The Best Family Photos in the Catskills: HarmonyHill Photography
With a gorgeous Catskill Mountain backdrop on her doorstep, a knack for capturing the magic of childhood, and perhaps the most affordable rates in NY State, photographer Christine McIlhenny of HarmonyHill Photography is making a name for herself in Cornwallville. As a young mother who runs an in-home preschool, she's a natural child-whisperer, conjuring sweetness in every shot.
Christine is too talented and too in-demand for her rates to remain this low, but for now, HarmonyHill sessions start at an extremely reasonable $100 per person for an hour-long session, which includes a disc of photos for the client to print. For a nominal fee, extra people can be added to the session, and for an additional charge Christine will even travel within an hour of her home to yours.
Children are Christine's specialty, but during her 3 years in business, she has also styled and shot some stunning family photos and handled head-shots for adults, such as the dashing Greene County Legislator Aidan O'Connor.
Looking at the way Christine plays with light and shadow and uses the majesty of the mountains to enhance the playfulness of her subjects, it's surprising to learn that she is completely self-taught. "A Black Friday Walmart special on a Cannon camera started it all!" Christine laughs. "My husband gifted me the camera for Christmas 2014 and I began taking tons of photos of my two girls. I never expected to 'do photography.' I just love taking pictures and capturing as many moments possible."
"Children in general inspire me," Christine says. "Their pure and fresh outlook on life is amazing. Unposed, playful pictures are my favorites. I just follow the kids around and love watching them through my lens."
"I grew up in a yellow house on Golden Hill Road, just a mile from where I am now," Christine says, explaining her connection to Cornwallville. "When my husband and I were engaged, we found that a gorgeous 8-acre lot, where my sister and I used to sneak onto and ride our horses, was for sale!" They split the purchase with Christine's parents, who now happily live 100 feet away. "Because two homes are up on the hill, we had to legally name our driveway," she explains. "After much thought, we named it Harmony Hill, a name my mother, Kathleen Morton, thought perfectly fitting."
"People often ask if we moved on Harmony Hill because of my photography," Christine says. "But that's just one more thing that fell into place. Living in front of one of the most amazing views in Greene County makes for a breathtaking backdrop!"
For more info, follow HarmonyHill Photography on Facebook, where you can message Christine to set up a session. For more adorable photos, gorgeous landscapes, and captions that shine with Christine's bright personality, you can also follow her on Instagram at @christinemcilhenny.