Shadow and Light | Senior Session: Snowflake Photography | Pittsburgh PA Portrait Photography

Have you noticed that far more of my seniors are choosing urban environments?  It seems like it to me and I am totally fine with it if they all turn out so awesome.  I think if I were to have my senior portraits done again..... I just might find myself with bricks and skylines too! 

Scavenger hunt at the Carnegie Museum of Art | Snowflake Photography | Pittsburgh, PA Portrait Photographer

The long weekend we were gifted recently left us weekdays to explore.  We opted to use our Monday to go to the Carnegie Museum of Art.  In order to draw my girls into the excursion and not let the trip turn immediately into a mere pause before seeing the dinosaurs I decided to have them help me make a scavenger hunt.  We came up with a list of about 20 things that we might see in paintings.  With two clipboards and the list we hit the museum.  It was great because in looking for these things it got the girls asking questions about other pieces of art.   I am in no way an expert but having a father who taught art for years and having studied a bit of it in college (during my small phase of wanting to become an art history major)  I felt like I had a decent handle on our exploration.  Anyways I thought you might like to see a bit........

 

The little things | Snowflake Photography, Pittsburgh, PA Portrait Photographer

Everyone says that it's the little things that make this life so sweet.  And by everyone I mean friends, books, movies, quotes..... everyone.  (Okay so maybe I just mean that I hear it quite a bit)  but as it stands the little things are what makes life so blindingly bright and wonderful for me.  The small baby that I delivered into this life, the small crack of light that filters through our curtains leaving shadows of tree leaves on the opposite wall,  the small bit of toothpaste my husband leaves ready on my toothbrush every morning,  the small hands that look for mine in a crowd, the small jewels of fruits and vegetables in our yard, and the small days that are not extraordinary in any other way except for being totally mine.   I know that many of us joke about wanting to see the start of a school year, to get back to a routine, but this non-routine is the plan I like best.  Slow mornings, breakfast on the porch, and endless games played by two little girls so enamored with each other at times that I worry what the disconnect will feel like in the chasm between kindergarten and second grade.  We are enjoying the small things and taking this last bit of a month one day at a time.  I hope things are as sweet for you as well.  

 

~ Marisa

Intimate Wedding in Joplin, Missouri | Snowflake Photography | Pittsburgh, PA Portrait Photographer

When you are in the presence of true love, it really moves you.  These two timeless souls exemplified all that one can expect from a relationship built so firmly on love and respect.  I had the honor of photographing their wedding weekend in Joplin, Missouri and will remember the day for a very long time.  Their vows written and spoken to each other were filled with such honesty and had a magic to make you feel as though you were listening to the beating of their hearts.  I would wish them all of the happiness in the world but I am pretty sure they will make that happen.  

 

~ Marisa

 

OHHHH and did I mention that before all of this they ran a half marathon on the day of their wedding!  xo

Keeping it real | In Home Lifestyle Play Session| Snowflake Photography | Pittsburgh, PA Portrait Photographer

When I first started my photography journey I used my canon slr and loaded roll after roll into the back.  I shot my sister washing her car, my dad planting a tree, my brother goofing around or my mom cooking dinner.   I captured images of the flowers in our yard or the garden as it grew.   I wish I had taken more of my grandparents doing their thing.  I hold those images close to my heart.  My own personal photography is full of just the everyday beauty of dirty knees and moments that just happen to present themselves in our natural day.  So getting to shoot an in home session with one of my favorite three year old was what I would consider perfect!   We did what he wanted to do. That list included play with trucks, use his umbrella, swing from the garage as he loves to do in any temperature, play in his tent, and eat lunch (super hero glass included).   It was a day of him at three and that's worth remembering.  It's worth having a professional eye look at your everyday to turn it into a keepsake.  So from their home to yours.....

~ Marisa

 

The best place in Pittsburgh to photograph Newborns | Snowflake Photography | Pittsburgh, PA Portrait Photographer

Leave your baskets and props on the shelf and come with me to the best place to photograph your newborn....... 

Your home of course!  I know you're thinking that maybe your home is not Pinterest worthy but I bet there's a story there and more beauty than you might think. 

When I first took my photography into the realm of being a business I kept away from newborn photography.  Not only did I think that I lacked the skill to pose those cute little newborns on bean bags and propped up in baskets, I really lacked the desire.   Now don't get me wrong, I think that some of those images are super cute and I marvel at the skill to edit out fingers and posing helpers as well as sooth a newborn into some of those super dreamy positions but I just didn't feel as though it was what I wanted to capture.

I have been lucky enough to have clients who want that sliver of life within their walls that tells a story of what it's like for them as parents to a newborn in their own home.  Swaddled up sweetness, bathing beauties, tired little bundles within their own cribs and parents just completely smitten by that new little person.  

So if you are expecting, maybe give your home a second glance...

 

A little fun in windy Pittsburgh weather | Snowflake Photography | Pittsburgh, PA Portrait Photographer

The weather here in Pittsburgh has been changing from day to day.  With that change in temperature comes wind.  Yesterday was an exceptionally windy day and the play cape came in handy.  I am lucky that she thought of it because I try really hard to capture the authentic moments rather than anything contrived.   

 What we ended up with was a super interesting collection of images with movement and speak again to the magic of childhood.  To think that we spent only five minutes in a small space of our driveway.  Further proof that you don't have to leave home or have super romantic scenes to get images that are dear to your heart.   

Hard to photograph... impossible to forget | Snowflake Photography | Portrait Photographer Pittsburgh PA

If I ask my older daughter to wear a dress, sit in a tub of water, climb a wall, dance in a puddle of mud, face the sun or shut off a light.... well she does it.  She is the reason I fell back in love with photograph because she gave me time to hone my craft a bit more.  My littlest..... well she is the challenge to capture but she is the reason that I've gotten better at my art.  She normally sports a serious face and so many of my images are of her contemplating life.  I love every bit of it.  When a family apologizes for a difficult toddler it doesn't phase me in the slightest.  What does tend to worry me is their expectations of the final images.  Do they want what really is or do they want some version of their child that only exists in a frame?  I am lucky that most if not all of my clients look for the former.   

I am also lucky that I am home with this littlest one and I have had the pleasure of photographing her throughout this fall.  The other day on the way home from pre-school I asked her if she would allow me to photograph her.  She originally said no and then just like that, changed her mind.  We stopped at this beautiful building and yard near our home to run around for a bit.  Today she wanted to smile and run and skip.  Today was a true picture of her just as all of the other ones where she is serious.  So here we are between the age of four and five, between the seasons of sun and snow, and in a perfect time where childhood is carefree and safe and she is whomever she pleases to be in the moment.  

~ Marisa

Pittsburgh City Shoot | Snowflake Photography, Pittsburgh PA Portrait Photographer

I have been all over the place shooting gorgeous seniors, families, and school kids but I wanted to stop in to share a few more from recent sessions.  Such an amazing family!  If you want to feel happy go and spend an hour or two with this foursome.   Elated to be part of their new city adventure. ~ Marisa