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.


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!)

 

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.

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!

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!

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!

Kayla, Exeter Class of 2017 | Berks County High School Senior Photographer

I recently met up with Kayla for her senior portrait session, and had a BLAST!  Our families have been close for years, and it has been a real pleasure watching her grow up over the years.  I was so excited when I was asked to capture this special time for Kayla and her family!  I knew she was going to rock her photo session.  Kayla is so independent, creative, and breathtakingly gorgeous!  I know that she is going to accomplish some pretty incredible things during her lifetime.

We began our photoshoot in West Lawn, off of Penn Avenue. Then we moved over to Wyomissing and shot at a few locations near The Works.  I love every location, every outfit, and every single picture.  I hope you enjoy these photos from our time together.  Enjoy the rest of your senior year, Kayla!!  Best of luck to all of the members of the Class of 2017!

 

Make-up:  Danica at United Artists Salon + Spa

Hair:  Kayla!

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!

Berks County Personal Session | Akina

Tonight, just because I felt moved to do so, I asked Akina to grab her violin and hop in the car with me.  We drove down the road and I stopped as soon as the light felt right.  We got out, got my camera ready, and she played her violin for me for a few minutes.  Here are some photos.

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