Lancaster Maternity Photography: Sam & Taylor's Fall Maternity Session at Historic Rock Ford Plantation

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If you know me, you know that I love hearing birth stories as well as sharing my own. Becoming a mom and growing a human is one of the most incredible journeys I have ever been on. Of course it would make sense that I love doing maternity and newborn photography for families. I get to play a small part in telling the story of growing families as they welcome their precious new babies into their hearts and their homes.

This fall maternity session at the Historic Rock Ford Plantation in Lancaster is full of joy and smiles (other than the vicious mosquitos attacking us near the end). The light was golden, Sam was glowing, and I think the images speak for themselves. Baby Eck is supposed to make his/her appearance right around Thanksgiving and I am so looking forward to meeting (and photographing) their new little one.

Melissa Engle Photography offers portrait and lifestyle photography in Lancaster, PA. Please contact me if you would like to make some photo magic together!

Lancaster Senior Photography: Ava's Fall Senior Session in the Pine Forest at Overlook Park

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There are some photo shoots where I feel like I could continue taking photos forever and not run out of ideas and different angles. This fall senior session at Overlook Park in Lancaster was one of those. Ava was a natural for her session. I could definitely imagine her in the pages of some fall clothing magazine. The funny thing is, we rescheduled this shoot at least two times due to rain and our original plan was to do more of a summer look at the Conestoga House and Gardens, but by the time the session actually happened, the chilly fall weather had set in.

Ava showed up with this beautiful striped blanket wrapped around her and I knew I had to incorporate it into the photos. Ask her how many times I made her swirl it around her shoulders so I could capture the movement of the swishing blanket and she will tell you; it was a lot!

This was my first time doing a fall senior session at Overlook Park, and the first time that I really explored the path between the skinny pine trees. At first glance, one might mistake the location for somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. I will definitely be going back to this location! As we were leaving I knew I had to take some photos in the field. I am such a sucker for that untamed look in the tall grasses. The colors and textures of Ava’s clothing brought the perfect fall vibe combined with the golden field and the pine forest in the distance.

I will be the first to say that I still can’t quite figure out why it is that I often see photo sessions of senior girls laughing and twirling or playing with their hair. Do they walk around doing that in everyday life? So I made Ava do it, just for fun (and kind of making fun of the idea) and ironically some of those images ended up being among my favorites because her laugh was so genuine. As a whole, this is probably my favorite fall senior session to date!

Melissa Engle Photography offers portrait and lifestyle photography in Lancaster, PA. Please contact me if you would like to make some photo magic together!

Personal: Freelensing with Cora in the Lititz Wildflower Field

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If I'm being honest, most days motherhood does not leave me with much energy to be creative. With the heat we've been having this summer and the demands of an infant and a toddler, I feel pretty drained most days. Sometimes it takes a lot of motivation to even climb up a set of stairs to get my camera when there's something I want to photograph of my kids. Yet at the same time I have found that motherhood has deepened my desire to express my artistic side even more and compelled me to document life for my children through photography. In a way, I would say that taking beautiful photos of my daughter running through wildflower fields allows me to not only process my reality but to escape for a moment. I look through the viewfinder and see all the colors that make my heart soar and watch my carefree daughter twirling around and for a second I forget that I am majorly sleep deprived and in need of quality adult interaction. 

I've been a stay-at-home mom for three years now, and in that time I have come to realize that I NEED to take time to create, even when I don't have the energy.  Getting the creative juices flowing refuels me. So, I decided to do some experimenting with freelensing, a technique where you remove the lens from your camera and hold it over the shutter. It creates a really shallow depth of field and allows most of the image to blur with just a tiny portion in focus. I think it creates a really dreamy effect, though I will say it's best to practice on non-moving objects first to get comfortable with how it works. I used a 50 mm and a 35 mm lens for these freelensing shots in the Lititz wildflower field. Also FYI, not all of them are freelensed, as you can probably tell.

The large vertical image of Cora lying down in the wildflower field encircled by black eyed susans is probably one of the favorites I've taken of her so far this year. As summer comes to an end and we enter into the busy season of fall, I hope I can continue to find ways to fuel my creative spirit in the every day rhythms and routines of life.

Melissa Engle Photography offers portrait and lifestyle photography in Lancaster, PA. Please contact me if you would like to make some photo magic together!

Lancaster Wedding Photography: Lindsay and John at Lauxmont Farms Rotunda

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Lindsay and John were married at the rotunda site of Lauxmont Farms in May. This location will always hold a special place in my heart because my husband and I were also married there in May of 2012. Their original plan was to be married at the sunken garden; however the forecast called for rain all day so they moved the ceremony to the rotunda. Lindsay and John were so relaxed and calm despite the last minute changes. They decided to do a first touch, which is one way to have a private moment before the ceremony without seeing one another. All of the creamy tones of the flowers, the lace of Lindsay's dress with her golden ringlets blowing in the wind and the beautiful venue overlooking the Susquehanna River complete with frolicking horses reminds me of something out of romance novel. But most importantly, I think you can tell by the looks on their faces that this day was full of joy and love. This was my first wedding of 2018 and the perfect start to wedding season.

Vendors:

DJ: DJ Liam Productions (https://liamdj.com/ ), Owen & Liam Blevins

Florist: Laura of Lauxmont (http://www.lauraoflauxmont.com/), Laura Kohr

Cake: Bella Manse (http://www.bellamanse.com/), Renee Hackman Hunter

Hair: The Mansion on Main (https://themansiononmain.us/)

Makeup: Blush Beautiful (https://www.blushbeautiful.com/), Amanda Clark

Dress: Blush Bridal (https://www.blushbridalpa.com/)

Melissa Engle Photography offers portrait and lifestyle photography in Lancaster, PA. Please contact me if you would like to make some photo magic together!

Hummelstown Family Photography: Sullivan's One Year Session Among the Peonies

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This little blue eyed beauty turned one in May. I loved capturing Sullivan with her mom and dad (and dog) at their home, especially with my all time favorite flower, the peony. She held onto a small pink bud for most of the photo session. Sullivan will no doubt be walking completely on her own soon. I am always honored to capture these moments for families, because I know how fleeting they are. Just a year ago, I photographed Sullivan as a newborn, less than 48 hours after she was born. My how the time flies!

Lancaster Family Photography: The Smith Family at Wolf's Hollow County Park

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I've been photographing the Smith family for a couple years now, from the time Bill and Rhianna got engaged, and every time it just gets better. Their boys are adorable and have grown so much since I've last seen them. It happened to be the youngest's 2nd birthday the day we had this photo shoot (we had to reschedule a couple times due to weather). Definitely a lot of love and laughter captured in this session! It was my first time at Wolf's Hollow Park and I would like to discover more there sometime. 

Melissa Engle Photography offers portrait and lifestyle photography in Lancaster, PA. Please contact me if you would like to make some photo magic together!

Lancaster Family Photography: Garden of the Five Senses with the Koppes Family

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These friends are new to Lancaster and also happen to be my neighbors. The Koppes family moved here from Colorado less than a year ago and chose to live in our neighborhood in part due to one of my personal projects called "Who's Who on the Hill", documenting people and their stories in Cabbage Hill (the Lancaster City neighborhood where we reside). It was a muggy evening but the light was golden and the kiddos were in a good mood (probably motivated by their ice cream reward post photo shoot). I have been working at trying to capture more candid moments in my family photography and am excited by the fun expressions and overall love and joyfulness that comes across in these photos.

Melissa Engle Photography offers portrait and lifestyle photography in Lancaster, PA. Please contact me if you would like to make some photo magic together!

Lancaster Newborn Lifestyle Photography: Baby Jameson

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Welcome to the world baby Jameson! I didn't get to photograph this little dude until he was about 6 weeks old since I gave birth to my own son just a couple weeks after Jameson was born. His mom tells me he loves to eat and he's getting to be quite the little chunker. His parents, Nyssa and Alex, live in a beautiful Lancaster City home and I love their vintage, eclectic style. The one thing that stood out to me from his nursery is the amazing vintage rocking horse that Nyssa found on Craigslist. Apparently it was the first item she bought for the nursery after she found out she was pregnant. I really love photographing in home newborn sessions and I foresee doing many more of these in the future. Send all the tiny babies my way! They don't stay small for long in my experience. :)

Melissa Engle Photography offers portrait and lifestyle photography in Lancaster, PA. Please contact me if you would like to make some photo magic together!