Introducing Little Man C | Newborn Photographer Pittsburgh

I present to you, dear Reader, Pure Cuteness:

Newborn Photography Pittsburgh

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Just 7 days old.  Can you stand it?

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Look at that little pout…

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Do you know someone who is having a baby soon?  I am extending my newborn portfolio building into October; 50% off the session fee, one digital file, and 25% off prints!

Amanda - Ahh! Cuteness overload! He looks like a little peanut :-)

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Newborn Model Casting Call!

Do you know someone who will be having a baby in September?  I’m looking to expand my newborn portfolio for my new website, and need some models.  In exchange I am offering to waive the session fee and provide 1 full resolution digital file, plus a 50% discount on prints.  Please note the following criteria:

1. The newborn must be 10 days old or younger
2. Parents must be willing to sign a model release
3. Session must take place on a weekday at my studio

I will be taking a limited number of sessions, so please contact me as soon as possible to make plans for when your baby is born.  Thank you!

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Little Miss K: 9 Months

What a pleasure to see Little Miss K again!  She just gets cuter and cuter.

She wore the most adorable felt owl hair clip!

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Look at her standing on her little tippy toes–so cute!

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Can’t wait to see you on your first birthday, little one!

Amanda - She’s already standing ! I can’t believe it – time goes so fast :-) Her momma will be glad she had these memories captured. The baby time goes so fast.

Jenny - omg, is she cute or what? So cool that you get to photograph the different stages of her development.

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The R Family | Pittsburgh Child Photographer

Meet 7-week old Little Miss M and her beautiful mum:

Meet her brother, Little Man A., who looks is completely adorable whether he is being serious…

…or goofing off!  Here he is pretending to ride his motorcycle – so cute!

Little Man had me smitten when he took my hand and led me outside to show me around.  He likes digging in the dirt, as most boys do; plus he has this ultra-cool helmet he wears when working.

Love this one – kudos to mom for the awesome vintage blue chair and the perfect outfit complete with hat!  I l-o-v-e it when clients bring accessories; little things like that can add so much.

Little Man loves his daddy very much.

Many thanks to the R family for inviting me into their home!  You are beautiful.

Hugs,

Sandy

Amanda - Ah! #2 with the beautiful wrinkly rolly baby smile :-) What a great session!

Sandy - I know, I love that one! That was actually an in-between moment; she was being changed into a new outfit and I was lucky enough to get a sweet little smile. Love those baby rolls, too!

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Shannon & Ted | Oakland Couple Session

The weather that day was hot-hot-hot; but Shannon and Ted are such cool people that they barely noticed!  (Sorry for the corny pun – couldn’t help myself.)  We started the Couple Session at the Cathedral of Learning, where Shannon and Ted both attended classes at the same time, yet never actually met while going to Pitt!

Love those hydrangeas they have growing all around the cathedral.

If you’ve gone to school at Pitt, at some point you have to get your picture taken with the panther!

I don’t know why, but this one is my favorite.  I love their expressions, the feeling of closeness and happiness.

Shannon and Ted, thanks for such a cool session – I can’t wait for the wedding in September!

kelly - aww, my faves are the black & white one on the step and the one where she’s making ted smell the flower. cuuuute! :D

Alia - I LOVE the pictures!! So gorgeous!!! FYI I’m MOH for their wedding, not some random creeper hahah :)

Sandy - Lol, glad to hear you’re not some random creeper! Thanks for looking – I look forward to meeting you at the wedding!

Alia - Samesies :)

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Jen & Jeff | Phipps Conservatory Wedding

Jen and Jeff had a lovely intimate wedding ceremony at Phipps Conservatory’s outdoor garden, surrounded by their close friends and family. I liked Jen and Jeff the minute I met them – they’ve got a great sense of humor that make them a lot of fun to be around!

Jen’s dress was so pretty; the lace, the shape…I especially liked the sash and brooch that accented the waist.

Blackberry wedding message

Jen secretly gave the officiant a surprise vow to include when it was Jeff’s turn – they had everyone in stitches!

There was an extra guest at the ceremony…

Love this one.

Jen and Jeff timed their pictures perfectly – look at that yummy, hazy lighting.

The glass sculptures and gargoyles on display were amazing; these two images by Kelly.

Love those wedding candy buffets!

wedding candy bar

The cake by Prantl’s Bakery was seriously good.

wedding cake by Prantl

I always like hearing those zingers during the toast. :)

You know, I like to think I’m pretty good at staying in the shadows so that I don’t get in my second shooter’s shots, but every so often we’ll get a gem like this one.  I’m like a blurry image of Bigfoot loping in the background.  Thanks, Kelly.  I’ll be photoshopping myself out now.

Ooo, look at that moon.  So romantic!

Jen and Jeff, thank you so much for letting me be a part of your wedding day!  I had a blast!

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Florist: Donati & Sons

Entertainment: Stasko Digital

Bakery: Prantl’s

Catering: Sodexo – Jeff Spirer – 412-310-7914

Hair/Makeup: HotHeads Salon

kelly - LOL! ohh man, the look on your face is priceless!

p.s. YAY, you put in the bunny!

Amanda - AHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAAAA LOL !

So that’s what happens when you run out of your “puff of smoke” capsules! Gorgeous wedding, I love that dress and the weather and setting were perfect!

Jen - Wow! The pictures are absolutely beautiful – I particularly love the hazy one and the moonlight shot (you and Kelly worked hard for that one, so sorry, but it looks fabulous)and the ones by the water garden and the Jade flip shot and the one with the pan flute dude…I think you get what I am saying :) Thank you so much for making our wedding memories a treasure..it was a pleasure to work with both you and Kelly. Can’t wait to see more!

Jen - Forgot to mention that I would prefer you not to photoshop yourself out of the pic – I like it the way it is! We could make a separate album and just hide little headshots of you/Kelly and call it “Where’s the photographer?”.. hee hee

Sandy - Lol, sure – I’ll give you one with and one without my face in there! Thanks for commenting!

anna - Oh my goodness I LOVE her flowers! these are all gorgeous and I especially love the one of them looking at the rabbit. priceless :)

Jenny - LOL! Beautiful pictures. Love, love, love the ones by the side pool. Such great light.

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Weekend Update | Family, Peekaboo, and an Octopus

Happy Monday, dear Reader!  As I sit at my computer editing photos like a fiend, I thought I would do a quick post and share a bit of what is going on in my world.  I’m taking a cue from my good friend Amanda Wilson and doing a Weekend Update post!  (C’mon, Amanda, you knew I was going to steal that one! :D)

Last week was a busy one; my brother was home from Maine, so we drove up to Butler a few times to see him.  It was so nice to see him again; he only comes home once a year now.  We also went to a family reunion, where got to see some relatives that I have lost touch with and meet others I didn’t even know I was related to!

It was great seeing so much of my family in one week; my daughter and her two cousins had a jolly old time romping through the woods, picking flowers from my mom’s garden and splashing around with the garden hose.  There is something about walking through my parents’ woods that is so rejuvenating to my spirits.  I had many adventures in these woods with my dog when I was growing up.  These three pics were taken with my little PowerShot point and shoot camera.

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My little nephew is growing like a weed and is cute as a button.  I’m no expert at compressing video for upload, so bear with the quality of this video clip.  I was playing peekaboo with him through his toy mailbox, and just had to record this with my PowerShot, which also does video, and share it with you.  Hope it makes you smile!


We must have done that a hundred times before he got tired of it. My voice was hoarse!

I shot a fabulous wedding this weekend in Cabot, PA, followed by a reception at the LongueVue Golf Club; we couldn’t have asked for better weather or a nicer couple.  I’ll try to get some pics posted soon.

And finally in other news, Oscar is growing up.  Allow me to explain…

My daughter has a stuffed octopus named Oscar, who has endured many a dress-up session, most famously the diaper-wearing phase.  Yes, that’s right; my daughter dressed her toy octopus in a diaper and pretended that it was her baby.  She has never taken a liking to baby dolls like other little girls do; all of her babies are of the aquatic kind.  Last night Little Miss decided that it was time that Oscar started wearing big-girl panties to bed.  Isn’t he a vision?

And that’s it for the first installment of my Weekend Update.  Have a great week, dear Reader!

kelly - LOL love it! Oscar looks to be in a lot better shape than Claire’s favorite doggie. How in the heck do you get such great photos out of a point & shoot??

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Alea & Michael | Carnegie Museum Wedding

I love how sweet they are together.  The way he looks at her, like he is the luckiest man in the world…how considerate and loving they are towards each other.  No doubt about it, these two are in love!  Both from New York, Alea and Michael actually grew up in my hometown of Butler, PA!  They’ve pretty much known each other forever, starting out as neighbors since they were kids, then becoming friends, and finally husband and wife.

The day began with some getting ready photos at the Westin Convention Center Hotel downtown.  Alea’s makeup was beautifully applied by Julie Marckisotto of Pittsburgh Makeup.

We had an amazing view from Alea’s hotel room at the Westin.

Michael had an equally inspiring view from  his room.

Great image on the right by Paige.

Alea finished getting ready at the Carnegie Museum Founders Room.

It’s good to have friends!

I took this image…

…while Paige took this one.

Loved the button details on Alea’s bouquet; flowers by Hepatica Florist.

Alea, you are stunning.

Eileen Twigger, the events coordinator at Carnegie, informed me that I have the distinction of being the last photographer to capture a wedding on the Grand Staircase; she went further to explain that when they would have more than one wedding taking place at the museum at the same time, the noise from people talking afterward would carry from the staircase area, disturbing the other wedding in progress.  How lucky am I to be the last one to photograph a wedding in such an amazing spot?

First neighbors, now family.  Love it.

The Hall of Architecture really is something to see.

The hall of architecture was quite dark by the time we went there for photos.  The awesome dramatic look of these two images would not have been possible without my trusty off-camera lighting.  Love this one behind the velvet rope–shhhh! ;)

The reception was held in the Music Hall Foyer.  So many ornate details.

Pretty cake by Parkhurst Dining Services, who also did the catering.

First dance.

See what I mean about the way he looks at her?  So romantic.

DJ Jeremy Ganss did a fab job of keeping the party going all night.  He is a great DJ to work with – very professional, with an understated way of keeping the events of the evening running smoothly and the party rolling without being overbearing.

The lime sorbet we had before dinner was to die for, and those pretty little cookies were awesome.  Yummm!

Alea and Michael, it was an honor to be a part of your day.  I wish you both all the best that life has to offer!

Hugs,

Sandy

Suzanne - Wow, stunning stunning work! Beautiful location and lovely couple. They are going to be beyond thrilled wiht these images!

Amanda - What is it with you and these smokin hot ring shots?? So cool to be the last wedding on the grand staircase!

Judy Kennedy - These are very beautiful, like to know what Michael is whispering in her ear….. Can’t wait to see the rest.

Michael - Sandy – The photos look fantastic. Thank you for memoralizing our wedding. As for the way I look at Alea…I have a horrible poker face – I am the luckiest guy in the world…but don’t tell Alea (it would ruin the only edge I have). Can’t wait to see the rest of your photos.

Michael

Sandy - Lol, thanks Michael! It was truly my pleasure to capture your wedding.

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No Regrets

As I sat at my desk today immersed in photo editing, my daughter asked me to take her outside; she loves watching the bumblebees buzzing around the garden we planted this spring.  Tempted to respond with my usual, “Ok, sweetheart, let me finish this work first and then we’ll go outside…” I stopped myself.  I’ve been taking a good hard look at how I’ve been spending my time lately, and I’ve come to the realization that I am not spending enough of it with my family.  Isn’t one of the perks of being a business owner supposed to be the flexibility to make your own hours?  To be able to work from home so you can be around your family more?  But I think spending so much time around my family while working has made me complacent when it comes to carving out quality time with them.  What did I do before when I worked a full time job while starting up my business?  Where did I find the time to get it all done?  Ok, I know where I found some of the time to get it done; I went without A LOT of sleep.  I’d go to work all day, meet with a client after work, then come home and spend as much quality time as I could with my husband and daughter until bedtime.  Then, to the sound of soft snoring and the glow of my monitor as a night light, I would edit photos into the wee hours of the morning.  One can only carry on such a schedule for so long before the body starts showing some wear and tear.  That’s no way to live, and I am so grateful that I was able to quit my full time job.  Now that I have those 8 hours to edit photos instead of going to work, I’ve been getting the sleep I need, thank goodness.

When I first quit my job, a went through this amazing sense of elation at the new freedom I had–it was a fantastic feeling!  All those things I dreamed about finally came true.  Sleeping in!  Making my own hours!  Going places during the day!  Not having  to request vacation days off a month in advance!  Being a stay at home mom!  (This was the big one.)  I was positively giddy.  I expected to have more time to edit photos.  I expected to finally get the sleep I needed, and I knew I would have more time to be with my daughter.  But something unexpected also happened.  Without the defined boundaries of “This is when I work” and “This is when I spend time with my family” that came with having a job, I found that being a work-at-home mom blurred those boundaries.  I found myself mixing together work time and family life, with no real set time when I began and finished work.  I didn’t have to get up early for a job anymore, and as a result, I never turned off my night-owl mode.  I don’t know when exactly family time is, and neither does my daughter.  Not good.

Time waits for no one, my dear friends.  No one ever says, “Gee, I wish I had worked more hours instead of spending time with my family.”  I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that my precious daughter is all grown up and I missed half of her childhood.  I’m changing the way I do things, starting today.  I won’t be able to change everything overnight, but I can start with this: no matter what I have going on, I want to carve out time for my family every day.  Will I still have to work a lot of hours to get all my work done?  Of course.  Will I have to set  boundaries for my family so they know when work time is?  Definitely.  But when my daughter asks me for attention, I’m going to try not to put her request off until ‘later’; when I give my attention, it’s going to be undivided, even if it’s just to go outside and watch the bumblebees.  Here’s to having no regrets.

Suzanne - Wow, Thanks so much for writing this Sandy! I have been thinking the same thing lately. Working part time and trying to start my biz has me burning the candle at both ends. I decided to spend the day at the pool with my son. No Regrets. Love it! Photos are gorgeous!

Mary - Such an important truth… I had very similar feelings when I quit my full-time job to do photography. Although I don’t have any children yet, I have realized it’s very easy to drift back to my work instead of spending time with my husband. Good for you to recognize this now instead of later! Hope it works out well!

Sandy - Thanks, girls! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one!

Amanda - So true. I burn the midnight oil a lot. The worst though is that since you are your own boss – you can never really escape the boss. My day starts every morning with editing. I wake up around 7 or 8 (depending on how late I stayed up the night before) I sit up in bed, pull my laptop over to me and start editing photos. I do that for at least an hour before I even get out of bed. Then it’s breakfast – more editing – lunch – more editing – usually all my client meetings or sessions are in the early evening. So around 9pm I find myself away from home and unable to use my laptop! That’s when “my time” for the day starts. It’s amazing how many things you can actually do in the dark like walk the dog (its cooler), grocery shop (no lines), shop for houses (bring a deer spotlight)…etc. But this is no way to live. I’ve been trying to make a good go of it to make time for at least a walk every day and get some sunlight instead of glowing computer screen. My family always says that they never want to ‘bother’ me because every time they ask if I’m all caught up with editing I say no. I can’t get them to understand that I will NEVER be all caught up. If you’re caught up, that means you’re not working. You shoot, edit, shoot more, edit, edit, shoot, etc. Sometimes you just have to give yourself permission to be a normal person and stop working for the day.

P.S. Your new macro lens is sweeeeeet !

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B E   I N   T H E   K N O W !