I think as creatives, most of us photographers go through moments where we just feel restless, where we aren’t feeling connected to our work. Where we find ourselves in our heads fighting that battle of “Why am I doing this?” “Your work is becoming boring” “So and so’s work is eons better than you’ll ever be..” “Why can’t you be more like…” and on and on and on that internal struggle goes. And social media…don’t even get me started. It’s one of those necessary evils in this day in age, but even the most confident of us can fall prey to the comparison game or the ridiculous “why isn’t this getting as many likes as this other pic” when sweet Lord…real life and how many clients you book has NOTHING to do with how many people double tap that photo that took you all of 3 minutes to post.

This year, while I’ve really committed to making it a priority to schedule creative shoots just for me to collaborate with friends and try new things…I’ve found that THAT alone has not served to help me remedy those ruts I go through where I just feel so disconnected to my work.  I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately where I’m really picking at my work and tearing it apart a bit more hard core than usual, and just not FEELING anything when I look at my stuff.  There are artists (some friends, some I’ve never met) that I follow that, the minute I see their work, it just makes me FEEL emotions…be it joy, be it sadness, be it UNCOMFORTABLE, be it a longing, or some type of connection…it just makes me feel something!

I spent the other night up late on social media finding images that just really resonated with me and exploring why that was…was it the light, was it the composition, was it a mood…was it that “something” that I just couldn’t put my finger on. I looked at the images not from a comparison stand point at all, but more from a “WHY” and then from a place of “how do I infuse that more into my work in a way that works with my style?” (much more constructive than the comparison game is it not??)

Then I took the next morning to dig through some of my old stuff trying to find images that DID make me feel something. And I came across this shoot that I did on the beach in Miami last fall while at Seniorologie’s conference 12 with my friend Caroline of CG3 Photography and one of her models.   There’s just something about this shoot that made me say “YES. There’s something there.” There’s just a mood/a vibe about these images that I love, that made me really excited for the start of my senior sessions next week. I can’t wait to really reconnect with my WHY and infuse some more storytelling into my sessions. Really hone in on the vibe of my seniors and their families and recreate something for them that evokes emotion in them and me too.

If you made it to the end of my verbal vomit, CONGRATS…as a reward, here are some of my favorite images from that shoot.  And if you’re a 2018 Senior who wants to get out of dodge and head to the beach for your senior shoot, hit me up, so I can get you details and we can get something on the books!

Enjoy! Harrisburg Senior Photographer_0167Harrisburg Senior Photographer_0168Harrisburg Senior Photographer_0169Harrisburg Senior Photographer_0170Harrisburg Senior Photographer_0172Harrisburg Senior Photographer_0173Harrisburg Senior Photographer_0174Harrisburg Senior Photographer_0175Harrisburg Senior Photographer_0176Harrisburg Senior Photographer_0177Harrisburg Senior Photographer_0178Harrisburg Senior Photographer_0179Harrisburg Senior Photographer_0180Harrisburg Senior Photographer_0181

Every year, after the street team is selected, we get to planning and executing some styled shoots to give me a chance to create some images outside of what most seniors would choose for their senior sessions. It’s a chance to come up with a theme and then do our darnedest to carry it out to best of our abilities. This year I came up with a few different ideas and let the Street Team vote on their favorites. This Grunge look was one of the ones that they chose and I love it.

A huge shout out to EVERYONE that helped bring these ideas to life with me:

Hair/Make up & select accessories: Salon Noti

Accessories: Knock Knock Boutique

Second Shooter/Coolest Side Kick in Town: Landon Wise 

Assistant: Emily Drobnock

Here are an obnoxious amount of my favorite images….

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When I meet my seniors for the first time at their consult and we just hit it off, I can’t even explain to you how awesome that feels! Reghan came to her consult with a bag full of the fun, quirky, unique fashions that after spending time with her, perfectly conveyed who she was. Even after we were done going through all the details for her shoot and discussing her style options, Reghan hung out for a bit at the studio and I loved getting to learn more about her, her future plans, and the things that fueled her.

Despite the rain the day of her session, we still went ahead with her shoot and I couldn’t be happier with how Reghan’s shoot turned out. No matter how much I shoot in downtown Harrisburg, I never tire of exploring and finding new ways to make each senior’s session unique to them.

Enjoy a few of my favorites from Reghan’s session! Carlisle Senior Photographer_0089Carlisle Senior Photographer_0091Carlisle Senior Photographer_0090
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After an unexpected knee injury took this one down for the count, we were finally able to get her shoot in at the tail end of the season. Despite the chilly temps, Kacey still brought her “A-game” and there was no sweeter reward than hearing her say “I AM CUTE! I AM ADORABLE!” during her reveal/order session at the studio.  Kacey just graduated on Tuesday night and I can say it has been an honor having her on the Street Team this past year!  Enjoy some of may favorites below!

Hair/MUA: Salon Noti, Lemoyne

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Besides the senior themselves….light is always the most important thing for me on a shoot. So when an awesome location has killer light, you get the amazingness below. Seriously. This shoot was months ago and every time I revisit it, the light look just as yummy as the day I shot it.

Shout out to Emma Bankert for assisting me on this shoot back in the fall and breaking in our new Slice Wagon and of course to the girls at Salon Noti for killer hair and make up for Miss Maddi!

Here are way too many of my favorites!


Mechanicsburg Senior Photographer_0345Mechanicsburg Senior Photographer_0347Mechanicsburg Senior Photographer_0346Mechanicsburg Senior Photographer_0365Mechanicsburg Senior Photographer_0364Mechanicsburg Senior Photographer_0348Mechanicsburg Senior Photographer_0349Mechanicsburg Senior Photographer_0351Mechanicsburg Senior Photographer_0352This magenta maxi was the PERFECT color and style for this location. This kids is why I just love doing consultations BEFORE your sessions to ensure that your outfits/location coordinate and complement each other. Just look how the color pops in our location and further just how confident Maddi looks?! Love love love! Mechanicsburg Senior Photographer_0354Mechanicsburg Senior Photographer_0353Mechanicsburg Senior Photographer_0355I love this image so much it’s hanging on the wall in my studio. Love love love! Look at that smile!
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  • Mary BalciarJune 1, 2017 - 7:50 PM

    Emil….these are gorgeous. Such wonderful memories of the beautiful sunny November day. Thanks for your incredible eye for light an color…you rock!ReplyCancel