Holy Spirit's Annual Volunteer Recognition Evening 04.29.09

So I think I need a new blog category called "Corporate" or "Event" because this isn't really "Lifestyle", but oh well. Last Thursday I had the opportunity to photograph Holy Spirit Health System's Annual Volunteer Recognition Evening, and I loved every minute of it.

When I was in college and grad school, I spent some time wearing the pink smock when I volunteered in several different hospitals. It was so rewarding, but I have to admit that it was tough to find the time to devote more than several hours each week. Today that would probably be impossible.

So when I arrived at West Shore Country Club for the Annual Volunteer Dinner last week, it was almost unfathomable to me that someone -- one person -- had volunteered 26,500 hours of his time!

The purpose of the evening was to honor and thank each of the 250+ volunteers who collectively provided almost 50,000 hours of service last year. That's incredible, and I was honored to be there to capture the moments.

First there was lots of mingling and conversation.

So I just floated around the ballroom...

And some of my favorite moments from the whole evening occurred during this time.

Then dinner was served, and everything from the hors d'oeuvres...

To the desserts was delicious.

Sister Romaine Niemeyer, President and CEO of Holy Spirit, then introduced everyone responsible for making the evening happen. Here, Kristi Ondo, Director of Volunteer Services, waves at the crowd.

Niles Benn, Chair of Holy Spirit Health System, gave some opening remarks...

And then it was time for Kristi and Darlene to present the awards to each volunteer. Their faces were just what one would expect from such selfless individuals...

Their expressions modest and humble.

But you could definitely feel their pride behind their smiles.

There was lots of applause...

And laughter...

And even a standing ovation for Mr. Robert Owen, pictured here with Kristi Ondo and Darlene Heiges. Robert has volunteered 26,500 hours of his time to Holy Spirit since 1983.

This is the pin he received, and that was quite a way to end the evening.

Many thanks to Kristi Ondo, her boss Bill Shartle, Senior VP of Human Resources, and the rest of the team at Holy Spirit for asking me to be there! ~Kristine

Show Comments

Jenelle & Jer's Engagement 04.27.09

I recently had the chance to do a really cool engagement session for Jenelle and Jer, who are getting married on August 2nd at the amazing Riverdale Manor in Lancaster. Scott and I can hardly wait for that, but first, I really don't know how I've waited a whole week to blog their engagement pics, because as I told Jenelle in an email, "I am in love with them!" :)

I had briefly met Jenelle and Jer at Kelly and Mike's wedding in December (thanks Kel for the referral!), so I knew they were awesome and we were going to have a lot of fun. We did the shoot at two very meaningful locations -- first in Dauphin at Jenelle's Grandfather's farm, and second in Camp Hill at the future home of the bride and groom-to-be. Obviously both locations hold a lot of sentimental value to these two, and the fact that both had such insane light was just the icing on the cake.

So here they are at Jenelle's Grandfather's farm. These two were up for anything which allowed me to be totally creative. Climb on giant woodpile!? Stand on broken glass?! Yeah, we were a perfect match.

The views of the Susquehanna River were breathtaking.

And inside one of the old barns, the light was a photographer's dream. Well, at least mine! Aren't they so adorable together!?!!

I haven't had that many opportunities to shoot in light like this...everything was dark except one spot where the light was shining in from the roof. And that sign was a total surprise too -- it's the initials of Jenelle's grandparents.

I could have stayed in that barn all day, especially with them giving me cute moments like this.

But outside the barn, there were some really great spots too. Love this one with the broken window.

And this one with the metal siding.

And this one in the big open field. Oh Jenelle, I'm so glad we opted for spring instead of winter!

Work it girlfriend. Jenelle is going to be a knockout bride!

Onto their future home in Camp Hill. Jenelle and Jer have completely gutted an old home -- we're talking down to the studs and moving walls -- and it is going to be so amazing when it's done in August (or sooner!).

This is how Jer looks most days. Jenelle got a little laugh at his expense.

The bling. Jer joked that he didn't know which one set him back more, the new kitchen or the ring! Gorgeous.

Jenelle and Jer, I had so much fun taking your engagement pics and getting to know you both better. I hope you like these pictures as much as I do, and I can't wait for you to see the rest! See you in August, and don't work too hard in the meantime! Hugs! Kris

Show Comments

A Morning with Maggie at the Park 04.24.09

Melissa contacted me several months ago after her sister saw my blog (yay for blogging!), and she told me she wanted a lifestyle session for her daughter, Maggie. Actually, I think what she said was that her and her husband wanted some "photojournalist type shots" of her, and after hearing that I knew that I would be the perfect photographer to capture their precious little Maggie. We did their shoot at Fort Hunter Park in Harrisburg and it was an absolute blast!

If you read my blog regularly, then you know that I don't like asking kids to sit still, and I never ask them to say cheese. Instead, I wear my running shoes, chase them around, and pray that I don't drop a camera in the process. ;-) Anyway, onto the sneak peek!

Maggie is 17-months old, and she is sweet, smart, and beautiful. It was early and still a little chilly, which worked in my favor because I loved her pretty pink coat.
Harrisburg Lifestyle Photography

But then her Mom took her coat off, and it got even better. She matched the yellow flowers perfectly, and in a split second she glanced at me and smiled. LOVE it!!!
Harrisburg Lifestyle Photography

We walked through the park and found some Maggie-sized trees. She loved climbing them...
Lewisburg Lifestyle Photography

And playing hide and seek in them too. Totally adorable.
Lewisburg Lifestyle Photography

I couldn't wait to get Maggie onto the porch of the old mansion, because the light there was perfect. Just look at those eyes. Mom knew what she was doing when she picked out Maggie's sweater.
Selinsgrove Lifestyle Photography

Maggie paused for a second to smell the flowers, and I love the look of concentration she has.
Selinsgrove Lifestyle Photography

Truth be told though, she was much happier running. She is really fast!

Fast forward 5 minutes.... Yep, she's still going. This one just gets me. It's like she is thinking, "You can't catch me!"

We ended the shoot on the playground, and Maggie couldn't have been happier. Love this tunnel shot.

And this one on the swing is one of my favorite swing shots ever! Maggie is swinging with no hands, because I think she was saying, "Let's Rock Out!" Yes, she is already talking in sentences. She is so full of personality.

Melissa and Nick, thank you so much for asking me to document these fleeting moments for you. I hope these are everything you never expected me to get and more. Can't wait for you to see the rest! Happy weekend and thanks again! Kris

Show Comments

Giovanna: 8 Days Old 04.22.09

I recently had the chance to photograph a VERY newborn baby, who was just 8 days old for her very first photoshoot. Giovanna Richelle was born on April 2nd to proud parents, Amy and Bobby, and she is just perfect. The shoot went so well and I have been anxiously waiting to share some images, so here they are!

Giovanna was awake and content when I first arrived at their home. Huge eyes, perfect skin, a full head of hair -- what a gorgeous little girl!

Just 8 days old, and already making perfect eye contact with the camera! I was eyeing her bookcase, hoping we could get a shot of Giovanna on the shelves.
Selinsgrove Newborn Photography

Love this one. Once Giovanna was in Mommy's arms...
Selinsgrove Newborn Photography

It didn't take long until she drifted off to sleep.
Lewisburg Newborn Photography

Yep, we got it! That really is her laying there on the shelf.
Lewisburg Newborn Photography

So so cute. She seemed pretty comfortable there...
Central PA Newborn Photography

But we moved her into better light so I could really focus on her face. Amy and Bobby told me they look at her all day.
Central PA Newborn Photography

And I can definitely see why. I love this one with her belly button because it shows how brand new she really is.

There is nothing better than newborn baby feet...

And hands.

I'm so happy Amy and Bobby decided to do a newborn session, because they won't always be this tiny.

My favorite -- which we got at the VERY end of the session after a few tries.

Congratulations again Amy and Bobby. I am so happy for you -- Giovanna is so beautiful and you are truly blessed. Thank you for asking me to document this amazing time in your lives. Hugs~Kris

Show Comments

My Best Friend Heather Finally Got a Real Session! 04.19.09

I met Heather my freshman year of college at Virginia Tech. She was my sorority sister and roommate, and a couple of years later, she was the maid of honor in my wedding. Heather lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her amazing husband, Tib, and their two little cutie pies, Jackson and Charlotte. And everytime I go down to DC/NOVA to do a marathon photography weekend (as in 6-7 families in one weekend), of course they invite us to stay with them.

In the past though, Heather and her family would get my "leftover" photography time. While I always managed to get some great images for them, I wanted them to experience the real deal this time around. I mean, after all their generosity and hospitality (we're talking home cooked meals, dessert, wine -- it's too much!), it's the least I could do. So we decided on the DC Cherry Blossoms at sunset -- my absolute favorite time of day to shoot. And despite being close to bedtime for Jackson and Charlotte, they did wonderfully!

We started the shoot in this sort of cave of trees, and there was some serious backlight in there! Two-year old Jackson was loving every minute. Isn't he so stinkin cute!!

And his pretty little sister, Charlotte, who is now 7 months, was smiling away just like she always does. She is such a sweet happy baby.

First, a couple of favorites with Mom...

I think Heather is going to love these!

And then a few favorites with Dad.

Jackson thought I was really funny that day. I pretended I was Thomas the Train, and in return he gave out lots of smiles.

Priceless. I love it!

And this one too. Charlotte is so stunning, just like Heather.

The kids loved playing in the cherry blossoms...

And I loved playing with the light. So so fun!

There were literally millions of people around, but we managed to make it look like they were the only ones there. Love this family shot.

Walking back to our cars (and at this point Charlotte and our daughter Elsa were asleep), Scott and I couldn't resist the light on the water. So I stayed with all the kids while Scott got this silhouette of Heather and Tib. Awesome job hun!

Heather and Tib, thank you for being such awesome friends. I had so much fun doing this shoot for you guys and I hope you like the pictures as much as I do! XOXO Kris

I'm still in the process of editing, but to see some more favorites from their session, click on the arrow below and make sure your volume is turned up.

Show Comments

Hokies in Training 04.16.09

Nichole and Joe met at Virginia Tech 12 years ago, and today they live in NOVA with their 2 little Hokies in training -- Emma who is almost 5 and Bella who is 10 months. We did their session at their home and a nearby park, and the girls did so great!

Seriously, I am so lucky. I showed up to their home to be greeted by the nicest family who was totally excited for pictures, and Nichole even made me this beautiful journal (she is so crafty!) to thank me. Yes, she was thanking me BEFORE even seeing the pictures! I love that my clients trust me like that. It's the best. Anyway, enjoy the sneak peek...

Meet gorgeous little Bella, who was smiling away as we sang her the "ABCs".

And here is her beautiful big sister Emma in her really cool bedroom. Emma loved having her picture taken.

Yep, things were going REALLY well. As soon as I got this adorable shot, it was time to head to the park to play.

I love this one. It's so real. On the way to the park...their street...the girls in their wagon...it's what they would do any other Sunday afternoon. This time they just had me there to follow them. :)

At the park, we did some portrait stuff first. Emma has the most beautiful natural smile, huge green eyes, and the most amazing long eyelashes. Now I'm kicking myself for not blogging the shot I got of those!

Then there was LOTS of playing.

And laughter...

Only to be followed by more laughter, and lots of really fun family shots. This is one of my favorites. I love how Bella is looking at Emma. It's like she is thinking, "I can't wait til I can do that!"

Totally love this one too. The barefeet make it that much more perfect. Nichole -- I'm seeing a future Facebook profile picture. :)

Back at the house, the girls were excited to show their Hokie pride.

So so cute!

But they were even more excited to eat ice cream! Nichole's dad owns an ice cream shop, so these images will soon be on the store walls.

Even their shirts say, "I scream for ice cream!" Bella said she would demonstrate if Emma took it from her, as in the bottom left shot. Way too precious!!!

Nichole and Joe, thank you so much for asking me to do family pictures for you. Emma and Bella are cute beyond words, and SOOOOO sweet! And on a sidenote, I have to say that I didn't plan on doing your blog today, on this April 16th Day of Remembrance, but it just worked out that way. And how appropriate. I wish Hokies everywhere could see this picture, because it would surely bring smiles to their faces. It definitely is to mine! Love to all of you, and to Hokies around the world, today and always. Thanks again! Kris

Show Comments

A Day at Home with the "M" Family 04.14.09

These days I am getting a lot of repeat business, which is a huge compliment. And not only that, it seems like each time I photograph a family, the pictures are better than the last time. I'm sure that has something to do with the kids knowing me, so they're more comfortable and able to be themselves, and that definitely makes for awesome images! Well, the "M" family is the perfect example of a shoot that went REALLY well 6 months ago and even better the 2nd time around. I can hardly wait to share the pictures, so here they are!

I first photographed this adorable family last fall. Megan and Cory were expecting their 3rd child, and Caroline and Ethan could hardly wait to meet him or her!

Baby Ryan was born in December, and he is so loved by his big brother and sister.

I started the shoot with some photos of the kids in their bedrooms. Caroline is so beautiful and sweet. One of the first things she said to me was, "Kris, you're a really good photographer." It totally melted my heart.

Hello Miss Photogenic. One of my favorites.

We got some cute ones on her bed too, but I loved these with her table and chairs because the window light was amazing!

Ethan's turn. He did so good looking at me while on his rocking horse.

I absolutely LOVE that smile! And the depth of field, too. You'd never know that is actually carpet blurred behind him. :)

But his serious faces are way precious too. He is such a cute kid!

Caroline and Ethan did so well for their indoor photos...

That I told them they could make silly faces at the camera. Love it!

Ryan woke up from his nap as happy as could be. What a gorgeous little guy!

He loved being outside...

And he really loved peeking over Mommy's shoulder. This is seriously the cutest thing ever. I could have blogged a whole series of his expressions!

While I was photographing Ryan, Caroline and Ethan were having fun chasing butterflies.

And playing with sidewalk chalk.

What do you do when the sun is harsh and directly overhead?? Get creative! And the kids loved that I was photographing their shadows. This is definitely another favorite.

Megan and Cory, thank you so much for asking me to photograph your family again. It was a blast, and I hope you're as excited about the results as I am! Your kids are absolutely beautiful and so fun to be around. I look forward to watching them grow! Lots of love and appreciation! ~Kris

Show Comments

Brown Eyed Girl 04.10.09

My third shoot on Saturday was for my friend Trish, her husband Ryan, and their beautiful new baby girl, Carson, who is 9 months old. This was the first time I had met Carson, and wow is she pretty! Pretty AND a camera ham -- such a perfect combination. We did the shoot at their home in NOVA, both indoors and out, and Carson did great. She even lasted through like 4 outfit changes! :)

Meet my friend Trish and her beautiful family.

We started the shoot in Carson's room, and she was really giving out the smiles.

Isn't she just gorgeous!

This one is my favorite. Way way way too cute.

And I love her smile in this one. I was getting so many cute expressions from her that it was hard to choose just one for the blog.

After playing in her room, Carson put on her pretty green dress and played with some of her favorite toys. Again, her expressions are priceless!

What a dollbaby! I feel like this could be an ad for Fisher Price! Trish - your color choices were fabulous! Notice how I'm blogging all color images except the one black & white above.

My favorite close up. Look at those big brown eyes!

I can't believe we got Carson to look back at us and smile so that we could show her cute little bloomers!

Then we ventured outside and got some portraits...

Some candids...

And one of my favorite family shots ever. Carson really does love the camera, and it loves her too!

Thanks again for asking me to photograph your family Trish & Ryan! It was so good to see you and to finally meet Carson! Happy Easter! Love, Kris

Show Comments

Sweet Little Ella 04.08.09

My second shoot of the day on Saturday was a sort of mini-session for my friend and college roommate, Alanna, her husband Jeff, and their beautiful new baby girl, Ella, who is 3 months old. I couldn't fit them in for a full session, so they came to Chrissy's house (see previous blog), and we spent about 20 minutes shooting in hopes of getting just a few good images. And wow did we ever! Now I really can't wait for the time I get to do a full session with their beautiful family!

So the last time I photographed Alanna, it was at her baby shower this past fall. She was totally glowing then...

And she is totally glowing now. She and Jeff are the cutest new parents, and Ella is just breathtaking.

My favorite picture. I could look at it all day. What a beauty! And I just have to say for the record, I don't enhance eyes in Photoshop. Ella's eyes really are that amazing, and of course really good natural light helps too.

Alanna wanted to make sure we captured some of Ella's little features, like her feet....

And her hands. So precious.

Yeah, glowing is an understatement. Just look at this picture. Serious wow. Alanna and Jeff, becoming a parent is the best gift in life, and words really can't express how happy I am for you. Thanks for asking me to capture this little piece of "D" family history. It was definitely an honor. XOXO Elmendorf (And PS to Mull, thank you again for letting us use your house and yard! You're the best!)

Show Comments

Ben is a Big Brother! 04.07.09

This past weekend, I traveled down to DC/Northern VA to visit friends and do 6 family photoshoots. What a way to kick off my busy season! It was a blast, and the shoots couldn't have gone better, other than the one I had to cancel on the spot due to high winds. I've never had to cancel a shoot for the wind before, but it was REALLY bad, and I didn't think my clients wanted to look like an 80s rock band in their pictures, so we're going to do it another time, maybe up here in PA... :-).

Anyway, onto my first shoot. On Saturday morning, I started my weekend with my beautiful friend from college, Chrissy, her husband Rob, and their two adorable boys, Ben and Zach. If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you will probably recognize Ben. This is one of my favorite images of him from their family lifestyle session last September...
Northern VA Lifestyle Photography

And here he is now. Ben is 4 1/2 years old and is cute beyond words.
Northern VA Lifestyle Photography

He really loves his Mommy.

He totally adores his Daddy.

And he is completely smitten with his new baby brother, Zach, who is just 4 months old.

Really though, how could anyone not be enamored by him?!? With those big blue eyes...

And that gorgeous little smile.

Despite having his 4-month shots the day before, Zach was making my job so easy! By the way, isn't this the coolest color for a nursery?!

I really love this one of Ben. Between his soccer t-shirt, his smile, and the sense of motion (notice his blurred foot and ball), I think it's so fun!

Rob had to take Ben to hockey practice during the second half of our shoot, so we did a few more with Dad and Baby Zach...

And then I got to focus on Chrissy and her new little love.

Zach was getting tired, but I'm glad we tried a few more minutes or I never would have captured these cute little stretches!

Then we really decided to push our luck, heading outside for just a couple more. So glad we did!

It may be cliche, but babies really do bring such laughter to life.

Congratulations again Chrissy, Rob, and big brother Ben! I'm so glad I was able to do another shoot for you and to meet precious little Zach. Hope you like these as much as I do! XOXO Kris

Show Comments