My 365 project | Pittsburgh Portrait Photographer | Marisa Magnusen Snowflake Photography

Should you include client work in your 365 photography project? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself and so far I’ve decided to not include it. Now that makes things a little hard because I have been shooting so many days in September that sometimes my personal photography takes a hit. That’s when the good ol iphone comes in handy because I am always taking pictures with it as well. So this month is not my strongest month in terms of this project but still it documents our life in a way. And in the end it’s my project so I get to do what I want, right?

Images 244-273 in my year long project. (and as I look through this month I might call this my warm period)

PS… if you would like to see other artist’s images who are working through such projects I strongly suggest looking at Chloe Lodge , Zoe Wittering , Caroline Liabot , Cindy Cavanagh


Bloser Mansion, New Kensington | Back to School Shoot | Snowflake Photography, Pittsburgh Pa Marisa Magnusen

When you are given an opportunity to shoot in a historic mansion built in 1921 in the midst of renovation…. you take it because it’s a portrait photographer’s dream (at least it’s this portrait photographer’s dream) The paintings on the walls tell a story of a man who was friends with names like Dole and Lipton and was enthralled by places far around the world. The woodwork and light features speak of time in our past and the rooms tell of families and servants, of people once here but now gone. It’s beautiful and romantic… or at least that’s how I see it and so that’s how I shot these images, with tales of others lives, entangled in my own story.

It’s back to school Bloser Mansion Style.

My 365 Project | July 2019 | Pittsburgh Portrait Photographer Snowflake Photography

Want to know what’s best about going through your own photography project? It’s your project. You make the rules so there’s no real rules to break. July was hard for me with vacations leading into vacations in terms of my project. I decided to not bring my camera to vacation so next month’s image have iphone shots as part of the project. Did I ever envision it going that way? Not really, but I think I’ve learned that I have to be able to change with what I need. And if you see the image of the wheels…. look close, the reflection of our SUV is in the middle!

Here I am on August 12, finally sharing my July images and that’s okay.

July Images 182-212 of my 365

My 365 project | April 2019 | Pittsburgh Portrait Photographer | Marisa Magnusen Snowflake Photography

When doing a 365 it seems like I should have prepared myself for the lulls where I didn’t feel inspired. April was hard for me. The weather in Pittsburgh was good and then not so good but it really wasn’t that. Who knows what lights that spark but as I left this month and entered May it felt like things might be looking up. As a matter of fact I feel the freelensing but today and may head out to check out the yard. Anyways I am not even sure who has followed along and if anything I’ve done has helped to inspire you or get you thinking then maybe April wasn’t so lackluster in the creativity department. Day 90-119

My 365 project | March 2019 | Pittsburgh Portrait Photographer | Marisa Magnusen Snowflake Photography

In order to make the best of your 365 project you just have to keep shooting… really it’s been uplifting to my creativity to shoot everything always and to follow along with fellow artists that are doing the same. If you follow me on instagram you have seen the other artist across the globe that are taking part in their own projects.. it really has been a good 90 days of creating!

My March below: xoxo Plus an image I created in March that is dear to my heart…….



An image I created in March but have been thinking about for a very long time…… My caption from Instagram below is to explain the concept of it all. xoxo

Sometimes when looking back at my life I feel like I’m remembering someone else’s story. The details may be hazy and the timeline not exactly as things have transpired. I also try to think about what that woman would think of all that she has today. The beautiful life, the daughters, the husband, the cozy home and the sense of peace. Would she know that she was able to piece back her life a few times after feeling broken? This image was brewing for a bit in my head, or something like it, and today I came up with how I wanted it to look. It represents how I feel about looking back and trying to absorb the now. How I could have never imagined being the mother I see in the mirror or the artist I feel inside. And in a way it’s how I see my photography. Did I stand outside on the roof to do this…. Yes, oh yes I did.

Sometimes when looking back at my life I feel like I’m remembering someone else’s story. The details may be hazy and the timeline not exactly as things have transpired. I also try to think about what that woman would think of all that she has today. The beautiful life, the daughters, the husband, the cozy home and the sense of peace. Would she know that she was able to piece back her life a few times after feeling broken? This image was brewing for a bit in my head, or something like it, and today I came up with how I wanted it to look. It represents how I feel about looking back and trying to absorb the now. How I could have never imagined being the mother I see in the mirror or the artist I feel inside. And in a way it’s how I see my photography. Did I stand outside on the roof to do this…. Yes, oh yes I did.

3 Elements of a Great Senior Session for Guys | Pittsburgh Senior Portrait | Pittsburgh Photographer Snowflake Photography

There is no doubt that I have awesome clients! Looking back and going through my sessions I made a list of things that made for awesome sessions and things that may have been more challenging. There are certain elements of a guy’s photo session that just make it rock. I thought you might like to see how one of my favorite sessions fit the bill.


  1. A planned out set of outfits! I mean seriously if you show up in a suit or a sports coat you’ve got my attention!

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You don’t have to look like someone that you are not but if you’ve ever dressed up and rocked it…. please please share that with me!

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2. A trust in my opinion when I offer an urban landscape for its walls. (I lean towards this type of shoot for the majority of my guys)


3. And finally the confidence to share yourself… I mean show me what makes you tick, what are your talents?

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So in 2019 I hope to fill my calendar with so many more unique and inspiring teens!

Guys…. bring your A game because I’ll be bringing mine and I bet we can make an awesome team!  Senior portraits are a way to capture you, being you… right here and now at the edge of a doorway, just before you step through.