Autumn and Jeremy's Greensburg, PA Wedding

It was the first day of fall when Jeremy and Autumn got married. The ladies prepped at Autumn and Jeremy's home in Greensburg, had a beautiful and memorable ceremony at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, and finished their day with a reception at Bell's Banquets.

Jeremy and Autumn ended up being one of the more emotional weddings that I photographed this year. And as you know by know, readers, I love when people cry at weddings. One of the highlights of their wedding day was when Autumn's twin sister and maid of honor, Carly, began her speech, but became too emotional and couldn't hold her tears back so she abruptly ended it by sitting down. Another highlight was the speech given by Jeremy's best man, Aaron, who gave the most fantastic quote "Yesterday was the first day of fall, but for Jeremy, today is the first day of Autumn." Well said, Aaron.

There are lots of familiar faces below for all you Homer-Center alum! I'll be forever grateful for my Homer City weddings--much love to you all.

Autumn, my goodness you look absolutely beautiful. Congratulations to you and Jeremy! 

PS: there's 2 bonus selfie photos in here too!

Vendor love-
Transportation: Magnum Bus Transport
Ceremony: Westmoreland Museum of American Art
Reception: Bell's Banquets
Florist: Flo's Floral
Cake: Jaclyn Laroue
DJ: Westmoreland Sound
Gown designer: Jewel
Tux: Men's Wearhouse

1 Comment

Nechama and Scott's Oakland Pittsburgh Engagement Session

They say your vibe attracts your tribe. 

This couldn't have been more true for Nechama, Scott, and I. I met Nechama and Scott back in the summertime while I was

who just happened to be at Churn at the same time, who also just happened to be engaged too, and also just happened to be looking for a photographer for their wedding too. Just as I was about to order a Nutella and Oreo arctic swirl, they asked me if I could sit down and chat with them too. I said "Heck yes" and took a seat. They said, "It's in Florida." I said, "HECK YES!"

As we got to know each other, the more it became clear to me that Nechama and Scott are the true blue, best type of people. We have a lot of similar interests--including the ability to recite the first 12 digits of pi (even though Scott knows the first 50 or so, which you can see a proof in one of the photos below) and the same offbeat sense of humor. My favorite part of the meeting was learning that Scott was a professional juggler. Yeah right. I said, "Oh yeah? Prove it. Juggle something right now!" And he promptly retrieved his backpack and pulled out 3 bright orange juggling balls and started juggling right there in the middle of the cafe. And I promptly picked my jaw up from the floor. Well played, sir.

It was important to Nechama and Scott to be photographed amongst plants (of course, because the best type of people love plants!), and also to somehow incorporate their love of books and knowledge. So, we made plans to meet in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh where we shot at Panther Hollow near Schenley Park, Phipps Conservancy, and then finished the shoot at the Cathedral of Learning. 

Nechama and Scott, I am so, so grateful that our paths crossed. I cannot wait to photograph your wedding next week, and I cannot wait to connect again when we return.

1 Comment

Comment

Cecelia and Gabe's Sarasota Yacht Club Wedding

Happy 4 year anniversary to Cecelia and Gabe!

All of my past brides will recognize this wedding as this is the wedding that I use as my "what to expect from your wedding images" wedding that I showcase when I meet with prospective clients. I also have a few images on my website! But I never actually got around to blogging this gem. Since today they are celebrating 4 years of marriage, I thought this would be a great time to feature it in my blog. It's also time to retire this as my showcase wedding as it is now... 4 years old. 

Why do I love this wedding so much? It's a Florida wedding (yes I shoot destination weddings! Ask me about my travel rates! Get me out of Pittsburgh!) but mostly because there are so many emotionally-rich moments that are just classic. Everyone should know me well enough by now to know that I love when people cry (happy tears) at weddings. I love it. I get so excited when I see people dab their eyes and struggle and ultimately fail to hold back their emotions. Whether it's the bride, groom, parent, neighbor whomever! What a beautiful way to express how much you love someone. Both Cecelia and Gabe's mothers gave me so many great tear-filled and emotional moments. This wedding also had a lot of genuine hilarious moments, too! Don't be fooled by the classic gowns and tuxedos! This couple and their bridal party knows how to have a fun time. Make sure to check out the trolley scenes and the reception! It's been 4 years and I still haven't seen such a rockin party.

I'm drawn to photographing emotion because it's a way to connect with each other and share the human experience. And also because it's a challenge! I have to be observant all the time and super stealth because as soon as I bring the camera up to my eye, people become embarrassed for being vulnerable and I get the stink eye. So the trick is to keep my head on a swivel and know when it's the perfect time to shoot the picture. 

Cecelia and Gabe, thank you for trusting me with photographing this milestone in your lives. Happy anniversary!

Vendor love:
Photographer: Erica Dietz Photography
Florist: Flowers by Fudgie
Pastries: Angelo's Italian Market & Restaurant
DJ: Fitz at Jay Goodley Entertainment
Ceremony: St. Michael the Archangel on Siesta Key
Reception: Sarasota Yacht Club

Comment

Comment

Tina and Eli's Industrial Wedding at Noah's Event Venue in Cranberry, PA

I'm gonna love you like nobody's loved you
Come rain or come shine
High as a mountain and deep as a river
Come rain or come shine


Tina and Eli were truly my ideal clients. During our in-person consultation, Tina expressed that she wanted lots of candid, unposed photos during her wedding at Noah's Event Venue located in Cranberry, PA. Sure, people say that all the time but Tina and Eli's wedding was practically a goldmine for great moments. I'm not sure if I had so much success at capturing so many moments at this wedding because I already knew half of the bridal party--and probably half of the guests--or if everyone was genuinely so much fun to be around. Considering that I went to high school with Tina and most of the bridal party, I can confirm that yes, Tina and pretty much everyone there was an absolute blast to be around! And judging by the size of their guest list, everyone else agrees too.

Tina loved the industrial details at Noah's Event Venue, including the Edison lights and brick details which complimented the color of her bridesmaid's dresses from Azazie so beautifully. Men's Warehouse had the guys looking sharp. The videographer with FineLine was great to work with, and DJ Mike Dunn kept the dance floor packed. Banquets Unlimited was soooo delicious--another wedding with fantastic mac and cheese! Tina's sweet friend Shawna Sardone arranged the florals and blooms.

And special shout out to my second shooter Lou Ruediger! He captured one of my favorite unpredictable moments of the year: the moment that Tina was waiting to walk down the aisle but decided to take a quick last minute shot at the bar! I am so jealous! This was the perfect example of why adding a second photographer to your budget is SO IMPORTANT to get proper coverage of your wedding day--I was positioned next to Eli and if it wasn't for Lou, the moment wouldn't have been documented. And also! Shout out for scouting out THE MOST KILLER LOCATION for Tina and Eli's sunset location. Those golden hour photos are still some of my favorites from this wedding season. Plenty of Lou's photos are scattered in the post below. 

Tina, wow, you looked STUNNING! Congratulations and thank you for inviting me to document your day. 


Vendor guide:
Photographer: Erica Dietz Photography
Second Photographer: Lou Ruediger
Venue: Noah's Event Venue
Videography: FineLine Weddings
DJ: Mike Dunn
Caterer: Banquets Unlimited
Tuxes: Men's Wearhouse
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie
Florist: Shawna Sardone :)

Comment

Comment

Becca and Ben's Pittsburgh Bridges & North Shore Engagement Session

I've photographed people on these yellow bridges so many times that I've lost count!

I can understand why--they're big and bold and yellow. They're a beautiful symbol of connection and trust that makes it a perfect metaphor for engagement photos. They're a true Pittsburgh classic. And! They're a great alternative for Mount Washington when clients want photos of the Pittsburgh skyline.

There aren't too many couples that had the type of connection that Becca and Ben have. I loved the way Ben could turn Becca's smile into the best happy expression I've ever seen. Her entire face lights up when she laughs which made it a complete dream to photograph their Pittsburgh engagement session.

Becca, you're positively gorgeous. I CANNOT wait for your wedding this weekend!

Comment

Alicia and Matt's Backyard Leechburg Wedding

When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love


Well this wedding was certainly a surprise. When I hear the words "backyard wedding", the first word I tend to think first is never "sophisticated" but wow! The decor by All About Reclaimed, All Occasions, and Classic Tent Rental truly set a high-end ambiance while still maintaining an intimate backyard rustic atmosphere. DJ Scottro kept the guests grooving all night. The Pittsburgh Camper Booth had everyone smiling. The bbq style food by Butler Hot Dog Shoppe had me standing in line for seconds. That mac and cheese I CAN'T EVEN! The florals from Leechburg Floral had blooms that were so gorgeous. And of course there were like 20 different types of pie! My second photographer Pamela did an amazing job at being the eyes in the back of my head. It was even her suggestion to suggest to Alicia and Matt that they would have their first dance out in the open space in front of the view. And the view! Oh the view was just breathtaking. I couldn't believe such a gem was hidden in the tiny town of Leechburg. It was perfect for a wedding reception.

But you know what really brought everything together? Alicia and Matt. I loved the way they loved each other. Every couple shows affection differently, and there isn't a wrong way to do it, but Alicia and Matt were the sweetest to watch as they checked in on each other throughout the day. Whether it was Matt holding Alicia's bouquet as she held her gown, exchanging glances, or watching them hold each other up as they took a spinning twirl a bit too fast. 

Alicia, you were absolutely breathtaking. Thank you for this opportunity to document your wedding.

Vendor love:
Photographer: Erica Dietz Photography
Second Photographer: Pamela Marie Photography
Food: Butler Hot Dog Shoppe
Florist: Leechburg Floral
Tent Rental: Classic Tent Rental
Chairs and Covers: All Occasions
Decor Rental: All About Reclaimed by Jeff Double
Photo Booth: Pittsburgh Camper Booth
DJ: DJ Scottro of Modern Era Weddings

Alyssa and Eric's Field Engagement Session

"Will you stay with me, will you be my love
Among the fields of barley
We'll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we lie in fields of gold"

Alyssa's only requirement for her engagement session was that it was at a field. As someone who grew up basically in the country, and currently living 5 minutes from a farm in any direction, and as a photographer who never stops lusting for the perfect field for photoshoots, I have pretty high standards for fields. Alyssa kept asking for an address for our location and I kept stalling because I knew that I was going to find the perfect field right in front of my face. I didn't want to pick a location too soon and then show up to a mowed field. Then one day, I was delivering photo products to a client when I saw the most perfect field across from her house. And wouldn't you know it but the land owner started mowing the field right as we walked up to it. Oh that's the worst! I asked if we could delay his task so that they could get the dreamiest location for their backdrop and he obliged.
 

The light was perfect and golden and beautiful for Alyssa and Eric's engagement session. Combine these elements with the sweetest couple and we ended up with some absolutely incredible images and had a great time.

Alyssa and Eric, I cannot wait for your wedding next month!

Comment

Amanda and Jesse's Indiana, PA Wedding

"You know
I wish that I had Jessie's girl
I wish that I had Jessie's girl
Where can I find a woman like that"

Even as I was still photographing this wedding, I KNEW it was going to be a special one.

The details were on point--soft pink gowns, lace details, navy suits, and gold glitter--but it was the bride and groom's connection with their loved ones that brought the magic. There was so much laughter and joy throughout the day--it was impossible for me to not get caught up in it myself. I photographed Amanda and her ladies as they prepared for their day while getting glammed up by Gabbi Miller of Bella Spa and Beauty. Meanwhile, my second photographer Brian Henry of Evermark Studios did an incredible job documenting Jesse and the guys as they casually finished getting ready before heading to the ceremony. My favorite series of images from the day were taken by Brian with his entire series of photos featuring the many MANY different faces of Amanda's nephew, Mitchell. I can't even handle it. Mitchell is quite used to being photographed by his mother and my friend, Becca, who is also a photographer. 

The most touching part of the day, however, was a somber moment when Amanda wanted pay her respects at her father's gravesite with her new husband and her two sisters. That moment quickly went from a moment of silence to laughter as they discovered the red geraniums that Becca had planted the week prior had lost every single one of the petals! Make sure to look for the stems in the detail shot of Amanda's bouquet and a Coors Light resting against the headstone. After they shared a beer together, we headed to the Indiana Country Club for their kick ass reception lead by DJ Digital Dave. The best part of the reception was watching Jesse and Amanda dance to "Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield!

Thank you, Amanda and Jesse, for the opportunity to document your special day. 

Vendor love:
Photographer- Erica Dietz Photography
Second Photographer- Brian Henry of Evermark Studios
Florals- Indiana Floral & Flower Boutique
DJ- DJ Digital Dave
Venue- Indiana Country Club
Wedding gown- Bridal Beginnings
Bridesmaid dresses- MB Bride
Hair- Cameron's Salon
Makeup- Bella Spa and Beauty
Accessories- White Lace Bridal

Comment

Abbey Lynn's Horse and Field Themed Senior Portrait Session in Saxonburg, PA

"The prairie blows the grasses
And whips the horse's mane.
They travel, horse and rider,
Through the sea of amber grain.
"
--Ivy Schex

Wow, just wait until you see the beautiful light I found with Abbey Lynn and her pony Cookie during our senior portrait session in Saxonburg, PA. This whole session was incredible! But what would you expect from photographing a photographer herself? Abbey Lynn loves to photograph horses, so the pressure was on to make sure Cookie looked just as good as her owner! Make sure you check out her portfolio on Instagram--she's booking senior portrait sessions as well so hit her up!!

Abbey Lynn, you are STUNNING (and Cookie too) and I can't wait to collaborate on a shoot in the near future :)

2 Comments

Mandy, Joe, and Milo's Maternity and Lifestyle Family Session in Pittsburgh, PA

Clear your schedules, folks.
This is a good one.

Lifestyle photography refers to documenting a typical "day in the life" of a family in a beautiful way. The idea is to look back on these days in 40 years and be able to remember that moment as it truly was. Whenever I look at photos of myself from when I was a child, I am immediately transported to that moment: the emotions that I felt, or remembering a popular song, or the smell of my favorite foods in the kitchen, or the way a blanket felt, whatever was happening in *that* moment.

These details are all part of the human experience.

As a photographer, I want document and share those experiences for you. As a photojournalist, I want to experience these things *WITH* you and your family. 

I worked with Mandy to create a plan for her session, and she choose a few of their favorite activities to do as a family in their Pittsburgh home: read books, bake a delicious strawberry dessert from scratch (IT WAS DELICIOUS thank you Joe), and let Milo play with the hose in the yard. Plus, whatever it was that Milo wanted to do! She also requested a relaxed portrait or two as she was pregnant at the time with the sweet Miss Cora Jane.

Hell. Yes. 

The beautiful thing about family lifestyle photography and especially photographing young children is that I cannot pose them. The only thing to do is try to stay one step ahead of them, if not then straight up chase after them. This was absolutely true for Milo, who they lovingly nicknamed "Milo Tornado". I mean, look at his expression in the first photo! I knew this would be a run-and-chase session (my favorite kind!) but after seeing this mischievous little bad ass waiting to greet me as I walked up to their home, I knew that it was gonna be game. on.

Mandy, Joe, Milo, (and you too Cora Jane!) thank you for inviting me into your home. Your family is beautiful and I can't wait to get together again.

2 Comments

Comment

Jillian and Mike's Pittsburgh Duquesne Wedding

Funny story about this one...
I booked this wedding because Jillian and Mike's original photographer got pregnant and could no longer shoot it. One of my own clients who works with Mike referred my name (thank you again Alyssa and Justin!) which worked out beautifully because Jillian and Mike were looking for a documentary-style wedding photographer. I was able to capture so, so many great moments because they let me document their day in a photojournalistic way.

Jillian and Mike, I am so glad your original photographer got pregnant! Sorry (NOT SORRY) because I had an absolute blast with you both, your bridal party, and your families. Just look at all these beautiful people! Special shoutout to the talented Linnea for photographing this rainy day Duquesne wedding in Pittsburgh with me--plenty of her images are integrated below. 

Vendor love
Photographer--Erica Dietz Photography
Second Photographer--Linnea Marie Photography
Florals--Hearts and Florals
Baker--Bethel Bakery
Dress--One Enchanted Evening
DJ--Dave Kleba of DJ Moble Mix

Comment

Haley and Frankie's Armstrong Farms Wedding

'Cause I'm what you wanted and you're what I need
So let's meet in between
We're gonna be the greatest love story this town has ever seen
We're gonna be the greatest love story this world has ever seen
So baby say yes to me


I know I say this all the time but I always try to befriend with my clients--especially my brides--so that I can gain their trust. And when the wedding day comes, I can document them in their most natural state. The friendships rarely last beyond the wedding, but my friendship with Haley is still going strong. How could it not! As soon we we met for her consultation, we became instant friends. Anyone who can quote Mean Girls is instantly my new friend, but Haley was different. We meet for dinner all the time and we text on the regular. She drove Roxie and I back and forth after Rox's surgery, and she even knows when I'm being overly sensitive to Roxie and reassures me that everything will be okay (you were right!). I am forever grateful for Haley and I loved being a part of her wedding day.

Haley, you're beautiful.

Enjoy a selection of my favorite images from your wedding. Several of the photos were taken by my second photographer Tye Cypher.

Featured vendors--
Second shooter: Tye Cypher
Venue: Armstrong Farms
DJ/Video: Pifemaster Productions
Catering: Stephen's Kitchen
Florals: BurlapAndLacePlace
Cake: Haley's aunt :)

 

Taryn and Bryan's Isle of Palms, SC Destination Wedding

If I had to describe my ideal clients, I might as well just describe Taryn, Bryan, and their families.

Oftentimes I talk about befriending my bride as a way to help let their guards down and "get in their circle" to immerse myself in their wedding day, which in turn, helps me create the best documentary-style photos possible. With Taryn, I had no choice but to become best friends with her. In fact, it was through one of my own best friends Natalie that introduced me to Taryn, and one of the first things that Taryn said was that she wanted to be best friends with me too. After flying down from Pittsburgh, PA to Isle of Palms, SC and meeting her family, it wasn't long until they adopted me too. You know you're doing something right when the moms add you on Facebook!

One of Taryn's best qualities is her ability to be unabashadly herself. You know when she's happy, you know when she's sad, and you know when she's mad (#sorrynotsorry!) and oh my goodness is she beautiful! This made it a lot of fun to photograph her. My favorite part of the whole day was the moment her sister surprised Taryn with her grandfather's bottle of cologne. She had saved it after he passed away, which made it even more special.

Taryn wanted to incorporate many Irish wedding traditions to her ceremony--which I loved! She got married on Saint Patrick's Day and used the color green for many of her details. She and Bryan did a Celtic hand-fasting ceremony in which a gold and green ribbon was tied to their hands. Another Irish tradition that Taryn used was to give each guest a stone to hold during the ceremony. In ancient Ireland, wedding guests were given small stones to cast into the water while making a wish or blessing for the couple's future. So, of course, I thought it would be a great photo if I stood in the water and had everyone throw their stones to either side of me. Not *at* me, but *beside* me. My pants were soaked but no photographers were harmed in the making of the photo. Totally worth it.

Taryn used Charleston I Do for her hair, A Jolly Occasion for her makeup, and lashes by Rheanna. Cori Carpenter did an amazing job at officiating the beach ceremony. Taryn held a gorgeous bouquet designed by Jen of Island Treaures.

Taryn and Bryan, it was such an honor to document your wedding!