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Interview with a Pittsburgh Family

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  • Post last modified:May 19, 2023

When I arrived for our annual family photo session, I was greeted with hugs from each of the three boys. It’s such a blessing to progress from family photographer to friend! As we were catching up on the last year, one son asked his mom, “Why do we take photos every year?” She smiled down at her son and lovingly explained, “I want to document the story of our family.” What a beautiful sentiment that clearly expresses the goal behind all of my work – I want to document your story through natural portraits.

How did you and your spouse meet?

Well this was a very interesting meeting. We met on New Year’s Eve in 2010/2011.  One of my best friends, Liz, convinced me to go to a party with her in the South Side. She was dating someone and I was single so I was hesitant to go. She told me her boyfriend’s brother just move from NYC to the Pittsburgh area and we had to meet. So her boyfriend’s brother was Josh. We both tried to act super cool and mildly flirted but didn’t reconnect until a few weeks later through facebook messenger.  Now my friend Liz is my sister-in-law, married to brothers and we both have three children!

portrait of mom and dad sitting on a bench at sunset

What do you enjoy about living in the Pittsburgh area?

We love the ease of living here. All of our family lives nearby so we have a lot of help.  We also love the Pittsburgh sports!

Family portrait of dad and three sons holding mom

Write 3 adjectives that describe your family.

Our family is goofy, loving, emotional.

Describe your children.

They’re all so so different and unique! They’re definitely not shy and have bold personalities. Our oldest has such a thirst for knowledge and asks questions about everything, but is genuinely interested in learning about our world and his world. Our middle child is a free spirit and could entertain himself for hours! He’s so happy to just be!  Our youngest is a firecracker! He’s so smart, and so very stubborn. No one is getting in his way or telling him what to do.

portrait of child standing with cherry blossoms
portrait of child standing with cherry blossoms
portrait of child standing with cherry blossoms

What are your family's favorite things to do in and around Pittsburgh?

We love the Pittsburgh Zoo, the Natural History Museum, PNC park, and any kids’ events at PPG Paints. We also love going to the movies at the Waterfront and getting ice cream. One our favorite spots is Paige’s Dairy Mart in the South Side.

Share a funny family memory.

Wow I don’t know if this is appropriate but our oldest son Maddox was just potty training and we went to Disney World. I was very pregnant so Josh was trying to help as much as possible. At dinner Maddox screamed that he had to go to the bathroom.  My husband rushed him out of the pool to the bathroom thinking he had to pee. As he stool behind him, holding him on the toilet to pee, he went number 2 🤣.  Needless to say, everyone needed a change of clothes!

family portrait of family with three boys
natural family portrait of family having fun

What is your family's favorite restaurant?

We love Eat n’ Park, Condado Tacos and any Japanese Steakhouse.

portrait of mom and her three boys

What is your family’s favorite meal to cook at home?

We both have Italian roots so we loving cooking big Sunday dinners. One of our favorites is spaghetti with meat sauce. 

dad with three boys in cherry blossoms
dad with three boys in cherry blossoms

How did you decide to schedule a family session with Laura Mares Photography?

Our neighbors have used her for several family photo sessions and recommended her!

portrait of mom and her three boys

How did you prepare for your family photo session?

The only thing I really do to prepare is make sure I have outfits chosen and laid out and plenty of snacks!

What is your favorite portrait from your family session?

I love love love the one of my husband and I kissing and our children looking at each other. We live such a busy life that it’s not often we take the time to truly live in the moment. I feel like that picture captured our love and living in that exact moment.

natural family portrait of family having fun

Share your any final thoughts on your family session.

I felt very stressed the day of our photo shoot. The boys were acting wild as usual and not listening. They were playing with sticks, my husband was late for the shoot due to work, I couldn’t  walk in my shoes and despite all of that, Laura made us feel comfortable, not judged in any way, she was patient and captured the most beautiful photos!

Ready to document your story?

Let’s work together to create beautiful images that you can treasure for a lifetime!


Hi, I'm Laura Mares! I'm thankful to be a wife, mother and Pittsburgh lifestyle photographer. I photograph because I believe that life is simply beautiful and every person has a story worth telling. I'd love to tell yours.

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