Lancaster Family Photography

Lancaster Family Photography: A Fall Family Session at Long's Park

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I’ve been photographing the Franz family for a few years now and this fall session at Long’s Park is probably my favorite session with them so far. In all my years of doing portrait photography, I have rarely used Long’s Park as a location. I’m not sure why that is because it’s a beautiful spot and there is quite the variety with the pond, foot bridges, trees and forest. This park has become my go to with my daughter, ever since she was a baby. In fact her first word was “duck” because she loved to see the ducks at Long’s Park.

Fall came a little bit late this year and on this day the leaves were finally starting to show their true colors. There were countless other photo shoots going on at the same time and I was not surprised. The light was golden, the kids were happy, it was everything a photographer could want.

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 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!

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!

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: 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 Family Photography: Spring Session with Janet & Kai

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I have been antsy to get out and take photos to get my creative juices flowing after being cooped up all winter and adjusting to life with a newborn. With the spring blooms everywhere and Mother's Day coming up, I asked my friend Janet if she and her son Kai would model for a mother-son session with me at Buchmiller Park, just outside Lancaster City. The light was absolutely perfect and the cherry blossom curtains made for some fun playful images. I've been photographing Kai since he was a newborn and I can't believe how much he has grown into a little boy. 

I also want to take this opportunity to remind all the moms (and dads) out there to get in the frame with your kids. You won't regret it and your kids will appreciate it years from now. My mom was the picture taker and documentarian in our family. We have carefully organized photo albums from all of our childhood years, thanks to my mom, along with detailed baby books and binders of our childhood artwork and other school papers, even "love notes" that boy crushes wrote to me. I know I have appreciated looking through these memories over the years and hope that I can do just as good of a job documenting life for my own kiddos AND also make sure that I appear in the frame from time to time. So here's my pitch to you; make your spouse or your friend or your dog take some photos of you and the kiddos interacting (selfies don't count!). OR hire a photographer (pick me!) to photograph your family. In fact, I've got gift certificates available and mother's day is just around the corner...