle. I'll be in the bleachers cheering for Gabe when he graduates from Wilson High School next weekend (not only because he's a great guy, but also because my oldest daughter will be graduating, too)! Gabe, Temple University is lucky to have you joining them in the fall!!

Our photoshoot started at the Reading Museum and ended at the Wyomissing Park. I think it is awesome that he chose to wear three different outfits, and brought his dog along... as well as a duck decoy.  You'll have to ask Gabe about the duck sometime...  I hope you enjoy this selection of my favorite photos from his session!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Snowy Session with Mika | Berks County Family Photographer

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Wyomissing Park High School Senior Photographer | Rachel

A few weeks ago, I met up with Rachel and her mom to photograph Rachel's senior portraits.  Rachel will be graduating from Wilson High School in 2017, and I'm honored that I was asked to capture these moments for her family!  As a cross country runner, Rachel has spent countless hours running through Wyomissing Park, so she thought this would be the perfect location for her senior portraits.  I couldn't agree more, and I love how these turned out!  (You would never guess that there were 25+ mph wind gusts happening throughout our entire session!!)

Best of luck to Rachel and the rest of the Class of 2017!  I hope you enjoy this collection of photos from our afternoon together.  I know I loved creating them with Rachel and her mom!

Berks County High School Senior Photographer | Mackana, Wilson HS Class of 2017

I recently met up with Mackana to photograph her high school senior portraits.  She is a member of Wilson High School's Class of 2017!  We chose the Albright College campus as our backdrop because of all of the different background options there.  The weather was perfect, and the light was incredible.  We were even photobombed by an adorable and very friendly little dog while we were there!  I had such a fantastic time creating these images for Mackana and her mom!  I hope you enjoy this selection of some of my favorites.

Ridley Creek State Park Senior Session | Mitch and Kaiya

Last week, a few photographers in a Facebook group I'm in decided to get together and photograph some high school seniors, just for fun.  I asked my daughter Kaiya and her friend Mitch if they would be willing to model for us, and they agreed.  (Kaiya is a senior at Wilson High School, and Mitch is a senior at Cocalico High School.)  So, on the eve of the first day of their senior year, we headed to Hunting Hill Mansion at Ridley Creek State Park for a quick sunset session.  I had a great time photographing Kaiya and Mitch, and enjoyed networking with some very talented and fun photographers.  Here are a few of my favorite photos from our time together!  (Best of luck to the entire Class of 2017!!)

Big thanks to Iron Roots for doing such a fantastic job on Kaiya's makeup and hair!

Makeup Artist:  Barry Groff for Iron Roots

Hair Stylist:  Donn Zauck for Iron Roots