Valentine’s has always been a popular day to become engaged and even married. In fact, Thanksgiving through Valentine’s is referred to as “engagement season” in the jewelry industry. 

Kelsey captured Austin and Ali at the Merchant Exchange Building in Philadelphia.

Popping the question now entails more than sharing the news – and the ring – with friends and family. Thanks to social media, the news can now be shared with the world. Some couples do so immediately, while others wait until they have participated in an engagement photo shoot that could show them kissing in the moonlight, cavorting on a beach, embracing their dog, relaxing at a mountain cabin … the possibilities are endless. The concept has become a phenomenon; The Knot reports that 40% of engaged couples are scheduling such sessions. 

Lancaster is fortunate to have a new generation of photographers who are not only astute behind the camera but are tech savvy and understand the role social media now plays in the wedding process. Kelsey Strothers is one such photographer. The Denver-based photographer traces the roots of her career to high school, where she took a number of photography classes. Homework assignments typically focused on capturing images of inanimate objects. 

Longwood Gardens provided the backdrop for Kelsey’s photos of Mike and Erin.

Wanting to expand her horizons, Kelsey borrowed an aunt’s camera in order to document family members “just hanging out.” She so enjoyed photographing people that when it came time to tackle her senior project, Kelsey chose a wedding as her subject matter. Shadowing a wedding photographer led to a stint as a second photographer on jobs and eventually, the launch of her own business, Kelsey Renee Photography. 


3 Questions for Kelsey

Kelsey photographed Amanda and Chris at the Philadelphia Water Works.

#1. Describe your style as it relates to photography.

My style of photography is light and airy! I love my images to have bright whites, creamy skin tones and muted greens. Staying pretty true to color never goes out of style!

#2. What does an engagement photo shoot achieve (for the couple and the photographer) other than having commemorative photos?
For the photographer, an engagement session is the perfect time to learn the couple’s posing strengths, while simultaneously “breaking the ice” and creating a new friendship together. As for the clients, it provides them with an opportunity to learn the photographer’s posing style and how the photographer works so that on their wedding day they feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera. This also allows them to look the most natural and relaxed for their wedding photos without taking the time to learn new poses. It’s a win-win. 

#3. How important is a social media presence to your business?
When I started my business in 2011, social media was not like it is today. Social media makes it MUCH easier to grow your business, spread the word and connect with people from around the world! I love the connections I’ve made and the growth I’ve achieved because of social media!

Kelsey Strothers and her husband, Zach. Photo by Olivia Rae Photography.

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