engagement photographs

Heather and John {Engagement} -- Silly Adventures in Wilkes-Barre, PA

I love a lot of things that came into play while exploring the nearby city of Wilkes-Barre PA last week with Heather and John -- obvious affection, lots of laughter and an adorable puppy. I have had a blast with this young, fun couple since we first talked about their Sept. 2015 wedding a couple of months ago. John asked great questions during a phone interview and apparently was impressed by me! He told Heather, "We don't have to look any further, I found our photographer." How awesome is that?! And then when I met with Heather at a nearby coffee place, we happened to pick a night with a slew of fire trucks on display, free ice cream and long lines weaving around costumed walking coffee cups. We laughed a lot and just really hit it off.

So this past weekend, we captured some love and laughter at three locations -- a riverside park along the Susquehanna, the campus of Wilkes University and then at nearby Kirby Park and it's dyke path.

Heather and John had a lot of ideas for outfits and props and posing but were equally flexible and open-minded with my suggestions.

Heather's ring is gorgeous, yet it was almost overshadowed by their new puppy named .. wait for it... Captain Bacon! (And he even has his own hashtag!)

I hope you can feel the fun in these photos! I can't wait to see them surrounded by their loved ones in just a few months for their wedding. I have no doubt I'll be smiling the entire time!

Heather and John

Engagement Session 7-3-15; Online Gallery delived 7-8-15

Location: River Common Park, WIlkes University, Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre PA

Wedding: 9-19-15

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!

Ben & Megan {Engagement} -- An outdoor engagement session in Central Pennsylvania with Wendy Zook Photography

A lot of things have to happen in order to create a flawless, magical engagement session. And boy did the stars align on Saturday!

Equipment. Check! It was my first opportunity to use only my three favorite prime lenses and no zooms and I was SO pleased with the results. Sharper, in-focus images with beautiful bokeh.

Location. Yup! We used Ben's family farm (Picture field of wildflowers and tall grass perched on top of a mountain overlooking rolling hills of green as far as the eye can see), and two waterways nearby that had particular importance to Ben and Megan's relationship (like near the place where he proposed!). OH, and my apologies to the owner of the field on the drive to the reservoir. See, we were driving by and almost all three of us yelled to stop at the same time. You know you have magic then!

Weather. Partly sunny skies leading into a golden sunset. No one had to squint and there was no harsh light to deal with! The temperature was rather comfortable, too!

A cooperative groom. Um, yep! Ben actually suggested the first spot as we walked towards the aforementioned field on a mountain. His idea of a large apple tree was the perfect place to start! He was such a good sport, though -- jumping in a creek with cowboy boots still on and driving his brand new (like hours old!) truck down dirt roads!

A beautiful bride-to-be. Whoa. Megan is stunning, but she's radiant inside and outside. Her eyes are so gorgeous, she greeted me with a giant hug and she thanked me at least a thousand times. I loved her outfit choices and she looked like a model!

Authentic love. This is the most important part. Couples can be stressed from a busy day or from planning, can be self-conscious or feel unphotogenic. But you know what? None of that matters if you keep them comfortable and just let their love shine through above everything else. There are some beautiful catchlights in their eyes and mouth-dropping vistas in so many photos, but my favorite ones are where love is in the foreground. The way she looks at him... the goosebumps from listening to him tell the story of how they met... the kindness to each other.

Ben and Megan are getting married in November and I can't wait to get more time with them and capture more of their love story.

Portage, PA -- May 9, 2015

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!

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.

untitled shoot-002

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!

Valentine's Specials

There are only six weeks until Valentine's Day! We just got through Christmas and New Year's Day and, if you're like me, the holiday decorations are just coming down and I am just catching up on unpacking and laundry and organization. But, before you know it, it's going to be time to recognize the significant others (or just some super-special people in your life) and we all know chocolate doesn't always win for most romantic gift.

So why not the gift of memories, captured by me?!

Wendy Zook Photography is offering not one, not two but THREE amazing promotions!

Pick the one that most suits your needs and wants and contact me ASAP before space and time both run out!

1. Boudoir Special This is a fun (no, really, I promise!) two-hour session at a private location with multiple outfits, props, etc. We will create a 10x10 album of at least 20 classy edited photos showing you at your sexiest to present to your significant other for a wedding day surprise, anniversary or Valentine's present. Cost: $125 (Must book by Jan. 15 and session must take place by Feb. 1)

2. Lovey-dovey mini-sessions This is a 45-minute session to take place at the location of your choosing. Great for gifts or for updating the portraits on your wall, you'll receive an online gallery of at least 20 photos plus FIVE complimentary 5x7s or THREE 8x10 prints. Cost: $95 (Must book by Jan. 15 and session must take place by Feb. 14)

3. Single and Super! So you're not taken? No problem! Grab a friend, grab your sisters, grab your pet pooch or any other loved one and enjoy a fun and easy 45-minute session at the location of your choosing, plus an online gallery of at least 20 carefully-edited portraits to view and order. Cost: $75 (Must book by Jan. 15 and session must take place by Feb. 28)

I can't wait to capture some love and joy these next six weeks!

untitled shoot-190

untitled shoot-071

A & G (engagement)

It's not very often as a photographer that you're able to watch a future client/couple in real life before you're even hired. With Andy and Gina, though, I knew there was going to be a ring before she did! (Well, OK, I'm sure she had a hunch, but still...!) You see, I was the Maid of Honor at Andy's sister's October wedding, and while we were talking, Andy told me he was going to propose to Gina soon and he wanted me to photograph an engagement session.

I remember watching the way he looked at her with such love as they spun around on the dance floor and I can still hear her laughter at something he said to make her smile. I knew they were the epitome of love and I was keeping my fingers crossed that I would indeed be able to attempt to capture some of their story with my camera.

Fast forward two months to a chilly night at Peddlers' Village, New Hope, Pennsylvania, with a giant, gorgeous ring on Gina's left hand and a lot more of their laughter in the air.

Gina and I had shared ideas together on Pinterest, which is a huge help in making sure the photographer and the client are on the same page. (We even incorporated her love of running and the fact that he proposed at the end of a race into our session!) We had photos near a carousel, along quiet wintry paths, breaks along benches and inside of coffeehouses and so many "picture-perfect" stops in between.

I am so grateful for this time with Andy and Gina and look forward to watching more of their love story unfold.

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!