chester county pa engagement

How I Feel About October

I see your punny fall posts, your pumpkin spice everything, your plaid scarves and leather booties. I smell the apple pie candles and I’m totally hungry for stuffing and sweet potato casserole too. But, it’s October.

Instead of making s’mores with my family, I’ll be spending my weekend capturing beautiful portraits for yours. Instead of decorating my porch for Halloween, I’ll be working late nights in my office making sure my dozens and dozens of clients are happy.

You see, it’s October. You love this month. The trees are turning those gorgeous jewel-toned colors and the weather is finally giving us relief from the sweltering September heat. Your kids have started a new year of school - they’re growing up so fast. Your wedding is just days away. You always envisioned a beautiful October celebration. I love this month too. I love spending it with you.

But if we’re being honest…

… my phone buzzes constantly with former clients who desperately need me to squeeze them in for updated photos because all of a sudden the calendar changed like the trees are and they’re freaking out realizing they haven’t slowed down to capture the amazing things that happened this year. I got you!!

… I have couples waiting for me to edit thousands and thousands of their wedding photos so that they can enjoy them, share them with their families and relive their day.

… my personal Facebook messanger goes off 30 times a day with complete strangers asking, “How much for one pic of my family this Saturday at 2 PM? Got your name from Karen.”. Uhm, what??

… My inbox is also overflowing with moms who have never worked with me before but saw my name on Facebook and “just need one photo” for their holiday cards and they’re only available on a Saturday, just a few days from now, at a time when it’s practically already dark. Oh, and their kids are “not a fan of photos”.

… I have even more couples who are anxious, nervous and excited for me to play a role in their upcoming wedding. Which means gear packing, emails, prep, timelines, lots of time in the car away from my family and a lot of stress. Not to mention the 14+ hour work days with 25,000+ steps.

Ah, October.

The impending holiday season combined with the gorgeousness of nature in the fall brings out the total panic (or cluelessness) in people everywhere. Please don’t be offended when your photographer says they just don’t have time in their schedule for you. We’re not lying!! Those coveted October session dates have been spoken for since spring. Asking for just one photo is not only a disservice to your gorgeous family but also basically impossible - that’s just not how this works.

So, while you’re absolutely loving month, be nice to your photographer and photographer friends! We love this time of year too and we love you. But truthfully, most of us are barely keeping our heads above water. If you’re lucky enough to see your photographer this time of year, give them some grace (and maybe a delightful PSL or your favorite three wick fall scented candle).

To everyone else… we’ll see you in January.

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My Favorite Chester County Portrait Locations

After living in a few different areas of the state, my husband, Kyle, and I have settled down in Chester County, Pennsylvania when we bought our first house. We absolutely love the beautiful rolling hills, the stunning expansive farms and yet the fantastic access to all the things. But one of my favorite parts of ChesCo is the plentiful spots for really beautiful photos!

Whether it’s for anniversaries, engagements, children or family portraits… I have a few favorite spots in our area to take clients for their sessions!

Springton Manor Farm

A historic park and farm that is open to the public, Springton Manor is one of my absolute favorite places to shoot. From their website, “Within Springton’s historic landscape of fenced fields, stone walls and misty morning vistas is a preserved patchwork of colonial plantation, Industrial Revolution era scientific farm, Victorian tenant farm, and gentleman’s country estate. The Manor House and Carriage House overlook 300 acres of centuries-old sugar maples, open pastures and stately Penn Oaks, which grace the lower pond." The manor house serves as a stunning wedding venue too!

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Longwood Gardens

I don’t think Longwood needs an explanation. Wether it’s inside the conservatory or on their expansive grounds, if I could shoot at Longwood Gardens every single day, I would be overjoyed to. It is hands down my local favorite.

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Wolf’s Hollow County Park

This park is a personal favorite for our family! Butters loves taking long walks at this beautiful, expansive park with over 10 miles of paved trails and lots of diverse areas! It’s very dog friendly, there are gorgeous views around every corner at this 569 acre rustic space.

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Valley Forge National Historic Park

So, technically, Valley Forge is split between Chester and Montgomery counties. Before we bought our house and moved to Chester County, we lived just around the corner from this park in MontCo. Of course, even if you only know a tiny little bit about American history, you know that Valley Forge was the site of the 1777 - 1778 winter encampment of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. About 12,000 soldiers camped here and upwards of 2,000 lost their lives that winter due to an ongoing supply line crisis leading to malnutrition and disease combined with the cold. Ok. Sorry. HISTORY TANGENT! The park is split between two counties but the part of the park where I like to shoot the most is actually in Chester County so I’m not totally cheating for this blog post. Though the whole space is stunning! We do sometimes miss our old neighborhood because of how nice it was to be able to visit Valley Forge.