Storey Akers - Portraits | Emily McGonigle Photography

A while ago, I got together with my friend Storey to experiment with some portraiture. As a photographer, I am constantly learning, growing, and adding to my visual repertoire. Storey came over one day a few weeks ago, and we hung out together while we sipped some wine and I played with some different lighting ideas.

Here are a handful of my favorite images we made that day!

portrait of blond woman wearing green top
portrait of blond woman leaning in green top
portrait with black top and blond hair
portrait with blond hair and black top

Be sure to leave Storey some love below!


Emily McGonigle Photography is a Nashville Portrait Photographer, and can be contacted for booking inquiries here.

Cait W. | Winter Portraits

Wintertime is often thought of as grey, dreary, cold... just... not fun.  Unless you really love the holidays... THEN, it might be fun.  But I think we can all agree that the winter *weather* can be less than pleasant at times.  Because of this, a lot of location photographers, including myself, tend to slow down and catch up on all of their posting, blogging, (packing to move to Nashville...), what have you. I thought I was pretty much done shooting for the season when the lovely Caitlin W. contacted me about doing a shoot.  I was more than happy to stretch my muscles and get out and shoot with her (especially since I had just gotten a new lens I was DYING to try out!! ).

I ended up taking Cait to a trail my husband and I had hiked a few weeks prior.  When Keith and I were there hiking, there was a spot that had tall grass-like vegetation that looked really awesome!   From the moment I saw it, I knew I wanted to do a shoot in it, however as luck would have it, by the time Cait and I arrived to the trail a few weeks later (after a snow, and some ice, and some good heavy rain), the "grass" was all flattened down and matted together.  I was bummed.  ...For a second.  Because instead of cool tall grasses... the trade off was AWESOME, glorious, sunlight.

I was down with that. ^_^

All I had been concentrating on during the weeks approaching the shoot, was that grass.  I ignored the fact that the sunlight had the potential to be pretty rockin' because... well... my luck always has it that when I plan on shooting in awesome sunlight..........there isn't any.  But I lucked out this time.  :D

BOY did we luck out!

And while it was a bit chilly, it wasn't NEARLY as cold as it *could* have been, so the day was fabulous all around.

Wanna see??? :D

Here is what Cait and I ended up with from that day!!

Nashville, Tennesee, Photographer, Portrait, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
Nashville, Tennesee, Photographer, Portrait, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
Nashville, Tennesee, Photographer, Portrait, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
Nashville, Tennesee, Photographer, Portrait, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
Nashville, Tennesee, Photographer, Portrait, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
Nashville, Tennesee, Photographer, Portrait, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
Nashville, Tennesee, Photographer, Portrait, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
Nashville, Tennesee, Photographer, Portrait, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
Nashville, Tennesee, Photographer, Portrait, Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

Model:  Cait W. | HERE and 'like' Emily McGonigle Photography on Facebook!

Megan Light Test

"HEY MEGAN!  Wanna come stand in front of my camera for 30 minutes to an hour?" "Uhhh... sure!"

And THAT'S... how this shoot happened. :)

I've been admittedly addicted to a wonderful website full of photography workshops and after watching a string of them, I was inspired to go outside and play with light!  It was a really spur of the moment shoot, completed with running up and down stairs as I realized that there were things inside that I wanted, in order to accomplish my experiment, bribing my husband to come outside with Megan and I to hold equipment, and ending back in my home watching silly Youtube parodies of Gangnam Style while classily sipping a glass of wine.

Now, Megan and I have worked together on several different occasions.  The FIRST time was on her Gears of War inspired engagement shoot!  The second time was on a boudoir shoot, and the third time was for their Gears of War, comic book hero, zombie infused wedding!!!  (I admittedly haven't gotten a blog posted about that yet, but I plan to!).

Megan is absolutely one of my favorite people to photograph!  She's funny, quirky, and totally beautiful!  Shooting with Megan is definitely more like just hanging out (except I happen to be holding a camera), than like a photo shoot.  ^_^

Lehigh Valley Photography, Emily McGonigle Photography, Portrait Photography, Megan Barrett
Lehigh Valley Photography, Emily McGonigle Photography, Portrait Photography, Megan Barrett
Lehigh Valley Photography, Emily McGonigle Photography, Portrait Photography, Megan Barrett
Lehigh Valley Photography, Emily McGonigle Photography, Portrait Photography, Megan Barrett
Lehigh Valley Photography, Emily McGonigle Photography, Portrait Photography, Megan Barrett
Lehigh Valley Photography, Emily McGonigle Photography, Portrait Photography, Megan Barrett

CLICK HERE and 'like' Emily McGonigle Photography on Facebook!

Final Fantasy Wig/Character Shoot Thingy

That's the title and I'm sticking to it!  XD Anyone remember Jazzmin (  Well I finished her images!

When I edited these, I sent them to her with straight up retouching and nothing more because she wanted to submit them to a wig company she wanted to become a model for... only to find out that they discontinued the wigs we used for her shoot.  :(


I have to say though, that company certainly should hire her, because she's fantastic at what she does!  If you have a Facebook page, you should totally check out her other work: 

After I sent her the "almost edited" images, which could technically be viewed as the final images, except for the fact that I wanted the coloring to look a certain way), I did some quick color changes.  I didn't want to sent those versions to the wig company because I wasn't sure that they'd appreciate the tint that was inevitably added to the wigs after my I was finished with editing work the second time around, haha, but now that I am done with the "normal" versions, I was able to put a little hint of flair into them.

These are those images... the FINAL final edits. ^_^

There are a few more shots that I would like to edit.  As always I work on what the client wants first and then if I have time later, I'll revisit my favorites and retouch/edit them.

Speaking of time... I'm sure I'll have a TON of time in the next month or so to do JUST that.

I'm going back out on tour again for a month starting on February 19th until April 2nd.

We'll be playing shows out west and there's quite some distance put between each show that we're doing, so I'm going to have PLENTY of time on the bus to work on things like editing previous images (as well as current ones, of course, which will *always* take priority!).

I'm also extremely excited to have the possible opportunity to be shooting a wedding with friend and great photographer, Krystal Mann of Life Strings Photography (click for the website), which is the new brand she just launched after previously working under her own name ( !  Krystal's photography has always been an immense inspiration to me and it would be a total honor to be able to work beside such a great photographer!  Krystal is located in Nashville, Tn, so if you live in or near the area, you should TOTALLY check her out!  (I mean you should check her out whether or NOT you actually LIVE there, but, ESPECIALLY if you live there!)

Getting back to the subject of Jazzmin's shoot... I also, once again, want to give a shout out to Kenya Lynn for being responsible for Jazzmin's makeup for this shoot (and doing a wonderful job)!  If you're in need of makeup services and you live in or around the Philadelphia area, check out her website at HERE and 'like' Emily McGonigle Photography on Facebook!

Diana Di Bella

A few weeks ago, I got together with the lovely miss Desiree Fritz , whom I've worked with on a few projects before, and the gorgeous Diana Di Bella! There were two parts to this shoot; an outdoor "fall fashion" type of thing and an indoor beauty shoot.

It was SUCH a blast working with these girls!!  I hope they had as much fun as I did!

Makeup/Hair: Desiree M. Fritz | Facebook: | Model Mayhem:

Model: Diana Di Bella | Model Mayhem:

NOW... on another note...

Emily Rose Photography is making the switch to the name Emily McGonigle Photograhphy!  As a result, there is a new Facebook page (!  Please take a moment to click the link below to navigate to the page and like it!!!!  ^_^ CLICK HERE and 'like' Emily McGonigle Photography on Facebook!

Christine N. - Lockridge Park

It was a cold, blustery day to take photos, the day Christine and I got back together for a shoot.  We got a bit of a late start, because Christine was coming from one state over, and we were pressed for time because she had to go to a show that night, but we made our way to Lockridge and got a quick shoot in! She was a really good sport about the whole thing, even though the weather was super frigid and she wasn't wearing nearly *enough* layers for the temperatures we were playing in... but that was another reason I tried not to make the shoot any longer than necessary... I didn't want to freeze the woman! XD

That day I was also lucky enough to have drug my husband out to assist me on the shoot so I had someone holding reflectors for me, rather than trying to balance it all by myself.  Let me tell you... having an assistant makes a *world* of difference!

Here are a few shots from the shoot that day:

This one was captured right after a sneeze! I showed it to her because I thought it was funny and she told me that she *definitely* wanted it, so... here it is!

Oh my god, it's photography!

I just got done with the first image of about 40 (which could change as I cut even more photos out as I always do at this stage in the game... a little, backwards, I know...) and I had a strange moment... I was actually *proud* of myself!  XD

I looked at the finished image and declared to my sleeping cat, who could've cared less, "Oh my god, it's photography!"

I'm aware of what a strange thing that is to say, but it's what came out.  Don't judge me.

As some of you may be well aware of, I started taking on the task of learning what I'd like to call "People-off-stage" photography.  Some of you call it portraiture... however, I'm still not entirely convinced that's what I'm producing.  But either way... they're photographs of people *not* performing on a stage, and that is, while no longer a new phenomena as far as I'm concerned, it's still viewed by some as "different for me".

I have done several shoots involving "People-off-stage", but I haven't, until today been overtly proud of myself for my work.  I'm sure this feeling will wear off the more I edit this set and grow weary and once again shout at my indifferent feline, "Where's the end?! I need it to be the end!" - or maybe it'll happen in a few weeks (more like days), when I look back at this shot and think to myself "I thought *that* was *good*?" - BUT, for right now, I just can't contain myself any longer and I must share with you the product of hours of my toiling over a keyboard, and mouse in front of a computer monitor that I'm surprised hasn't sent me it's notice of retirement yet...

While it may be pre-mature, as I don't usually like showing off individual photos until the entire set is done (which is why so much time always passes between posts here), I couldn't get a hold of the model in the photo so I could gush over my accomplishments... so that pleasure gets passed onto all of you!

And with *that*... here is Image 1 of Christine N. amongst the ruins of what used to be a big furnace...uh... place.  Yeah.

Some of you are looking at that thinking, "So what?  I don't get it?  What's so special about that?"

Probably absolutely nothing.  But compared to what it is to where I came from, it's a lot to me.

I've been trying to come up with a PP (Post Processing for you non-photogs following) style that I like for a while, and while it's probably going to evolve a few more (hundred) times, I actually really like what I've done.  It took several different shoots and HOURS upon hours to get here... which is one of the reasons I'm so proud of myself currently.

The other reason, again, is just comparing the shoot in general to what the first ones I did were like... I feel like I've made vast improvements (and I am NOT full of myself at all... I'm quite modest and my hardest critic when it comes to my work, but I can also acknowledge my own achievements).

That being said... feel free to knock me down a peg or two.  XD  Critique only makes one better in the end... ^_^

Daniel O.

A few weekends ago, I got to do a shoot with Daniel O. and his guitar! What was awesome about this shoot was the fact that I *finally* got to used the stand-alone reflectors that I have access to. We did the shoot at Long's Park in Lancaster, and it seemed that *everyone* in the park that day was involved in some sort of photo shoot! As soon as we pulled into the park, we noticed an area where a tree had fallen over a little brook and decided to start there.

Then we moved over to a more wooded area where I used the reflector to catch the sunlight coming from behind him.

Once we were done there, we moved to an open field outlined with some trees as the sun went down and got a bunch more shots before the sun finally set for the day.

To see the rest of the set, click: Daniel O. Flickr Set

Christine N.

The shoot with Christine was certainly an adventure! The morning of the shoot, I woke up after an exhausting work week (for those of you who didn't know, I'm now a school portrait photographer for Lifetouch... sure beats the piss out of... giving piss tests... and dealing with ridiculous, angry, and condescending people at my previous job. XD ). It wasn't even a full week (THIS past week was a full week... 50 hours... not counting drive time... O_o), and I was exhausted. BUT... I got up... and went about the task of trying to save some files I had previously lost.

I should have charged my camera while I was doing that, but I didn't think about it... I was too concerned about getting my lost files back. By the time it was time to leave, I realized my camera hadn't charged yet. I called up Christine and asked her if she wanted to grab some food before we started to talk about what each of us wanted out of this, and to allow my camera time to charge.

I got into my car, got halfway down the road, and then realized I forgot to dump my SD cards from the night before. (ARGH!) So I turned around, went back into the house, and uploaded the images to my computer. Then I tried heading to Lancaster for the second time.

After a few false starts in my morning, I was finally on my way. Once I got there, we ordered pizza, she did her makeup and then we were on our way.

First stop was the Christmas tree farm across the street from where she lived. The sun was super bright, and it was REALLY windy. I had a make-shift reflector with me, but it didn't do me much good, since the only way I had to hold it up was to tape it to two stands... and then the wind would catch it and topple it over. Regardless of the wind and my fighting with the reflector, we managed to fire off a few frames... and by a few I mean a lot. ^_^

Here are a few of my favorites from that spot:

After the Christmas tree farm, we headed to the woods behind Christine's house. There we found several overgrown lots, with benches, tables, home foundations, and a gnome! After the woods adventure, we then headed to downtown Lancaster where I found a colorful piano out in a couryard... Overall it was a fun day. I got some practice in, Christine got a free photoshoot... it was a gorgeous day outside... ^_^

It was an interesting experience... it was definitely outside of my comfort zone, seeing as this was the first time I've shot anyone *off* stage. I definitely want to do it again, and I definitely want to improve. Now it's just a matter of figuring out what I need to do next to improve... and finding the resources to help me learn how to do that.