Sharing with you some senior pictures tonight. This was Julia's senior session in May along the river in Kittanning. Tonight was a beautiful evening. I had a really fun session with some of my favorite kids (the three amigos) plus their baby brother/cousin. Finished early and had an hour before dark - took a long drive home. It was a beautiful evening. I am always awed by the way the sun sets in the summer like everything has melted butter on it. I love my little town and the way the light falls on the cornfields and lines of oats and the backs of black and white cows moseying through their pastures. There were so many deer out tonight with velvet still on their antlers. I came home and popped the Ken Burns - Lewis and Clark documentary in the dvd player. Here's the introduction to the film - make sure you have your sound on. It's a breathtaking look at a pivotal moment in American history when everything was young and new and anything was possible.
Julia along the docks on the river.
I couldn't resist venturing into town for some shots with some 'tude .
Julia is such a beautiful girl, her smile makes people want to smile too.
I loved this little series in the grass - (I should point out that Julia had her older sister along with her whose senior pictures I did a few years back to help out, and I had my sister Ashley with me to hold my reflector and always provide comic relief.) These three shots in the grass kind of represent all sides of Julia.
Very Lewis and Clark along the Allegheny River on a late spring evening. Julia climbed out on the rocks in her bare feet and my sister stood on the dock downstream measuring and adjusting the light with the reflector. I stood in the shallows contemplating how much I am blessed to have the opportunity to combine great people with beautiful scenery and freeze little scenes in time.
Congratulations Julia on your graduation - your future is as bright as your smile !
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I'm thinking of starting a new feature on this blog - regularly occuring posts such as weekend update, embarassing personal facts & mishaps, camera tips or photo advice, wedding planning strategies, etc. What do you think? Good idea?
THE WEEKEND UPDATE
It was HOT. H.O.T. - HOT. The humidity was killer over the weekend! For saturday's outdoor wedding we were lucky enough to be on top of a hill where there was a breeze but we still had our portable bridal party fans out and running on fresh batteries. The humidity was the worst part. The guests used the hand fan programs the bride crafted herself to waft the warm air away. Eventhough it was roasting out, we stuck to the shade and everyone was in great spirits!
I had a major klutz moment. At the reception I was moving to the other side of the room to get a family picture for one of the guests and when I rounded the corner near the buffet table I felt both feet slide out from under me! It looked like a cartoon. There was italian dressing spilled on the floor and I found it with my sandals. Like Wiley Coyote pedalling off a cliff, I struggled to catch myself and then headed heels in the air for the floor. At the last minute I pulled the camera in close to my chest and sacrificed my right arm landing full force on my elbow and then slid across the tile floor from the momentum taking a big piece of skin off of my bare arm. The camera was safe, the lens hood just tapped off the floor but nothing was damaged. It really hurt and I was so embarassed. At least no one got a picture!! :-)
Sunday morning I was so tired I slept in a little later and then did some shopping with Sean. Also I discovered Skype !
Monday afternoon - back to editing.
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Catching up! Last week Anna and I went to meet Emily and Brian at the park. When I asked Emily how they had met, she said they met at the park playing frisbee and then talked for the rest of the night at a bonfire making smores.
So we decided for engagement pictures - that all sounded like fun. And we should just do that.
So we did :-)
I loved their fun bright orange outfits! They brought along a brightly colored beach blanket from Brian's mom and we hung out on the grass. They love to laugh and crack each other up constantly.
Taking a break from giggles we tried for a romantic moment - I thought they did well :-D Then promptly cracked up all over again. Anna and I were in stitches, thank goodness the park was mostly empty.
Emily and I decided the cute little sundress was beautiful, but cramping her style. I understood - I'm a jeans girl myself ;-) And then we hiked through the park and found a field of daisies. Definitely not skirt territory anyways.
Love the sunsets in June..
They brought along a frisbee that had their wedding logo painted on it, a heart made from two hands. I told them we could not possibly pose frisbee pictures and therefore we would have to have action shots! We also discovered that Anna's athletic talents are not frisbee oriented. (She did gymnastics as a kid ;-)
Emily even let Brian almost catch the frisbee once in a while!
Two hands, one heart.
Then it was a short drive to Brian's parents' house for SMORES.
HOW COOL IS THAT FOR A PHOTO SESSION. LIKE WHOA. Fire? check. Food? check. Fun activity? double check.
But we had to wait till it got dark.
I love this one - Anna was standing by with the stick "making sparks". Emily said they looked like a little LL Bean catalog.
I can't believe we have to wait all the way till NEXT JUNE for the wedding !
Thanks for a great time :-D
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Sorry this post is late today! I was wedding dress shopping this morning and house shopping this afternoon. (My personal life To Do list dwarfs my work To Do list and that list as long as my leg.)
Meet Kelley and Nathan ! And guess what - they are getting ready for their honeymoon! They were married last saturday in Indiana, PA - but these photos were taken 2 weeks ago. It was so cool - they used these photos as table number cards for their reception! I'll show you more whenever I post the wedding.
I traveled to the IUP campus where it all began for some shots around the Oak Grove. I love the old buildings with their porches. If I had been a student there I would have definitely claimed one for studying. Kelley and Nathan are such a sweet couple and you can tell they have so much love for eachother. Definitely best friends :-)
After a quick outfit change to glamorous - we posed as modelquins on the steps of the old theatre.
Totally stylish - and Kelley has fantastic taste in shoes. Rawr!
On the steps of the library.
Ok - the story of destiny: Kelley and Nathan met at IUP university inside the building in the top left photo. They met in class together, but I wanted to be very corny and have a little mock 'reenactment' of their first meeting in the doorway of the building where it all began.
More of those cool porches.
Did I mention the giant porches are furnished with old wooden rockers? While we were taking this shot I was telling them about how I think it would be a really special wedding present for a husband to get his wife a set of rocking chairs. As if to say - 'grow old with me. I want you to sit with me on the porch and spend time with me. Just sitting with you makes me happy.' (Hopeless sentimental alert!)
Ok - sorry I got mushy there..
We had a great time at the Oak Grove and got all excited for the wedding and then last weekend they were married! Happy one week anniversary!! I can't wait to post the wedding photos!
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Continuing the week long engagement session extravaganza - are Derek and Kaley whose engagement photos we shot last month at Twin Lakes Park. They got major bonus points for bringing props!! They had a whole bag with them including 3 outfits, bubbles, sparklers, and wooden letters that we used to spell out their names on the boardwalk. And of course - some fabulous bling worthy of being shown off :-)
We started off in their most dressy outfit because that's usually the most challenging (I have a habit of asking folks to "sit on the ground, stand in the lake, ok now climb this tree!"). All things which can be challenging in a skirt and heels. In the shot on the right, Anna is completely hidden behind the big tree providing a little extra fill light :-)
Possibly my favorite of the day if I didn't have so many other favorites. They are such a beautiful couple - I wish their wedding was sooner!
After a quick outfit and location change, we busted out the bubbles and they got silly. I love it when couples loosen up, relax, and hang out - after all photos are fun! (Seriously. I know there are a lot of you out there reading this thinking "my guy does not like photos. I do not like how I look in photos. I will not enjoy this experience." Not true! Just trust me - we will have a good time and at the end of it you'll leave with a smile and possibly a craving for ice cream.)
Derek and Kaley were psyched from the get go and we had so much fun!
If you haven't figured it out by now from the photos, these guys laugh a lot - and it's one of my favorites things about them.
And now! The bling - ** WARNING you made need protective eyewear to view the following photo **
*gasp!* I know. 8-O
And now for some FIRE ! They brought some small sparklers along and we needed a dark place to light them for some shots. Since it was still daylight out, we went into a thick grove of pine trees where it was very dim and fired up the sparks! We got 8 shots in before they burned out and then did the mexican hat dance all over the forest floor which was covered in dry dead leaves! ** disclaimer - no park was injured in the making of these photos.
And now that you see how much fun they are - you have to wait all the way till October of NEXT YEAR to see them again! They will be married in Holiday Park and party at Alcoma Country Club. Have a great year of planning!
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I've decided that everyday from now until the weekend I'm going to post a different engagement session !
I've got so many good ones that I've been keeping under wraps and now it's time to show them off ! Wedding season is in full swing and all of these couples are looking forward to their happy day!
Without further yammering - meet Kari & Andy :-) I went to high school with Kari's older sister, Laurel, and we had a ton of great times together. There were bonfires and barn parties, talks about boys, the summer I had a crush on her cousin from Florida, one trip to Toronto, and a trip to New York City. There's still a photo of us somewhere waiting for the Ellis island ferry smiling into the camera with the World Trade Center in the background. And now her "baby sis" is all growed up and getting married. I can't believe it's been so long.
Kari & Andy make a great couple - we met at Kari's parent's home last fall for their engagement photos at the barn and in the field behind the house.
Fun story - we took this photo actually a few feet from Kari's first deer stand.
Love this one in the field.
We dug through the house and found some sidewalk chalk to get this shot for their save-the-dates on the little backroad in front of the house. Stole the pumpkins off the porch, and the sunset made a great sky.
I can't wait to see everyone this fall and be there when you guys tie the knot ! Only 3 more months!
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We went coastal back in April for Russ & Heather's wedding at the Chesapeake Beach Resort & Spa in Chesapeake Beach, MD! This is a big change for all my Pittsburgh friends to see the ocean on this blog - it was a big treat for us as well to be asked to shoot a destination wedding ! The resort was amazing, right on the bay with the fishing docks.
Every suite had a balcony overlooking the water.
The morning of the wedding, we met up with the girls at the resort's salon where they were getting hair and make-up.
Heather was in the hot seat!
The groom's neice, K, was their flower girl hanging out with all of us in the bridal suite while everyone got ready!
Anna and I were very spoiled on this trip, this was the view from our hotel room.
Heather's mom helped her place her veil and Russ sent down a gift for Heather - a Pandora charm!
Heather looking beautiful - I loved her chandelier earrings :-)
We decided since it was in the mid 80s - very hot for April - (us PA girls are not used it ;-) instead of leaving the hotel and getting photos on the grounds before the ceremony, we squished onto the balcony for a few shots so we could stay near the AC and keep everyone cool. The bright colors were fun and tropical!
Heather looking totally gorgeous !! HOT. :-)
The groom's nephew, A, was the ringbearer and I thought looked like a miniature James Bond - Casino Royale style!
Just before the ceremony we headed downstairs to rendezvous with the guys where Russ was anxiously pacing the sidewalk - he couldn't wait to get the show on the road ;-)
Russ with the guys and with his Dad. His boutonniere was really cool.
This was the backdrop of their ceremony by the sea as they stood on the docks with the gulls swooping over the waves beyond the break.
The ceremony site just before the guests were seated.
With the sun setting, it was time to start and everyone came together in the bright afternoon light to celebrate.
Heather making her way down the aisle with her Dad by her side - the resort placed a heavy carpeted 'runway' on the sand so people didn't sink in!
They exchanged rings and made their promises to each other in front of family and friends.
We didn't have a lot of time for photos before dinner so we had to work fast!
Russ's sister the maid of honor helping remove Heather's veil before the reception.
The room was lined with windows that looked out to the water.
Some details of their reception - they decorated with shells and colorful flowers. The centerpieces were vases of blooms that also held a tropical fish in the bottom. Since we were out of state instead of a cookie table, guests indulged in chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate cups filled with creme. (The cookie table is only a western PA tradition.)
Midde right and bottom left images by Anna.
Right after they were announced, Russ & Heather danced their first dance together as husband and wife while Heather's parents looked on proudly at their little girl.
Right after dinner we rushed back out to the dock for some photos as the sun was already set at the edge of the horizon - we had to work fast! Seconds counted!
But we still made time for fun :-)
Something I've learned over the past few years, is that sometimes the best colors at sunset happen after the light is already faded and the sun is down.
Just look at that sky.
Left image by Anna.
One of my favorites from the day.
Just a night shot from around the resort area.
Later on the maid of honor gave a toast that had everyone rolling on the floor laughing including Russ's parents :-)
The best man toast (the best man is the one wearing the white sunglasses) went on and got a lot of laughs as well!
Just one final shot of the pier lit up at night. After a lot of dancing, everyone gathered together for brunch the next morning ( can you say waffle and omelet buffet?? ) then it was time to head back to PA.
Thanks again for having us, we had a great time and wish you all the best!
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Last Saturday I got to be a part of something really amazing - Pittsburg attempted to break the world record for the largest floatilla of canoes and kayaks. (I would have embedded the video but they had it disabled.)
Check out the WTAE new story here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWSn7GP7FhQ&NR=1
What is a floatilla? Floatilla: A flotilla (from Spanish, meaning a small flota (fleet) of ships, and this from French flotte), or naval flotilla, is a formation of small warships that may be part of a larger fleet. A flotilla is usually composed of a homogeneous group of the same class of warship, such as frigates, destroyers, torpedo boats, submarines, gunboats, or minesweepers. Larger warships are grouped in squadrons.
Ok so I spell it wrong. I like mine better - it emphasizes the floating part.
Here is a time lapse video that shows the whole event.
We arrived early Saturday morning on the Mon Wharf and parked along with hundreds of "our kinda people" - folks who know that having river grime in your sandals and sitting in wet shorts all day are just "all part of the experience". To be honest, we had no idea that there were so MANY boaters in the area. It was pretty cool to be among so many friends! We arrived en mass at the Mon Wharf like we were hitting the beach at Normandy. And we were just the group that brought our own boats - there were hundreds more over at heinz field that were renting boats to participate!
*** Disclaimer! Due to the weather and nature of boating - it was a bad idea to take my big cameras out on the water so we used my Dad's point-and-shoot to take pictures all day. These shots are a little lower resolution than you're used to seeing here but I really wanted to share!! ***
The big launch onto the Mon river.
Like two armies meeting on the battlefield, when we paddled around the other side of the point we entered the Allegheny and joined up with the other half of the group that was launching from Heinz Field!
It was really great spending the day with just my Dad (seen here looking like the invisible man's evil twin - highly visible man!). There was supposed to be a helicopter fly over and take aerial photographs that we could purchase and so our plan was to stand out from the crowd. Dad wore bright tie-dye and an american flag bandanna - I wore my neon yellow Y108 Send Me Backstage t-shirt with an american flag bandanna and mardi gra beads (to be "festive")! We were tame compared to the folks who wore sombreros, dyed their hair pink, brought flags, work a shark hat - etc. The flag bandannas worked though! I've been able to pick us out in several of the overhead shots taken from Mt. Washington!!
This is what it looked like to be in the middle of the pack as they were starting to form the floatilla!
It took some fanangaling but once we were all holding eachother together, the paddlers at the outskirts of the group were able to pull us away from the point and we free floated - paddles in the air for 30 seconds to break the world record!! What a thrill to be part of such a large team effort litterally holding it together by our hands!
Then the sky let loose into a torrential downpour - you can see it at 00:36 in the time lapse video after the record had been achieved with 1800+ boats we headed for shore like rats leaving a sinking ship! Dad snapped this photo of me, now donning rain gear paddling past the gateway clipper dock. I found the above youtube video shot by another participant and wanted to share the rainstorm with you!
It was an awesome day on the water with my Dad who is always been the catalyst for my spirit of adventure since I was a little kid taking us on camping trips, kayak trips, and tons of long hikes and drives through the woods. The rain just made it even more Pittsburgh.
Big big thank you to Venture Outdoors for planning, organizing, and hosting the whole event - it was great!
Click on these links for more information:
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I totally forgot June - sorry! It's been busy around here with the kick off to wedding season in full swing, finishing up graduating seniors and scheduling for 2011 seniors, and babies :-) I've been lucky enough to get to photograph many babies in all of this beautiful june summer sunshine. I can't wait to share!
Here is the June calendar photo for the month - taken last year at the PA grand canyon. Appreciate it - I had to hike over a mile down a trail called the "turkey path" to get this! It was down a nearly sheer drop off ravine and the trail zigzagged (like a turkey walks) occaisionally utlizing actual platforms and handrails built into the side of the hill to keep you from careening off into thin air. P.S. After hiking DOWN we had to climb back UP. That's where the real triumph was.
Welcome back summer :-) We've been trying to take in as many summer activities as possible - I will post a 101 update soon about it as I'm continously trying to knock out my list.
Plus - total bonus - all of my favorite ice cream stops are open again: Speedy's in crooked creek, Lackey's DQ in north apollo, Jerry's Custard in Upper Burrell, The Meadows in Indiana, that little ice cream shop on Bonniebrook road near Butler, The Pale Whale cafe in Cooksburg. I search them out - ! My favorite flavor is mint chocolate chip - but I also love banana, berry, pumpkin - i love to try the off the wall ones.
Do you guys know any good ice cream places?
Leave me a comment and tell me so I can go try it! What flavor is your favorite there??
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Back to the archives to catch up on blogging from 2009 - there are so many great weddings and sessions that I haven't even blogged yet! I'm trying to intersperse them with this year's postings. So let's do a flashback!
Kristin and Scott were married at Lingrow Farm in Leechburg, PA. The morning was calm and sunny as Kristin and the girls stayed hidden in the carriage house enjoying the AC. Left image by Anna.
When the coast was clear, we stepped out in the side yard for some photos. Lingrow has beautiful grounds - there's literally a photo behind every corner. I loved the style of their blue bridesmaids gowns and the light chiffon was nice and cool.
Some details of Kristin's attire.
She was classic and elegant in a satin mermaid gown with ivory roses.
Scott was keeping it together over at the stable room - how come it's aways the guys who are anxious??
The ceremony location at Lingrow before the guests arrived.
When it was time, the groomsmen filed down to the lake and the boys handed out cardstock programs that were fixed to a handle so that guests could use them as a fan - clever for a midday august wedding!
Just before the ceremony, I love these two shots that Anna captured of the flower girl experiencing some trepidation about walking down the aisle with the ringbearer.
But like all sweet little romances - they patched things up and were adorable :-)
Kristin arrived on Lingrow's white horse-drawn carriage with her father and they walked among the roses down the aisle.
Kristin and Scott exchanged vows and held a simple sand ceremony - and Ta Da! Married :-)
The wedding party while we take advantage of a passing cloud blocking the sun!
More sweetness - by Anna.
The sun setting on Lingrow's barn where guests were just sitting down to dinner. Lingrow's facilities are heated, air conditioned and are fully handicap accessible.
Details, details. The used white table linens and blue hydrangeas.
Ring shot - the water flower shot again! (I'm patenting that. You saw it here first, folks.)
After delicious Garda's eggplant parmesan - we went out exploring the big field behind the barn which was blooming with queen anne's lace and purple clover in August.
Brave couples (who don't mind getting close to nature) are rewarded with outstanding images!
Left and right images by Anna.
Loved the gold evening light as they headed back towards the barn. I love the huge, breezy back porches at Lingrow.
First dance :-)
I love it when you find "that guy" at a wedding - "that guy" can be anyone and can take many forms - but is always the life of the party!
The wedding party decorated the bride and groom's car before their big send off!
Last shot of the night - it was a blast !!!
Ceremony & Reception: Lingrow Farm
Entertainment: DJ Rockin John
Catering: Garda's Restaurant
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It was frigid and raining back in April when Adam and Hali flew in from Las Vegas and set sail on the Gateway Clipper to tie the knot! Thankgoodness the snow-melt flood waters had subsided ! Their ceremony was originally to be held on the top deck of the old paddle wheel boat, but due to inclement weather was moved inside. A little bit of rain was no worry for them and everyone was happy and bustling around the hotel getting ready when Anna and I arrived that morning.
After hair and make up - Hali had a little bit of time to relax and gear up for the day. The colors they chose were black and gold for everything pittsburgh! What better way to show off the city than as the backdrop to the whole event cruising along our three rivers!
Totally candid shots like this are my FAVORITE. We were headed down the ramp to the clipper dock past all of the murals - Hali was wearing a white fur hoodie, Lauren was carrying Hali's dress still in the bag, and Shannon was on the phone mid-transport-coordination and I'm like Hey Let's Take a Picture! (I think that's Terry Bradshaw celebrating behind them.)
Meanwhile, in another suite just down the hall - the guys were getting ready as well. This is a rare glimpse at 'guys getting ready'. Guys are very elusive on a wedding day. Girls start getting ready for a 4pm ceremony at 8 o'clock in the morning. It's easy to shoot hours of photos of them in various stages of getting readiness. So while the girls start getting ready at 8a.m. guys usually start getting ready roughly 8 minutes before they are due to arrive at the ceremony location. It never ceases to amaze me how 5 guys can all take turns using one shower - splash on some cologne - assemble the rental tux and be ready to go in less than 15 minutes. The whole 'guys getting ready' part of the day lasts less than 10 minutes and if you happen to be loading the car, or having your parking pass validated - you've missed the whole thing. This was a rare opportunity and we jumped on it!!
Adam lookin sharp :-)
All of Hali's siblings (i believe there are 7 of them!) were part of the wedding party as well as Adam's nephew :-)
Hali's sister and Adam's nephew having a good time before the ceremony starts :-)
When it was time to line up and go down the aisle - the whole bridal party "walked the plank".
Image by Anna.
Hali shined as she made her way down the aisle towards Adam who waited with a smile.
Moving the ceremony inside was a great idea - it was warm and cozy and guests could watch from the seating area below or the balconies above. And we answered a logistical photo question - do tripods work on a boat? If you think about it - tripods are meant to hold the camera absolutely steady and still - but what if the floor under the tripod is moving - for instance on a boat? It still works. I'm sure there is a physics principal involved - sadly that was not a lesson I retained from Mr. Springer's class junior year.
Jack decided he wanted to spend the ceremony with Aunt Shannon and little Jillian wanted a front row seat!
After the I Do's, the captain maneuvered us towards Heinz field and we climbed to the top deck for some photos. It was SOOO WINDY on the water. Adam had to pin Hali's veil to her back to keep it from flying off into the river. These guys were real troopers putting up with my antics - ok smile! - ok now serious no smiling - ok now everybody cheer! - face left, turn right - ok we're done - go back inside!
We decided in the interest of not getting frostbite that we would do the family photos inside the boat. Jack jack was not feeling very smiley - so we went with it ;-)
This wasn't our boat (I'm not that skilled to be 2 places at once), but this was the Majestic paddling by us.
On board everything was decked out in black and gold - even their cake topper was a bride tackling a groom with a football! I really liked their centerpieces too - each table had a photo frame with a label and a picture of a pittsburgh landmark such as soldiers and sailors or primanti brothers! So cool for out of town guests!
After dark the city really shined :-)
When the party let loose, we kept it rockin all the way till the end of the pirate game when it was time to steam up the river for - FIREWORKS.
It was Zambelli fireworks night for the pirate game - what a cool coincidence is that?? You can have your wedding with all the spectacular views of pittsburgh and a world class fireworks display!
The last shot during the last song of the evening - it was definitely a wedding for the record books!
Thanks for having us !
Ceremony & Reception Site: Gateway Clipper Fleet - Pittsburgh, PA
Accomodations: Sheraton Station Square
Attire: David's Bridal
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