Monday, August 31, 2009

Brandon {Central PA Photographer}

I had the pleasure of working with Brandon and his wonderful mom and dad today! We met at Brandon Park in Williamsport, PA to have a relaxed family session. This little guy did not want to have his picture taken today. But two year olds are so unpredictable, (believe me I know, I have one at home) so we took our time and I was able to get some great shots of Brandon and his family. Brandon's mom, Kat, is an amazing stylist at Elite Design Studio on Four Mile Drive. His father Eric is a Professional Videographer- check out his website- Digital Witness. I can't wait to get through the rest of his pictures and post some more!

He has such beautiful blue eyes!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

3 Spots Left! {Williamsport, PA Photographer}

There are still 3 spots left for Pics in the Park on Tuesday, September 8th. See this post for the details: Pics in the Park

THE BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies- EVER

I love chocolate. I love cookies. So of course, I looooove chocolate chip cookies. I've always enjoyed the good ol' Nestle Tolle House Cookies from the chocolate chip package, but the following recipe changed my life! Ok, so maybe a slight exaggeration, but let me tell you these cookies are simply a-m-a-z-i-n-g. In fact, if I had any desire to open a bakery I do believe these would make me rich. But instead, I'm going to share the recipe with you :o)

2 1/4 C. bread flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 sticks of butter, melted
1/4 C. white sugar
1 1/4 C. packed dark brown sugar (light brown is ok too)
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract (use the good stuff)
1 whole egg. 1 egg yolk, 2 Tbs. whole milk
2 C. (1 pkg) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 F

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Beat melted butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl until creamy. Add whole egg, egg yolk, and milk into mix, one at a time beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Chill (very important!). Drop by rounded teaspoon (or use an icecream scoop like I do) onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown- usually closer to 9 minutes. They will look slightly undercooked in the middle, but this is when they're just perfect. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Always start your cookies on a cool pan.


It's impossible to keep little hands away from cookies!

Pure satisfaction. How do you like the chocolate smile?

Friday, August 28, 2009

25 Things About Me

So you know all of those notes that go around facebook? Well I never bother to fill them out, but I thought it would be fun to post one here so you can get to know me a little better. So here it goes.....

1. My name is Shannon
2. I have two sons ages 2 and 7
3. I love latte's from Julie's Coffee (super sweet, of course)
4. Piano is my "other" love, besides photography. My camera does sometime get jealous....
5. I taught High School Sunday School for 2 years (those who knew me in hs never saw that
6. Being a photographer is a dream come true.... It's what I always wanted to do.
7. I love country music- yee haw!
8. Steve Carell is my favorite actor
9. I love quiet afternoons with a book and coffee (oh yea- that's only in my dreams)
10. I love hiking
11. If I had to choose another career, it would probably be graphic design
12. Express is my favorite place to shop
13. I've always wanted to learn how to play tennis
14. I have 2 younger sisters
15. I've been married for 6.5 years (wow- time flies!)
16. The last concert I went to was Barlow Girl- I never heard them before the concert but they were amazing! And their opening act rocked as well- Joey Monteleone
17. I love chocolate!! Specifically Godiva and Patchi
18. The last book I read was "My sister's Keeper"- I finished it in less than 2 days.(It was just that good)
19. I can not wash dishes without gloves
20. The two chores I despise the most- laundry and dishes! They're never-ending.
21. I am not a math genius
22. I want to learn how to paint
23. I loved reading the Chronicles of Narnia with my son recently- well really any book by CS Lewis is a great read
24. I'm organizationally challenged-whew that one's hard to admit. I think my problem is that if I'm not super organized, like a place for everything and everything in it's place, then everything falls apart! 
25. I'm a perfectionist, not alway a good thing, but can be a great thing. 

Well there you have it. When I started this post I had no idea what I was going to write. I thought "25 things? That's easy!" - wrong! I had a hard time coming up with 25 things about myself, Weird huh? Did I miss anything? Feel free to ask in the comments. It's kind of fun to have something other than a 1 way conversation on

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chase and Connor {Williamsport, PA Professional Photographer}

I was thrilled to go back and work with Chase and Connor again. They are so full of life!And their mom and dad aren't so bad either :o)



They all have these beautiful blue eyes!



Connor loves to give his big brother kisses. I love catching totally real moments like this!

Chase: "Are we finished yet??"

I love this picture of Matt and Janet (Shannon's mom). They were such a fun family to work with! I'm so lucky that I have the best clients in the world!

And by the way, Matt and Shannon own New Lycoming Bakery and Cowden's Family Market on Lycoming Creek Rd. so stop by and check them out sometime!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

On Motherhood

Warning: The following post is sappy and completely off topic. Please forgive, I'm having a mommy moment :o)

Motherhood- is there any greater gift in the world, than being a mother? I sit here tonight slightly depressed because my baby is starting 2nd grade tomorrow- 2ND GRADE! I think the hardest part of being a parent is learning to let go. He informed me a few months ago that he can't call me "mommy" anymore, I am now referred to simply as "mom". (And heaven forbid I slip and refer to myself as mommy). The day will come when he no longer wants to cuddle in bed at night, or kiss me in front of his friends. But those special times will be replaced with new traditions, new meangful moments that we will share. As I reminisce about the past 7 years, I find myself trying to recount his "lasts". When was the last time he said "chicken" for "kitchen", when was the last time he was small enough to fit on my hip, when was the last time I felt his tiny body kick inside my belly? My little guy is also growing up- he's 2 years old now and potty training. I swear he was just a tiny infant laying in my arms! Mothers- remember to take time to enjoy each moment, each stage of your child's life. I know I can get so caught up in the day to day events of life, that I completely forget to just sit back and enjoy what God has blessed me with. Being a mother.

Alright if you're still there you rock. Thanks for listening to my random ramblings. If you post a comment I'll have a random drawing for a $5 Starbucks Gift Card.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Quote for the day {Williamsport, PA Professional Photographer}


I came across this quote today and wanted to share it with my loyal readers (if I have I liked it not only because of it's reference to photography, but because it served as a great reminder. My family has yet again hit a hard time in our lives, and it would be sooo easy to be down about it...BUT I realize that everything truly does happen for a reason- we are so not in control. Looking back, I've had many rough times in my life (as most people have), but I'm able to be thankful for those times now because they've allowed me to become the woman I am today, (hopefully that's a good thing). I know our most recent setback is a blessing in disguise, and coming across this quote today was a perfect reminder. I hope it can brighten your day as well!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Connecting the Pieces {Central PA Photographer}

This Sunday, August 23 is the Autism Community Day at Indian Park. There will be many businesses their for the silent auction, and I'll be sponsoring a portrait session with $100 print credit- so come out and bid!!  There will be plenty of games, food, and fun for the whole family, so bring the kids and head over to Indian Park to support this very worthy cause. Here's the link to their website:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Client EDU: FAQ's {Williamsport, PA Photographer}

I seem to get a lot of the same questions from my clients, so I decided to start a FAQ post. I will keep the list updated. If you have a question, send it to me at

What should we wear to our session?
Well, this really depends on the type of session you're booking. It will be easier to start with what NOT to wear:

Clothing with large logos/characters (exception: if your child has a favorite shirt that you want to remember, bring it along for a few shots)

Busy/conflicting patterns- For group portraits solid colors work best.

You don't all have to wear the same color, just make sure they compliment each other. As a general rule, everyone should have light colors or dark colors (ex: if dad is wearing a navy blue shirt, then everyone else should wear deep colors as well).

All white shirts seems to be a popular choice, but it does not always work out. For one, and this is especially true with larger groups, the viewer's eye will be drawn to the "blob" of white shirts, instead of the subjects face.

My style of photography is more laid-back, so you don't need to wear your Sunday best. In fact, I'd prefer to capture your family's everyday style. After all, you want to remember your identity as a family unit at this time in your lives.

Please dress babies like babies :o) If a child can't stand on their own yet, do not wear overalls or they'll scrunch up around their face. Babies under 6 months will mostly be photographed in their beautiful bare skin.

Ladies- avoid embarrasing mistakes- wear skin colored undergarments with light colored pants/shirts. Do not wear white under white- it will show through.

Seniors- Bring several of your favorite outfits. Layers of clothing always look great. Also bring a classic outfit that will not look out of style 20 years from now (gotta please your mom!)

Make sure your nails are done- french manicures are best. I also photograph people in their bare feet. Put on an extra coat of mascara, even if you don't normally wear it. Trust me on this one. Bring along chapstick and foundation/powder for touch-ups.

Sleevless/short sleeve shirts tend to make your arms look larger than they are.

Do not spray tan, or become overly tan for your session. You will look unnatural in your portraits, and being overly tan can add "weight" in your pictures.

And lastly, don't be afraid to break the rules! I happen to like bold colors, large stripes, knit hats on kids, etc...But always bring along several outfits that follow the "rules" as well.

When is the best time to have my newborn session?

Newborn sessions take place within the first 2 weeks after the baby's born. The sooner, the better. About an hour before your session loosen baby's clothing and diaper so they don't have red marks on their skin. Make sure your house is extra warm. Have a solid, dark (preferably black) shirt for you and dad to wear.

How often should I have my baby/child's photograph taken?

Well, in the first 2 years of life your child changes so rapidly, you don't want to miss any milestones. I have a baby plan set up for after the newborn session, and you can get their pictures at 3/6/9/12 months, or 4/8/12, or just 6/12. I then recommend again at 18 months, and 2 years. Then I recommend having a session at each "stage" of your child's life, or approximately every 2 years.

When is the best time for outdoor pictures?

The few hours before sunset are best, or early in the morning. After 11 am the sun is too harsh and will not create the best light to work in.

What should I expect during/after our session?

You should expect to have fun! I try to keep the session light-hearted and fun for everyone involved, including the men! (I know they're usually the least enthusiastic about the session) I want to get pictures of you and your family interacting with each other. I'll have you play with your kids, I want you to act natural. I'll also arrange a few relaxed poses. A typical session lasts 2-3 hours, so I'll photograph many combinations.

Why should we have an engagement session?

Engagement sessions are very important. For one, you're only engaged once, so why not? But really the main reason is to get to know me if I'll be photographing your wedding. Most people have not had a camera focused on them all day, so it helps you to be more relaxed and comfortable on your wedding day when you've had an engagement session. I can also design save-the-dates, guest books, and awesome wedding favors from your engagement pictures.

What the heck is a Rock the Dress session?

After the wedding, it's an opportunity to wear your dress one last time and go out and have fun in it! We'll get to do poses that we couldn't do on your wedding day, and it also allows for more pictures of you and your hubby together. Brides are LOVING them so far, so I highly recommend the splurge :o) It's never too late to have a session, even if you were married years ago. It would be perfect to do on an anniversary.

Do you offer wedding packages?

I will customize a package to fit your needs and budget. I chose not to do a one-size-fits-all package list, because each bride is unique. Please contact me for details.

I'm getting married outside of Williamsport, PA, are you available?

Absolutely! I do have a small travel fee, so contact me with your date/location and I'll let you know if I'm available.

How far in advance should I book my wedding?

I'm booking for weddings up to 18 months out, so as soon as you know you may want to use me as your photographer we'll set up a consultation. I'm only taking on 2 weddings a month, so my schedule will fill up fast.

Do we get to see every single picture that you take?

No. When you hire me, you're trusting me as an artist to deliver only the best portraits. Not every picture I take will be worthy of viewing. I often take several shots of one "pose" or moment just to make sure I get one with everyone looking, no eyes closed, etc.... My clients only get the "creme de la creme" :o)

Can we pull our pics off your site and use them in e-mails/screensavers/facebook?

I will gladly send you a few watermarked images to use on the web, but I do ask that you include a link to my site with each picture.

I want to be a photographer, can you help??

I absolutely love my job, it's what I've always wanted to do, but it's NOT easy! It is very hard to make a living off of photography and it is very expensive to get started in. I recommend starting out slow- buy an slr camera, a flash, computer, and a few good books. Take your time and learn your camera inside and out. You need to have a thorough understanding of aperture, shutter speed, and iso, among many other things. You have to have good people and customer service skills. You also have to have good business skills. This has been 75% business, and 25% photography for me. The business end can be a bit overwhelming if your not prepared for it. I'm talking about everything from setting your prices, to accounting, to marketing, etc..... You also have to take into account the need in your area (as with any business). I don't want to be discouraging or scare anyone away, but I do want to be honest. I know when I started I didn't realize what a long road it would be, but for me, it is completely worth it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tornado in Williamsport! {Williamsport, PA Photographer}

As many of you know, we had a wicked line of storms pass through the Williamsport area yesterday. My mother in law actually saw a tornado touch down in her yard! I think I would have freaked out a little if I saw that. Confession- tornado's have always been my biggest fear, although in the past few years the fear has subsided and turned into fascination. Here's a few pics of the damage.


The person in this car was thankfully uninjured. They were driving when this tree fell on the car.

My mother-in-law saw this tree lifted by the roots and tossed over. Makes me kind of sad- it was a beautiful old tree!


The calm after the storm, with some nice lens flare :o)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Little Lucas

Morgan's baby finally arrived! He is just so precious. Meet Lucas- an 8 lb. 3 ounce bundle of joy!

I looove it when I can capture a newborn's smile

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pics in the Park {Williamsport, PA Photographer}


Here's the DL- I'm offering these mini sessions as a way to help you get a great family portrait AND help you get prepared for Christmas with some rockin' cards featuring your family. These cards are sure to impress your family and friends and will serve as a nice keepsake as well. The cost is $100 which is payable upon booking to reserve your spot. Because of the limited spots available it is non-refundable, although you can transfer it to a friend. The dates/locations will be as follows:

Saturday September 5th at Brandon Park starting at 5:00

Tuesday September 8th at Susquehanna State Park at 5:00

There are 6 opening each night and sessions are reserved on a first come first serve basis. Sessions can not be held without the retainer. Call me as soon as you know you want to take advantage of this special because these sessions will fill up fast! 570-419-8636


Last week I went out with Patrick and his mom and sister to do his senior photo shoot. I met Patrick and his family through the school he and my son attend, Williamsport Christian School. (Which, by the way is an AMAZING school!) Aside from nearly being attacked by a bat, I had a great time working with Patrick.






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