The Jacoby Family | Outer Banks, NC Family Beach Session | Destination Portrait Photographer

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting up with the Jacoby Family in North Carolina while we were all in the Outer Banks.  I was so glad that our visits overlapped, and that they asked me to photograph their family while I was there.  I have photographed Jeff, Jillian, Charlie, and Fritz a few times before, and I was excited for the opportunity to meet a few more members of their family!  They are such a fun family, and these kiddos always keep me laughing and on my toes chasing after them.  (You may remember Charlie and Fritz from my "holiday fail" photo that was shared by the Huffington Post a few years ago.  Without fail, it pops back up on the web every year at Christmas time!  We re-enacted the pose for a few laughs, and you'll see it in their sneak peeks below...) 

It had rained all week prior to our photoshoot, but the skies broke that morning and delivered sun, wind, heat, and humidity.  What a difference 24 hours made!  Normally, I can do without stereotypical summer weather, but I was just thankful for a day without rain.  I was long overdue for some fresh air and a workout, and this session was just what I needed!  Thanks for being such great sports in the wind and heat, Jacoby Family!  I love how the photos turned out, and I am always thankful for the time we spend together.

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...

(Big thanks to my husband for helping, and to my daughter and dog for helping distract Victoria while Dmitriy was getting ready to propose!)

 

Ashlie + Eric | Westin Ka'Anapali Maui Wedding | Destination and Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

It seems like forever ago that I photographed Ashlie and Eric's engagement session at French Creek park and casually commented at the end of the session that if they wanted me to fly to Maui to photograph their wedding to reach out to me.  I was half-joking when I made that remark, because I was still teaching high school mathematics full time and knew that I probably wouldn't be able to get away to photograph their October wedding, even if I wanted to.  I only had limited personal days, and would use them every year to fly to Colorado to cheer on my daughters as they competed in the national snowboard championships each winter.

Shortly after they received their engagement gallery, Ashlie reached out to me again.  She and Eric loved their photos and wanted to know if I was serious about flying to Maui to photograph their destination wedding - and if I was, they would love to have me join them.  I instantly agreed, and set out to find a way to make it happen... even though I was still teaching full time.  Once I set my mind on something, I make it happen - 100% of the time.  I'm determined, to a fault.

Soon after I accepted their offer and we worked out the details, a crazy chain of events happened in my life that that involved my dog running away (we got her back), me chasing her and running face first into my garage door (and getting a pretty severe concussion and shattered nose), taking time off of teaching, and eventually resigning from my teaching position.  The entire time, in the back of my head, was Ashlie and Eric's Maui wedding that I had booked.  I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and I feel like this was the Universe's way of assuring me that I made the right decision to shift my focus from education to photography, and was helping clear the path for me as I pursued this dream of mine.

Fast forward to late September.

I put out a request on social media asking if any of my friends would like to fly to Maui with me and be my assistant for the wedding day, in exchange for a place to stay and someone to adventure around Maui with.  I was thrilled that someone took me up on my offer and booked my exact flights a day later!  (Bonus: She happens to have a lot of the same interests as I do!)  So, we flew to Maui together, spent a few days sightseeing and surfing, and met up with Ashlie and Eric to photograph their Day #1 together as husband and wife!

We couldn't have asked for a better week.  The temperature was in the 80s every single day, the typical Hawaii rain showers were kept to a minimum (even though we did have a few that brought with them some stunning rainbows!), and Ashlie and Eric and their loved ones were so much fun to celebrate with and photograph!  It was a bit windy on their wedding day, but I think it made their photos even more incredible.  From the beachside ceremony, to the sunset portraits, to the ukulele player/singer, to the incredible Hawaiian buffet and bar menu, everything was absolutely perfect.  A rainbow even made its appearance while Ashlie's dad was escorting her down the aisle.  On top of that, Ashlie looked absolutely breathtaking in her silk wedding gown, and Eric was as handsome as ever!  (Ashlie's wedding dress even had pockets - how amazing is that?!)

I hope you enjoy this small selection of my favorites from their destination wedding.  For a list of all of the local vendors who made this day possible, scroll down past the photographs.

Congratulations again, Ashlie and Eric!  Thank you again for asking me to be your photographer.  And big thanks to my friend Amanda for joining me on this adventure!  I surfed more during that trip than I have in the last 5 years combined, and I probably wouldn't have done it if I didn't have a friend along for some added peer pressure!

(And if anyone else is looking for a photographer for a wedding outside of Pennsylvania, be sure to check out my Wandlerlust deal that is currently running!  Help me check more states off of my list so I can complete a personal project, while you score a great deal on a wedding photography package!)

Thank you to the following people who helped make Ashlie and Eric's wedding day truly magical!

Ceremony and Reception Venue:  Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas

Wedding Coordinator:  Beata Vanderzee

Ukulele Player/Singer:  Music by Kalo

Hair/Makeup Artist:  Melissa Dyckman, Melissa Brooke Hair + Makeup Maui

Wedding Dress Boutique:  Sabrina Ann Couture, Ardmore, PA

Bride's Sandals:  Sam Edelman

Photographer:  Carrie Kizuka Photography, LLC

 

The Hobbs Family | Maui Hawaii Family Photoshoot | Pennsylvania and Destination Photographer

17 years ago, I decided to leave the snowboard industry (where I worked as a product engineer/snowboard boot designer) to become a math teacher.   Around that same time, I met Caroline (and her mom and brother), when I started tutoring her in math.  They are such a fun, loving family, and I'm so fortunate that our paths crossed all those years ago.  Caroline's mom helped us purchase our first home in Orange County, California, as well as our current home when we decided to pack up and move back to Pennsylvania!

Less than two weeks ago, I traveled to Hawaii to photograph a destination wedding.  While I was there, I met up with Caroline who happened to be vacationing in Maui less than a mile from where I was staying!  It was such a treat to see her again after all these years, and to meet the rest of the Hobbs Family!  Their family is growing by one in a few months, and I'm so honored that I was able to capture some memories for them during this exciting time in their lives.

Just as we made our way to the beach outside the Hyatt Regency, the sky decided to open up and pour on us for a few minutes.  They were such good sports about it all, and we got some great moments before, during, and after the rain - including a stunning Maui rainbow!

Here are a few of my favorite photos from our brief time together.  Thank you again, Hobbs Family, for fitting me into your schedule!  It was such a pleasure seeing everyone and creating these photographs for you.  I hope we are able to meet up again in the near future!

Naples, Florida Family Session | The Vishio Family | Destination Photographer

A few weeks ago, I returned from a trip to the mountains of Wyoming and Utah and less than 24 hours later hopped onto a flight to sunny (and HOT) Florida!  The Vishio Family flew me to Naples to photograph their family in time for the holidays.  It was my first trip to Naples, and after an amazing weekend, I hope that it won't be my last!  Even though I'm a snow lover, I admit that I fell in love with the sunshine, scenery, amazing food, and generous people I met while I was there.

I snapped photos for them at the beach, at their home in front of their Christmas tree, and at the Naples Ritz Carlton.  On my last day there, I went on a short adventure in search of wildlife and snapped a few personal photos for my own collection. 

Here are a few of my photos from my quick trip.  Thanks again, Vishio Family!

Rehoboth Beach Wedding | Lisa + Mike

Back in April, I photographed my first ever beach wedding!  It was the perfect setting for Lisa and Mike to exchange their vows, and to celebrate with their loved ones.  Mother Nature wasn't feeling very cooperative that afternoon, so we ended up waiting inside the rental house for over an hour waiting for the rain to stop.  As soon as the weather broke, we headed to the beach where Mika and Lisa officially became Mr. and Mrs.!  The rain must have scared the beach crowds away, and the light was perfect!!  (Maybe Mother Nature was secretly on our side after all.)  After the ceremony, we took a little stroll down the boardwalk before joining everyone back at the rental house for an evening of celebrating.  It was great seeing some of my former Governor Mifflin classmates again!  Big props go out to Chef Darrell for keeping our bellies full with his delicious and gorgeous culinary masterpieces!!