Karen & Zach | Heinz History Center Wedding

Karen and Zach held their wedding and reception at the Heinz History Center in the Strip District, which made for a unique and fun venue.  If you’ve never been to the Heinz History Center, I recommend that you set aside a full afternoon to exploring all they have to offer–there’s so much Pittsburgh history to see!

The bridal party got ready at the Hampton Inn, which was conveniently located across the street.  Oh, help me…I almost got a little misty when Karen’s mom gave her a touching card with a special message before the wedding.  They were fine — all smiles.  Me?  Not so fine.  I’m a marshmallow.

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Loving the attitude, girls!

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They were a fun bridal party–I love it when everybody has a good time goofing off!

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So sweet they way they are looking at each other.

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Karen and Zach were so much fun to work with!  Because they valued photography, they allowed extra time between the ceremony and reception for a romantic portrait session.  The result was less stress and a wide selection of beautiful images that they will treasure for years to come.

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Favorite from the day.

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Second favorite from the day.

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Karen’s mom told me this was one of her favorites because it looked like he was about to turn out the light!  Love it!

Karen and Zach, thank you so much for entrusting your wedding memories to me.  You guys are the best!

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Makeup: La Pomponee Salon & Spa

Florist: Lori Grandon

Entertainment: Dave Deragi

Bakery: Oakmont Bakery

Suzanne - AWESOME BEAUTIFUL work! Love this location! They are going to treasure these pictures forever!

Heather - Beautiful work Sandy!! I know it’s not easy to shoot at the History Center, but you did a spectacular job! Very clean.

Marcia Furman - I can’t get over how amazing your photography is!!!

kelly - sandy!!! you are fabulous. these are stunning!

Julie Ryan - Captivating! Unique! Loved them all!

Stephanie Faro - You are in the right profession! Your work is amazing!!

Jenny - Sandy, these pictures are awesome!!

Amanda - Love them ! My favorites are inside the trolley, the toned heinz history sign, and the last one – it does look like he’s about to turn off the light! Neat :-) I also love the detail shot of “Yinz” so ‘burgh ;-)

erin - I LOVE the picture with the Convention Center reflection – beautiful!

artybecca - LOVE LOVE LOVE the shot inside the trolley car!

Sandy - Thanks!!

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Three Musketeers | Siblings Portrait

Meet the three musketeers of the F family!  I had a fabulous time shooting their portrait session which, as it should have, turned into a fun, smiley, goofy session.  What a hoot!

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After their parents saw their online gallery, they sent me this wonderful note:

“Oh my goodness Sandy! the pictures are absolutely awesome!!!! I love them!!!!!!!! They made me cry and laugh, too! You did another fantastic job!!! Thank you, thank you!!!!”

Can I just tell you that getting a little note like this is the absolute best.  This is what keeps me going.  It makes me feel so good that I can make someone laugh and cry tears of joy when they see their pictures.  Thanks so much, Debbie and Jim!

Dan Richmond - Looks like someone’s kids had a good time. I bet Mr. and Mrs. F are very proud!

deana heron - beautiful work sandy! I will have to get you to do my 3 daughters sometime. My oldest is also making her First Communion this May and we will be looking for a good photographer! Do you have a studio?

Sandy - I do have a studio–it’s in Castle Shannon. I would love to take some pictures for you!

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Little Miss K | Sweet 2 month old baby

Meet Little Miss K, a cutie patootie that I had the pleasure of photographing earlier this week.

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Love her expression in this one,  which she gave me in reaction to mommy and daddy smiling at her over my shoulder.

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So cute the way she is smiling coyly at daddy.

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There is nothing more peaceful and comforting than the sound of a baby sleeping.

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Baby feet are just sooo cute–look at those little piggies!

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FYI to anyone considering a baby session, storyboards are a collage of 2 or more photos from the session that you can request for purchase in the size of your choice.  This one is sized to fit a 16X20 frame or stretched canvas, and needs no matting..

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Many thanks to the “A” family for bringing their little darling to the studio!

Heather - Sandy, these are beautiful! Great job!

Paige - AHH! TOO sweet! Love it :)

Amanda - These came out perfect! I love her little face :-D Love the storyboards!

Dave Buhan - Too cute!

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Amanda & Andrew | The Wedding

The story of Amanda and Andrew continues here on a gorgeous autumn day with a beautiful wedding ceremony at the Monroeville United Methodist Church, and a reception held at the historic Edgewood Club.

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Amanda had a peacock-inspired theme for her wedding.  Love the turquoise feather fascinator  and beaded peacock shawl she was wearing.

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One of my favorites from the day.

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I was thrilled to see that Amanda and Andrew used one of the pictures from our engagement session to adorn the cover of their program.

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I know the old “jumping wedding party” has been done and redone by so many, but I still like to see them because they look they are having so much fun!

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Another favorite.

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I love how Amanda incorporated the peacock feathers into her bouquet and Andrew’s boutonniere.

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The peacock theme carried over to the reception decor as well.

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Cutest. cake topper. ever.  by Cornflakegirl on Etsy.

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First dance.

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One last kiss goodnight…

Amanda and Andrew, thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your day.  You are an amazing couple, and I wish you all the best!

Amanda - The kiss in the bubbles is my fav with the next last shot (by the pillars) being my second place fav. (It’s so WARM :-)

Don’t knock the jumping shot – it’s a classic. That’s like saying The Sound of Music was just a movie about an unemployed babysitter who liked to sing. ;-)

Sandy - Hey, I’m not knocking the jumping shot–I love it!

Featured!|Intimate Weddings Blog | Red Lotus Photography Blog - […] Woohoo!  My good friend Amanda Wilson tipped me off that one of my wedding photos was featured on the Intimate Weddings Blog!  The photo is from my post about Amanda (different Amanda) and Andrew’s wedding: […]

Peacake Toppers… « Life's a Journal - […] here. Blue owls, here.  Neutral colored cloth birds, here. Blue cloth bride and groom birds, here. Red peacocks w/ real feathers, […]

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Amanda & Andrew | Engaged

Slow but steady, dear reader–I am catching up on all my blogging.  Here are some pics from an awesome engagement/couple session with Amanda and Andrew taken late summer.   Ahh, summer…it seems ever so long ago….

These two love birds are so fun to be around; their quick sense of humor and playful banter just made me smile the whole time.  Amanda has a blog that I follow called Cusp of Normal; she is such a talented writer whose articles never fail to entertain.

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Love this shot of them high-fiving by Dippy the Dinosaur.

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Amanda is a master of thumb wrestling.  Don’t mess with her.

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Are these two not the cutest couple you have ever seen?

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Favorite from the day.

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What is it about colorful doorways that I love so much?  I don’t know, but when I find them it makes me just giddy.

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Stay tuned for the next blog post–Amanda and Andrew: The Wedding!

amanda - Believe it or not my favorite is #3 – it’s perfect. I want pictures like that of sean and I !

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A Love Story

My husband and I like to watch movies any chance we get.  It doesn’t matter what kind of movie; it only matters that he and I get a chance to unwind and just be with each other.  The other night we watched a romantic comedy, and it got me thinking about the Valentine’s Day post I wanted to write.  Like so many other romantic movies, it followed a typical format: Boy and girl going about their daily lives; boy and girl cross paths by some twist of fate; boy and girl lock eyes for the first time, sparks fly, and a swell of romantic music ensues at that moment, letting the viewers know that this is the beginning of something beautiful.

My husband and I have been married for 13 years, though all told we’ve been together for 16.  Our romance began not like the scene described above, but more like this type of romantic comedy:  Boy and girl going about their daily lives; boy and girl cross paths for the first time; boy does something to annoy girl; girl writes off boy as a non-love interest; boy and girl get to know each other over time, and then realize that they have found their soul mates in each other. (Cue swell of romantic music now).  That’s how it happened for us.

I remember the night we got engaged, like it was yesterday.  We went to dinner at Tiffany’s on Valentine’s Day, and then went to the overlook on Mt. Washington.  For those of you not familiar with Tiffany’s, it was a nice restaurant in the South Hills right on route 51; long since gone, it is now Pan Asia, which is actually another favorite restaurant of ours.  Their sushi and General Tso is fabulous!

It was bitterly cold that night, just like it is now, but from the heights of Mt. Washington the view of the city lights glittering below was breathtaking.  It was there that my soul mate asked me to spend eternity with him.  “How do you know when you have found the one? How do you know when it’s love?” I remember asking my dad once when I was a teenager. “Don’t worry, you’ll know,” was his confident, yet unreassuring reply. This was not the answer I wanted to hear…but he was right.  Eric and I had only been dating for four months, but in my heart I knew he was the one.  The truth is, I knew he was the one on our first date.

Now, years later, I look at my precious little girl who will be a teenager before I know it, and I’m waiting for the day when she asks me the same question.  How will I answer her?  I’ll tell her the un-movie-like, yet perfect, wouldn’t-change-a-thing love story of her parents…and then I’ll give her the same confident, yet unreassuring answer, because it’s true: “Don’t worry, you’ll know.”

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Lisa & Dan | Expecting

You know, it really is a small world.  I used to dismiss the saying as an old cliché, but the older I get, the more I am discovering that it’s true!  Meet Lisa and her husband Dan, a lovely couple who is expecting their first child in a few days.  Lisa was referred to me by a good friend that I used to work with, and when I found out who the referral was, I couldn’t believe it.  Lisa was in fact my assistant 10 years ago at that very same company; she was a teenager in high school then, but now she is all grown up with a career in education, a husband, and a baby on the way.  Where does the time go?

Lisa looks fantastic; more mature, and yet exactly the same as when I knew her all those years ago.  The pregnancy has only made her more beautiful–she is glowing!

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Dan actually made these letters himself with a jigsaw!

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Tiny little baby booties–so cute!

Thanks Lisa and Dan for a wonderful maternity session.  I can’t wait for the newborn photo shoot of Logan!

Amanda - The baby booties with the brown sweater is my fav ! Soooo cute :-) goes great with that background – when can i come visit the studio?

deb feth - dan & lisa—you two are so stinkin’ cute! the pics are absolutely beautiful!!
sandy—another fabulous job!! you are blessed with such talent!

Heather Drago - Love the bootie/sweater picture! I can totally here you giggling as you are taking this. You and Dan will be amazing parents :)

Much love,
Heather

Dan Richmond - We had a great time taking these pictures, and are happy to announce that Logan was born Wednesday, February 17.

Introducing Baby Logan | Newborn Session | Red Lotus Photography Blog - […] I just say that I love my job?  Lisa and Dan finally welcomed their little bundle of love into the world, and I was lucky enough to have the […]

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Cassandra & Lee | Pittsburgh Wedding

As promised, a  full post on my couple Casey and Lee, whose wedding was recently featured in Pittsburgh Weddings magazine!  Such a vibrant and fun loving couple; they are both the kind of people who just light up a room with their smiles.

Casey was absolutely radiant on her wedding day.

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I love how Casey and her father were looking at each other as he pulled back her veil.

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Their church had such beautiful dramatic lighting.

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Part of the ceremony included a very touching slide show of photos from their youth up through their courtship, set to the song “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles.

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The evening light was just gorgeous.

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One of my favorites from the day.

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The reception was held at the LeMont, which offered an amazing view of the city while guests dined and danced.

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I won’t repeat the stories that were told by the best man and maid of honor, but I will say that there was no shortage of reactions like this:

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After the garter was put on the girl, the tables were turned!

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DJ Steve Maffei, Jr. and his father kept the dance floor full the entire night.  This is the second time I have worked with Steve, and I have to say that I was quite impressed with his professionalism and ability to lead the events of the evening.  If you want a master of ceremonies who will keep the party thumping, I would check him out.

Congratulations, Casey and Lee–all the best to you both!

Paige - Great shots!! Loooove the dancing pictures..Looks like this wedding was a ton of fun :)

Stephanie Faro - These pictures are awesome Sandy!! Looks like you captured all the right moments of a wonderful day!

Amanda - I love the night shots :-) Slideshow at the ceremony – how cool! I love mt.washington

Leeann Marie - Great work! I love the shot in the church – beautiful coloring. Also that CAKE! yum!!

xo
Leeann

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Snow

As I sat at my computer earlier this afternoon editing photos, I could hear the snow plows going by just outside my window.  I wanted to keep my nose to the grindstone and finish my editing, but the allure of photographing a beautiful snow covered world beckoned me like a siren that I could not ignore.  So rarely do I get to take pictures “just for fun” these days, that I thought maybe I could indulge in a few quick minutes away from the computer.  Enjoy these photos that I captured from the comfort of my doorway, and enjoy the wonderful snow before it’s all gone!

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Amanda - Love the toning on the snow shots :-) That was friday – I bet these scenes look a lot different now! We got almost 28 inches – we started measuring friday night with a ruler and lost it in the snow and had to move up to a yard stick! 1-4 are my favorites!

Paige Butcher - LOVE these snow shots. So calm and pristine. Much lovelier than the grimy city snow we have here in downtown Morgantown. Blah.

Anna - *hums* “walkin in a winter wonderlannnnd!”
these are so pretty! I wish our snow looked this white but after about two days the coal trucks and traffic destroy it (we live in a coal mining town between about 2 – 3 coal mine locations)
Also, I LOVE the tones!

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The Knot Best of Weddings 2010 Pick

I’ve been sitting on this news for a while, but I can finally let it out:  Red Lotus Photography has been awarded The Knot’s Best of Weddings 2010 Pick!!  I am so honored to be named one of Pittsburgh’s best wedding photographers!  A big thank you goes out to my clients for voting for me–you are wonderful, and I feel like the luckiest person in the world to be the one who captured your memories.

Growing up, I always wanted a career that I loved, and now I am living the dream!  I feel so fortunate that I get paid for doing something I feel so passionately about: storytelling and the preservation of memories.

A big hug and a kiss goes to my ever-supportive husband and biggest cheerleader, Eric, who always believes in me… and pushes me to believe in myself.  And of course an Eskimo kiss goes to my little girl, who is my very inspiration for being.  These two people are the loves of my life, the very air that I breathe, and without them I am nothing.

If you are reading this, please leave me some blog love by commenting below!   Here’s to a fabulous 2010!!

Mermanda - You definitely deserve this honor, Sandy! I am very happy for you :)

Paige - Ahh! Congrats! That’s so exciting :)

Jenny - Congratulations Sandy! So happy for you.

Amanda - Congratulations!!! This is awesome! Much deserved :-) I want to hear all about it!

Shannon - WOW!!!! Congratulations on such a well-deserved honor! I simply cannot wait for you to photograph my wedding in September!!

deana heron - You make me so proud

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B E   I N   T H E   K N O W !