Celebrating Our Most Important Relationships | Generations Sessions

Generations Sessions-1Some of the most powerful relationships I have in this world are with women. There is something about that bond, intuition and shared experience as a female in this world that instills an awareness that we are connected by something we just can’t explain. We are one. It’s an understanding that men simply cannot wrap their brain around. That very thing is what makes these relationships so very special.Generations Sessions-2Generations Sessions-3

I lost my mom in September of 2017, 14 days before my 44th birthday. It was so much harder than I ever thought it would be. I miss her so very much because no matter what was going on with the two of us, she was my rock. She was the one person that knew me better than my husband or my best friends. I told her things I could never tell anyone else because I knew she would not only understand, but she would hurt with me, celebrate for me and no matter what time of day it was I knew she was thinking about me, worrying about me, praying for me and wishing with all her might that I was happy, healthy and well every minute of every hour of every day. That’s what moms do. We give up ourselves so that our babies can be themselves. It’s unlike any other relationship you can ever imagine.Generations Sessions-4Generations Sessions-5

I have photos of my mama. Not a lot and nothing really professional. Yes, this is double shameful because I’m a photographer, but I am thankful for what I have because I have something. Do you know how many families I talk to that have nothing? Not one photo of themselves with their mother, or with the family. It blows my mind!Generations Sessions-6I was angry with my mother for many years. It was a silent anger that I could not express to her because I loved her so much I just couldn’t stand to hurt her. When she died, all of that anger left me instantly and I could not have been more grateful. But it really was this silent anger that kept me from building our visual history together. I could not be more regretful for that.Generations Sessions-7Generations Sessions-8Generations Sessions-9After she died I had to clean out her home and found myself sitting for hours as I went through about 3 big tubs of photographs that spanned time from about the 1930’s through 2017. It was incredible. I got totally lost in photos of relatives I knew, some I didn’t. My mother’s friends from way before life threw her a couple of curve balls. That face when she laughed….my goodness. I saw hilarious photos of one of my brothers with a perm, another rocking out on a guitar, and my oldest brother looking so smart in his state trooper uniform. Photos of my mom hugging one of us, though I can’t figure out which one. Another as she perched herself so proudly on top of her first motorcycle. Each haircut, dye job and makeup trend told me stories about what decade she was in. Each photograph laid before me like a movie of her life in slow motion.Generations Sessions-10Generations Sessions-11Generations Sessions-12Do I even have to explain to you the importance of those photographs? Do I have to tell you how much more important those photographs became after she passed? Generations Sessions-15Generations Sessions-14Generations Sessions-13Generations Sessions-16And what about these photos you see on this blog post…do you think you need to hear from these women about how important they are to each of them? Can you guess how grateful they will be when that is the last visual they have of their loved one?Generations Sessions-17Here is the last photograph taken of my mama. This is her and me about 8 months before she passed. Hands down one of the most important photos in my life, taken on my phone.FullSizeRenderMy advice? Start your own tub of photographs. You won’t regret it.

Turn Around Twice…

DSC-12…and this is what happens. She’s 12 this month. TWELVE. Lord have mercy…where did the time go??

We decided to ring in the last of her tween years with a little photo shoot and oh my gosh you guys…I had the time of my life. I chose her 3 outfits, which I did damn good and am usually never allowed that privilege. But I kept it 100% her style, which I’m sure added to my success. Truth be told I had a blast coming up with these 3 outfits and they really are just so her.

She was the perfect muse (after having been whipped into shape all these years. That’s what happens when you’re the child of photographers) and I’m so happy to say that she really is so incredibly photogenic.

I’m going to tell you that she is just so sweet, so compassionate, so kind and so intelligent and these things are true. I am so grateful for all of these traits in this little woman, but what I am most entertained by with Ella is her sense of humor. Holy smokes does this girl keep us laughing.

To my wee babe: thanks for all the tears of joy and looking forward to a lifetime of tears of laughter with you.

This is one proud mama. Next up: teens.DSC-3DSC-2DSC-1DSC-5DSC-4DSC-7DSC-10DSC-8DSC-9DSC-13DSC-16DSC-14

Is 2018 YOUR Year? | Personal Branding | Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Personal Branding Head Shot Photographer-5Wow have I gotten a lot of questions about personal branding since that ball dropped down. This is really exciting and here’s why: you’re all starting to realize the difference between head shots and actual, real branding for your businesses. Cuz, you know…there is a HUGE difference. Your brand isn’t just what you’re selling; your brand is an extension of who you are, what you stand for and believe in, your style, your aesthetic, your look and your feel. It’s all of you, in one glance.

And this is YOUR year to show 2018 who’s boss.Pittsburgh Personal Branding-3

If you are as excited as I am about the clean slate and promise of something new that New Year’s Eve brings, then you should be just as excited about amping up your brand, or even giving your brand an entire makeover. Ahem…and that’s where I come in….

Women are becoming entrepreneurs faster than any other time. This is both so incredible and so heavy. We are making history, ladies, and that just makes me want to dance a jig. But…this also means you have a lot of competition and you have to do whatever it is you have to do to make potential clients connect with you emotionally, and feel a sense of trust and comfort, with one glance at your site, blog, social media and your photographs. And you need to make this happen before it happens with your closest competitor. Nothing like a little pressure to get your day moving, right?Pittsburgh Personal Branding Head Shot Photographer-4

If this seems like a daunting task, it shouldn’t. Revamping your brand is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to reach your audience faster, more productively and with the most amount of bang for your buck. Wanna know why? Because it’s visual. You’ve been on those websites that are almost all words, right? With some teeny, tiny little photograph of either an older than dirt photo of the owner, or worse, a photo of some kind of cartoon of what they are selling. Raise your hand if you’re willing to dig through mounds and piles of wordy text to get the simple info you’re looking for: the service/product and price? *crickets* *crickets* Yep. That’s what I thought.Pittsburgh Personal Branding Head Shot Photographer-3

When a potential client clicks on your site or social media, most of what they should see are photographs. Photographs of you, what you’re selling, details of your brand. These photographs should have a consistent and lovely look with a clean and consistent palette that represents your brand and personality. These photos and visuals should make your potential clients want to see more. Just type in “social media styling” and you will see that there are entire businesses dedicated to styling just your social media! There is a reason for this, folks. It’s because we’re starting to learn how important visual aesthetics are in terms of selling. I can’t tell you how many times I clicked on a site and right back off because it was messy, cluttered, too wordy and just not visually appealing. That one look tells me if you’ve got style, a bit about your personality, if you’re focused, and most importantly, if I connect with you and trust that you know whatever it is you’re selling better than the next gal, and you know what you’re talking about. That’s just one glance.Pittsburgh Personal Branding Head Shot Photographer-1

So, 2018 is here. It has just begun, and with alllllll the excitement and promises of a new beginning. This is your chance to really make this year your year. If you’re thinking to yourself, “I have enough gorgeous and awesome photographs of myself and my products/services to display on my completely up-to-date and current website.” Then move on. You don’t need me. If that statement does not describe your current branding situation, and you’re still questioning whether you need a personal branding session, I have one question for you: How’s that working out for you?

When you’re ready, I’m right here.
Pittsburgh Personal Branding Head Shot Photographer-2

 

Shining a Light on the New Year

Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer-11What is it about the New Year that brings out so much hope in all of us? For me, I love looking over the previous year and (hopefully) seeing success, then planning for even more of that in the future. And I don’t just mean in the business. First and foremost it’s with my family, then my clients, then my business. I kinda feel like if the home base is strong, I’m doing right by my clients, then the business will just keeps chugging along like it should. That’s the system I’ve used since the beginning, so I suppose if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

But I’m so excited to share that not only do I have a few things in the cupboard under lock and key just for a while, but I’m also doing a whole studio makeover. Once I get it done I’ll share it, but let me just say, ladies, if you’re considering some fun in the studio this year is the year.

To my clients of this past year: Thank You for filling my days with so much love, laughter and doggone good fun. Thank You for continuing to help me to keep my studio the safe, supportive, and nurturing bubble I know it to be and for continuing to fill it with your positive energy. I’ve been in this space for 7 years and it just keeps getting better and that’s because of all of you. My deepest bows of gratitude to each and every one of you for trusting me and believing in me.

To my clients of this next year: Thank You for choosing me out of all of the super talented photographers in this great city. I have so many wonderful and beautiful things in store for you, and this goes to the clients that haven’t even booked me yet this year too. My heart and mind is just bursting with ideas and I’m so excited to share all of them with you! We are going to have one hell of a fine year that will continue the message I’ve shared since the very beginning of my business: love, empowerment, courage, strength, support and confidence…with a ginormous dose of power, sexy and just plain kicking ass.

Thank you to this past year for all of the learning, growing, mistakes, fun and successes. Thank you to this next year for all of the future learning, growing, mistakes, fun and successes. May this year outshine the last one in love and light.

#gratitude

 

Makeover by At Home Beauty.