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.

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!)

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!

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.

The Moczydlowski Family | Wyomissing Park Family Photoshoot | Berks County Pennsylvania Portrait Photographer

A few weeks ago, I met up with the Moczydlowski Family at the Wyomissing Park to capture their family portraits.  We were fortunate to have incredible golden hour light and perfect weather for their photoshoot!

This was my first time creating photographs for this family, and I'm so honored that they asked me to be their photographer.  They are such kind, loving, and patient parents - and their children are adorable and are so much fun to be around!!  I love photographing kids - their smiles and energy and curiosity are always contagious!  I leave my photoshoots completely exhausted, but completely refilled at the same time - and this session was no different!

Thank you, Moczydlowski Family, for giving me this opportunity.  I had a great time creating these photographs for you.  (Also, big thanks for the care package that you left on my doorstep afterwards!!)

It was difficult to choose just a few portraits to share with everyone here (because I love them all so much), but this is what I came up with.  Enjoy!

Niva | Spring-Ford High School Class of 2018 | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Portrait Photographer

Earlier this week, I had the honor of meeting up with Niva and her mom, to capture Niva's senior portraits.  Niva is a member of Spring-Ford High School's Class of 2018, and will be going back to school to begin her senior year next week!  I have had the privilege of photographing this incredible family on a number of occasions, including family photoshoots, seasonal mini-sessions, and Niva's Sweet 16 party a few years ago.  They are such a joy to be around, and there is never a shortage of authentic smiles when they are near.

We decided to meet up at the Royersford Historical Mural, and then moved on to a few different parks in the same area.  The light was gorgeous and the weather was perfect... and the mosquitoes were out in full force!!  I got a record number of mosquito bites that afternoon, but Niva was such a great sport about it all!

Niva is so incredibly kind and talented, and I know that she's going to accomplish some pretty amazing things over her lifetime.  I'm so thankful for having another opportunity to photograph this family, and I'm looking forward to many more in the future.

Congratulations, Niva!  Best wishes for a fabulous senior year!

 

 

Nona + George | Longwood Gardens Engagement Session | New Jersey Wedding Photographer

I don't even know where to begin describing this engagement session.  It was so incredible, in so many ways.  Once you see the photos, you'll know what I mean...

Nona and George live in New Jersey, but wanted to drive closer to me for their engagement session for a little change in scenery.  On our original date, we were going to meet up in Lancaster, but Mother Nature had other plans.  With their 3 hour drive (each way), we decided to play it safe and call it off.  So, we rescheduled for a few days later, and since their original location choice was closed that day we moved the shoot to Longwood Gardens.

We couldn't have picked a better day, time, or location.

We had Longwood Gardens practically to ourselves, and the weather was incredible!  It was a little hot and humid, but honestly, I don't even think Nona and George noticed - they were too mesmerized by each other!!  They have incredible fashion sense, but that was secondary to their chemistry and love for each other.  Everything, and I mean everything, was perfect.

By the way, Nona is a very talented artist herself!  You can find her work here: https://www.facebook.com/DesignByNona/  or here: https://www.instagram.com/designbynona/.

I am so looking forward to their wedding this upcoming winter!  I hope you enjoy this rather large collection of photos from their engagement session - because I had too many favorites to narrow it down any further.

Congratulations, Nona and George!!

Philadelphia Lantern Fest | Maple Grove Raceway | Berks County Photographer

One of the recent additions to my Bucket List was to attend a lantern festival.  The last two times one was being held within a reasonable drive from me, I had weddings booked.  When I found out another lantern fest was being planned for June 10th, just 15 minutes from my house, I immediately snatched up tickets and blocked out the date on my calendar!  It's a good thing I did, because this one sold out within a few weeks.  It was so popular that the organizers ended up adding a second day!  (I would have gone both days, but my studio open house was scheduled to take place the following day.)

I'm not a fan of crowds, but crowds can't be avoided at lantern festivals.  So, if you go, be prepared to wait... a lot...  However, I have to admit, the more crowded they are, the more amazing the lantern display looks!  I did, however, manage to sneak away from the crowd and score a perfect viewing spot in the bleachers along Maple Grove Raceway.  My plan was to capture a few photos from that vantage point, then join the crowd below to set off my lanterns.  Once the lanterns started being released, however, that plan went to pieces.  My view from the bleachers was so amazing that I just couldn't bring myself to leave.  I am definitely going to attend another one in the future, so I'll be sure to capture some photos from the ground-level vantage point when I go back.

If you decide to go to one of these, plan to arrive early to find a close parking spot.  When you enter, you'll be given a lantern, a marshmallow roasting stick, and a goodie box (containing s'mores supplies, a lighter, and a sharpie for decorating your lantern).  There are food and drink stands for all ages, live music, face-painting, balloon-animal artists, and inflatable rides for the kids.  Again, be prepared to wait - a lot - but in the end, the wait will be worth it!!!  And this is coming from someone who detests crowds!!

My pictures just don't do this experience justice, but I hope you enjoy them anyway.  I'm so glad that I was able to attend.  The view was breathtaking, and being there with my family was the icing on the cake.  If you ever have a chance to go, I highly recommend it.

Saint Peter's Village Family Session | The Gumbas - Part 1

Last year, I had the pleasure of photographing the Gumba family for the first time, at their amazing property.  That session is still one of my favorite sessions to date, because we ended up abandoning all plans for posed shots and took more of a candid, lifestyle approach.  I love letting kids just be themselves - I find that's when they (and their parents) truly shine!

This year, our session took place the same day as a fishing trip that Dad was really looking forward to, so we decided to focus on Sarah and her three boys.  We opted to go with a different location this time, to mix up the backgrounds from last year.  Due to the nature of the location, and the tendency of 3- and 6-year olds to want to explore, we had to be a little less "lifestyle" and a little more hands-on, but we still captured some amazing photos of the boys being themselves!  Even though they are exploring their independence at this age, it is so obvious how much they love their momma.  It was also obvious when they decided they were finished having their photos taken!  See if you can figure it out in the images below. ;)

This family has forever earned a big space in my heart!  I love them for their energy, their sense of humor, and the fact that they are just so real!  They are unapologetically authentic, and I think we need more people like that in the world.

Thank you, Sarah!  Thank you for allowing me to take your family photos, and thank you for being you.  You are such a breath of fresh air.  Your kiddos rock, too.  Here are a few of my favorites from the session.