Friday, December 7, 2012

Caroline:: Lititz, PA newborn

When my cousin Jill told us she was pregnant with baby #2, we were very excited for her family. I took a picture of their 'announcing' it on Facebook:

So when Jill asked me if I'd like to take newborn pictures, I was honored to travel to see them. I went the day before super storm Sandy came...and the weather was kind of ominous. But we were able to have our session before the weather turned bad.

Jill and Ryan's son, Luca, is just one of the sweetest little boys. He is usually very happy and is such a polite little boy. I can't get over his eyes - there is just something about them that has me commenting on them with every photo I take.

And now his little sister - Caroline - is just as precious. Just a few weeks after Caroline's birth, the family of four came to NJ to celebrate Thanksgiving with our family. And it continues to be one of the things we look forward to each year - having time with our family.

Jill and Ryan - I pray Caroline is as much a blessing to you as Luca has been. She sure is a cutie!!

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Derr:: Hackettstown, NJ family session

Courtney and I grew up together. We went to elementary school together. We played soccer with one another. We had lockers right next to each other, because her maiden name and my last name both start with Z. Courtney has a twin Kristin. Now she has a husband Corey...and some furry creatures that are part of her family. Court and I weren't in touch too often after high school, but I kept up with her once FB got popular. Well a few years ago, I found myself living in NJ for awhile...and Courtney lives in the next town over from where we grew up. We began to meet with each other and grab lunch, or go shopping, and we have become friends again.

Court and Corey just recently moved into their first home. They were excited to leave behind the apartment they were calling 'home' for the first few years of their marriage. I was excited when Court asked if I could take some pictures of her and Corey for their Christmas card this year. Of course Bella had to be in a few.... her head tilts easily when a few key words are uttered. And at the beginning of our session (out in front of their new home), the mailman came down the street in his mailtruck. Bella went crazy!!

Court and Corey - I'm thankful to have reconnected, and glad that we can spend some time together. Now that I'm in PA and you're in NJ, I know we don't get to see each other as often, but I like being able to visit when I'm home. And next time......we're gonna get Dunkin'!

And blessings on your new home!!

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Monday, December 3, 2012


I took Christmas pictures of my nephews last week, and the only request that Grant had over and over was:  "Sissy, can we take pictures with the chickens?" My sister and bro-in-law got 3 chickens about 2 months ago. The boys have named the chickens and Grant - especially - has an affinity for them. Throughout the session, I kept saying (in the biggest attempt at patience), "You better smile and look at the camera if you want pictures with the chickens." Grant was really the only one interested in pictures when it was all said and done.

The other day, I called my sister, and Grant answered the phone. He said (with a cuteness that melted me), "Sissy, can I ask you a question? Can you post the pictures of me with 'Red' on your thing?" Red is one of the chickens and the 'thing' is my blog. Too cute.

Well, Grant, here are the pictures of you and Red.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ariel and Josh:: Philadelphia, PA Wedding

I had the opportunity to second shoot a beautiful wedding for Rae Barnes. I've known 'of' Rae for a few years now, after a friend mentioned her as a photographer I might like to follow, but hadn't met her until I knew she was looking for an assistant. Rae's work 'pops'; it has this distinct boldness that I've come to love. When Rae and I met, she mentioned this would be her last wedding for awhile, so I was glad to be there for her last wedding.

Here are a few of the images I took for Rae on Ariel and Josh's wedding day.
Ariel and Josh got ready at the Omni Hotel in Philadelphia.

I love the fall flowers; the day was gorgeous too!

Woohoo! Look at those heels! I give Ariel a lot of credit for being able to wear those!

They took many of their pictures across the street, next to the Second Bank of the US.
With the leaves falling, it was a gorgeous backdrop for pictures.

Ariel and Josh were so playful with each other; their affection was a joy to watch!

I think it's safe to say Josh was a happy husband!

Their ceremony and reception were held at the Ballroom at the Ben...such a gorgeous venue.

Father-daughter dance:

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

90 years young

Today is my grandpa's 90th birthday.

I feel like it's more rare these days for people to live till their 90th....and I am grateful for his life.

Yesterday he had cataract surgery; the doc said his eye was one of the worst he's seen. But when my grandpa realized some sight was restored, he looked at my dad and said "I can see your face, Kenny...and I can see the exit sign." To think of my grandpa saying those things - the way the words were uttered - makes me thankful to have a grandpa like him.

I am thankful today for the man my grandpa is...for the marriage he has and the love that is shown in the care he has for my grandma. I am thankful for the four boys they raised, and for the sense of family that there is, even though they don't get to see each often. I'm reminded of the many holidays spent at my grandparents house and for the sweet memories that we have of time as a family. While my grandparents weren't the type to talk about sports or the latest fashion trend, or movies in the theaters, they showed me their love by the other ways that showed their care for me - asking about my job, my living situation, or praying for me. Those intangible things carry a far greater value.

Happy 90th birthday grandpa!

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Hummels:: Thompson, PA family session

Karl and I met sometime in elementary school...I think it was 2nd grade. And throughout our years in school, we probably said hi to each other, but I don't remember interacting with him much until high school. Karl became my 'big brother' and we'd often joke about how we couldn't be more different. We hung out in different social circles, and people used to ask us (separately) why we were friends with each other. After high school graduation, our school put on this event called 'Project Graduation' - an all-nighter at some sports complex. And we took a picture that night...a picture that would be hung in the room of my dorm freshman year of college. And Karl and I went to dinner one night while I was home on a break freshman year, but after that, Karl and I rarely spoke.

I have a knack for remembering birthdays, and each time September 24th would come along, I'd remember him in the back of my mind as my friend, but knowing little about what was going on in his life. One day in 2007, my mom mentioned she ran into Karl down town, and shortly thereafter we reconnected. Karl came over to my childhood home and as we sat on the couch, he told me he was engaged and getting married in a few months. We caught up as best we could - how do two people catch up on nearly 8 years of life events? - and promised we'd meet up soon. Soon was indeed soon and we met at a restaurant so I could meet Courtney, his fiance. She was super sweet and of course had been caught up on Karl's and my friendship over the years. And while I was there, they invited me to attend their wedding, now only weeks away, if I was free.

So I had the privilege of attending their wedding and seeing one of my childhood friends get married. I couldn't be more honored to be invited and see my 'big brother' so happy. I knew I wasn't going to let our friendship fall by the wayside again, so for the past five or so years, we've kept up with each other. When he comes into town, we try and see each other. Courtney and I have gotten together, and it's been great to develop a friendship with her too. Soon after they got married, they found out they were having their first child. Now they are a family of three....and their son, Trey, is just so cute.

I'm grateful to have a friend like Karl in my life. We've often said of our friendship that even if years go between talking, we've the type of friendship where if we need help from the other, we'd be there just as soon as we could. Karl came to see me after I had my back surgery last year, and it was such a kind gesture that he stayed true to his promise to come see me.

Well, this August, I was near their home photographing a wedding, and called to see if I could visit. I was glad to finally be able to see where they lived, and to spend some time with them. While I was there, we were able to do a quick family session and I was able to take some pictures of Karl and Trey as they walked down their long driveway to get the mail.

Karl and Courtney, I'm so glad I was able to come visit. Thanks for opening up your home to me. I look forward to the many more years of friendship....

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