First off, my name is Joel and I’m a wedding and portrait photographer in Central Pennsylvania. Although I’m based out of Harrisburg, I love to travel to Pittsburgh, Philly, Baltimore, DC, New York and beyond! I’m married to my amazing wife Kristin who typically works along side me at weddings and is almost as goofy as I am... and we have a border collie named Oreo who has more energy than the two of us combined! I’m a Netflix junkie (which is perfect to watch while I spend countless hours editing photos) and I quote movies and TV shows all the time. Try to stump me with a movie quote, it can’t be done ;)
I’ve always had a love for people and making them laugh. I’m all about bringing out someone's genuine expression in my photographs. Yes, I will set up and pose all my shots, but my main concern is for the pose to feel comfortable and natural so I can capture that true emotion through a laugh, smile or even a sassy face. (Unfortunately that means sometimes I have to resort to joke telling… and yes, they are usually pretty bad. So, if you know any good jokes, please help me out.) Since so much of a great photograph revolves around emotion, wedding and portrait photography was an obvious fit for me.
Although I grew up in Colorado, my parents were both from Pennsylvania so I was raised to bleed black and gold. We moved back to Pittsburgh my junior year of high school which only fully solidified my Pittsburgh sports allegiance (hopefully that's not a deal breaker).
I am currently available for weddings, senior & family portraits, commercial, and event photography. My style is fun, expressive, romantic and timeless. Obviously the romantic one doesn’t apply to senior sessions… although, I have met a few seniors who are very much in love with themselves ;)
If you think I might be the right photographer for you I would love to get together and meet! Please head over the my contact page and send me a message. I hope to work with you soon!
Frequently Asked Questions
My family is big and loud. Can you handle my family?
Big and loud is my specialty. That is exactly the family I come from. The “kid table” is all grown up now, but that just means we are louder. There are also 5 or 6 (hard to keep track) doctors in my immediate family… so I am very familiar with dominant personalities where everyone wants to do things their way. I can be assertive if I need to be while still making sure everyone is happy and keeps on smiling for the camera!
Why weddings? Aren't they extremely stressful and scary?
I'm going to quote one of my favorite TV shows: "Fear is good. It keeps you from being a crappy doctor [photographer]. Trick is you just can't let it paralyze you." - Scrubs. The moment I'm not at least a little nervous before I do a wedding is the moment I should stop doing weddings because that means I've forgotten the importance of them. Plus the nerves never outweigh the fun and joy of capturing an amazing moment the bride and groom will have forever.
What's in your photography bag?
Technology is constantly changing, but you can check out my gear page to see what I have in there right now!
Questions Not Asked As Frequently
Favorite all time movie?
I'm a pretty big movie buff and this is nearly an impossible question. I think you have to break it out for each genre (action, comedy, thriller, etc.) If I have to pick just one (because this question gets asked a lot) I'd have to go with one of my childood favorites: The Sandlot
What are some hobbies you have?
I LOVE ultimate frisbee. I played all 4 years at Messiah College. We took 6th at D-III nationals in 2007 (nbd) and I am now one of the coaches. I also enjoy playing dek hockey, softball and hiking with my lovely wife and insanely energetic dog Oreo.
What is your favorite animal?
A giraffe. My mom used to keep the cookies on top of the refrigerator when I was little. I always wanted to be a giraffe so I could reach them. I'm pretty sure I remember doing neck stretching exercises to try and become one.
What's your favorite board game?
We LOVE games. Board games, card games, interactive games, yard games... and we are also super competitive. If you come over for a game night we will not take it easy on you :) I'm a huge fan of strategy games like Codenames, Settlers of Catan, Spy Alley, Secret Hitler, and Monopoly Deal. Kristin loves the speed games like Dutch Blitz and Bananagrams. We are always looking for new games to play, so please let us know your favorites!