Adam and Adrienne-Early Morning Coffee Session-Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer

It was a late night, and a long weekend. Sleep was cut short by the sound of my alarm. Normally this is where the hand snakes out, hits snooze, and nudges Kelly. Its my way of sleeping and trying to get her up for work. Ava our lab, jumps onto the bed, and kisses Kelly while whining for me to take her out. This Monday morning, it was so early that even Ava wanted to stay in bed. I took a cold shower to wake up, and made my way outside. I was heading into Regent Square for an engagement session that by most standards was taking place way to early.

Leaving early means I missed all the traffic. With time to kill, I headed to Square Cafe, ordered 3 cappuccino’s and enjoyed the realization that mornings are beautiful. Most people hate mornings because it signifies another day at work. For me, its when I take care of the dog, then grind some coffee as the water boils. Its a morning ritual. Wake up. Nudge Kelly. Turn on the shower. Take care of Ava. Make Coffee. By the time I push the plunger on the French Press, Kelly is getting ready for work. Im watching the news.

This morning was different. No Ava. No waking Kelly. No time for coffee.

The sun was low in the sky when I pulled up to Adam and Adrienne’s new home. We had shot an engagement session in December, and a miserable winter mist had covered Pittsburgh. At one point, I had to put my camera under my jacket because mist had turned to a freezing rain. They were troopers and we kept shooting. Finishing inside for a few more photos while they talked and enjoyed a cocktail. On this Monday, it was perfect. Their neighborhood was quietly waking up, as I handed them their coffee. We headed onto the porch to shoot. All the images were shot within a block of their home. Great light, and love are all that are required for great photos. I can supply the light in the event of bad weather. The rest is up to you.

Enjoy the photos.

Pelee Island Vacation-Pittsburgh Portrait Photographer

I’ve been going to Pelee Island since before I was born. Litterally. I was carried there while mom was pregnant. I grew up there, was married there, and minus two summers in my early 20’s I have spent at least a week there every summer of my life.

Its my place for relaxation. Its a place with nearly no cell coverage, little entertainment, aside from what you can come up with on your own, and for me, paradise.

This year, because of our trip to India back in January, Kelly only could take two days off work, so we headed up for a long weekend of reading, sunrises, and cigars.


One morning I thought it would be good to rouse everyone for an early morning portrait session. Lets just say I was wrong. Light was changing fast, wind was picking up, and no one had had a full cup of coffee yet. I am certainly happier being a portrait photographer behind the camera, than trying to be in the photos, and adjust lights at the same time.


Along the way I played with my ND filters and long exposures. Landscapes are something I have never focused on, but i love the way the light, sky, and water changes during long exposures.

a family fishes off the North Dock on Pelee Island. For more information on wedding, portriat, or editorial photography in Pittsburgh visit

A family fishes off the North Dock on Pelee Island.

Roused the family far to early for a portrait, you can see how happy we are

Weekend on the farm-Relaxing after a Bat Mitzvah-Life of a wedding photographer

I love my weekends. Whether I am shooting a wedding, portraits, or like this weekend- a bat mitzvah, I love weekends. As a photographer, they are usually my busiest time. Every once in a while though, they start in the evening, and that gives room for time with my family during the day. Saturday started with helping my father in law plant potatoes in his garden, and ended relaxing with a beer and a cigar. In between those two events, I spent time with Kelly and Ava, and photographed my first bat mitzvah with my friend and fellow photographer Dmitriy. As soon as those photos are edited, I will be sure to post some. Needless to say, I had a great time.  Sunday was race day in Pittsburgh. Kelly had to be up very early to work at the Pittsburgh Marathon, and by the time she got back, she was in need of a relaxing afternoon. How perfect, that we just happened to have a standing invite from my parents to join them and my sisters for a low key cookout. After Kelly relaxed a little, we loaded up the car, and Ava (our black lab) and hit the road. An hour and 15 minutes later we were relaxing on the farm, with a cold drink, family, and dogs.

Being that it was Derby weekend and all, mint juleps were ordered up, and to mix things up a bit, my mom, the chef that she is, made violette infused simple syrup for the juleps. Nothing says spring like mint and violettes.

If you make your way to Seven Springs, and havent tried the Pie Shop, it is a must stop. Its not that the baked goods are incredible. Most are not. But they have these great creations called snails  and they are one of Kelly’s favorites. So Monday morning, while she was still asleep, I ran out and brought her a few back.

Here is my weekend in photos rather than words.

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Know your lighting- What it takes to be a Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer

In photography, lighting is the most important aspect of your work. As a Pittsburgh wedding photographer you have to be able to work with lights because the weather here isnt always cooperative. Some days you wake up, the sky is blue, and it looks like its going to be an amazing day. But by the time the reception rolls around, the light is gone, clouds moved in, the wind is blowing, and rain is pouring down. In those situations we still have a duty to our clients to create beautiful work. So we always bring a supply of portable lights and modifiers with us, and they live in our car. If a flash breaks, no problem got a back up. Pocket wizard wont fire, pull out the chord. Both flashes die, or get stolen, we have some work lights that create beautiful light when pushed through an umbrella. While the situation may not be ideal, it is our job to give our clients our best work. I heard recently that we dont get an A for showing up and being friendly. Clients expect us to be professional, polite, and make great memorable images of their day.

As a story centered wedding photographer, that makes the need for lights a little bit less, but during portrait time, and during the reception, we have to make the venue, the people, and the couple look incredible. The images have to be able to bring back memories years down the road. More importantly, they need to tell the story of the day, after everyone that attended has passed away. Wedding photography is about a legacy. It is about documenting a story for the future. Its about Grandma and Grandpa being able to look fondly back on the photos and tell the grand kids about the life they lived together.

Today I shot a few portraits of my wife, just to brush up on my lighting skill. I dont use lights often, I prefer nice beautiful natural light. But sometimes a flash is the only available light that we have.

Off camera lighting- creating portraits as a pittsburgh wedding photographer

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