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

Bethany + Nate — Springwood Conference Center — Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer

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!

something blue bride shoes wedding detailsblue bridesmaid robesbridal gown detailsnavy tea length bridesmaid dresses and fall flowersgray suits with navy vestsfather walking bride down the aislecatholic wedding ceremony detailsbethanynateblog_0008bride and groom leaving church and kissingSpringwood Conference Center wedding receptionSpringwood Conference Center wedding portraitsfall bridal party navy and gray with orange fall flowersbride and groom first dance on patio outside at Springwood Conference Centerwedding reception dancing at Springwood Conference Centerbride and groom end of the night shot at Springwood Conference Center

wedding portraits at Raystown Lake

Bree + Wade — Lake Raystown Resort Wedding — Destination Wedding Photographer

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!

wedding dress and jewelry detailsbride getting ready detail picturesbridal party pictures at raystown lakewedding ceremony at Lake Raystown Resort Lodgebreewadeblog_0005bride and groom kissing at Lake Raystown Resortbridal portraits at Lake Raystown Resort Conference Centerbride and groom wedding portraits at Raystown Lakebreewadeblog_0009wedding reception details at Lake Raystown Resort Conference Centerterrible towel wedding towelbride and groom reception entrance at Lake Raystown ResortBride and groom dancing at reception at Lake Raystown Resort

mcconnellblog1_0013

Tyler + Emily — Seven Oaks Country Club — Beaver County, PA Wedding Photographer

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!

mcconnellblog1_0001mcconnellblog1_0002mcconnellblog1_0003mcconnellblog1_0004mcconnellblog1_0005mcconnellblog1_0006mcconnellblog1_0007mcconnellblog1_0008mcconnellblog1_0009mcconnellblog1_0010mcconnellblog1_0011mcconnellblog1_0012mcconnellblog1_0013

DSC_1089_1

Carmine is 1 — Indiana, PA Family Portraits

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!

carmineblog_0001 carmineblog_0002 carmineblog_0003 carmineblog_0004 carmineblog_0005 carmineblog_0006

DSC_9126_e

Hannah is 5 — Beaver County, PA Family Portraits

Hannah’s mom, Amanda, always does her homework before our sessions. She sends me inspiration pictures and we go back and forth with ideas and locations, working together to have an amazing session. And when you see the images below, I think you’ll agree it was time well spent!

Hannah is growing up so fast – I swear she has grown 6 inches taller since last year! For the session, Amanda shared a lot of rustic, down-on-the-farm type images, so it made sense to have the session at her sister’s fiance’s farm in New Brighton, PA — my hometown. And I can’t be sure, but I feel like I was out near this farm before…like at a senior party or something… memory’s a little fuzzy.:)

The farm had so many spots for pictures that went along with the ideas Amanda had. Tall golden grass, a big red barn, a wooden swing tied up to a tree… farm girl central up in here!:) The weather was insanely hot that day, so maybe we spent some extra time under the shade of the barn, but again, time well spent – my favorite images were made inside the barn!

Can’t wait to see what we come up with for next year, Amanda! This year was a home run! No pressure!!:)

hannah5blog_0001 hannah5blog_0002 hannah5blog_0003 hannah5blog_0004 hannah5blog_0005 hannah5blog_0006

DSC_0690_e

Brady’s Run Park and Beaver River Sunset Family Portrait Session — Beaver County PA Photographer

It’s been over 3 years that I’ve been photographing this family and you’d think after awhile all our sessions would start to feel the same. Not true at all! Sure, we return to some of the same locations so we can see how the girls grow (this session was just for Cordelia’s 15 months – Rita got to spend the evening with Mamu and PopPop), but we always come away with something different. And I love it! The plan is always loose and we see what the 2 hour session will bring.

On this particularly humid June evening, we started at the creek (pronounced “crick”) at Brady’s Run. For one, it’s much cooler in the shaded creek, but how about that light? So magical! After the creek, we returned to a playground that we captured Cordelia’s big sister playing at around the same age. I love the different colors and shapes and Cordelia’s interactions with them.

And finally — I must say first that I am in love with rivers — we went down to the Beaver River in Bridgewater to catch a beautiful pale pink and orange sunset. When we arrived, the sun was working its way down, but was still a little too bright, so we passed the time by waving to boaters docking up for the night. Finally, the sun began to set and we headed down to the dock to capture the last few shots. Even the geese wanted in on it!

Looking forward to our session this fall!

cordelia15moblog1cordelia15moblog2cordelia15moblog3cordelia15moblog4cordelia15moblog5cordelia15moblog6cordelia15moblog7

bride and groom kissing under colorful umbrella in front of sign at Camp Kon O Kwee

Brittney + Rocco — Camp Kon O Kwee Wedding — Beaver County PA Photographer

Rain was a big part of Brittney and Rocco’s wedding day, and not just a little shower here and there, we had downpour.all.day.long. Luckily, the ceremony and the reception were always going to be indoors, so we just had to get creative for the portraits.Each bridesmaid had a different bright colored dress with a matching hand-made bouquet to match…and because of the rain, Brittney also included a matching umbrella for each girl. The colors really popped on the very green and brown rustic backdrop we had. The reception was held inside the main lodge and was a ton of fun! Everyone danced all night long and ended the night with a lantern send off. Rain: 0, Brittney and Rocco: 1. Thank you so much for allowing Allison and I to be a part of your special day!

smeltz16_0015 smeltz16_0016 smeltz16_0017 smeltz16_0018 smeltz16_0019 smeltz16_0020 smeltz16_0021 smeltz16_0022 smeltz16_0023 smeltz16_0025 smeltz16_0026 smeltz16_0027 smeltz16_0028 smeltz16_0029 smeltz16_0030 smeltz16_0031 smeltz16_0032 smeltz16_0033 smeltz16_0034 smeltz16_0035 smeltz16_0036 smeltz16_0037 smeltz16_0038

 

Are those lanterns making an “S” for the new last name of our bride and groom?? I think they are! Best wishes, Brittney and Rocco!

DSC_7801_c

Smeltz Family Portraits — IUP Co-op Recreational Park — Indiana, PA Photographer

It has been a pleasure working with this family! Back when I was first starting out, Emily asked me to take Ian’s 2 year portraits and they became one of the first real portrait sessions I ever did. And since then, I’ve been able to capture this family’s growth each year! This year, Ian is 7 and Ellie is 2. We went out to the IUP Co-op Park for the session to make use of its beautiful surroundings.
2 year olds always like to make me work for the perfect shot and I’m always ready for the challenge — as was Emily (if you haven’t figured it out by now, the client and I have the same first name. I’m not just going in and out of first and third person tense!). She brought the 3 B’s: bubbles, balloons, and balls. Keep those 3 in mind the next time you’re trying to make a 2 year old smile – they work wonders! Also, Ian has been playing baseball in the Indiana YMCA Miracle League, so we took advantage of the old ball fields at the park and got a few shots of Ian and Dad throwing the ball. The best sessions always happen when they are about personal interests and the interactions between the family. The posed shots are definitely nice, but my favorites from this session were all the smiles and giggles caught in the real life interactions. Enjoy!

smeltz16_0001 smeltz16_0002 smeltz16_0003 smeltz16_0004 smeltz16_0005 smeltz16_0006 smeltz16_0007 smeltz16_0008 smeltz16_0009 smeltz16_0010 smeltz16_0011 smeltz16_0012 smeltz16_0013 smeltz16_0014

funny faces family portraits

Whimsical Woods Family Portraits — White’s Woods Nature Center — Indiana, PA Photographer

How about this gorgeous weather? The light at the end of the day has been just amazing and when Amanda asked to me take her family’s portraits, I immediately knew we’d be hiking through the woods to capture this beautiful family in some dreamy sweet light streaming through the tall trees.
White’s Woods Nature Center is a hilly, wooded area just on the edge of town and has great mountain bike trails and many people even jog and walk their dogs through the trails, too. There isn’t an easy way to get up into the flat area we used for the session without hiking a little, but it was totally worth it. In my opinion at least! I wasn’t the one with the broken toe!;) Sorry G! I love this collection of images so much – the light is just amazing and working with this family is always so much fun!
family of 4 portraits in woodsfamily portraits in woods color and black and whiteindividual portraits with son and parents
daddy and daughter portraits in woods

mother and daughter portraits in woods
brother and sister portraits in the woodsZuZu and Griffin individual portraitsfunny faces family portraits

owen1_0006

Owen is 1 — First Birthday Portraits — Indiana County Photographer

Everyone wish this sweet little peanut a happy first year of life! Just look at those big baby blues – what a handsome guy! We took Own’s 1st year portraits at his great-aunt’s house in Avonmore, PA.
The gazebo was the perfect cover for the light rain showers that were lingering. Owen was such a little trooper considering a few days before it was nearly 80 degrees and today it was chilly in the 50’s! Owen is all boy – I loved how he threw his letters each time we set them up. They’re just toys, right?:) Happy birthday, sweet boy!

owen1_0001owen1_0002owen1_0003owen1_0004owen1_0005