Lackawanna County photographer

Boho Bridal Shower {Styled Shoot} -- Part Two

Yesterday, I shared some of my favorite images of the details of our boho-themed bridal shower styled shoot -- the food, candles, table set-up and all of the fun decorations and favors. Today, it's all about the models! This part of the shoot is where I am most in my comfort zone and at my happiest behind my camera. As fun as a creative detail shot like ring close-ups or flowers can be, capturing a story -- friendship or family or a love story -- is what brings me greatest joy!

We had eight female models who portrayed our bridal shower attendees at various stations along our shoot and then one of the ladies and her boyfriend who were not only SO cute but also SO in love! They braved a super-quick rain shower right before sunset photos and were patient as three photographers directed them towards their own styles. Me? I love a good romantic, fun shot. If there's a serious face, my camera might get sad, haha!

So, we created a calm, fun, laid-back atmosphere and we tried not to make any photograph too boring, slow-paced or uninteresting. Conversations, questions and always planning your next move while working out your current one make the entire process a little easier for everyone involved.

Enjoy the photos and please check out the amazing vendors who shared their talents, time, space and love with me this week! And a very big thank-you to our fantastic models!

Patchwork Planning {Planner}  Forget Me Not Vintage Inc {Rentals & Styling}  Monzie's Floral Design {Flowers}  Peculiar Culinary {Desserts} Woven the Shop {Dreamcatchers} The Hunter Collection {Pillows}  The Post Home and Body {Soap Favors} Christine Conrad {Jewelry}  Make Pie Not War {Rings} Thrift Store Decor {Candles} Ryan Kenton {DJ}  The Dusty Daisy Shop {Feather Name Cards and Driftwood Decoration} Momental Designs {Invitation Kit} TattooByYou {Tattoos} Confeteti Warehouse/Lavender Linens {Linens} Jammin Barefoot (Karen) {Jamberry Favor} Erica {makeup}

Wendy also worked with some FANTASTIC photographers, including: Kelley Spurlock Photography / Elizabeth Lilly Photography / Chelsey Travelpiece / Photography by Seneca -- thank you for sharing your talent and many, many laughs!

*Special thanks to Mandy and Doug Chapman, for allowing us to use their property and disrupt their lives for a few days! Your family is beautiful and we are all so grateful to you.

You can see more images, including behind-the-scenes snapshots at WZP Instagram and WZP Facebook!

Boho Bridal Shower {Styled Shoot} - Part One -- The Details

Sometimes, when all of the T's are crossed and I's are dotted, and a group of amazing creatives gather together and rainclouds hold off, magic happens. When models are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside and everything around you inspires you, special moments are captured. Such was the case with a styled boho-themed bridal shower shoot that took place earlier this week. Led by Candice of Patchwork Planning and Renee of Forget Me Not Vintage Rentals and Styling, our images now inspire others!

We were surrounded by the most beautiful color palette -- pinks and greens with a touch of whimsy --  and the most beautiful textures -- woven vibrant rugs and decorative dreamcatchers, lace dresses and floral crowns. Fabulous food with even more delicious displays and the blingiest chandeliers ever!

Tomorrow, I'll highlight some of my favorite moments between our models -- a group of eight lovely ladies (and one handsome guy!) near a fabric teepee, enjoying a delightful dinner set-up, wrapped up in a sunset in a field and more. Today's blog, however, is showing off all of the tiny little details that helped create a one-of-a-kind atmosphere.

I'm going to let the images tell the story, but please take a moment to acquaint yourself with the terrific vendors I've listed below!

All photos taken with my Nikon D700, switching up between my 24mm/50mm (with and without macro filters) and 85mm.

Patchwork Planning {Planner}  Forget Me Not Vintage Inc {Rentals & Styling}  Monzie's Floral Design {Flowers}  Peculiar Culinary {Desserts} Woven the Shop {Dreamcatchers} The Hunter Collection {Pillows}  The Post Home and Body {Soap Favors} Christine Conrad {Jewelry}  Make Pie Not War {Rings} Thrift Store Decor {Candles} Ryan Kenton {DJ}  The Dusty Daisy Shop {Feather Name Cards and Driftwood Decoration} Momental Designs {Invitation Kit} TattooByYou {Tattoos} Confeteti Warehouse/Lavender Linens {Linens} Jammin Barefoot (Karen) {Jamberry Favor}

Wendy also worked with some FANTASTIC photographers, including: Kelley Spurlock Photography / Elizabeth Lilly Photography / Chelsey Travelpiece / Photography by Seneca -- thank you for sharing your talent and many, many laughs!

*Special thanks to Mandy and Doug Chapman, for allowing us to use their property and disrupt their lives for a few days! Your family is beautiful and we are all so grateful to you.

You can see more images, including behind-the-scenes snapshots at WZP Instagram and WZP Facebook!

Hello, couples!

Is there love in the air or am I just on a chocolate high from my heart-shaped box of sweets? Definitely both!

If you are a recently-engaged couple, I want to be one of the first to wish you many, many congratulations! I'm so happy that you found me and this business I have built on passion and professionalism. I love photographing couples -- it's like hitting the pause button on different chapters of a love story.

I still remember the way everything felt when my now husband placed a diamond ring on my left hand. I cherish the photographs we had taken of us to capture that moment in time.

If you are recently engaged and looking for a wedding/engagement photographer, look no further! I still have several 2015 weekend dates available.

I'm also offering a special now through February 22nd! If you book by then, you'll receive 20% (yes, TWENTY! One-fifth!) off of my two highest wedding packages! This is an amazing deal!

Reach out to me on Facebook, Instagram or by e-mail (wendyzookphotography@gmail.com) and let's make plans to capture your love story! Congratulations, lovebirds!

Ashley is beautiful (glamour/senior portraits)

While family was out visiting our home the other day, I picked up my Nikon and grabbed my niece and we disappeared for a few minutes taking photos and having Girl Talk. Like most teenagers, my niece's Instagram account is covered in selfies and, again like most teenagers, she looks in the mirror and picks apart her flaws far before anything she loves about herself.

So I told her to put on her makeup and trust me and away we went!

In her first couple of minutes, just like many of my clients, Ashley was a bit too aware of herself and questioning every position. But barely a block away from the house, the comfort and trust settled in and she let down her guard. I loved seeing her sassy side and her goofy side. She started to get excited about different backdrops and poses and I think we were both sad to see my house come back into view.

I might be biased, but I think there is a beautiful young lady peeking out from her shell.

The other side of the camera (Who is Wendy?)

I've been so overjoyed meeting new friends recently, thanks to the only-slightly-creepy world of social media and following and being followed by amazing peers and neighbors and everyone in between, that I thought I should do a post all about me. OK, that sounds a bit narcissistic, but consider it a "hello" more than anything else. Even if you've trusted me with capturing a memory in the past, I trust that we will meet again and I think it's important to know who's behind the camera.

Speaking of behind the camera, I found myself on the OTHER side of the camera recently during my mentorship with Hope Taylor Photography and Ms. Hope captured my awkward, uncomfortable self with great skill and a keen eye and transformed me into something worthy of a headshot! Haha! So clients, don't worry, I completely understand what it's like to have someone putting you in angles that maybe don't make sense in the moment because chances are something great is happening and you are going to be very pleasantly surprised.

View More: http://hopetaylorphotographyphotos.pass.us/wendy-headshots

So, hello! Who the heck is this Wendy Zook?

First and foremost, I'm Momma to Zack and Addie. Because of Zack, I am a lover of hugs, sloppy kisses and advocacy for Down Syndrome. Because of Addie, I am a lover of coffee, imagination and colors.

My husband bought me my first "serious" camera in the weeks after our son was born. Two years later, a friend needed a last-minute wedding photographer and the adrenaline, creativity and fun I felt in that day led to part-time pursuing of photography opportunities.

After leaving my full-time job one year ago, I began to dedicate time to Wendy Zook Photography. 2014 was about training and learning and reinventing myself and my passion. 2015 will be about even more incredible things. My hope is that in December we can all look back on this post and this moment I'm freezing in time and shake our heads with how far I've come and how far WZP has journeyed in just a few months.

I am an old soul trapped in a young heart.

I love classic films and current chick flicks but would rather have the radio on (Van Morrison on Pandora lately) or a book on my lap than see a TV on in the room. I wear ballet flats every chance I get and have a silly amount of shoes that look very much alike.

I love it when I capture a story with my photographs. Two people in love strolling through Christmas lights weeks after their engagement. A groom fighting tears as he watches his bride walk towards him. A new business professional finding himself. A woman who feels like a princess for the first time in her life. A woman discovering her sexy side after a boudoir session.

There is adrenaline and emotion (I'm probably crying behind the camera during your vows) in every session I do and I care about each client like a friend.

Aside from my family, photography is what brings me great joy.

It's been a slow journey, but it is a great adventure. And I'm glad you're along for the ride.

Mentoring with Hope Taylor

If you want to be the best, you have to learn from the best.And the lovely, lively Hope Taylor of Fredericksburg, Va., is one of the best in the future of photography. Her use of style and keen fashion sense plus a consistent beautiful golden light in all of her photos is going to take her so far. I was beyond blessed to have spent a day with her, soaking in all of her ideas, watching her in her happy place behind the camera and starting a very long list of things I am excited to do with Wendy Zook Photography.

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Hope reminds me of why I love photography. It's not just the fun hobby or even the occasional paycheck I get to bring to the family; it's about capturing moments and telling stories.

I am so excited to do many great things with WZP in 2015. My mentoring session with Hope is just the beginning. She has given me tools, but more importantly, confidence, encouragement, support and empowerment.

Below are some of my favorite moments from my day of braving the "cold" (those Southerners thought 40 degrees was chilly!), putting it all together and taking those very first steps in the very awesome direction of my future and my potential. Morgan and Johnny are a young couple who are so in love. They are just smitten with each other and it's incredible to watch. It doesn't just stop when the cameras go down. They were so patient with Hope and I talking technical jargon about ISOs and aperture and wide-open lenses.

And the Fredericksburg area is so lovely! This amazing and historic town with tons of character just comes out of nowhere as you travel down a quiet highway for a couple of miles. We did photographs at a Civil War battlefield site, an old silk mill, a gorgeous field draped in ivy and golden sunbeams and then caught a sunset at a nearby railroad station. Amazing!

I'll begin sharing some new things soon, so stay tuned! Make sure to check out this page to catch the last few days of my Valentines' specials!

Sara's Seasons Greetings!

On a bitterly cold morning along the Susquehanna River, a very brave and very beautiful little girl forgot about everything but being a perfect model!

Little Sara and her mom joined me in Wilkes-Barre for some photos for their Christmas cards and of course, treasured memories!

Sara rocked two gorgeous outfits, some sweet blonde curls, big bright eyes and just the right amount of sass! We talked Frozen princesses and mischievous Elf on the Shelf friends!

Sara's mom thanked me recently for capturing their love and these memories, and that was far greater an honor than any order or recommendation. I love what I do -- freezing time (even in freezing temperatures!) and showing emotions and stories.

Sara and her family will have some great Christmas cards, a custom-made large-sized collage of some favorite photos and a whole lot of memories. We've already booked a Spring session together and I am already looking forward to more time with this great model!

Merry Christmas, Sara and Mom!

Fall, Photos, Families... and what's coming up!

Last weekend, Wendy spent time on a beautiful Autumn afternoon photographing two special families. The "E" family -- two young girls, a teenage son and Mom and Dad, are the epitome of beautiful inside and out -- they are constantly giving back to their community and instantly create a positive, upbeat atmosphere. I so enjoyed my time at their property and appreciated their patience and hospitality. An excited pup followed us around (and joined in some pictures!); the youngest girl was a model in the making; the older girl was quiet with a gorgeous smile; son was so cooperative in what is clearly not a dream afternoon for a teenage boy; and mom and dad looked like they were newlyweds or even dating!

The "A" family met me at the public squares of a nearby downtown where Mr. R, almost two years old, let me play in the leaves with him and bask in some great late afternoon sunshine. Nothing puts a smile on a little boy's face quite like a goofy photographer with a dancing leaf on her head! I love it when parents put their trust in me even when I know they're worried we're not getting any shots because of a running and exploring toddler -- we wound up with some GREAT final shots of R's blue eyes.

I had rented a beautiful lens for these sessions and I'm so excited to share that Santa is bringing me not only me very own version of this lens, but also an INCREDIBLE new camera body! My future sessions will have not only my practice and trainings and experience, but now also some really amazing technology behind it!

I have several sessions in the rest of November and then December and am still booking weddings for Spring, Summer and Fall of 2015!

AND THAT'S NOT ALL! At the end of this month, I am doing an entire day of mentoring with a very talented, very stylish photographer named Hope Taylor. (You MUST check her out HERE!) We've got some models lined up and I have a list of questions for her. I'll have new head shots and most definitely, new enthusiasm, passion and ideas! I can't wait to start yet another exciting chapter with YOU! Let's get together in 2015 and capture some life moments!

Without further ado, some Fall Family photos to brighten your Monday!

Autumn Engagement (McKenna & Kyle -- and Wyatt!)

I was on my way to an engagement session with one of my 2015 wedding couples recently and while enjoying some country music in the car and a rainbow to my right, I knew it was going to be a special morning. McKenna and Kyle and their son Wyatt celebrated their love on a beautiful Fall morning -- crisp and a little drizzle here and there, but nothing was going to dampen their day.

We were so fortunate in that we didn't even have to stray off of their property to enjoy some great backdrops -- barns and farm buildings of all different textures, a wooden rail fence, a calming creek and of course tons of Fall foliage.

Wyatt was a ham and Kyle was a good sport and really, when your groom starts coming up with fun and creative ideas during the session, you know you've made him feel comfortable!

I am so looking forward to their wedding next year. I know their rustic touches and fun, laid-back personalities will shine through and I'm so grateful to have been chosen to be a part of their journey!

Witches & Wine (special events)

Wendy recently was invited to take part in a charity fundraiser for the Luzerne County Dress for Success. The event, called Witches & Wine, was held at the Woodlands Inn and featured about 40 vendors from all different areas (food stuff, crafts, jewelry, clothing, makeup, etc) and hundreds of women behind and in front of the tables dressed up in costume! It was a fun event for sure and I felt so incredibly welcome -- a blessing when you're new in town! -- and met several great ladies I hope to call friends.

I've already been invited back to next year's event and you better believe I'll be there -- with camera and witch's hat!

(Check out their FaceBook page HERE.)

Do you have a special event coming up soon? Do you need a photographer to donate time to help publicize your hard work and capture some images for future use? E-mail me today!

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Giving back

Community service and volunteerism has always been important to me. We're only given one community, one world -- when given the chance, I feel we should do our small part to make it better or richer in some way. Wendy Zook Photography will be represented at two events on opposite sides of the Commonwealth this weekend!

On Friday, Oct. 17, there is a fantastic event -- the 2nd Annual Witches & Wine event at the Woodlands Inn in Luzerne County. The event, 6-9 p.m., has raffles (including a complimentary session from me!), swag bags (they look AMAZING), and, best of all -- I'll be photographing the whole thing! I can't wait to capture some images of dressed-up attendees, excited winners and just a special event with all proceeds benefiting the Luzerne County Dress for Success.

I'll be creating an online photo album of photos from the night, so e-mail me your contact information if you'd like to view this!

Then, on Sunday, there will be a Multi-Vendor Bingo event at Memorial Park in Martinsburg, Blair County, PA. I'll be there in spirit, but my businesses will be there in the form of a complimentary photo session and $100 worth of Mary Kay goodies! All proceeds go towards the park, which is an incredible and invaluable place for our community and our family. Zack and Addie and their friends had a hundred playdates on that playground and Zack went to a special-needs classroom on property. The public library and a bowling alley are there, too.

Both are great events with important causes -- and a bit of WZP, too! :-)

(Another exciting event this weekend? I'm photographing my latest 2015 wedding couple for their engagement session -- and I am SO excited!)

Stay tuned for photos from Witches & Wine and my engagement session!

Have a great weekend!

Introducing... (new photo session option)

Over the past few months, I've had the opportunity to photograph a couple of boudoir sessions. Right now, you're either picking your jaw up off of the ground or you're scratching your head in confusion.

"Boudoir" comes from an old-timer description of a woman's sitting/dressing room or sleeping quarters. Nowadays, boudoir photography consists of a session wherein a woman wears whatever she feels sexy in (lingerie, an old T-shirt, heels, you name it, it can be done. It's all about the feeling of sexiness, which is different for everyone). It can take place in a bedroom or hotel room and, at least with Wendy Zook Photography, is done tastefully and comfortably.

Boudoir sessions with WZP typically last 1-2 hours and cost the same as any other standard sitting fee. We do 3-4 different outfits. It's all about creating fun shapes with your body -- standing, laying down, sitting, etc. I can provide make-up samples and tips ahead of time for hair, outfits and location.

It's all about a comfort thing, so we'll make it as fun as possible.

Boudoir sessions will get you an album of about 20 photos to present to your significant other for your wedding day, anniversary, birthday or just because!

I will never publish photos from these sessions in any online format, so contact me for more information or for samples.

This is an exciting new route for my photography and I hope to have you join me on this adventure!

Megan & Joe (Wedding)

Megan and Joe are a dream to work with if you're a wedding photographer. Let's ignore the blatantly obvious fact that they are both gorgeous people inside and out and let's focus on their love and their beautiful day.

I loved that when I first met these two lovebirds that they were so easy to talk to and share ideas back and forth; it was like hanging out with old friends. They have been organized and stuck to their vision every step of the way.

Their wedding day, honestly, was one of the most special ones I've ever been a part of (no, seriously). Whether their own vows they wrote and read to each other (Joe's actually had grown men tearing up in the church) or the never-ending laughs and smiles from the entire bridal party, it was so much fun and so sweet. Their love is undeniable.

We took a small risk in creating a no-look First Look-type picture. (Without seeing each other, Megan and Joe met on a corner of two walls and held hands and talked for a few moments before the ceremony.) I'm so glad we went through with it as it was a couple of minutes of pure emotion. They joked ("So, you still want to go through with this?") and they both dabbed moist eyes (It's amazing what a simple "I love you" means to two soulmates on such a day). I loved that moment.

In between the ceremony and reception, the bridal party stopped at Megan's mom's nearby property to take photos. It was gorgeous! Rolling hills and so much green around us on what was a fantastic day, weather-wise, too. Megan and Joe were not afraid to walk through some wildflowers or sit on the grass in order to grab a couple of really beautiful images.

Below are a few of my favorite shots. Do you have a favorite?

Megan and Joe, thank you, truly, for allowing me the absolute honor in sharing in your day and in the beginning of your marriage. You are the epitome of true love, beauty, fun and joy.

Megan & Joe 8-16-14 Bedford County, PA

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Blue eyes x2

A last-minute photo session, again in my backyard, captured the gorgeous greens of our surroundings alongside two siblings who have quite possibly the brightest, bluest eyes my camera has ever seen.

This is a very special family and I was so honored to have their time, patience, cooperation and pure joy in my world for a short while.

And now, may I present, Cora and Wyatt, both celebrating birthdays!

PS -- Accepting sessions for July 22, 24, 25 and Aug.8 and 15 in the Blair/Bedford areas!

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