Photographer Gibsonia | Antics and Adventures

Earlier this fall I met up with one of my favorite families for our annual photo session.  It has been such a pleasure watching their kids grow; I look forward to our sessions every year, because I know I’m going to be surrounded by a whirlwind of silly antics, adventures in the woods, and all around crazy fun as can only be experienced in a household of four children and two dogs.

Dad built this amazing fenced in garden with raised beds.

There are all kind of cool things to be found on an outdoor adventure, like little peppers…

Strange and wonderful bugs…

Prickly pinecones…

Miniature posies…

…and über -cool mushrooms.

Did I ever tell you?  I looove red hair!  Surrounded by a halo of golden backlighting, she looks like a little angel.

Looking forward to our adventures next year!!


To schedule your family session, contact me today!

If you enjoyed these photos, please take a moment to like me on Facebook.  Thanks!

Jenny - Beautiful!!! These photos makes me smile. What an adorable family!

Tracy B - Sandy, these are amazing! I love the light! Especially the one with the backlit little red head… so sweet. Awesome as always, girlfriend!

Sandy - Thanks, girls! :)

abdul raheem - very very nice

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Happy Birthday, Baby Girl

Another year has passed, and my sweet little baby has turned 7.  She is growing up so fast right before my eyes.  Birthdays are always so bittersweet for me!

Earlier this year, on no particular day, I decided to take pictures Just Because.  The weather was good, the light was great, and I just so happened to have an adorable Matilda Jane dress and some props around the house.  I think they capture her 6 year old-almost 7 year old personality, which is full of whimsy and imagination.

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!  XOXOXO

Amanda - And she’s got her trusty octopus with her :D. Happy birthday !! I hope we get to go fishing again this year!

Katia - Beautiful girl! Sandy, gorgeous pictures.

Gina Wade - These are GREAT! Just Because pictures are the BEST!

Sandy - Thanks, girls! :)

Aaron - Beautiful photos!! Great location, fun props, and an adorable little girl. Awesome!

Taryn Boyd - Amazing again Sandy!!!! She is such a cutie!!!!

Sandy - Thanks! :)

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Baby Photography Pittsburgh | Sweet Little Kyla


Allow me to introduce to you Little Miss Kyla, the sweetest, cutest little 5 month old baby you could ever meet, and her beautiful mom, Amanda!  I had the best time capturing all of Kyla’s adorable expressions.  Such a darling!

Thanks, Amanda!  I had so much fun with you and Kyla!!


If you enjoyed these photos of little Kyla, please take a moment to like me on Facebook!

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Aaron - Wow, I LOVE it! Great location and gorgeous light, and an adorable mom & daughter. My favorite is Kyla laying on her back with her legs up, and all the ones with both of them laying on the blanket.

Jenny - Omg, Sandy! These photos are gorgeous! You really ROCKED this session. Each image is fantastic. I love the ones where you can see the lines of apple trees in the background.

Katia - Aww Sandy!!!What a gorgeous session!!I LOVE them ALL and the lighting was Aaaa-mazing!

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TLC Tuesdays – #4 | The Off Camera Lighting Difference

So, this whole TLC Tuesday thing started as a way for me to show readers the special attention I give to images in post-processing.  But today I decided to do something different.  You see, giving an image TLC at the moment of capture is just as  important as it is in post-processing.  Today’s example is about how I light my wedding formals in a dark church after the ceremony.  Many photographers use only the flash on their camera, which works just fine.  Through my own comparisons I find that I prefer to supplement my on-camera flash with an off-camera flash (or OCF as I will hereafter call it).  The OCF is triggered by a remote attached to my camera; it sits atop a light stand and shoots into a translucent umbrella, which diffuses the light for a more flattering look.  Does it really make that much of a difference?  See for yourself:

What do you think?

Jenny - It definitely makes a difference. Beautiful.

Katia - Sandy!you are so right!I love the after images much more!

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Double Feature! | Pittsburgh City Paper and

How cool is this?  I photographed the weddings of two sisters, Maureen and Molly, this year.  And just this week, images from both of their weddings were published!

Maureen and Art’s photo appears in the December 7th issue of the Pittsburgh City Paper, “Best of Pittsburgh” edition.  Maureen and Art held their ceremony and reception at Phipps Conservatory, which was named Best Place for a Wedding Reception.  You can read the full article here.

Molly and Matt’s groom’s cake was featured on, and there’s a really cool story behind it.  “Matt loves old black-and-white Japanese films,” says Molly, “and his favorite director is Yasujiro Ozu, so all the film reels are labeled with title/year if the films (even some in Japanese!). He was so excited about it and totally surprised. The kicker was that the cake was his favorite Guinness stout chocolate.”  To see Molly and Matt’s awesome cake as well as some other unique groom’s cake ideas, check out the article here.

Congratulations, Maureen & Art and Molly & Matt!

Taryn Boyd - Well deserved CHICA! AMAZING WORK!

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Children’s Photographer Pittsburgh | Little Man Adrik

It’s hard to believe it has been a little over a year since I photographed Adrik as a newborn–he has grown so much.  What a miracle children are!


Adrik and his mom and dad are huge Penguins fans.  He already knows how to say “We’re #1!” with his little finger.

So nice to see you again, little man!

Amanda - You did the background! It looks awesome!

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Featured! | Inspire Me Baby Blog

Remember Jessy’s awesome senior session I posted last week?  I am super excited to announce that her session was featured on the Inspire Me Baby blog!  The IMB blog features images by photographers for photographers to gather inspiration for their sessions.  You can check out the post here.  Congratulations, Jessy–you rock!

portraits with gorgeous backlighting


Aaron - YAY! So exciting (and well-deserved)!

Sandy - :)

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TLC Tuesdays – #3

It’s been a while since I posted a TLC Tuesday episode, so let’s do one today.  Here we have an image from Vicki and Tom’s wedding that I posted yesterday; Vicki is standing in the doorway of St. Paul Cathedral with her father, just a moment before walking down the aisle.

Let’s start with the original image, SOOC, with the default raw settings in Lightroom.


The image is a little crooked, and seems a little too warm to me.  The first thing I did was to straighten the crop and cool down the white balance in Lightroom.  I also added a little more contrast and increased the blacks by a notch or two.  I pulled the recovery slider to 10 or so to bring down the highlights in the stained glass windows, and also used the adjustment brush to bring down the exposure in the windows.

The next step was removing the exit signs, which I felt detracted from the image.  I used the patch tool in Photoshop to do this.


And of course, I needed to clone out the church lady who was standing behind the bride.  Oh universal Church Lady, I am fond of you, but why must you linger in the doorway for every. single. wedding?

Ok, now time to remove the videographer.  For those of you familiar with the clone tool and patch tool, you already know what a difficult job this is because of where he is standing.  I need to reproduce the line of pews that he is covering, but because of perspective, I can’t just sample another area and clone it in over him.  So instead,  I used the lasso tool to select the pews on the opposite side, as well as a good portion of the area above the pews, since he is partially covering the wall as well.  I then copied the selection, pasted it back onto the image, making it a new layer.  I used the transform tool to flip it horizontally, then dragged it over the videographer and aligned everything to blend in.  I added a layer mask and brushed out any areas along the edge of the pasted selection that did not match up perfectly.


Ta da!  The final product, sans distractions.

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s episode of TLC Tuesdays!



Jenny - Thank you for posting this Sandy. The end result looks great. I definitely learned a few new tricks.

Sandy - Someday if I figure out how to do it, I’d like to do a “watch me edit” video…

Aaron - Great post! It’s cool to see the extra attention to detail you put into your photos; the finished product is much more impactful than the original.

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St. Paul Cathedral Wedding | Vicki & Tom

Remember Vicki and Tom’s engagement session this summer?  I am super excited to present to you Vicki & Tom: the Wedding!

Vicki and the girls got ready at the historic Inn on Negley in Shadyside.


St. Paul’s Cathedral is a gorgeous church.

Vicki and Tom’s bridal party was super fun!

Love Vicki’s unique bouquet–yes, those are artichokes!!

We stopped at Vicki and Tom’s alma mater, W&J, for photos.

The cake was actually made by Vicki’s mom!

Love it when they put on a slide show of old pictures.


The staff at the Hilton Garden Inn Southpointe put on an awesome live demonstration of fiery dessert making.


Vicki and Tom, thank you for letting me be a part of your journey for a little while.  You are two of the nicest people ever, and I wish you all the best in your married life together!  ((Hugs))  Sandy


Makeup/Hair: MCN Salon

Florisy: Karrie Hlista

Ceremony: St. Paul Cathedral

Reception Venue: Hilton Garden Inn Southpointe

Caterer: Hilton Garden Inn Southpointe

Entertainment: Jeremy Ganss



Jenny - Sandy, these photos are so gorgeous!

Sandy - Thanks, Jenny! :)

Leeann Marie - SO pretty, Sandy!!

Sandy - Thanks, Leeann!

Sandy M - Sandy,
Just breathtaking! Always amazed at how you manage to capture those intimate moments with such feeling and clarity. Thanks for being part of Vicki and Tom’s special day. Can’t wait to see all the shots! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Sandy - Thanks, Sandy! I did have an amazing couple to work with! :)

Katia - So gorgeous Sandy…as always!~ the last shot is BEAUTIFUL!

Melissa - The most amazing photos I have seen! Wish. Lived in America

Sandy - Thank you, Melissa!!

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B E   I N   T H E   K N O W !