Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /home/pbyaw/public_html/blog/classes/clsBlog.php on line 35

Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /home/pbyaw/public_html/blog/classes/clsBlog.php on line 36

Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /home/pbyaw/public_html/blog/classes/clsBlog.php on line 119

Warning: date() [function.date]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/Los_Angeles' for 'PST/-8.0/no DST' instead in /home/pbyaw/public_html/blog/classes/clsBlog.php on line 120

Warning: mysql_fetch_object(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/pbyaw/public_html/blog/classes/dbClass.php on line 36

Warning: mysql_fetch_object(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/pbyaw/public_html/blog/classes/dbClass.php on line 36

Warning: mysql_fetch_object(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/pbyaw/public_html/blog/classes/dbClass.php on line 36

Warning: mysql_fetch_object(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/pbyaw/public_html/blog/classes/dbClass.php on line 36

Warning: mysql_fetch_object(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/pbyaw/public_html/blog/classes/dbClass.php on line 36

Warning: mysql_fetch_object(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/pbyaw/public_html/blog/classes/dbClass.php on line 36

Warning: mysql_fetch_object(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/pbyaw/public_html/blog/classes/dbClass.php on line 36

Warning: mysql_fetch_object(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/pbyaw/public_html/blog/classes/dbClass.php on line 36

Warning: mysql_fetch_object(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/pbyaw/public_html/blog/classes/dbClass.php on line 36

Warning: mysql_fetch_object(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/pbyaw/public_html/blog/classes/dbClass.php on line 36
Photography by Amanda Wilson
 

Blog Home

▣ June 2012

June 1st, 2012

 

Two chairs at the edge of the Blackfoot River in Greenough, Montana as the sun goes down.  In a moment of stress when someone tells you to go to your 'happy place', this is one of mine.

 

 

 

 

 

There's something about getting back to the basics of life that seems to untangle all the stuff the world throws at us everyday.  A tent where you can hear the wind and wake with the sun, a good fire to keep things warm and bright in the dark, water to cool your heels after a long walk.  No phone, no internet, no facebook. 

 

 

June is my busiest month this year.  Hopefully there will still be a few moments to stop and watch the sunset.

 

 

Comments added to this post

▣ Deanna & Wayne | 1 year anniversary

May 24th, 2012

 

One year ago this weekend Deanna and Wayne stood on the back porch of Valley Country Club in Towson, Maryland, exchanged rings, and promised to love each other through good times and bad.  I remember the weather was a lot like it is today, hot and sunny with the chance of sudden storms.  We arrived before the wedding party and could to scope out the grounds and the unique interior of this beautiful venue!

 

Right image by Anna.

 

 

Deanna and the girls arrived shortly and her mom and sister helped her into her dress.

 

 

 

Image by Anna.

 

 

Smiling summer bride :)

 

 

 

The ceremony was to take place on the steps of the huge southern style porch with the guests watching from the lawn.  Just as they were about to start, dark grey clouds rolled in and everyone got out their umbrellas.  Sadly, Deanna's Dad had passed away and was not able to walk her down the aisle.  To honor his memory, and as a way of keeping him close to her heart, Deanna chose to wear her father's shoes as her brother took her arm and escorted her to the ceremony.  It was a beautiful gesture, and in a way her Dad did walk with her that day.  Her own silver glittering wedding shoes waited for her at the end of the aisle, and when her brother gave her away, Wayne knelt down and placed her heels on her feet before leading her up the stairs.

 

 

At one point during the ceremony, it began to rain BIG drops and we took cover under a patio umbrella and a pine tree at the back of the aisle.  The officiant jokingly asked the audience if everyone was ok and then continued :D

 

 

The rain cleared up as quickly as it began and we got some shots of the new husband and wife in the roses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image by Anna.

 

 

The staircase at Valley Country Club was gorgeous!

 

 

Their reception was a mix of southern charm and playful brightly colored details.

 

 

Things got crowded when they cut the cake!

 

 

 

 

Deanna tossed her bouquet over the railing from the landing of the stairs!

 

 

 

Right image by Anna.

 

 

 

A year goes by so fast!  Here's to many more happy celebrations!

 

 


Ceremony & Reception Location:  Valley Country Club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments added to this post

▣ Jenna & Josh | indiana county engagement session

May 17th, 2012

 

There's something about the way the light hits on a warm evening in the summer.  It's timeless, taking us back to fishing trips, and days at the beach, ice tea on a porch swing, and summer concerts.  Photographers quietly refer to this as "magic light" and we are always searching for it.  The hour between sunset and dusk is where it lives, (or very rarely when the sun comes out underneath dark storm clouds), when it touches the ground - it makes things glow.  Like magic. 

 

Jenna and Josh just so happened to have such a night for their engagement photos at Blue Spruce Park in Indiana County, Pa.  I actually got lost on the way there.  The bridge was out on the route my gps wanted me to take, so I ended up on what seemed like a 30 mile detour through the farmland surrounding chambersville and creekside, Pa.  It was the best back road detour I've been on in a long long time.  Miles of gravel roads through green pasture land passing farmhouses along the way.  Around another bend, Stern's Soft Serve ice cream in Creekside!  Finally, I reached the park where Jenna and Josh were waiting :)

 

 

They are such a great couple!  We wandered through the park laughing and enjoying the great weather.  You can tell that secretly they are crazy about each other in a tell-our-friends-we're-too-busy-to-go-out-and-stay-home-and-watch-movies-together-instead kind of way.  The kind of love you only find when you've found your best friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They're tying the knot in June this year and I can't wait to be there !!

 

I hope the summer sun shines with just as much magic on that evening as it did for this one :D

 

 

 

 

Comments added to this post

▣ The Briley Family | exploring the jungle

May 14th, 2012

 

If you folllow the blog, you'll recognize the Briley family !  In 2009, I was privileged to photograph Minda and Brett's wedding at Lingrow farm, then last year we took some photos to comemorate the next step in the journey of this little family as they awaited the birth of their first babyA few weeks later their daughter, Reidun, was born.  Since then we've hung out in their backyard in the summer, been to a pumpkin pach in the fall, and now exploring the jungle! 

 

 

If you're suffering from the winter/spring rainy day blues, the best place to experience summer all year long in pittsburgh is Phipps Conservatory!  It was Reidun's first visit and she loved it!  There are lots of activities for kids in the discovery garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After pressing all of the buttons for the water fountains, we needed a goldfish break :)

 

 

Everyone had a great time exploring the orchid room, watching butterflies hatch and flutter around, and 'grocery shopping' at the kids' farmer's market! 

 

 

 

 

It was a pleasure as always to hang around with the Briley's :D  I can't wait to do it again!

 

(**Special thanks to Brett's mom who provided phone support!! **)

 

Happy Mother's Day everyone!!

 

 

 

 

 

Comments added to this post

▣ Heather & Nick 4.28.12

May 11th, 2012

 

 

Heather and Nick are the cutest couple!   If you need more proof, check out their engagement session by clicking here .  From engagement photos on a train, to the vintage details and family photo collection at their reception, there was so much thought and love put into every aspect of their wedding.   At the end of the ceremony when they were pronounced husband and wife, they turned and grinned at each other walking up the church aisle to "Our Song" by Taylor Swift.  If you think that's adorable - it was :)  But that was later in the day, so let's start this story at the beginning.

 

 

Heather & Nick by aw on Grooveshark

 

 

 

It was actually snowing when we arrived at the salon to meet up with the girls.  They were almost finished with hair and make up and one of the flower girls, Heather's niece, Kadence, was having a fantastic time with all of the ladies at Fashions A Head in Leechburg.  (They are a great bunch of gals there!)  After hair, everyone got their make up done and it was time to get to the church!

 

 

Heather's big sister, Connie went to high school with me and now is Mom to two of the most precious little girls you could ever meet.  Lyric woke up from her nap just in time to get dressed up and be the littlest flower girl for her Aunt Heather's big daySuch an important milestone for someone only 7 weeks old :D

 

 

The snow changed to rain that ran down the window while the girls stayed tucked away in the bride's room at the church getting ready.  Heather brought this mirror from home for this photo - both her sister and her mom have the same photo with this mirror on their own wedding days.

 

 

 

Nick and the groomsmen arrived on the motorcoach between raindrops.  They modeled their socks for us.

Right image by Ashley.

 

 

 

Their ceremony was simple, sweet, and full of joy.

 

 

 

 

Married !!

 

 

Heather was more than beautiful this day - on her wedding day, she shined :)

 

We totally lucked out!  After the ceremony, the rain let up enough that we were able to get some outdoor photos with the wedding party who braved the cold and the squishy grass!  Big shout out to Amber from aroseproductions.com for her mad video skills and for being so fantastic to work with(She promised not to film me when at one point I was almost flat on the ground in the muddy grass reaching for just the right angle!  She also promised to dub music over top of all of my bad jokes!)

Center right image by Ashley.

 

 

 

 

 

Love this shot Heather picked out from Pinterest.  Pinterest is such a great place for wedding planning.

 

 

I love the image on the left that Ashley caught when Nick raised his hand to salute Heather while I was switching memory cards.  That's Nick's brother, Joe, "stealing a kiss" from Heather through the picture frame.

 

 

Image by Ashley.

 

 

 

 

 

Once we got the bus turned around, it was off to Futules Harmar House in Cheswick for their vintage chic yellow and grey reception.  The tables were decorated with blue mason jar centerpieces made with spider mums courtesy of Leechburg Floral.  Guests enjoyed smores cupcakes and everyone received a plastic drinking cup with Nick and Heather's monogram which came in handy throughout the evening ;-)  I also loved that they used their engagement photos to make a photo guestbook!

 

 

 

First dance :)

 

 

Cookie tables are a tradition in western Pennsylvania (I seriously feel bad for all the underprivileged out-of-staters out there).  This was a cookie table of legend.  The ladies at Leechburg Floral really outdid themselves this time by bringing in antique suitcases, cigar boxes, trays, tins, baskets, and mason jars to bring together Heather's vision for her themed cookie display.  **Vicki - I have no idea how you're ever going to top this but I CAN'T WAIT to see you try!!**

 

 

 

 

For the wedding, I really wanted to tie in their engagement photos and scouted a spot for us to get some shots on the railroad tracks.  Heather and Nick got 1,000 bonus points for hopping in the cars and heading down the street mid-reception for some romantic photos in the rain.

 

 

Left image by Ashley.

 

 

 

When we returned to the reception, Heather shared an emotional dance with her Dad to Edwin McCain's "Walk With You."  The rest of us said silent thank you prayers for auto focus as we blubbered behind our cameras.

 

 

The party really kicked off later on - and I can sum it all up in one word:

 

THUNDERSTRUCK  !!

 

 

 

Congratulations Nick and Heather on your wedding, your new house, and all the wonderful memories that are still to come!  Thank you for a fantastic start to the wedding season, I could not have asked for a more perfect day!

 

 

 

 


 

 

Ceremony location:  Apollo Free Methodist Church

Reception Location:  Futules Harmar House

Hair and MakeUp:  Fashions A Head

Floral Design: Leechburg Floral

Videography: A Rose Productions

Entertainment:  Greg McAtee

 

 

Comments added to this post

▣ May 2012

May 1st, 2012

 

 

OMG it's May already. 

The sun is shining, the weather is warm, busy season has kicked off - and I can't stop thinking about Montana.

 

 

The shot for May's calendar month is from our hike along Holland Lake in Montana to photograph Holland Lake falls.  (More proof that sometimes the journey can be just as good as reaching the destination.)  Located along the western edge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, Holland Lake is a deep blue oasis in the mountains.

 

 

The Bob Marshall Wilderness, referred to by cool people as "The Bob", is 2400 square MILES of wilderness.  No towns, houses, no roads.  Just the land and the wildlife that calls it home - grizzly bears, moose, elk, and more.

 

The hike to Holland Lake falls is a good story.  Sean and I touched down in Montana via airplane and so we were not able to bring any of the safety items with us that are recommended for hiking in grizzly country.  On our way in we passed a few people hiking out that were armed with bells, bear spray, and firearms.  We were on our way IN with a camera and a water bottle.  Sean was a little concerned for our safety.  I mused over how awesome it would be to photograph a charging grizzly.  (Other photographers can relate - we feel invincible behind the lens as though the camera makes for a shield.  I've been face to face with bears, snakes, steep drop offs, dangerous heights, icy rivers, etc and all that matters is getting the shot.  But take the camera away and my 'bigness' is threatened.)  It's good for me that when I'm leaning too far over the edge Sean is almost always there and holds onto the back of my jeans while I dangle precariously.  I can remember another instance where I was flat on my belly in the tall grass shooting a poisonous spider as it fought with a daddy long legs a few inches off the end of my lens.  I was admiring what a beautiful creature of nature it was - all the while Sean stood overtop of my shoulders holding a big stick with instructions that if the beautiful creature of nature suddenly made a leap for my face he was to kill it.  Kill it dead.

 

Lucky for us, we didn't encounter any dangerous wildlife along our hike to the falls.  Although I nearly passed out from dehydration (another story entirely).  When we reached the falls it was worth it, and we were greeted by 3 of these little guys.  They looked exactly like the chipmunks we have here in PA just twice as big.  They were friendly and clearly used to getting handouts from hikers.  I fed them our peanuts from the airplane.  (Sean was convinced I had doomed us death since the airplane peanuts were all we had to sustain us should we become trapped out in the wild and I had the nerve to feed them to a rodent...)

 

May is a great month to GET OUT !  See your home state, take pictures, make memories, visit your local parks, interact with wildlife!

 

Just don't get eaten by bears....or Sean will be all "I told you so".

 

 

Comments added to this post

▣ Heather & Nick | Engagement on a Train

April 25th, 2012

 

Today I'm sharing Heather and Nick's awesome engagement photos on a train!  It's even more special because they will be getting married in just 3 days!!  Time flies when you're planning ;-) 

 

Speaking of planning, Heather coordinated their engagement session perfectly from booking a kickin' location to the antique suitcases they brought along for props.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They are a gorgeous couple!

 

 

The train was an excellent shooting location, there were a few passenger cars, an old engine and a caboose!

 

 

 

After a quick outfit change we explored the area for a different look.  They totally rock the 'serious face'.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned - I can't wait for the wedding this saturday!! 

 

 

Comments added to this post

▣ Bridal Shower Brunch

April 20th, 2012

No Tags Currently Defined

 

Two weeks ago my friend Shannon came home to Pittsburgh so that we could celebrate her upcoming wedding with a bridal shower brunch!  After all, breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. 

 

Her bridesmaids chose The Cornerstone Restaurant in Aspinwall as the location.  It was a beautiful space with bright sunny windows and warm colors.  Everyone had fun decorating!

 

 

 

 

 

The guest of honor arrived with her ring bearer and nephew, Jack :-)  You can tell they are related!

 

 

The Cornerstone provided a breakfast buffet with eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, pancakes, and fruit.  It was delicious!  There were also coffee, tea, and mimosas for everyone :)

 

 

Jack was a big help when it was time for Shannon to open presents.

 

 

Sticking with the breakfast theme, dessert was vanilla and almond coffee cake provided by Bella Christie Bakery.

 

 

 

 

 

The flower toaster.  My favorite decoration :)  (Admittedly inspired by something I saw in on pinterest.)  All of the beautiful spring flowers were provided by Leechburg Floral.  The favor each guest got to bring home was a cake pop from Bella Christie in either vanilla, chocolate, or Shannon's favorite red velvet.

 

 

Shannon got some great gifts to get her started on her new married life with Brad and it was great to see a lot old friends!

 

 

Speaking of Brad, he dropped by the restaurant with flowers for his soon to be wife :) 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations you two!!  Can't wait to see you all in Cincinnati for the wedding !

 

 

 

 


 

 

Location/Food/Beverage:  The Cornerstone Restaurant in Aspinwall

Flowers:  Leechburg Floral

Cake and Cake Pops:  Bella Christie Bakery in Aspinwall

 

Comments added to this post

▣ Erica + Alex | Mansion at Maple Heights Wedding

April 18th, 2012

 

 

Today I have the pleasure of sharing Erica and Alex's wedding with you in celebration of their one year anniversary this past monday!  They were married in Pittsburgh at the Mansion at Maple Heights, a unique venue for intimate weddings tucked away in the neighborhood of Shadyside.  The weather that day was a celebration of April showers which put a damper on their plans for an outdoor ceremony.  Luckily there was a back up plan and everyone was relaxed when we arrived :)

 

The bridal suite at the mansion is not to be missed!  The bathroom is more like a small day spa and was the perfect place for Erica and several bridesmaids to prep with hair and make up.

Top right image by Anna.

 

 

 

 

Erica's dress and accessories were gorgeous, from her corset gown made of light buttery silk, to the floral pins in her hair.

 

 

 

Erica with her sister and soon to be sisters-in-law.  Clearly going to be a FUN family :)

 

 

 

 

 

There is a walk in closet at the mansion that's the size of a living room! 

 

Top right image by Anna.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erica was radiant like the sun on that rainy day.

 

 

 

 

 

What were the guys doing while all the ladies were getting ready?  Taking advantage of the home theatre room at the mansion to play video games!  I heard there was going to be classic mario and duck hunt but they couldn't find the gun game controllers. 

 

 

Eventually, all the guys did get ready after all.  They clean up good! :D

 

 

Months before the wedding, Erica and Alex had planned to do a First Look before their ceremony.  Originally they wanted to meet outside, but due to the rain they decided to see each other for the first time on the balcony outside the bridal suite overlooking the hallway where their guests were filing in.  Alex waited outside the door, and when she was ready Erica took a deep breath and stepped out onto the landing.  The moment was perfect :)

 

 

I think spending a few moments alone with your groom before the ceremony to chat and calm your nerves is a great idea!

 

 

Then it was showtime!  The wedding party lined the mahogany staircase overlooking Erica and Alex as they said their vows.  They also asked their parents to participate in a sand ceremony.

 

 

After the I do's we ventured outside for some fresh air and fun pictures.  The guys took shelter under the garage overhang.

 

 

Then my photographer prayers were answered and the clouds parted and the rain dried up to a manageabe mist!  We were able to take advantage of the front yard.  The guys wore striped ties and pink orchid boutonnieres.

 

 

I'm pretty sure everyone was laughing over the fact that their high heels were stuck in the mud for this one!

 

 

 

 

 

You can tell they really are in love :)

 

 

Dinner was served in a bright tent on the back patio.

 

 

Did I mention there was a dessert room?  A heavenly room of cupcakes and cookies and penn state creamery ice cream!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After dessert, the party kicked off and they danced the night away !

 

 

 

The rain clouds made a for a calm misty evening outside the mansion.

 

 

Happy Anniversary to a wonderful couple!!!  Here's to many many more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments added to this post

▣ Henry | Newborn Photography

April 14th, 2012

 

 

A long long time ago in a high school not so far away, Natalie met Craig and they liked each other alot :)  So they spent all of high school holding hands on the way to the bus and passing notes in class.  After high school was college and by now they realized that they loved each other a lot :)  They stayed together and a few years after college, they got married !  (And I was lucky enough to be one of the many family and friends crying in the back of the church the day they said their vows - except I had a camera - and had the honor of being the photographer for their wedding day.)

 

 

Now a few more years later, they realize they STILL love each other more than ever and that it was time to go from being a couple to being a family.  And so this is Henry, just two weeks old and already loved so much by all his family and friends.

 

 

Henry's nursery is decorated with owls and someone special was kind enough to make this beautiful quilt for him.  I love the top right photo, Henry was telling me a secret ;-)

 

 

Look at that grin !!  I can already picture him fishing with his Daddy.

 

Welcome to the big wide world, Henry :-)

 

 

Comments added to this post

More entries...

Blog Home