True Blue // Pittsburgh Family Photographer

This session was for another wonderful family that came my way courtesy of a charitable auction donation. I truly treasure the ability to give back to the city that has given me so much however I can, and donating my services to charity through auction packages is a fabulous way to do so and to meet so many new, fabulous people.

Little Annie, 3 1/2 years old at the time of our session, was a bundle of energy and cuteness. She picked out her favorite green princess dress to wear for her images, and danced and twirled the time away. Annie has gorgeous blue eyes, and I love that I was able to capture her literal “wide-eyed innocence” in her solo portrait. Baby Charlotte had the most adorable little smile, and you could really see the beautiful bond between the sisters during our time spent together. Charlotte definitely admired Annie and wanted to keep up with her, while Annie clearly adored Charlotte and was a loving big sister, holding her hand, guiding her, and snuggling her tightly. Mom and Dad mentioned potentially stepping in for a family image, and you knoooow my thoughts on this: DO IT! So, we created a lovely family image, as well.

As per usual, I aimed to match the family’s decor. Their family room is filled with darker blue tones and off-white. In order to create images that would still pop a little bit on their walls, I photographed the session with more contrasty, bright lighting and a white backdrop, but pulled everything back in post-production to be warmer and softer. When choosing the wardrobe, particularly for their group image, I chose tones of blue and gray, with a color pop of dusty pink for the baby. I love the harmony of how the colors all mingle so nicely.

Three words to describe the session: Simple, Classic, Sweet

(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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The Muppet Show, Starring... Koraleigh! // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

One of the best parts of being a photographer is really getting to know the families that I work with, building a relationship with them, and watching the kiddos grow up and the families grow in number. I had the honor of photographing Kellan for his first birthday last year, and now, it was his little sister, Koraleigh’s turn for her 1-year portrait session.

This Mama comes up with the MOST FUN birthday party themes that really get my creative juices flowing. When she told me that Kora’s party theme was going to be classic 70s Muppet Show, I was over the moon and instantly started brainstorming as to how to incorporate that in a modern, sophisticated way. The first thing that came to my mind was the “Mahna Mahna” song and The Snowths, so I decided to make them out of paper and put the baby right in between them to recreate the skit. And, of course, the most iconic imagery from The Muppet Show is Kermit doing his opening monologue on stage, in front of the luxe, red curtain. I snagged some gorgeous velvet fabric to make a tiny version for Kora to sit in front of, and we put her in fuzzy, green pants. (I shifted the color of them to be more “Kermit green” while retouching the images.) It was as if she knew her role, and while I was photographing this set, she kept doing her “SO BIG” arms, and it looked like she was most definitely hosting the show and excitedly introducing a guest.

I’m so grateful for the relationship that I’ve built with this family, and I cannot wait for the next party theme and creative challenge!!!

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

(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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POSE PGH Pittsburgh Child Photographer

(We left this one in, because it was just too funny + adorable!)

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Red, White , and Blue with Sam + Claudia // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

I want to start this one off by saying that I hope you all had the most wonderful holiday, whether that was Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Solstice, Festivus - whatever. I hope that it was fabulous and that you got to spend some quality time with your loved ones eating way too much food! I have unfortunately been pretty sick for the past few weeks and fell behind on a bunch, including my blogging, so I'll be playing catch-up a bit. I felt this session was the perfect one to share heading into the New Year - pretty lights, shimmery party outfits, and joyful, little giggles!


I was totally overwhelmed by just how adorable Sam, 2 1/2, and Claudia, 1, were when I first met them at their gorgeous home. Respectively post- and pre-nap, they were personable, curious, and a joy to be around. I knew that we would have a wonderful session together.

In their questionnaire, Mom told me that creativity was "welcomed and encouraged," which is totally music to a photographer's ears! I decided to take this opportunity to play around with some more creative lighting for a portion of the session, incorporating some vibrant colors (for vibrant kiddos!) and playing around with motion blur. In order to also keep the session simple + sophisticated, I photographed the kids in classic white tee/denim outfits on the black backdrop for a sleek, editorial feel. We kept blue as the thematically dominant color throughout in order to match the gray/blue color scheme of the family's home and unify the three different sets of the session. Lastly, we got to incorporate the blankets that the babes sleep with - their most cherished, fuzzy possessions! (Whenever possible, I jump at photographing little ones with their favorite stuffed animals + loveys. Those images tend to hold such sentimental value with time.) Keep your eyes peeled for the first image, where Sam is making the most hilarious "model face." It cracks me up every time that I see it.

We had the super colorful images from the first set printed on metallic photo paper as wall art for their home and HOLYYY COW, I loved them SO much! The colors absolutely jumped and danced off of the paper. I'll be sure to share a look at these on social media soon - I just had to print a few samples for myself from this session, too!

Three words to describe the session: Simple, Artistic, Sophisticated


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K is for Kellan // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

I LOVE when I get to photograph the littlest of the little, and Kellan's one-year session was no exception! Sir Kellan was having a classic Disney Robin Hood-themed first birthday shindig, so we planned out some imagery and props that would match the theme and could be displayed at his party. (Mom made and styled the props, and did such a wonderful job!) I love the aesthetic of photographing white-on-white, and I knew that doing so would really emphasize his beautiful brown eyes and adorable little rolls. Then, when we added in the more colorful wardrobe and props, it really made everything *POP*.

It's funny how a child's unique personality shines through, even at such a young age. Kellan is very serious little man, but I did manage to capture some smiles and giggles, too. (He definitely has his "Blue Steel" face perfected, though. Watch out, ladies!) And, like most almost-one-year-olds, everythinggg goes into the mouth for a trial run, including the lovely, and apparently delicious, orange "K" prop Mom picked up for the session. It couldn't have gotten any cuter!

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


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Paint it Blue with Rodolfo + Mariana // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

When I first met 9-year old Rodolfo and 7-year old Mariana, I was struck with just how spirited and independent they both were. Like most brothers and sisters, while they are similar in many ways, their differences abound. Rodolfo loves sports, particularly football and soccer, and has a penchant for superheroes and Star Wars. Mariana is the exact opposite: if it involves dance, American Girls, or princesses - count her in! I really wanted to ensure the Editorial session was customized to suit both of their individual personalities and was fun for everyone. I focused a great deal on posing with this session to do so: Rodolfo was my handsome Ralph Lauren model, photographed mostly from a lower angle to make him appear more elevated and dignified. Mariana was an adorable princess for the day, fan in her hair, twirling, posed to emphasize her joyful energy. I knew that going with a mostly blue color palette would be mutually pleasing and I was inspired by the fact that Dad works with paint to create a fun, Jackson Pollock-esque custom paint splatter backdrop. I had such a wonderful time working with these great kids, and I even got to brush up a bit on my (minimal) Spanish: 
Mariana es preciosa y Rodolfo es gracioso! 
Muchos gracias por venir a verme!
(How'd I do? Was that way off? Haha.)

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


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Light It Up Blue Christmas (Kristina + Carly) // Pittsburgh Children's Photographer

While I'm incredibly grateful for every client, sometimes an inquiry comes in that just makes me feel especially honored that THIS family wants ME to be the photographer to capture their special memories for them. This was most definitely the case with Kristina and Carly's family. 

Carly is an uncommonly independent 9-year old girl. While she may be shy at first, once you get to know her, you see her fun, bubbly side (she has some excellent dance moves), and conversing with this girl is like talking with an old soul. Carly is patient, nurturing, and an amazing sister. Kristina, at 12-years old, is the big sister. A lover of music, she is gentle, warm, and full of life - enviable qualities for anyone. Kristina also has severe autism. While this, of course, changes the dynamic of the sisterly bond and family, this absolutely does not define them. In this family, I see such an abundance of love and positivity in the face of adversity. These girls both inspire me in their own way, and I feel truly blessed to have met them.
(Light It Up Blue is the annual campaign by Autism Speaks for autism awareness.)

Based on the three words that Mom selected and the color scheme/decor of their home, I wanted the images to have an almost Calvin Klein, classic feel to them. But, I also wanted to inject some fun, and I won't lie - I was a little nervous about this session. I hold myself to such a high standard, and I wanted to ensure that these girls, this family, received the same experience that everyone does, that everyone enjoyed themselves, and that they left with an abundance of beautiful images to cherish. In hindsight, my concerns were obviously for nothing. We had a wonderful time together, playing with snow for our wintery theme, singing songs, and making memories. (I may or may not still be finding pieces of snow around my studio.) We even managed to grab a quick image in front of my record wall backdrop for them to use for their annual charity walk to raise money for autism. I'm so glad that Kristi's Rockers will have this image for their event this year. Rock on, guys.

The icing on the cake of this experience for me was coming home one day to find this email:
 

Lexi,
I just want to thank you for an amazing experience for my girls! You were so kind and patient working with Kristi and I'm so happy I didn't let my fears stop me from booking the session. I know Kristi isn't the easiest client, but you made it so relaxed and comfortable for all of us.

And for Carly...she often takes the back seat to Kristi's special needs, but you managed to give her the day she needed.  She had a fabulous time and loved every minute of bringing out her inner super model! The details from the snacks, music, and the relaxed studio were perfect.

We will cherish the day and the photos forever!

Michele, Kristi and Carly
 


Before I start to tear up again, I'll get to the images...

Three words to describe the session: Simple, Pretty, Classic


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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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