Hershey Gardens Engagement: Carissa & Malachi Part 1

Carissa & Malachi’s autumn Hershey Gardens engagement is vibrant, fun, romantic, and just plain magical– more here:

a couple standing in the woods at the Hershey gardens in Pennsylvania in autumn with fall foliage

Why Rhinehart Photography?

Carissa shared,  “We wanted creative, fun photos that would capture us and knew Lisa would be the perfect person for that.  We first met her at my sister’s wedding, and noticed how sweet and down-to-earth she is and how she makes everything so easy, enjoyable, and fun.”


Malachi added, “We also really like how Lisa uses light in artistic, abstract ways. We knew she could capture our story perfectly.”

Getting a little creative/abstract here by shooting through some autumn leaves which add a little extra color and magic in the frame– my goal is to go beyond how it looks, but to show how it feels to be engaged.

Hershey Gardens Wedding fall Engagement Photo Session with a Magical Artistic feel yellow leaves and a romantic autumn feel

I Captured *Their First* Photo Together!

Malachi explained, “I was invited to Carissa’s sister’s wedding, because I work for her dad.  So it wasn’t like we came there as a couple or anything.”

Carissa smiled, “Lisa was making her rounds on the dance floor and asked us for a photo.  We literally weren’t even dating yet but we said sure.  Now that’s our official first photo together, so it fits so perfectly for her to photograph our engagement and wedding!”

engaged couple in Hershey gardens holding hands

Why a Hershey Gardens Engagement Session?

Carissa explained, “Malachi is from Hershey, so when we were looking for a location that would work with a more dressed-up look, we both thought the Gardens would be beautiful.”

engaged couple strolling together in Hershey gardens for their engagement photos

She added, “I have always thought that the Hershey Gardens almost looked magical!”

I have to agree, especially in the autumn!  I think part of it is the forest that surrounds it.  Unlike most gardens, Hershey has a background of treeline in many places rather than straight sky, and it really adds such depth to the photographs!

autumn vibes during this magical hershey engagement session with a hugging couple

Dating the Boss’ Daughter

Carissa shared, “I actually knew Malachi for years as he works for my father.  I was always too nervous to talk to him, though.  It’s funny because my mom always tried to push me to anyway, haha!”

She continued, “My sister’s wedding encouraged us to interact.  We danced together and started to talk.”

She laughed, “He asked me out not long after, it takes a lot of guts to ask out your boss’ daughter!”

a laughing couple in hershey gardens for their wedding engagement session

An Eclectic Mix of Engagement Photographs

I always make sure to give all of my couples a lot of photos, and many types of photos.  It is usually most important to me to capture candid moments and authentic emotion.  I really care about capturing the beauty and aesthetic of a setting, too.

I’ll also make sure to give each couple a good variety of photos, including a few more traditional portraits, too.


I change perspectives frequently capturing beautiful landscapes through the tiniest details.  I’ll have different equipment to help me to capture a wide variety of perspectives.

This photograph of Carissa’s engagement ring was actually captured by my Canon 100mm l-series macro photography lens.  It allows me to focus crisply and sharply on her diamond while allowing the rose petals to support that and bring in the Hershey Gardens engagement story.

a sparkling engagement ring in a rose for a garden engagement

I like to play with layers, too…  here you can see the forest and golden sunlight through the trees in the background and beautiful purple flowers in the foreground.


I like to play with black and white images, too.  I’ll make a copy of the color photograph and convert it into black and white, so that way we have options when it comes to defining an engagement album, etc.

I love the contrast of the white rose against the shadowy background and how Carissa’s blonde hair really pops as does Malachi’s smiling face.

a single rose in a black and white photograph during a romantic hershey gardens engagement session

Carissa’s Hair

Carissa laughed, “My long blonde hair has always been a part of me ever since I was little.  I’ve added the red pop of color on my lip, which is a go-to look for me.”

Malachi smiled, “I’ve always loved Carissa’s hair.  I still remember first thinking about how beautiful she looked at her sister’s wedding.  She was all dressed with her hair curled in ringlets.”


As the sun moved lower in the sky we knew it was time to move locations, so we’d move from the Hershey Gardens for their more dressed up look to a more dressed down hiking session where they’d even set up a tent!

Before we headed out, I took one last shot showing the beautiful atrium and fountain.  I stayed back while they walked close, so that you could really get an idea of the scale and so that the water spraying up from the fountain was also visible.

An engaged couple standing in front of the atrium at hershey gardens for their autumn engagement session

Carissa & Malachi, thank you for trusting me to capture your engagement photos, I think it’s so cool that we met at a wedding a few years ago and now I’ll be photographing yours!

Keep an eye out for the second part of their central pa engagement session, hiking and setting up camp in South Central Pennsylvania’s Memorial Lake State Park near Lebanon Valley College between East Hanover and Lebanon.

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