Laura Mares Photography: Blog https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog en-us (C) Laura Mares Photography [email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:17:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:17:00 GMT https://gallery.lauramares.com/img/s/v-12/u631913634-o994468049-50.jpg Laura Mares Photography: Blog https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog 80 120 Take Your Child to Work Day | Pittsburgh Photographer Blog https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/5/take-your-child-to-work-day-pittsburgh-photographer

 

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography my family pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/5/take-your-child-to-work-day-pittsburgh-photographer Tue, 01 May 2018 14:44:55 GMT
Meet this Beautiful Soon to be Mother | Pittsburgh Maternity Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/4/meet-this-beautiful-soon-to-be-mother-pittsburgh-maternity-photographer Meet this Beautiful Soon-to-be Mother 

We are from Philadelphia. We actually just moved to Pittsburgh in January from Brazil.

April 17th, 2018

Magee

Dr. Okeefe

We were both pretty scared because everything happened very fast.

We did everything together, so there was no real reveal that I was pregnant.

I eat healthy (most of the time) and exercise regularly.

We have chosen names for the baby but we are not revealing them until the baby is born since we don't know if it's a girl or boy.

Yes! We created an "around the world" themed nursery.

My husband will be taking a few weeks off from work, so he's going to be the main help. We will also have some family visiting.

Yes and it was quite an adjustment for me because I'm very much a person that likes to handle things herself.

I think I had an idea and it's pretty much what I was expecting.

This was a super hard thing for me! I ended up getting most of my things at Target.

I had different stages of food cravings, the most notable of which was tomatoes!

We thought it would be something that would be great to have in the future to remember this phase of our lives.

We wanted something simple and easy because we were already at 37 weeks!

Be an advocate for yourself. Everyone will give you opinions, but decide what is best for you and your family and advocate for that decision.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh maternity photographer pittsburgh photographer real pittsburgh family studio session https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/4/meet-this-beautiful-soon-to-be-mother-pittsburgh-maternity-photographer Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:39:08 GMT
7 tips on how to Look Your Best at Your Next Photo Shoot | Pittsburgh Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/4/7-tips-on-how-to-look-your-best-at-your-next-photo-shoot-pittsburgh-photographer 7 Tips on How to Look Your Best at Your Next Photo Shoot

from Natalie, the Jewelry Lady

Are you overwhelmed about deciding what to wear to your upcoming photoshoot?

I hear that all the time! I enjoy dressing my family for photoshoots but I realize that I am outside the norm! Last week I was at a Premier Designs Jewelry open house where my friend, Natalie gave my mom and I great tips! Natalie is a mama of five, lives in a beautiful farmhouse in the Bethel Park area and likes to help women elevate their look. I asked if she'd share tips with readers on the blog.

Begin with a simple 1-2-3!

1. Start with staples | classic tops, tanks, solid dress, neutral colors.

Great colors for tops: white, ivory, blush, gray, tan, black  Great colors for bottoms: white, denim, gray, tan, navy, black

2. Add fashion |accent with trending colors, prints and textures (jean jacket, scarf, bomber jacket, kimona)

Great accent colors: red, cadet blue, violet, orchid, lime, jade, lavender, peach, chili, yellow

Great accent patterns and textures: polka dots, stripes, plaid and checks, florals, fringe, blazers, bubble sleeves

3. Complete the Look | the right accessories will be game changer for your closet. Your style is in the details, with jewelry.


Six Additional Tips:

1. Create an Impact Zone | Always wear earrings!  They draw attention to your face!  Larger earrings can take #10 pounds off your appearance!

2. Make a Vertical Line |Wear a long necklace to create a slenderizing vertical line!

3. Bangles are Classics! | Wear three quarter length sleeves or push long sleeves up and wear classic bangles. This pulls attention to the thinnest part of your body! Plus bangles are a classic, they never go out of style!

4.  Match Shoes to your Hemline | For instance, if you wear black plants or a black skirt, you should wear black shoes. If you wear a black top and white pants, don't wear black shoes, wear white ones. Shoes should always match the bottom, not the top.

5. Elongate your Neck. | Try wearing a slim V- neck or leave a few open buttons to show off your clavicle to elongate your neck.

6. Appear taller and thiner. | Did you know a V-shaped necklace is the most complimentary? It gives you an hourglass shape and makes you appear taller and thinner.  
 

Did you know that accessories can give your style a name? Popular styles include: classic, natural, boho (bohemian) and dramatic. Your accessories define your personal style!
Do you have an outfit but need the right jewelry to complement it? 
Did you know you can have a FREE closet consult with Natalie, the Jewelry Lady?  Ask how! www.premierdesigns.com/Shiff


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) faq laura mares photography pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer what to wear https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/4/7-tips-on-how-to-look-your-best-at-your-next-photo-shoot-pittsburgh-photographer Sat, 14 Apr 2018 01:34:08 GMT
First Birthday Interview | Pittsburgh Baby Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/4/first-birthday-interview-pittsburgh-baby-photographer First Birthday Interview | Pittsburgh Baby Photographer

I'm excited to share highlights from a recent first birthday party that I had the privilege of documenting. The first birthday party was held at the Bethel Park Historical Society. It was built in 1905 as the Bethel Township High School. The room was full of natural light from the large picturesque windows. While I LOVE taking pictures for families, I also LOVE meeting the families that live in the Pittsburgh area! It's truly an honor to be welcomed by so many families to celebrate milestone events and be trusted to capture the moments that turn into memories.

I’m from Guayaquil, Ecuador. I moved to Pittsburgh in 2011.

He was 8 pounds 3 ounces and 20.5 inches long.

Now he is 23 pounds and 30.5 inches.

We call him little monkey.

He walks, can speak some words in Spanish and English and can eat by himself.

He has eight teeth.

Mama, dada, papa (dad in Spanish), agua (water), toy.

He loves rice, apples, pasta and salmon.

His favorite toys are cars and anything with sounds he can ”play” music.

His favorite activities are swimming and dancing.

?

When we blow him kisses, and when he plays with bubbles.

We had a party at the Bethel Park Historical Society. Around 30 guests came to celebrate with us. The theme of the party was Mickey Roadster Racer. The food was from Pasta too (he likes pasta) and the cake was from Bella, Christie & lil Z’s.

Found the blog and liked her style

What is your favorite photo from your child's 1st birthday party?

When I’m holding him while he sleeps. He is so active now that those moments are rare but perfect.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

 

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) 1st birthday interview laura mares photography pittsburgh baby photographer pittsburgh photographer real pittsburgh family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/4/first-birthday-interview-pittsburgh-baby-photographer Tue, 03 Apr 2018 16:21:19 GMT
First Birthday Interview | Pittsburgh Baby Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/3/first-birthday-interview-pittsburgh-baby-photographer 1st birthday Interview | Pittsburgh Baby Photographer

We've lived in Pittsburgh since 2014, and prior to that we lived in central PA.

He was 22 inches and 7lb, 12oz. at birth.

Today he is 30 inches and about 24 pounds.

When he is sitting in the bowl looking down.

He can walk, chatter, and give lots of hugs and kisses!

He has eight teeth (soon to be 9!)

He says mama, dada, hey, and he makes car/truck/tractor sounds.

He likes books with noises and books with trucks and construction vehicles.

He likes guacamole, berries and broccoli.

His loves his fire truck toy and puzzles best.

He likes exploring outside,

He laughs at funny faces and when we try to chase him.

We had our immediate families (grandparents, aunt/uncle and cousins) get together for a Little Blue Truck themed party. Everyone really enjoyed watching Theodore get into smashing his cake!

We did a Google search, great photos!

When he is sitting in the bowl looking down.

All of his outfits and the banner are from Etsy. The corduroy fox and blanket are from Land of Nod. The balloons and poufs are from Amazon. The cake is from Whole Foods Market.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) 1st birthday photo session cake smash laura mares photography pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer real pittsburgh family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/3/first-birthday-interview-pittsburgh-baby-photographer Fri, 30 Mar 2018 13:36:31 GMT
Family Photoshoot in Pittsburgh | Laura Mares Photography https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/3/family-photoshoot-in-pittsburgh-laura-mares-photography Family Photoshoot in Pittsburgh | Laura Mares Photography

On Special Election Day, our family took the chance to travel Pittsburgh in a new perspective...photoshoot style! The kids were weary of running into the middle of this alley to make the perfect shot, but the end results were priceless.

 It was a perfect day-except for the chilly weather! The kids raced to hand over their coats to my husband before each shot.

The traffic was light on the iconic Pittsburgh bridge we were shooting at, so my daughter and I seized the moment to capture some great portraits.

Taking a break from being daredevils, we moved our shoot to the walkway on the bridge. The youngest cherished the opportunity to be the tallest of her siblings!

It then took a couple tries to take the perfect jumping shot...but it was worth it!

As the wind picked up, the trio decided to squish together as much as they could to warm themselves up. The closeness produced some giggles!

 Ella spotted some pigeons and admired their pretty wings from afar.

 

Ella's silliness produced many smiles from others passing by. The reactions only induced more outrageous faces...

We found it quite ironic that all three of my children were wearing Converse All-Stars during the Pittsburgh shoot. We decided to seize the moment.

Ella shared her idea of having a dance party, which spurred this adorable out come!

The kids then took the chance to take some individual shots with the scenic Pittsburgh backdrop.

Ben posed under a willow tree for his portrait shots, the river in the background produced cool "gangster vibes" in these pictures!


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/3/family-photoshoot-in-pittsburgh-laura-mares-photography Fri, 23 Mar 2018 20:15:17 GMT
Interview with a Mom of a Newborn Baby | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/3/interview-with-a-mom-of-a-newborn-baby-pittsburgh-newborn-photographer Interview with a Mom of a Newborn Baby | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

 

January 22, 2018

20.5 inches 8 lbs 1 oz

He was six days late.

I'm originally from New Bedford, PA. It's just over one hour north of Pittsburgh. I moved here permanently in 2000.

I felt nervous excitement and joyful.

I told him he needed to get more girls for the softball team because I wouldn't be able to play the whole season.

The nursery is focused around a trio of tree prints by Jan Heath that I picked up in Berkeley Springs, WV. The nursery has features an oakleaf mobile and light sage green walls. Overall, it's simple, has calm colors, has a focus on nature.

Dave's dad's middle name was John and my dad's first name was Charles.  We decided on Jonathan Charles as a tribute to both.

We look forward to watching him grow and learn, and watching his personality develop. Down the road, I'm sure both Dave and I are looking forward to playing a little catch. :)

He's a smiley, stubborn, bright eyed baby.

Keep an open mind and be ready to adapt.  Prepare for changes to your plan.

The witching hour! Getting Jon to sleep in the evening hours.

Watching the process and the extreme patience that is involved with newborn photography! Also, I took away some tips to soothe Jonathan from watching Laura in action!!

It's just lovely to have reminders of the first days and weeks together.  Jon is making new sounds and faces each day.  It'll will be so nice to look back at these in the years to come and have something for Jonathan when he is older.  It's also just a beautiful way to share the moment with family and friends.

A white crocheted hat that I hooked was used.  I had not planned on it, but we had it with us and I love the way the photos turned out.

Thank you 🙂.  I first tried to crochet when one of my friends was pregnant with her first child.  That attempt was unsuccessful, but I tried again when my sister was pregnant with her first daughter and was more  determined for success.  I am mostly self taught with some guidance from my aunt.  

I have had a couple of requests for hats, so yes, I am always willing to consider selling them.

West Penn Hospital

Western Penn OB/GYN.  My delivering doctor was Andrew Sword.  He was outstanding and I love the group.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

 

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh newborn photographer pittsburgh photographer real pittsburgh family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/3/interview-with-a-mom-of-a-newborn-baby-pittsburgh-newborn-photographer Wed, 21 Mar 2018 20:39:13 GMT
1st birthday Interview | Pittsburgh Baby Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/3/1st-birthday-interview-pittsburgh-baby-photographer 1st birthday Interview | Pittsburgh Baby Photographer

We have one child.

8 lbs 4oz 21.25 inches

Current weight 26lbs, 13oz. Height unknown until next peds app! He’s tall though 😌

I am actually from the Beaver County area. I moved to Pittsburgh when Tim and I got together years ago.

He is a sweet, energetic, loving child.

He has 14!

He is almost there! 12 months 🤗

He like Hush a Bye Bunny and Peek-a-Who.

Pizza, green grapes.

Ball pit, cars.

Going to the park! Down the slide, on the swings!

Tickling him and sometimes I can say stuff that makes him laugh.

We had my son’s first birthday party in Pittsburgh. Forty guests came to celebrate with us. The party had a Steelers football theme. Our baby had a small football smash cake and a piñata that was hard to break. Everyone really enjoyed it!

The onesie and bow tie are from Amazon.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) 1st birthday interview laura mares photography pittsburgh baby photographer pittsburgh photographer real pittsburgh family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/3/1st-birthday-interview-pittsburgh-baby-photographer Fri, 09 Mar 2018 18:10:15 GMT
Interview with a Pittsburgh Family | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/3/interview-with-a-pittsburgh-family-pittsburgh-newborn-photographer Interview with a Pittsburgh Family | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

We had looked at a couple of different areas around the U.S. (Seattle, Raleigh) but instantly fell in love with Pittsburgh and Mt. Lebanon when we first visited. The schools are great, the people are friendly, and the homes are so beautiful! We feel like we live in a storybook.

Our home was built in 1941 and  has so many unique items. It has plaster-work on the walls with little hidden reliefs everywhere - griffins, lions, ships, flowers, crests, etc. There is an original winch hardwired in the garage that was used to pull the 1940's cars up the driveway! The basement has a dungeon-like wine cellar with a massive iron gate. We instantly fell in love with the house and our daughter calls it her princess castle.

December 30, 2017

19 1/4 inches and 6 lbs 2 oz

About two weeks early.

Excited and terrified at the same time haha.

I left the positive pregnancy test on top of the faucet in the bathroom and just waited for him to find it and freak out.

Eclectic. The walls are wallpapered with dressed up black and white animals, a large oriental rug, a dresser and rocker from craigslist, and some items we had in our daughter's nursery.

We wanted a name that wasn't too common. Our nickname for our daughter is baby bear and when we came across the name Orson it was the perfect fit. His middle name is a tribute to our street address since he was unexpectedly  born at home!

I'm looking forward to all of the toothless smiles and then baby giggles. When he's a little older it will be great to see him and my daughter play.

Serious, determined, and of course adorable.

Don't stress about things too much, especially during the newborn phase. It can be a tough time but in a week or two's time they are on to the next phase and everything has changed.

Adjusting to life with a newborn and a crazy toddler! Mornings, nights, and weekends are loud and hectic when its all four of us but we're starting to get in a new routine.

Definitely the siblings pictures and Laura's patience. Although he was only five days old he would not cooperate for almost any of the poses but Laura kept pushing on and we got some beautiful pictures.

You only have one chance to get these pictures and they change so quickly.

I got a few items from Etsy and then knit some other myself.

I delivered at home about five or so minutes before the paramedics arrived! We then went on to Magee and the emergency staff there was amazing.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh newborn photographer pittsburgh photographer real pittsburgh family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/3/interview-with-a-pittsburgh-family-pittsburgh-newborn-photographer Fri, 02 Mar 2018 14:37:46 GMT
Interview with a Pittsburgh Family | Pittsburgh Newborn Lifestyle Photographer Blog https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/2/interview-with-a-pittsburgh-family-pittsburgh-newborn-lifestyle-photographerInter Interview with a Pittsburgh Family | Pittsburgh Newborn Lifestyle Photographer

Newborn Lifestyle Session in Pittsburgh

We met in elementary school outside of Pittsburgh.

Our baby was born on January 4, 2018

19.5" and 6lbs 12oz

Late

Newborn Lifestyle Session in Pittsburgh

We live in Lawrenceville.

Our home is a renovated townhouse built in 1901. We exposed much of the original brick on the interior, to add extra character to it. There are a lot of cool tones of gray throughout the house with some metal and wood accents. We have traveled abroad quite a bit so all of the pictures and knick knacks tell a story from one of our trips.

I felt a full range of emotions, from ecstatic and over the moon, to anxious and unprepared. At the end of the day it was the greatest feeling in the world knowing we were going to become parents. Newborn Lifestyle Session in Pittsburgh

Our dog is considered our first born, so I had to incorporate him somehow! I made a note that said "Dad, you & mom are getting me a human!" and tied it around his neck. Then he ran upstairs and jumped on Chad and he saw the note. I've never seen him smile so big!

The nursery is sort of a modern bohemian theme, with rich colors such as a dark teal accent wall, Asian style rug with reds, golds, blues, and mustard curtains. There are hints of travel as well including a globe piggy bank from his grandma, an elephant picture above his crib from his aunt and a unique "Adventure" sign given as a gift from a shop in the city where Chad and I got engaged.

Newborn Lifestyle Session in Pittsburgh

Girls names came way easier but we struggled to agree on a boys name. Chad was watching the Pens and Predators Stanley Cup game and saw Roman Josi (Predators player) and suggested it. I loved it! He didn't want to tell me where he saw the name in case I didn't want it because I am a big Pens fan!

I am looking forward to seeing him turn into the little person he's going to be. I am excited to see his personality and what traits he got from his father and me.

He is a innocent, sweet and perfect baby. Newborn Lifestyle Session in Pittsburgh

Don't read into too much advice from other people. Your baby is going to hate stuff others loved, and love stuff others hate. It's your own unique journey, don't compare any part of your pregnancy or experience with a newborn to anyone else's. Embrace all the hardships, they are only this small for a period of time. If you're exhausted, sleep deprived and out of patience, try to tell yourself to remember this time with your baby this small will be gone before you know it so just try to enjoy the ride.

Trying to balance sleep and functioning in the day.

How well Laura incorporated our entire fsmily, dog and all :) She also made our home look like something out of a magazine. The way she was able to capture the right light in every room was impressive. Newborn Lifestyle Session in Pittsburgh

Newborn photography was important to us because we wanted to capture these first moments with our first born. You don't get this time back, so we wanted to preserve as much of it as we could. He has changed so much since even the photo shoot, so I am so glad we got those early days captured in time.

His "Hello World" outfit was from Etsy. His crib sheet was Carousel Designs. His swaddle was Aden and Anis. His white blanket was compliments of his great grandmother Newborn Lifestyle Session in Pittsburgh

Magee Women's Hospital

Dr. Carol Chesin

Oh where to begin! We've lived abroad and worked in Ireland, Spain, Thailand and New Zealand. We've traveled to over 22 countries in Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific, mostly just the 2 of us together. After college we spent the next 4 years traveling, living and working abroad. New Zealand was our favorite country to visit. It has everything you could ever want in 1 place, from the mountains to the beaches, wineries, big cities, small towns, most amazing local people, amazing cuisine, terrific culture, and so much more! Traveling those years was the best experience of my life....until we became parents. Newborn Lifestyle Session in Pittsburgh


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh baby photographer pittsburgh lifestyle photographer pittsburgh newborn photographer pittsburgh photographer real pittsburgh family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/2/interview-with-a-pittsburgh-family-pittsburgh-newborn-lifestyle-photographerInter Wed, 28 Feb 2018 17:28:59 GMT
Shoot and Share Photo Contest 2018 | Laura Mares Photography https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/2/shoot-and-share-photo-contest-2018-laura-mares-photography This is the second year that I have participated in the Shoot and Share photo contest!! It’s a free, fair, and fun photo contest that is open to all photographers around the world. I love being able to see current work from talented photographers!

SHOOT AND SHARE PHOTO CONTEST

Every year, Shoot and Share (a community for photographers) puts together a photo contest. Anyone can submit up to 50 images to see how their work fairs with their peers. It is a daunting task to pick your favorites photos that you hope will do well in the contest! In January photographers submit their favorites into several different categories, some of categories include: lifestyle, maternity, children and kids, family, babies and toddlers, newborns and birth, seniors and teens, wedding, portraits and travel.

412,379 photos were submitted this year. Wow! There are 12 rounds to get to  the finals. We are currently in round 10. 42,543 photos still remain in the contest. That means that we are down to the top 10.3%. So far this year 108,053 people have voted from 125 different countries

It’s just as easy to vote as it is to enter! Once you are on the voting page, you see four different photos from one category, you must chose your favorite of the four photos. As soon as you click on your choice another four photos appear on your screen. Be careful, voting can be addicting! This year people have already spent 232,081 hours voting.

Picking your favorite photo can be difficult. I often want to pick more than just one! I seem to like lifestyle, black and white images, and seeing connection between people in the photos. If there’s a photo that you absolutely love, and want to learn more about after the contest is over, you can favorite the image. Actually when an image has been favorited, it receives a heart, which is the only way a photographer can know if one of their photos is moving up through the rounds. 

Keep in mind that voting can become addicting! Sometimes I wake up and think, "I'll just vote on a couple photos, and the next thing I know it's 30 minutes later! It’s inspiring to see beautiful and creative images. And I always hope that I'll have the chance to see my own image, but so far I haven't had the chance. 

I was nervous to enter this year. Last year I entered several travel images from our summer living in Europe. A portrait that I took of a French painter made it to the 11th round. This year I entered a couple images of my own kids in local parks around Pittsburgh, a couple from Norway and mostly family portraits from my photo sessions. While I looked through my images from the past year, I couldn’t help but be humbled with gratitude. Gratitude towards the families that trusted me to document family. Regardless how I do this year, I’ll continue to remember that what I get to do for others is amazing. I get to preserve the special moments in their lives.

While I am super excited to see how I fare this year, I’m even more excited to see if there is improvement from my results last year. I love that as a photographer, I can continue to improve and develop my skills and talents. There’s always room for improvement and growth!

Voting will remain open until March 3. You can vote in the contest too, just click here! I hope you enjoy voting for you favorite images as much as I do!  The results are released a couple weeks after voting has completed. I’ll be sure to the results on my next month!!


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh newborn photographer pittsburgh photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/2/shoot-and-share-photo-contest-2018-laura-mares-photography Wed, 21 Feb 2018 16:46:38 GMT
Volunteering at Night to Shine | Pittsburgh Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/2/night-to-shine Night to Shine

Night to Shine, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, is an event designed to create an evening to remember for individuals with special needs.   

Night to Shine is described as an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs ages 14 and older. Night to Shine

This event was celebrated in 537 churches on February 9, 2018 around the world. Approximately 90,000 honored guests experienced royal treatment through the support of 175,000 volunteers! 

It was my privilege to serve as a volunteer photographer at the Night to Shine in the South Hills of Pittsburgh at The Bible Chapel in Peters Township.

There were 330 guests and 640 volunteers at this venue alone. Night to Shine

Racks of donated gowns lined the halls of The Bible Chapel in the weeks leading up to the event. 

Local hair salons opened their doors and volunteered their time and talent to help prepare the guests for the event.  Night to Shine

Guests arrive with their family for registration and to be matched with a "buddy" for the evening.

Parents and caregivers gather in the respite area for dinner and a movie.

The evening began with pampering: make-up touch ups and shoe shines, a stop at the photo booth and a ride in a limo. Night to Shine

Guests exit the limo with their buddies and walk down the red carpet together, where they are greeted by "paparazzi"  and cheers.

Guests could chose the amount of energy at their entrance by choosing from three options: "energy," "quiet" or "no pictures."

My daughter volunteered on the red carpet as a member of the welcoming paparazzi crowd. She was amazed to see the red carpet transform to accommodate the preference of each guest. She said the room could be filled with high energy, high fives, and a guest dancing down the red carpet and seconds later the room was nearly silent with respectful smiles and mild applause.

Every guest is crowned king or queen.

Night to Shine

The evening activities included a dinner, karaoke, dancing and a video presentation from Tim Tebow.

I was one of several photographers documenting the night. During the course of the day, I visited two hair salons, covered the registration tables, buddy matches and finished the night in the karaoke room.

I was touched to see so many ecstatic guests throughout the day. Night to Shine

I asked many guests if I could take their picture and I was nearly always greeted with a huge smile that light up an entire face! 

I admire the extensive generosity that I saw throughout the day from the gorgeously decorated hair salons to enough delicious donated food to feed an army!  Night to Shine

Throughout the evening when I looked into the faces in the crowd I was greeted by smiling faces of the many volunteers and the guests as well!

I can tell you that it was truly a night to shine and that the guests and the volunteers alike had an evening that they will never forget! Night to Shine


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/2/night-to-shine Tue, 20 Feb 2018 21:41:40 GMT
Exploring Pittsburgh's Neighborhoods: Lifestyle of a Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/2/exploring-pittsburghs-neighborhoods-lifestyle-of-a-photographer Exploring Pittsburgh's Neighborhoods: Lifestyle of a Photographer

I spend quite a bit of time driving around Pittsburgh. On a long drive in January, I decided it'd be fun to start a new blog series featuring Pittsburgh's neighborhoods as a lifestyle photographer. It's probably no surprise to hear that I spend a lot of time editing photographs at my computer, but you may be surprised to hear how often I also get to explore Pittsburgh's neighborhoods!

Today let's feature Lawrenceville. (and my favorite taco stand in Brookline that I always stop at if I'm anywhere near during lunchtime!) Photographs from shops and restaurants around Pittsburgh

Las Palmas is located on Brookline Blvd. When you stop for a taco, you'll be asked, "cuantos tacos?" Photographs from shops and restaurants around Pittsburgh You can order steak, chicken, ground beef, pork and pineapples to name a few of my favorite options. It's $2.50 a taco. You can place your order outside and then head into the Mexican grocery store to pay.

Photographs from shops and restaurants around Pittsburgh

I especially love the fresh salsa and guacamole.  Photographs from shops and restaurants around Pittsburgh

While it is often busy at lunchtime the line moves quickly!

Since I'm a busy wife and mother of three, I honestly don't have much time to research before I head out. So I love asking my clients for great local suggestions to check out while in their neighborhood. I asked Tara for advice on what shops and restaurants she'd recommend for me to stop by and check out in Lawrenceville.

Shops:

Pavement Is a boutique that support local, indie, and sustainable designers but also offers top American-made brands like Stateside, Chaser and Three Dots. 

Wild Card is a great shop to find unique greeting cards and gifts for the person "who has everything!"

No.14 is a gift shop full of trendy fashion accessories and clothes.

Von Walter & Funk call themselves purveyors of find goods, including home decor, paper items and jewelry.

While I was exploring Lawrenceville, I also came across T's Uphostery Studio. I purchased beautiful fabric samples. My daughter uses a couple of the fabric pieces in her dollhouse for blankets and curtains and I used a couple of the longer pieces to make into runners for our dinning room table. Photographs from shops and restaurants around Pittsburgh

Coffee:

Espressomano has a relaxed atmosphere and great coffee served in porcelain mugs. I love the exposed brick walls and chalkboard menu.

Photographs from shops and restaurants around Pittsburgh

Lunch: 

Mexican-Round Corner Cantina

Smoke Taqueria 

Industry Public House

The Abbey (or for a drink-the atmosphere is great)

Befor I left Lawrenceville, I stopped in for a beautiful piece of Scotch whiskey caramel chocolate from A519. It reminded me of the Belgium chocolate boutiques we came across in Brussels and Bruges!

Photographs from shops and restaurants around Pittsburgh Photographs from shops and restaurants around Pittsburgh

What are your favorite places to stop at in Lawrenceville? I'd love to check them out too!


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) exploring pittsburgh's neighborhoods: lifestyle of a photographer laura mares photography pittsburgh photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/2/exploring-pittsburghs-neighborhoods-lifestyle-of-a-photographer Fri, 09 Feb 2018 17:07:14 GMT
Ella and Tutu: The Unicorn Search https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/2/ella-and-tutu-the-unicorn-search Ella and Tutu: The Unicorn Search | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photographer

Story by Anna Mares. Doll by Lenna McGraw. Photography by Laura Mares.

Today Ella and Tutu are taking part in a Unicorn Search Expedition. Together they have traveled from their home to go on safari. Tutu found an article explaining the rumors of Unicorn sightings in Pittsburgh, so the two decided to make a day of it.  Ella has decided to use her special telescope to help them find the fantastic creature. 

Sadly the first exhibit is home to a tiger (not the unicorn), but the girls still enjoy the friendly animal. 

Continuing along the trail, they stumble upon huge rocks and attempt to climb them. Ella's big sister helps boost them up to the top of the pile. 

Ella quickly solves her fear of heights, and enjoys posing on the interesting structure!

The next habitat is home to two ferocious lions. Ella and Tutu giggle as the big cats roar. 

The two friends are slowly becoming more and more disappointed with their lack of success in finding the majestic unicorn. Tutu decides that flying to the next destination will help boost team moral, so Ella pretends to fly as she flings Tutu into the air, faithful their ingenious plan will work. 

At first the plan is successful, and the girls laugh as they receive strange looks from other Zoo visitors. Within seconds however, Tutu's body comes crashing down on top of Ella! 

The silly girls decide that they will stick to walking as their form of transportation. Tutu has another spark of genius however, and decides that they should have a quick dance break before continuing on to the next exhibit. 

Reenergized, they continue on the path, and find the elephant exhibit. But once again, there are no unicorns. 

The girls have one final stop before their adventure is over, the aquarium. Ella loves this part the best, and excitedly searches the tanks for any sign of a Unicorn...

 All they find are some jellyfish, but Ella still enjoys the natural light show. 

The girls are quite depressed as they trudge back home, disappointed that they never met the unicorn! 

Tutu reminds the devastated Ella that they might always run into the unicorn on their way back to the car! The pep talk does the adventurers wonders as they set off to finish their journey. 

Suddenly out of the corner of her eye, Tutu spots a white mystical creature sprint behind the foliage! The two girls excitedly chase the sound....And sure enough they find the most beautiful unicorn ever, Zoe!

Zoe shares that she doesn't have any friends, and is quite lonely living all alone in Pittsburgh. The girls ponder the situation, and decide that they would love Zoe as a fellow friend! The three drive home together, excited for what future adventures may come their way. 


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) ella & tutu laura mares photography pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/2/ella-and-tutu-the-unicorn-search Wed, 07 Feb 2018 20:46:10 GMT
The Mares Family Kitchen Project | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/2/the-mares-family-kitchen-project   The Mares Family Kitchen Project | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photographer

We had an extensive water leak that damaged our cabinets and floors. We hired someone to remove the mold and replace the floor, he managed to remove the mold but left us with a  plywood floor. It took us a couple of years to regroup, plan and save for the much needed repairs. On November 1, 2017 we began our  journey toward restoring our kitchen. We needed nearly everything to be replaced. 

I took a couple of photos during the long process of restoring our kitchen. It was hard to feed a family of 5 using just the refrigerator and a countertop microwave. We enjoyed lots of salads, baked potatoes and frozen meatballs over the six weeks that we didn't have a working kitchen. Fortunately, my mom and sister in law also prepared several delicious meals for us and one family had us over for a Czech meal at their home!

It looked pretty ugly in our kitchen for a couple of weeks! 

Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen ProjectPittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen Project Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen ProjectPittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen Project Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen ProjectPittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen Project Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen ProjectPittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen Project Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen ProjectPittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen Project

Slowly it began to be build back up, with plaster work and a new floor.  Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen ProjectPittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen Project Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen ProjectPittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen Project

There was a plastic wall to contain most of the dust and dirt from entering the rest of the house. My daughter and I were home the day the plastic wall came down! We were so excited! It was beginning to look like a kitchen again! She brought a couple of toys to play in the new space. I asked her what was her favorite thing so far, she pointed to the squiggle on the wall that marked where I shouldn't paint yet, and stated something like "I just love the wall art!" Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen ProjectPittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen Project Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen ProjectPittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen Project Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen ProjectPittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen Project

Once the walls and floors were ready the cabinets went in and we had a temporary sink. We could finally enjoy great coffee again!  Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen ProjectPittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen Project

A few days before Christmas, the countertop was installed! We finally had a fully functioning kitchen! My daughter invited a friend over to make Christmas cookies!  Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen ProjectPittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen Project

The last few details were completed in January: the backsplash and an small cabinet on wheels that can become an island when needed, otherwise it can stay tucked in the corner.

While Jason completed nearly all of the kitchen himself, we painted it and did the grout for the backsplash with our talented neighbor, Dylan.  Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen ProjectPittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen Project

This is Jason, the friendly and knowledgeable contractor, just minutes before he finished the kitchen. Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen ProjectPittsburgh Lifestyle Photography | Laura Mares Photography Kitchen Project

Take a look at how the kitchen looks today!

We have many friends and family in Europe that happen to have beautiful kitchens! I like the look of the bright and airy European kitchens where the light bounces around the space. Fortunately my new friend Pia, a Norwegian photographer, has fabulous taste in design and shared ideas on Nordic design and showed me her favorite kitchens on her Pinterest page.

Our first two major decisions were deciding on the cabinets and floor. I knew for years that I wanted plain white shaker cabinets, but I wanted affordable, solid wood cabinets. Our neighbors had just finished a kitchen project with gorgeous, solid wood, white shaker cabinets! We used the company that they recommended. I texted a friend that has an eye for interior design and asked for any thoughts about choosing the floor. She said to choose anything that hides dirt! What wonderful advice when you have three children. 

Although it was really difficult to be without a kitchen during the holidays, one advantage was being able to utilize Black Friday specials. Just about everything we needed was on sale, like the rugs, appliances and lights.

I always loved my mom's open cabinet that was in our house when I was growing up. She told me a couple of stories over the years about it, like when she was a child  it held her grandma's favorite items in her kitchen. When I explained to  my mom that I was looking for a small open cabinet, similar to her grandma's, she told me that I could have it! You can see it below with several of my favorite items, Danish gnomes from my mother-in-law, the Dala horse my husband brought back from Sweden, a couple Rae Dunn dishes and our fondue pot.

I'm honestly not sure which was more difficult; surviving without a kitchen for six weeks, living in a house that was an utter disaster or making so many decisions! For example, I spent hours looking at pendant lights on day until I finally found these glass ones (pictured below). One of my best friends graciously spent hours with me searching at endless granite warehouses helping to find the "right" one. It was with her that I decided that I wanted plain medium gray countertops with a matte finish. But in all of our searching we never came one. I thought it must not exist until a few days later the kids and I entered a countertop store in Brentwood and almost immediately found the perfect countertop for us!

We have wonderful German friends that we met while they lived in Pittsburgh a couple of years ago. After a visit back to Germany, Nina brought us an Alessi pepper mill. She said that although it's actually made by an Italian designer many Germans have an item designed by Alessi in their kitchens. Every time I use my pepper mill I think of our dear friends in Cologne.

My older daughter made me a double vase for Christmas this year. I'm excited to keep fresh flowers/trimmings in our kitchen year round.

Since the look of the kitchen had really changed, I thought it'd be a good idea to make a few small changes in the dinning room too! We updated our chandelier and rug, painted our rustic server gray, make new shelves and found a primitive bowl and bread board.

My mom and I traded dinning room chairs. We both laughed about it thinking that we had gotten the best deal!

Every year my dad gives us bulbs to grow during the winter. I enjoy seeing their progress daily. 

Contractor: Jason Stromberg, Four Square Builders

Counter: Artisan Gray Quartz from Giant Stone

Cabinets: Budget Cabinet Solutions

Pendant Lights: Pottery Barn

Chandelier: Birch Lane

Backsplash tiles: 3x6 Subway tile from Home Depot

Floor tiles: 12x24 inch tile from Lowes

Paint Colors: Sherwin Williams (light gray) mindful gray (dark gray) dovetail 


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh lifestyle photographer pittsburgh photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/2/the-mares-family-kitchen-project Fri, 02 Feb 2018 14:15:58 GMT
Best Newborn Photographers in Pittsburgh | Laura Mares Photography https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/1/best-newborn-photographers-in-pittsburgh-laura-mares-photography

 

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) ella & tutu laura mares photography pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh newborn photographer pittsburgh photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/1/best-newborn-photographers-in-pittsburgh-laura-mares-photography Tue, 23 Jan 2018 21:00:00 GMT
Newborn Baby Boy with his Big Sister | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/1/newborn-baby-boy-with-his-big-sister-pittsburgh-lifestyle-photographer Newborn Baby Boy with his Big Sister | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photographer

This past fall felt like a whirlwind! We started our kitchen restoration project and I was fully booked with portrait sessions. I honestly home we're never that busy again! I'm enjoying this freezing cold winter and am happy to slow down and catch up! Today on the blog you can read an interview with a loving mom about her two beautiful children.  

He was born on November 2, 2017.

As a newborn, he was 6 pounds 15 ounces, 20 inches.

He was born right on time. Newborn Baby Boy with his Big Sister at Laura Mares Photography Portrait Session.

He is the baby we had prayed for for a long time.

I sent him a picture of the pregnancy test. Newborn Baby Boy with his Big Sister at Laura Mares Photography Portrait Session.

We don’t have one yet because we are moving, but his new room will be gray reclaimed wood.

It was difficult. He did not have a name until 2 days after he was born.

Watching him grow into the amazing little man that he will be.

He is a snuggly, calm, and loved newborn baby boy. Newborn Baby Boy with his Big Sister at Laura Mares Photography Portrait Session.

Allow yourself to relax and enjoy your baby. Everything else can wait.

Finding time to sleep.

Watching my daughter interacting with him and being a big sister for the first time. Newborn Baby Boy with his Big Sister at Laura Mares Photography Portrait Session.

Babies are small for such a short period of time. It is so important to capture those first moments.

Women Care Associates of Bethel


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

 

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography newborn studio session pittsburgh baby photographer pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers real moms of pittsburgh real pittsburgh family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/1/newborn-baby-boy-with-his-big-sister-pittsburgh-lifestyle-photographer Tue, 16 Jan 2018 20:00:00 GMT
How to Prepare for a 1st Birthday and Cake Smash Portrait Session https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/1/how-to-prepare-for-a-1st-birthday-and-cake-smash-portrait-session

 

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh 1st birthday photographer pittsburgh baby photographer pittsburgh cake smash photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh first birthday photographer pittsburgh photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/1/how-to-prepare-for-a-1st-birthday-and-cake-smash-portrait-session Fri, 12 Jan 2018 22:15:53 GMT
Norway Family Adventure | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/1/our-family-travel-adventures-to-norway-pittsburgh-lifestyle-photographer

 

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) family vacation photos laura mares photography pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/1/our-family-travel-adventures-to-norway-pittsburgh-lifestyle-photographer Fri, 05 Jan 2018 20:45:00 GMT
Ella & Tutu Visit the Zoo | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/1/ella-tutu-visit-the-zoo-pittsburgh-lifestyle-photographer Ella & Tutu Visit the Zoo | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photographer

Story by Anna Mares. Doll by Lenna McGraw. Photography by Laura Mares.

It is Ella's 4th birthday and Tutu has decided to treat her to an exciting trip to the Zoo! The family packs themselves into the minivan and begins the trek to the wildlife park. Ella can hardly contain her excitement as they soar upward on the escalator. 

A girl and her doll visit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. | Photos by Laura Mares

Ella poses before the huge sign and proudly boasts her new age, 4!

A girl and her doll visit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. | Photos by Laura Mares

The two stumble upon a Rhino, and Tutu is terrified before Ella patiently explains to her that it is just a piece of cardboard. They see how they measure up to the size of a real Rhino, and Ella jumps for joy when she sees that she is older than Tutu is Rhino years. 

A girl and her doll visit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. | Photos by Laura Mares

The next animal they stumble upon is a ferocious Tiger! The three become fast friends...

A girl and her doll visit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. | Photos by Laura Mares

Ella and Tutu continue walking, bundled up in their layers of brightly colored coats and winter accessories. Soon Tutu catches sight of a sign informing them that penguins are soon to be parading on the path near the aquarium. The two dash to the scene and excitedly watch the performers.  A girl and her doll visit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. | Photos by Laura Mares

After the penguins rush off to their cozy indoor homes, Ella and Tutu begin the treacherous journey down the polar bear ridden path. They gasp in relief when the cage is empty, and sneak inside for some quick shots.  A girl and her doll visit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. | Photos by Laura Mares

Next, the two adventurers find a black cat that they can ride!  They imagine a kingdom where they are the rulers and the big cat is the mascot, who goes by the name "Whiskers."

A girl and her doll visit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. | Photos by Laura Mares

Ella and Tutu escape the relentless wind as they rush to the aquarium. They are quickly captivated by the elegant fish. 

A girl and her doll visit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. | Photos by Laura Mares

They then round the corner, wondering what could possibly be next.

A girl and her doll visit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. | Photos by Laura Mares

Tutu finds the beautiful, blooming flower first and leads the way for Ella to discover it.  

A girl and her doll visit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. | Photos by Laura Mares

The next room frightens Ella extremely when they find themselves in the dark. 

A girl and her doll visit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. | Photos by Laura Mares

Trembling, they walk along the hall and uncover dancing jellyfish. They realize that it's in the dark that one finds the light.   A girl and her doll visit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. | Photos by Laura Mares

Ella's tummy grumbles in hunger just as Mommy announces that it's lunch time. Ella grins from ear to ear!

A girl and her doll visit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. | Photos by Laura Mares

As they await the foods' arrival, they search to find where they are on the map.

A girl and her doll visit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. | Photos by Laura Mares

With full tummy's, the two enter the Elephant den, and are shocked at how huge it is! They marvel as the zookeepers feed, shower and manicure the massive creatures. 

A girl and her doll visit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. | Photos by Laura Mares

As they reach the end of their adventure, they wander the gift store and Ella laughs as she imagines the shark singing Happy Birthday.   A girl and her doll visit the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. | Photos by Laura Mares

Thanks for joining Ella & Tutu on their birthday zoo adventure! Read more of their adventures here.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) ella & tutu laura mares photography pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh lifestyle photographer pittsburgh photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2018/1/ella-tutu-visit-the-zoo-pittsburgh-lifestyle-photographer Mon, 01 Jan 2018 12:49:27 GMT
The Maddie Interview | Pittsburgh Senior Portrait Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/12/the-maddie-interview-pittsburgh-senior-portrait-photographer The Maddie Interview | Pittsburgh Senior Portrait Photographer

Read all about Maddie and see the highlights from her senior portrait session dancing around the South Side.

Senior Portraits of a beautiful ballet dancer around Southside, near Pittsburgh, PA.

Are you from Pittsburgh?

Yes

Ida's Place in Lower Burrell. Everything is delicious but my favorite meal is Spaghetti Pie or Steak Parmesan. Senior Portraits of a beautiful ballet dancer around Southside, near Pittsburgh, PA.

Being the chair person of the community outreach committee and helping local families in need.

Supportive

Senior Portraits of a beautiful ballet dancer around Southside, near Pittsburgh, PA.

Fun, loud, caring, and kind.

The beach! (or at least somewhere warm)

Senior Portraits of a beautiful ballet dancer around Southside, near Pittsburgh, PA.

I love all music. My playlists consist of pop, country, alternative, rap, oldies, and everything in between.

Going to the beach on vacation.

Senior Portraits of a beautiful ballet dancer around Southside, near Pittsburgh, PA.

I'll be attending college in the fall, not sure what school yet.

After reading the suggested colors, my mom and I picked our favorite outfits from my closet. Senior Portraits of a beautiful ballet dancer around Southside, near Pittsburgh, PA.

I loved the pictures that Laura took from my nephew's first birthday party.

Finding cool portraits around South Side!

Senior Portraits of a beautiful ballet dancer around Southside, near Pittsburgh, PA.

The picture en pointe with the Byron Batch's butterfly mural behind me!


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographer pittsburgh senior photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/12/the-maddie-interview-pittsburgh-senior-portrait-photographer Fri, 22 Dec 2017 22:29:45 GMT
Interview with a Mom of a Newborn Baby | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/12/interview-with-a-mom-of-a-newborn-baby-pittsburgh-newborn-photographer Interview with a Mom of a Newborn Baby | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

Newborn sessions are longer than most other sessions, for a couple of reasons, we want your newborn baby to sleep comfortably (while looking adorable) but when baby is hungry we need to stop to feed, and when we take off diapers... there is always the possibility of a small accident! Although newborn sessions tend to be long, they are also quite peaceful It is a nice opportunity to get to know the parents!

October 18, 2017. Newborn Baby Girl Portraits in Studio | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer | Laura Mares Photography

19.5 inches long and 7.4 pounds.

4 days early.

Newborn Baby Girl Portraits in Studio | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer | Laura Mares Photography

Just West of Pittsburgh, in Greentree.

alm and sophisticated with pale pinks, blues, teals with navy accents. There is no specific theme. Newborn Baby Girl Portraits in Studio | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer | Laura Mares Photography

Both Emma and Ann were names of relatives on both my mother and fathers side of the family

atching her explore and discover new things each day. Newborn Baby Girl Portraits in Studio | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer | Laura Mares Photography

uddly and vocal baby.

Adjusting to the unpredictability!  Just when you think you have a pattern or cue figured out she changes the script! Newborn Baby Girl Portraits in Studio | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer | Laura Mares Photography

Newborn photography is important for capturing that one moment in time. She’ll never be that same baby again. Already it is hard to remember how small she was.

The stuffed cardinal is from Land of Nod.

Newborn Baby Girl Portraits in Studio | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer | Laura Mares Photography

West Penn Hospital

Seasons Obgyn


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh baby photographer pittsburgh newborn photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/12/interview-with-a-mom-of-a-newborn-baby-pittsburgh-newborn-photographer Mon, 04 Dec 2017 16:27:05 GMT
Real Pittsburgh Family | Hartwood Acres Family Session https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/11/real-pittsburgh-family-hartwood-acres-family-session Real Pittsburgh Family | Hartwood Acres Family Session

I always enjoy meeting new families! I was happy to be contacted from a family that had recently relocated to Pittsburgh and wanted family photos that featured beautiful fall leaves and colors. We enjoyed walking around Mansion at Hartwood Acres (and getting a little muddy in the process!) 

We met while attending Ohio State University for our undergrad degrees.

Family Portraits at Heartwood Mansion, Pittsburgh, PA

We have four children.

Family Portraits at Heartwood Mansion, Pittsburgh, PA

We moved to Pittsburgh in August, relocation for work in order to be closer to family.

Our family is crazy, rowdy, fun!

Family Portraits at Heartwood Mansion, Pittsburgh, PA

We're pretty new but we're loving the fall colors and rolling hills.

Family Portraits at Heartwood Mansion, Pittsburgh, PA

Harry Potter is our recent obsession but we love Super Heroes too, both DC and Marvel.

Burgers, for sure!  Burgatory might be one of the Pittsburgh favorites! Family Portraits at Heartwood Mansion, Pittsburgh, PA

We giggle a lot but many of the funnies are because of the three boys and all the silliness (and inappropriateness) that surrounds A bunch of boys!

As a family we enjoy hiking, cooking, reading, listening to music.

Family Portraits at Heartwood Mansion, Pittsburgh, PA

We love vacations at the lake house, also big fans of the beach!

We lived on top of each in a tiny house in California, no room to not be close 😉 Family Portraits at Heartwood Mansion, Pittsburgh, PA

I (mom) am addicted to pictures, they are everywhere in the house. I like being up to date as the kids grow and change.

I found a darling shirt for the youngest boy and then built around that.

Group hug! It's our Christmas card.

Family Portraits at Heartwood Mansion, Pittsburgh, PA

Google search, I liked Laura's portfolio and she was reasonably priced.

Most clothes were from Target. My scarf is from Gap. Family Portraits at Heartwood Mansion, Pittsburgh, PA


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) hartwood acres family session laura mares photography pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/11/real-pittsburgh-family-hartwood-acres-family-session Thu, 30 Nov 2017 13:43:29 GMT
What to Wear to Your Maternity Session | Pittsburgh Maternity Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/11/what-to-wear-to-your-maternity-session-pittsburgh-maternity-photographer

 

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh baby photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh maternity photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/11/what-to-wear-to-your-maternity-session-pittsburgh-maternity-photographer Tue, 28 Nov 2017 11:29:57 GMT
Interview with a New Pittsburgh Family | Laura Mares Photography https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/11/interview-with-a-new-pittsburgh-family-laura-mares-photography Interview with a Pittsburgh Mom | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

I am excited to share newborn photos from this family that is new to Pittsburgh. This mom had amazing stories to share about her time in Huston during and after the hurricane this summer and moving to Pittsburgh with a brand new baby. 

Our baby was born on September 5, 2017.

As a newborn he weighted, 8 pounds 15 ounces and he was 22 inches.

He was one week early.

We live in the North Hills, Seven Fields.

It was an unexpected pregnancy so shock! Once the doctor confirmed the pregnancy it was pure joy!

I couldn’t wait so I called him at work at 7 a.m.!

It’s black and white with some sports elements. There’s a picture of PNC Park and Nippert Stadium and we have a basket filled with footballs and baseballs.

My husband has always wanted to name his son Major. He has two middle names. Both of our dad's names are Scott and my maiden name is Cole so he is Major Scott Cole Taggart.

I look forward to getting to know him and watching him learn about everything around him. He already has so much personality and curiosity!

He is a happy, loving and curious newborn baby.

Decide how you plan to track your baby’s growth before he or she gets here! I can’t believe how fast my baby has grown and nothing shows it more than pictures of him in his mamaroo chair or on a specific swaddle at different ages.

Finding time for me.

My favorite part was watching my husband help with soothing the baby and working to get him to cooperate. His concern was so sweet!

I want to have beautiful pictures to remember how he was when we brought him home.

His hat and name blanket are from Etsy

The Woman’s Hospital of Texas

Dr. Claire Kelly


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography newborn photography pittsburgh pittsburgh baby photographer pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh newborn photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/11/interview-with-a-new-pittsburgh-family-laura-mares-photography Tue, 14 Nov 2017 20:00:00 GMT
Interview with a Real Pittsburgh Family | Laura Mares Photography https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/11/interview-with-a-real-pittsburgh-family-laura-mares-photography Interview with a Real Pittsburgh Family

We have one child.

I am from China. I came to Pittsburgh for school and met my husband here. I've lived here for 4 years now.

Our family is loving, honest, mild.

Ice skating at Schenley Park.

We like a couple movies. One of them is The Martian.

A Michelin star Chinese restaurant named Cafe China in midtown New York.

I work in New York, so Mark often travels there to visit me. On the Chinese valentine's day of 2015, Mark made a secret trip to New York. He arrived at my apartment while I was at work, had my roommate open the door for him, and waited there for me to finish work. He texted me saying that his friend Todd was going to stop by my apartment building to give me something to take back to Pittsburgh next week, so I needed to tell Todd when I'd get home. I believed that was true. I also didn't expect he'd do anything special for me on that day because it's not a valentine's day in the US. I finished work, told Todd when I'd be home,  and went home as usual, then I saw Mark walking towards me on the street with roses on his hand. What's funny was I wasn't surprised but very confused! The first question I asked him wasn't "Why are you here?", but "What's going on? Where is Todd?"

Mark enjoys cooking for me. I like to help him while he cooks.

We had our wedding in Dominican Republic. My family came all the way from China, then both of our families (19 people) went to DR together and had stayed there for 11 days. The wedding on the beach was beautiful and the 11 days on the beach was so relaxing.

Claire is our first baby and this is our first family portrait session, so I wanted a professional one.

My husband bought the blue outfit for the baby some time ago not for this photo session. He likes this outfit so decided to have her wear it at the session. We wanted to wear something that would go well with baby's color, so we picked ours based on her outfit.

The one of daddy and daughter looking at each other (the middle portrait below).

Laura was recommended to me by someone on a Facebook group for Mt Lebanon Moms. I checked Laura's website and loved all the pictures. The package she offers is good mix of photo numbers and price, so I chose Laura.

Our clothes are from J Crew.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography newborn photography pittsburgh pittsburgh baby photographer pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh newborn photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers real pittsburgh family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/11/interview-with-a-real-pittsburgh-family-laura-mares-photography Thu, 02 Nov 2017 11:41:59 GMT
Fall Family Portraits Interview | Real Pittsburgh Family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/10/fall-family-portraits-interview-real-pittsburgh-family Fall Family Portraits Interview | Real Pittsburgh Family

Today I'm excited to share an interview with a local Pittsburgh mom that I've had the pleasure of meeting twice. We first met in February when she brought her adorable son into the studio for a newborn photo shoot. I'm honored that she chose to come back for a fall family session. This time we met in Mt. Lebanon Main Park. I love meeting other Pittsburgh families and getting to keep in touch at portrait sessions over the years! I'm looking forward to February to celebrate his 1st birthday! 

My goodness, how could you explain? My child has grown to a receptive, silly, entertaining, energetic, loving, sweetest little boy imaginable!

I have absolutely become more organized and a person of routine, it helps me feel in control.

He's ok!

Any seasonal activities!

Any "REAL" people food!

HIs favorite toys are anything that lights up. sings, or makes noises. Oh, or anything he should not be playing with!

Loving, rambunctious, kind.

The solo one of him smiling so wide you can see his dimples!

Leave the cleaning alone, enjoy the down time with your lovely baby!

?

Halo Swaddles! MUST HAVE!


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh baby photographer pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/10/fall-family-portraits-interview-real-pittsburgh-family Fri, 27 Oct 2017 19:00:00 GMT
Picking Your Christmas Props | Pittsburgh Child and Family Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/10/picking-your-christmas-props-pittsburgh-child-and-family-photographer Picking Your Christmas Props | Pittsburgh Child and Family Photographer

It's still October but many families around Pittsburgh are already planing their Christmas gifs and cards for their family. Here are Laura Mares Photography, we are busy photographing beautiful outdoor fall sessions around Pittsburgh and beginning to capture Christmas themed child and family portraits. The other day a six month old baby was enjoying modeling many of this year's Christmas props! (When I say enjoying, I really mean tolerating!) He looks adorable and festive in the Santa hat his mom brought along.

Typically during Christmas sessions, the studio is filled with Christmas music and balsam scented candles or essential oil. Sometimes my daughter bakes cookies and shares them with our photo clients and their family.

Over the years we have collected many unique Christmas items to enhance our holiday portraits. Isn't it true that sometimes the simplest things make the most impact? - like these battery operated Christmas lights that this baby boy's mom brought in for him to play with during his photo session.

I was thrilled to find one of my favorite Christmas books, The Night Before Christmas, in a box filled with many of my childhood possessions. Not only can I read it to my own children, but you can read it to your children during a family photo shoot! I can't understand why it looks vintage, the 80s weren't that long ago! 

I'm glad Christmas trolls are popular in Pittsburgh now. I saw one in an airport in Finland a few years ago and thought he'd look great in photos. Since my suitcase was already a little too full to bring him home with me, I was thrilled to find this one right around the corner from my house!


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh baby photographer pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/10/picking-your-christmas-props-pittsburgh-child-and-family-photographer Tue, 24 Oct 2017 19:50:37 GMT
Lifestyle Newborn Interview | Real Pittsburgh Family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/10/lifestyle-newborn-interview-real-pittsburgh-family Lifestyle Newborn Interview | Real Pittsburgh Family

Our baby was born on August 25, 2017.

Our baby was 20 inches long and weighed 7lbs 14.5 oz

He was exactly a week late.

We live in West View, in the North Hills of Pittsburgh.

It felt pretty surreal. I was extremely excited.

We were driving to NY to spend Christmas with my family and told him I had a "gift" for him before we got there, and told him the good news as we were traveling.  Needed to make sure he could keep the secret with me as everyone else would be celebrating the holiday with some drinks!

We didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl so we went with neutral calm colors and added in a little "safari" theme.

We had to decide on both a boy and girl name, we thought we had a boy name but changed our minds and started from scratch.  We kept the beginning letter and my husband suggested Connor, I liked it, and read the "meaning" ... which was "wise" as the primary meaning... and then kept reading and a secondary meaning is "hound lover" and I laughed thinking it was perfect  since we have a hound dog that is a pretty big part of our life! (I didn't tell my husband that part of the meaning until after we agreed that would be the name)

Creating new family memories and traditions...and hopefully introducing him to tennis!

He is alert, sweet and curious.

Be prepared to be flexible and go with the flow!  The newborn is in charge now, from delivery to now being at home!

Trying to get anything done with a baby who is super alert and doesn't want to nap!

Spending the time together as a family and knowing we'd have these memories captured in great photos.  Really liked the "lifestyle" session as it felt so much more natural to us.

The baby grows and changes so fast I wanted to make sure we were able to capture the newborn stage with really nice photos.

All of the prints, signs, wall decor was from Etsy.

Magee

Upmc/magee Womancare associates


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh lifestyle newborn photographer pittsburgh lifestyle photographer pittsburgh newborn photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/10/lifestyle-newborn-interview-real-pittsburgh-family Fri, 13 Oct 2017 20:00:00 GMT
Ella & Tutu in Norway | Pittsburgh Child Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/10/ella-tutu-in-norway-pittsburgh-child-photographer Ella and Tutu moved! Click here to be redirected.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) ella & tutu laura mares photography pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/10/ella-tutu-in-norway-pittsburgh-child-photographer Tue, 10 Oct 2017 20:00:00 GMT
Pittsburgh School Dances | Pittsburgh Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/10/pittsburgh-school-dances-pittsburgh-photographer Pittsburgh School Dances | Pittsburgh Photographer

I always enjoy collaborating with other small businesses, especially other Pittsburgh based small businesses! Today's guest blog post is from Pittsburgh Limousine Bus. I've been in many limousines over the years, I often ride along when I'm photographing weddings. But one of my most memorable rides was going to the Snow Ball my senior year of high school. We were still hungry after the dance so someone suggested going to Taco Bell's drive thru.  I thought it was funny that a limousine was even at a drive thru. Since the limo was so long we had to basically yell our order up to the driver for him to hear us and place our order. He was so patient dealing with all of our indecisive ordering! You can imagine how difficult it was for him to make those tight turns around the restaurant!  Looking back, I think it was wise for us to share the cost of the limo with other high school seniors because we traveled around town safely while having fun with our friends. Perhaps your children will be wanting to hire a limousine in the future.

Watching your children grow up into adulthood is something of a roller coaster when it comes to your emotions! Seeing your son or daughter and their group of friends dressed to the nines ready to head to their prom or homecoming dance is a solid test for these emotions. There's a lot of preparation that goes into getting ready for a dance in this day and age, and it seems a bit more involved than when you yourself were a teenager. There's more pressure to find the perfect dress or tuxedo, get a date and ticket, find a spot to take pictures, and arrange transportation.

While you might think it's a great plan to have your child and their friends hop in the back of your trusted mini van, that's often the last thing they want to do. Reserving a form of transportation not only brings you peace of mind as far as safety is concerned, but it also adds an element of style and convenience to their experience that makes it completely memorable for years to come. Teenagers can't get enough of the features on board such as multi colored neon lighting and stream-ready stereo systems with sub woofers. They'll have a great time socializing on board and showing off their ride to Snapchat and Instagram.

With professional transportation such as a Pittsburgh Charter Bus Company, there's no question about the safety of your child and their friends, and that's what it's all about. In fact, you can even decide to pre approve an itinerary so you know exactly where they're at before, during, and after the dance. Most parents are definitely sick of shelling out money for dance related needs by the end of the school year, but you'll be glad to know that splitting the cost among all of the passengers on board makes it an affordable investment for everybody involved. When you consider the convenience and quality of transportation, you'll see that it was money well spent! Reserving a party bus or limousine for the next dance experience is sure to make you the hippest parent in the school. 

Pittsburgh Limousine Bus
232 Taylor Street #2
Pittsburgh, PA 15224 
(412) 385-4412


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers pittsburgh senior photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/10/pittsburgh-school-dances-pittsburgh-photographer Fri, 06 Oct 2017 20:00:00 GMT
Lifestyle Newborn Session | Real Pittsburgh Family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/10/lifestyle-newborn-session-real-pittsburgh-family Lifestyle Newborn Session | Real Pittsburgh Family

Our baby was born on August 20, 2017.

newborn baby stretching in crib | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn Photographerlifestyle newborn baby stretch

As a newborn he was 7 pounds 7 ounces and 20 inches.

black and white newborn in dad's hands | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

He was 3 days late (due 8/17/17)

newborn baby laying on a cactus blanket | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

We live in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. dad holding newborn baby while working on the computer | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

My heart was filled with so much joy, and I could not wait to share the news with my husband.

Mom kissing her newborn baby standing with dad in he living room | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

My husband was out of town when I found out I was expecting. The night he was due home I wrote him a little note that he would find when he walked in the door. He immediately ran to wake me with excitement when he got home. mom and dad with newborn baby laying on their bed | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

The style of the nursery is simple and neutral with many handmade pieces incorporated. I drew a sketch of what I wanted the nursery to look like and my husband handmade many of the pieces. Mom watching her newborn baby sleeping in his crib | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

Our baby's name Hendrix Charles was derived from my husbands family name Henry Charles.

Dad kissing his son | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

I'm looking forward to getting to know him and watching him grow.

Family sitting together | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

He's a snuggly, alert, handsome newborn baby.

Dad holding his newborn son in the living room | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

You will find that you are stronger than you ever knew! Mom holding her newborn son in the nursery | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

Definitely lack of sleep.

Mom and dad smile at each other while holding their newborn son | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

My favorite part of our photo session was seeing Laura's creativity in our photos and the way she made them tell our story. She featured many of the pieces my husband custom built for our home.

Family sitting near a living room window | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

I wanted to capture the bond between us and the baby, as well as our every day lifestyle. This was important to capture because babies grow so quickly, and I would love to share these moments with him again some day. Mom and Dad kissing while holding their newborn baby inside their front door | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

Etsy-knit swaddle and hat
Personalizedfabric2-Gray Hendrix Name Blanket
Amazon-All other swaddles
Hobby Lobby-faux fur rug 
Joel Phoebe-Wooden Wall Art
Black and white photo of a dad holding his newborn son | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

Magee Women's Hospital Mom holding her newborn son both are wearing white  | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

Mom and newborn son wearing white | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

Family standing in the nursery  | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn Photographer


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh baby photographer pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh lifestyle newborn photos pittsburgh lifestyle photographer pittsburgh newborn photographer pittsburgh photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/10/lifestyle-newborn-session-real-pittsburgh-family Tue, 03 Oct 2017 20:00:00 GMT
Pittsburgh Senior Portrait Photography | Flourish Academy Camera Club https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/9/pittsburgh-senior-portrait-photography-flourish-academy-camera-club Pittsburgh Senior Portrait Photography | Flourish Academy Camera Club

This month was my second time to attend the Flourish Academy's Camera Club. My first camera club was in July - we practiced photographing newborns. This month we photographed a beautiful girl's senior portrait session. Our senior model took direction well, was confident and was willing to try a variety of looks and poses. I'm excited to share several of the photos I shot from that evening.

The Flourish Academy's Camera Club meets once a month in Beaver County and is open to photographers of all skill and experience levels from the Pittsburgh area. Every month focuses on different aspects of photography and allows photographers a chance to meet other Pittsburgh photographers. Heather hosts the Camera Club on her gorgeous property. She is extremely knowledgable, welcoming and friendly. This month Soozie, from Photography by Soozie lead the meeting by sharing tips and her style of directing senior models.

Please read on for tips on planning for your senior portrait session.

When choosing your outfits, consider not being "too trendy" so your photos won't look out dated in the future. I speak from personal experience, one of the outfits I wore included American Eagle hunter green corduroy overalls!

Think about what items to include that would best describe your personal style. Love your chuck taylors? Bring them along!

Bring clothes and personal items that reflect your interests. 

When choosing your clothing, keep in mind that layers typically photograph well. 

Think about how you would spend a "perfect" Saturday. Maybe we could reenact your ideal day and capture your senior portraits while doing what you love.

Chose a location that reflects your personality: urban Pittsburgh, a green field or park, countryside, etc.

I want to know about your favorite features, so I can focus on capturing them. Love your dimples? I want to know!

Think about what you want to remember from this time in your life. Let's find a way to incorporate it into your senior photo session.

I have a variety of props that are available to you, including a variety of blankets: Mexican, sari, lace, and plaid wool, quilts, black or gray stools, a red velvet chair, wooden folding chairs. You are also welcome to bring along your own.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers pittsburgh senior photographer senior photos pittsburgh https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/9/pittsburgh-senior-portrait-photography-flourish-academy-camera-club Fri, 29 Sep 2017 19:00:00 GMT
Newborn Portrait Studio Session | Real Pittsburgh Family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/9/newborn-portrait-studio-session-real-pittsburgh-family Newborn Portrait Studio Session | Real Pittsburgh Family

Our baby girl was born on August 2, 2017.

She was 20 inches and 7 pounds 9 ounces.

She was 16 days early.

We live in Shadyside. We recently moved to Pittsburgh from the west coast.

I was so excited and couldn't wait to meet her!

He was home when I took the pregnancy test and we waited for the results together :)

Simple white/neutral tones, with pink accents - pink peony paintings, pink sheets, and pillows.

My husband and I each had a list of names and we went through them together then waited and revisted the list and decided on Avery - it was on my list, but Jamie liked it from the beginning.

Teaching her how to cook and my husbands looking forward to teaching her all about his favorite movies :)

beautiful, easy, and fun!

In the moments when your newborn is crying or screaming at the top of her lungs - always remember that your baby loves you so much & needs you. They just don't have a way of communicating it to you yet.

Getting back into shape, like I was pre-baby.

Watching Laura pose Avery and how precious she looked in every shot.

It was important to us to capture her at this age and get professional photos of the three of us together.

We brought a couple headbands from Etsy and Amazon.

Forbes Hospital

East Suburban OBGYN


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography newborn photography pittsburgh pittsburgh baby photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh newborn photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/9/newborn-portrait-studio-session-real-pittsburgh-family Tue, 26 Sep 2017 19:00:00 GMT
Norway: The Essentials | An interview with Pia Rothmann Portrait Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/9/norway-the-essentials-an-interview-with-pia-rothmann-portrait-photographer Norway: The Essentials
An interview with Pia from Pia Rothmann Portrait Photography

I'm so excited to share photos from my own family photo session in Bergen, Norway. My husband and I get along so well, but we think very differently! As soon as we decided to travel to Norway this summer, he began making all the necessary plans, he rented a car, booked an Airbnb, started researching where to go, etc. While my planning consisted of wondering if we could find discounted Dale of Norway sweaters, watching "Vikings" and booking a family photographer! I quickly found the Dale Outlet is close to Bergen. But I searched for hours on Google to find the right photographer with a similar style. I had almost given up but tried one last search "fotograf Bergen" on Facebook. That's when I found Pia Rothmann!

Please read the interview with Pia below. Find out about her life as a photographer and learn more about Norway, while seeing the beautiful photos she took of our family in Bergen, Norway.

Tell us all about you. About growing up in Norway. About what you do now.

My full name is Pia Nelly Rothmann- Christensen, but it can be a mouthful, so I usually shorten it down. I'm half Norwegian and half Danish. I was born in 1981, and I am so thankful that I grew up without cellphones, social media and all the pressure I think a lot of children and young adults grow up with today. I love animals, so I spent a lot of time on my uncles dairy and sheep farm growing up. He also had a Norwegian fjord horse, that was beautiful and stubborn. I groomed her and took care of her from when I was 9 to 15 years old. Then she got sick and we had to let her go. That was the first time my heart broke. I grew up in a very small village, about 500 inhabitants, on a good day! It's a place called Vikebygd and is a beautiful place with mountains and fjords. They say all Norwegian's are born with skis on their feet, well I can tell you that I definitely didn't!! I prefer my feet without any sort of ski on them!! At age 16, I moved out from my parents place to go to school and study art and design. I really wanted to be a photographer, but I got sick from the chemicals used to develop film. No digital photography yet!! So I studied design, art history, architecture and media design. During my last year studying, I met the love of my life. And we've been together for 17 years now! We have a adorable Golden Retriever who makes us smile everyday!

In 2009, I decided to take a chance. Photography was now digital and I still had my dream. I started an internship with a professional portrait photographer and studied on my own after work. In 2012, I moved on to a photography firm called Frost Wedding Photography. And besides weddings I did portraits, and family photography. But I specialized in Boudoir photography. I love to be creative and I love the freedom photography gives me. It's a lot of hard work, but it makes it so worth it when I see how happy my clients get!

In 2015, I felt the need to do something for myself, and I started my photography business: Pia Rothmann Portrait Photography. I photograph portraits, couples, families, newborn/children/kids, maternity, seniors, pets and  boudoir. I still freelance for Frost as a wedding photographer too. My style is creative, lively and timeless. My goal is for you to have a wonderful and stress free experience. I don't have a studio, I'm a natural light photographer and I use the outdoors: woods, mountains, sea or the city of Bergen.

Since I have a home office, my days are filled with photo shoots, editing, managing my company, house chores, meeting clients, having fun with our dog and going to the gym to lift weights. Oh and EVERY FRIDAY IS TACO FRIDAY!!!

Oh this is a difficult question. I hope I'm right by saying we are friendly, but maybe a bit cautious and quiet (although I do not put myself in the quite section...!!) We are probably a bit peculiar and I would advise you all to google "The social guidebook to Norway" and I think there are some videos on YouTube as well!! I don't think I'm a typical Norwegian, but that's probably the Danish in me speaking. We love our fresh air and being outdoorsy. Our country is long and we have different customs and ways of living from the north to the south and from the east to the west.

I think Norwegian children like the same things as American children. We have had our epidemic of Frosen and Elsa here as well;-)!! Disney is big in Norway. We do have our own kids shows and cartoons here, but since we don't have children I'm not that familiar with what's popular with kids today.

Hmm..,I like Aurora, Astrid S and Highasakite to mention some.

Hahaha...not sure that exists!!
Maybe "Bølgen"? It's based on a true scenario about a mountain slide in a narrow fjord and the tsunami that strikes the village at the end of the fjord. This mountain is under strict observation because one day this will happen.

I'm a sucker for good old farm food, so I'll list a few of them:

  • Raspeball (potato dumpling)
  • Kjøttkaker (meat cakes)
  • Fårikål (sheep and cabbage)
  • Pinnekjøtt (what we eat at Christmas) this is a custom to the west coast of Norway. (ribs of sheep, rutabaga puree with potatoes)
  • Ribbe (pork ribs)

I'm gonna cheat on this one and link to a page with the recipe to Raspeball.

Most Norwegian's live in wooden houses. But city life is like any other city in Scandinavia/ Europe. Except for old parts in some cities, like we have in Bergen. Wooden houses so tight together that you get these narrow and cozy streets(A firefighter worst nightmare). How Norwegian's decorate their homes is very different from one person to another. But I think many homes are "less is more"styled. I myself like flea market finds or old junk as my fiancé would say. A vintage country style. It is said that Norwegian's love to re-do or re-decorate their homes and spend a lot of money on it (don't quote me on this though;-)!)

We celebrate Christmas on the eve of the 24th of December. Families get together to share a traditional Christmas dinner and after way too much good food we open the presents!!! In my family we eat Pinnekjøtt, which is slow cooked lamb, served with potatoes and kohlrabi(?) mash. For dessert we have Riskrem, which is a cold ,sweet porridge served with strawberry or raspberrie sauce.

New Years's it's party time! Either with friends or family. 

Birthdays are probably not that different from America.

The 17th of May is Norway's national celebration and Independence Day. A really big day for Norway! But to understand it you'll have to google 17. Mai Norway's National day, read about it and look at all the wonderful pictures.

After some Googling I've come to the conclusion that these rock piles are a kind of human need to say "I was here," a friendlier form of graffiti. Not popular with the locals! In old times they used large versions of these rock piles to show the way over the mountain. But the ones you saw along the road is made for "fun."

Norway has much diversity, The east has warmer and more stable weather, it's "flatter" and you find the capital of Norway there, Oslo. 

The south is coastal land and you get quaint costal villages. 

The west coast has a bit unstable weather, remember to bring your raincoat!! We have mountains and fjords. 

In the north you get midnight sun(or complete darkness in the winter), fishing villages and amazing mountain views. And in the winter, the northern lights!! 

It's almost impossible for me to mention or recommend just one place in Norway, each part of our wonderful country has its own specialty and diversity. My best recommendation is to study a bit and find out what you want to see!

If you come to Bergen I would recommend:

  • Take a fjord cruise.
  • Bryggen , the old warf a world heritage site.
  • Take a trip to Mt. Fløyen and Mt. Ulriken.
  • Bergen Aquarium.
  • Try the local food.
  • Day trips to: Voss, Hardanger, Gudvangen, Flåm, Folgefonna.
  • Old town Bergen.

Norwegian's actually use that exact saying!!! If you want to visit in summer, I'd say from May till August is nice. If you want winter and skiing, December to March.

I'm not a souvenir kinda person, so my best advice is to eat your way through Norway! Taste the local foods and if you like some of it, take some with you home. But if you really want a souvenir, go for a troll or something that's local to where you are visiting.

I would love to visit the United States of America, but I wouldn't know where to start, you have such a big and beautiful country, with lots of diversity!! But I'd want to visit you guys in Pittsburgh and I also have friends in Portland and Miami.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography my family our travels pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/9/norway-the-essentials-an-interview-with-pia-rothmann-portrait-photographer Tue, 19 Sep 2017 19:33:07 GMT
Engagement Portrait Session at Heartwood Mansion | Real Pittsburgh Couple https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/9/engagement-portrait-session-at-heartwood-mansion-real-pittsburgh-couple Engagement Portrait Session at Heartwood Mansion
Real Pittsburgh Couple

Engagement session photos with  Heartwood Mansion in the background near  Pittsburgh, PA.

Engagement photos of loving couple at Heartwood Mansion, Pittsburgh, PA.

We were both cashiers at Shop N Save. At the time we were both in school and working nights. A lot of the time I would work until eleven and he would work until midnight. Fortunately there's not a lot of people shopping that late at night so we had time to talk. Also a fellow coworker would tell me that he thought Andrew and I would get along based on our personalities and he was saying the same to him. Lots of people at work knew we were into each other. We aren't the only couple that has come out of that store!

Engagement photos with flowers at Heartwood Acres, Pittsburgh, PA.

We got engaged on June 10th, 2017. We were in Baltimore for a few days when he proposed to me at the zoo in front of the Penguins exhibit.

Engagement photos in a flower garden at Heartwood Acres, Pittsburgh, PA.

We enjoy going to museums, musicals, going out to eat and walking in South Park. Engagement photos of a couple about to kiss at Heartwood Acres Mansion, Pittsburgh, PA.

Before we got engaged we had talked about getting married but not like it was actually going to happen. Now, I don't have to worry about finding a roomie and I'm looking forward to looking for an apartment with my new fiancé! Engagement photos of couple looking at the camera at Heartwood Acres, Pittsburgh, PA.

We're planning our wedding for July 6, 2019.  Our reception is booked for the Castle Shannon Fire Hall. We don't have many definite plans but we want a moose cake and we will go to the Bahamas for our honeymoon. Engagement photos at Heartwood Acres, Pittsburgh, PA. | Laura Mares Photography, a Pittsburgh Photographer

We plan to display our engagement photos in our homes, at my desk at work and we will probably give some to our parents and other relatives.

Engagement photos of a couple about to kiss at Heartwood Acres Mansion, Pittsburgh, PA. Laura Mares Photography, a Pittsburgh Photographer

For our photo session I wanted to wear a sleeveless dress because it was summer. Engagement photos of a couple standing in an arched doorway at Heartwood Acres, Pittsburgh, PA. Laura Mares Photography, a Pittsburgh Photographer

Laura's studio is near where I live. Plus she has reasonable prices and experience taking engagement pictures. Engagement photos of a couple kissing at Heartwood Acres Mansion, Pittsburgh, PA. Laura Mares Photography, a Pittsburgh Photographer Engagement photos of a beautiful couple  at Heartwood Acres Mansion, Pittsburgh, PA. Laura Mares Photography, a Pittsburgh Photographer Engagement photos at Heartwood Acres, Pittsburgh, PA. Laura Mares Photography, a Pittsburgh Photographer Engagement photos of a couple in a field of flowers at Heartwood Acres, Pittsburgh, PA. Laura Mares Photography, a Pittsburgh Photographer Engagement photos of a couple sitting on a lace blanket at Heartwood Acres, Pittsburgh, PA. Laura Mares Photography, a Pittsburgh Photographer Engagement photos at Heartwood Acres, Pittsburgh, PA. Laura Mares Photography, a Pittsburgh Photographer Engagement photos of a couple sharing a moment at Heartwood Acres, Pittsburgh, PA. Laura Mares Photography, a Pittsburgh Photographer


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh engagement photographer pittsburgh photographer real pittsburgh couple https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/9/engagement-portrait-session-at-heartwood-mansion-real-pittsburgh-couple Fri, 15 Sep 2017 19:00:00 GMT
The Complete Guide to Having Children at Your Wedding | Pittsburgh Family Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/9/the-complete-guide-to-having-children-at-your-wedding-pittsburgh-family-photographer I love collaborating with others. My most recent collaboration is with Olivia Jones. Olivia is an Australian psychologist, passionate writer, entrepreneur, traveler and conscious consumer, seeking healthy and sustainable products to incorporate into the lives of my family. She enjoys writing about weddings and although I do shoot weddings on occasion, I am predominantly a child/family photographer, in Pittsburgh, PA. Given our backgrounds, Olivia suggested writing a blog post on having children at your wedding.  I am excited to share a guest post from Olivia Jones.

The Complete Guide to Having Children at Your Wedding

Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life, and, of course, you want to make it as special as possible. This includes inviting the people who matter the most to you. Some of those people have kids, and it is understandable to want them to join your marvelous celebration too. However, wedding celebrations with kids are a bit risky. Their short attention spans and the need for supervision can make the whole thing more complicated. So, if you want to have a stress-free wedding that includes kids, here are a few ways to do that.

Girls playing at a wedding | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Photographer

Talk it through with the parents

The truth is that there are many parents who don’t plan to bring their kids to the wedding, as they would like to have that one party without them. It is important to ask them thoughtfully if they would like to bring their little ones. Also, it is obvious that most of the time, the parents are the ones who will be preoccupied with the kids, so you should let them know that it is ok to leave the ceremony for a couple of minutes if the kids are bored or have to go to the toilet or take a nap.

Plan some kid-friendly entertainment

Cocktails and DJs might be fun for adults, but for kids, they are immensely boring (or inappropriate). That is why it is important to plan some kid-friendly entertainment options that will keep them occupied while you are having a blast on the dance floor. There are many ways to do that, including giving them coloring books, small toys or hiring a professional entertainer (e.g. a clown). A Young girl playing with pearls at a wedding | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Photographer

Have a space dedicated for play

The clown may be great for the kids, but they won’t look that nice on your elegant documentary-style wedding photos. Also, the kids have much better time when they are in a space designed only for them. It shouldn’t be too hard to find a wedding venue in Sydney which has a separate space for kid-friendly entertainment, and many of them even have parks with swings, trampolines and similar entertainment options.

Include the kids in the ceremony

There is nothing cuter than a suited-up ring bearer or charming flower girls. Give kids a role in the wedding ceremony, and they will feel a sense of responsibility and be very proud of their contribution. Also, it is a win-win situation, since the wedding photographs will be amazing. If there are many kids invited to the ceremony, make sure you find a task for them, no matter how small and seemingly irrelevant it is.

 

A young flower girl on the wedding day | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Photographer Conjure your inner child

Kids are fun, and we were all kids at some point. Remember how that was, and try to have as much fun as you can while planning some small details that will spark their imagination and keep them entertained. That can be a food station dedicated to kids alone with cupcakes, colorful snacks, hot dogs, mini pizzas, etc. You’ll see that soon, even the adults won’t be able to resist it.

A young flower girl on the wedding day sitting on a field of grass with yellow balloons | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Photographer

It’s not the end of the world

Weddings are unpredictable. When kids are around, the unpredictability is even more certain. Maybe they will say something they shouldn’t or start crying in the middle of the ceremony. They might even knock down the food station. But you know what? These things happen, and you shouldn’t stress about them. Think about them if or when they happen. Until then, enjoy your day, and in such situations ‒ do the same. Because there is nothing the kids could do that could ruin your perfect day if you don’t allow yourself to get stressed out.

Having kids at the wedding means that things will probably not go as planned. However, things hardly ever do go exactly as planned. If you make some small adaptations, you can make sure that the best day of your life still stays stress-free and unique. 

Special thanks to Olivia for sharing her thoughts and for the great tips on having children at your wedding! 
Read more by Olivia Jones on her website.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers pittsburgh wedding photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/9/the-complete-guide-to-having-children-at-your-wedding-pittsburgh-family-photographer Sun, 10 Sep 2017 11:19:06 GMT
First Birthday and Family Portrait Session at Mellon Park | Real Pittsburgh Family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/9/first-birthday-and-family-portrait-session-at-mellon-park-real-pittsburgh-family First Birthday and Family Portrait Session at Mellon Park | Real Pittsburgh Family

I am excited to introduce a really sweet family to you. I recently meet this family in Mellon Park for their daughter's first birthday portraits and their first professional family portraits. While it's no secret that I love photographing children and families, I have to say that Ia huge perk of being a photographer is having the opportunity to meet a new family at a photoshoot and get to know them a little during our time together and through our communication before and after the photo session! You can see highlights from their portrait session as well as read the interview. I hope you enjoy "meeting" this beautiful family as much as I did!

Family at Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Photographer

We have one child.

Mother and Daughter at Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Photographer

She was 7 pounds 8 ounces and 21 inches at birth. Family walking in Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Photographer

Now, she's 21 pounds and tall! Baby sitting in a prop at Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Photographer

We live in Squirrel Hill (but still pretty new to the neighborhood). Baby sitting near the gate to  Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Photographer

Our daughter is sweet, silly, curious.

Baby sitting on dad's shoulders at Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Photographer

She has 5, almost 6 teeth. Baby walking and holding mom and dad's hands at Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Photographer

She walks only if she holds on to a hand or wall for support. Baby girl walking with dad's help at Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Photographer

Our child's favorite books are Hop on Pop, I Love Cats, anything that has extra flaps to open or pages she can turn. Photo showing close family relationship at Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Photographer

Her favorite foods include cheese, bananas, avocados, yogurt and cheerios. She loves to eat. Baby girl looking at her IKEA toys at Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Photographer

Things that make music, stacking cups, wooden animal puzzle, the TV remote Family walking and holding hands at Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Photographer

She keeps busy chasing her cat Pepper, scooting and climbing on everything, taking walks outside, pointing at everything she is curious about

Family sitting on a bench near brown eyed Susan flowers at Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Photographer

Blowing raspberries on her belly, making funny faces, her cousins or other big kids Baby girl with a shy smile at Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Photographer

We had a small cookout on our deck with her grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins. She at an entire PB&J flavored cupcake and loved it. She got a Fisher Price slide as a present - which she was scared of at first, but now loves! Baby girl showing dad a statue at Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Photographer

We brought her picnic basket and other toys from Ikea. Baby girl smiling while sitting on a quilt at Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Child Photographer


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh baby photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers real pittsburgh family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/9/first-birthday-and-family-portrait-session-at-mellon-park-real-pittsburgh-family Wed, 06 Sep 2017 19:00:00 GMT
Behind the Scenes at Laura Mares Photography | Meet the Talented Newborn Prop Maker https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/8/behind-the-scenes-at-laura-mares-photography-meet-the-talented-newborn-prop-maker Yarn and knitting needles, tools for creating newborn baby props  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer Behind the Scenes at Laura Mares Photography:
Meet the Talented Newborn Prop Maker

In newborn photography simple props are often the key to timeless newborn portraits. I have been blessed with a skilled mother who has provided me with most of the crocheted and knitted "outfits" and handmade backgrounds used in many of my newborn photos. From hats to rompers, she has been able to create a wide variety of textures, styles and colors for the families that come into the studio to choose from.

A suitcase full of newborn baby props  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

My mom comes from a very creative family. My granddad didn't always have enough money to buy the equipment he needed for his coal mine so he'd make what he need himself. He was an inventor out of necessity. My grandma knit and sewed doll clothes for my mother, clothes for the family and quilts. She grew up during the great depression which made her very practical. She created simply what was needed for her family and home. Both of my uncles can think outside the box. While in high school shop class one of my mom's brother's decided to build a canoe instead of a shoe shine box like everyone else in the class. Her other brother built a radio by himself. 

A photo of a suitcase full of  newborn baby props  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

My mom learned to knit when she was a 12 year old child. She was taught to knit at girl scouts but didn't really learn until her aunt showed her after the meeting. Her first project was a black sweater. Years later, when my mom got married she decided she wanted to crochet an afghan. She walked over to her next door neighbor, Mrs. Chesnut, to ask her to teach her how to make a granny square afghan. Her next project was a baby present for her dear friend. My mom taught me to crochet as a child and to knit as an adult. I have only mastered squares and scarves! 

An adorable newborn baby boy outfit  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

A couple months ago when she was cleaning up her blanket closet she offered me her old granny square afghan to offer for families that would like to sit on a retro blanket for their photo session. I'm truly blessed to have a creative and talented mother to create many of the beautiful one of a kind props that I have available for my clients.

An adorable newborn baby girl outfit  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

My mother has also passed on her foundness for beautiful antiques. It's our hobby to go exploring for "new" antiques that would look incredible in newborn, baby or family photos.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography newborn photography pittsburgh pittsburgh baby photographer pittsburgh newborn photographer pittsburgh photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/8/behind-the-scenes-at-laura-mares-photography-meet-the-talented-newborn-prop-maker Wed, 23 Aug 2017 16:34:13 GMT
Siblings in Mellon Park | Pittsburgh Children Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/8/siblings-in-mellon-park-pittsburgh-children-photographer Children sitting on cobblestone at Mellon Park  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Family Photographer

Children in Mellon Park, Pittsburgh

I photographed an adorable young family in Mellon Park, while my husband took our kids to play in the playground across the street. On our way out the door I asked the kids to grab something to wear in case we had time to snap a few photos of them. Their outfit choices reflect their personality. My son grabbed his favorite Cat and Jack jeans. My daughters grabbed a Matilda Jane dress and a rose gold toile dress. I try to have one pair of shoes that are photogenic for each of them to wear each year. Today they wore sandals, clogs and tennis shoes. We had a lot of fun and I thought I'd share some with you.

Children sitting on cobblestone at Mellon Park laughing  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Family Photographer

Mellon Park is becoming one of my favorite locations to have photo sessions. I love the cobblestone, gates, walls, fountain and flowers. Children sitting on cobblestone at Mellon Park having fun  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Family Photographer Children kissing on cobblestone at Mellon Park  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Family Photographer

My children and I called out ideas for the photos. It was fun seeing them direct each other! My children gave each other clever ideas for fun poses and called out silly nonsense to get each other to laugh! 

Photo of a child smiling at  Mellon Park  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Family Photographer Photo of a child smiling in a beautiful pink dress  at  Mellon Park  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Family Photographer Photo of a child jumping  at  Mellon Park  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Family Photographer Photo of a child pose at  Mellon Park  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Family Photographer

I can't remember who's idea it was for our youngest child to do "the dab," but I think she pulled it off perfectly! (spoken like a true mother!)

Photo of a child dancing  at  Mellon Park  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Family Photographer Photo of a child jumping in Matilda Jane dress  at  Mellon Park  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Family Photographer Photo of a child smiling at in Matilda Jane Dress at  Mellon Park  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Child Photographer

This was in response to "Hey, you should curtsey like a royal princess!"

Photo of a child curtsying in Matilda Jane Dress at  Mellon Park  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Child Photographer

After our time on the cobblestone way, we stopped to rest and cool off at the beautiful fountain in the center of the walled garden.

Children sitting near a fountain in Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Children Photographer Children kissing their sister near a fountain in Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Children Photographer Children splashing their feet in  a fountain in Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Children Photographer

When photographing bigger kids I love to offer them a stage and give them their own creative leeway. 

Children playing  in Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Children Photographer Sister posing for a photo  in Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Children Photographer Teen girl pose  in Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Children Photographer teen pose idea  in Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Children Photographer Teen girl dancing  in Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Children Photographer Little girl dancing  in Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Children Photographer little girl posing  in Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Children Photographer Children having fun  in Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Children Photographer Sisters sitting  in Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Children Photographer

After I felt we nailed the photo session, my children continued to come up with more and more ideas! What a treat for a mother that's a photographer!

A boy pose in Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Children Photographer Unique photo of a boy  in Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Children Photographer Children sitting and smiling  in Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Children Photographer Teen girl dancing on a wall  in Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Children Photographer Children laughing and having fun  in Mellon Park | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Children Photographer


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography my family pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/8/siblings-in-mellon-park-pittsburgh-children-photographer Sun, 20 Aug 2017 23:43:53 GMT
Summer Photo Project | Pittsburgh Family Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/8/summer-photo-project-pittsburgh-family-photographer-july Summer Photo Project | Pittsburgh Family Photographer

This year we want to document our family's summer vacation! We enjoy living each day to it's fullest. We love traveling, trying new foods and spending time together. Our goal is to photograph a highlight from each day. While most of our time is spent around Pittsburgh we jump at any opportunity to travel! This post includes photos from July.

7.3.17

Glamping!

7.4.17

Celebrating America's birthday with a parade, backyard picnic and fireworks.

7.5.17

My children set up a sidewalk cafe with fresh squeezed lemonade and homemade cupcakes.

7.6.17

Mustache fun!

7.8.17

While the "big kids" are singing with the VBS worship team, our youngest child enjoys having the toys to herself.

7.13.17

Today included summer reading fun at the library.

7.14.17

The girls decide on a watermelon inspired nail polish design.

7.16.17

My oldest child decided to get her ears pierced!

7.18.17

We started doing our back to school shopping in July because we can find everything we need in one store! We also beat the crowds and find everything on our list quickly.

7.19.17

Lunch at First Watch with our besties! We all enjoyed the great food and loved the modern rustic decor.

7.23.17

A couple days ago we sampled Starbucks s'moress bars and decided we should to try making them ourselves. We were surprised how easy and delicous they are!

7.25.17

Enjoying our short road trip to YM Camera in Boardman, Ohio. We exchanged old camera lenses for new GoPro accessories! While in Ohio we stopped by The Cafe Witternauer's for a delicious lunch!

7.26.17

Enjoying a boys night in.

7.27.17

Crepes on the porch.

7.28.17

Red Robin's for burgers and 

7.30.17

Paleo Pancakes and birthday presents for my birthday.

We love celebrating our birthdays with our German birthday ring, a souvenir from our trip last summer.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/8/summer-photo-project-pittsburgh-family-photographer-july Tue, 08 Aug 2017 19:00:00 GMT
Whole30 | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/8/whole30-pittsburgh-lifestyle-photographer Whole30 | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photographer

As soon as I heard about Whole30 plan from Holly, one of my oldest friends, I decided I needed to try it! I began in May because I needed to "push the reset button" on my health and my habbits. 

Benefits

Honestly, I just wanted to lose weight but Whole30 did so much more! Not only did I lose over 20 pounds in 2 months, but I also increased my quality of life! I sleep more soundly and am more rested while needing 2 hours less sleep a night! My nails, hair and skin are stronger and healthier. I feel younger because I no longer have aches in my joints. The dark circles under my eyes have decreased. I think my favorite benefit is having more defined muscle tone (this is without exercising). I could go on and on. I am overall healthier today!

Rules

There are 8 rules. Five of the rules are as follows: No added sugars, No alchol, No grains, No legumes, No dairy.

To complete the Whole30 you need to commit to 30 days of following the rules. If you break one rule you need to begin again. It's as simple as following a few rules! But can you image? You can't really eat out. There is sugar in everything, even bacon!

Food/Meals

About three times a month I cook several pounds of ground beef and boneless skinless chicken breasts. I keep a couple pounds in the refrigerator and freeze the rest. That way I can cook a healthy meal in around 30 minutes (because I precooked the meat). We've been eating taco salad, chicken salad, chicken curry with riced cauliflower,  inside out egg rolls, shepherd's pie with baked potatoes, ground beef with riced cauliflower, zucchini pasta with tuscano marinara sauce, ratatouille, lettuce wraps, omelettes and egg bakes. New staples in our kitchen include,

  • Coconut aminos (a soy sauce alternative)
  • Sugarless ketchup
  • Homemade mayonnaise 
  • RXBAR and Lara Bars (I've found Target has the best prices)
  • Guacamole
  • Sugarless salsa
  • Sugarless bacon
  • Cashew and almond butter
  • Organic coconut milk
  • Ghee
  • Homemade kale chips

Family

My family has been very supportive of my journey and I'm thrilled I don't have to cook a separate meal for my husband or children! Although my family isn't officially eating a whole30 diet, everyone eats what I prepare. However, they will add whatever they'd like to the meal, maybe a glass of milk, a slice of cheese or add a dessert at the end of the meal, etc.

Conclusion

It was not always easy. Holly and I texted often in the beginning. I needed advice and encouragement. It's really helpful to have a mentor. There are Facebook groups like Keep Calm and Whole30 On. I feel so good that I want to continue, but I don't want the stress of never making a mistake so I've continued after 30 days of an 80% Whole30 diet. I continue to avoid all dairy, I didn't know I was lactose intolarant (how is that even possible?) until now! Most days I still avoid grains and added sugars. It's empowering to overcome food/sugar addictions. If you decide to try the Whole30, I reccomend buying the book "The Whole30." I bought it on Amazon. 

 


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/8/whole30-pittsburgh-lifestyle-photographer Fri, 04 Aug 2017 19:00:00 GMT
Why Lifestyle Sessions? | Pittsburgh Family Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/8/why-lifestyle-sessions-pittsburgh-family-photographer Why Lifestyle Sessions? | Pittsburgh Family Photographer

When my children are grown, I want us to remember what our life was like. I want to show them photos of us intereacting and having fun! I love that lifestyle sessions capture the beauty of a regular day.

All too often we lose focus on what is important. Think about what is truly important to you. What does your family love doing together? Let's capture the real you during your photo session! I think when our children grow up they will appreciate having these types of photos and memories of a great day with their family.

Lifestyle sessions are relaxed, authentic and natural. These sessions provide an oppertunity for you and your family to slow down and enjoy your time together as a family. It's about seizing the day, creating new memories to be able to look back at and remember your life.

I recently had the opportunity to photograph my friend, an amazing photographer, and her two amazing boys. They enjoy cooking, wrestling, playing board games and building legos together. So that's exactly what we did! We followed the boys lead and had a fun morning!

I may make occasional posing suggestions like, could you put your hands on your lap or could you switch places to have more light on your face.

The children enjoy playing and often think of ideas of what we should do next! I love that!! 

Please watch a 70 second video from our two hour mom and me lifestyle session below.

I want to slow down and treasure the simple moments in my day with my children and family. I'd love to capture the everyday beauty of your family too! Please contact me about booking a lifestyle session.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh lifestyle photographer pittsburgh photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/8/why-lifestyle-sessions-pittsburgh-family-photographer Wed, 02 Aug 2017 19:34:40 GMT
Outdoor Sunset Newborn Portrait Session | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/7/outdoor-newborn-portrait-session-pittsburgh-newborn-photographer Outdoor Sunset Newborn Portrait Session | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the Flourish Academy's Camera Club. The Camera Club is open to photographers of all skill and experience levels from around Pittsburgh. It was a wonderful time of photographing a beautiful newborn baby girl and her loving mother while meeting other Pittsburgh photographers. Heather hosts the Camera Club on her gorgeous property. She is extremely knowledgable, welcoming and friendly. 

Outdoor sunset newborn portraits near Pittsburgh, PA.  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

When I first began my photography journey I felt isolated from other creative spirits. After I graduated from college, I didn't know of any organizations to meet like-minded, creative individuals, which is difficult when you enjoy working with others! 

Outdoor sunset newborn portraits with quilt and antique tin  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

Today, Pittsburgh has become such a welcoming community for photographers, creatives and small business owners! In addition to the Camera Club, the local chapter of the Rising Tide Society, TuesdaysTogether - Pittsburgh PA is another organization for creative entrepreneurs to network, share ideas and learn from each other. The current movement is community over competition. Tuesdays Together occurs around the Pittsburgh area, often in different locations, the 2nd Tuesday of every month. It is free and open to all creative entrepreneurs from business coaches to graphic designers, and of course photographers too!

Outdoor sunset newborn portraits with quilt and antique tin dress in adorable romper  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

It's really fun to match a face to the names of people you've seen photos from on the web and Instagram.

Outdoor sunset sleepy newborn portraits with quilt and antique tin  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

Outdoor sunset awake newborn portraits with quilt and antique tin  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

Another perk about the camera club was having the opportunity to have my first experience photographing a newborn outside. I'd love to begin offering outdoor newborn sessions during the summer. 

Outdoor sunset newborn portraits with beautiful mom pose  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer Outdoor sunset newborn portraits with beautiful mom looking at her baby pose  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

It was a new experience to see other photographers photographing the same subjects but from different angles and perspectives. It was such a unique and enjoyable opportunity to watch other photographers at work.

Outdoor sunset newborn portraits with beautiful mom pose  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer Outdoor sunset newborn portraits with beautiful mom and baby nose to nose pose  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer Outdoor sunset newborn portraits with beautiful mom posing naturally with baby girl   | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

The Flourish Academy's Camera Club is the 3rd Tuesday of every month! It is free and open to all photographers, professional and hobbyist.

Outdoor sunset newborn portraits with mint props in a wooden bowl  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer Outdoor sunset newborn portraits with mint props in a vintage wooden bowl  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

If you are pregnant and would like to book an outdoor sunset newborn session, please call or email to book a session! We'd need to schedule for a dry and warm evening.

Close up, Outdoor sunset newborn portraits with mint props in a wooden bowl  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh baby photographer pittsburgh newborn photographer sunset newborn session https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/7/outdoor-newborn-portrait-session-pittsburgh-newborn-photographer Tue, 25 Jul 2017 21:23:48 GMT
Ella & Tutu on a Treasure Hunt | Pittsburgh Child Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/7/ella-tutu-on-a-treasure-hunt-pittsburgh-child-photographer Ella & Tutu on a Treasure Hunt | Pittsburgh Child Photographer

Story by Anna Mares. Doll by Lenna McGraw. Photography by Laura Mares.

Today, Ella and Tutu are embarking on a new adventure!

Quickly, they stumble upon a book exchange. Ella spots what appears to be the perfect adventure book.

She askes her big sister to help her reach the large book with the vintage binding.

Ella flips open the book and is transfixed. It's not just an adventure book, it contains a treasure map!

She skims it over and realizes that the first task is to search for the lake.

So the duo pick out the perfect walking stick and begin their treacherous journey.

Soon enough, they find the lake of glimmering green, so Ella searches for the next clue while Tutu examines the treasure map... they decide they must walk 100 paces to the east.

Glancing across the lake, Ella sees a huge tree, roughly 100 paces to the east!

So then, they march!

Ella is really confused when they seem to be lost! She can find the tree anywhere.

Tutu scrambles up a small tree, trying to catch a glimpse... and she does!

Not far ahead, they find the silly tree!

Ella reads the next clue aloud for Tutu, "Follow the chirps until you find a wooden home the birds have found."

They know exactly were the final clue can be uncovered, and begin to speedily walk to their destination.

Ta da! The bird house! The next clue reveals that the treasure is nearby.

Within two chirps, the child and her doll point wordlessly to the winged treasure... it winks once before flying away in a flurry of red.

They share a smile and return home but not before returning the book for the next young adventurous child.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) ella & tutu laura mares photography pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/7/ella-tutu-on-a-treasure-hunt-pittsburgh-child-photographer Fri, 21 Jul 2017 15:30:00 GMT
6 Ideas for a Vintage Inspired Wedding | Pittsburgh Wedding Photography https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/7/6-ideas-for-a-vintage-inspired-wedding-pittsburgh-wedding-photography 6 Ideas for a Vintage Inspired Wedding

Today's blog post is from a guest blogger, Angela Berry. Angela is from Sydney, Austrailia, and is a big advocate of healthy life, wedding, travel, lifestyle, which her articles demonstrate the best. Angela loves to read interesting articles, because every new experience broadens her horizons. That's how she found me.  She contacted me with the following message, "I love your style! I am here to share my experiences with others, and to help them open their eyes for the advantages of healthy lifestyle. I do that by blogging about it in my spare time. I would like to collaborate with you, as a guest blogger."  I read several of her acticles and was impressed. I decided to collaborate with Angela and am happy to post her article on vintage inspired weddings in it's entirety. Although I generally focus on newborn children and famiy photography, I began my photography career as a wedding photographer and love scheduling a few weddings each year.

Guest blog post by Angela Berry from Ripped.me

So, you met the right one, fell in love and decided to get married. Congratulations! But planning a wedding can be tiresome, especially if you don’t have a specific idea (or if you are too much in love and don’t care if you get married in the middle of a field). What next?

Well, Sydney, being the metropolis that it is, offers great opportunities for you to make your wedding the most memorable event of your life. How about a vintage wedding? It never goes out of date, plus it is not every day you get married, so you can afford to do things in a grand manner. Here is some advice we can offer:

Vintage wedding invitations

Is there a better way to kick things off?  Let everyone know from the start what to expect.  They are elegant, artistic, charming and some designs are simply stunning. In addition, they convey a message that your upcoming nuptials are special and add a touch of romance. Besides, your guests might keep them as a reminder of your joyous day.

Lace and then some more lace

Lace is a must-have as it can be used for anything from dresses to decorations. And let’s face it – what girl does not like lace? It is not something you would normally wear, but for a vintage wedding, this is an indispensable item. It can be a part of the invitations and even flower decorations. But, its main use would be the dresses – any bride or bridesmaid would be thrilled to wear it. Also, it can be used as a delicate hair accessory. Is there a material better suited for elegant weddings?

Consider renting a modern luxurious “carriage”

Well, we must not forget the groom. What man does not admire cars? What about a Rolls Royce? He will not notice the flower decorations, but this will catch his eye. And not just his - everyone’s. You are bound to draw attention wherever you go. Believe it or not, you can find these eye-catching luxurious wedding cars in Sydney with ease. They also have two more qualities that cannot be omitted – they are extremely comfortable and they offer an experience you don’t get to go through every day. What girl does not wish to walk out of an awe-inspiring car and then walk down the aisle? Almost like a fairytale - a modern, vintage fairytale.

Eating and drinking with style

Ok, we have already talked about lace and agreed to make it a part of some decorations but there are other things we need to consider. People need to eat and drink and therefore all they use would have to be vintage as not to ruin the overall atmosphere. Therefore, let us ask you this – have you considered serving tea? Using those tiny beautiful tea cups and a matching teapot to completely leave your guests spellbound is the way to go. You can also serve little cupcakes on a tray, the old-fashioned English way, and make sure that your wedding will be the talk of the year!

Choose music that will match the atmosphere

It would be nice to have music that matches this mood but as some people might not like it, feel free to find a more subdued alternative. Sydney has a lot of less-known bands that play any type of music so you can easily find the one that would be able to please most musical tastes. However, please keep in mind that the more classical the music is - the more authentic your wedding will be.

Ladies and gentlemen…

Do not forget that, in order to pull this type of wedding off, you will need your guests’ full cooperation. You can always remind them about the proper etiquette for this sort of thing, but it is best to show an example of the “proper” behavior and they will follow suit.

We hope that these tips helped steer you in the right direction. Keep in mind that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience which means you deserve this kind of a modern fairy tale experience. Best of luck! 

You can read more from Angela on her site, ripped me.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh wedding photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/7/6-ideas-for-a-vintage-inspired-wedding-pittsburgh-wedding-photography Tue, 18 Jul 2017 18:29:21 GMT
A Beautiful Family Portrait Session in Mellon Park | Pittsburgh Family Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/7/a-beautiful-family-portrait-session-in-mellon-park-pittsburgh-family-photographer A Beautiful Family Portrait Session in Mellon Park | Pittsburgh Family Photographer

Being a photographer comes with many perks, at the top of the list is meeting new familes from around Pittsburgh and getting to photograph them! I love capturing and preserving people's story on camera. Please read this great family's story that I recently met at the walled garden at Mellon Park.

How did your mom and dad meet?

My Mom worked at a pool that my Dad frequented and they were eventually introduced by a mutual friend.

How many children are in your family?

There are three children in our family.

What area of Pittsburgh do you call home?

Squirrel Hill

Write 3 adjectives that describe your family.

Our family is funny, crazy and close.

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

We take walks around town, head to new bars and restaurants, hang at home and endlessly make fun of each other.

What is your family's favorite movie?

The Blues Brothers is our all time favorite.

What is your family's favorite food?

We love Mexican food.

What does your family enjoy doing together?

We enjoy going to the beach, taking walks through town, going to bars/restaurants to hang out and just hanging on the porch

Share a funny family memory.

We've had some crazy family trips with some long drives to places like Disney World and to the beach. Car trips with this family never have a dull moment.

Tell us a little more about family vacations.

They are always rambunctious and crazy. never a dull moment, and never a relaxing moment for mom and dad. Everyone is always trying to get into something that pushes the envelope.

Your family is so much fun and enjoys being together! How did you get so close?

Just through tons of family trips and us sharing a lot of the same humor and interests

Why did you decide to have your family portraits taken by a professional photographer?

It was a Mothers Day gift since we haven't done family photos in so long

How did you decide what to wear to your portrait session?

It was a long tedious process with days and days of group texting but we finally came to a mutual agreement.

What was your favorite portrait from your family session?

Either the rope pull or one where our dad photo bombs a great family picture. It just shows how we are spontaneous and usually know how to ruin the moment.

How did you chose Laura Mares Photography?

Great reviews online and a great looking portfolio!

If any of your personal items were used during the portrait session, where were they from? Target, Pottery Barn, Etsy, etc.

We always do a kids sunglasses picture.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers real pittsburgh family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/7/a-beautiful-family-portrait-session-in-mellon-park-pittsburgh-family-photographer Fri, 14 Jul 2017 19:00:00 GMT
Ella and Tutu's Surprise Birthday Party | Pittsburgh Child Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/7/ella-and-tutus-surprise-birthday-party-pittsburgh-child-photographer Ella & Tutu's Surprise Birthday Party | Pittsburgh Child Photographer

Story by Anna Mares. Doll by Lenna McGraw. Photography by Laura Mares.

Today is Ella’s 3 1/2 birthday party, and it is a surprise! Ella has no idea that Tutu has been inviting all of her closest friends to the pool party. While Ella is napping, Tutu begins to set everything up.

Tutu has arranged Ella’s favorite foods and decides on using a boho theme for the party decorations.

She has also set up a lot of cute decorations! 

When Ella wakes up, she finds her friends and family down at the pool! She can’t believe her eyes! 

After swimming, Ella and Tutu wander the yard to admire all of the decorations. They spin under the dream catchers. 

They then practice some somersaults! 

Ella tries some stylish, new french hairstyles on Tutu.

Soon it starts to rain, so everyone runs inside seeking cover! They decide to dine together in the living room. 

As soon as the rain relents, the party goers rush to the sunny sky. Ella needs some help from Daddy to blow out the candles on her strawberry lemonade shortcake. 

Ella LOVES the cake, and gobbles it up quick! 

She then skips over to try the watermelon, cucumber, mint water.  

All of the guests admire the fresh-cut wild flowers. 

Everyone gathers together to watch Ella gleefully open her presents.

Ella loves all of her gifts, she can't wait to play with the watermellon sticker and notebook pack!

Mama turns on the chocolate fountain, so Ella and Tutu mosey on down to sample the superb, sweet substance.

All of the children make quite a mess!

Ella sadly bids her guests goodbye, and promises to get together soon.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) ella & tutu laura mares photography pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/7/ella-and-tutus-surprise-birthday-party-pittsburgh-child-photographer Tue, 11 Jul 2017 17:06:04 GMT
Summer Photo Project | Pittsburgh Family Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/6/summer-photo-project-week-1-pittsburgh-family-photographer Summer Photo Project | Pittsburgh Family Photographer

This year we want to document our family's summer vacation! We enjoy living each day to it's fullest. We love traveling, trying new foods and spending time together. Our goal is to photograph a highlight from each day. While most of our time is spent around Pittsburgh we jump at any opportunity to travel! This post includes photos from June.

6.3.17 

While downtown, under the shade of neon floating umbrellas, our ears listen closely to the upbeat Irish music. 

6.4.17

We enjoy an afternoon at Pleasant Kingdom, while the children fantasize the possibility of a Midieval time, and the eldest child simply lost in a book.

6.10.17

At Round Hill Farm, Ella and Tutu investigate the snorts of a pink pig, peering through the old wooden boards to catch a glimpse. 

 

6.11.17

Taking a rustic roadside stop, we stretch our legs before continuing our journey to Kentucky. 

 

6.13.17

We learn some old Indian games in the company of a Park Interpreter, fully enjoying our time at Big Bone Lick State Park.

 

6.12.17 

We learn more about the journey of Noah and his family at the Ark Encounter, blown away be the sheer size of it!

6.15.17

Our youngest child prepares a tea party for her friends in her free time at the campground.

6.14.17

It's a great day at the pool with the cousins, playing some games before taking a splash.

6.15.17

Ella experiments with water to create some art on the buddha board, enjoying a sunny summer day.

6.17.17

Taking advantage of our areas diverse culture, we dine on some Loukoumades, bringing smiles to us all.

6.16.17

We reward the family's scholarly success with a night out at Red Robin.

6.18.17

The family bids farewell to Anna as she leaves for her weeklong mission's trip to Louisville, Kentucky.

6.20.17

We expirement a new summer haircut with my middle child, a mohawk! 

6.21.17

While the eldest begins her first day of her missionary trip, we set way to the movies to view Cars 3 with the cousins.

6.22.17

 We have been enjoying redecorating the porch, now we have a terrarium as the new center piece.

Anna returns from an eventful mission trip in Louisville, KY, with fond memories of her time serving at the Salvation Army.

6.24,17

This morning our little one woke up too early and put herself back to "bed."

6.25.17

We spend the afternoon at the Children's Museum in the North Side of Pittsburgh. We love viewing and experiencing all of the artist exhibits. First the kids make silk screen masterpieces in the studio.

After a delicious lunch on the patio, we headed over to the Makeshop. The room is filled with recycled materials and examples of beautiful artwork for inspiration. The children make flowers and experiment with electricity. As a right brained mother, I love this room, it gives me ideas on how to create a space in our own home to let our children express themselves creatively. We never want to leave this amazing place! 

The top floor houses water play. We weren't prepared for getting wet, but a little water won't hurt us.

Scurrying around like mice, two of our children fill the museum with giggles as they race around the huge vertical maze.

We love the colorful houses of the Mexican War Houses and stop to take a few photos.

My husband jokingly said that the highlight of his past 20 years was this musical night spent outside with dear friends. It encourages us to throw an outdoor party ourselves.

As the light fades and the air turns colder, our children borrow sweatshirts from our generous hosts to brave the cold.

Summer school in our living room.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography my family pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/6/summer-photo-project-week-1-pittsburgh-family-photographer Fri, 30 Jun 2017 19:56:59 GMT
Ella and Tutu's Amazing Camping Trip | Pittsburgh Child Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/6/ella-and-tutus-amazing-camping-trip-pittsburgh-child-photographer Ella & Tutu's Amazing Camping Trip | Pittsburgh Child Photographer

Story by Anna Mares. Doll by Lenna McGraw. Photography by Laura Mares.

This week, Ella and Tutu have the amazing opportunity to set up camp in Kentucky! Now sadly the drive wasn’t always smiles and sunflowers because they had to endure a seven-hour-long car ride…that was rough for all involved! Luckily, they take a brief rest in a covered bridge near Amish country. Ella is frightened when they find themselves in the dark, and has to grip Tutu close. 

They successfully cross the forbidden trail of darkness and sit down together, sharing plans for the upcoming night. Hopefully, they involve s’mores, a campfire, and the scratchy Mexican blanket they are currently cuddled on. 

Excitement obviously shows on their glowing faces. 

Ella graciously shares some of her favorite cookie with Tutu. Maple icing sandwiched between two crunchy cookies that are in the shape of a maple leaf. Yummm! 

No picnic is complete without skipping stones, so of course they partake in the ceremonious act. 

Tutu swears she hears a bullfrog croaking, but Elena has her doubts. They lean in close to hopefully catch the fading song that has escaped from its speckled green throat. 

It’s time to continue on, for they are close to the campground, and the light is fading. They say good-bye to the lush forest and rickety bridge. 

Ella and Tutu are excited to arrive at camp. They wander into their wooded campsite. Organizing their belongings, the girls prepare for a week of adventure.

While the rest of the family continues to set up camp, the girls race off to the nearby camp fire s'more social. The crickets sing and the fireflies dance as the two friends roast a few marshmallows. They patiently wait while munching on some Oreos. 

Ella creates a special s’more that has a banana in it, and Tutu leans in for a bite. 

They sit hand in hand, watching the sun seep into the earth, as though melting. Colors swirl as the goo from their late night snack melts gently onto their little fingers. 

In the morning they start off with some mini golf. 

Suspiciously, Ella gets a hole-in-one EVERY time!

It is Tutu’s idea to dip into some tie-dye next. 

They end up with a true masterpiece! Van Gogh would be proud indeed.

They finish off their day with a Bohemian Tea Party.

First, they give each other bracelets  as a sign of their friendship.

Tutu decides to wear it on her head of all places!

Ella gives her a kiss on the forehead to seal it all.

 A great hostess, Ella patiently serves all her guests some tea.

They dance awhile, until they feel dizzy.

They slam down onto the blanket waiting for them, out of breath. They smile throughly enjoying their last moments together in the great State of Kentucky!


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) ella & tutu laura mares photography my family our travels pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/6/ella-and-tutus-amazing-camping-trip-pittsburgh-child-photographer Wed, 28 Jun 2017 01:01:40 GMT
Visiting Prague with Children | Pittsburgh Family Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/6/visiting-prague-with-children-pittsburgh-family-photographer Visiting Prague with Children | Pittsburgh Family Photographer

A Little Background | My husband is from Olomouc, Czech Republic. We met in Monaco my junior year of college. A couple years later I moved to Prague to see him more often and teach English. We got married in 2003, took a 6 week road trip/honeymoon across Europe and finally settled down in Pittsburgh. Prague has a special place in our family's hearts. Maybe it's the cobblestone streets, the spectacular views, the street musicians, the red tile roofs, the river filled with bridges, the food, or the historical buildings mixed in with modern European architecture. Or maybe it's all of it! I love Prague. I think it is the most romantic city.

The Best of Prague |Our children especially love playing in the playgrounds, riding paddle boats on the Vltava, shopping at Havelský Market and getting lost in Old Town. My husband and I love walking through Šárka, a park outside the center. We also love spending a lazy evening on the Charles Bridge and going for a drink at Certovka Restaurant, the restaurant at the end of Prague's narrowest street. We love the view of the river and bridge.  

The Highlights

Charles Bridge | This is my favorite place in Prague. It is probably my favorite place in the world! Prague's most stunning bridge is named after King Charles IV who commissioned the bridge in 1357. Enjoy a leisurely walk across the cobblestone bridge any time of day for very different experiences. Arrive at dawn to fully appreciate the 30 Baroque statues, a relatively empty cobbled path and watch the sunrise. I often find myself daydreaming of what life must have been like in times long ago. In the afternoons the bridge is packed with tourists, painters, musicians and various other vendors. Not exactly peaceful but definitely exciting! Evenings on the bridge are chill, you'll see lots of couples holding hands from the flickering light of the picturesque street lights illuminating the way.

Old Town Square | The historic center of Prague is filled with beautiful architecture. You will see the medieval astronomical clock, which was built in 1410. It is the world's oldest, working astrological clock. Be sure to see it any hour on the hour. It's a must see, even if it's not the most impressive show, remember it was built in 1410 and works!! The clocks on my old cell phones don't even work anymore and they're only 5 years old! You will also see the town hall, the gothic Tyn Cathedral, a statue of Jan Hus and many restaurants.

Wenceslas Square | The square is named for Saint Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia. The square, which actually looks more like a boulevard than a square, has a notable history. It was built in 1348 as part of New Town by King Charles. Sadly, a student set himself on fire in Wenceslas Square to protest the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union in 1968. It was also the central meeting for demonstrations during the Velvet Revolution in 1989. Czechoslovakia was formed after WWI in 1918 when Czechs and Slovaks were allowed to become independent from the Austria-Hungry Empire. Czechoslovakia divided into the two smaller nations of Czech Repubulic and Slovakia in 1992, in what has been called the velvet divorce.

Jewish Cemetery I Although I don't typically enjoy visiting cemeteries, the Jewish Cemetery near Old Town is surprisingly interesting. Due to a lack of space the grave stones could not continue to sprawl outward, so the people of the town had no where to go but up by filling the cemetery with more soil. The oldest gravestone dates back to 1438, 54 years before Columbus sailed to the new World. The cemetery was used for over three centuries.

Estates and National Theater | We've enjoyed ballets, operas and drama at Prague's two most famous theaters. My husband prefers the Estates Theater. Mozart's first showing of Don Giovanni was in Prague's Estates Theater in 1787.  This is best for older children who are able to remain quiet and seated during the performances. 

Mucha Museum | This small museum  is dedicated to the work and art of Alphonse Mucha, the famous Czech Nouveau artist. (Mucha means a fly)

Skoda ride | Czechs make a car called škoda. (škoda means pity.) I've always wanted to take a tour of Prague in an antique Czech Skoda. If you have time, I'd recommend it! 

Petrin | We take the funicular (or incline in Pittsburgh) from Malá Strana (the little side) to the top to explore the hall of mirrors, climb the small Eiffel tower inspired look out tower, and catch some fresh air at one of the cafes before continuing our walk to the Soucha Panny Marie z Exile (the statue of Maria in Exile). Why Sisters of Mercy? Because it's peaceful, offers our favorite view of Prague and is off the beaten path. We have seen beautiful pictures from the library at Satrhovsky Monastery, it's very close to the overlook. We want to go to the library on our next trip to Prague. 

Castle & Golden Lane | Prague's castle is the largest castle in Europe and seats the Czech  President. We enjoy walking on the Golden Lane, taking pictures with the guards and walking around St. Vitus Cathedral.

Parks and Recreation

Divoká Šárka This is the perfect park for a family that enjoys hiking and being in the forest. Be sure to take your swimming suit, there's a swimming pool in the wilderness in the middle of the park. We all love swimming in Šárka!

The river bank between Mala Strana and the Charles Bridge has a clearing perfect for kids to skip stones in the Vltava, see ducks and play at a playground.

Our Favorite Restaurants

Terrace U Prince | U Prince has the best location. Enjoy a meal on a terrace above old town square, it's a photographic location, it's great for people watching and also provides an awesome view of the clock!

Baráčnická rychta | My family eats here every time we are back in Prague. My husband and I started back in 2002 on the recommendation of friends. We love the good food, rustic atmosphere and reasonable prices. You'll see more locals than tourists.  Its's always fun to stop at an authentic restaurant when travelling.

Vytopna Railway Restaurant | Vytopna is another family favorite. After you place an order with your waiter, a engine with a cargo train car travel to your table and stop long enough for you to collect your drinks. You waiter will bring your food when it's prepared. Vytopna is on Wenceslas Square towards the top of the hill.

Czech Food | Czech food is fantastic. It's delicious and heavy and rejuvenating for hungry travelers! I love trying new food, especially when I'm traveling. Years ago when my time living in Prague was coming to an end, I went on a mission to find the perfect Czech Cookbook, never expecting to be on the mission for years!! I can't imagine not eating Czech food at home in Pittsburgh! Today, I have several Czech cookbooks, but have only recently found the perfect recipes at www.czechcookbook.com. The recipes are created by a Czech woman living in the United States, she shares her delicious recipes along with videos explaining the steps. If you fall in love with Czech food, you too can continue to enjoy it even when you leave!

Svíčková | Beef sirloin in a creamy vegetable sauce and usually served with bread dumplings (houskové knedlíky)

Hovězí Guláš | Beef Goulash. A meat stew with a red pepper sauce and dumplings.

Vepřo knedlo zelo | Roasted pork and sauerkraut with bread dumplings. This is the national meal of the Ceach Republic.

Maravian Sparrow with potato dumplings. Surprisingly it's pork served with cooked spinach.

Smažený sýr & hranolky | Fried cheese and fries. Not a low fat meal, but fried food with mayonnaise is great!

Párek rohlík | A long, thin frankfurter, the Czech equivalent of an American hotdog, usually eaten in a hollowed out Czech roll.

Medovnik | Honey Layer Cake. 

Ovocne Knedliky Fruit Dumplings. Imagine fruit wrapped in a sweet dumpling, covered in butter, cheese and fresh cream.

Prague also has many rum flavored cakes, pastries and desserts in general. Look for a cukrana (cukrana translated to English would be something like a sugar shop, it's a cafe that focuses on deserts rather than coffee) to enjoy fantastic Czech desserts. 

Czech Souvineers

Hand made pottery

Czech crystal

Czech Porcelean

Marionettes

Garnet

Wooden Toys

Karlovy Vary spa wafers (Karlovy Vary is the most famous spa in the Czech Republic. The Last Holiday was filmed there.)

Becherovka, an herbal liquor made in Karlovy Vary

My Favorite Stores

Blue

Manufaktura | a bath and beauty shop

Havelský Market, near Vasclav Square


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) Laura Mares Photography My Family Our Travels Pittsburgh Child Photographer Pittsburgh Family Photographer Pittsburgh Photographer Pittsburgh Portrait Photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/6/visiting-prague-with-children-pittsburgh-family-photographer Fri, 16 Jun 2017 19:07:06 GMT
Lifestyle Newborn Session in Studio | Pittsburgh Family Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/6/lifestyle-newborn-session-in-studio-pittsburgh-family-photographer Lifestyle Newborn Session in Studio | Pittsburgh Family Photographer

When was your baby born?

February 7, 2017

What was your baby's height and weight at birth?

21 inches long, 7 pounds 4 ounces

Was your baby early, late or on time?

3 days early, so I'd say on time!

What area of Pittsburgh do you call home?

We are outside of Pittsburgh, in the Laurel Highlands.

What was your first thought when you found out you were pregnant?

Finally! I was thrilled. Also in disbelief.

How did you tell the father you were expecting?

I called him on his way too work because I couldn't hold it in, told him I took 4 tests after he left the house all positive. He was so relaxed, he just said "I had a feeling. It was written all over you." Guess he knew before me, haha!

How did you style the nursery?

White, Grey and light blue. Very soft and calming, with modern vibes to it.

How did you chose your baby's name?

We were going to name him Maison if he was a girl, but we just couldn't let the name go when we found out he was a boy, so we just took out the "I."

What are you looking forward to doing with your baby?

Traveling and showing him all of the good in the world.

Write 3 adjectives that describe your newborn baby.

Calm, happy, angelic.

Share a piece of advice to an expecting mom.

Everything will happen the way it is supposed to. Take everything as it comes, and don't panic when things don't go to plan.

What has been the biggest struggle since coming home from the hospital?

Sleeping.

What was your favorite part of your newborn photo session?

Spending time as a family.

Why is newborn photography important to you?

They will only be this small for such a little while. It's so important to remember it.

If any of your personal items were used during the portrait session, where were they from? Target, Pottery Barn, Etsy, etc.

My grandmother hand knit the Blakey, the dog was from target.

Where did you deliver?

Uniontown Hospital.

Who is your OB/GYN?

Rod Hojat


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) Laura Mares Photography Lifestyle in the Studio Newborn Photography Pittsburgh Newborn Studio Session Pittsburgh Baby Photographer Pittsburgh Family Photographer Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photographer Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer Pittsburgh Photographer Real Pittsburgh Family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/6/lifestyle-newborn-session-in-studio-pittsburgh-family-photographer Tue, 06 Jun 2017 19:07:03 GMT
Summer Bucket List and Photo Challenge | Pittsburgh Family Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/6/summer-bucket-list-and-photo-challenge-pittsburgh-family-photographer Summer Bucket List and Photo Challenge | Pittsburgh Family Photographer

Summer break lasts for less than 90 days in Mt. Lebanon. I want to make the most of every day that my children are home! Every summer we write down a summer bucket list, this list includes movies we want to see, vacation plans, birthday parties, summer camps, vbs, summer concerts and movies in the parks. Everyone choses their top five "must do" activities and we write them on our calendar. This has been our family tradition for years. This year I've decided to capture our summer with a photo project. I will take a photograph everyday and document it on Instagram, with #CapturingYourSummer hashtag. I plan on sharing our summer activities and would love to see yours!

What is a photo challenge? A photo challenge is when you try to take a photo everyday. And since everything is more fun when it's social, post your photos on Instagram using the hashtag #CapturingYourSummer. Favorites from the summer photo challenge will be featured here on the blog throughout the summer! Be creative! Get featured! Win print credit!

Win $50 print credit to spend at www.lauramares.com!
Just share your family photos on Instagram with #CapturingYourSummer!

Here's a list to get you started for photo ideas. Add your ideas to the summer bucket list in the comments below! Take photos around Mt. Lebanon, the South Hills, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the United States of America or where ever you are in the world! 

Be sure to download a copy here, www.lauramares.com/capturingyoursummer.pdf.

Lets document our family, our children and our summer. Once you have your photos you can create a family photo book, post a summer highlights slideshow to share on social media, fill a bulletin board in your family room or create an "old fashioned" scrapbook.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) Laura Mares Photography My Family Pittsburgh Family Photographer Pittsburgh Photographer Real Pittsburgh Family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/6/summer-bucket-list-and-photo-challenge-pittsburgh-family-photographer Fri, 02 Jun 2017 19:07:26 GMT
Interview with a South Hills Mom | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/5/interview-with-a-south-hills-mom-pittsburgh-newborn-photographer Interview with a South Hills Mom | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

Black and white of newborn baby boy in his parents arms pose  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

When was your baby born?

Our baby was born on 04/12/17.

Newborn baby boy in his father's hands  pose  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

What was your baby's height and weight at birth?

20.5inches. 7.6lbs

Black and white of newborn baby boy laying on his back pose  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

Was your baby early, late or on time?

He was two days early.

Newborn baby boy with a terrible towel  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

What area of Pittsburgh do you call home?

We live in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.

Newborn baby boy in his mother's hands pose  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

What was your first thought when you found out you were pregnant?

OMG!! We did it! We had been trying for a while and FINALLY!! We were pregnant.

Black and white of newborn baby boy on a NFL football in his father's arms pose  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

How did you tell your parents you were expecting?

We had just gotten a puppy. Actually. We made arrangements to get a white German shepherd puppy, I graduated with my bachelors, and found out we were pregnant all in the same weekend. But, we went to my dads to show him the puppy and we nonchalantly said he's not the only new baby. Needless to say my step mother was the first to pick up on it.

Newborn baby boy on a NFL football  in his father's arms pose  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

How did you style the nursery?

Simple. He won't really use it for at least 6 months.

Newborn baby boy in a comfortable pose  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

How did you chose your baby's name?

My husband really liked the name Cameron. I wasn't completely sold. We had a list of a couple names we would both agree upon and we were going to decide when the baby was born. Out came Cameron Daniel. And we agreed on the spot.

What are you looking forward to doing with your baby?

CHRISTMAS! It's my favorite holiday. Well all holidays. And our first vacation. Our first trip to the beach. His first football game. All his firsts!! Newborn baby boy bum up pose on a flokati background  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

Write 3 adjectives that describe your newborn baby.

Our baby is a cutie. sweetie and a snuggle bunny.

Share a piece of advice to an expecting mom.

All movies are lies! Don't be fooled. Newborns are hard work and a lot of effort. Be prepared for the first two weeks with freezers meals or someone to cook.  Luckily my magical husband is a great chef and made all our meals the first two weeks. A good friend to talk to and a friend or relative who has been through it. You will have a lot of questions and need a lot of support. Also, there really isn't much you need to bring to the hospital. I WAY over packed. And I tried hard not to. The hospital has everything. Do all kinds of things with your husband. Once the baby gets here they need ALL your attention, but be sure to try to give your husband some too. Newborn baby boy in an antique scale prop  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

What has been the biggest struggle since coming home from the hospital?

SLEEP. I love my sleep. And I haven't had solid sleep since I have birth.

What was your favorite part of your newborn photo session?

Seeing my little one posing for the camera. And learning a few tricks from Laura on how to calm a crying baby. It was a great experience and for us capturing our baby so small was a once in a lifetime chance. He will never be that small or new again. For us it was worth it. Newborn baby boy laying on a pillow pose  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

Why is newborn photography important to you?

It was important to us to have professional pictures of our newborn so we could have very nice photos forever. We wanted to capture his tinyness in a unique and special way that you just don't get from regular photos.

If any of your personal items were used during the portrait session, where were they from? Target, Pottery Barn, Etsy, etc.

Elephant from amazon.

Photo of a newborn baby boy with his elephant stuffed animal  | Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

Where did you deliver?

West Penn hospital

Who is your OB/GYN?

West penn OBGYN


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography newborn photography pittsburgh pittsburgh baby photographer pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh newborn photographer pittsburgh photographer real pittsburgh family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/5/interview-with-a-south-hills-mom-pittsburgh-newborn-photographer Wed, 31 May 2017 21:59:42 GMT
Interview with a Mt. Lebanon Mom | Pittsburgh Newborn Lifestyle Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/5/interview-with-a-mt-lebanon-mom-pittsburgh-newborn-lifestyle-photographer Interview with a Mt. Lebanon Mom | Pittsburgh Newborn Lifestyle Photographer

When was your baby born?

Our baby was born on April 11, 2017.

What was your baby's height and weight at birth?

He was 7 lbs 8 oz and 20 inches long. 

Was your baby early, late or on time?

He arrived 1 hour and 8 minutes before his due date.  He clearly has his dad's punctuality.

What area of Pittsburgh do you call home?

Mt. Lebanon

What was your first thought when you found out you were pregnant?

Sheer joy! I was so excited to start our family.

How did you tell the father you were expecting?

I woke him up that morning and showed him the positive pregnancy test!

How did you style the nursery?

We decided not to find out the sex of our baby during the pregnancy, so we decorated with neutral gray and white with small pops of color.  We have a safari theme, so there are paper mache animal busts, animal prints, and lots of safari animals on the bookshelves.

How did you chose your baby's name?

My husband tends to like very traditional names and vetoed most of the names on my list! Anthony was one one of the few names we both loved.

What are you looking forward to doing with your baby?

Everything! I feel so blessed to have him and to help him to learn and grow.  I'm excited for daily play times, as well as the major milestones and firsts.

Write 3 adjectives that describe your newborn baby.

Beautiful, silly, and hungry.

Share a piece of advice to an expecting mom.

Pamper yourself while you can during your pregnancy.  The initial weeks after birth are about basic survival for you and your child, and you will likely struggle to even get a break to brush your teeth.  It is all worth it for your little one, but you can't appreciate how life changing and overwhelming it will be until you've lived through those weeks.  Finally, remember it gets easier!

What has been the biggest struggle since coming home from the hospital?

Hearing your baby's cries and trying to decode what they want.  It takes some time to get to know your baby and to find your confidence as a mother.

What was your favorite part of your newborn photo session ?

I was so surprised that it ended up being so relaxing and fun.  Anthony was being a little fussy at times and we had to do multiple feedings during the session, but I never was made to feel rushed or flustered.  In fact, some of those feedings and breaks became part of the shoot!

Why is newborn photography important to you?

I believe the saying is "the days are long, but the years are short."  I know Anthony will be running around the neighborhood before I know it, and I will want to look back at this time when he was so small and precious and we were just starting our family.  Also, I want him to see how much we have loved him since day one!

If any of your personal items were used during the portrait session, where were they from? Target, Pottery Barn, Etsy, etc.

Some of the items from our nursery that appeared include the crib, sheets, and mobile from Pottery Barn, paper mache animal busts from Anthropologie, and animal prints, which are sold framed at Restoration Hardware, but which we bought directly from the artist and then framed with IKEA frames (saving a lot of money!)

Where did you deliver?

St. Clair Hospital

Who is your OB/GYN?

Zubritzky & Christy - Dr. Duncan delivered!


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) Laura Mares Photography Pittsburgh Baby Photographer Pittsburgh Family Photographer Pittsburgh Lifestyle Newborn Photographer Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photographer Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer Pittsburgh Photographer Real Pittsburgh Family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/5/interview-with-a-mt-lebanon-mom-pittsburgh-newborn-lifestyle-photographer Thu, 25 May 2017 00:04:40 GMT
Interview with a Pittsburgh Mom | Pittsburgh Baby Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/5/interview-with-a-pittsburgh-mom-pittsburgh-baby-photographer Interview with a Pittsburgh Mom | Pittsburgh Baby Photographer

I love to photograph a baby with a joyful smile and long lashes. Ok, actually I love photographing any baby and find something to love about every single one! This baby girl happened to have beautiful lashes and lots of adorable smiles to share with me the other day during her in-studio photo session. Her parents brought along her favorite toy for her to watch and dressed her in two beautiful dresses to add a little variety to her portraits. Before the session, her mother shared with me a couple of photos she had pinned in Pinterest. Since a picture says a thousand words, it's always helpful to see a favorite image or two before a session to make sure we are on the same page. Please continue reading to learn all about this Real Pittsburgh Family!

How has your baby changed in her first 4 months of life?

She has so much personality now.

How have you changed in your child's first 4 months of life?

I have learned so much patience.

Is your baby a good sleeper? Or are you sleep deprived?

Our baby is a very good sleeper.

What are your favorite activities as a family?

Going to lunch as a family.

What are your child’s favorite toys and activities?

She loves her baby swing.

How would you describe your baby in three adjectives?

Our baby is lovable, hungry and sleepy.

What is your favorite portrait from your child's four month old baby session?

Our family portrait is my favorite.

With four months of experience, what advice would you give mother’s of newborns?

Don't take one day for granted.

What do you recommend as the essential, must have, newborn baby product?

Swaddles.

What makes your baby laugh?

Silly faces from mom and dad.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) Laura Mares Photography Pittsburgh Baby Photographer Pittsburgh Child Photographer Pittsburgh Family Photographer Pittsburgh Photographer Real Pittsburgh Family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/5/interview-with-a-pittsburgh-mom-pittsburgh-baby-photographer Fri, 12 May 2017 21:57:57 GMT
Visiting Paris with Children | Pittsburgh Family Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/5/visiting-paris-with-children-pittsburgh-family-photographer Visiting Paris with Children | Pittsburgh Family Photographer

The Best of Paris

My husband is the planner in our family. He's intense and detail orientated. Just before a trip I enjoy searching google, Pinterest and going to the library. Before our trip I found some great resources, "This is Paris" by Miroslav Sasek, "The Best of Europe" by Rick Steves, "City Walks: Paris" and "Mission Paris: A Scavenger Hunt Adventure" a great book for children of all ages. My husband once said that I'm great at ruining his well thought out plans! With that in mind, I try to keep my last minute ideas minimal! He wisely purchased tickets to the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and parking ahead of time which saved us money and/or time. We stayed at Moulin Vert, which is an affordable hotel, with a typical French breakfast in a quiet neighborhood. We had four days to visit. If we had more time we would have visited Palais Garnier, Orsay Museum, Versailles and taken a boat tour.

Louvre | The Queen of all Museums

We landed in Paris and drove straight to the Louvre. We purchased our tickets to online in Pittsburgh so we were able to head straight in. Adult tickets are15 Euros. Kids under18 are free. 

The Mona Lisa is perfect. It was so much fun to wait in line while discussing the Mona Lisa with my children. We had read about her and now they could discuss the painting. We took our share of selfies here too!

Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss is one of my favorite statues. How could marble be transformed into such a romantic, graceful and delicate statue? I can't get my play doh into a believable being, and it's pliable! 

The kids and I spent several hours exploring the Louvre, while my husband and youngest child enjoyed walking along the Seine. While we didn't see all 38,000 pieces of art we tried to see several of the highlights noted on our museum map. Visiting the Louvre was my son's highlight of the entire six week trip to Europe. Some other notable pieces we particularly enjoyed were Venus de Milo and Nike of Samothrace.

Trocadero and Eiffel Tower

My husband's favorite site in Paris is the view from Trocadero. We met friends after dinner at the Trocadero Cafe and enjoyed some French treats together. I had met my friend, Katie, at the Burren College of Art back in the year 2000 and hadn't seen each other since. It was great to catch up and meet her husband. At twilight we crossed the street to see the Eiffel Tower illuminate the sky with it's spectacular twinkling lights. 

Arc de Triomphe and Champ-Elysees

This is Napoleon's tribute to the victories of the French army. Under the arch rests the ashes of the unknown French Soldier commemorated with an eternal flame. Look for the underground passages to take you under the craziest round about in Europe. This may be obvious to most, but on my first trip to the Arc de Triomphe, my friend and I looked at each other, held hands and took a run for it! Wish I had known then what I know now... to get there safely, use the underground passage!

Historic Paris | Ile de la Cite, the heart and earliest cradle of Paris, contains Pont Neuf, Palais de Justice, the revolutionary prison, Notre-Dame, Sainte-Chapelle, Marche aux Fleurs and Place Dauphine

Pont Neuf (new bridge) is the oldest bridge in Paris.

The oldest clock is on Palais de Justice. Palais de Justice is a stunning building that looks like a grand palace with remarkable blue accents.

The Cathedral of Notre Dame is one of the greatest masterpieces of Gothic art. Construction began in 1163 and finished 200 years later. If you climb to the top of one of the towers you will see a beautiful view of the Seine and the Eiffel Tower.

Marche aux Fleurs (flower market) is a refreshing open air market. We walked through the market on our way to Notre Dame from Pont Neuf. We stopped to enjoy the market by shopping for souvenirs and taking pictures.


Sainte-Chapelle can be hard to find. I made it a priority to find it on this trip! It is worth the effort. It's nestled inside the medieval Palais de la Cite, a royal french residence in the 1300s. Jesus's crown of thorns is kept here.

Place Dauphine is a quiet square full of cafes and restaurants. Our 3 year old daughter enjoyed playing with the small stones in the center of the square.

Marais Neighborhood and Pompidou Center | Place de Vosges

Victor Hugo lived in this neighborhood, which was the first suburb of Paris. We enjoyed the architecture and fountains while our young children enjoyed the playground and open space.

Jardin du Luxembourg | The Luxembourg Gardens

I loved it here. I can't even say why, maybe because I felt at peace. It was one of my last minute additions to my husband's plans. I read that the kids would "hire" or rent a boat and sail it in the fountain. That sounds like something my french "host sister" would have enjoyed and I could just see her in my imagination telling me how thrilling it was!

Montmartre and Sacre-Cueur Basilica

Secret Heart is a Romanesque-style baslicia on the top of the hill of Montmartre, the highest point of Paris, has an airy, white Byzantine dome with an unmatched view of the city. This is where you will likely meet a French artist or two.

French Food |American children enjoy 

My children loved the food they tried in Paris. We planned the sites we wanted to visit and simply ate at cafe's and restaurants that we passed on the way. One of our favorite experiences with food was when we had a cheese and meat board for dinner. Since the cheese was rather too sharp and dry for kids, they preferred the baguette, jam, meat and salad.

Quiche

Fondue 

Baguettes or Croissants My children are happy with all types of French bread, from soft and flakey to tough and chewy. My kids love the variety and will put a pad of butter on some bread for a snack.

Croque Monsieur The French take on grilled ham and cheese sandwich, variations are available like tomatoes, an egg on top and even smoked salmon.

Steak Frites Steak and fries is a national dish of France and is served with mayonnaise.

Omelet Typically omelets are filled with herbs and tasty cheeses.

Crespéou A more flavorful version of the omelet, comprised of layers of tomatoes, onions, herbs and so on. 

Cassoulet A simple soup made of meat and beans.

Soupe à l’Oignon or “Onion soup” 

Pain au Chocolat Chocolate wrapped in a pastry like a croissant.

French treats

Crepes My children like to eat crepes filled with sweetened Ricotta cheese, fresh fruit, and a dash of confectioner’s sugar on top. Nutella and bananas is also a hit.

Tarte aux Fruits or “fruit tarts.” My kids love fruits like kiwi and strawberries on top of the creamy centers.

Gougères are small, round cheese puffs. These tasty treats can be served hot or cold, sometimes come with meat or vegetables. 

Éclair

Chocolate Mousse

Crème Brulee or “burnt cream” can come in a variety of flavors: raspberry, chocolate, and coffee in addition to the traditional flavor which is vanilla. 

Clafoutis Similar to a flan or custard, usually made with cherries, is popular with my children.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow Laura on Instagram and Facebook and Pinterest.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) Laura Mares Photography My Family Pittsburgh Child Photographer Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photographer Pittsburgh Photographer Travels https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/5/visiting-paris-with-children-pittsburgh-family-photographer Fri, 05 May 2017 15:27:38 GMT
Testing Lightroom Presets for Sleek Lens | Pittsburgh Family Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/5/testing-lightroom-presets-for-sleek-lens-pittsburgh-family-photographer Testing Lightroom Presets for Sleek Lens | Pittsburgh Family Photographer

I was recently contacted to review a set of Lightroom presets and brushes for portraits by Sleek Lens in exchange for a blog review. Since I enjoy collaborating with others in the industry, I jumped at the offer and I'm glad I did! All the photos in this post are edited using only Strike a Pose presets by Sleek Lens, and also worth noting, none were edited in Photoshop. :)

The Strike a Pose preset collection includes 69 presets and 62 brushes. While I enjoyed playing with the different presets, I quickly found my two favorites were the all-in-one crisp dawn preset and all-in-one duo (a black and white) preset. Next, I experimented with the brushes. Some of my favorite brushes are define hair, sharpen face and sunshine light. I'm sure I will use more brushes when editing head shots, but since I chose child portraits to edit, they looked too over done for my taste on children. I am very likely to continue to use the brushes in my newborn baby, child and family portraits. I currently use both Lightroom and Photoshop to edit, with the bulk of my portraiture touch-ups completed in Photoshop. I'm always interested in finding new ways to speed up my editing time without compromising the results. I believe that these brushes could easily help me save time, allowing me more time to spend with my children! 

 

My family loves hiking and exploring. We recently took the kids for a long weekend of low tech family fun in the Laurel Highlands, PA, about an hour east Pittsburgh. The kids participated in an Easter egg hunt and Kids Fish Day. We could not have had a better time. The big kids mentioned that my husband and I looked out of place, my daughter used the words, "Pastel and shiny, really mom?" Luckily my kids were dressed more comfortably in camo and a hoodie. The experience made me think back to the movie from the early 90s, City Slickers! Anyone remember it? Our treasure was a tackle box and a fishing rod that the kids won in a raffle.

 

You can read about the strike a pose presets here.

 

In addition to the Strike a Pose Workflow, Sleek Lens offers a variety of Lightroom Presets, including presets for landscape essentials workflow, grayscale essential workflow, newborn delights workflow, superior interior workflow (prefect for lifestyle images), maple and pinecones autumn workflow (beautiful for fall family portraits) to name a few.

In summary, I have enjoyed testing the Strike a Pose preset collection by Sleek Lens! I found them easy to use, and easy to tweak to suit my style. I was curious how I'd be able to sort through 62 brushes quickly to find the brushes in a timely manner. If you decide to try the Strike a Pose presets, make sure you set aside time to spend experimenting with all presets and brushes. I also enjoyed checking out the Sleek Lens Pinterest page.

 


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow Laura on Instagram and Facebook and Pinterest.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) Laura Mares Photography My Family Pittsburgh Child Photographer Pittsburgh Family Photographer Pittsburgh Photographer Pittsburgh Portrait Photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/5/testing-lightroom-presets-for-sleek-lens-pittsburgh-family-photographer Mon, 01 May 2017 21:15:51 GMT
Interview with a Pittsburgh Mom | Pittsburgh Baby Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/4/interview-with-a-pittsburgh-mom-pittsburgh-baby-photographer Interview with a Pittsburgh Mom | Pittsburgh Baby Photographer

How has your baby changed in his first 9 months of life?

He was so calm and quiet when he was a newborn, he loved to be held. Now he is very curious and does not like sitting still. He also 'talks' a lot now, loves to play with his toys and read books.

How have you changed in your child's first 9 months of life?

Everything seems much more fun now, I would like to think I take myself a lot less seriously.

Is your baby a good sleeper? Or are you sleep deprived?

He does not want to nap or go to sleep, he thinks he is going to miss something. Once he gives up the fight and he's asleep, he usually sleeps pretty well.

What are your favorite activities as a family?

We love to take stroller walks in the South Side and watch Jeopardy together.

What are your child’s favorite foods?

Nixon has loved all foods we have given him - bananas, apples, sweet potatoes, peas, carrots (everything except for blueberries)

What are your child’s favorite toys and activities?

Nixon loves playing with things he is not allowed to have (i.e. remote control, iPad, nail file) but he has a musical lion walker he uses to run across the room and this little musical toy that sings and plays farm animal noises

How would you describe your baby in three adjectives?

He's a joyful, cuddly and curious baby.

What is your favorite portrait from your child's nine month old baby session?

I am tempted to say the one where he was doing his 'skeptical' face in the box but I love the one of him with his hands together beside his easter basket, he looks so sweet and luminous.

With nine months of experience, what advice would you give mother’s of newborns?

Enjoy the time you have when you they aren't mobile yet - you put them down and they can't yet crawl away, and turn on sesame street it always works!

What do you recommend as the essential, must have, newborn baby product?

The best newborn baby product is a video monitor.

What makes your baby laugh?

He is very ticklish!

Would you like to include any other fun facts?

Nixon has a cousin Joey who was born 20 days before him.

If any of your personal items were used during the portrait session, where were they from? Target, Pottery Barn, Etsy, etc.

He wore Janie and jack clothes and shoes and a pottery barn kids Easter basket.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) Laura Mares Photography Pittsburgh Baby Photographer Pittsburgh Child Photographer Pittsburgh Photographer Pittsburgh Portrait Photographers Real Pittsburgh Family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/4/interview-with-a-pittsburgh-mom-pittsburgh-baby-photographer Wed, 26 Apr 2017 21:04:33 GMT
The Mares Family Photo Contest Entries | Pittsburgh Family Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/4/the-mares-family-photo-contest-entries-pittsburgh-family-photographer The Mares Family Photo Contest Entries | Pittsburgh Family Photographer

My children and I had fun discussing and planning what photographs to submit in the PTA reflections art program at their schools. Each of my older children submit two photos nearly every year. Both of my children enjoy planning what to take that works well with the yearly theme. Then they spend one afternoon setting up their shots, photographing their subjects, uploading them to my computer and sending off their favorites to have printed at a local one hour photo. I enjoy teaching them a little about lighting, composition, focus and exposure. Once we pick up their prints they have to fill out the paperwork, write a title and a short explanation about their photos. This year's theme was "What's Your Story." You can see their work below. If you read this, please leave them a message in the comment section below, I'm sure they'd love to hear your thoughts on their work!

"Once Upon a Time" by Anna Mares | Placed 1st in the region "Wanderlust" by Anna Mares | Placed 3rd in the region

"My School" by Ben Mares | Placed 3rd in the region

"Secret Club" by Ben Mares | Placed 3rd in Mt. Lebanon 

Earlier this year I entered the Shoot and Share Photo Contest. It was so rewarding to enter a contest after years of being too busy to enter anything. The moment I shot this portrait of a Russian artist near Sacred Heart during our family vacation to Paris, I loved it. I felt that everything came together beautifully, the background, the lighting, his intense gaze and comfortable body language. Our family first met this artist earlier in the morning. He offered to draw a portrait of our son. But we politely declined since we have three children, we can't get a charcoal drawing of only one. It was so odd, but we kept bumping into this kind man. He was there at the souvenir shops, offering to draw a portrait of our middle child. He was there at the entrance of Sacred Heart, offering to draw a portrait of our middle child. He was there at the park when we stopped to reflect on our trip, again offering to draw a portrait of our middle child. Can you believe that we never decided to have our children's portraits drawn! Ironically another artist began drawing him, and then another came to sketch our oldest child, and then, our familiar artist friend popped up just in time to sketch our youngest! It often seems that the best parts in life aren't planned, they just happen. As it ended up, all three of our children had their portraits sketched in Paris this summer by talented street artists.

"Artful Soul" by Laura Mares | Moved to Round 11 of 12


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) Laura Mares Photography My Family Pittsburgh Child Photographer Pittsburgh Family Photographer Pittsburgh Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/4/the-mares-family-photo-contest-entries-pittsburgh-family-photographer Fri, 21 Apr 2017 22:08:25 GMT
Wild One First Birthday | Pittsburgh 1st Birthday Photography https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/4/wild-things-pittsburgh-1st-birthday-photography Wild One | Pittsburgh 1st Birthday Photography

Where the Wild Things Are is one of the most beloved pictures books. It's been a favorite among children for decades. Such a classic book makes for a perfect 1st birthday party theme, cake smash and photo shoot! After all what baby wouldn't want to be part of the wild rumpus!!

It's always fun to work a photo shoot around your child's favorite book or other interests! This sweet child thinks the Wild One theme is a great idea! Let's get this photo shoot started!

Wild One 1st birthday Photo SessionWhere the Wild Things Are | Pittsburgh 1st Birthday Photographer | Laura Mares Photography

First, baby "Max" sets off through the morning and the rest of the day and in and out of weeks and almost over a year to where the wild things are. He sets off because he needs to select the perfect outdoor setting where he can be wild to roar a terrible roar and will be free to gnash his terrible teeth and and roll his terrible eyes and show his terrible claws!

Wild One 1st birthday Photo SessionWhere the Wild Things Are | Pittsburgh 1st Birthday Photographer | Laura Mares Photography

Baby "Max" spots the best place in the wood - a secluded area near a lake. He sets up a teepee and starts a bonfire fit for the king.

Wild One 1st birthday Photo SessionWhere the Wild Things Are | Pittsburgh 1st Birthday Photographer | Laura Mares Photography

Baby "Max" decided to come dressed as a wolf. His mother wisely dressed him in layers, allowing for quick outfit changes. Baby "Max" is happy that it's already time to celebrate his first birthday with a cake just the right size to smash! 

Wild One 1st birthday Photo SessionWhere the Wild Things Are | Pittsburgh 1st Birthday Photographer | Laura Mares Photography

Baby "Max" says "BE STILL!" attempting to tame his wild cake.

Wild One 1st birthday Photo SessionWhere the Wild Things Are | Pittsburgh 1st Birthday Photographer | Laura Mares Photography

Wild One 1st birthday Photo SessionWhere the Wild Things Are | Pittsburgh 1st Birthday Photographer | Laura Mares Photography

It's time to eat! Baby "Max" now turns a bit shy. and gingerly enjoys his signature smash cake.

Wild One 1st birthday Photo SessionWhere the Wild Things Are | Pittsburgh 1st Birthday Photographer | Laura Mares Photography

Baby "Max" wants to be where someone loves him best of all. He starts his trip back over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day and into the afternoon to find his family.

Wild One 1st birthday Photo SessionWhere the Wild Things Are | Pittsburgh 1st Birthday Photographer | Laura Mares Photography


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) Laura Mares Photography Newborn Photography Pittsburgh Pittsburgh 1st Birthday Photographer Pittsburgh Baby Photographer Pittsburgh Child Photographer Pittsburgh Family Photographer Pittsburgh Photographer Pittsburgh Portrait Photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/4/wild-things-pittsburgh-1st-birthday-photography Fri, 14 Apr 2017 18:04:18 GMT
10 Tips for Better Flower Pictures | Pittsburgh Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/4/10-tips-for--better-flower-pictures-pittsburgh-photographer 10 Tips for Better Flower Pictures | Pittsburgh Photographer

Photograph flowers on an overcast day. 

This creates a soft beautiful light, without hot spots.

Look for backlight.

This will make your flowers glow. 

Move in close.

This will make your subject larger in your photo.

Use a reflector.

A flat white material, like a piece of white cardboard, will reflect light back on to your subject.

Avoid distractions.

Keep clutter out of the background. 

Use a shallow depth of field.

Keep your flower in focus, but while creating a beautiful blur (or bokeh) in the background.

Make it sharp.

Everyone loves tack sharp images!

Highlight something special.

Find a subject to make the flower the background, like a raindrop, a bumble bee, a butterfly or a humming bird.

Change perspective.

Try laying down and angle your camera upward or angle straight down from directly above.

Add dimension.

Focus through other flowers, leaves or grass.

Bring some flowers inside too.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) Laura Mares Photography Pittsburgh Family Photographer Pittsburgh Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/4/10-tips-for--better-flower-pictures-pittsburgh-photographer Fri, 07 Apr 2017 16:16:06 GMT
Interview with a South Hills Mom | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/4/interview-with-a-south-hills-mom-pittsburgh-newborn-photographer  Interview with a South Hills Mom | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

When was your baby born? 

Our baby was born in March 2017.

What was your baby's height and weight at birth?

Our baby weighted 7 lb 1.2 ounces at birth.

Was your baby early, late or on time?

Our baby was two weeks late!

What area of Pittsburgh do you call home?

We live in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.

What was your first thought when you found out you were pregnant?

Here we go again...😜

How did you tell the father you were expecting?

I showed him the pregnancy test results

How did you style the nursery?

I didn't... we just went with what we already had.

How did you chose your baby's name?

My husband selected the name ... after one of his favorite basketball players.

What are you looking forward to doing with your baby?

I'm looking forward to lots and lots of snuggles... they grow so fast!

Write 3 adjectives that describe your newborn baby.

Our newborn baby is sweet, amazing and delightful.

Share a piece of advice to an expecting mom.

Pamper yourself before baby arrives.

What has been the biggest struggle since coming home from the hospital?

The lack of sleep and time to get things accomplished.

What was your favorite part of your newborn photo session?

My favorite part of his newborn session was watching my precious little bean getting posed.

Why is newborn photography important to you?

It's important to document as many precious moments as you can. They are growing at an exponential rate right now. Besides, I love sleepy newborn photos!!

If any of your personal items were used during the portrait session, where were they from? Target, Pottery Barn, Etsy, etc.

Grandma made cute blankets and an owl cocoon and a quilt that the hospital gave us.

Where did you deliver?

St. Clair Hospital

Who is your OB/GYN?

Zubritzky and Christy


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) Laura Mares Photography Newborn Photography Pittsburgh Newborn Studio Session Pittsburgh Baby Photographer Pittsburgh Family Photographer Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer Pittsburgh Photographer Real Pittsburgh Family https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/4/interview-with-a-south-hills-mom-pittsburgh-newborn-photographer Tue, 04 Apr 2017 19:06:39 GMT
Easter | Spring Studio Set-up for Baby Boys https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/3/easter-spring-studio-set-up-for-baby-boys Easter | Spring Studio Set-up for Baby Boys | Pittsburgh Baby Photographer

I love receiving inquires that let me get creative. This week I received a request for an Easter/spring studio session for a nine month old baby boy. I started thinking... grass, eggs, bunny, carrots, watering can, wagon, banners, flowers, Easter basket. I looked around the studio, found a couple useful items and then made a shopping trip to Pottery Barn Kids and Hobby Lobby. I think the studio is ready for baby boys and their Easter pictures! Here are some behind the scenes photos of the studio.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh baby photographer pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/3/easter-spring-studio-set-up-for-baby-boys Thu, 30 Mar 2017 21:00:14 GMT
Best Newborn Photographers in Pittsburgh | Laura Mares Photography https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/3/best-newborn-photographers-in-pittsburgh-laura-mares-photography Best Newborn Photographers in Pittsburgh | Laura Mares Photography

Laura Mares Photography is one of the top 20 Pittsburgh Newborn Photographers

Laura Mares Photography is awarded once again for one of the best newborn photographers in Pittsburgh!

Expertise's goal is to connect people with the best local experts. Newborn photographers were scored on more than 25 variables across five categories, and the results were analyzed to rank the best newborn photographers in Pittsburgh, PA. I'm thrilled to be considered among the best in Pittsburgh again and look forward to photographing many more newborn babies!

Are you expecting a baby? Would you like to document this special time in your family's life? Contact me today for more information and the details about a newborn session with Laura Mares Photography!


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography newborn photography pittsburgh newborn studio session pittsburgh baby photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh newborn photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/3/best-newborn-photographers-in-pittsburgh-laura-mares-photography Wed, 29 Mar 2017 17:20:20 GMT
Newborn Wooden Bed Prop | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/3/newborn-wooden-bed-prop-pittsburgh-newborn-photographer

Newborn Wooden Bed Prop | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

When you become a photographer you inevitably become the marketer, accountant, sales person. designer, web developer, social media manager, as well as the shopper, shipper and customer service department. Much to my surprise, I recently became the carpenter!

I saw an adorable bed that I thought would make the best newborn prop but could not order it because of company's lack of inventory. I asked my mom if she was up for the project and she was all in! It's wonderful when you have an idea and have family members that have skills and the tools to help turn it into reality!

Together we raided my dad's workshop and found a miter saw, jig saw, hand saw, drill and sander. We looked around the  garage for some cool, repurposed wood - found shelves from an old house and a green door from an antique piece a furniture. We were all set! With smiles on our faces and determination in our step, we got to work.

Once we had our pieces cut and sanded we needed to connect them together in the most sturdy, yet attractive, way possible. I had an idea for what kind of hardware we needed and asked the manager at Ace Hardware if he had what I needed. He just asked what size, he had several to chose from! 

With our hardware in hand we were ready to glue and screw together our wood pieces to create an adorable newborn bed. This was the point when my dad came home to see what we had used! He was impressed and help us finish our newborn prop. I'm so thankful to have family nearby that can help me create my big ideas!

People tell me it must fun to just take pictures all day. Then I smile and say, "it sure is!"


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography newborn photography pittsburgh newborn studio session pittsburgh baby photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh newborn photographer pittsburgh photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/3/newborn-wooden-bed-prop-pittsburgh-newborn-photographer Thu, 23 Mar 2017 18:59:01 GMT
Ella & Tutu at Home | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Child Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/3/ella-tutu-at-home-pittsburgh-lifestyle-child-photographer Ella & Tutu at Home | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Child Photographer

Story by Anna Mares. Doll by Lenna McGraw. Photography by Laura Mares

Today Ella and Tutu and all their plush friends are going to have a stay-at-home fun day! First Ella must wake up Tutu and Marie from their luxurious sleep. 

First, Ella puts on Tutu’s special sparkle socks. They are ready to face the day! 

They start their day by chasing the sleepiness away with a little dance! Ella grips Tutu tight as she prepares for her twirl. 

They sprawl onto the bed with dizziness, but Ella sits up as she decides on the next activity. HEDGEHOGS! Tutu pulls out the honey hedgehog and they play with the homemade dollhouse. 

Tutu lays on the pink quilt as Ella works on her puzzle book. Tutu exhales a contented sigh. 

Ella places the final puzzle piece before turning to the next page.

Sitting up, Ella gazes at all her completed puzzles and is very proud. She contemplates on the next activity while setting Tutu on her lap. They sit together in the morning sunshine that gleams through the window.

All the sudden, Tutu shoots out of bed, and dives into the cozy, furry tepee. Ella follows, and her eye catches the glimmer of the glittery star that hangs above their hide out. Tutu cheers her on as the stands on her tip toes to run her hand across the sequins. 

After the sensation, she giggles with delight!

Ella lays down with Tutu and they share some secrets, as the scratchy wool tickles their tummies.

They lay and think for a while, tired from all they have done. Ella kicks her purple and white striped socks in the air, while studying closely one of her toys.

Tutu’s tummy growls, and they know its tea time! Ella sets up the table for Tutu and takes her order.

She’s in the mood for a herbal blend.

Ella sits down and pours the tea. They pretend they are in London, having tea with the Queen.

Ella feeds Tutu her tea, and she loves it! Tutu complements Ella on her hostess manners.

Sadly, tea time comes to and end and Ella must start to clean up, starting with Tutu’s socks.

Tutu begs Ella to put her sock back on, because she doesn't want her feet to get cold! Ella then tucks Tutu and Marie back to bed, so they can rest for another day of fun! 


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) ella & tutu laura mares photography pittsburgh child photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh lifestyle child photographer pittsburgh lifestyle photographer pittsburgh photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/3/ella-tutu-at-home-pittsburgh-lifestyle-child-photographer Sun, 19 Mar 2017 23:07:22 GMT
Family St. Patrick's Day Traditions | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Family Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/3/family-st-patricks-day-traditions-pittsburgh-family-photographer Family St. Patrick's Day Traditions | Pittsburgh Family Photographer

Isn't it fun to transform an ordinary day into a fun day that your family will remember with fond memories in the future? My family loves celebrating holidays. Some years we go all out for holidays - like cooking delicious meals and planning details for a family celebration, while other years we're busier and simply buy a couple fun items at the grocery store! Either way we always have a blast! One of my favorite St. Patrick's Day celebrations was when we had a proper Irish tea party in our dining room. We love to mix things up year after year, but we generally have 5 pretty consistent family traditions on St. Patrick's.

Listen to Irish Music

We love music. We love Gaelic Storm, Lúnasa, Dervish, The Chieftains and Cherish the Ladies. Plus we listen to "Irish Pub Songs" on Amazon Prime music. We always go to enjoy live Irish music by Abbot's Cross somewhere in Pittsburgh during the month of March.

Enjoy some Irish food.

We have Irish Soda Bread from Trader Joe's every year for breakfast. For dinner in the past we've enjoyed Shepherd's Pie, cornbeef and cabbage, fish and chips. This year we're planning bangers (from Costco) and mash.

Wear Green.

Simple and fun, right? (I found this shirt on Groupon for only $12.99.)

Decorate the house.

My children each get a dollar or two to choose a decoration from the dollar store. They have chosen green streamers, balloons and leprechaun window clings. The kids enjoy decorating with me and it makes our house feel festive!

Catch a leprechaun.

Every year my kids create a leprechaun trap out of cardboard boxes, pipe cleaners, construction paper and any other art supplies they find around our house. This year my son let me in on his plan - he is making sure his younger sister is going to actually catch a leprechaun this year. I can't wait to see what we trap Friday morning!

I would love to hear from you. Please share your family's St. Patrick's Day traditions in the comments below!!


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) Laura Mares Photography Pittsburgh Family Photographer Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer Pittsburgh Photographer Pittsburgh Portrait Photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/3/family-st-patricks-day-traditions-pittsburgh-family-photographer Thu, 16 Mar 2017 17:23:56 GMT
Introducing Lifestyle Newborn Sessions | Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photography https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/3/introducing-lifestyle-newborn-sessions-pittsburgh-lifestyle-photography ]]> [email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/3/introducing-lifestyle-newborn-sessions-pittsburgh-lifestyle-photography Fri, 10 Mar 2017 13:36:03 GMT Interview with a Pleasant Hills Mom | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/3/interview-with-a-pleasant-hills-mom-pittsburgh-newborn-photographer        Interview with a Pleasant Hills Mom | Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer

When was your baby born?

January 10, 2017

What was your baby's height and weight at birth?

21", 9lbs

Was your baby early, late or on time?

Two days late

What area of Pittsburgh do you call home?

Pleasant Hills

What was your first thought when you found out you were pregnant?

When we found out we were pregnant with our second, we were elated and nervous. We wondered what the baby's gender would be, as we already have a son. We were a bit nervous because the kids would be so close in age (16.5 months apart).

How did you tell the father you were expecting?

Mark and I were together at home when we read the pregnancy test.

How did you style the nursery?

There is no specific theme to the nursery. The colors are grey, pink and blue. Many stuffed animals are positioned around the room, and the nursery furniture is a deep cherry color.

How did you chose your baby's name?

Choosing Adelie's name was very difficult. I was positive I was having a girl three weeks into my pregnancy, and her gender was confirmed a few short weeks later. We tossed around names for, literally, nine months, but neither of us was in love with any specific name. My husband kept going back to 'Adelynne Rose', and I liked 'Kiera Lynne'. We went through baby name books and websites regularly; I even went as far as to research American Girl and Cabbage Parch Kid names!  When I delivered, and up until the night before we left the hospital, baby girl still didn't have a name. She was (jokingly) referred to by my Dad as 'Ralphina', and to the hospital staff (again, jokingly), as 'Baby-No-Name'.  It wasn't until the night before discharge that we started looking into names from our shared German heritage. 'Adelie' struck us both, and her middle name, Rose, would be shared with our ten year old niece. Adelie is a German name that means 'noble', and we couldn't be happier with it.

What are you looking forward to doing with your baby?

We are looking forward to watching Adelie grow into her own little person. We plan on guiding and cherishing each stage and step of her transformation. Family vacations are definitely one thing we are excited to share with her. We are anxious to see her reactions to water, sand and maybe Mickey one day!

Write 3 adjectives that describe your newborn baby.

Sweet, Tolerating (of her 'helpful' big brother), Snuggly

Share a piece of advice to an expecting mom.

It's great to have a plan in mind, but never expect it to work accordingly. It's best to be flexible and try to think of various options ahead of time.

What has been the biggest struggle since coming home from the hospital?

The biggest struggle is being a Mom of two very young kids. My husband works quite a bit, regular shifts and overtime, so it's challenging to establish a routine and try to stick to it. I feel like I have a 'cycle' established, and it changes soon after due to teething, feeding increases, extra diaper changes and a toddler who doesn't want to sleep. I wouldn't change anything for the world, though!

What was your favorite part of your newborn photo session ?

I can't even begin to think of what my favorite part of our newborn session was! Everything was absolutely perfect! Laura was open to new ideas, props and poses; she and I bounced ideas off of one another, producing amazing results! Specifically, trying the potato sack, froggy and hammock poses were my favorite part of my session. I'm always open to new and exciting things - especially knowing the photo shoot results I would get with Laura behind the camera!

Why is newborn photography important to you?

Newborn photography is so important to me because this time goes by so fast.  Capturing Adelie's first few days of life was so important to me because I'll never have her that way again. Delicate, dainty hands, tiny feet, back wrinkles and baby fuzz are captured so I can refer back to the incredible innocence and perfection God blessed us with.

If any of your personal items were used during the portrait session, where were they from? Target, Pottery Barn, Etsy, etc.

Adelie's pink police outfit was custom made by Evonne Umbel, owner of ETSY Shop Cuppa Stitches, Pink bunny was a gift from Papa and Grandma and some hair bows were purchased at The Children's Place, Target and Walmart

Where did you deliver?

Jefferson Hospital

Who is your OB/GYN?

Dr. Remtulla (Dr. Logan, Dr. Smith, Dr. Lantzman, Dr. Poot)


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography newborn photography pittsburgh newborn studio session pittsburgh baby photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh newborn photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/3/interview-with-a-pleasant-hills-mom-pittsburgh-newborn-photographer Mon, 06 Mar 2017 19:03:44 GMT
March Family Fun | Pittsburgh Family Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/3/march-family-fun-pittsburgh-family-photographer March Family Fun | Pittsburgh Family Photographer

Looking for a fun activity to do with the family? Do your children love music like mine? Every March my family goes to hear live Irish music from our favorite Irish band, Abbots Cross. Abbots Cross is a local band from Bethel Park, Pittsburgh. Alan Booth and Mike Clancy, the talented musicians of Abbots Cross, are both music teachers in the Pittsburgh area. The combination of Alan's rich vocals and Mike's jazz background makes for an exciting musical experience.  

Who influenced you?
Our influences range from The Wolfe Tones to John Coltrane.

Describe your style.

Abbot's Cross set list includes traditional and modern Celtic music as well as original instrumentals combined with jigs and reels inspired by Brian Finnegan and Michael McGoldrick.

Mike, tell us more about you, your family and your children.

I'm a professional musician. I love all genres of music. Two of my three children are budding musicians.

Alan, tell us more about you, your family and your children.

Music is my passion and my family and four children are my life. Mike and I are both music teachers, live in the same area of Pittsburgh and have a set of twins!

Where are you playing this month? 

We have four performances this month. Come out and hear us!

March 11 at Claddagh from 12:00 - 2:30 p.m.

March 13 at Claddagh 5:00 - 9:00 p.m.

March 16 at Hotel Indigo 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

March 17 at Claddagh 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

What future performances do you have coming up?

We'll be at the Tartan Festival next month in Bethel Park and the Pittsburgh Irish Festival in September. 

April 22 at Tartan Day Celebration (Bethel Presbyterian Church)

September 8,9,10 at Pittsburgh Irish Festival (Homestead)

Be sure to follow us on Facebook to keep up to date on all of our upcoming performances.

We're on youtube. Watch us here.


Laura Mares is an experienced photographer specializing in capturing timeless family keepsakes. Laura works on location and in her fully equipped home studio, located in Mt. Lebanon, eight miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Laura’s style is creative, natural, and timeless. Would you like beautiful portraits of your newborn baby, to update your child and family portraits or to document a milestone in your life such as a wedding, graduation, birthday or reunion? If you are interested in high quality, timeless photographs, book your session today, call (412) 654-3367 or email [email protected]. To view a wide range of gorgeous portraits and to get great tips, advice and beautiful inspiration follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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[email protected] (Laura Mares Photography) laura mares photography pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh portrait photographers https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/3/march-family-fun-pittsburgh-family-photographer Fri, 03 Mar 2017 15:18:17 GMT
10 Tips to Better Pictures of your Dog | Pittsburgh Child and Family Photographer https://gallery.lauramares.com/blog/2017/2/10-tips-to-better-pictures-of-your-dog-pittsburgh-child-and-family-photographer 10 Tips to Better Pictures of your Dog
Laura Mares Photography | Pittsburgh Child and Family Photographer

Sharp Eyes

Focus on your dog's eyes. Tack sharp eyes are important for all portraits, including baby, child, and family portraits. “Eyes are the window to the soul.” Dogs eyes can be very expressive, try to capture their personality. 

Fast shutter speed

Dogs move around, a faster shutter speed will help, but a faster speed also means less light enters the lens. To balance this you will need a lot of natural light. Outdoor pet photos with fast shutter speeds can create beautiful portraits, but indoors it is more difficult because of the low light conditions.

Change your perspective

Get down to your dog’s level. Photograph your dog the way he sees the world! Take pictures from different angles to create more interesting shots. Also try from above, below, in front, behind!

Catch a  smile

Take your dog out for a quick run or tug on a toy with them. Have them chase you around or have a 5-minute play session. Active dogs are happy dogs! Happy dogs are more likely to flash a huge smile after settling down.