Our Everyday with Davon, Emily, and Maevaline – A Perfectly Imperfect Day

I got to spend a wonderful late-summer afternoon with a wonderful family in a recent Our Everyday photo shoot. Can’t you just feel the love radiating from Maevaline’s parents, Davon and Emily, toward their little girl?

It was so much fun to see Maevaline interacting with her surroundings. Being in that toddler stage, she’s still trying to figure out what her relationship is to things, both externally, like a dog, and internally, like her feelings. For example, she was very grumpy that she wasn’t allowed to run into a lake. It was one of those situations where you feel bad laughing because that will make the toddler-feels worse, but you want to laugh anyway. She was hell-bent on getting into that lake!

During this shoot, Maevaline was cutting a new tooth. See, we told you not to wait for the perfect time to take pictures or it’ll never happen (mostly because there is no such thing as perfect.) Tiredness and toothiness came to a head towards the end of the session. Maevaline’s feelings took over and a slightly-imperfect-yet-incredibly-adorable-and-worth-committing-to-film meltdown ensued. I really appreciated the opportunity to capture the full spectrum of emotions that can pass between a family at any given time. And as their photographer, I have to say that the photo of Maevaline crying her eyes out is not perfect, but it’s one of her dad’s favorite shots; I’m really happy I was there to give him that picture.

It may be one of my favorites, too! I don’t say that in a cruel way; I can see the beauty in reality and being genuine with your feelings, both good and bad. Children have a special gift of expressing exactly what they feel exactly when they feel it. I’m happy I was there to photograph this perfectly imperfect scene. That moment in time as a family is a gift I’m happy to give them.

Even though her parents later chose to be happy separately, Maevaline will have these pictures of her and her parents for years to come. She can look at them and remember the unicorn outfit she loved wearing and the time her parents wouldn’t let her play in the lake. And she can see the love her parents rain down on her no matter what.

2nd Annual Nine Mile Bike Tour & Block Party – Event Photographer Recap

The Nine Mile Run Watershed Association recently had a fundraiser and we jumped at the chance to sponsor the 2nd Annual Nine Mile Bike Tour & Block Party. Over 100 cyclists rode through the East End, touring the sites where the NMRWA has done work to aid in cleaning and maintaining the watershed. At each stop, a volunteer spoke to the group about the impact NMRWA has had in that location.

We wanted to get involved with the NMRWA event because one of the greatest assets of where live (and work in our home office) is the proximity to Frick Park. Most, if not all, of Frick Park is within the Nine Mile Run Watershed boundaries. Their work to clean up and preserve this space in Pittsburgh is part of what keeps Frick Park clean and safe for us to enjoy with our pups. As you know, everything we do, we do for Porter and Jeannie!

The weather was just perfect for this event, which can always be a challenge in Pittsburgh. It made the bike ride even better. While we toured through the East End, we had to be ahead of the bikers to get shots of the group approaching. It was a fun challenge to navigate through the regular traffic to reach the cyclists’ stopping spots.

Nate was really impressed by the sense of community on the day of the event. As he observed, there were no road barricades, so the road management was done entirely by a team of bike marshals. You’d expect to find a lot of fussy car drivers having to deal with a crowd of over 100 bikers, and while there was some of that, there was also waving and cheering. For Sam driving the car, that was a huge relief.

The sense of community was even apparent in the smallest cyclists. There were young kids participating in the bike tour and every time we saw the group come around a corner, they were all smiling and having a great time.

Part of why we provide event photography is to support the organization and help them tell the story of their event through our photography. Having us take professional shots frees up a staff member or volunteer, allowing their time and energy to be spent making the event as good as it can be. Then, they have these shots to use on their website, social media, and other promotional material.

This was the exact case for NMRWA. They had a staff member running all around last year to capture photos of their first bike ride. The most immediate impact our participation had was taking that responsibility off the shoulders of a staff member. This person was now available to coordinate event details, prep things for the block party portion of the day, make sure the bike marshals understood the flow of cyclists and traffic, and so on.

The photos are something they can use to tell the story of a successful event and to share their community impact. As a non-profit, NMRWA relies on heavily on donations and grants; having great images are a major part of conveying the story of what they do and the effect they have on their mission. We anticipate they’ll use the photos in annual reports, other collateral and in promoting the event to potential sponsors next year to secure even more support.

Supporting the 2nd Annual Nine Mile Bike Tour & Block Party was especially important to us because we not only want to support the community, but we also want to support the environment. By tying both of these things together, the NMRWA is doing lasting work to directly benefit our corner of Pittsburgh. We are thrilled to help share their mission and be a source of continued support for NMRWA.

Where to go for Fall Family Pictures in Pittsburgh

Fun family photography in Pittsburgh

Fall in Pittsburgh has felt more like the continuation of summer this year. It isn’t bad! Just a bit…unusual. Even so, that doesn’t stop us and the rest of the internet and the city from being fall obsessed. Pumpkin anything? Yes. Flannel? You bet.

Those sound like great things to add into a fall photo shoot, so we give you The Definitive Guide to Fall Photo Shoot Locations*.

*This is by no means exhaustive! We didn’t include apple picking or pumpkin patch visiting, though both are very fall and very family-friendly. There are tons of beautiful places in Pittsburgh to take photos during this or any other season. Sometimes the best place is in your own home.

Our goal with this list is to share some of our favorite and our families’ favorite locations for Our Everyday photos. You can’t predict the weather on the day of your shoot, but we like to have a few contingency plans in place. If you’re wondering how we handle unexpected weather changes, especially since the weather in Pittsburgh could change on a dime, we wrote a helpful guide.

The Zoo

Did you know that the zoo is open all year round? It makes sense because the animals are there all the time, though we didn’t realize that humans could be! That is until a family selected it for their Our Everyday location last winter. It is a regular family outing for them and they wanted to preserve that memory for their daughter as she grew up. We strapped on some gloves and headed out.

Meet Marilyn, Chris & Adelaide, AKA the most adorable thing in the Pittsburgh Zoo during their Our Everyday photo shoot with Porter Loves Photography.

Pick a Park, Any Park

Pittsburgh is rife with parks. It’s lucky for you and it’s lucky for us. Parks this time of year have beautiful foliage with all of the deciduous trees that line the grass with their autumnal colors. We love Frick Blue Slide Park, Schenley Park, and the Frick Park hiking trails, but we aren’t exclusive with them. Our love of parks is definitely not monogamous; it’s the perfect place to let kids run around and be kids, which is everyone’s favorite part of Our Everyday photo shoots.

You can bring a blanket like Marco, Jessica, and Joe did. Their is white, but plaid would complement the fall feeling nicely!

You can roll around in the grass like Magda, Henry, and Diane chose to do in Frick Park. Can you say leaf piles?

Did we mention that parks let kids open up and have fun? Look at how Callen and Ryen’s personalities shine through in this beautiful park shoot in Ambridge.

Parks are also great to capture family bike rides, basketball games, and whatever other activities you love to do in the fall.

child photography in pittsburgh

Fun family photography in Pittsburgh

Anything with the Pittsburgh Skyline

One of us is native to Pittsburgh and the other is a transplant, but we both equally love the view of downtown Pittsburgh. We’re pretty sure most other Pittsburghers would agree with us! There’s the late-season sun warming the buildings, more trees turning beautiful colors no matter which shore you’re standing on, and so many places to capture that iconic skyline and your family’s love of the Burgh.

A few of our favorite skyline-spotting locations for photo sessions are:

  • Point State Park – a classic Pittsburgh locale
  • Mt. Washington Overlook – a classic Pittsburgh shot
  • The Incline – our yinzer is showing
  • The Mr. Rogers Statue on the North Shore – a beloved character and a beloved city together at last
  • The Riverfront Trail by the David L. Lawrence Convention Center – if you walk under the 10th Street Bypass where it crosses with the entrance to the Convention Center, you’ll be treated to a unique view of the city

BikePGH and Venture Outdoors are great places to turn for rentals, both bikes and kayaks, for a unique family photoshoot in our beautiful city.

Any Classic or New Favorite Eatery

Pittsburgh is known for food. When the weather gets a bit rainier and outdoor photos may be impractical, our families love to turn to their favorite eateries for an afternoon of fun.

  • Page Dairy Mart, Antney’s, Custard’s, Klavon’s, and Millie’s are all excellent for an ice cream party
  • Pamela’s and Kelly-O’s in the Strip, Square Cafe are great for breakfast – we’d suggest going on a weekday!
  • Your family’s favorite pizza place, even if it’s Pizza Night at home

Whether your family prefers fall festivals and pumpkin picking or snuggling up on the couch and a cozy fire, fall in Pittsburgh is a great time for photos. The weather is great and the rush of the holidays is still a bit away, so you can relax and enjoy this wonderful time.

pittsburgh family portrait photographer

pittsburgh family portrait photographer

Swissvale Fall Family Mini Sessions

Sam and Nathan (that’s us!) live and work in Swissvale, PA. It’s a small, fairly urban suburb just outside the city limits of Pittsburgh. We are very involved in our community working to improve communication between residents and local officials, attracting people to move here and/or open a business here, and generally uplifting the image of Swissvale throughout the region.

We love our neighborhood and our neighbors!

We’re excited to offer a special mini session event in Swissvale!

Swissvale* families are invited to sign up for a fall mini session with Porter Loves Photography, local child and family photographer. Select a 20-minute time slot and receive a minimum of 5 digital images with printing rights for only $75. The opportunity to purchase prints, holiday cards, and more at a discount will also be available. Half of all proceeds from this event will be donated to Angel’s Place Inc. a Swissvale charity supporting children and families.

20-minute time slots will be available on Saturday, November 4 and Sunday, November 12, both 9am-5pm. Both shoot days will take place on the lower playground at Memorial Field.

Sign up now!

*While this event is geared toward the Swissvale community, if residents of surrounding communities are interested in participating, they are more than welcome.

Porter Loves Photography enjoys seeing little people develop big personalities so quickly, and relishes the opportunity to capture how they interact with and learn about the world, creating inspiring images that families will always love. Questions? Send us an email!