Family Vacation Photographer: Lymans’ in Wilmington NC

Looking for a family vacation photographer who captures authentic moments, in a creative way on those special times when you are *all gathered together*?  I’m your gal!  I’m an internationally ranked photographer and travel all over!

This amazing family!  I’ve been photographing family portraits, senior portraits, and weddings for them for over a decade!  To watch their family grow has been such a joy and having them fly me out to North Carolina and even lend me a Mustang to drive while I’m there was just about the sweetest thing ever… we are all lucky to have the Lymans as an integral part of our community in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.

I captured *so many* lovely Lyman portraits throughout the session, but somehow this, “behind-the-scenes shot” really captures their essence so well for me.  Their authenticity, love, positive energy, closeness, and the organized chaos that is being a family.  To me this family feels organic, alive, and like it’s growing, and it is!

authentic family vacation photographer captures real life creatively award winning best extended family portraits grandparents children grandchildren gather in blue and white outside

Why Rhinehart Photography?

Amy shares, “If I ever want to capture a special moment in time, you are the one to do it!  I have watched you develop into an amazing photographer over the past decade, and I wanted to “come full circle” with these family photos.”

She continues, “You have photographed so many important moments for me and my family that this time had to be you, too!  My folks are aging and not in perfect health.  As our kids have grown, we are separated geographically and the pandemic kept us apart, too.  Ezekiel, whose Senior portraits you just photographed, is leaving us for 2 whole years. I knew if I was somehow able to get all of us together, that I *had* to have Lisa Rhinehart capture it!

I love to capture moments, this one is between Amy’s parents:

elderly couple in blue grandfather holds grandmothers hand lovingly marriage

Getting Them All Together

Amy explained, “It is always challenging to organize 15 people’s schedules, flights, housing, etc, but it’s kind of one of my superpowers, and I love doing it! Our family loves to travel, and I am the planner. The pandemic has been hard for me to not have something to plan!”

She added, “When I realized that it was my 50th birthday, that I would be in Wilmington North Carolina with my parents, that they and many others of us would be vaccinated, and that Ezekiel would soon be leaving, I knew I had to get us together, so the planning began! To have us all together was priceless, but to have been able to capture it in photos by the amazing Lisa Rhinehart, was epic!”

Goodness, Amy, you are making me blush!!

fun creative family portrait photographer moments in black and white laugher

Organized Chaos & Deep, Joyful Relationships

Amy laughs, “We have enjoyed nearly 30 years now of organized chaos in our family. Lots of people, lots of personalities, varied activities, piles of dishes, and literally, mountains of laundry! Each of our kids is different, and we have tried to allow for that, understanding that no one is a cookie-cutter.”

She adds, “We have always wanted our kids to be each other’s best friends. That isn’t always true, haha, but there is a bond there, and I do believe they would do anything for each other.  Life has just been fun and full, many hands make for lighter work and lots of laughing.

two sisters laugh against a blue sky family portraiture best award winning vacation photography

Jump For Joy?  Take a Closer Look…

As a family vacation photographer, I like to play with different photography techniques, silhouettes, reflections, etc… and one of my favorites that really messes with your head is called forced perspective.  It’s a testament to the fact that things aren’t always as they seem

In this shot, I’m actually shooting from the porch above as they are laying on the ground.  It allowed them to make this impossible jump shot and really takes a minute to figure out how we did it…

family members jump a forced perspective trick used by award winning family portrait photographer

Meet the Parents: Mike & Amy

Amy beams, “Michael has been my best friend since I was 16 years old. He was a shy and quiet kid who patiently waited and was always there for me. When I realized how much I loved him, things just fell into place.”

She explains, “We married young and had a big family, obviously, with our first kiddo, Hailey, being born just 9 months and 2 weeks after we married. Mike and I have just always seen the world the same way. We will celebrate 29 years of marriage in December, and I know it sounds cheesy and cliche, but we are as much in love right now, no actually probably more so, than we were 30+ years ago in high school.”

She concludes, “We make each other laugh, and we adore our big, messy, complicated, strange, challenging, amazing, wonderful family.”

parents at the beach wearing blue and black shirts against a beach house in family vacation portraits

Grandma’s Mustang

I felt so incredibly blessed when Amy & Mike *picked me up at the airport* and were like, “don’t rent a car, we have one for you to use while you are here!”  Then, I get out to the parking lot and see this???  OMG!!!

A little back story, about a year ago I was on my way to Hershey, Pennsylvania to photograph Claire & Earl’s engagement session.  There was stop-and-go traffic, and the person in the car behind me rear-ended me!  I was not hurt, and made it to the session just a little shook up and hoping for a silver lining… when I went to get the rental car while mine was fixed, they didn’t have anything comparable, so I talked them into a convertible Mustang 🙂 which my family and I totally enjoyed!  When I saw this car, the serendipity of it all totally floored me!

Amy beamed, “My mom LOVES her electric blue Mustang! There were many occasions that people would pull up next to her at a stoplight and didn’t expect a woman of her age! She would get a big thumbs up!”

cool grandma drives a blue mustang in Wilmington NC

The Gang’s All Here

I’m not gonna lie, getting 15 people posed, in a way that they are all seen, in decent light and facing towards the camera, especially with two toddlers, is a challenge– but guys, I think we rocked it!

I know Amy has a thing for black and white photos and could totally see this as a canvas in their home!  I love how “real” this feels… all the textures and patterns and high contrast really give it this joyful, real-life feel:

black and white authentic family group portrait taken on vacation in wilmington NC

Life is Full of Surprises!

At first, this might look like a mirror, but this is Amy’s youngest child looking through a window at her grandchild, both are making faces.

Amy smiles, “Asher and Alistair were surprises for our family and are real buddies.  We adore them both!”

children make faces in authentic fearless creative real life family portrait photographer

What to Wear?

So many of my clients ask me what to wear.  I say choose a color palette and let everyone choose whatever they want to wear that is either neutral or in the pallette.  It sounds so simple but it works!  Check out how good these guys look :).

Amy adds, “We are a casual family, and I knew starched white shirts and ties or dresses was not us. Wilmington is a beautiful, beachy town that we have visited and loved for over 15 years since my parents retired there. I wanted people to feel comfortable in what they had on, so I just told them blues, black, white, or gray and let them decide. I had bought similar shirts for my mom and me last time I saw her, so I chose these shirts for us and planned around them.”

Party of ten…

family gathers for portraits on wilmington nc beach house porch

Boys will be Boys

Some of my favorite shots tend to be the silly, unpredictable photographs that show people’s personalities... as a family vacation photographer, I like to mix it up, taking traditional portraits between candid shots and just naturally seeing what happens while I’m on location.

Love the smiles & laughter here:

brothers tickle eachother on the porch of their family's beach house

A 60 Year Love Story

Amy smiles, “My parents will celebrate 58 years of marriage this month. They met in college and are two of the most loyal people I know. I think they represent what marriage actually is, loyalty, fidelity, and trust, and of course love, which encompasses all of those.”

She earnestly shares, “Their marriage isn’t a fairy tale and has had bumps, but I have never ever had to wonder if they would stay together and always be there for my brother and me because I knew it. When my mom’s dementia got to where she couldn’t cook anymore or do other household things, she was legit amazing, like Martha Stewart hostess worthy, my dad, who can also wear an apron with pride, stepped in and has done all the shopping, cooking, and cleaning for the past several years without complaint.”

She adds, “My kids miss her chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake, fried chicken, and homemade pies, but I try and do them justice.”

grandparents kissing in front of tulips everlasting love

Family Built on Faith

Amy shares, “We consider ourselves religious and also believe that joy is a huge part of life.  One of our favorite scriptures is, “Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy.” That’s kind of how we roll!  We have tried to center our lives around Jesus Christ, our church, and most importantly, treating each other and those we meet as the Savior would. Decisions in our family are made through prayer and pondering and have helped us through the years when hard things happen.”

She continues, “Following Christ’s example provides for a lot of love and forgiveness, two things we all need more of. Mike and I have always felt that we do not own these kids of ours, but instead, they are His, and he has gifted them to us for a time. We try to do right by that, failing constantly, but continuing to try.”

She adds, “Sundays are sacred for us as we try to “keep the Sabbath Day holy” with family/church time only. The kids missed a lot of birthday parties over the years, but I hope they appreciated the chance Sundays gave us to worship, regroup, recharge, play board games, and have our famous “family planning sessions,” where everyone brings their calendar to the table and we plan the week. Lots of sighing and eye-rolling took place! Still does!”

hershey pennsylvania family vacation photographer captures freckled sister laughing while her brother hugs her, she is wearing glasses in this black and white photograph

The More the Merrier

Amy shared, “Austin is an important part of our family.  He knocked on our door 5 years ago, looking for Nathanael. I believe people are put into our life for a reason. It turns out, Austin needed us, and we needed him, too. He and Nathanael have a bond, they keep each other in check and really are brothers. We invited him to stay with us, and he has been a part of the family ever since. He inspires me every day.  He is a living testament to the fact that anything is possible. ”

cool portrait photography young adult stands under tree against chain link fence

I love this photo of Austin and his partner, Alexa!  I have several sweet shots of them, but this one really captures their loving, carefree, open vibe

carefree authentic couple smiles while walking through the sand dune to the beach

Traditional Portraits

I have so many more traditional portraits like this of different family groupings.  You know, those “smile and look at the camera” sort.  I realize as a family vacation photographer, that my clients are looking for moments as well as traditional portraiture.

I love the authenticity of this one of Grandpa and his favorite ladies!

family vacation photographer captures intergenerational family photos in a fun beautiful authentic way

Photo Display of the Decade 😉

When I walked into the house I was completely floored by the gallery displays on all of their walls, so many featuring my photography.  The only place I’ve seen more of my photos is on my own walls!  Here is just one of their photo displays from our original photoshoot, 10 years ago!!!

family photo wall display with black and white photos

Words to Live By

Amy elaborates, “Our family loves to play, to travel, to argue, to open our doors to strangers, and make them family. We have one family rule, “Don’t do dumb things,” and two family mottos…..”No Unlesses,” and “Always Do Both.” We have all done some dumb things, myself included, but for the most part, we make each other proud every day.

She continues, “‘Always Do Both” captures our crazy, goofiness of trying to pack as much wonderfulness into every experience. We started this when we lived in South Africa and just didn’t want to miss anything.” No Unlesses means, we will always love and be proud of our kids unless……nope, No Unlesses. It originally comes from Mike’s brother who left his young kids a message before passing away from brain cancer.”

young family members gather together on vacation in their hammock

There was something about the reflection of their feet, (throwback to foot photo lol), the blue of the water, and the natural groupings of these family members that I really like!

extended family gathers for award winning family vacation photographer as their backs are towards the camera and they face towards the ocean in wilmington NC

Hungry for More?  Check out the links below!


More Lymans?

Want to see more of my Family Lifestyle photography sessions?

More Family Vacation Photography?

Want to see more about this Family Vacation Photographer?  (me, Lisa)


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