A few weeks ago, I spent an afternoon scouting in Harrisburg for new locations. I love the chance to get out alone with my camera. It's a throwback to when I would drop my kids off at school and then wander the streets of Lebanon, getting acquainted with my camera and exploring the details of our little town. This practice was part of what taught me how to find beauty in unlikely places.


Today, I found Italian Lake Park in Harrisburg, PA. This park is nothing if not picturesque, with a brick walkway, a small fountain and a bridge on one side.

Fountain at Italian Lake Park in Harrisburg PA
Walkway and bridge at Italian Lake Park

Whenever I'm scouting for locations, I always look for ways that a family, couple, or individual could be framed or situated within a shot. This overhanging tree is a perfect example of that. I also notice how we have access to a bench, should the ground be wet for sitting.

Quiet bench looking out over lake at Italian Lake Park

William Penn High School


Right across the street, lies the bones of the old William Penn High School. Even though it has only been out of commission for about a decade, it has that ancient hundred-year-old ruins look to it. I personally dig it. What do you think?

William Penn High School in Harrisburg PA

I didn't venture beyond the exterior of the building, but I would love to be allowed inside with my camera. It reminds me of something Matthew Christopher of Abandoned America would shoot (did you know he started out in Pennsylvania?!). 

Dilapidated school building with vines growing up the walls

These vines encompass the entire perimeter of the tennis court. Doesn't it remind you of the castle in Sleeping Beauty?

Brambles growing up tennis court walls

I'm just going to say it, this location would be PERFECT in the most ironic way for a high school senior session. Let's do it! 

Fort Hunter Mansion and Park


After Italian Lake Park and William Penn High School, I headed over to Fort Hunter Mansion and Park. The park proved to be less than ideal, but the mansion is situated atop a bluff and overlooks the water, which means that the golden hour light for this location couldn't be better. There were no less than TWO other photographers holding sessions here when I arrived, so that's gotta tell you something. 

Large mansion at sunset surrounded by trees
Walkway leading toward large house at golden hour
Woods with sunshine and water

Isn't it beautiful?! 


And finally, when I had packed my gear up and was starting to head home, I caught sight of the sunset over the water at the loading dock a small ways down the street. There was nothing to do but pull my car over, reach for my camera to catch a few fading glimpses of the water in a state of golden sapphire blue. It's my favorite color on earth.

Golden sapphire blue water at sunset on the bay

With a full SD card and a happy heart, I packed it all up again and drove back home to good ol' Lebanon, PA. Home, sweet, home.


Harrisburg peeps, what did I miss? Where should I go next?