Georgia's Heart Will Go On // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

I have been so very excited to share this session. Beautiful, little Georgia has been my studio ambassador for the last year and half, and it has been a highlight of my career thus far getting to know her and her family and watching this tiny one grow. She was always a bit of a ham in front of the camera. (You can check out her first session with me when she was only 1 1/2 years old - already living her best life on set.) In the past couple of years, she has grown from this chubby-cheeked, adorable, silly baby to a truly stunning little girl, full of personality, character, and poise (but, still, totally silly!).

Since Georgia has started dancing at Studio 19, she’s become so adept at pointing her toes and posing in this statuesque, graceful manner that photographs like a ~* dream *~. So, of course, there are many images that highlight that. But, she’s also still so little, and that youthful joy and innocence spills out in bursts of giggles and energetic hair flips that scream, “Lexi, click the shutter now, now, now!” Georgia also loves to do this somewhat interpretive form of dance where she enters a trance-like state and feels the music on this incredibly deep level for a 3-year old. Her current jam for this is “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion. The two images below where she has her eyes closed in her frilly pink dress were created by my just going along for the ride, as it were, as she dramatically performed her little heart out to the song.

I know that every time I photograph Georgia, I’m in for a fun day and for the creation of some gorgeous imagery.
I’m SO proud to have her as a POSE PGH Studio Ambassador.

Georgia also completely embodies just why I do what I do and my approach to photographing children. This child absolutely lights up once you get on her on the set. She’s only 3 years old, but she relishes in her “model moment,” and that has been my experience time and time again on this journey. If the portrait session is framed as their special day, a day of pampering catered to them, and the environment is relaxed and light and fun, children actually l-o-v-e it and you can create some gorgeous imagery beyond the old, stale “sit still and say cheese” stuff. Also, even being so young, she has developed such a strong, individual personality. She is, undoubtedly, her own (little) person. When a client books a portrait session with me, I really strive to get to know the children ahead of time so that I’m capturing their essence. That’s all that a photograph really is, after all: a frozen moment in time. As parents, there are so many moments and things about your babies that you wish you could freeze and hold onto forever: that look they give you when they’re feeling mischievous, the way they smile like their dad (but with a missing front tooth), that silly dance they love to do. That’s what I want to capture. In the Instagram era where it seems like everyone is trying to put things into these perfectly-composed square boxes, we need to remember the perfection in the tiny, imperfect moments. That’s what you really want to remember. That’s what you will remember. I hope that my images can capture as much of it as possible for you to look back on fondly years and years from now.


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Shortly after our session together, Georgia was officially signed to the Docherty Model and Talent Agency!

***SNAPS FOR GEORGIA!***

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The Sweeter Side of POSE PGH // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

When I was choosing my 2018 studio ambassadors, I came across a really special application from a remarkable family. I was so excited that these amazing women, grown and tiny, wanted to represent the studio, and I knew that they would be absolutely perfect.

Mama bear, Jacquie, writes the loveliest blog called The Sweeter Side of Mommyhood. The blog began as a way to update friends and family on her middle daughter, Grace’s, journey. Grace was a beautiful little babe, born prematurely, who faced a world of struggles and health issues that left her with profound hearing loss. (You can read Grace’s story here.) People outside of Jacquie’s circle began to follow along with her blog and root for little Grace, which allowed the blog to blossom into what it has become today: a gorgeous, little mix of personal anecdotes and stories of motherhood, combined with crafty ideas for home decor and entertaining your little ones, recipes, and ways to be creative in your everyday life.

Our portrait session together took place not long after Grace’s successful cochlear implant surgery. So, I definitely wanted to get a good image that highlighted them and told her story, in a way. But, let’s not forget the rest of the crew! Sally, the youngest, is a spitfire, full of sass and personality in a pint-sized package. She also has vision issues and wears the tiniest, yet chicest glasses (she’s also a brand rep for Jonas Paul Eyewear). She was over-the-moon excited to have “princess hair” for the portrait session and was infectiously bubbly and joyous on set. The eldest, Lilly, is so sweet, incredibly intelligent, and the most nurturing, patient big sister you could hope to have. I was so impressed with her poise and maturity, as she balanced posing beautifully for her images and keeping an eye on her army of little sisters. Even the bitty baby of the family, Olive, joined the girls for a portrait of all four of them together!

In order to make this session extra special and magical for these lovely ladies, I enlisted the help of my favorite collaborators, Airheads Balloon Art. They created some giant balloon clusters for me in the perfect color palette to match the wardrobe that I had selected and the overall vibe of the session. Last, but certainly not least, Deanna Machi gorgeously styled the hair of all three ladies to “princess” perfection.

If you’d like to learn more about what it’s like to experience a portrait session at POSE PGH, don’t just take my word for it! You can read Jacquie’s blog about their session here.


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Lynzee's Ambassador Session // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

After photographing Lynzee for an Editorial Session last year and getting to know her and her wonderful family, I just had to have them on board as POSE PGH Studio Ambassadors.

I love the chance to photograph dark and moody work with little ones, and I knew that Lynzee’s Ambassador Session would be the perfect time to do so. With the crazy talented Deanna Machi on board to style hair, I wanted to give her creative carte blanche to choose a gorgeous, editorial style that she felt would fit the mood of the session. When she showed me her styling concept, I was elated - it was PERFECT! I wardrobed the session from Lynzee’s closet, sticking to basics to really keep the focus on her adorable face and fierce hair. But, when I found that luxe leather skirt, I knew that we had to use it, too. I love the interplay of hard and soft, dressy and casual, girly with a hint of rock and roll or streetwear, and I’ll jump at any opportunity to style my sessions that way. Everyone involved in this one, big and small, totally nailed bringing my vision to life and I really love this set of images.

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Lynzee Fights Like A Girl // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

In trying to come up with a way to describe Lynzee, 6, the word "powerhouse" kept coming to mind. This pint-sized diva is the reigning USA National Miss Ohio Junior Princess, signed by multiple modeling + talent agencies, a brand rep, and an incredibly talented competitive dancer with quite the Instagram following. (Seriously, I curtsied when I met her - she IS royalty, after all!) And, as of not long ago, she can add "wonderful big sister" to her resume. I was lucky enough to meet so many members of Lynzee's family throughout our time together, and it was truly heartwarming to see a family that is so tight-knit and supportive. Congratulations to all of you on your beautiful new addition!

I knew that I wanted Lynzee's Editorial Session to be as vibrant and sassy as her personality, so I decided to make this one really colorful. I worked together with Lynzee's family to come up with a theme, and we settled on the concept of loving yourself and being enough, with a dash of "girl power." For the former, I handmade oversized conversation hearts with encouraging phrases, and totally covered my living room in tiny styrofoam bits (whoops!). For the latter, I saw this image of Lynzee in my head where she was wearing a white babydoll dress, hair in high pigtails, on a purple backdrop, wearing pink boxing gloves with her tiny arms flexed. (That's usually how my creative process works: I see flashes of finished images and work backwards to create them.) Unbeknownst to me, someone close to Lynzee had survived cancer, and several members of her family even have tattoos of pink boxing gloves, a la Fight Like A Girl. It was really serendipitous! That image is my favorite of the session, especially since it holds a deeper meaning to her family.

We also had the amazing Tori Bivins with us that day, who styled Lynzee to perfection. I loved the gorgeous volume of Lynzee's hair when it was all crimped.

I had such a wonderful time working with her and her family that I decided to ask Lynzee to be a 2018 POSE PGH Brand Ambassador, and to my delight, this multi-talented cutie is now *officially* on Team POSE! I look SO forward to working with her again later in the year! 

Three words to describe the session: Cute, Artistic, Fun

(All of my portrait clients choose three words from a list of how they'd like to describe their finished images. You can click on any of the three words at the bottom of this post by the little tag icon to see past sessions that chose the same word. You can also see how different combinations of words leads to the creation of different images.)


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2017 Ambassador Preview: Coleton + Hadlee // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

Choosing Coleton + Hadlee to represent POSE PGH as 2017 ambassadors was pretty much a no-brainer. Not only are these kiddos GORGEOUS, but they are also full of personality (and full of energy, as I'd come to find ;) ). Coleton is a very athletic 5-year old and plays many sports. Mom told me that Coleton has "a smile that lights up the room," and I couldn't agree more - it was seriously contagious, made more adorable by his missing teeth! Hadlee, age 3, gentle and sweet, is a tiny fashionista who even has her own signature style, and she will seldom be seen without a matching bow in her hair. (The bigger, the better.)

Mom owns a dance studio (check it out here) and these kids loooove to dance, so I decided that we'd spend the session celebrating that. We paid homage to many classic dance scenes in cinema (below, you'll see Singin' in the Rain and Risky Business) and I created a custom dance step backdrop for some more freestyle shaking-of-groove-things. I finished the images off with a light vintage toning to match the color palette of Mom's home decor.

Here's a little preview of Coleton + Hadlee dancing the day away!

Three words to describe the session: Whimsical, Vintage, Pretty


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2017 Ambassador Preview: Ariana + Valentina + Maria // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

When I received Ariana + Valentina + Maria's ambassador application, I was totally floored by how gorgeous these sisters were. Ariana, 13, Valentina, 5, and Maria, 3, share a beautiful bond as sisters, but are each so unique and special in their own ways. Ariana has a warm, compassionate spirit and volunteers her time to help children with special needs learn how to dance. Valentina is fiery and vivacious, and can pose herself like a little professional. Maria is a firecracker, silly, sassy, and hilarious.

I wanted to give these pretty ladies a chic, feminine session, and with spring on the horizon (finally!!!), settled on a floral theme. We incorporated flower petals, a lovely sheer vine backdrop, and the beautiful flower wall that Paper Petals of Pittsburgh created for the studio.

Good things really do come in threes.
Here's a sneak peek of Ariana + Valentina + Maria's flowery Ambassador Session!

Three words to describe the session: Modern, Pretty, Sophisticated


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Pittsburgh Children's Photographer, Pittsburgh Child Photographer, Pittsburgh Family Photographer, Pittsburgh Photographer, Pittsburgh Children's Photography, Pittsburgh Child Photography, Pittsburgh Family Photography, Pittsburgh Kids, Pittsburgh Families, Pittsburgh Children, Best Pittsburgh Photographer, POSE PGH, Pittsburgh, Lexi Shapiro
Pittsburgh Children's Photographer, Pittsburgh Child Photographer, Pittsburgh Family Photographer, Pittsburgh Photographer, Pittsburgh Children's Photography, Pittsburgh Child Photography, Pittsburgh Family Photography, Pittsburgh Kids, Pittsburgh Families, Pittsburgh Children, Best Pittsburgh Photographer, POSE PGH, Pittsburgh, Lexi Shapiro

2017 Ambassador Preview: Lucy // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

There is a an old Latin phrase that I love: "multum in parvo," meaning, "much in little" or "much in a little space." Lucy most definitely personifies "multum in parvo." There is SO MUCH character, imagination, and intelligence stuffed into this teeny-tiny, little package. You see, Lucy isn't your average newly-3-year old. (What other 3-year old do you know that knows EVERY word to Elton John's "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" and makes you imaginary sushi rolls when she's playing make-believe with her kitchen set?)

Lucy has already been to 22 different countries, some many times! I knew that I wanted to give her Editorial Session a travel theme to celebrate her miniature wandering spirit. 

You can follow her adventures on Instagram.
(Her feed is seriously adorable!)
I'm so happy to have Lucy and her lovely family representing POSE PGH as 2017 Ambassadors!

Three words to describe the session: Artistic, Innovative, Natural


Pittsburgh Children's Photographer, Pittsburgh Child Photographer, Pittsburgh Family Photographer, Pittsburgh Photographer, Pittsburgh Children's Photography, Pittsburgh Child Photography, Pittsburgh Family Photography, Pittsburgh Kids, Pittsburgh Families, Pittsburgh Children, Best Pittsburgh Photographer, POSE PGH, Pittsburgh, Lexi Shapiro
Pittsburgh Children's Photographer, Pittsburgh Child Photographer, Pittsburgh Family Photographer, Pittsburgh Photographer, Pittsburgh Children's Photography, Pittsburgh Child Photography, Pittsburgh Family Photography, Pittsburgh Kids, Pittsburgh Families, Pittsburgh Children, Best Pittsburgh Photographer, POSE PGH, Pittsburgh, Lexi Shapiro
Pittsburgh Children's Photographer, Pittsburgh Child Photographer, Pittsburgh Family Photographer, Pittsburgh Photographer, Pittsburgh Children's Photography, Pittsburgh Child Photography, Pittsburgh Family Photography, Pittsburgh Kids, Pittsburgh Families, Pittsburgh Children, Best Pittsburgh Photographer, POSE PGH, Pittsburgh, Lexi Shapiro

2017 Ambassador Preview: Jaxen // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

I was so incredibly excited to meet 3-year old little Miss Jaxen and her mama after reading their Ambassador application and seeing photos of her adorable face.

Mom described Jaxen as a "firecracker in a tiny package," and that description could not be more accurate.  Jaxen is a born performer (if she sees a camera, she instantly starts posing), and I really wanted to capture that and all of the pint-sized sass that goes along with it in her Editorial Session. When I pitched the concept to Mom, I told her that the best way that I could describe the vibe I was going for was "late 1990s VH1 Divas Live."

So, step aside Mariah, Celine, and Whitney, and say hello to your replacement (who also only needs one name): Jaxen

Here's a sneak peek of Jaxen's diva-inspired Ambassador Session!

Three words to describe the session: Bold, Artistic, Innovative


Pittsburgh Children's Photographer, Pittsburgh Child Photographer, Pittsburgh Family Photographer, Pittsburgh Photographer, Pittsburgh Children's Photography, Pittsburgh Child Photography, Pittsburgh Family Photography, Pittsburgh Kids, Pittsburgh Families, Pittsburgh Children, Best Pittsburgh Photographer, POSE PGH, Pittsburgh, Lexi Shapiro
Pittsburgh Children's Photographer, Pittsburgh Child Photographer, Pittsburgh Family Photographer, Pittsburgh Photographer, Pittsburgh Children's Photography, Pittsburgh Child Photography, Pittsburgh Family Photography, Pittsburgh Kids, Pittsburgh Families, Pittsburgh Children, Best Pittsburgh Photographer, POSE PGH, Pittsburgh, Lexi Shapiro
Pittsburgh Children's Photographer, Pittsburgh Child Photographer, Pittsburgh Family Photographer, Pittsburgh Photographer, Pittsburgh Children's Photography, Pittsburgh Child Photography, Pittsburgh Family Photography, Pittsburgh Kids, Pittsburgh Families, Pittsburgh Children, Best Pittsburgh Photographer, POSE PGH, Pittsburgh, Lexi Shapiro

2017 Ambassador Preview: Sydney + Claire // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

I knew long before meeting 10-year old Sydney and 3-year old Claire that we were in for a lot of fun together. These girls exude so much life and joy from every image taken of them, and I couldn't WAIT to get them in front of my own camera.

With a seven-year age gap between the sisters, I wanted to ensure that their Editorial session was not only enjoyable for all involved, but also that the concept suited both of them equally. After learning that the girls bond over their love of pretending to be kitty-cats together and that it's a favorite game in their household, I knew that would be a purrrrfect motif!

Shortly before the girls' session, I received a call from a reporter, Anya Sostek, with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She was interested in the unique way in which I photograph children and celebrate what makes them special, and she wanted to come observe a session at the studio. I said "yes," of course, and I chose this session because I just knew that she would have a good time with these two effervescent littles.

The article was featured in print in yesterday's Sunday Magazine.
You can read it online HERE.

Here's a sneak peek of Sydney + Claire's kitty-themed ambassador session!

Three words to describe the session: Fun, Innovative, Sophisticated

Pittsburgh Children's Photographer, Pittsburgh Child Photographer, Pittsburgh Family Photographer, Pittsburgh Photographer, Pittsburgh Children's Photography, Pittsburgh Child Photography, Pittsburgh Family Photography, Pittsburgh Kids, Pittsburgh Families, Pittsburgh Children, Best Pittsburgh Photographer, POSE PGH, Pittsburgh, Lexi Shapiro
Pittsburgh Children's Photographer, Pittsburgh Child Photographer, Pittsburgh Family Photographer, Pittsburgh Photographer, Pittsburgh Children's Photography, Pittsburgh Child Photography, Pittsburgh Family Photography, Pittsburgh Kids, Pittsburgh Families, Pittsburgh Children, Best Pittsburgh Photographer, POSE PGH, Pittsburgh, Lexi Shapiro
Pittsburgh Children's Photographer, Pittsburgh Child Photographer, Pittsburgh Family Photographer, Pittsburgh Photographer, Pittsburgh Children's Photography, Pittsburgh Child Photography, Pittsburgh Family Photography, Pittsburgh Kids, Pittsburgh Families, Pittsburgh Children, Best Pittsburgh Photographer, POSE PGH, Pittsburgh, Lexi Shapiro
Pittsburgh Children's Photographer, Pittsburgh Child Photographer, Pittsburgh Family Photographer, Pittsburgh Photographer, Pittsburgh Children's Photography, Pittsburgh Child Photography, Pittsburgh Family Photography, Pittsburgh Kids, Pittsburgh Families, Pittsburgh Children, Best Pittsburgh Photographer, POSE PGH, Pittsburgh, Lexi Shapiro

2017 Ambassador Preview: Kassidy // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

I finally had the opportunity to meet and photograph the first of my 2017 POSE PGH Ambassadors, 3-year old Kassidy, last week. I had such a wonderful time with this tiny, adorable bundle of energy! I am SO EXCITED for all the rest to come, especially after how much fun we had playing with and photographing Kassidy!

Kassidy loves the color red and taking photos with her mama's camera.
(That's how I first started to fall in love with photography. Who knows - maybe she'll grow up to be a photographer herself, someday?)

Here's a sneak peek of Kassidy's seventies-themed ambassador session!

Three words to describe the session: Vintage, Pretty, Unconventional


Pittsburgh Children's Photographer, Pittsburgh Child Photographer, Pittsburgh Family Photographer, Pittsburgh Photographer, Pittsburgh Children's Photography, Pittsburgh Child Photography, Pittsburgh Family Photography, Pittsburgh Kids, Pittsburgh Families, Pittsburgh Children, Best Pittsburgh Photographer, POSE PGH, Pittsburgh, Lexi Shapiro
Pittsburgh Children's Photographer, Pittsburgh Child Photographer, Pittsburgh Family Photographer, Pittsburgh Photographer, Pittsburgh Children's Photography, Pittsburgh Child Photography, Pittsburgh Family Photography, Pittsburgh Kids, Pittsburgh Families, Pittsburgh Children, Best Pittsburgh Photographer, POSE PGH, Pittsburgh, Lexi Shapiro
Pittsburgh Children's Photographer, Pittsburgh Child Photographer, Pittsburgh Family Photographer, Pittsburgh Photographer, Pittsburgh Children's Photography, Pittsburgh Child Photography, Pittsburgh Family Photography, Pittsburgh Kids, Pittsburgh Families, Pittsburgh Children, Best Pittsburgh Photographer, POSE PGH, Pittsburgh, Lexi Shapiro