Ridley Creek State Park

Today started out as a beautiful Sunday morning. I woke up a tad too early for a weekend, but I decided to make the best of it and go for a bike ride at Ridley Creek State Park.

The photographs below were taken with my iPhone and fancied up with Instagram (how could I not…).  I’m not very comfortable taking my camera on my bike.  Crashing on your bike is one thing:  your skin will grow back and the road rash will heal, but, crashing with your camera is entirely different.  I’ll leave that one to the pros.

It’s been a little while since I rode my bike, so I kept my ride to a short 15 miles.  The park was beautiful this morning.  There were quite a few people and a random assortment of dogs enjoying the trails.

Sycamore Mills Dam

One of many old stone houses along the trail.  This used to be an old tenant house for the Sycamore Village Workers.  The house was built between 1785 and 1810.If you can’t tell, I’m in love with instragram!  Sometimes I have a hard time picking just one filter for my images.

Ok, enough Instagramed (is that even a word???) pictures .  Here are a few more images from a previous hiking trip to Ridley Creek State Park. 

There were wild raspberries EVERYWHERE!

Abstract water reflections of the trees and sky.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day!


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Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July!

May your day be filled with family, fun times, good food, and fireworks!

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Montoursville Wedding: Jennifer + Tom

This past weekend I had the extreme pleasure to photography the wedding of Jennifer and Tom.  Jennifer and I met while attending Juniata College and soon found ourselves teammates on the track and field team.   I was honored that she asked me to photograph her special day.

It has been raining for almost the past three weeks and the wedding day was no exception.  Somehow, with a small prayer and a little luck, the weather turned out beautiful for the couple.  It was the start of a perfect day.  Jennifer gorgeous as she walked down the aisle of her childhood church in her strapless, ivory dress.  She rocked a touch of personal style that occasionally peaked out of the bottom of her dress:  hot pink heals!

The entire day was filled with special places and people.  Between the ceremony and the reception, we took a short field trip to the bride’s family farm, Marshalek’s Fruit Farm, for some fun photographs.

The reception was held at Haywoods on the Water along the Susquehanna River.  Roxanne Lupold owner of Unforgettable Events, made sure the wedding day went so smoothly and every detail was perfect.

Heartfelt speeches.

The first dance.

To see more of Jennifer and Tom’s Montoursville wedding, feel free to check out the slideshow.

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Road Trip: Valley Forge National Park

One of the things I love about living in Pennsylvania is the ability to travel a couple of hours in any direction and have the freedom to explore a completely new area.  When I lived in Lock Haven (my home before I moved to West Chester), we had the Finger Lakes and Watkins Glenn to the North, Harrisburg and Gettysburg to the South, and more State Parks than I can count to the East and West.

Since I moved to West Chester, I am making sure to explore the area and bring my camera along for the ride.   I have a plethora of destinations all within a short 2-hour trip:  Philadelphia, Ocean City, Baltimore, and Washington DC.   A few weekends ago, my boyfriend and I decided to stay closer to home and make the short trip to Valley Forge National Park.

The day started out to be slightly cool and the weather called for rain.  As soon as we arrived at the park, it started to rain…pour…um; a monsoon-like downpour more accurately describes the weather conditions.  We continued the rest of our visit viewing the park from the car.  We had a few breaks in the weather and were able to jump out of the car and snap a few photographs.

I saw this picture while driving along the stream and after a quick U-turn, we were parked and attempting to shoot the overhanging trees.  I came thisclose to falling into the stream.  Note to self:  flip-flops don’t provide traction on wet grass and mud.

My advice for the day:  take some time and plan a trip to exploring your own town or locations nearby.  Your hectic schedule might not allow for you to take a weeklong vacation, but there is always time to squeeze in a short day trip.

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Dr. Oz comes to West Chester University

Last weekend the class of 2011 graduated from West Chester University.  This year, the guest speaker at graduation was none other than Dr. Oz.  I was ecstatic to hear him speak, but a bit leery.  I expected the speech to be cookie-cutter graduation advice.  Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised to hear Dr. Oz’s 10 Tips to Success and Happiness.

His tips were:

10. “Every day, feel productive and challenged in a tailor-made system that works for you, what works in your life. You might as well do the things you’re good at.”

9. “Generate an expertise in an area other than the profession that you choose to make your living.”

8. “Develop a system for living your life.”

7. “Find a mentor.”

6. “Whatever you choose to do, do it with a childlike passion.”

5. “Let people surprise you.”

4.  “Recognize that relationships have to keep growing.”

3. “Never forget that the body is a temple of the soul.”

2. “Live in the present.”

1. “Remember that you must make the driving force in your life, love.”

(tips from www.dailylocal.com)

My favorite, and the one that stuck with me was #6, “Whatever you choose to do, do it with a childlike passion.”  Children don’t worry about stress and deadlines and to-do lists; they do things simply for the joy it brings.  I know I’m going to try to remember this more often.

Happy Sunday!

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A Walk in the Park

I struggled a bit with writing this post. I thought about it all day but every idea just didn’t seem to “fit”.  I went for a walk with my camera to nearby park to try to draw up some inspiration.  It was almost home when the perfect idea hit me:  struggling with creative ideas.

As photographer, we are filled with inspiration everyday, everywhere we go, with every object, person, thing we see.  Or we can look at the same object and see it in 20 different ways throughout the day and the only thing that changes is the light.  With all this inspiration, we can still get stuck, mentally stuck to be exact.   Sometimes I panic when I don’t “see” the picture right away.  Sometimes I don’t see the picture at all and when I’m home editing, I’m just not happy with the images.

Guess what, we all have those days.  I probably have more of those days than I want to admit.  But, there is a bright side to this story:  the more I practice and the more I shoot, the easier it is to see images.  Honestly, there isn’t a quick answer to make one a better photographer, but I can share with you two pieces of advice.

1.  Practice, practice, practice.  Were Leonardo da Vinci or Michelangelo able to carve masterpieces without practicing and perfecting their crafts for years and years?

2.  Study, study, study.  Study the work of other photographers.  Ask yourself what makes it technically a good picture and where was the source of light.  Dig down deep and essentially recompose the image in your head.  What would you do if you were taking this image?

Happy Shooting!

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America’s Next Top Model (Photographer)

Recently, I had my first experience with a new style of photography:  fashion/glamor photography.  If I’m incorrectly identifying this type of photography, I’m sorry.  That just goes to show that this is completely new for me.    So, how did I involved with this new project?

A friend from school is a model and she needed updated head shots for an upcoming modeling job.   She asked if I would be willing to take some photographs.  Of course, I said yes, but inside I was a bundle of nerves.  I has NO IDEA what I was doing.

Fast forward a few days and before I knew it, it was time for the shoot.  I am thankful that Ange knew how to pose for the shots and I had the easy job of capturing her poses.  In the end, I had a BLAST shooting and I have a new appreciation for fashion photographers.  I’m definitely keeping an open mind and I fashion photography certainly might be a possible avenue to explore some time in the future.

Here are a few favorites from the shoot!

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Easter Bunnies

Happy Easter!

It’s a dreary, Sunday afternoon in Pennsylvania and we are all in a food coma after a wonderful Easter breakfast.  It’s an old family tradition to start Easter morning with yummy frittata.  Basically, a frittata is a large omelet with eggs, milk, ricotta cheese, sausage, salt, pepper, grated cheese and whatever else you want to throw in.  I like mine full of vegetables.  This year we also had a traditional Easter sweet bread from a local bakery, Jonna’s in Williamsport, PA.  Their hot pepper and cheese bread is to DIE FOR!

Have a safe and happy Easter.

(You have no idea how long it took to take these pictures.  Lets just say that the rabbit ears were not very popular).  

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What is Beauty?

“Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.” ~ Confucius


Happy Sunday!

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The past two days have been a blur of classes, homework, work work, cleaning.  Overall, the week has been fairly normal (except when I came thisclose to almost sucking my dish rag down the garbage disposal).  I have no idea how it happened, but I’m going to guess that it has something to do with my random klutziness.

Moving on from my small kitchen disaster, I wanted to share with you an online  photography class I look this past Friday and Saturday.  The title of the course was Building your Wedding Photography Business with Jasmine Star.  The course was amazing and jam-packed with information.  I have a small book worth of notes and ideas.  One of the cool things about CreativeLIVE is that their courses are 100% free to watch online (if you want to download them, you need to pay a one-time fee), and they cover a HUGE range of topics.  They have four main categories of classes:  photo+video, design, technology, and fine art.  They are constantly adding new classes to their schedule and so check their course catalog often.

Before, I go, I wanted to share a quote from yesterday.

“You have to make big changes for big results”~Jasmine Star.

Happy Sunday!

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