I often get requests to photograph families, especially when there are family members who live far away. I “get that”, having family members who live far away myself. It is so enjoyable to have family who was raised together, come together again to enjoy one another.

It is so important to have photographs of those rare times. One member said to me — why are you so particular–it is just a picture! Oh my goodness, I thought. Pictures are memories in print! After these important family times are over, pictures help us enjoy those times long after.

One name I really wanted for my business was “Once Upon A Time”. Once upon a time, our children were little. Once upon a time, there were many celebrations that took place at important milestones: graduations, birthdays, weddings, births. Once upon a time, the grandchildren were little, and then the great-grandchildren.

Pictures prolong that enjoyment way far into the future! This is what I was able to create on that day when the Hollanders came together to get pictures taken. They were laughing, posing, playing, eating and enjoying their time together being with their Mom and Dad. Even Aunts and Uncles came to get in on the act!

Sweet Canadian Friends and Family!

Recently, I had the opportunity to capture some family pictures of our friends, The Taylors. They, like many of us who have family who live in far away places, don’t have the opportunity to be all together very often. These friends of ours are missionaries, have been missionaries and are soon to be serving the Lord God in Canada. John and Jacky have served the Lord in the country of Ukraine for many years. They came to the states over five years ago to be part of administration at the ABWE home office, and are soon to be back in Canada as President of ABWE Canada. For many of us, we are very sad to see them back across the border….but, they are returning to their home country of Canada. So, this is a bitter-sweet experience for them. Their daughter, a missionary teacher overseas, their son and his wife in New York, and their youngest still attending university means that their family is spread all around and their times together are rare. I was fortunate to be able to capture some of the joy and gladness they had all together this year.

A Centenarian – A life well lived!

Mary Alice, born in 1921, was the oldest of three. After graduation, she attended Lancaster Bible School. She was married in 1941 and had one daughter. This remarkable woman has always been very musically inclined. She played the piano and directed choirs at several churches, played the organ and played the violin. She has taught Sunday School and led Pioneer Girls for many years. All the while she was an Executive Secretary to the Actuary at PA Blue Shield. Along with her husband, Mary hunted, fished and boated, and in fact, shot her own deer!!

Mary Alice was an accomplished seamstress, made coats, gown and all her own clothes and her daughter’s. She knitted, crocheted, embroidered, and quilted. She did all sorts of crafts.

She has two grandchildren and four great grandchildren. They are pictured here in honor of her hundredth birthday. What a enjoyable photo shoot this was. Having been long-time friends with Chuck and Joy (her daughter) along with the Shugharts, made this so much fun to be part of.

Here Is What 93 Looks Like!

July 4th, a celebratory day! It is a day that we celebrate our country and all the good things that it stands for! Freedoms! and Blessed Opportunities! It is a day that, in our family, we celebrate the Patriarch of this Feehan family. Without him, all the rest of us would not be here! He is a descendant of an Irish immigrant. His family came here as a result of the Potato famine in Ireland during from 1845-1852. They came through Ellis Island, and ended up as farmers in the Midwest. My Father-in-law was born on a very hot day in July. No air conditioning in those days. The only way to cool off would be to take a ride in a buggy or wagon ride after the heat of the day was over. According to my father-in-law, that is exactly what his Mother did. Some time later that day, on the Fourth of July, He was born! He grew, attended St. Wendelin High School in Fostoria, Ohio. He married Patricia, my husband’s Mother and they together had 9 children! Barbara, Michael, Janet, Cathy, Mary Jo, Patrick, Danny, Debbie and Ann. As in most families, there have been times of challenges, sadness….but, mostly blessed, joyful times. We celebrate his birthday on the Fourth every year. Every year, there have been changes….new grandchildren, new great grandchildren, and then some people are missing that were here the year before. But, mostly we celebrate family being together, at least one time a year to celebrate and make memories together, just by spending time enjoying one another. Such as it was this year…despite the world’s changes…we could still do this as a family.

Stahl Family Fotos

One thing I really love doing is taking pictures of people. It is so nice to be able to photograph a family. Mostly, I photograph my family, but once in awhile I capture images of people whom I haven’t met before. This is a blessing, getting to know them through the camera lens and interacting with them on so many levels. Recently, I have been able to meet a family and shoot their family pictures at Little Buffalo State Park. This was an awesome place to catch a small glimpse into their family. Lots of places to walk and talk and pose. The Stahl family consisted of Grandparents, Tim and Bernice, their Son’s family, Josh and Maddie with their sweet little boys, Ryker and Kolton. The little people were so very patient and good during this process! We captured many lovely images of all of them and some of them. Enjoy a peek into a very enjoyable time!

Alternative to Covid Lockdown!

We decided that every time we saw one of the government signs telling everyone to stay home – we weren’t! We decided to keep doing what we always do when we have the time. That is we were going to go hiking and walking and exploring. But, instead of heading to Ireland, or Portugal, or out west somewhere, we were going to make the best of a bad situation. Well, it was a bad situation when one of our favorite things to do, is to travel and explore new places. We decided to take our exploration to areas 50 miles or less near our home. We found so many lovely and beautiful places where we could be outside and exercise — both things that fight the virus! We truly live in a beautiful part of the United States! I have included a collection of many of the places we visited during the spring and summer of 2020, some of which is along the Applachian Trail.

Special People — Special Occasion!

Recently, I was able to attend and photograph a very special occasion – a baby shower for one of my Third Grade students! Well, she WAS my Third grade student some time ago. She graduated from college, PA training, married and now living in North Carolina. Kaitlyn and Brian are expecting their first child, a little boy in a few months. This is the first grandchild for my friend, Laurel and everyone is so very excited to welcome this little child into their family.

The venue was beautiful, the day warm and sunny and everyone there was excited to honor the expectant couple. There was a variety of people attending that day — parents, grandparents, school friends, a past school teacher, siblings and even a couple who flew in special to attend the shower.

Join us and experience how special the days was.

Ralf and Lena

Dear Friends from Germany

Had the privilege to host our friends from Germany, once again. We have been friends for almost 25 years. It began in Germany during a visit my husband and I had to Kusel, Germany. We met these dear friends, one of which didn’t speak English. The following year they came to the U.S. to experience life in America, as interns. They returned home after a year, and we became great friends, during our visits to Germany, and their subsequent visits here. Normally, they came to visit every four years, but Covid got in the way, and it was six years until we saw them again.

During their visit a few weeks ago, where we fed them, took them hiking and laughed so much, I took portraits. The Fort Hunter Mansion never fails to please! I am hoping that it won’t be another six years before we see them again.