What to Expect during a Cake Smash Session

What to Expect during a Cake Smash with Laura Mares Photography I love capturing the joy of a one year old baby, pride of his or her parents and it truly comes together during a cake smash photo shoot! I hope you are as excited as I am if you’ve already scheduled a photo shoot, and if you haven’t, I hope this provides answers to your questions.  So first, I want to highlight the differences between indoor and outdoor cake smash photo shoots. I’ve done a great deal of both and I think it truly depends on the family’s preference.  What happens at an indoor cake smash session?  During a studio session, you will have a crisp and refined photo gallery where simplicity is highlighted. Cake: I often recommend families go for pastels and avoid red and brown icing for their cakes because needless to say...those colors don’t smash well! Props:…

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Differences between Lifestyle and Portrait Photography Sessions

Differences between Lifestyle and Portrait Photography Sessions I’ve received this query from a few of my clients over the years, so I decided to share my thoughts on this common question.  At-Home Lifestyle What is a Lifestyle Session?  The basic outline of a lifestyle family session is an at-home, personalized photo shoot. I often tell families to explain it to their children as a friend coming over to visit and she'll take photos as well. I have the opportunity of experiencing one day of your family’s life and you have the freedom of choosing how to spend it! This can be anything from making a pizza, a tie fashion show, or a tickle fight! Not sure what your family should do for the photo session? Hold a family meeting with the kids and get some creative input! However, if you want the feel of a lifestyle shoot, but don’t want your…

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Why In Home Lifestyle Photography?

Why in home lifestyle photography? Lifestyle photography is a beautiful way to celebrate the unique seasons of your family, like the birth of your newborn, your baby turning one, or your family cooking pizza together. I love in home lifestyle sessions! Staying in your own home for your newborn (or family) session is natural, authentic and comfortable. Isn't there something extra special about having your family photographed in your own space and truly capturing your daily life? In home lifestyle sessions mean you don't need to pack up or go anywhere This is especially beneficial when you’ve just brought home a new baby because odds are, you’re exhausted and the idea of packing up the van to have photos taken feels overwhelming. Another bonus is that children generally feel safe and comfortable in their own home. In home newborn and family sessions capture your life In home sessions are great for…

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10 Posing Tips for the Best Senior Portraits | Pittsburgh Senior Photographer

10 Posing Tips for the Best Senior Portraits | Pittsburgh Senior Photographer I love being a Senior Photographer and part of that comes from the joy I find in inspiring senior girls as I capture their raw and authentic beauty inside and out. Be sure to check out my other blog posts on what to wear, and ideas for beautiful locations around Pittsburgh. In an effort to get seniors enthused and ready for their upcoming sessions, I'm excited to share this list of the 10 best tried and true posing tips!  I captured these beautiful high school senior girls in their prom dresses during this month'sFlourish Academy Camera Club. Camera Club is open to all photographers in Pittsburgh. 1. Movement This is probably one of the most important tips. I love this posing style because it adds an extra dimension to portraits and makes them appear more life-like. Swaying back and…

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Senior Location Series: Urban Pittsburgh

Senior Photo Location Series: Urban Pittsburgh The next spotlight location for this series is Urban Pittsburgh! It’s the perfect place for seniors who search for an unconventional, creative spot that will make their celebratory images stand out. An urban setting is something I’d recommend for individuals who have a quirky, individualistic personality, and who love pictures that pop. I have photographed seniors in a wide variety of locations around Pittsburgh which is what I’ll be describing in depth during this blog post.  1. North Shore + Golden Bridges The North shore is a perfect, iconic spot in the heart of Pittsburgh. I recommend it for those who are proud of their Pittsburgh background and either plan to stay in the area, or want a little piece of home as they depart on their college journey. The soft yellows of the bridges and the blue azure sky are such a simplistic and…

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Jewelry + Fashion Tips to Look Your Best at Your Next Photo Shoot

Are you overwhelmed about deciding what to wear to your upcoming photoshoot? As a Pittsburgh lifestyle photographer, I enjoy planning my own family's outfits for photoshoots but I realize that this can cause stress for others! I was recently at a Premier Designs Jewelry open house where my friend, Natalie Shiff, gave great tips on what to wear and how to wear it! Natalie is a mama of five, lives in Mt. Lebanon and likes to help women elevate their look. I asked if she'd share tips for the blog. Natalie agreed and said, Laura, "It all begins with a simple 1,2,3!" I hope you find Natalie's tips helpful while you are planning what to wear to your next portrait session and if you are looking to update your jewelry please find Natalie's contact info below. :) Begin with a simple 1-2-3! 1. Start with Staples Classic tops, tanks, solid dress, neutral colors Great colors for tops: white, ivory, blush, gray, tan,…

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5 Tips from a Pittsburgh Newborn Lifestyle Photographer

5 Tips from a Pittsburgh Newborn Lifestyle Photographer  It truly is a blessing to be able to document the early, precious first days of a newborn's life as home. Today I'd like to share some of my tried-and-true strategies for a successful newborn lifestyle session.  1. Play Relaxed Music I was raised by two musicians and my brother is a musician too! When I was growing up our family life revolved around music performances. To this day I appreciate music. I believe it’s always helpful to play calming music to set the atmosphere and make my clients feel comfortable. A couple of my favorite Amazon Prime playlists are coffee shop jazz, acoustic chill and relaxing classical cello. Some of my favorite artists to listen to during family photo shoots are Jason Mraz, Lemmon & Maisy, Simon and Garfunkel, Lucio Battisti and classical music and folk pop in general. It’s interesting to…

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Senior Session Series: Mellon Park

Five Reasons to Choose Mellon Park for Your Senior Portrait Session Choosing a location, for such a moment as special as your end of high school photo shoot, can sometimes feel daunting. If that's the case for you, I’ve decided to craft this series featuring some of my favorite locations for senior photo sessions to better aid you (or your senior) in the decision making process.  1. Unique Pittsburgh Location Mellon Park is a beautiful and historic walled garden that is full of European charm, lush greens, seasonal blooms, unique wrought iron gates and even a cobblestone lane. Mellon Park is a park in Pittsburgh that not many think of when deciding where to have their senior photos taken. It will be sure to stand out among many of your friend’s photos and is a wonderful way to document your unique journey through high school. I love that Mellon Park looks…

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5 Tips for an Amazing Newborn Lifestyle Photo Shoot

5 Tips for an Amazing Newborn Lifestyle Photo Shoot If I’m being honest, one of my favorite moments to capture as a photographer is those first few weeks of a newborn’s life spent with their new families. There is something so emotional, pure and new that I can’t help reminiscing of my own little ones when they were that age. I am always thankful for the opportunity to document the first little precious moments of your family and home.  1. Search for a Space with Light in Your Home This could be any room with access to natural light in your home. This can be the master bedroom, nursery, living room, etc. Typically the best time of day to photograph in one's home is at 10:00 a.m. We'll turn off the lights and use only the natural sunlight to fill your room. Additionally, don’t stress about cleaning up the entire house... well…

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7 Tips to Prepare Your Children for Your Family Photo Session

7 Tips to Prepare Your Children for an Awesome Photo Session  As a Pittsburgh family photographer, I have run across a theme far too often: a grumpy child who has just received a stern talking-to in the car before the start of the session. This will likely yield to more tension, stressed parents, and a few forced smiles from the children. But my goal is to create a fun family experience that results in genuine smiles. So, today on the blog I’ve decided to share seven tips for a successful photo shoot that is enjoyable for all involved. Please remember, children want to understand what is expected of them and what a “family photo shoot” even entails. By being straight forward and explaining that the upcoming photo shoot will be a fun experience that they should look forward to! That soon they will have the chance to meet a new friend…

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