Winter Mini’s | Friendship Hill, PA


 

 

Happy Blog day! I hadn’t had a chance to share all the wonderful images I had the opportunity to capture this winter during the winter mini sessions. We hadn’t yet experienced all the crazy snow this area has experienced this year, but we did capture gorgeous photos of some cute little ones. CHP will be offering the Mini Sessions again next year. Also, I am looking to add one other mini session this spring to support a local charity.

Big thanks to all of the wonderful families I had the chance to capture during mini sessions. I had the opportunity to catch up with some fellow photographers, meet some new families, and meet some new friends. Fun fact, out of the families below, three families feature fellow photographers and there are four photographers in total below. It is always such a pleasure capturing other photographers’ families. So often, we forget to be on the other side of the camera.

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Happy March!


Its been way too long since we’ve had a new blog post! That’s partially because life is crazy as always but also because I’ve been working on new ideas, new branding, and meeting with clients for this upcoming wedding season!

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and that everyone’s New Year has been good to them thus far! This new year has bigger and better things in store for CHP. As always, if you aren’t improving and you aren’t chasing dreams, what are you doing? CHP has a new look and logo this year. Its cleaner and more minimalistic which fits my shooting style better than the old. CHP is booking weddings and has a great year lined up so far as well. I’ve been busy coming up with some wonderful gifts for these amazing clients as well, and I have to admit, if you aren’t on that CHP wedding list yet, you are going to want to be at least for these special gifts. 😉

The Christmas mini sessions had such a great turn out that I’m hoping to add one other mini session to this year’s schedule as well as take on one charity mini session. CHP is hoping to do a mini session sometime this summer and have a percentage of the profits go to a non profit organization. I do have a few in mind, but I would love to hear from everyone with their suggestions as well.

Since February has come and gone, people have celebrated Valentine’s Day and such, the March promotion is $50 off all couple’s session fees! Contact me via email at hellenphotography@gmail.com to schedule your summer session. You are going to want to book as soon as possible because this summer, I will only be taking a limited number of sessions and weddings! Make sure you are one!

Kayla David | Senior Portraits in Uniontown, PA


When Alex booked her session, she mentioned her best friend would also be contacting me. In true best friend fashion, Alex and Kayla both chose the same photographer to capture their senior portraits. After capturing Alex’s senior portraits, I was very excited to meet her best friend, Kayla; after all, if Alex had such a great personality, her best friend Kayla had to as well.

When you meet Kayla, you can immediately tell she has a kind heart, has a soft spoken side, but loves to have fun. Kayla will be graduating from Albert Gallatin High School in Uniontown, PA this spring. Kayla participates in track at AG which is something I envy. There is no way track could have ever been my sport of choice–I’ll stick with softball. 😉  Kayla currently plans on studying nursing in college and is looking into Waynesburg University.

Kayla and I met at Ohiopyle National State Park for her senior portraits. The weather did not look promising as I waited for the session to begin. Although it looked like it could storm at any minute, we decided to shoot as much as possible and lucked out–no rain and a great cloudy evening! After walking around for a bit, I knew I had to convince her to get in the water to capture some gorgeous photos. I knew that getting her in the water for a few poses would create breathtaking portraits. I was happy to find that she did not need convincing at all. Kayla was up for anything and everything to capture the most perfect images for her senior portraits.

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Megan & Nick | Engagement Portraits in Morgantown, WV


Megan’s brother had set her up on countless blind dates–like most people, she was growing ridiculously tired of them. She agreed to go on one final blind date because her brother insisted that she would be perfect for Nick. While most people will say their relationship was “love at first site,” Megan & Nick like to describe their relationship as love at second or third.

When Megan & Nick were trying to describe how quickly they knew that they wanted to be together for the rest of their lives and how difficult this situation would be for others to understand, I assured them I completely understood. I’m a true believer that when you know, you know, whether that be immediately or a year later. At some point this realization hits you, and you understand and recognize it all at once.

The cheesy romantic in me loves hearing proposal stories, and I loved Megan & Nick’s. Nick, like the true gentleman he is, not only asked Megan’s parents for permission to have their daughter’s hand in marriage but had a custom engagement ring made just for her. This special engagement ring is made up of diamond and gold from both of their mother’s jewelry and Megan’s grandmother’s jewelry. I’m willing to bet that if you are a woman and you’re reading this, you’re either extremely jealous or teary eyed–but maybe that’s just me. 🙂 Not only did Nick go through all of this for the ring, but he slipped the ring on Megan’s finger while she was sleeping so she found it when she woke up!

These two love spending evenings driving around in Nick’s El Camino. When given this little bit of info, I knew we needed to incorporate this part of their relationship into their engagement portraits. I am absolutely in love with their portraits. I feel like this session captured their personalities perfectly. There weren’t very many serious moments during their session because Nick has the ability to make Megan laugh at any given time making it very hard to believe he’s a law student; making each other laugh is a really special talent to have in a relationship. Most people would argue that laughter is necessary in a healthy, long lasting relationship.

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Crosby | Lifestyle Children’s Portraits in Uniontown, PA


The little kid in me can always enjoy a day at the park. Actually, its a little embarrassing how much my twenty three year old self would enjoy an evening on a swing set. After knowing that little secret, it should be no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed myself during the evening I spent chasing Crosby around the park.

There’s something so freeing to watching a little boy run wild on a playground with not a care in the world. Climbing up and down ladders, sliding down slides, and crawling through tunnels, you could see how much Crosby loved being able to be the little boy that he is. I love sessions like these. I had the opportunity to hang back and capture Crosby just the way he is. I helped him climb tires and hang on the monkey bars. I think we both enjoyed our time at the park together. It didn’t feel like work for me and I don’t think it felt like work for him either!

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Alexandria Siba | Senior Portraits in Uniontown, PA


 

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Alexandria for her senior portraits. We had discussed some locations and she mentioned a trail near her house. We ended up at Brown’s Trail which is the same location I shot Brianna and Cooper’s CHP Pup’s session. Its a great location to shoot and walk.

Alexandria is a senior at Albert Gallatin High School where she runs track and is preparing to graduation to continue her education at either WVU or Penn State for nursing. Alex, her mom, and I spent about an hour walking, shooting, and chatting. Within that hour, I learned that Alex works at Eat n Park and actually enjoys her job, which is comforting to hear because most seniors aren’t too thrilled about their part time jobs. It doesn’t take long to see how much Alex takes after her mom. Alex immediately comes off as such a fun, bubbly person who can make small talk with anyone.

After a little chatting, we found out that Alex’s boyfriend was a member of the family that fostered our new member of the family, Pepper. It was so great to know that Alex had met Pepper. It was also funny that she even remembered just how crazy Pepper is.

Alex has a great future ahead of her. After spending some time with her, there is no doubt that she has a very bright future ahead of her. Congratulations on being a senior Alexandria! Enjoy it! This year will fly by!

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The Touvelle Family | Family Portraits in Wheeling, WV


Last year I had the great pleasure of shooting Colleen and Eric’s wedding in Wheeling, WV. They were such an amazing couple to work with and watching their big day play out was an honor. You don’t have to be in the same room with these two for long to see how much they love each other and to see how much fun they both are to be around. Eric is a big kid. I’m not sure that I know of anyone that he couldn’t make laugh without trying.

A few months later, Colleen contacted with the good news that they were expecting Miss Paige and that they would love to do both a maternity session as well as newborn photos. We bounced some ideas back and forth and made some plans. As luck would have it, little Paige had made other plans. Paige joined this world before we were even supposed to meet for maternity photos. Like the little fighter she was born to be, she fought her way out of the NICU and into her adorable little nursery.

I was lucky enough to meet this tiny, little bundle of joy once she made it home. It was so great to meet up with this amazing couple and their little one. Eric and I joked the entire time while Colleen and I had the chance to chat about their new home. Thank you both for allowing me to be the photographer who captured Paige’s portraits. I can’t wait to meet up again in the future.

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Shawn & Annie | CHP Pups | Southwestern, PA Portraits


You may remember seeing some campfire and Jeep portraits on my blog a few months back. Well that guy who braved the freezing cold with his girlfriend for some unique portraits was Shawn. As luck would have it, Shawn was one of the winners of the CHP pups contest and I was able to meet his little Annie.

Annie wasn’t exactly excited about this session. I learned she hated car rides and hated having to have her portrait taken. We spent some time at Friendship Hill letting Annie explore and join us for portraits when she decided she was ok with it. I loved getting to meet another pup for these sessions! This just may have to become an annual thing for CHP!

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Forest & Amanda Waters | Washington, PA Wedding


When Amanda was just a baby and Forest wasn’t yet born, their parents were great friends. As always, life happens and you grow distant from great friends. As luck would have it, they reunited in 2010 and Amanda and Forest’s story officially began on May 22, 2010. Exactly four years later, May 22, 2014, these two would meet again in front of their friends and family to become husband and wife.

Amanda and Forest didn’t actually begin dating until September 2012. It was on their three month anniversary that Forest surprised Amanda with a trip to Ohiopyle at 10pm in the middle of December. Needless to say, they were all alone that night. He proposed on the overlook and she happily agreed to marry him. Some would think that three months is a very short time to know, but I believe that when you meet the person you believe you belong with you know right away. Besides, Amanda’s one of my best friends, Forest made the right decision 🙂 .

Their wedding fit them perfectly. Amanda and Forest had a very small, intimate wedding at Washington Park in Washington, PA. They made all of the decorations themselves, including the favors that were hand painted, mini canvases. Their personalities showed in every aspect of their wedding. Their wedding cake featured two pokemon, decorations featured selfies of the two of them together, Forest wore Chuck Taylors, and in true Amanda fashion, she was thirty minutes late. That was our joke before the wedding even started that there was no way she would walk down the aisle on time 😉

Other than my own relationship 😉 I have never met two people more in love or that belong together more than these two. They are both very creative people, something that Amanda and I connected with as friends. During our time taking portraits of just the two of them Jackie and I commented on Forest opening the door for Amanda because that isn’t something you see very often anymore and I believe you should see a lot more of it. As if I didn’t think Forest was a great match for my good friend already, Amanda commented that since they have been together she has never opened her own car door if he has been with her. I know that’s a very little, silly thing, but that made me even more confident that Forest would treat her amazingly.

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Congratulations to the both of you. I am so happy that you have both found each other. Thank you both for allowing me to be a part of your special day!

Love Wins in PA! | Gay Friendly Photographer in PA


Currently I photograph about 30 weddings a year and have done so for the past four years. I don’t think that many people have seen the irony in my career choice in the past. I’m a major cheesy, romantic person. I love chick flicks and sappy cards so it should be of no surprise that I LOVE weddings. But not many people have witnessed the struggle of being a wedding photographer, being in the business of weddings and love, and not actually being able to legally get married in the state you live. It was very ironic to me and sometimes very frustrating. I can now say that my love for being a wedding photographer has grown even more, and that’s something I didn’t know was possible.

It has been a very exciting week here in PA. We can officially say that love has won in Pennsylvania. Finally the state of PA will recognize that love is love and it doesn’t matter what gender two people are. I just wanted to take a moment to say that I am more than excited about this decision and that PA is officially on the right side of history. Being an out photographer in the area I have had the opportunity to capture many same sex couples love in portraits. I hope that I now have the opportunity to document more same sex love stories whether they be weddings, couples sessions, or family sessions. Congratulations to all of the couples and families out there that can now be recognized by the government.

 

Here are a few of my favorites!
Sneak Peek-1 1601502_10152240657659458_1864556206_n Crystal & Jenny's surprise proposal session Crystal & Jenny surprise proposal session Crystal & Jenny surprise proposal session Crystal & Jenny surprise proposal session Crystal & Jenny surprise proposal session