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.

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.


Connor, Vera, and Justin | Fall Session at Lock Ridge | Lehigh Valley Family Photographer

I recently met up with Connor, Vera, and Justin for a fall photoshoot at Lock Ridge Park. Connor has been one of my tattoo artists for the past few years, and if you are ever looking to have work done, I highly recommend that you check her out over at White Oak Tattoo! She’s not only insanely talented, but she’s also one of the kindest souls you will ever meet. This was one of my favorite sessions to date, and I’m sure once you see the photos you will know why.

(P.S. I can’t believe I captured Vera’s newborn photos 3 years ago already!?!)


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!)

Megan + Nate | Trexler Nature Preserve Engagement | Lehigh Valley Wedding Photographer

I recently met up with Megan and Nate to create their engagement portraits.  They chose the Trexler Nature Preserve as their backdrop.  Not only do they enjoy spending time there as a couple, but it is also the spot where Nate proposed!

Mother Nature has been playing tricks on me all year, and this session was no exception.  It was a hot afternoon, and the winds were a bit challenging; however, Megan and Nate were troopers.   We drove around to some of their favorite spots in the park, including the bench where Nate popped the question (and Megan obviously accepted).  We even spied a few bison during our time there, but they were acting a bit camera shy that evening and wouldn't join Megan and Nate in any of their photos.

Here are a few of my favorites from our sunny evening together!  I can't wait to photograph their wedding next spring!

...And if you ever venture to the Trexler Nature Preserve to check it out yourself, note that the gates close at sunset (and not a minute after).  We found out the hard way.

Columbia Station Wedding | 2nd Shooting | Chester County Wedding Photographer

When I'm not busy photographing 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 had the pleasure of second shooting a wedding for Jessica Lynn Photography.

We met our couple, Danielle and Dan, at the Courtyard Marriott in Collegeville, PA where they were making their final preparations.  After a few detail shots and candid photos, we packed up and headed to The Columbia Station, where their first look, wedding ceremony, and reception were going to take place.

Here are a few of my photos from the day.  I'm always grateful when the photographers I work with allow me to share my work!  Thanks, Jes!

 

 

Erin | Bishop McDevitt Class of 2018 | Riverfront Park | Harrisburg Senior Photographer

In honor of Earth Day, I wanted to share my latest session that is full of spring blooms - and an incredible high school senior!  Yesterday, I had the honor of meeting up with Erin at Riverfront Park in Harrisburg to photograph her senior portraits.  She is a member of Bishop McDevitt High School's Class of 2018, and I know in my heart that her future is very bright.  I only met Erin yesterday, but she exudes a glow and warmth that instantly captures your attention and pulls you in.  Her sense of style was spot on, and she was naturally confident in front of my camera.  She has a great sense of humor, too, which is something I personally value.

It was a bit chilly out, but the light was amazing.  We really couldn't have asked for a better evening.  Besides a few runners, groundhogs, and some tourists, we had the place to ourselves!  About those tourists... every portrait session is an adventure, and I often leave with a few stories to tell - not necessarily about my clients, but rather about other things that happened around us. Last night was no different.  As we were walking around downtown Harrisburg, 8-10 people got off a bus (I'm assuming they were on a tour of Harrisburg).  They proceeded to follow us, and when we would finish taking photos at a spot, they whipped out their cell phones and also took a few photos of themselves there!  It was so bizarre.  As Erin's father said, it felt like we were in a Seinfeld episode.  I don't know if they thought Erin was famous, or if they thought the spots we were using were famous, but they insisted on photographing themselves there when we left.  I just loved the light, colors, and textures of the locations I chose.  Who knows, maybe they did, too.  ;)

Congratulations on this accomplishment, Erin!  Best of luck in your next adventure! 

It was such a pleasure meeting Erin and her family, and I love how our photographs turned out!  Here are a few previews so that you can see how stunning Erin is for yourself.

(Big thanks to my husband for assisting... and for clearing out a few spider webs for us!)

Nona + George | Everly at Railroad | Icona Golden Inn, Avalon | New Jersey Wedding Photographer

On Saturday, I had the incredible honor of photographing Nona and George's wedding.  Their engagement session at Longwood Gardens is still one of my all-time favorites - click on the link and you will see why!  While their engagement photoshoot happened to take place on one of the hottest days of summer, their wedding day was just the opposite.  Once I arrived at their hotel in Avalon, however, I didn't even notice the below-freezing temperatures outside.  Just seeing Nona and George instantly warmed me up.  They were absolutely stunning - seriously, they both took my breath away.  But more importantly, the love that surrounded them was palpable.  Anyone in their presence can instantly tell how head-over-heels in love they are for each other, and their friends and family very obviously share in that joy.

Nona and George's final preparations took place at the Icona Golden Inn, in Avalon.  This hotel is amazing!  The rooms were completely white, and gorgeous natural light just poured in through all of the windows.  (Oh, how I wish I lived closer so that I could schedule some sessions there!)  After getting ready with a few of their closest friends and family, Nona and George snuck away to a staircase for their "first look".  Their reactions were priceless, and George shed a few tears at the sight of his stunning bride.  (I have such a soft spot for my grooms who cry!!)

After a few bridal party portraits, we packed up and headed to the wedding venue - Everly at Railroad, in Tuckahoe, NJ.  I hit the venue jackpot today!!  Everly was so unique and full of character, and was the perfect place for Nona and George to exchange their wedding vows.  Nona and George made their marriage official surrounded by their loved ones and a few thousand super cool antiques!  After Nona and George became husband and wife, we snuck outside and braved the cold for a few more portraits across the street at the Tuckahoe Railroad Station.  Then, we came back inside and the girls kicked their shoes off - and replaced them with Eagles socks and glitter sneakers!  When they scheduled their wedding, they had no idea that it would also serve as a pre-Super Bowl party for their favorite NFL team!

What a celebration this was!  The food was delicious, the drinks were flowing, the band was so talented and full of energy, and the bridal party and guests were so much fun.  Everything was as perfect as Nona and George had planned it, and more so.  I have to take a moment to praise Nona in this blog.  She is such a talented artist and created so many of the wedding details herself, including the dip-dyed bouquet and boutonniere flowers, the centerpieces, the invitation suite, the hand-painted chalkboard sign easels, and more!  Nona's father built the arbor that they used in their wedding ceremony, and their bridal party created their own wedding version of the "Guess Who" game you probably grew to love as a child!

Nona and George, thank you for including me in your Day #1.  I'm so glad that I happened to be online and came across your Facebook post last year when you were in the hunt for a wedding photographer - and out of the long, long, long list of photographers who threw their names into the mix, that you both chose me.  I'm so honored that our lives are intertwined, and the love that you share for each other inspires me.  I hope that you have an amazing time on your honeymoon!!

I would like to thank all of the incredibly talented people who poured their hearts and talents into Nona and George's wedding day!

Getting Ready Location:  Icona Golden Inn, Avalon, NJ

Wedding Venue:  Everly at Railroad, Tuckahoe, NJ

Wedding Coordinator:  Emily Moulder

Florist:  None!  Nona created the arrangements herself with flowers made of sola wood!

Cake Artist:  They bought their wedding cake and one for every guest table from their local Acme grocery store!

Hair Artist:  Kate Bryan

Makeup Artist:  Micaela Vibanco

Wedding Dress Boutique:  Tesi Bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses Boutique:  David's Bridal

Groom and Groomsmen Tuxedo Boutique:  Express

Officiant:  Nona's cousin, Jack Poole

Shoes:  Marc Fisher

Catering:  Shore Side Catering

Band: The Red Hotts

Videographer:  Sia Koletas

Lead Photographer:  Carrie Kizuka

Second Photographer:  Olga Hinchman (Olga, you are a rockstar and it was so great working with you!  Thank you for sharing your passion and talent with me today!)

Kayla + Colin | Berks County Winter Engagement Session | Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Before I decided to follow my dreams of running my photography business full time, I was a high school math teacher.  As a teacher, you are supposed to make an impact on the lives of those you teach.  However, during that time, I met a a number of students who taught me just as much (if not more) than I taught them. I recently had the honor of photographing one of those students as she and her soulmate celebrated their engagement to each other.

Kayla, Colin, and I met up at Penn State University, Berks Campus for their engagement session.  It was windy.  It was cold.  I think the temperature was somewhere in the teens.  But you would never know it, looking at these photographs that we made together.  From the way Kayla and Colin looked at each other, smiled at each other, breathed each other in, and had a way of doing something at just the right time that would make the other one burst into laughter, I don't think they even noticed the chill in the air.  In fact, I think they hardly noticed me and my camera there at all - which is my goal at all of my photoshoots and weddings.  They were so into each other, and it was amazing to witness.  One of my favorite parts of this job is being surrounded by so much love, and this session did not disappoint!

Kayla and Colin, congratulations on your engagement.  I'm so happy that you found each other, and I'm honored that you asked me to photograph this milestone event in your lives.  Kayla, it has been an absolute joy getting to know you over the years, and watching you turn into the incredible woman who you are today.  Everything happens for a reason, and those reasons brought the two of you together at just the right time in both of your lives.

On a side note, I've been trying to introduce a new editing style into my work that has been really tugging at my soul.  It's difficult to time such an artistic change, but something about the light, the mood, and the energy at this session just made it feel like the right time to do it.  So, I took the leap.  I hope you enjoy these samples from our session.

Finally, I owe big thanks to my daughter Kaiya for braving the cold with us and assisting during the session!

 

 

 

 

Camden | A Gold Hope Project Fighter Session | Berks County Pennsylvania Photographer

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by The Gold Hope Project, asking if I could photograph a "fighter session" for a local family.  When I saw the email come through, I was simultaneously excited and saddened.  I knew this email meant that I had the chance to use my photography to help someone in need, but at the same time I knew that it meant that a local family had a child who was fighting cancer.  I'm always looking for ways to use my passion to bring joy to others, so I instantly agreed to take on the session.  The Gold Hope Project quickly responded with the family's contact information and a brief synopsis of their fighter's story.

Camden is a 22-month old boy who is fighting Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma.  Camden has been a fighter his entire life.  He was born in November 2015 with a condition known as Gastroschisis, which is when there is a hole in the abdomen that gives space for the intestines to be outside of the body.  After being treated for that condition immediately after his birth, he was finally able to go home to be with his family.  However, he started getting very sick, requiring additional hospital stays.  In November 2016, he was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma.  Since then, this amazing little boy has undergone chemotherapy, surgeries, and radiation. He has been living in the hospital on and off for the past 10 months, and his mom has not been able to work since he was diagnosed, so that she is able to care for him and drive him back and forth from CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) on a regular basis.

After reading about Camden's story in The Gold Hope Project email and on Camden's Facebook page, I wasn't sure what to expect at our photoshoot.  I wasn't sure how long his energy would hold out during our photoshoot, or what type of mood he would be in.  I decided to show up without a plan, and to let Camden run the show.

When I arrived, all of my worries were instantly put to ease.  Camden is one of the happiest almost-2-year-olds I have ever met in my life.  His smile and curiosity are contagious, and I could barely keep up with him!  He loved exploring the Reading Museum grounds during our photoshoot, and I loved following him around with my camera.  Camden's mom, dad, brother, and sister joined the photoshoot as well, and we were able to get a bunch of great family photos during our time together.  My favorite part was just hanging back and capturing Camden interacting with his family members, playing with the signs his mom made for the photoshoot, and waving sticks around.  He acts like any other toddler, and just by looking at him and playing with him you would never know the battle that he and his family are currently fighting.  This little boy is so full of life, and his light was shining very brightly during our brief time together.

I would like to thank The Gold Hope Project for giving me this opportunity to help a local family in need.  Most of all, I would like to thank Camden and his family for allowing me into their lives, and for reminding me of what is truly important - family and love and hope.

For more information on Camden's journey, click here.

There is a GoFundMe campaign set up for Camden here.

For The Gold Hope Project's website, click here.

For The Gold Hope Project's Facebook page, click here.

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!

 

The Mest Family | Sunflower Children's Mini Session | Berks County Pennsylvania Family Photographer

A few weeks ago, I met up with these adorable kiddos at a sunflower field near Blue Marsh Lake.  They wanted to surprise their daddy with some updated photos on his birthday, so I've been sitting on these for a little while so I wouldn't ruin the surprise.  I received permission to post these now, and I'm so happy that I can finally share their smiles and personalities on my blog!

I have photographed the Mest Family a few times now, and I have loved every single session. This family is so much fun and is so loving and positive.  And, let me tell you about this brother and sister duo - they are so full of spunk and energy, and they love hugging each other (even if just for a few seconds)!  It's really a pleasure to be around them.

Thank you for driving out to see me, Mest Family!  I hope your daddy loved his birthday surprise.

The Miller Family | Sunflower Field Family Photoshoot | Berks County Portrait Photographer

A few weeks ago, I met up with the Miller Family at a sunflower field near Blue Marsh Lake to create their family portraits.  The weather was on the warmer side that evening, but the light was incredible, we had blue skies and puffy clouds, and we had the entire place to ourselves!  I love when that happens during my photoshoots!

This family was one of my first clients when I went into business, and it was truly an honor and pleasure to photograph them again a few years later.  They are so fun and kind, and I smiled during their entire session.  They have so much love for each other, and are so full of positive energy.  It's always a pleasure to be in their presence.

Thank you again for this opportunity to create portraits for you, Miller Family!  I had a blast reconnecting with you, and am thrilled to share a few of my favorite photos from our time together.

Noah | Camp Hill High School Class of 2018 | Harrisburg Senior Portrait Photographer

I was recently in Camp Hill creating Noah's senior portraits.  Noah is a member of Camp Hill High School's Class of 2018!  I've known Noah and his family for a few years now, because he raced on the same snowboard team as my daughters (Ski Roundtop Race Club).  He recently left the snowboard team to focus more on baseball, but I've been able to keep in touch with his family and was honored when they reached out and asked me to capture his senior portraits for them.

We started our session at Willow Park, then headed over to the West Shore Country Club for the second half of our photoshoot.  The weather and light were perfect for us!  I have really lucked out this past month and had amazing weather for my photoshoots.  I don't want to jinx it, but I've been so fortunate lately!  (The beginning of the summer was a completely different story, so I'm glad Mother Nature decided to reward me with some decent photoshoot weather now!)

Here are a few photos from our session.  Best wishes for a successful and memorable senior year, Noah!  Thank you again for this opportunity.

A First Holy Communion Session - for Twins! | Wyomissing, PA Children's Photographer

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of capturing photos for the Mauro Family, to celebrate their twin daughters' upcoming first Holy Communion.  These young ladies were so much fun to photograph!!  They were so happy, so cooperative, so full of energy, and so adorable!!  As we were getting ready to begin our photoshoot, I found out that it was their birthday, too!  I'm honored that they took time out of their celebration to come hang out with me and my camera!!

I love how these photos turned out, and I have been so eager to share these!  (I promised their mom that I would wait until the day of their first Holy Communion to share them on my website.)  I hope that their smiles, hugs, and dance moves put a smile on your face as well.

Congratulations, Mauro Family!!! 

Wyebrook Farm Engagement Session | Steph and Al | Chester County Photographer

I recently met up with Steph and Al for their engagement photoshoot, and had a blast!!  Our first stop was the Twin Valley High School baseball field - a place near and dear to their hearts.  Then, we headed to Wyebrook Farm, just in time to befriend a few cattle and catch some amazing late afternoon light as the sun started to set.  The wind was a bit of a challenge that day, but Steph and Al rocked their session and I love how the photos turned out!  I am so looking forward to their wedding next August!

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

Community Over Competition | Headshot Swap

Last week, I hung out with a group of very talented and kindhearted photographers from Berks, Lancaster, and Lehigh counties.  We decided to meet up at Blue Marsh Lake for a headshot swap.  I'm so thankful for all of the photographers I have met over the past year who are less interested in competing and more focused on lifting each other up so we can all be successful in this industry.  Here are a few of my favorite photos from our time together.  Thanks for a fun evening, everyone!!

A Just Because Session | Owen

I'm an empath... perhaps to a fault.  The energy around me strongly affects me, for better and for worse.  In case you haven't noticed, television and social media have been filled with a lot of negativity lately.  On top of that, I've been under the weather and covered in poison ivy from my last few photoshoots.  It's been a rough few weeks for me, physically and emotionally.  I desperately needed to recharge.

A few days ago, a group of photographers organized a meetup at this amazing flower field and invited me to join them.  I have a lot of anxiety when it comes to meeting new people and was going to decline their offer, but I knew the timing was perfect - I needed to venture out and take some photos just for me... and I needed to do it soon.  So, I texted my friend Brooke yesterday morning and asked if she and her son Owen were available to meet up with me at the location.

They were available!

So, in spite of my anxiety and poison ivy and general sense of misery, I packed up my camera gear and went.

The photoshoot was amazing.

Seriously.

It was epic.

My husband always says that my camera is my 'binky'... and my husband is usually right.  (Well, I don't know about usually, but I'll say more often than not.)  In any case, it worked last night.  I'm feeling a bit better already.

I am gifting these photos to my friend Brooke and her little guy Owen.  Brooke started out as a student of mine in graduate classes I taught, and has since become a close friend.  She trusted me to take photos of her precious Owen when he became one of my very first newborn clients (unfortunately, that was before I knew how to create the froggy pose)!  Whenever I see them, they bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart.  (And it has nothing to do with the fact that they bring me Wilbur Buds whenever they come to visit - that's just an added bonus!)  Thank you for being so supportive of me over the years, and for being incredible friends.  You are two of my biggest supporters and cheerleaders.  I love you both.  I hope you enjoy these photos as a small token of my appreciation.

For what it's worth, the photoshoot was just the pick-me-up I needed right now.  I knew in my heart if I got over my anxiety and pushed through my discomfort that I would be rewarded.  And I was right. <3