Natalie & Dave / Engagements / Pennsylvania Fall 2015

Natalie was determined to get photos of her and the love of her life in FALL photos.

here in pa, the conditions aren't always what we want them to be, but MOST all of time, we can make it swing just the same.  

cold? nope!  :)

rain?  no! he he he

dreary and damp?  wha?? :))

beautiful love with the sweetest, funnest (it IS a word!) natalie & dave.

-xoxox you two!

natalie and dave...your love was so real!

i want to shoot it again and again!

so...just tell me when ok? :))))




rachel & matt - the sweet and casual side / engagements /

i'm backtracking a little bit this evening to an engagement shoot from the beginning of fall.   i have so much that i haven't blogged!

going through these, i had to showcase the casual side of rachel and matt.  

this is a couple made in heaven that i completely adore!


rachel 13.jpg

i know - the right, right?  how i love yummy perfect light!

let them be little / Essenza - Girls /

i do find it fascinating. 

there is no denying the essence of a sweet, little girl. 

she immediately twirls in a dress...

her pinky finger instinctively lifts up as she pretends to drink her tea...

a velvet tufted settee draws her in, to plop down on her princess throne...

and a tea set instantly sets an imaginary best friend across from you to share a spot with.

little girls grow up - too quickly!

our essenza girls sessions will always, keep them little - even in just one way. :)

and to really feel like you were there, watch this heartwarming video :)

oh, little girls!

and a special thank you to Honeydew Vintage Rentals for providing all the beautiful furniture, greenery and headpieces!

REALLY disliking pittsbirgh right now


i left off yesterday as i was making my way to the city impound. 

the PITTSBURGH city impound that is. 


please refer to my blog post from yesterday if this is confusing :).

oh wait, i wasn't on my way to the impound yet. 

so, as the story leaves off, our jeep is on the tow truck.  

and, people are MEAN ...i know that sounds funny, but i think it's even easier to be nice to people, than mean. 


i was shooting this beautiful girl, emma, in downtown pittsburgh...bigelow boulevard.

i saw the tow truck reel the jeep onto the back...pleaded with the officer and tow truck driver...

but before all of that...

we were here.

allegheny general shock trauma unit, waiting room. 


just about 3 weeks ago, my sister, brother in law and i were waiting.... here-

sleeping for the night on the floor of the shock trauma floor waiting room  at allegheny general. 

our sister in law, loryn, has been here since september 17th. 

she is fighting for her life.

my sisters, shannon, sherri and i, are TIGHT.

we are very different than our brothers.

that said, the love all 5 of us have for each other, is unexplainable, immeasurable.  

for many reasons, this is the first time we have all been together since the death of our dad, in 2006.

blessings in tears.



my trip to shoot emma, began with visiting loryn and my brother ryan.  loryn is still in the shock trauma unit, and is still fighting. 

it was a tough morning. 

seeing people i love in pain, just rips me apart. 

but ry and i shared a gyro, a few laughs, and special moments together. 

then, i was off to my shoot. 

thenAGAIN, fast forward, i was at the city impound.

i had to call my brother ryan, who traveled 20 minutes to get to me, in the midst of loryn's issues, pick me up, and took me HERE.  

the ALCATRAZ of pittsburgh.  

i had pleaded with the tow people the do i get to the impound??? can i take a bus?  how do i get there?  and they told me they couldn't talk to me until they had finished.  

so 45 minutes later, (or maybe it was 3 years :)),they handed me a card with the address to get the impound/alcatrtaz.

ryan was my hero..him and the gps, that he brilliantly was ahead of...because you KNOW (and if you don't, you do now), a GPS in downtown Pitt will just about make you lose your mind....and the GPS out the window.  

we wound up here.

a slip handed to the driver, and i was off via golf cart to my claimed vehicle.  

it was seriously a "miles long" junkyard. 

slammed, crushed cars everywhere...and i was searching...

i would not...could not cry. 

this place was hell. 

i told ryan i was ok - a big girl. i was fine, they found the car..."go."

and then, i was there almost another hour. 


this moment - i was scared out of my mind. 

the impound is in nowhere...right in the middle of pitt.

on the top of hill with nothing else. 

except crazy, and maybe high people...yes, high or ON something.

the INSIDE is more room in there for more than 4 people at most. 

so, i kept having to exit to the outside with the "ones" i didn't trust.  

this woman, took off her boot and started trimming her TOENAILS.  

i kid you not.  

they were dog trimmers or lasted WAY too long....blah.



so by the time i was "released", it was near 6pm.

i got stuck in traffic.


i waited about- you know....10 hours to pee and eat.

i got home right before 10 last night. 

scared- sick- and tons more. 

we are fighting for a life in this.

we are hanging on for hope, here.

and yesterday - with all it's yuck and tons of diversions, somehow, heightened the fight.

they say, lorn is getting better every day.  she has a trach now, and is becoming more and more coherent.

my brother ryan, is worn out, but so positive, and such a great, strong husband for her.  

i am so so proud of him. his attitude alone has played a HUGE part in her fighting through this. 

our family is grateful for every card, thought, prayer and encouragement. 

in light of the yuck people i dealt with yesterday, we have witnessed the goodness and graciousness of so many others through this ordeal. 

thank you. 

this is what it is about-




and - i'm "reallydislikingpittsbrughrightnow."









the joke can be over now.

for 41 years, i have had a puppy love, bubbly in my tummy, love affair with pittsburgh. 

born there in 1974, every thought of pitt is filled with black and gold, mouthwatering italian and polish food, family, inclines, KDKA and window shopping. 

the opportunities that i have had in shooting there have been some of my favorite images of all time. 


for almost a month my sister in law, loryn, has been in the shock trauma unit at allegheny general in pitt. it has been a very stressful, and intense time for my brother and us who love him so much. 

more about that later. 

i had a shoot scheduled in oakland yesterday afternoon, and had not been down to see loryn in a few weeks.  i decided to leave early, spend some time with ryan and loryn, then head to my shoot.

ry is a genius.  i'm not exaggerating.  my brother is the most cunning, find the leak in the system, brilliant person ever.  

we are total opposites. :)

after spending some precious time with him, he not only laid out directions for me, to my shoot in oakland, he went over and over them with me.  god bless him. 

we kissed goodbye and with one final drill of where i was headed to, i took off for oakland. 


first, i missed the right, then a huge piece of mascara got in my eye - i think mascara.

HURT!  i couldn't see!  i'm driving in pitt, with every stinking turn 15 seconds ahead of me, i couldn't see, and why wasn't my GPS working now too?  oh!  the volume was off.  

long story short, i arrived almost ten minutes late to my shoot, but exactly where i needed to be...the cathedral of learning. 

emma's mom and i quickly memorized our license plate numbers and grabbed our credit cards to pay for parking.  for all my dubois friends - let's just say, it is WAY different than paying for parking at the luigi's parking lot. 


we spent two hours shooting this lovely.

and for all i have in me, i'm kicking myself for not seeing what was happening to the left of us. i take such care in composing a shot.  

but then again, this is the girl who shot a whole round of bridal party pictures in front of a COOL graffiti wall, that just may have had a huge penis painted on it.

 i never saw it. no more graffiti walls at weddings. 


i should have realized when people weren't staring at emma.  

they were all day. until now.  SOMETHING was going on. 

oh, you know, there just happened to be about 3 or 4 tow trucks approaching, with police cars and lights.  

but i thought this shot was rockin. 

sometimes i hate being me. 

all of a sudden, i realized what was happening!  i looked over and NO!!!!!

the tow truck was lined up right behind the jeep to put it on.

i ran across the street - total jay walking / running.....up to the policeman.

"sir, look- my ticket, i'm paid until 3:23.  it's not even 3:00...ummm...sir."


and he wasn't even......NICE!

he told me the signs said that there was no parking after 4 a.m.

"4 a.m.??  i asked.  

"the parking slots were full, and the machine took my card - twice!  

and now you are towing?

PLEASE! don't tow my car..."

he told me.."once we start, we don't stop!"

so i ran up to the "tow guy." 

"dirty, greasy, smelly, sir..." (i always consider the inside of someone rather than the out, but this man was NOT nice on the in. :(

"please, don't lift my car onto the truck.  it's not up there yet.  you haven't started, please let it go. "

and the DUDE tells me...

"once i start, i won't stop."

"where are you taking it?" i yelled above all of the noise of 4 tow trucks installing chains to cars....

"the city impound." he yells. 

so from here, 

i know i will sound like a naive, cow poke, innocent, small town gal, but i don't care.

yesterday was AWFUL.  for a ton of reasons.

this being a big part of it - but THERE IS MORE!!!!!

to be continued...

is it only tuesday???











Family Christmas Photo Event with DaFeat!

for the 3rd year, we are planning our Family Christmas Photo Even to help support DaFeat!
we have 15 post open and they are filling super quick!

some fine details:

Honeydew Vintage will be designing the set for this unique shoot.

featured will be the white couch with gold trim, a dark wood mantle and fresh pine as well as brass accents.  

the shoot will be outside.  we do have heaters for warmth. 

we will shoot as many setups as we can in the 20 minute appointment. 

dress to compliment one another, not to be matchy matchy :).

a $50 non refundable deposit is required to reserve your session. you may mail a check to

38 w. scribner ave dubois, pa 15801  
this $50 will be applied to your session fee. 

the remaining $100 fee will be due the day of the shoot. 

the day of the shoot, we will schedule your viewing appt for November 20th or November 21st.

at this viewing apt., you will review your images, and choose your 8x10 as well as the image to be uploaded to for your christmas cards.  your upload will be available November 24th. 

if you decide to purchase all of your digital files, a digital download link will be provided to you. all of your images will be able to be downloaded november 24th.  should you purchase your digital files, you are able to use your upload to minted for your cards, or from wherever you may choose to order them from. 

the pick up date for all of the  print products will be at our open house, december 12th. 

need outfit ideas?

enjoy some images from last years shoot for inspiration!