My newest commercial photography job

I am so excited to share I have embarked on a new adventure.  I am working with a non-profit agency, Exit Lancaster.  My job is to be their commercial photographer to document their amazing program.  I sat down with the Exit Lancaster team to be interviewed for the position and was challenged and inspired by what they are doing for Lancaster City youth.  I knew immediately I would love to be chosen for this commercial photography job!  It was an ideal fit because it combines all the things I love:  children, teaching, and photography.  I am honored to say they chose me for the job and I will be following students throughout the month of July.

Let me start by sharing more about Exit Lancaster and their program.    Exit Lancaster is a program designed to provide inner city youth with a variety of choices intended to create a “winning life plan”.  Their mission is to equip children with the skills and aptitude needed to navigate their way through their primary academic career and on to some form of Higher Education, increasing their chances of success.  They believe every child can develop and become positive members of society, when they are given the opportunities to be successful.  Exit Lancaster accomplishes this through five pillars:  educational opportunities, community involvement, appreciation of the arts, wellness and career exploration.  So you can see why I was over the moon to be chosen as their commercial photographer!  

I had just one of my July shoots with them, documenting their program and one pillar, the education portion which focuses on providing youth with enrichment courses in Math, Science, Literacy and and Technology through partnerships with local colleges.  Their goal is to increase students aptitude and attitude towards academics .  And let me share, what I saw and what you see in the pictures below, tell me they are accomplishing their goal with great success!  For this particular shoot, I photographed the middle school students.  One thing you need to remember as you look at the pictures is this is JULY and this is MIDDLE SCHOOL aged children.  Be amazed with me!  I was in awe as I photographed them dedicated to learning and saw their motivation as they worked in math class.  None of these pictures were staged.  These are real classrooms, filled with middle school hormones, in the height of summer with children pouring over books and double checking their math work.  My teacher heart was leaping for joy, my love for children was inspired, and my love for photography was fulfilled in just this short shoot.  I can’t wait for my other days documenting some of their other pillars!  But for now, enjoy the pictures below.

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To follow more of what is happening through Exit Lancaster (and to see more pictures!), please go to my new website and new blog.  I am so excited this is happening in my hometown of Lancaster and that I can be a small part of spreading the word and giving them the professional photos that will share what they are doing for our youth!  As you can see, I am super impressed by what I saw.  Any teacher that works with middle school students immediately has my respect, but to work with middle school students and inspire them during the summer is even more awe-inspiring!  For the rest of July, I will be sharing little bits and pieces about Exit Lancaster and some of their other pillars.  I will be visiting a farm with them, going to the gym with them, and will be back in class with their high school students.  Stay tuned!!!

We’ve Moved (to a new place on the web)!

We’ve moved to a new location on the web!  For our most recent work, please go to www.hersheyphotography.org

There you will find our new website, newest blog posts, and updated portfolio work.  Thank you for taking the time to visit!

Lancaster Wedding Photography…Longs Park engagement session

Here I am still back in the fall of last year.  I debated just moving on instead of trying to catch up, but how could I pass up sharing about this beautiful couple?  I was first contacted through email by Tim.  Even his initial email blew me away and I knew I wanted to meet this dear couple.  When I asked him how he found me, he shared he found me by looking up Best Wedding Photographers in Lancaster.  I honestly don’t know how people even find me by googling Best Photographer anything being that I am a very small photography business.  I do not market myself, I don’t even invite friends to “like” my pages, and social media…well, I do try but I am pathetic at it.  The fact that Tim found me, that in itself, is a miracle from God.  And having the privilege of photographing Tim and Brandie’s engagement and wedding, is an incredible blessing I will never take lightly.  He shared about how he loved my tag line, In His Image, and how he signs his papers with the same closing statement.  We talked about why we both think that is important and we shared our stories of how God has worked in our lives.  I just wish he could write this for me because his writing is beyond eloquent.  I haven’t even talked about Brandie yet.  I don’t know if there could be a more dynamic couple!  Brandie has more style in her little finger than I do in my whole entire body.  She is beautiful from head to toe and is filled to overflowing with love, mercy, and grace.  I have been the recipient of it on so many occasions!  Brandie has a smile and laugh that lights up a room!  I could go on and on but I should just stick to pictures instead of writing and have Tim be my guest blogger!  Anyway, meet Tim and Brandie and I’ll let the pictures tell their beautiful love story!hersheyphotography.org-1

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Do you see what I was trying to say?  Pictures say it so much better!  Brandie and Tim just exude beauty from the inside out.  I am so blessed to have met them and to now call them friends.  They live out of state but absolutely love Lancaster, PA and wanted to have their wedding and engagement pictures done in Lancaster.  I love that they chose Longs Park for their engagement photography.  They had seen another shoot I had done there, and fell in love.  I fell in love with the fall colors!  The gorgeous oranges and yellows, the beautiful fall light, in combination with their amazing outfits and smiles…perfection! Wait until you see their wedding venue.  It is at the beautiful Cameron Estates in Mount Joy!  I was so excited for the opportunity to shoot there and can’t wait to show you their wedding pictures but I am getting ahead of myself!

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Brandie and Tim, thank you for a wonderful time photographing your engagement.  I couldn’t have had a nicer night than the time I spent with you.  It is the sincerest compliment you would entrust me to photograph your love for each other and that you would choose me to photograph one of the most important days of your lives.  I wait in eager anticipation to see how God uses your marriage for His glory and honor!

These verses below remind me of you!  Thank you again for showing me so much of Christ’s love!

2 Timothy 1:7   For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Proversbs 31:10  A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.

 

Click Below to Find Hershey Photography’s Newest Blog posts

We’ve moved to a new location on the web!  For our most recent work, please go to www.hersheyphotography.org

There you will find our new website, newest blog posts, and updated portfolio work.  Thank you for taking the time to visit!

Lancaster Engagement Photography…looking forward to the wedding day!

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I have gotten so far behind in blogging.  I thought I didn’t miss it, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed coming back to it.  Rummaging through the images, trying to pick out just a few, brought me back to this warm Lancaster day…a day perfect for engagement pictures.  Fun, laughter, joy, and love running so deeply through this beautiful couple!  You know they would do anything for each other.  Revisiting these pictures made me that much more excited for their wedding day.  I can’t wait to see her in a wedding gown and to see him looking at his bride.  I know their wedding will be magical and I will probably get teary eyed when they say “I do” before God, and all their friends and family.  Thank you for choosing me for your wedding photography!  I count it as an honor and privilege!

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The sun set quickly and we were able to do some night photography and practice dipping for their wedding pictures!  :)

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Hershey Wedding Photographer…Hershey Country Club

 

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The sweetest couple married at the sweetest place on earth… Hershey, Pennsylvania.  It doesn’t get much better than that!  Beautiful wedding picture locations, Hershey kisses, and cupcakes topped with Hershey chocolate bars!  I get hungry every time I look at the photos!  And their union, a complete celebration!  I met them about a year ago as they were looking for wedding photographers.  As soon as I met them, I knew I would love to have the opportunity to shoot their wedding.  Their love for each other is just so evident!  Well enough talk, I’ll let the pictures tell their story!

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see what I mean!

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Okay, I couldn’t decide…The slight dapling of light in the  image above,  pure and untouched but then adding some additional lighting to really help see the moment…Both capture their first dance, both capture their love, but both speak of it in different ways…anyway you look at it, their love is beautiful!

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Alicia, my trusty sidekick (from Alicia Horst Photography) and friend got this awesome picture of the bouquet toss and fire pit picture below!

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Um…yeah…the reception was just a little fun!  We had a blast!

 

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Thank you so much for choosing Hershey Photography for your wedding day pictures.  It was an honor!  You are such a great team and I can’t wait to see how God uses your marriage!

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Wedding Photographer…Lancaster County…Why am I a wedding photographer?

Why do I choose to photograph weddings?   Weddings are demanding, exhausting, and stressful.   They take up precious weekends when my family is home.  The weeks after are just as tiring as I spend at least 60 hours getting the images ready.  Yet I still love to do them.  Weddings bless me to my core.  Handing the bride and groom an album of their day brings me to tears.  Preparing canvases and prints for their walls makes my heart sing.  Sure you say.  Isn’t she a little dramatic!  I can say without reservation, no other photographer would have a reason like mine to be so motivated to do weddings, and to do them well.

The first few reasons may hopefully echo other wedding photographers.  But my last reason will match none, at least no one (photographer or not) I ever met…

5.  A  hopeless romantic…I love love.  I only want clients who truly love each other and are excited for their day.  I want to be able to connect with you.  If  we don’t have a connection, I fear I wouldn’t be able to capture your wedding day to its fullest.  You don’t deserve that!  I only choose clients when I am bubbling over with excitement for them…when I feel like their day can’t come quick enough.  My husband says every movie needs to end with a beautiful wedding for me to like it.  Cheesy, predictable, lovey, wedding…YES, that is ME!

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4.  Love details and moments…adding up to tell the whole day.  And details poured into weddings are endless…the details serve as reminders…they bring up stories and happy memories of dress shopping, hours of making table favors with friends laughing, the handkerchief that used to be your grandmother’s that still seems to carry her scent and definitely her memories…

Moments are just as valuable…moments interacting with each other (and not the camera), hugs, happy tears, looks of love and moments of laughter, or even a flower girl wide-eyed in the midst of a real life fairy tale wedding.

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3.  New eyes…weddings are such an amazing time already filled with creative ideas and beautiful things…and it gives me the opportunity to capture the beauty in creative ways, maybe even ways no one else has ever looked.   Whether it be a beautiful backyard DIY wedding or one at the most popular venue, your love is what makes your day beautiful and perfect.

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2.  Challenges…I like them.  Weddings are hard.  It makes me work harder and helps me stretch myself to do a better job.   They are long and they don’t go perfectly.  Things go wrong.  You can’t get a redo.  You miss a moment, it is never to be recorded again.  Sometimes Uncle Bob jumps in front of you and missing that moment isn’t your fault, and you have to be able to let that go.   You shoot at one venue and go back again for another wedding, the lighting and everything in it looks completely different, a new challenge.

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1.   My Never Again!… okay, I’ll give you that my reasons above are probably very similar to the reasons of other wedding photographers.  But my deepest drive, my strongest motivation, is like NO ONE else’s and is the top reason why I decided to enter wedding photography, my own “never again.”

Last week I got a phone call.  The phone call pierced my heart and prompted this post.  It was a short phone call.  Just a few sentences that went something like this.  “Can you come in a half hour to photograph a wedding?  The photographer cancelled last-minute.”   I stood there with my littles surrounding me, looked down at their big wondering eyes, recalled my battery was almost dead with no backups ready, confirming the only answer I knew I had to give but pained me to say.  I don’t know what happened and if they found someone but it still burdens my heart.  Why am I a wedding photographer?  This is why.  I value your day, your story. This phone call confirmed my “never again” driven by another story from 15 years ago.   A completely different story.  My own story.

I have no wedding photos, no story to show and share.  A few cherished snapshots with a throw away camera from a guest and a few shots from another.  But otherwise, I have nothing to show my children, nothing to be passed down to my children’s children.  I have no beautiful album, prints or even digital files for my husband and I to sit down and reminisce, or for my children’s little loving hands to flip through.   I have only the fleeting memories recorded in my head.

Why?  Oh we paid decent money for a photographer, in fact it was our 2nd most expensive part of our wedding (food being the first).  We valued photography and were willing to pay for it.  15 years later people are still trying to find photographers for the same price we paid.  I remember the day.  It was beautiful and unseasonably warm.  I couldn’t stop smiling.  Our photographer took pictures.  We had a great time.  We left for our honeymoon, completely unaware of the phone call we would receive upon our return.  The photographer’s wife in tears.  The photos did not turn out, some sort of mechanical failure.  I don’t remember what I said…I remember trying to make her feel better.  I remember crying and clinging to my husband after I hung up.  I remember being thankful we got a full refund.  But it is a blur, a shock not realizing how fully devastating this would be.   I do not blame the photographer.  We should have looked into it more.  What would he do to ensure our photos for the day?  Did he have more than one camera, more than one shooter, and securities in place?

This is my motivation…”Never Again”.  Barring a freak of nature, I have done everything possible to ensure this would never again happen.  No one else’s story will be lost but told beautifully and fully.  Motivation unlike anyone else’s…yes!   As I hold your album, I cry happy tears that I could give you such a treasured heirloom.  I rejoice to see your pictures on your walls and handing you a flash drive overflowing with your story.  Your wedding day is a cherished treasure to me, and I treat it like that.  I take the pictures not just thinking of that day, but the years down the road when your grandchild’s chubby little fingers lovingly flip through your album.  My whole being does everything to protect and preserve your day with beautiful memories!  Dramatic…yes, but a glimpse into my own “never again” story reveals why.

I may not be the right photographer for you, but if you are looking, please look carefully.  Value photography.  The cake will be cut and eaten, the dress hung up or given away, and what is left is love and memories documented.  Find someone who will ensure a “never again” and handle your day like the treasured gift it is.  And if you think that someone could be me, I would love to chat and hear your love story…

Hershey Photography

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