Archive for August, 2018


Mechanicsburg Central PA high school senior portrait photographer girl female water creek stream fence steps rocks porch stone wall brick wall gazebo allenberry boiling springs lake tree {Leah R.}


Transition Your Closet from Summer to Fall


I hate to be the bearer of bad news but, summer is flying by and fall is not far behind. If you’re a fashion junkie like me then you have probably been thinking about which fall trends you’re going to be stocking up on real soon! Well, give your wallets a break because here are some looks that you can transition from your summer wardrobe to give them that crisp, fall feel as the temperature begins to drop!


Denim skirts seem to always be apart of my favorite looks but don’t pack them away too soon! Pair a denim skirt with a chunky cable knit sweater for the perfect casual outfit!

I know you stocked up on tons of jumpsuits and rompers since they were the perfect staple to everyone’s closet this summer… And, good news, they’re not going anywhere just yet! Pair them with a sleek blazer or denim jacket to carry the style all through the trendy pumpkin patch pictures.

It seems like high-waisted denim shorts are here to stay! But, you can pair those same outfits with a perfect pair of high-waisted jeans to recreate the same look!     


As far as color goes, I have a feeling that your bold red styles will go perfectly with the changing leaves. As well as those chic all white outfits! It’s 2018, who says you can’t wear white after labor day?










Now onto accessories… Keep your silk neck scarves close by because they are great for a cool night out. Pro tip: tie them on the handle of your leather tote for a pop of fabric.


Fall is one of my favorite seasons because it is the perfect time for fashion. You can wear adorable outfits without worrying about the heat, and it’s all about layering with style before you break out your puffy parkas. Grab a pumpkin spice latte and show off your style this fall without breaking the bank.

Mechanicsburg Central PA high school senior portrait photographer male guy formal headshot rustic bridge water creek stream covered bridge wooden beams trinity baseball glove hat bat field diamond {Luke P.}


Mechanicsburg Central PA high school senior portrait photographer girl female water creek stream waterfall fence field sunset rocks mother brother pillar porch {Averi T.}


Summer is almost over, soak up what is left!

08.28.18 Families, My Kids

As summer begins to unwind and life gets back to the steady routine of school and work. Shorter days will soon be here, the leaves will soon start to change and the days will turn colder. I can’t help but reflect on the beautiful (but rainy) summer of 2018. I spent most of the summer trying to find balance between work and play. I spent my weeks and weekends photographing all the weddings, families and high school Seniors. Yay for the Class of 2019. I spent time trying to soak up as much of what makes summer wonderful. Pool days, hiking, camping, time drinking coffee on my porch with my pup, all the sun filled runs with my girls. Our family concluded summer with a wonderful trip north to Lake Placid NY, Burlington VT and then a week in Madison NH. We spent days hiking the 2 highest peaks in New York and New Hampshire, gazing at waterfalls. scraping my shins as we descended. My favorite part was the slow pace of less technology and more time with family. Wishing to bring some of this into the school year.

Here is to wishing you all a fabulous (soon to be) fall! A post wouldn’t be a post without a picture, here is one from my family vacation!
Love, Elaine

Mechanicsburg Central PA high school senior portrait photographer girl female road stone wall brick wall doorway allenberry resort city urban {Jensen H.}


The Lodge at Liberty Forge Wedding Photographer Mechanicsburg PA The Altland House Psycho Cupcakes Blooms by Vickrey Chelsea Nolan Salt Salon Men’s Wearhouse {Lauren & Mark}

08.24.18 Weddings

Lauren & Mark

How they met:

Mark & Lauren knew each other for years before they fell in love. They both worked at Pizza Hut where Lauren was a server and he was a delivery driver. At first, they were just friends. Since Mark was 5 years older than her, there was no love interest at first. As Lauren and Mark made their way through college, they realized that their relationship could be more than “Just friends.” Mark offered to take Lauren out to lunch, and soon after they started dating. Just a few months into dating, Mark and Lauren both knew that they were meant to be together. He actually introduced Lauren to his Mom by saying “This is the girl I’m going to marry, as long as she lets me!” (What he didn’t know was she already knew she was going to say yes) After about a year of dating, they decided to buy a house and move in together.


How he Asked, The Proposal:

At this point, they had already talked about getting married, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise when he proposed. One day, Mark took Lauren to the Senator’s game (telling her that his company invited them). She suspected that he might propose, but she wasn’t positive. When the kiss cam came on during the middle of the game, there was a camera right in front of them. He got down on one knee and proposed in front of the entire crowd. He then said, “Let’s take a walk.” They got up walked around a corner, and there was all of her family and friends who watched the proposal on the big screen. Lauren couldn’t help but shed a few tears of joy.


Wedding Planning:

It took them about a year to plan their wedding. About a week after the proposal Lauren and her mom started looking for at venues. She immediately fell in love with The Lodge at Liberty Forge. She really enjoyed working with Tad from Liberty Forge. She knew that she wanted Bri from Salt Salon to do her hair.  When she met with Elaine, she recommended Chelsea Nolan for makeup. Chelsea and Bri did an amazing job! Mark’s brother is a DJ, so he was an obvious choice. Tad also recommended Caleb Stelle and his string trio to play for the ceremony! They were an amazing addition to her wedding. As for the wedding cake, she decided to go with Psycho Cupcakes.  All of her guests were raving about how tasty the cake and cupcakes were! For the flowers, she used Blooms by Vickry and they did a fantastic job. She used Zola and Wedding Wire to help her stay organized throughout the planning.


Advice for a new bride:

The main piece of advice she would give a new bride is don’t sweat the little things. Hair, makeup, cake, music, food, etc. All of this stuff really doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is you are going to spend the rest of your life with someone you love. Lauren remembers when she went to do her hair trial a few weeks before the wedding. Her hair stylist asked her if she was nervous. She replied, “I don’t really care about all that stuff, the only thing I care about is that my fiancée shows up!” Lauren’s mom would get annoyed with her because she didn’t care about pleasing anyone. She was as far away from a bridezilla as you can get! So with that being said, don’t worry about every little thing that comes along with planning a wedding. Just have fun and enjoy your day!



The wedding was perfect. Everything went as planned and she couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out. She is loving married life! The thing Lauren loves most about Mark is that he is very supportive. She is now starting her own business which is a huge risk, but Mark is 100% on board. Lauren says he will also do absolutely anything for her, and she would do the same for him. She asked Mark what he loves most about her, and he said “Well, obviously your gorgeous!”. She laughed and told him to dig deeper. He said that he loves her personality because they are so similar and always on the same page.


Cheers Lauren & Mark. Wishing you years of happiness and love!!

Thanks to all the fabulous vendors who helped make this wedding so amazing!

Photographer: Elaine Gates Photography

Reception: The Lodge at Liberty Forge

Ceremony Site: The Lodge at Liberty Forge

Wedding Coordinator: Tad Cruise

Ceremony Music: Caleb Stelle

Caterer: The Altland House

Officiant: Lindsey Melnick

Cake: Psycho Cupcakes

Florist: Blooms by Vickrey

DJ/Band: MacGyver Frank

Stationary/Invitations: Etsy / CCPrints by Tabitha

Makeup: Chelsea Nolan

Hair: Salt Salon (Brianna England)

Tuxedos / Men Suits: Men’s Wearhouse

Engagement / Wedding Rings: Kay Jewelers


How To Thrive In Your First Year of College

08.23.18 Uncategorized

Dear Rising College Freshman,


First, congratulations! Graduating high school is a crazy thing and essentially ushers you into your next journey of life: adulthood. Whether you are moving far away or staying local, college brings about many changes in your life. Personally, I am attending James Madison University and entering my senior year. There is a lot I have learned about myself through these three amazing years. There are a few things I believe that every freshman should know in order to thrive during your first year of college:


Place yourself on a schedule:

High school is much different than college. In high school, your schedule is set for you. Essentially with transportation that takes up 40 hours a week! In college, if you take a typical credit load that only adds up to 15 hours. What it boils down to is that you have so much free time on your hands. If you are not careful, you can end up wasting this time away! A good way around this is to put yourself on a set schedule. You can factor in professor’s office hours, study time, class, and of course time for some fun! Just being on a schedule and holding yourself accountable. This is my recipe for success.


Get to know your professors:

Don’t believe everything your high school teachers have told you about college professors. Sadly there are some professors that are rude and unbearable, but a lot of professors are really nice! That is why it is so important for you to get to know your professors. Most want to see their students thrive and succeed both inside and outside of the classroom. Some professors actually beg for students to come visit them during office hours. That is how much they want to help you in every way possible. Just always remember, a professor’s job is to help you succeed.


Meet as many people as possible:

College is just such a unique place, however everyone there has at least one thing in common: to advance their education. That is part of the reason it is a great idea to try to meet people not only in your dorm but also across majors and years. A great way people do this is by getting involved in various clubs, greek life, and/or volunteering. You will meet your greatest of friends this way and make lifelong connections that you will cherish forever.


It’s okay to take breaks:

The biggest thing for me is knowing when I need to relax. Especially during exam week or that final week before a massive project is due, it is very typical to see me more than stressed out. I have learned through my three years at JMU that I need to walk away and just take a few minutes to an hour break every once and awhile. For me at least, if I don’t walk away, I end up just getting frustrated. Just a few minutes is enough time to clear your head and allow yourself a fresh perspective on whatever the challenge is.


And finally……

Call your family:

They will appreciate this more than you can ever imagine. Plus, they may even send you care packages (which are the best).

I hope your first year is full of success, bliss, and memories. Don’t let your first year go to waste; enjoy every last minute.

~Morgan Cunningham

James Madison University Class of 2019

Marketing & Social Media

Mechanicsburg Central PA baby portrait photographer boy blanket knit hat mom dad mother father son sleeping winnie the pooh foot toes {Laura B.}

08.22.18 NEWBORNS & Babies

Mechanicsburg Central PA baby photographer one year old standing walking grass boy chair stone wall {Liya H.}

08.20.18 NEWBORNS & Babies