Sunrise | Wrightsville Beach

Sounds of birds chirping woke me from a deep sleep after more than ten hours on the road a few hours earlier.  The journey to North Carolina from Pennsylvania was eventless and the traffic minimal for a Sunday before a holiday.  Even though birds were chirping, it was very dark outside.  Why?  The sound of birds was my alarm sound and not the sound of the ‘real’ birds welcoming a sunrise.  Looking at my phone where the bird sounds originated, I noticed the temperature outside was slightly above 32 degrees.  Didn’t the weather folks know this was a beach town in the south and this temperature is reserved for the north?  Rubbing sleep from my eyes, I got ready for a cold sunrise on the beach thinking, all of this for a photo?  Yes, it was a cloudless night and the sun was predicted to rise three hours from now in all of its majestic glory and warmth (:D).

The car was covered with drops of ice and the thought of running back into the hotel and under the warmth of a blanket raced through my head.  Maybe I should enter a rehab program for photographers that are crazy?  The car warmed up and the heated seats were a welcome to a chilled body making the short ride to the beach easier.

Navigating my way toward Wrightsville Beach provided a new display of lighted decorations.  Maritime figures such as mermaids, dolphins, and more were on many of the light poles providing a holiday look to the town.  Few people were on the streets this early on a brisk morning.  I drove by a few runners dressed in warm running outfits who might need a rehab program similar to the one I need for crazy folks who go out in the early morning on a cold November day.

Finding a parking spot near Johnnie Mercer’s Pier was easy with quick access to the beach.  There were a few walkers and workers cleaning up the area for the day’s activities.

wrightsville beach pictures

Wrightsville beach pictures

“If you want to be reminded of the love of the Lord, just watch the sunrise.”
Jeannette Walls, Half Broke Horses

Before the Sun rose, the sky was filled with great color!

As anticipated, the early morning sky was filled with bright stars and a beautiful sky.  I walked along the beach near Johnnie Mercer’s Pier and found a few spots that would provide a great sunrise image.  Huddled near the tripod and camera, I waited until the sky started to change colors and I was not disappointed.  Experimenting with a few different settings on the camera with the intent to ‘freeze’ the water and create a glow in the sky.

Two plus hours passed from the time I arrived at the beach and a faint orange glow peaked the horizon providing a slight mist and fog like effect over the water.  I could hear real birds in the distance but most remained huddled around each other staying warm.

A lady gathering sea shells walked the beach dress similar to me in a few layers of clothes and warm gloves while a few others ran to the beach, grabbed a quick sunrise image and immediately jogged to their respective cars to escape the cold morning air.

Birds staying warm on a cold morning

Keep tight to stay warm!

The time spent was rewarded with a beautiful sunrise that is fully appreciated after the anticipation.  The sun seems to creep up to the horizon then in all of its glory, rises providing light and heat.

The sun in all of its glory
 The sun in all of its glory

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Was it worth the time spent?  Yes!  A loud YES!  – visiting the beach for a sunrise or sunset is always worth the time spent listening to the sounds of the ocean, the birds, and the feel of life coming from the rising sun! To me, it is like the Lord saying to all of life – “Good morning!”  I have provided another day for you to enjoy!

Surfchex – Watch the beach from the warmth of your home!

Tech Speak:

All of the images were taken with the Panasonic Lumix GX8 and the Panasonic Lumix G 12-35 f/2.8 lens.  This set-up is my new favorite for lightweight travel and urban street photography. 

Posted in Landscape Photography, Lumix GX8, Travel Photography Tagged , , |

Chicago | October 2015 | Lumix GX8

Although I have been to Chicago many times, I never stayed in the city.  However, on this trip to Chicago, I had the opportunity to stay in the city at the Hilton Chicago.  Little did I realize how much there was to do within walking distance from the hotel.  On my list of places to visit was Millennium Park and the park didn’t disappoint.  It was clean and void of debris and vagrants.

In fact, I wish I had more time to spend in Millennium Park.  During my visit, the Cubs were in the race to the MLB play-offs which is why the buildings were lit with Cubs. If you visit Chicago, I recommend visiting Millennium Park.  No doubt in the summer, it is packed with people and street vendors.  On this fall night, it was warm but there were not many vendors open nor was the park crowded providing the opportunity to move around without bumping into other visitors.  I wanted to get a sunrise over the Bean, but time didn’t permit on this visit.  However, I did get some other early morning images of the city which I will post in the future.

On this trip, I took my then newly acquired Lumix GX8 and the Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8 lens and it didn’t disappoint.  Over the next few months, I will continue to post images from this trip and future trips, discussing my opinion of the Lumix GX8.  The camera didn’t disappoint, delivering excellent quality in a smaller body than my Nikon Full Frame Cameras.  I like the rangefinder-like look and feel and at first didn’t ‘get’ the viewfinder on the left side versus the middle.  However, now that I used it for more than a month, I like it and find it odd when I go back to the Nikon.   I can carry a complete kit in a shoulder bag with much less weight making the traveling with a camera more enjoyable.


Reflections in the Bean of Chicago

Reflections in the Bean of Chicago

The sky created an amazing effect in the Bean.  No doubt my image is one of many thousands, but I wanted my version as I saw it on this day.  The reflections were tremendous creating a globe-like effect into a different world of fun and adventure.

The Bean with the city of Chicago

The Bean with the city of Chicago

My version of a selfie

My version of a selfie

Reflective Selfie

Millennium Park

Millennium Park

Chicago at Night Cubs in Play-offs

Chicago at Night Cubs in Play-offs



Posted in chicago, Lumix GX8, Travel Photography, Wedding Photography Tagged , , |

Wedding Cake Cutting Video

There are many parts of a wedding that is filled with anticipation, the entrance of the bride, will the groom and/or dad cry when they see the bride for the first time?  The first kiss, the first dance, but there is one part of the wedding which is often filled with statements such as, don’t smash the cake in my hair followed by the bride smashing the cake in the groom’s face.

Wedding Cake Cutting

When do you cut the cake?

From my experience, it all depends on many items.  Tradition has it that the cake was cut at the end of the wedding reception signaling to the guests that the couple would change and leave.  However, that tradition has been replaced by cutting the cake immediately upon entering the reception (which gives the venue’s staff time to cut it and serve the cake to the guests during the meal and the opportunity to clean up when needed).  Others wait until after the meal is served but not finished and begin the cake cutting presentation.  While others wait and do the cake cutting after the first few dances.  There is no ‘right or wrong’ but only a time when it matches your desire for the reception.


Ensure you display your beautiful cake for the guests to see before it is cut.


Many venues and some D.J.’s put lights on the cake to ensure it is shown off to the hilt.  Do everything possible to NOT put it in a corner where no one can see it or the photographers cannot photograph you cutting the cake.  Too often the cake is put in a dark corner where the guests not only cannot find it but will miss the fun when you cut your cake.

Kiss after cutting your wedding cake and give your guests (and professional photographer) a great picture to share and you to put in your wedding album.

Wedding Cake Cutting


One complaint I hear from the guests is that they cannot see the wedding cake cutting.  At Kendralla Photography, we incorporate both still images and motion into our packages creating a memorable keepsake for you and your family.  What better way to share this fun part of the wedding with your guests and those who couldn’t attend but in a short video of your wedding cake cutting.

In this short Hybrid Cake Cutting, enjoy the anticipation and fun of a great cake cutting!

Video captured with the Lumix GX8 and Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8 lens.

Posted in Lumix GX8, mirrorless camera, Wedding Photography, wedding videos Tagged , , , |

Serbian Orthodox Wedding

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If you never attended a Serbian Orthodox Wedding, you are in for an exciting event when you attend your first.  I photographed other orthodox weddings and similar events but never a Serbian Orthodox and enjoyed the entire day.  It started with the pre-wedding festivities where the family and close friends attended a party called a Skup at the bride’s home while she prepared for the day.    Guests were greeted with a Serbian band playing Serbian music not only during this part of the celebration but later during the reception when the guests participated in kolo dancing.

Groom arrives at Serbian Celebration

Groom arrives at Serbian Celebration

Kendralla Photography-D75_3407-EditWhile the bride and her bridesmaids are preparing for the day, the groom arrives and a toast is given by the father of the bride to welcome him into their family.  Laughter and more celebrating continues as the bride awaits her dad to see her for the first time.   More tears of joy as the dad views his beautiful daughter for the first time in her wedding gown on her special day.  Laughter and more tears follow as they embrace and others gather the family and friends to see her for the first time.

As she walks with her arm in her dad’s arm, the crowd of guests awaits her entrance. The little girls giggle as they see the beautiful bride descend the steps with her dad who in a few minutes will give a toast to his daughter.

After the toast and more celebrating, the bride and her bridesmaids leave for the church where a beautiful wedding celebration occurs.



Crowning of Groom at Serbian Orthodox Ceremony

Crowning of Groom at Serbian Orthodox Ceremony

They are crowned after the exchange of the rings (bethrothal) at the Royal Door and the binding of the cloth by the priest who crowns the groom first, then the bride.  The binding of the cloth which symbolises the bride and groom are bound for life is as beautiful as the crowning of the couple. The priest recites the crown blessing three times, (The servant of God, [groom’s name], is crowned unto the handmaiden of God, [bride’s name], in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.)


During the wedding ceremony, the choir sang from the choir loft adding a beautiful sound to the Serbian Orthodox Wedding.

After the service which includes drinking from the common cup and a procession three times around the altar, the wedding ceremony concludes.  The couple leaves the church and is greeted by family, friends, and the Serbian band playing.

Unlike other exits from a church, the couple is showered with coins and collected by children in attendance.

Later at the reception, the Serbian band plays and the crowd participated in Serbian Dancing and more fun filled activities.  The father of the bride gives his third toast of the day to the bride and groom followed by a toast by the kum.

The dancing, laughing, and the celebration continued into the night.

Congrats to Samantha and John!  Believing the best for your lives together!

Creative Bridal Portrait in Archway

Creative Bridal Portrait in Archway

Below is the 18-minute wedding show of the wedding celebration that we produced as a heirloom memory for the family. It contains audio, video, and stills with music and more. Enjoy!



Posted in beaver county, Wedding Photography Tagged , , , , |

Tara A Country Inn Wedding

If you enjoy a wedding with a theme and a setting from a popular movie and book, then I suggest visiting Tara A Country Inn in Clark, PA.  Jaimie and Jones were married in nearby St. Michael’s church with their reception at the Tara.  The weather was perfect to highlight a beautiful outdoor wedding reception.

There are many areas to photograph, but one of my favorites is the entrance with the tall pillars to frame the couple.  As the sun set behind the Tara, the front glowed with the porch lights illuminating the couple creating a beautiful silhouette.

Romantic Wedding Portrait

Romantic Setting at the Tara A Country Inn


For all of our weddings, we capture the moments from the day not only with still imagery but with video and combine the two to create a multimedia experience to help preserve the memories from the day.

In Jaimie and Jone’s show,  notice there are parts of the speeches, dancing, and so much more to create a memorable heirloom item to share and cherish.


Bride and Groom Dip | Tara A Country Inn | Beautifully Lit Entrance

One of my favorite creative wedding poses is the dip. Where else better to perform this romantic wedding portrait is on the porch of the Tara with a twist of history tied to it.

Bride and Groom dip portrait

Bride and Groom dip portrait


German wedding toast by the father of the bride:

“Jeder hört die Musik anders – aber der gemeinsame Tanz ist wunderbar.
Everyone hears the music differently – but the dance together is wonderful.”


If you are seeking a creative wedding photography style combined with a twist of motion (video), then contact us for a wedding photography quote.

Wedding Rings | St. Michael's

Wedding Rings | St. Michael’s


Posted in beaver county, gone with the wind, tara a country inn, Wedding Budget, Wedding Photography Tagged , , , , , , |

Romantic Maternity Portraits

Sunset over Ohio River

Enjoying the sunset as a couple

 Romantic Maternity Photography in Beaver County

We couldn’t have asked for a better evening for sunset portraits near the Ohio River in Monaca, PA.  The sun bathed the area in beautiful light and the rocks along the water made a perfect seat for posing.  Jessica not only looked radiant and beautiful in her flowing dress but was very easy to pose.

Anticipating their first child, Nick and Jessica came prepared for the portrait session with many cute props.

Radiant mom to be with glowing sunset

Radiant mom to be with glowing sunset

With the sun setting over the junction of the Ohio and Beaver river, it made for a perfect spot to capture Jessica’s radiant beauty.  The rocks along the river appeared to be calling out, “use us as a seat for Jessica” (okay, not really but they were perfect).

Her dressed flowed over her glowing body outlining in perfect fashion her little “bump”.

This area along the Ohio river in Monaca is one of my favorite areas to photograph sunset portraits.  High School senior and engagement portraits here always look tremendous because of the many props and amazing light.  The steps of stone in a bleacher like design and the stone wall near the pump house offer many options.


Jessica and Nick, congrats and believing the best for you and your little bundle of love.

For more information concerning romantic maternity photography, high school senior portraits, or wedding photography, please contact me for pricing and availability.  {Ask us about our custom design photo app with images from your portrait session that you can use to share your images with family and friends.}

Sunset bathing soon to be mom

Sunset bathing soon to be mom

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Posted in beaver county, Wedding Photography Tagged , |

Fireworks | Monaca Celebration | Beaver County 2015

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Monaca Celebration | June 27, 2015

Finishing the day of celebration on a beautiful night at the junction of the Ohio and Beaver river, Zambelli Fireworks delivered a tremendous display of light.  They entertained the crowd and celebrated 175 years for Monaca (Beaver County), PA.

If you would like to see a complete collection of the fireworks images, please click here.


Monaca Fireworks by Zambelli | Beaver County PA

Monaca Fireworks by Zambelli | Beaver County PA

Monaca Fireworks by Zambelli

Monaca Fireworks by Zambelli

Posted in fireworks, street photography Tagged , , , |

The ultimate sacrifice | Memorial Day

The ultimate sacrifice - giving your life

Memorial Day 2015 | We will never forget!

We will never forget those who gave their life for us to live. This design is a composite of two images in an attempt to thank my Lord and Saviour for dying to give me life eternal and to honor and thank those who served in our military to protect this great nation.

“The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.” — Jeff Miller

On This Memorial Day

Remember those who served before.
Remember those who are no more.
Remember those who serve today.
Remember them as we eat and play.
Remember our protectors-
who are not home today.
Remember them all on Memorial Day.

Source: Family Friend Poems

Freedom:”Costly for many including God’s Son; Enjoyed both now & in the age to come!”

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13


And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD. 1 Chronicles 28:20



Posted in Fine art

Seneca Valley Prom 2015 No Booth Photo Booth

The Seneca Valley Prom @ the Scottish Rite Cathedral in New Castle, PA.


DJ and Lighting by Otto Productions.


No Booth PHOTO Booth by Kendralla Photography

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Click here to view and/or purchase the no booth images as well as some of the images from the dancing.

If you are in need of High School Senior Portraits or Family Portraits, I have a few openings this summer.  Please mention the Seneca Valley Prom for a special promotion. Click here to contact us.


Posted in High School Portraits, high school prom, Portrait Photography, portraits, prom pictures

Candid Moments in Life

Candid Moments in Life

The best moments are not planned

I took this image of my wife and two eldest grandkids is 2009. We were walking along a path that borders our property and the moment seemed perfect for an image.  The grandkids are now 13 and 11 but this image is one of my favorite images of all times.  My wife and I were going through the thousands of images I took of the family since 2001 and this one jumped out as a ‘must print and hang’ image.  We pondered the best scripture verse and decided that Psalm 46:10a, “Be still and know that I am God…” is perfect.

I printed this as an 11×14 and matted it to fit a 16×20 black frame for hanging in our living room.  This will join many other prints that we proudly display of our family and life.  My wife kept saying, this looks like something you would buy and hang on your wall from a Christian bookstore. 😀  One of the greatest compliments a photographer can get is when their spouse states they would pay for the image.

Some of the best images I took were not planned, staged, nor posed.  They just developed (pun intended).  Although this sat on my hard drive for 6 years after I processed it, the image remained ready to become a story teller.  However, I believe that an image isn’t a true picture until it is printed and hung on a wall for others to see and cherish.

No doubt this might have more meaning to us than it would to others, the connection of the viewer becomes when they can relate.  A mom can relate thinking when they walk hand in hand with their child(ren) or a grandma thinking to the day when she walks with her grandchildren.  Life is short and too often the only thing we have to trigger a happy and cherished memory is to look and hold our pictures.  There is a saying that a picture is art when it connects with the viewer.  I would add that a picture is an image when it tells a story that connects the viewer to the subject.

It is very important to preserve memories with photography but it is more important to print the images to share and hold.

What many do not realize is the image we take today isn’t for our benefit (today) but for the benefit of future generations or to comfort us years in the future.  I hope that one day my grandchildren will be blessed with children and grandchildren of their own and that this image will provide conversations they have with their families.  As I type this, tears flow down my cheeks.  Not of sorrow but of joy that a God given gift (vision and photography) can bring joy and happiness.  Tears of joy that memories are captured and preserved for future generations to enjoy.

With the advent of digital and the fact that nearly everyone has a camera (mobile device) and images are shared non-stop, my concern is that too many people fail to print their memories.  They show them off on their smart phone but when the smart phone breaks where are the memories.  Yes, more and more people store in the cloud but how many retrieve them from the cloud and display the images proudly on their walls?

Candid moments need preserved and cherished!

Mother’s day is quickly approaching.  Plan a time for pictures, preserving today for future generations.  We offer a session that includes both still and motion (video) with a multimedia show that brings laughter and tears wrapped in joy and happiness.

Posted in beaver county, high school senior portraits, hybrid portraits, Inspirational Art, photography, portraits, Wedding Photography Tagged , , , |