Heather & Travis – Friendship Garfield Portrait Photographer

I love working with clients that make photographing them difficult. No really! Heather and Travis are so funny and full of life that I couldn’t help getting carried away with them and their energy, so it was sometimes difficult to take photos while laughing along with their goofy antics. It’s a good problem to have! They were the kind of couple that I could ask to do some crazy action to evoke a response, and they would take it to the next level and crack me up.

Heather grew up in the Pittsburgh area, and went to school here before working in North Carolina for a hot minute before boomeranging back to The Burgh for her master’s program. She is now a clinical social worker spending her days coaching young adults with autism spectrum disorders through a few different programs, namely her non profit, Evolve Coaching. She also volunteers at the Joey Travolta Film Camp in Pittsburgh, which is a camp for kids and young adults with ASD. “It’s amazing!”, says Heather.

Travis was first drawn to Pittsburgh after a friend suggested he move here. He is a glass maker and tinkerer who works at the Pittsburgh Glass Center as a Studio Technician. Travis also teaches glass classes in the fall and spring. He recently started a business continuing to make glass ducks, called Duck Duck Glass. His hobbies include working. When he has the extra time or deadlines he makes it to Tech Shop in order to make things like airplanes, mammoths, and dinosaurs. When he is not working on creative projects, Travis is usually working on the house.

Heather and Travis were brought together over karaoke at Nico’s Recovery Room, and continue their relationship with lots of laughs, remembering to stay grounded, and good communication. Also, Travis has agreed to put his belly button lint into the trash, which I am sure we can all agree is a great foundation to any long-term committment. They are both busy working on their house in the Garfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh, and share a dream of purchasing a second home to rent to young adults with autism spectrum disorders.

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Emma senior portrait – Pittsburgh photographer

Emma is a talented and vivacious young woman who has taken classes at the Pittsburgh Glass Center for a number of years.  Recently, I had the opportunity to work with her to capture some high school senior portraits, and what better way to show her love for the PGC than hold the session there?!  Having photographed numerous events there, I had a bunch of places in mind to use, including working with some of the displayed artwork.  We used stained glass mosaics by local artist Daviea Davis, as well as Therman Statom‘s Indagare exhibition.  Of course, most of Emma’s work involves the Hot Shop, so we had to make sure to get in there for some shots, too.  Her flowing red dress perfectly suited her free spirit as well as the Hot Shop, in which artists are in constant motion.

We both had a lot of fun during this portrait session!  It was truly a testament to the fact that great photography happens when a subject is in a place that they love, is open-minded and enthusiastic about trying new ideas, and the photographer is equally as inspired in the space.

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Emma portrait (blog)-1

photo courtesy of Nathan J Shaulis | Porter Loves Photography www.porterloves.com

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Our Amazing Year In Review – 2015

Before we get too far into the new year, let’s take a quick look back at what made 2015 so special for us at Porter Loves. We met and photographed a bunch of cool new people, attended some inspiring events, and learned a ton of new tricks.

One of the biggest things we are proud of is launching Porter Loves Creative. Combining the talents of my lovely partner and myself,  we empower creative people to thrive.  Whether you need your artist statement tweaked a little, a flattering new portrait for your website, new images of some artwork, or a total social media makeover, Porter Loves Creative offers the tools and experience to get you back in the studio making art.

We covered the Pittsburgh ReelAbilities Film Festival.  Their film series always inspires us with stories of real people living with disabilities.  One particularly inspiring film, “On Beauty” showcases the work of photographer Rick Guidotti and his Positive Exposure organization.  I was excited to meet him, as well as a local photographer, Martha Rial, and discuss both of their work in highlighting the beauty that is in all people.

Paralympic Gold Medalist Dan McCoy and his father, Mark, speak with Kathryn Spitz Cohan, Executive Director of JFilm, during the ReelAbilities Film Festival in Pittsburgh.

Rick Guidotti at the RealAbilities Film Festival

Rick Guidotti sharing his experience and photographs at the RealAbilities Film Festival

I’ve lost count just how many years I’ve been involved with the JFilm Festival, but it never ceases to amaze me just how many wonderful films they show.

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This year, the Pittsburgh Glass Center introduced an interpreter to facilitate communication with visitors whoa are hearing impaired.  Not only was I excited that more people will now be accomodated, but watching an interpreter added a new visual element for me to capture during special events.  For one of their Hot Jams, the Pittsburgh Glass Center staff collaborated with the Speak Life Storytellers, a multi-talented duo of performing artists.  They wove tales of mystery and wonder, including music and audience participation, all while a team of glassblowers demonstrated their art, and Jason the interpreter explained all that was going on for the hearing impaired present.  Jason said that he had never before had to try to interpret beatboxing.  It was honestly one of the most amazing choreographed pieces of performance art I have ever seen!

Speak Life Storytellers spittin truth at PGC

Speak Life Storytellers spittin truth at PGC

Speak Life Storytellers on a journey

Speak Life Storytellers on a journey

Jason interpreting

Jason interpreting

Another awesome exhibition a the Pittsburgh Glass Center this year was the ABC@PGC exhibition, by Jen Elek and Jeremy Bert.  The highlight was an entire wall filled with refurbished sign letters that could light up and be carried around.  It was a total hit with the kids!  Kids (and parents!) loved spelling out their names, writing messages, and taking photos of their creations.  There were surprisingly few naughty words made, too!  After the exhibition was finished at PGC, it was moved to the Children’s Museum, so kids can continue to enjoy it.  I loved the playful nature of the art, and was inspired to use it as a location for a special family portrait.

Ryen and Callen read a book at the ABC@PGC exhibition

Ryen and Callen read a book at the ABC@PGC exhibition

I had the pleasure of working with a student at the Pittsburgh Glass Center to capture a fun high school senior portrait for her.  We had the opportunity to incorporate Therman Statom‘s amazing artwork that was in the gallery at the time.

Emma

Emma

If you haven’t guessed by now, we love the arts and helping people.  So when approached to cover the Arts for Autism benefit, we jumped at the chance to be involved.  It’s a great organization that is doing so much to help those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  We were honored to help, and met some cool new people through our involvement.

Acrobatic performers at the Arts for Autism benefit

Acrobatic performers at the Arts for Autism benefit

And let’s not forget all of the fun portraits!

Abby and Ian in North Park

Abby and Ian in North Park

The patented Nairobi Staredown

The patented Nairobi Staredown

NO CHEATING!

NO CHEATING!

Jayson

Jayson

Jenn

Jenn

We had some fun weddings, too!

photo courtesy of Nathan J Shaulis | Porter Loves Photography www.porterloves.com

My personal favorite wedding bouquet this season. :)

An intimate moment in the garden

An intimate moment in the garden

Young love <3

Young love <3

Rain did nothing to dampen spirits!

Rain did nothing to dampen spirits!

All in all, we had a wonderful year.  Thank you to all our clients and friends!  We are looking forward to making 2016 even better.  We welcome you to join us!
2016, here we go!

<3 <3 <3

Erin + Bill – Tender Bar + Kitchen – Wedding Photographer

Erin and Bill got married during an incredibly intimate ceremony in the midst of polar vortex weather in Pittsburgh. They were total troopers to even entertain the notion of outdoor photos given those circumstances. The ceremony and small party after were both held at Tender Bar + Kitchen in the Gold Room. We grabbed some shots down the street at New Amsterdam, where the couple had their first date. The guests were almost exclusively immediate family. Delicious snacks and craft cocktails were served and everyone had a blast celebrating and staying in from the cold.
Erin and Bill followed up this chilly wedding with a summery BBQ with more friends and family several months later, and photos from that fun event will be featured in an upcoming post!