Born to Run with Zoey // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

I really, truly love meeting the families and important people in the lives of the kiddos that I work with. Before photographing Zoey, I had the pleasure of meeting a whole bunch of her family, and let me tell you… afterwards, it was easy to understand why she’s so loving, kind, and warm. I want to so humbly thank them for being so welcoming and appreciative and gracious to me in the time that we spent together.

Mom is a fan of both vintage/mid-century and city loft/metropolitan aesthetics, and I wanted to combine those for her in this portrait session. Through lighting, wardrobe selection, and retouching/color-grading I took this session back to the seventies (still with a modern edge), but I also decided that we should go outside and create some images in the urban area surrounding my studio. (Whoa! - Miss Lexi leaving the studio is not something that happens often anymore!)

Zoey, newly 5 years old, is a gentle soul, talkative and sweet, and a bit sassy when the occasion calls for it. She also has the most amazing taste in music. What other 5-year old has a penchant for Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Wonder?! We had several things that we wanted to capture in this portrait session, including her adorable personality. Firstly, it was nonnegotiable that I create a portrait of Zoey and her beloved Uggie, a giraffe blanket that has loyally served as her lovey and BFF. I decided to have her also wear her favorite dress in this image - this image in particular was alll for Zoey. (She was sure to tell me that this dress was her favorite when I went over for their Styling and Planning Consultation and to correct me when I referred to is as turquoise - “It’s Tiffany blue!”) Zoey has a few other treasured friends: a set of vintage-looking rag dolls that they call “The Sisters.” They fit right in with the seventies vibes of the session. Mom also found some amazing temporary tattoos that helped yield some of my favorite images ever.

The session, of course, wouldn’t have been the same without incredible hair and makeup by Tori Bivins. When it’s time for your session, I so highly recommend adding on styling services!

Three words to describe the session: Cute, Fun, Retro/Mod

(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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Movie Night with The Weiss Family // Pittsburgh Family Photographer

While I very much enjoy meeting new families and clients, there is also a special place in my heart for getting the opportunity to photograph friends and folks that I've known for a while. I met Leigh-Anne 8 or so years ago through a networking group when I was just starting to find my feet as an artist (I was still freelancing on the fashion/commercial side of the industry at the time). She has been a ray of positivity in my life ever since. She and her husband, Dave, own Airheads Balloon Art, a company that I've had the pleasure of collaborating with on some of my most memorable and standout portrait sessions: the AMAZING balloon rainbow, the adorable, oversized balloon dogs - all the work of these folks. They really know how to make an event special and how to bring your vision to life, and I was so excited to finally have the opportunity to return the favor a bit.

Finally meeting their children and getting to photograph them, as well, was such a trip. DJ, 13 years old, enjoys sports like most tween boys, but is also the epitome of a comedian/"class clown." His personality, jokes, and the faces he'd make had us in stitches. (You can see one such example below in his "football catch" image. It's difficult to hold your camera when you have tears of laughter welling up in your eyes.) Cat, 11 years old, has this sarcastic wit to her that is equally hysterical. She's currently in the middle of a "unicorn phase," and was sure to wear her snazziest unicorn shirt and horn. We also wanted to capture some images of her vibrant, eclectic style and disposition through some shots of her jumping and shakin' it. The family recently adopted a gorgeous rescue pup they named Noodles through Steel City Greyhounds. Noodles has become such a joyful addition to the family, so I insisted that Noodles be included and come to the studio, too.

One of the activities that the family really enjoys is staying home and having movie night together. As soon as I found this out, I was super inspired and knew that we could have a lot of fun and make some great images by recreating movie night in the studio. Leigh-Anne nailed the wardrobe, getting matching pajamas for the whole family (including a bandana for Noodles!), and I set up my lighting to mimic the glow of a television set. The session culminated in a popcorn fight for the ages - we all smelled buttery and delicious for the rest of the day.

 
POSE PGH Pittsburgh Family Photographer
 

I hope you enjoy these images as much as we did creating them!

Three words to describe the session: Whimsical, Artistic, Unconventional


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Over the Rainbow with Gianna + Arianna + Isabella // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

I am so incredibly fortunate that I get to work with kiddos as precious and loving as Gianna, Arianna, and Isabella. From the moment I walked into their house for their consultation, these little ones made me feel like I was their new best friend, and I couldn't get enough of their personalities or their hugs (my favorite!). Gianna, 7, was a miniature professional. She spent the whole session popping into her own poses and making us laugh hysterically. She's a spitfire and a comedian. Arianna, while on the shy side, is incredibly sweet. She is thoughtful, considerate, and, dare I say, "detail-oriented" at 6 years old? (She insisted that we be able to see her beautiful pink shoes in her images, and adjusted her dress accordingly.) Isabella, the baby of the family at 3 years old, is the most affectionate, snuggly little lady, with a twinkle in her eye and just a touch of mischievousness. 

On my "getting to know you" questionnaire, every client chooses three words that they would like to describe their finished images. After reading mom's selections of "artistic, whimsical, and colorful," and seeing the colorful decor in their home, I knew that this would be the PERFECT session to bring to life my vision of a super vibrant rain + rainbow-themed spring session. Of course, I enlisted my good friends at Airheads Balloon Art to work their magic and create this seriously awe-inspiring 7-foot balloon rainbow. It made for such a magical day for both the girls and myself!

A portrait session at POSE PGH is all about creating statement pieces and works of art for your home. Check out this gorgeous image wall that the girls' mama created with her prints! (She was kind enough to send me a snapshot.) The white frames perfectly offset the rich, luster prints and the darker brick wall. I am so pleased to see it all come together so beautifully, from a vision in my head all the way to cherished artwork.

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On to the images!...

Three words to describe the session: Artistic, Whimsical, Colorful


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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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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


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Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Naina + Mina) // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

When I had the opportunity to photograph little ladies as fun and spunky as Naina and Mina, it reminded me precisely why I chose to be a children's photographer. By the time we were finished, my cheeks hurt a bit from smiling for so long, and I felt energized by the amount of tiny giggles that had bounced around in the air at the studio that day (seriously - it's like filling up my gas tank).

Naina is creative, artistic 9-year old with a huge imagination and sweet disposition. Mina, 7 years old, is an entertainer: outgoing, playful, and in Mom's words, "just a ham in general." I knew that I had to give these ladies an Editorial Session to match their vibrant, spirited personalities, and was overjoyed when Mom chose the word "colorful" as one of her three words to describe her ideal session. There was only one option, really. We NEEDED to throw a PAR-TAY - a big, colorful one. And, what party is complete without decorations?! To help decorate for Naina and Mina's party, I enlisted the help of Leigh-Anne from Airheads Balloon Art, who made the most ahhh-mazing balloon doggies to tie everything together and really bring my creative vision to life. (If you'd like to step up your decoration game for your kiddo's birthday party, or any other event in the future, definitely get in touch with them - they are spectacular to work with!) Last but not least, what party is complete without glitter? EVERYTHING is better with glitter.
 

SO MUCH FUN in the studio with Naina + Mina this morning. Everything is better with glitter! ✨

A video posted by POSE PGH (@posepgh) on

And, now, on to the images...

Party on, Naina! Party on, Mina!

Three words to describe the session: Cute, Colorful, Stylized


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Tori : The Little Drummer Girl // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

From the moment I met 5-year old Tori, I knew that we'd have a blast photographing her Editorial Session. This precocious, sweet spitfire is already an accomplished drummer, as well as a myriad of other talents. (I was even treated to an impromptu dance performance during her in-home consultation!) With a wardrobe full of miniature 90s-grunge-esque clothing and Doc Martens (atta girl!), we definitely needed to have a rocking and rolling time in the studio.

Three words to describe the session: Modern, Editorial, Bold


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Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes! // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

 
 

As POSE PGH has grown and evolved over the past year, it has given me the opportunity to better understand the variety of wants and needs that my clients have. In the spirit of ensuring that you're booking a session that's right for YOU, I've decided to shake things up a bit. I am now happy to offer you three unique session options.

While the Basic and Editorial Sessions have always been around in theory, the Comp Card Session is hot off the presses. I have had so many mamas ask me if I photograph Comp Cards, and now, happily - the answer is YES!

For more information about sessions and to figure out which session is right for you, take a look at the shiny, new Investment page.

Flying High with Pilar + Leo // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

For those that haven't come to POSE PGH for a session before and are unfamiliar with how things work, I'd like to share a bit with you. Our focus is always on the individual child/family. We don't want things to be cookie-cutter and formulaic. The whole point of portraiture is photographing a person in a way that encapsulates them and their personality in the images. We firmly believe in giving you a custom session that fits you and your children. Each booking begins with a questionnaire that helps us get to know you better. We take your answers and develop a creative vision for the session: What colors are your decor? What personality traits or interests do you want to highlight? What sort of imagery are you drawn to?

My favorite question that I find most revealing in the questionnaire is "What three words would you like to describe your finished photographs?" (Don't worry - it's multiple choice!) Moving forward, I'll be including those three words in my posts about individual sessions, to help you better *feel* the session, rather than just "see" it.

Pilar is an outgoing, spunky 6-year old with a flair for the dramatic arts, who can absolutely dance circles around me. Leo is an adorable, silly 4-year old with a love of planes, who makes some of the greatest facial expressions I've ever seen. This brother-sister duo was such a joy to work with during their Editorial Session. (We'll be rolling out the "Editorial Session" and providing you with details soon!)

Three words to describe the session: Modern, Simple, Innovative


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