Olivia | Fitness Photos | Butler PA Fitness Photos

Olivia graciously agreed to do some modeling for me at our local Butler YMCA. We were in need of photos, and she had become so dedicated to fitness and health, and makes it look good! It was great to get to know her more, and to also see some of her routines!

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Prism Photography | Prism Photos |Butler Photographer

Some of my favorite photos are done with a prism! These are done with no filter, no photoshop, and no editing. All the images are straight out of the camera! (sooc) I’m kind of a purist when it comes to all the editing that’s done to photos these days. If I can’t do it in-camera, I don’t want it. I want to see things as they are, or add the magic myself. Holding a prism over the lens while shooting adds magic to the moment, and this tiny girl is instantly taken to Wonderland instead of a simple backyard. This is easily done anywhere, and it doesn’t even have to be a sunny day to have the prism rainbows work. In fact, it actually works better on a cloudy day, out of direct sunlight. The prism is always in my camera bag!

Kylee & Chris | Laube Hall Wedding Photos | Laube Hall

I loved going through Kylee and Chris’s wedding photos again! I’ve been catching up on my wedding blogging, and this wedding was picture perfect. Kylee lovingly put all the details together, and Chris made beautiful wooden pieces for their decor and cake serving ware. They each put a piece of their heart into this wedding, and their love for each other shows in each element!

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Thanks for having me! All the best to you!!! ❤

Amanda & Jeff | Pittsburgh Aviary Wedding |National Aviary Wedding | Pittsburgh National Aviary Wedding | The National Aviary | The Aviary Wedding |

I’m so excited to share one of the coolest weddings I had the pleasure to shoot! It’s been a while since I have been blogging, and I’ve been wanting to especially show off this one! Amanda and Jeff hosted one of my faaaavorite weddings! Why? They did a PHOTO TOUR of Pittsburgh! Currently living out of state, Amanda wanted to highlight Pittsburgh in their wedding photos. Before hosting their wedding ceremony and reception at the National Aviary, they rented a trolley for their wedding party and families and we did photos in all their favorite Pittsburgh places. These places included the Roberto Clemente Bridge, the scenic Mount Washington Lookout, the incredibly colorful Randyland, and right under the Crosby Statue at the PPG Paints Arena.
We started out the day with a First Look Session for Amanda and Jeff–so romantic, right underneath the Heinz History Center.

 

 

After the First Look, we then traveled to Randyland, which we loved for the bright, bold colors and XYZ XYZ

 

 

We finished up their super fun (and full of laughs!) bridal session with the family photos and bridal party photos all over Pittsburgh’s best views!

 

 

After this, we headed to one of Jeff’s favorite places, the PPG Paints Arena (formerly Consol Energy Center) , which houses the coolest statue of Mario Lemieux for shots of his groomsmen and entire bridal party.

 

 

Onto one of the beeeesssst places for a JUMP photo, Mount Washington Overlook!
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Heading off to the ceremony and reception at the National Aviary, where Amanda had a fantastic Pittsburgh Cookie Table waiting, along with beautiful birds from the Aviary for us to meet in person.

 


The sloth at the Aviary is by far my favorite little guy!!
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All of the gorgeous birds were such a joy to see during the cocktail hour!

 

And now for the party!

 

Thanks for having me! You two were a blast and I wish you all the best in a long, happy life together! ❤

Brittany & Ryan | Mayernik Center Wedding | Pittsburgh Wedding | Rustic Wedding | Pittsburgh Rustic Wedding | Avonworth Wedding | Avonworth Community Park | Mayernik Center Wedding Photography |Mayernik Center Wedding Photos

I’m excited to (finally!) share Brittany and Ryan’s wedding day here on the blog! If you’re wondering why it’s taken so long to get their wedding post up, you can read this blog post for a backstory with my blog and the downtime that came with it. Anyway! Brittany is such a special girl–I mean, I even left my vest in her dressing room and she texted me the next day to ask me if it was mine, when she should have just been spending time with her brand-new husband, but, this is Brittany, and she is a loving, caring soul, and all about everyone else. This resonated throughout her wedding day–all about Ryan, her adorable nephews, her sis-in-law who had a newborn 10 days earlier (and you couldn’t tell, super jealous!) and making everyone comfortable and concerning herself with everyone and making sure they had a good time–which they totally did!
They held their ceremony and reception in the same place (so smart!) at the Mayernik Center in Avonworth Community Park. It’s awesome to have your wedding at an all-inclusive place like this because they provided a lovely room for Brittany and her girls to dress in, and it saves your guests (and you!) from running around to different places on your already busy day. It’s also convenient because I was able to take photos of the groom, his groomsmen, and some family photos before the ceremony because they wished to remain traditional and not see each other before their vows. Simple. Easy. Yes!
The Mayernik Center was the perfect backdrop for Brittany’s burlap and lace accents, contrasting with a bright, cheeful Tiffany Blue for her bridesmaid dresses and accents.
It was wonderful to spend the day with these two. Many, many years of happiness to their long life together!

The Mayernik Center (also known as Avonworth Community Park) provide a beautiful backdrop for photos, even in April before any leaves had bloomed! I especially loved the creek running through the park.

Brittany and Ryan really know how to throw a party…

Lots of love to you both! ❤

Three.

Three. No, the date. Today, three.
I’m Sicilian, I’ve always had this “thing” with numbers. Numbers are signs. Signs, I’ve been taught, are God speaking to us.

We’re a unique blend of religion and superstitions.
We wear a cross with a cornicello.
We say novenas, but we worry regardless.
We pray, but we look for signs. We think we can beg and plead and perform to get our way.
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Freefall

“So, wife, mama, photog…freefall? Why did you put freefall?” he asked.
“Well, I don’t know, I kind of didn’t know what else to put and it sounded right at the time,” I replied almost sheepishly.
“Awwwww, it’s because you LOVE Tom Petty!” he exclaimed.
“Well, sure, I mean who doesn’t?” relieved I had at least said something.

While I have yet to meet someone that doesn’t like Tom Petty, but about an hour later we went to the gym, and as I was running my laps (listening to Ty Dolla $ign now) this question kept popping up.

Why did I write freefall? Why do I feel like freefall fits me right now?

Plans. I have no plans. And it feels foreign to me.
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The Hurting Creative Brain

So I wrote a completely different blog post today, but I’m holding off on sharing it. It’s kind of dark and sad, and on a rainy day like today, that’s the last thing anyone needs.

But that’s the paradox of being creative. You have things you want to say, but HOW do you say them without sounding like a menacing banshee flying out of hell? You can’t. So you don’t say anything.

And that’s the effect of your creative brain. You feel and experience so much more. There will be another person that went through the exact same thing that you did, and will be able to walk away and just say “Eh, some people are just a$$h0l3$,” and be done with it. You find yourself incredibly jealous of these people and ask for lessons on how to not care about things so much.

I wish I could be cut and dry. I wish things were easier to process. I wish I wasn’t so GD emotional and that I could just forget about people that have treated me badly. I know they’ve forgotten about me–or they wouldn’t have treated me that way in the first place. But still, here we are, resurrecting old hurts and trying to figure it out. Answers! Well, there won’t be any answers. Maybe that’s the hardest part. No justification.

After a while, the sting will wear off. Let some time pass. You’ll stop checking their social media. (You might even give up social media for a time!) You’ll stop wondering if they’re still talking about you. You will have a better grip on how much to let the hurt take up space in your mind. You might even be able to hold a conversation with them when you run into them at the store, even if you do cry as soon as you get into your car. Baby steps. This won’t happen overnight. This is so much easier said than done. You’ll be stronger for just letting yourself take your time, when you’re ready. This creative brain can’t be forced. Rest easy knowing that just because you cried over them today, doesn’t mean you will cry everyday, this won’t last forever. Look forward to your stronger, clearer self. It will take time to get there, but it will be worth the journey. You’ll stand tall, unmovable, and strong.

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Backwards Inspo

“And that’s the effect of living backwards,” she said. “hahaaaa!”
Who? The White Queen. In Alice in Through the Looking Glass. It’s just a movie in a complete fantasty-style-story, but that line has stuck with me for quite some time.

So many times, we frustrate ourselves simply because we end up working backwards, but we don’t figure it out until we’re finished. Not every job you do will have the outcome without hiccups and detours and new finds along the way.

I learned this the hard way while shooting weddings. My beautiful bride was sooo excited to get into her gorgeous gown, skip down the isle, and snog her cute fiance-turned-husband. Someone always had other ideas. That someone came in the form of another female family member with ideas on how she should be spending her time on her day. Sometimes there were tears, sometimes her bridesmaids would stick up for her so she didn’t have to…and sometimes she walked out to get some air. Whatever the case, this was hard for me to watch. I’m naturally defensive of anyone I like, but it was my job to just keep my mouth shut and take the damn pictures. For someone like me, it can be really hard to sit back and bite my tongue while a bunch of chickens are clucking at my bride with a bunch of different opinions on what she should do with her hair, what color her lipstick would be, ask prying questions about their bedroom life, tease her about weight loss pills, what she was wearing for lingerie, and whether or not she SHOULD wear the Spanx they are trying to convince her to put on–that she doesn’t actually need–but that’s not my business.

OK so I kind of derailed myself there–I don’t mean to fly off the handle about rude control-freaky people or who you should let into your dressing room on your wedding day. But the point I’m trying to illustrate is that we can all have experiences where the result will be the same, but the route will be different. At the end of the day, my bride DID get to kiss her cute boyf-turnd-husboo, but not without some significant tears and unnecessary
(read: P E T T Y) arguments over lipstick colors and other thing that simply don’t need to be addressed by anyone but yourself. Seriously.

With our construction business, sure the kitchen gets put together, it looks gorgeous, everything works like a charm…but not without significant hiccups and detours. I’m talking things that need to be rearranged because of 1/4 “off”. A chimney that throws off the entire measurement of a wall. Running out of three subway tiles. Having to redo and redo and redo the 1920’s hex tile over because the black tiles aren’t lining up right with the white tiles and your eyes are now crossed for an hour. These things happen. The end result is the same, but we didn’t get there without some significant setbacks, re-planning, new decisions, and a lot of “we’ll do this instead”.

For me at the moment, the inspiration works backwards because inspo hits when I’m least expecting it. I used to get out my camera and just BE inspired. I’d hear one lyric from a song that would trip a whole cluster of ideas for photos and writing.

Now…not so much. Ideas fly in and out of my head like they never existed in the first place. I’ve become so long winded that I don’t even realize what I’m writing about until I’m done. Probably the thing I’m saddest about the most is that inspo will hit when I have no pencil and paper or even a phone to jot down notes and ideas. They just have to stay in my brain and I try to make mental notes so I can revisit it later. But it really doesn’t happen. I have to work so much harder to remember what seemed so profound to me six hours ago. Then of course, it’s gone. Enter: Getting up earlier.

Getting up before I actually haaaave to is hard. I worked my a$$ off for this lifestyle that is so unusual. Partly, because I don’t have the desire for the typical lifestyle, my desire IS freedom and my desire IS doing what I want when I want…even if it means a lower paycheck that doesn’t come every other Friday at 3:00pm via direct deposit. This outweighs the desk-banishment and the falling-in-line EVERY TIME. Every damn time. Promise. ANYWAY. (Sorry, I just feel the need to justify my lifestyle with all of the “must be nice” comments I hear all the time. I should probably write a post about this.)

So I don’t have to, but I want to get up early. It’s true time alone. I discovered that spending time alone at night was when I was the most tired and UNinspired. No inspo is awful for someone with a creative brain. After the trial and error during the day, the school lessons, the work, the cooking, the cleaning, ect forever, my inspo was nil. I didn’t write, I barely even read. I just netflix zoned, because that’s all I had energy to do, and further sucked creative energy from my mojo.

Coming full circle (finally, I know lolz) I found that reevaluating where and how I spent my time made a big difference. I have the same result, but I got it a different and better way. An easier way, something that allowed me to have a true flow instead of forcing the ideas to come back to me like they had earlier that afternoon. Reevaluate. See where you can make changes. See where things can be easier for you. Small changes can lead to big results.

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Faith | Pittsburgh Portrait Photographer | Pittsburgh Natural Light Photographer

Faith is a beautiful girl, inside and out! She’s as talented as she is gorgeous! Her professional dancing has been calling her for more performances lately (hurray!) so we did some head shots for her to send in with her biographies. Congrats on your new adventure, Faith! You’ve got so much heart in your performances!
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