Lancaster Wedding Photographer

A Cute, Small Town 4th of July Engagement Session in Lititz, Pennsylvania | Lauren and Kyle | Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

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Lititz is my small hometown! It is as idyllic as you can imagine. It is a storybook small town with German influence and New England colonial architecture. (Maybe I should do a blog post featuring my favorite hometown?). It’s where I grew up, made some of my most cherished memories and met some of my dearest friends. One of those dearest friends is my down the street, childhood BFF, Lauren! I think we were about 5 years old when our special friendship first began. We did everything together: sleepovers, played dress up, built old sheet teepee tents out in the backyard, was each other’s sidekick on a few family vacations, all of it. When I think of my childhood and growing up, Lauren will always be a part of those chapters and I am so thankful she was. :)

As most friendships do, ours went through a season where we went our own ways — explored college and made our way through this whole thing called being an “adult”. We always kept in touch here and there, but had our own busy lives! You know how it goes. About a year ago, we really reconnected and it’s been so much fun! Lauren is a world traveler so she’s been giving me all the tips for my upcoming trips! She’s also inspired me to become more dedicated to running. This girl is a beast and has competed in so many marathons. One day, I’d like to compete in my own.

I was SO excited when Lauren asked me to shoot her and Kyle’s engagement session! I was even more excited when they decided last minute to do their session in our sweet Lititz. Lititz has one of the oldest running 4th of July celebrations, setting the bar pretty high — there really isn’t a 4th celebration like it! I’m talking about full-blown hometown parade on the 3rd with a full day of festivities in the town park on the 4th completed with a fantastic firework, laser light show! Kyle and Lauren are getting married next year right after the 4th of July, so it only seemed appropriate to incorporate Lititz and the 4th of July celebrations into their session!

Lauren and Kyle are both school teachers and they are so passionate about it! Together they have a few fur-babies and are renovating a house they just bought together!

I am so excited that I get the honor of celebrating with them next July in MEXCIO!


xoxo, MK

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Summertime Cocktails at the Whimsical SERRA by Birreria Rooftop ~ Eataly NYC | Lancaster Wedding Photographer

SERRA by Birreria Rooftop ~ Eataly NYC ~ Mary Kate Steele Photography

Ya’ll… next time you’re in NYC, do yourself a favor. Spend a morning, afternoon or evening, walk around Eataly (across the street from the famous Flat Iron building). It is an authentic Italian food market and it is AMAZING! They have the finest, rarest and most incredible cheeses, meats, pastas, seafood, spices, coffee and restaurants you’ll ever set your eyes on. While you’re there, make reservations to eat and/or try a cocktail at the gorgeous SERRA by Birreria rooftop. Holy moly, ya’ll. I was so overwhelmed and taken back by how extravagant the florals were! There were florals hanging from the ceiling, floral arches, floral arrangements, chandeliers — it was UNREAL. Talk about creativity! I could’ve taken photos up there all day long. Haha!

Sadly, I did not have time to make a reservation to sit down and sample their menu, however, the cocktail I had was incredible! SERRA by Birreria was the perfect summertime NYC rooftop experience. I cannot wait to go back!

xoxo, MK

SERRA by Birreria Rooftop ~ Eataly NYC ~ Mary Kate Steele Photography
SERRA by Birreria Rooftop ~ Eataly NYC ~ Mary Kate Steele Photography
SERRA by Birreria Rooftop ~ Eataly NYC ~ Mary Kate Steele Photography
SERRA by Birreria Rooftop ~ Eataly NYC ~ Mary Kate Steele Photography
SERRA by Birreria Rooftop ~ Eataly NYC ~ Mary Kate Steele Photography
SERRA by Birreria Rooftop ~ Eataly NYC ~ Mary Kate Steele Photography
SERRA by Birreria Rooftop ~ Eataly NYC ~ Mary Kate Steele Photography
SERRA by Birreria Rooftop ~ Eataly NYC ~ Mary Kate Steele Photography
SERRA by Birreria Rooftop ~ Eataly NYC ~ Mary Kate Steele Photography
SERRA by Birreria Rooftop ~ Eataly NYC ~ Mary Kate Steele Photography
201SERRA by Birreria Rooftop ~ Eataly NYC ~ Mary Kate Steele Photography
SERRA by Birreria Rooftop ~ Eataly NYC ~ Mary Kate Steele Photography
SERRA by Birreria Rooftop ~ Eataly NYC ~ Mary Kate Steele Photography
SERRA by Birreria Rooftop ~ Eataly NYC ~ Mary Kate Steele Photography

4 Reasons Why You Should Book An Engagement Session With Your Wedding Photographer

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Hey friend! Recently engaged?! Firstly, let me extended the warmest congratulations to you both! This is such an exciting, happy butterflies fluttering in your stomach, can’t stop smiling time in your life —soak it ALL up! Do your best to remember all the little moments. :)

A question I get from time to time from some of my own couples and others is this: “Should we do an engagement session with our wedding photographer? Is it really that important?” It is a great question and one I understand why couples ask about.

So, I wanted to shed some light onto why (as a wedding photographer), I believe it is so important to schedule one! Sure, it will require finding time that works with three different schedules, but ya’ll, it’s worth it — every single time.

  1. It provides YOU & your photographer the opportunity to get to know each other!

    As a wedding photographer and a relational human, ya’ll I just love getting the chance (as many as possible) to hang out with each of my couples and truly get to know them. Emails, texts, Instagram, Facebook — it’s all wonderful ways to connect, but nothing beats real, in-person human interaction. It’s simple, yet lasts forever. I want to know what you two love doing together on an average weekday evening after work, if you love beer or wine, what makes you smile, (a favorite of mine), or what your enneagram is! I want to hear about your wedding day dreams and how I can help you accomplish them! I want to know something you’d love to accomplish as individuals and as a power couple. Simply put, YOU are important to me and having that time with you elevates my friendship with you guys!

  2. Storytelling…

    Your wedding day is a story. It is a story I have the incredible privilege to tell through pictures. There are so many details that add to your wedding day story. Brides, your “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” is a part of that story. Maybe you’re going to wear your Grandma’s veil, or the groom is going to wear his Dad’s wedding suspenders or maybe you have a fur baby you’re including in your day, or maybe your Dad passed away and in remembrance of him, you include a unique detail that only those who understand would pick out. These are real examples of details I knew and learned about by having real conversations with my couples and their families. These kind of conversations start to happen as you first start the booking process with me and they continue at your engagement session, at coffee meetups and timeline meetings. What I’m trying to get at is this. I want to have real conversations with you so that I can truly tell your wedding day story and capture the story details. It is so much easier for me to tell your story when I’ve had the chance to work with you prior to your wedding.

  3. Let’s make magic (and chemistry)!

    Here’s a truth bomb for you! Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, needs some time to get comfortable with a camera in front of them and finding that magical connection with their special someone. It also takes time for a photographer to fine tune those perfect angles, find the perfect light and help make the magic happen. I find engagement sessions as like a “first date”. Leading up to the moment we all meet for the first time in person, there can be this anxious moment when you wonder how it will all go. Even me, a people person, who’s been shooting for the last 7 years still gets anxiously excited for the moment I meet each of my couples for the first time!

    Let’s be honest though, all those silly anxious feelings quickly fade as we chit chat and give warm welcoming hugs that just seem to say, “I’m so glad you’re here”, as my little four year old son always says to friends walking in our front door. He speaks truth! I am so glad YOU’RE here and I’m so glad I’m here with you! That my friends is the start of the “chemistry” I talk about with each of my couples. Feeling that chemistry between my couples as I take their pictures and the chemistry we feel all working together, it’s a feeling you trust and it makes you feel good inside.

    When you combine making magic with that undeniable chemistry at your engagement session, just IMAGINE the type of experience you guys & me will have shooting those magical, breathtaking portraits on your wedding day?! Ya’ll it is unreal. It is amazing. You’ll remember having so much fun during your wedding day portraits!

  4. Pretty, pretty photos

    Lastly, if anything else, you get beautiful pictures and memories of you two together, in this moment of your lives. Pictures you can hang in your home that will remind you of such an exciting season. I’d say that’s worth it. :)

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