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.



Kelly + Aron | Lehigh Valley Engagement Session | Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Kelly and Aron’s engagement session blog was another victim of my crazy fall season… and I’m making up for it now! We met up at a family property in the Lehigh Valley this past fall and spent the evening laughing together (and picking a few of the neighbor’s flowers) under some incredible Golden Hour light. I know their November wedding is going to be so much fun to photograph, and I can’t wait! Congratulations again, Kelly and Aron, and I promise not to slack so badly on your wedding day blog when that time rolls around.

Alyssa + Tony | Kennett Square Engagement Session | Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Alyssa and Tony are starring on this episode of ”sessions that I slacked on blogging”! Their engagement photoshoot took place at two incredible privately owned properties in Kennett Square - and it happened way back when there was still snow on the ground. I knew I was going to love this session, even before the huskies and Camaro joined us. Their pups had me smiling and laughing, and I love the outtakes that we got out of them! I am really looking forward to their wedding this August at the Barn at Silverstone - and I promise not to take so long to blog that one…

Meghan + Sean | Philadelphia Zoo Engagement Session | Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

I messed up. Big time. This fall was so busy with weddings, portraits, and PhD work that I completely missed blogging a few incredible sessions!! (I could have sworn that I blogged this one - but it turns out that I didn’t.) I have a few weeks of down time while I wait for feedback on my dissertation draft, so I’m going to make it right - starting now.

When Meghan and Sean reached out to me about photographing their New Year’s Eve wedding in Delaware this coming winter, I was thrilled! We clicked right away and I knew we would make a great team. But then they asked me if we could photograph their engagement session at the Philadelphia Zoo, and I got even more excited!

This is a couple that loves animals, colors, and most of all - having fun! Their engagement session was part photoshoot, part just hanging out at the zoo reminiscing about my childhood. I had such a blast that day, and I love being able to look through their images all over again. There happened to be about 2,356,418 kids visiting the zoo on field trips that day, but we still managed to get a bunch of great shots. We even had some school kids controlling pedestrian traffic for us!

Congratulations again, Meghan and Sean. I am so, so, so excited for your wedding this New Year’s Eve!!


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

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??

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.

The Gwiazdowsky Family | A Fall Session at Gring's Mill | Berks County Photographer

I recently met up with the Gwiazdowsky Family at Gring's Mill to create their family portraits.  This session was a long time in the making!  I was booked months ago, and we had originally planned for a summer session, but life (and a cast) got in the way and we had to postpone.

Things have a way of working out for the best, and this was no exception.  The light was incredible that morning, the temperature was perfect, and we had the park practically to ourselves.

I'm incredibly thankful that I am trusted by so many families to capture these moments for them.  Here are a few of my favorites from their photoshoot. 

Katie + BJ | An Intimate Backyard Wedding | Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

A few weeks ago, Katie and BJ celebrated their Day #1 with just a handful of guests in my most intimate wedding ceremony to date.  Their celebration took place at a wooded family property in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania.  We couldn't have asked for better weather or light.  Everything was perfect, and all of the personalized details and decorations reflected the unique relationship and love that Katie and BJ share.

Katie and BJ are two of the funniest, most likeable people I have ever met.  Their vows had all of us laughing, then crying, then laughing again.  After they had officially become husband and wife, we snuck away into the woods for a few portraits.  Upon our return, the driveway was turned into a dance floor, and the yard into a firepit.  After the sun went down, s'mores were made, and stories were shared.  And those stories revealed just how perfect Katie and BJ are for each other, and just how loved they were by everyone in attendance.

I'm honored to have been asked to photograph these moments for Katie, BJ, and their loved ones.  I hope you enjoy this collection of images from their wedding day.

 

Big thanks to the following vendors for contributing to their celebration!

Florist:  Cedar Hill Flowers

Cake Artist: Viking Pastries

Hair/Makeup Artist:  Ulta Beauty, Wyomissing

Wedding Dress:  ModCloth

Decor Rentals:  Wolfe's Rental Company

Photography:  Carrie Kizuka Photography, LLC

An Extra Special Engagement Session | Wyomissing Park | Berks County Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Last weekend, I had the honor of photographing Rachel and Mark's engagement session.  I was one of Rachel's high school math teachers more years ago than I care to share, and I was thrilled when she reached out and asked me to be her and Mark's wedding photographer.  I love how my education and photography passions continue to bring and keep amazing people in my life.

We had some extra special guests at this engagement session - Rachel and Mark's son Gavin and pup Venus decided to come along and hop into a few photos!  I'm so glad they decided to get their entire family involved, and I am so looking forward to photographing their wedding in just over one week!!  

Thanks again for this opportunity, and thank you for putting up with the extra-aggressive bugs that afternoon at the Wyomissing Park!  I love how your photos turned out, and I hope you do as well.

See you in a week!

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!

Pine Barn Inn, Danville PA Wedding | 2nd Shooting

On weekends when I'm not busy shooting my own weddings or portrait sessions, I can often be found assisting other photographers.  I really enjoy the freedom (and lower stress level) that comes along with second shooting!  A few weeks ago, I second shot a wedding for Alisha Taylor of A Mack Photography.

My day started in Elysburg with sunny skies and temps in the 70s... and ended at the Pine Barn Inn in Danville with sub-freezing temps and snow!  Mother Nature was up to some shenanigans that day, but it made for incredibly diverse photos!  Nate and Alaina were so kind, so in love, and so much fun to hang out with all day!  I hope you enjoy this selection of photos from their wedding day.

Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel Scranton Wedding | 2nd Shooting | Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Even though I keep myself pretty busy shooting my own weddings and portrait sessions, I really enjoy second shooting for an amazing group of talented photographers who I am thrilled to call my friends.  A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of second shooting again for Aly Martin.  I always have a great time working with Aly!  She's so talented and fun, and her clients always throw amazing celebrations!!  This wedding took place in Scranton at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel.  The hotel is such a cool venue!  It used to be a train station, and the architecture is so unique.

Without any further delay, I'm just going to show some photos from this incredible day.  Thanks again for inviting me to assist you, Aly!

Longwood Gardens Engagement Photoshoot | Jess + Sean | Berks County Wedding Photographer

Last Sunday, I met up with Jess and Sean for their engagement session.  They picked Longwood Gardens for the backdrop because it's one of their favorite places to visit together... and I was really excited, because it's one of my favorite places, too!  They booked me as their wedding photographer a few weeks ago, and this session was the first time we actually met in person.  I was so excited to meet them, and I had a very strong feeling that they were going to be really fun in person.  Oh, was I right!!  We were chatting and laughing during their entire session, and my face hurt when I left from smiling so much!  For every serious pose I got out of them, there were about 15 more silly poses - which I think is awesome!  My favorite pictures are always the ones where I capture my clients being themselves!

I hope you enjoy this collection of photos from their engagement session.  I'm looking forward to their Florida destination wedding next fall!!

Linwood Estate Wedding | Kristen + Joe | Carlisle Wedding Photographer

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of photographing Kristen and Joe's wedding.  Their wedding day was absolutely incredible!  I knew it would be, since we had such a blast at their engagement session!  (I just realized that their engagement session took place on one of the hottest days of the year, and their wedding day on one of the coldest!!)  There was a threat of rain in the morning, but it disappeared - and the sun helped keep everyone warm while Kristen and Joe exchanged their vows in the Linwood Estate courtyard.  The bridal party and guests were such great sports in tolerating the wind and the chilly air, and we have so many incredible photos as a result!

Linwood Estate is one of the most gorgeous venues that I have photographed, and their staff was incredible!  There are so many great backdrops for photos there!  I was extremely fortunate that Kristen and Joe created a timeline that allowed for ample opportunities for photographs and chose to add a second photographer to their package so we could capture even more beautiful and candid moments together.

This was my last wedding of 2016, and I can't think of a better way to end my wedding season!  The dinner was incredible, the drinks were flowing freely, the speeches were heartfelt, the dessert bar was AMAZING, the dancing was epic (this might be due in part to the free-flowing drinks), and the Bruce Springsteen serenades were perfection.

It was hard to choose just a few photos to share here, so I'm going overboard and sharing way too many.  I hope you enjoy these moments from Kristen and Joe's Day #1!  I know that I enjoyed reliving them as I edited the photos and typed this up.

Congratulations again, Kristen and Joe!!  I am sure you are enjoying life together as husband and wife!

Venue:  Linwood Estate

Wedding Coordinator:  Michelle Hare, Linwood Estate

Florist:  Sarah Klunk, Sarah's Floral Designs

Cake Artist:  Kyrsten Willits, Kyrsten's Sweet Designs

DJ:  Josh Vaughn, Complete Weddings + Events

Hair Artist:  Anna, Dulci's Salon

Makeup Artist:  Chelsea Nolan, Makeup by Chelsea

Wedding Dress Boutique:  Allure, L'Fay Bridal in Chatham, NJ

Bridesmaid Dress Boutique:  David's Bridal

Groom and Groomsmen Tuxedo Boutique: Joseph Abboud, Men's Warehouse

Sinking Spring Backyard Wedding | Hillary and Eric | Berks County Wedding Photographer

I have a Starbucks problem - I need at least one "venti no water chai" each day or I can't function properly.  While feeding this addiction and becoming a Starbucks regular, I had the honor of meeting Hillary.  When she asked me to photograph her upcoming wedding to Eric, I was ecstatic!!  Fast forward to a few weeks ago -- Hillary and Eric got married in their backyard in Sinking Spring, PA and threw an incredible party to start their marriage off properly!  I had such a great time documenting their day, tasting incredible food, and laughing along with their friends' fantastic stories!

This was one of the most intimate, casual weddings I have ever attended, and I loved every second of it!  I enjoy photographing all types of wedding ceremonies, but my favorites are the ones that really reflect the couple and their unique relationship and love for each other.  Everything about Hillary and Eric's wedding day did exactly that - from their DIY decorations to their self-uniting marriage to their iPod music playlist to Eric's blue velvet sport coat.  Everything was about them and their personalities and their loved ones, and it was perfect.

I hope you enjoy a few photos from their Day #1!  I'm so honored that I was able to celebrate with them!

 

Catering:  H20 Kitchen (Jason Hook)

Cake/Cupcakes:  Secrets Bakery

DJ:  Spotify and bluetooth speaker ;)

Hair and Make-up:  Hillary did them herself!

Bride's wedding dress:  Kimono purchased on Etsy!

Groom's suit: Velvet sport coat purchased from Kohls!

 

 

Mohnton, Pennsylvania Fall Wedding | Mary Beth and Jesse | Berks County Photographer

Mary Beth is a very talented Berks County photographer herself, and when we met last year and she asked me to photograph her upcoming wedding to Jesse, I admit I was a little intimidated at first.  I always feel an extra layer of self-induced anxiety when I'm creating art for another photographer.  But I was also honored that another artist would want me to capture their wedding memories for them, so I excitedly agreed!

One of the best parts of photographing another photographer's wedding is that they always allow lots of time for portraits throughout their wedding day.  Mary Beth and Jesse have an amazing property, which was also the site of their wedding ceremony and reception, and we took full advantage of the time we had!  I was so surprised to show up and see that the soybean field where their ceremony took place was still nice and green so late in the season!!  (All of the other fields I had seen in Berks County that week were already brown and/or cleared out!)  Oh, and their incredible home (you can see a little bit of it in the photos below) was built by the two of them!!  That's yet another reason why their backyard was the perfect place for them to start the rest of their lives together!

I'm so grateful that they asked me to be their photographer, and I'm glad that I agreed!  Their wedding day was perfect in every way.  It was super laid back and casual, and the DIY elements Mary Beth and Jesse included were gorgeous and fun!  Mary Beth and Jesse even retrofitted their old truck into a beer tap!  Cult Status, a local band made up of Governor Mifflin Senior High School students, played during the reception and did a fantastic job!  The reception was catered by Crow Wagon, a local food truck, and the food was delicious.  The bride and groom looked incredible (and so in love), and their little boys (Coleman and Caleb) were so handsome!!  

I hope you enjoy this selection of photos from their wedding day.  Congratulations again, Nocera Family!!

 

Videography:  Cory Slifka

Cake Artist:  Roxanne Shupp

Band:  Cult Status

Hair Artist & Make-Up Artist:  Jayda Hampton

Officiant:  MaryBeth's father!

Catering:  Crow Wagon

Wyomissing Park Engagement Session | Kailey and Kyle | Berks County Wedding Photographer

Last weekend, I met up with Kailey and Kyle for their engagement session.  We were planning on doing it Sunday evening, right before sunset... but the weather forecast was looking pretty ominous.  At the last minute, we decided to move the photoshoot to bright and early Sunday morning instead.  And I am so glad we did!!  Clouds, wind, and strong thunderstorms moved in to the area right at our original start time!

There was almost another last minute glitch in our photoshoot plans, because when we arrived at the Wyomissing Park, we realized that a 5K was set up smack in the middle of our planned location.  We were determined to leave the park with some amazing pictures, though!  So we focused, hit a few great spots in the park, and made it out right before the race began and right as a police officer was blocking off the parking lot we were in!  (I was literally standing at the edge of the parking lot taking a photo of Kailey's engagement ring as the officer was closing the barricade...)

We most definitely accomplished our goal - the pictures turned out great!  Kailey and Kyle are so easygoing, so in love, and so freaking photogenic!  (Even with millions of gnats swarming their heads!)  Check out this collection of photos from our session and I think you will agree that they are incredible!  I'm really looking forward to their wedding next year!

(Big thanks to one of my other favorite couples, Courtney and Brandon, for the referral!!)