two year old girl in blue overalls at rustic log cabin

Cora, Almost 2 – Beaver Train Station

Every 3 months, I get to see this amazing family because since they were pregnant with their first, they made the decision to capture the growth of their girls every 3 months of their life for the first 2 years. I so look forward to seeing how the girls change…and you’d think there wouldn’t be that much change in 3 months…but, oh, there is! It happens so fast! Their collection of albums from each session will be a cherished keepsake for the girls as they grow.

We started planning our January session a few weeks prior and to our surprise, the weather turned and we got to do the session outside! 65 degrees in western PA in January – amazing! We chose the Beaver train station as our location. A rustic cabin sits right across the parking lot and the sun seems to be perfect no matter what time of day you shoot.

Part way through our session, we changed shoes (although the weather was beautiful, the ground was still soggy) and it threw Cora for a moment, but mom saved the day with “squirrel lollipops” and we got right back on track. I love letting little ones explore during our sessions – it gives me the opportunity to capture their big personalities. Those are the moments you want to remember forever!

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Kinley – Newborn Portraits

Sweet little Kinley was 9 days old at our session and so stinkin’ adorable, making me want another baby. The struggle is real! We started the session with a set-up inspired by a post I saw on Instagram – a baby in a wreath of beautiful fall flowers. Since Kinley is a winter baby, I went with a more neutral pale pink flower in my wreath. Kinley wasn’t too sure about this set-up, but we got the shot and made sure to move on to lots of snuggles for the lifestyle portraits part of the session. Katelyn had her nursery decked out in lavender with so many personal decor touches. I especially loved the white mirror above her dresser. After a feeding, more cuddling, and a good burp, Kinley was ready for her close-up! She peacefully napped as we worked our way through the different outfits and accessories…and some of my favorite newborn portraits were made! Congratulations, Dave and Katelyn! Kinley is perfect!

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Catie, Class of 2017

The first thing Catie said to me when we met for her senior portrait session on a beautiful fall November day was “I hate fall and don’t want any leaves or fall-y things in my pictures.” As I looked around at the very rustic, very “fall-y” location we agreed to meet, I felt sad to abandon the perfect warm sun streaming through the last of the leaves and golden grasses, but I had the perfect spot in mind – a place I’ve been waiting for the right person to photograph there.

My hometown of New Brighton has some great old cobblestone roads, graffiti covered tunnels, and lots of other cool semi-urban, definitely not fall backdrops for us to take advantage of. So that’s where we headed. I did incorporate a liiiiiiittttle fall into the pictures, but it was “Catie approved fall.”

Catie is spunky, tough, and confident with Beyonce good looks and a passion for life. In fact, she just recently had ACL surgery and was on crutches for our session, but that didn’t stop her from scaling a hillside and a stone wall to get to the perfect location for shots with her snow board. I found myself yelling “Yaaaassss!” more than someone of my age should during our session because Catie totally ROCKED it!

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It’s a Wonderful Life Themed Christmas Card

Every year, the Jones family does a Christmas card that totally blows all other Christmas cards out of the water. They pick a holiday movie or song, we come up with a concept, get the costumes, do the hair and make-up, and create something one-of-a-kind. And often times hilarious. This year, they chose the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”…which just happens to be one of my favorite movies of all time! Maybe not as funny as years past, but still totally original and I love their dedication to the process! I look forward to our sessions every year! Check out the results:

holiday card theme It's a Wonderful Life movie

Ben + Danielle, Pittsburgh Engagement Portraits

Warm November days are few and far between sometimes, so when they come around, I’m always excited to spend them in the city photographing two people in love. Ben is my husband’s cousin and I was so excited to when he and Danielle asked me to take their engagement pictures!

Fun fact: Ben and Danielle are talented musicians and you should check out their band The Lion Summer. Folksy perfection! I thought for sure we were going to do an eclectic folk inspired shoot, maybe in a field with some random furniture or at least a hipster streetscape, but these two surprised me when they wanted to do traditional Pittsburgh as their backdrop. We started at Mount Washington, visited the Point Park Fountain, and ended with the Clemente Bridge and North Shore walk. I had a great time with Ben and Danielle and look forward to welcoming Danielle to the Smith family this summer!

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And I love this last one! You guys rock!

bride and groom end of the night shot at Springwood Conference Center

Bethany + Nate, Springwood Conference Center

Bethany and Nate’s October wedding at the Springwood Conference Center in Verona felt more like a summer wedding than a fall wedding. Our dependable Western PA weather (i.e. rain) just couldn’t stay away, but once again, I say “thank you” because as soon as the rain cleared, an absolutely beautiful glow covered the stately grounds at Springwood and made my job very easy! All the trees were so rich and green and the stone looked shiny and the whole place just looked like a beautiful summer day. And to top it off, RAINBOW! Checking that one off the photographer bucket list!

I loved the navy accent colors Bethany incorporated into the reception decorations. The bridesmaids wore tea length navy dresses, which matched the gray suits the groomsmen sported. What a beautiful wedding! Congratulations, Bethany and Nate!

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Bree + Wade, Lake Raystown Resort Wedding

Bree and Wade know how to host a party! They were married at Lake Raystown Resort and had an entire weekend of parties and fun planned for their guests. I know I had a great time! I met these two crazy kids nearly two years ago at their engagement session – Bree loves the camera and it loves her more, so we had an awesome time that extremely cold January afternoon. Rain threatened on their big day, but held off and the mixed weather cast a beautiful soft glow on the ceremony and down by the docks where we did the portraits. The party was non-stop…their very large bridal party was so fun and never stopped. They are truly blessed to be surrounded with so many wonderful friends and family members – everyone I came in contact with was so sweet and treated my second shooter Steph and I like we were part of the inner circle. Thanks for an amazing weekend, Bree and Wade! Best wishes!

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Katrina senior portraits class of 2017 outside garage covered in ivy

Katrina, Class of 2017

When Katrina contacted me about doing her senior portraits, I couldn’t have been more excited! I had been driving past a few spots around small town Indiana, PA all summer and was just waiting for the right person to photograph at the spots …and Katrina was my girl! I was super-pumped when she loved the ideas (client gets to pick of course!). A lot of time can get lost during a senior session if too many locations are used, so I try to make one location turn into 3 and keep the other spots fairly close together. We had 3 mini locations in town (I say “mini” because they were within 2 blocks of each other) and then finished the session at Yellow Creek State Park because Katrina wanted some fun water shots.

Overall, we had a GREAT time, Katrina totally KILLED the session, and I couldn’t be more excited to share these images!

Tyler + Emily, Seven Oaks Country Club

Tyler and Emily were married in July on the hottest day of the year so far. Seriously — it was over 100 degrees and 100% humidity on their wedding day. Not typical for western PA weather!! Very uncomfortable…and I wasn’t even the one wearing a suit or heavy gown! They were married in Emily’s church, Four Mile Church in Brighton Township and had their reception at the Seven Oaks Country Club, which was right down the road. Luckily, the church and the reception venue had amazing AC so we really limited our time outside to less than 5 minutes. Even then, I forced them to sweat on each other for the sake of a photo…it turned out great.:) Congratulations, Tyler and Emily!

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Carmine is 1

Little Carmine has such a big personality — and he hammed up it for me during his 1st birthday portrait session!
Carmine is the nephew of a soon-to-be Elders Ridge Photography bride, Bethany. I was flattered when a friend of her family loved Bethany and Nate’s engagement pictures so much that they hired me to take Carmine’s portraits, too. Yay!!:)

Carmine’s parents, Tom and Andreana, live out of state, but they were all in town for his 1st birthday celebration at his grandparent’s house in Indiana, PA, so we decided to do the portrait session there. The house is beautifully landscaped, making it easy to find backdrops for the pictures. And with a little help from Uncle Anthony holding the reflector, the scrim, and handling giggle patrol with funny sounds and faces, we had all the ingredients for a successful session!

Looking forward to catching up with everyone in this family in October at the wedding!

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