The Story Behind the Highlander Cow Portrait

Let me introduce you to Argyle. He placed in the Best of the Best of the 2019 Shot & Share Contest. Photographers are always looking everywhere for the next “perfect photo” opportunity. I am always looking at the direction of light, people's expressions and connections and/or wondering what would be the best angle to photograph someone or something. Our family vacations are no different. This past summer we took photographs of the train traveling through the Glenfinnan Viaduct and the Military Tattoo in Edinburgh. I also took photographs of my children dancing in front of Castle Fraser and looking for the Loch Ness Monster near Urquhart Castle. After climbing a muddy mountainside (in Birkenstocks) I had just enough time to take a quick selfie before the train arrived. We even hired a professional photographer, Natalia Swiader to take photos of our family exploring Circus Lane and Dean Village in Edinburgh.  All the while…

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Our Family’s Favorite Recipes: Scotland Edition

Our Family's Favorite Recipes: Scotland Edition While in Scotland, we enjoyed treating ourselves to the many delicacies the UK has to offer! Some of our favorites were fresh scones with clotted cream, Scotch pies, fish & chips and Glenlivet Whiskey! One aspect of travel that we always look forward to when leaving Pittsburgh is experiencing the new flavors and foods. I find joy in discovering small, hidden away cafes. I look for stores that truly reflect a nation and its people. I really respect how Europe has maintained their love of small, specialized establishments that sell only the finest and highest quality items. The kids and I enjoyed a delicious tea on the Isle of Iona (while my husband swam in the very cold Atlantic Ocean.) Here is a list of some of the coolest (and weirdest) Scottish foods out there! Haggis: A savory pudding containing sheep’s heart, liver and lungs…

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Ella and Tutu in the Scottish Highlands

Ella & Tutu in the Scottish Highlands Story by Anna Mares. Doll by Lenna McGraw. Photographs by Laura Mares, Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photographer. On this Scottish adventure, Ella and Tutu begin at a quiet Air B&B near the city of Inverness. With one look the girls immediately fall in love with the plain white stucco walls and pretty flower baskets in the front of the house. The man inside is a wonderful storyteller, and the girls listen entranced by his wondrous stories of the friendly old sailors who had lived in this very house many years before.  After a perfectly wonderful night's rest, the two head down the rickety old steps to the kitchen below. Tutu is excited to fill her artistically crafted bowl with her new favorite food... muesli!  The two begin on their journey to their family's castle, Castle Fraser, and are stunned by the beautiful view of the grounds…

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Ella and Tutu on the Scottish Isles

Ella & Tutu: On the Scottish Isles Story by Anna Mares. Doll by Lenna McGraw. Photographs by Laura Mares, Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photographer.Today Ella and Tutu have decided to venture onto the secret isles of Mull and Iona. As Ella and Tutu shiver against the cold glass window, the two gaze into the endless blue sea before them, imagining all the fun yet to be had. Ella dreams of the beautiful nature the isles will hold, and Tutu of the new scrumptious desserts she will taste.   As the ferry noiselly chugs onward, the two friends decide to discuss their excitement over a warm plate of a Full Scottish Breakfast.  Their mouths water as they taste the perfectly browned toast, grilled tomato, eggs, back bacon, sausage, tatties, and mysterious black pudding!  At last! The two arrive on the isle of Mull, and begin the drive for the next ferry to take them…

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Mares Family Portraits in Edinburgh

Mares Family Portraits with Natalia Swiader My family loves to travel! We travel as often as we can to visit my husband's family in the Czech Republic. This year we stopped in Scotland on our way back to Pittsburgh. We love visiting places we've never been before to meet new people, explore new places and try the traditional foods. As a family photographer, I value family portraits. While planning our trip to Scotland, I searched for a talented family photographer and luckily found Natalia Swiader Photography! Natalia is an up and coming wedding and portrait photographer in Edinburgh, originally from Poland, who has a passion for creating beautiful portraits. Natalia is very kind and friendly, we had a wonderful experience that became one of our highlights from our vacation in Scotland. We met Natalia on Edinburgh's beautiful Circus Lane for a sunset photo shoot. It may be the most picturesque street…

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