Pittsburgh Newborn Pictures | Harley Baby

Just a short and sweet post tonight, dear reader…Introducing Little Man C., the cutest little thing I have ever seen on a Harley Davidson motorcycle.  ‘Nuff said.  :o)

Newborn on a Harley Davidson Motorcyle


Baby on a Harley Davidson motorcyle

A note for photographers: These images were done with the help of Photoshop and the hand of a family member on the baby at all times.  Please don’t ever put a baby in danger for the sake of a cool shot!  If you want to see a before/after, leave me some blog love and let me know.  :o)

Gina - Sandy these are beautiful!!! Well done!

Amy - I love these shots. Great work Sandy!

Amanda - OHh.. I so groaned with jealousy when I saw these. They turned out FANTASTIC ! Love love love the black and white!

Tiffany Bender - beautiful!!!! You are rockin girl

Carrie - As another photographer from the Pittsburgh area I can say that this is a beautiful shot. Absolutely gorgeous!

Marissa - I would love to see the before and after. There is a local photographer where I’m from who is not using safety precautions.

Sandy - Ask and you shall receive, Marissa! See the before and after here. Thanks for your comment!

Taryn Boyd - We were talking about this the other night…LOVE!!

Alyssa - These pictures are amazing! My brother is a big Harley guy and just had a baby girl. Could I see the before editing shot? Great work!!!!

Sandy - Thanks, Alyssa! You can see the before and after in this post: http://wp.me/pOfna-HP

Pin it|Share on Facebook|Contact Me|Back to Top

Winter Wedding at Lingrow Farm | Judy & Josiah

I have a confession to make, dear Reader.  Please don’t send me angry emails when I tell you this.  The truth is…I love winter.  Phew–there, I said it.  Ok, so it’s really cold, and sometimes mushy outside, and it’s a pain to drive in the snow.  But I love how the world looks when it’s covered in a new blanket of snow.  I love the magical feeling I get when the snow falling from the sky makes everything look like a snow globe.  I even love the way it smells – so clean and fresh.  Autumn is still my favorite season, but winter?   She’s a very close second.

I had an opportunity to photograph a winter wedding the week before Christmas 2009 at Lingrow Farm with my good friend, Amanda Wilson.  When Amanda and I get together, we are seriously like peanut butter and jelly.  Like peas and carrots.  Like Wonder Twin powers, activate!  When you have your good friend at your side, you feel like there is nothing you can’t do.  And the bride and groom? Judy and Josiah were such a cool couple with a ton of amazing details planned for their wedding, all the way down to their very own custom designed logo.   Add it up, dear Reader:  Cool couple + gorgeous venue + amazing details + snow + my favorite super talented photographer friend shooting with me = complete and total AWESOMENESS.  So, take a trip down memory lane with me and enjoy the awesomeness that is Judy and Josiah’s winter wedding.

Judy and Josiah met in a record store in California, and music is a passion that they both share.  They had their engagement photos taken at the record store, and carried the theme through in their wedding.  I love this concert poster they designed!  These first three images are by Amanda.

Lingrow Farm has this great deck on the second floor of the barn; since it was winter they had the whole deck covered in translucent plastic and heated to a toasty warm temperature.  The lighting was just beautiful.

Image by Amanda.

I l.o.v.e. this shot by Amanda.  It’s just something about the way she cropped it that just sucks me in every time I see it.

Image by Amanda.

winter wedding snowy field

Image by Amanda.

Lingrow Farm wedding reception 1

Judy and Josiah had a friend film the whole day with a vintage 8mm video camera – how cool is that?  Image by Amanda.

Oh, Vanilla Pastry Studio, I would recognize your cupcakes anywhere.  Next two images by Amanda.

Judy and Josiah gave records to their guests as favors.  Image by Amanda.

record store theme wedding favors

Loved their wedding program.

chinese takeout container for wedding cookies

If you are looking for a way to make your wedding unique and memorable, consider having a winter wedding — or a record store theme wedding!

Happy anniversary, Judy and Josiah!


Venue:  Lingrow Farm

Florist:  Leechburg Floral

Cake:  Vanilla Pastry Studio

Entertainment: DJ Rockin’ John

Makeup: Cynthia Hines

anna - oh my gosh I had vanilla studio cupcakes for the first time several days ago. They are to DIE for.
This almost (ehem..almost ;)) makes me wish we would have had a winter wedding. Shots are just gorgeous :D

Tiffany Bender - You rocked this!!! Amazingly beautiful!!

Denver Photographers - I love that shot with the snow and the back lighting! Totally cool

Aaron - Wow, these are AWESOME!! I love the silhouette shot and the night shots. Incredible as always.

Jeannine Kennedy - Beautiful wedding – great, personal details from the bride & groom. I really love it!

Gina - These are fabulous! Great work!!

Sandy M - Just beautiful!!! I always enjoy reading your blog and seeing every new gorgeous shot. You have a true gift for capturing the magic and emotion of the moment at hand. Can’t wait for you to photograph my daughter’s wedding this October. Keep up the great work!

Theme Me Up, Scotty « - […] Red Lotus Photography […]

Theme Me Up, Scotty | Weddingbee - […] Image via Red Lotus Photography […]

Jessica - I was planning a december wedding for this year(2012). I leave very near to Lingrow Farm and never knew it was there till looking thru a magazine. I had looked on their web site and was wondering if they did winter weddings as they show none on the web site. Thank you so much for showing the beautiful photos. Based on what I have seen from this page I will be making a phone call in the morning! Thank you again!

Sandy - Hi Jessica! Glad I could help. I do love winter weddings and all that snow. You are going to have a beautiful wedding–be sure to give me a call! ;)

Pin it|Share on Facebook|Contact Me|Back to Top

Featured! | ‘i do’ it yourself blog

Remember Thera and Brian, who had an awesome vintage travel theme wedding?  They did such an amazing job of planning fabulous vintage and travel details for their wedding that they caught the eye of the lovely people at the ‘i do’ it yourself blog.  Check it out here -> real wedding: Thera and Brian.  The ‘i do’ it yourself blog is full of inspiring ideas for the DIY bride.  Each month they pick a theme or color scheme and follow it through from wedding invitations to table decorations and everything in between.  This month’s theme is Vintage Travel, which I just love!  Great job with all those amazing details, Thera and Brian!

Pin it|Share on Facebook|Contact Me|Back to Top

The Knot Best of Weddings 2011

I am so excited to announce that for the second time I have been awarded a Knot Best of Weddings Pick!  Grateful doesn’t even begin to describe what I feel for my wonderful brides and grooms who voted for me.  I sincerely appreciate you leaving such wonderful reviews and heartfelt comments.  Your support means so much to me!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!


anna - woot woot GO SANDY! :)

Pin it|Share on Facebook|Contact Me|Back to Top

Grandma Tu

Grandma Tu…the grandmother I never had the chance to know.  Grandma Tu lived her life on the other side of the world – in Vietnam, where my mom is from.  I always hoped that one day I would be able to travel there to meet her…but life happens, and making a trip of that magnitude always seemed to be on my grand list of things to do “someday”.  Sadly, I received the news recently that she passed away, and “someday” has become “never”.

I feel a great sense of loss, even though I never knew her.  But my sadness is not just for me; the worst part is the sadness that I feel for my mom.  Thirty-some years ago, my Vietnamese mother and my American father, who was serving in the Army,  fell in love and married.  She then left her mother, all of her family, and the only home she ever knew, to start a new life with my dad in the United States.  I can’t imagine how hard that must have been for her.  She knew how to speak English, but I am sure that there were many times that she wished she could talk to someone from her country, just to hear the familiar sound of her native tongue.

Twenty years passed before my mom had the opportunity to fly back to Vietnam and see her family again.  Twenty years.  I feel bad when a whole month goes by and I don’t see my family.  I can’t imagine how hard it would be to go 20 years.  I was in college at the time, and I remember the big news that my mom was going to make the 8,000 mile trip with her brother, who was now living in Maine.  You read that right; the trip was a little more than eight thousand miles.  It was not an easy one.  Vaccines, passports, tickets, layovers, hours of flight time, hours of driving – not to mention the jetlag, heat and humidity, and the food she was no longer used to.  My poor mom got sick on the airplane, and remained sick the whole time she was visiting there.

I wish I could have been there to see what a fantastic reunion it must have been.  Tears of joy and sadness in abundance at the same time.  Later my mom told me that, remarkably, Grandma Tu looked exactly the same as she did on the day she left. My mom describes her as a sweet woman, who, like my husband’s grandmother, was widowed at a young age, and left to raise ten children on her own.  She had a hard life, but she had an unshakable faith in God.  Mom recounted how sweet it was to hear her mother trying to say our names, the names of her American grandchildren, as she looked at our pictures, and that she wanted my mom to “tell them that I love them”.

Sometimes my mom will tell stories from her childhood, which, in light of my grandmother’s passing, has really made me feel a sense of urgency to record these stories on video.  Once, she told me how her mother sent her out to weed the garden…unfortunately, my mom couldn’t tell the weeds from the vegetable plants, so by the time Momma Tu figured this out, there was quite a bit of damage to the crop!  Then there was the time when Momma Tu had plans to shave everyone’s heads, boys and girls alike, leaving only a patch of long hair at the top of the head; you could pull the hair up to keep cool and clean, and let it down to protect your scalp when you were in the sun.  “I ran away and hid from her,” recalled my mom with a smile.  When Momma Tu finally found her, my mom cried and begged her not to shave her head.  Momma Tu just laughed, and let her go, hair intact.

After a month-long reunion with her Vietnamese family, it was time for my mom to return to her American family.  And that was the last time she ever saw her mother’s face.  The last time she held her hand or hugged her.  The very. last. time.

That was more than 15 years ago.  If there was any silver lining, it was that at least she was able to talk to her on the phone once in a while.  But now that Grandma Tu is gone, mom will never hear her voice again.   She can’t even be there for the funeral.  It’s so heartbreaking.

Sometimes life gets so busy that we can only see the tasks that are right in front of us; there are some things that we always plan to do, “someday” or “as soon as I get a spare moment”.  This photo is one of the few images that our family has of Grandma Tu; up until my dad scanned it and sent it to me, my sister, and my brother, the only copy was at my parents’ house.  We actually only have a single tiny little photo of my Vietnamese grandfather; if something were to happen to this photo, it could never be replaced.   There are many family photos that are either at my parents’ house or mine (lent to me when I was going through my scrapbooking phase), and we only have one copy of each photo; they were taken, of course, before the age of digital cameras.  As a photographer, one of my cardinal rules is to back up photos in multiple locations in case of a terrible event like the house burning down.  I can’t believe that so much time has passed and none of us have made the attempt to scan all these photos.  It seems like such a monumental task when I think about it, especially since many of the photos can’t even be removed from their album pages now.  But I can’t make any more excuses, and I can’t wait for “someday”.  Grandma Tu taught me that.

I love you, Grandma Tu.

Tracy Bernard - Sandy, that was just beautiful… reminds me to stop yelling at the kids (who are driving me crazy right now) and just live in the moment. My condolences at the loss of Grandma Tu. Let’s get together soon.

Sandy - Thanks, Tracy. I agree – let’s get together soon!

Marcia Furman - Sandy, that was so beautiful. I’m crying just from reading it!
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Sandy - Aww, thanks Marcia. :)

Al - I didn’t know that you are an excellent writer too.

Sandy - Thanks, Al. :)

Sarah Bell - Sandy, I’m so sorry to hear of your grandma’s passing. This was very touching; thanks for sharing it. Your mom is a strong woman. What a sacrifice your mom made coming here.

Mike and I will be praying for your mom and your entire family. God bless.

Sandy - Thanks so much, Sarah. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers!

Pin it|Share on Facebook|Contact Me|Back to Top

Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer|The Best Christmas Gift

I had the pleasure of photographing a maternity session a few weeks before Christmas for one of the cutest couples ever!

I love the mischievous look on her face in this one!

Just after Christmas, Ashley and Steve received the best gift in the world.  Can I just say that I love my job?

I had some Photoshop brushes that I got from Obsidian Dawn some time ago, and I couldn’t resist using one of them for this one.  She just reminded me of a little butterfly all wrapped up like that, as cute as a fairy princess.

Ashley and Steve, congratulations on your little bundle of love!

Jenny - Looooooove the one with the baby in the box. Awesome Sandy!

Ashley - Thanks Sandy! Love the photos. We’ll treasure these forever!

Amanda - I LOVE the fairy wings!!

Pin it|Share on Facebook|Contact Me|Back to Top

My Birthday Girl

Well, I did it, dear Reader.  I made it through the whole day without breaking into tears.  Another year has passed so quickly, and my little one is growing up.  I sometimes find myself looking wistfully at little babies, wishing I could go back and hold her like that again, just for a day…and at the same time, I find myself looking forward to what adventures the future will bring.  She only gets more fun as she grows, and I love experiencing the world anew through her eyes, sharing in her boundless enthusiasm.  I think I’m just going to enjoy living in the present, savoring every moment.

Happy birthday, baby girl.  Every time I look at your sweet face, I feel like I won the lottery!

Amanda - I especially love her serious faces :-)

Sandy - Haha, I couldn’t resist throwing that one in there!

anna - so umm…if I bring a tutu looking skirt can I do a shoot like this too? ;D

btw shes ADORABLE

Sandy - Lol, sure–I’m an equal opportunity photographer. Bring your tutu! :)

Pin it|Share on Facebook|Contact Me|Back to Top

Holiday Wishes

I wish many things for you this time of year and always, dear Reader…May you know the joy of loving family and friends all around you, and the kindness of strangers when you need it the most.  May you appreciate life for the wonderful gift that it is; may you live your life to the fullest, and live so that you have no regrets.  May you have a wonderful New Year, full of success and prosperity.  May you have more peace, love, and happiness than your heart can hold.   All these things and more I wish for you at Christmas and always.  Happy Holidays to you, dear Reader!

Amanda - Merry Christmas Yetter family !!

Sandy - Thanks Amanda – Merry Christmas!

Pin it|Share on Facebook|Contact Me|Back to Top

Child Photographer Mt. Lebanon | Little Man W

I haven’t forgotten you, dear Reader, even though you have been hearing crickets chirp due to lack of activity here!  I have been editing photos like a fiend – I’m waiting for my computer to implode on itself, seriously.  Anywho, here’s a gem of a session that I did when the weather was just a tad warmer. :)

I just love seeing my clients’ families grow over the years!  I’ve been working with Little Man’s parents since their maternity session, and I can’t believe how he is growing up!

I just love this time of curiosity and discovery in a child’s life.  Everything is so interesting!

We were getting a little sleepy, but after a quick rest we were recharged and ready to go.  I think it is sooo cute when little ones do things like hold on to their mommy’s hair when they are tired.

Jenny - Love the first picture where he is sitting on the horse, and the one where he is smelling the flower. Great vibrant colors.

Aaron - Great photos (as always)! I LOVE the black & white shots!

Amanda - I love these! Not sure which is my favorite – maybe the black and whites in the street. :-)

Pin it|Share on Facebook|Contact Me|Back to Top

Shawn & Ross | Mansion at Maple Heights Wedding

I’m on a roll, dear Reader; I keep getting all these wonderful couples!  Shawn and Ross are such a pleasure to be around; I knew I liked them from the moment we met.  Their intimate wedding ceremony and reception were held at the lovely Mansion at Maple Heights in Shadyside.  The bridal suite is awesome – so spacious and full of natural light.

I like this image by Jenny; you can see the dress in the mirror.

Such beautiful beadwork on Shawn’s dress.

Image by Jenny.

Great shot of Shawn’s dad by Jenny…

and nice wide shot of the ceremony taken by Jenny, who cheerfully crawled through some bushes and peeked over the fence to get this angle for me. :-)

And another one by Jenny that shows the mansion in the background.

Reverend Dina held such a nice service, full of thoughtfulness and sensitivity.

Favorite shot of the day.

This may be my second favorite.

Well, hello there!  Cupcakes from Vanilla Pastry Studio?  It doesn’t get better than this, folks.  I think I hear a choir of angels singing…

First dance.

Love these next two.

Shawn’s friend sang a beautiful, beautiful rendition of “Songbird” by Eva Cassidy while they danced.  It was so touching.

Shawn and Ross, your love for each other is amazing, and it was an honor to be a part of your wedding day.  I wish you all the love and happiness your heart can hold!

Hugs, Sandy


Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Mansion at Maple Heights

Ceremony Officiant: Reverend Dina McGee

Florist: Design Space

Catering: La Creme

Bakery: Vanilla Pastry Studio

Entertainment: DJ Zombo 330-806-7813

Amanda - Ooo! Favorite shot is the groom checking his tie in the mirror! What a cool venue! I get to shoot there in April :-)

Jordan - love the macro shot of the rings. Love the lighting too!

Pin it|Share on Facebook|Contact Me|Back to Top
B E   I N   T H E   K N O W !