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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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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Georgia on My Mind // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

While we have tons of fun during every session, I will say that this one, in particular, was such a blast! Georgia, 1 1/2 years old, is this tiny bundle of joy and exuberance, with beyond infectious laughter, adorably chubby cheeks, and dazzling blue eyes. She's a real character and she had us all cracking up for almost the full hour that we spent together.

Georgia's mama loves crossfit and takes Georgia with her. As a result, Georgia loves to work out just like Mommy, often alongside her, mimicking the different exercises. She has her own miniaturized workout equipment and can do squats and planks like a pro!

I decided to photograph the session on a white backdrop, use more contrasty lighting, and style Georgia in super vibrant clothing to emphasize the bright colors and let her personality shine. Once I saw the mini-workout equipment in their home, I knew that we HAD TO use that, and styled her a "workout outfit" with poppy neons to match. One of the outfits that I pulled had some intentional 90s flair to it. (I really can't help myself, guys. There's usually at least one every session.) When she was on set, it was as if she knew, and she popped into this corresponding pose that just screams "Whasssssup, boyyyeeeee?!"

We had the images printed on metallic photographic paper, including one that was used in an acrylic block portrait, and it was STUNNING. If your session is on the more vibrant side, metallic + acrylic is definitely the way to go!

I love every one of these images so dearly, and I can't wait to watch this little one grow!

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


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Little + Big Things with Meera + Arjun // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

One of my favorite parts about what I do is really getting to know the families and the kiddos that I work with. I think that it's essential in creating custom portraiture that's expressive of someone's true self (even if that someone is only two years old). Each little one's personality is so different, and when given the opportunity to shine through in their images, you can really create some magic.

This was my second time having the privilege of working with this family. The first time, we photographed a modeling Comp Card/mini-portfolio for 6-year old Arjun (more on that later in this blog!). This time, though, it was his 2-year old little sister Meera's turn. And turn, and turn, and turn she did! Meera just could not stop her tiny, happy feet during her session. You can see her adorably dizzying dance on the second slide of the Instagram post below.

For Meera's session, we decided to keep things pretty consistent with the session we had recently photographed for her brother - same background color and lighting. This gave their family the opportunity to display all of the images together in their home. We also had Arjun join near the end so that we could photograph some lovely portraits of them together. While Meera is an all-around joy of a kiddo to be around, my favorite thing about her was the mischievous, little twinkle that she got in her eye before she was ready to really ramp up the spinning and dancing, again. So happy that I managed to capture a few images with that sparkle!

Meera also just had a birthday a few days ago, and is now the big THREE.
Everyone be sure to wish her the happiest of years ahead!

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


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Now that I've talked about some adorable, little things, I'm SO excited to share the great, big things that have been happening, as well! Arjun has had some excellent opportunities since our session together and I'm super excited for this fella. In the same month, he was featured in Fashion Kids' Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful Issue AND chosen by Child Model Magazine as their FACE of the Day. Holy cow, Arjun! This merits many, many snaps.

**SNAPS FOR ARJUN!**

Arjun on That Beat // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

I love meeting kiddos like Arjun. He's 6-years old and full of all that being six entails (abundant energy, sweetness, and innocence), yet incredibly intelligent, focused, and one of the BEST little listeners that I've had the pleasure to work with. Arjun LOVES to get his groove on, particularly playing Just Dance. All that he needs is a good beat and it's game time! ("Beat It" and "Juju on That Beat" are particular favorites.) Arjun is also learning Tae Kwon Do, so for some of our more "fun" images, he got to show off his impressive high-kicks.

In addition to generally wanting beautiful images of their little one, Arjun's family came to me to photograph a Comp Card Session to get Arjun's modeling portfolio started. He did such a spectacular job during our session together, and I know that his future is incredibly bright, whether that means modeling or med school. ;)

I definitely wanted to highlight Arjun's lovely warm skin tone and shiny black hair, and decided to photograph the session on gray to accomplish both. During our Styling and Planning Consultation, I saw this stunning white kurta and knew that it would photograph like a dream and be the perfect way to celebrate Arjun's heritage in his images. My personal favorites, though, are the images where he is dressed in his fancy-pants-iest suit and tie. He told us that he was a businessman and that he'd be going to the office. (Don't be in too much of a hurry for that, Arjun!)

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


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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

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Landri Has a Heart of Gold // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

There is so much that I could say about Landri. This adorable 4-year old is one of the sweetest kiddos that I've had the pleasure of working with. She is friendly, yet feisty. Spirited, yet dear. Affectionate, yet independent. I see such a strength of character in this little, little girl, and I can't wait to see her grow up into a strong, beautiful woman.

Landri was this year's winner of the annual #POSE4PICKET contest that I run in conjunction with The Picket Fence. She won a complimentary Editorial Session, three 8x10 prints, and a gorgeous Tea Collection outfit to wear during her session. (If you missed this year's contest - be sure to enter next year! It's SO MUCH fun!) I am so grateful that this contest enabled me to meet both her and her mother, as it was such a joy getting to know the both of them.

When planning Landri's session, I knew that I wanted to photograph it on black to emphasize her gorgeous blonde hair and porcelain skin. When I inquired as to Landri's favorite colors, I was told that they were "pink, purple, and golden." What a perfect color palette! I decided to select primarily pink and purple wardrobe and utilize different golden accents during the session (including a crown for the images in her Tea Collection outfit - she needed to be "crowned" the winner, after all!) There were also two other very important objects in Landri's world that I knew we could incorporate perfectly: her lovey/BFF "Baby" the elephant, and her preferred method of getting around on such tiny legs: her hot pink scooter.

Honestly, I could have photographed this little girl all day...

Three words to describe the session: Editorial, Fun, Stylized


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