Letters to My Daughter | January 2013

It’s been a while since I posted a personal story, dear Reader.  I think it’s important to share a little about who I am as a person with you, and I don’t do it often enough.  Well, that is soon to be remedied by a commitment I have made to a blog circle called “Letters to Our Daughters”, a lovely group of ladies that I found through my favorite photographer forum, Clickin Moms.  One of the grand plans I had always kept in the back of my mind was to write a book  consisting of a collection of letters to my daughter, so that she would have them all through her life…as a keepsake, a guide to life, a testament of my infinite love for her…and perhaps a peek into my soul that she might not see otherwise.

All of these thoughts, hopes and dreams for my little girl  swam around in my head every day.  As she changed every day right before my eyes, I could see time slipping away from me.  I preserved memories as much as I could with my camera, but I wanted to do more for her.  One night a few years ago as she lay sleeping peacefully beside me, I looked at her angelic face.  All those thoughts, hopes, memories, and dreams that swam around in my head swelled until finally, they broke the dam. I was struck with the need to start writing these letters immediately, and began that same night.  I sat at my computer with a box of tissues, typed up a rough outline of all the things I wanted to tell her someday, and then I wrote my first letter.

Dearest Samantha,

How many times have I looked at your beautiful face, and wished that I could tell you everything.  Everything I have ever felt for you, everything I love about you, everything I hope and dream for you…

 I wish I could tell you everything you need to know for this lifetime, so that you can enjoy it to the fullest.  So that you can avoid all of my mistakes, and be spared any hardship or regret.  In reality, there’s no way that you can ever avoid making any mistakes; mistakes are part of what shapes us as a person, and hardship, as cliché as it sounds, really does build character.  More importantly, I believe that hardship in life is a key ingredient to helping us learn compassion for others.

 Still, there are some mistakes and hardships that I hope to spare you from; even if the only thing that I gain through my own mistakes and hardships in life is the ability to pass the knowledge I gain on to you, then I will be grateful for them.

 I am not a gifted writer, and spare time is so rare.  As a result, this “book” may be nothing more than a collection of mish-mashed thoughts that I was able to jot down here and there, with no real order.  There are many times when I have thoughts swimming around in my head, things that I mentally file away to tell you later when you are old enough to understand.  Many times I have thought to myself, “I should write this down, so I don’t forget.”  One of the things you’ll find out is that the mind is like a file cabinet, full of our thoughts and memories.  When you are young, there aren’t many papers filed away in your cabinet, because you haven’t experienced much yet.  As you get older, that file cabinet starts to get full, and sometimes, you lose those papers!

 I’ve decided that rather than just thinking about what I’m going to tell you, or dreaming about writing a book for you, I’m going to do it, and do it now, for three reasons.  One, so that I don’t forget anything important that I want you to know.  Two, so that you will have something real and concrete that you can hold in your hands, rather than a fuzzy collection of memories from our conversations over the years.  Your file cabinet is going to be full someday too!  Life is crazy, and who knows if the opportunity will arise for us to talk about all the things I want you to know.    I want this book to be something that you can go back and read again later when you’ve forgotten a thing or two.   Finally, I want this book to be another window into who your mom is.  A cruel fact of life is that a parent’s memory and understanding of her child’s soul is far more detailed and embedded in their minds than the child’s memories and understanding of her parents.  Sadly, we don’t remember much from when we are very small.  I have known you since you were born, and every little nuance of your personality has been etched into my heart.  We are so close now, but someday when you are grown up, you will have a life of your own, and we won’t see each other day in and day out like we do now.  Someday, you may look at me and your dad, and though you have an overall sense of belonging and love for us, generated from the years of love and togetherness and memories from your childhood, you may also realize that you don’t really know who we are in some ways.  I hope this collection of memories and insights will give you a window into my soul, and maybe someday you’ll be able to pass this on to your children so that they will know some part of me as well.

 If there is any one thing that you gather from this memoir, even if all my advice and knowledge proves to be inconsequential, please take this one message with you and carry it your entire life:  You are, by far, the greatest gift your father and I have ever received.  No matter what success or failure we will come to know, the greatest thing we ever achieved was to be your parents.  God was so good to us when he gave us you.  Not a single day goes by that I don’t look at your beautiful face and thank Him for what he has given us.  Truly, as I have said to you countless times, you are the joy of my life.  Always remember that you are beautiful, and that you were a gift from God, not just to us, but to the world.



This is the only letter I have written so far, and it is from 2010.  Life, it seems, can get a little crazy.  I blinked and almost 3 years passed.  There never seems to be enough hours in the day; the desire to write the perfect thing that will be worthy of this epic project leaves me at a loss for words.  But I have come to realize, there is no perfect time, there are no perfect words–I just need to do it without overthinking it.  If you don’t make the time for the important things, they will never happen.  So, I hope that by committing to this blog circle, I will be able to hold myself accountable once a month, and get back on track to finishing what I started.

I hope you’ll join me on this journey, and once in a while leave me some blog love.  Let me know your thoughts.  Did my story touch you in some way?  Are you thinking about writing letters to your children?  What do you hope to pass on to them?

And now I pass the torch onto my blog circle sister Brenda over at Lilly Lane Photography and Design.  Thanks for stopping by, dear Reader!

Elizabeth - How great will that (a book) be for your daughter! I loved this part, “A cruel fact of life is that a parent’s memory and understanding of her child’s soul is far more detailed and embedded in their minds than the child’s memories and understanding of her parents.” It is so very true and not something I realized until I had children of my own.

Rockie - Beautiful! I could connect with this letter in so many ways. I became a mom just 7 months ago and it’s amazing, I thank god every day for this amazing gift!

Robin Eiszler - This is so beautiful! What a great idea!

Amanda - I love it :) Time really is going by in a blink. We have to learn to stop and mark the memories. Hope to see many more posts :D

Taryn Boyd - Beautiful Sandy!!! Your letter was just beautiful. xo

Tracy Bernard - I loved your beautiful words… You have always been an inspiration to me and continue to be, my friend :) you are amazing,,,

Nathaly - Beautiful words, beautiful pictures. :)

Catherine Vargas - OMG I love your pictures and your little girl looks adorable, congrats :)

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Welcome to the World, Little Atticus

Most of my baby photography sessions are with first-time parents and their newborn, so it’s always a treat when the baby is their second or third child, because I get to take beautiful photos of baby and siblings.  It was so sweet to see little two-year-old Ascher holding his baby brother with a big grin on his face.  This session was made possible with a little extra help from Grandma and Grandpa, a lot of time and patience, and good helping of bribes and treats stashed at the studio, lol.

I love soulful expression in Ascher’s eyes…

newborn and sibling
cute baby wearing a teddy bear hat

We were fortunate enough to capture this little smile at the very end of the session.  It was definitely worth the wait!

newborn baby smiling

Love this family portrait!

family portrait with a newborn

If you are expecting and would like to have Sandy take your maternity and newborn photos, please contact her here as early as possible.  Maternity photography sessions take place in the 7th or early in the 8th month of pregnancy.  Newborn photography sessions take place in the first 10 days after birth.


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Sneak Peek: The Adorable Baby Atticus

Doesn’t this photo of an adorable baby smiling in his sleep just make your day?

Smiling baby sleeping

Diane Holleran - I have to say I have never seen such a gorgeous picture. Everyone I have showed it to loved it. It was a very long day but worth it. The amount of patience you have is amazing. All the people I showed it to were amazed,I also told them to look you up on Red Lotus Photography to see all the things you do. Thank you for taking such a great picture of my Atticus. I can’t wait to see the rest of the pictures.

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Baby Pictures Pittsburgh | Brooklyn’s Sneak Peek

Just a little something sparkly for the holidays…

baby in front of a twinkle light backdrop


Lorna Knightingale - I truly love your work, I adore the images here. Newborns and babies are my favorite and I simply must know where you got those cute leg warmers. You have inspired me with your work. Thank you.

Sandy - Thank you, Lorna! I think the baby’s mom bought the leg warmers at Baby Gap!

Rebecca - Hello I love the back drop to this photo what did U use? Or is it something u can do my photoshop. I’d love to get my pics done by u but I live in washington state. My baby’s due dec 23 and I have an image in my head with a background like this for christmas pics

Sandy - Hi Rebecca! I hung curtain length twinkle lights from a backdrop bar. But I know that digital twinkle light backdrops can be purchased and photoshopped in, too.

Amy - Hi Sandy!! I too am in love with this photo/look for my own baby!! Can I ask did you hang “twinkle” lights behind a sheer or no? looking on Amazon for “twinkle lights” not quite sure what those are exactly and which to buy bc I love that you don’t see your wires.. way too many choices:) Thx!!

超かわいい!赤ちゃん&マタニティ【クリスマスPhoto】60選| 育児ママの笑顔をつく - […] 出典元:キラキラスノーベビー […]

29 Picture Perfect Christmas Outfit Ideas | Shutterfly - […] Source: Red Lotus Photography […]

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Baby Photographer Pittsburgh | Elle

My new studio was graced by a little angel, dear Reader.  You already met her parents in one of my previous posts of their maternity session, and now we are so excited that she is here!  May I introduce to you the adorable little Miss Elle…

natural light newborn photography in a studio
unique and beautiful newborn photos with natural light in a studio
newborn photography mother and child portrait
newborn photography father and child portrait
newborn photography family portrait

Welcome to the world, little Elle!


If you are looking for a Pittsburgh baby photographer or maternity photographer, please contact Red Lotus Photography or visit the investment page here.  Newborn photos are scheduled to take place within the first 10 days of birth, so please plan ahead and call Sandy before baby is born!  Red Lotus Photography specializes in baby photography, newborn photography, maternity photography and children’s photography in Pittsburgh, Fayette, McMurray, Bridgeville, Peters, Mt. Lebanon, Upper St. Clair, Shadyside, Wexford, Sewickley, and other areas surrounding Pittsburgh.  Red Lotus Photography specializes natural light children and newborn photography as well as studio photography.  For more information, please call Sandy at 412-216-3914 or contact her here.

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Children’s Photographer Pittsburgh | Day Dream

Gosh I just love this family.  I have been blessed to know and photograph them since before their first child was born.  This has to be one of my favorite sessions, with a warm and hazy, dream-like quality; it was a perfect evening.

Red Lotus Photography specializes in baby photography, newborn photography, maternity photography and children’s photography in Pittsburgh, Fayette, McMurray, Bridgeville, Peters, Mt. Lebanon, Upper St. Clair, Shadyside, Wexford, Sewickley, and other areas surrounding Pittsburgh.  Red Lotus Photography specializes natural light children and newborn photography as well as studio photography.  For more information on children’s photography, please visit the investment page, call Sandy at 412-216-3914 or contact her here.

Roy - Awesome portraits Sandy. That evening lighting is incredible.
Thanks for the inspiration :)


Sandy - Thank you so much, Roy!

Lorna Knightingale - What a perfect family, I love the setting and the glow, beautiful work.

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B E   I N   T H E   K N O W !