Since winter weather in Pittsburgh can be unpredictable we decided to rent a studio in Downtown Pittsburgh for this baby girl’s first birthday. The winter is often a slower time for photographers so it was an especially fun day of getting to go to a photoshoot and explore Pittsburgh too! Tracy mentioned that her baby is very serious, we weren’t sure if we’d be able to capture any smiles. But just minutes into our photo shoot, we were greeted with the happiest smiles from this little a sweetheart! I loved watching these parents interact with their baby and each other with such joy, warmth and love. I hope you enjoy reading this interview and viewing their family portraits. 🙂
How did you and your spouse meet?
Scott and I actually met in high school, but we were just friends at the time. We reconnected when we ran into each other a few years later at the airport when we were both in college, and the rest is history!
What do you enjoy about living in the Pittsburgh area?
Both of our families are from the Pittsburgh area, so Pittsburgh is truly home to us. We love the many different restaurants Pittsburgh offers, but Soju, my cousin’s restaurant, is our favorite!
If you had a 25 hour day, what would you do with the extra time?
I would probably use that time to relax and read a good book. I never truly understood how hectic life can get until we had Kaiya!
What are your baby’s favorite book(s)?
Kai loves the book Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom; she gets excited every time we read it!
What are your baby’s favorite foods?
Korean seaweed soup, salmon, and lasagna
What are your baby’s favorite toys?
Kaiya loves anything that makes music. She’s a big music girl, and she loves to dance! Her favorite thing in the world is to babble at our “Alexa” device until we play music for her.
What places around Pittsburgh do you and your baby/family enjoy visiting together?
Because of Covid, we haven’t been too adventurous with Kaiya in the past year; however, we like to take her anywhere we go, even if it’s just to run some errands at Trader Joe’s or Target. She loves being in her front carrier while we shop; she’s super observant and always likes to look around.
What song or movie title best describes your experience as a mom?
For the newborn stage: Groundhog Day 😉
How did you celebrate your child’s birthday? Location, number of guests, theme, food, cake, highlights
My mother is Korean, and in Korean culture, a baby’s first birthday is a big celebration and tradition (Doljanchi). We had Kai’s first birthday party at a community center with about 50 guests made up of family and friends. We dressed her in a hanbok for the Doljabi and had her select an item to predict her future vocation (string, books, spatula, money, etc.). Kai chose a spatula, so perhaps we have a future chef on our hands!
If you could share 3 pieces of advice with your younger self (before having kids!) what would they be?
- It’s okay to admit that motherhood is really hard, and you don’t have to love every minute of it.
- Don’t stress so much – (still telling myself this one daily).
- It’s okay to have a non-linear career path and pivot in a new direction.
How did you chose Laura Mares Photography?
I found Laura through a Google search. I found her Instagram page and loved the style of her photos. After reading so many stellar reviews, I contacted her through her website. She was so kind and professional, and I could tell right off the bat that she loved what she did. It was a no-brainer for us to go with her!
What is your favorite photo from your child’s 1st birthday photo session?
I love the close-up photo of Kaiya looking very serious with a very, very slight smile. She’s a very cautious and slow-to-warm up baby, so this photo captured that perfectly!