December 18, 2011

Frosty Hemlock

Hemlock with a heavy cover of frost.

I hope that I'm not the only one for whom Christmas is coming way to fast.  I was somehow convinced that I still had two weeks.  My husband broke the bad news to me similar to the way he would approach one of the horses if they were loose....with great caution and trepidation.

I'm looking forward to getting the Charlie Brown tree in the house this week and the decorations unpacked.  The beautiful wreath that my husband got from a friend is finally hanging and we were blessed with a bit of snow.  It's going to be hard not spending Christmas Eve with my Grandpa Joe after 38 years of doing so.

Merry Christmas to all my blogging friends!

December 11, 2011

Afternoon Nap | New Wilmington, PA Pet Photographer

JRTCA Redstone Charlotte aka Charlotte Pup Pup, enjoying a mid afternoon nap in front of window in my office.  Dreaming of Groundhogs, I'm sure.

Sunday Stills

December 3, 2011

All You Need Is Love

I don't know about you.  But there is something wonderful about being with the person that you love, on the land that you love while doing something that you both love doing.  Mr. Weingartner has grown so accustomed to the camera that now he rarely bothers to scowl at me.  He has accepted that it's just coming along as an extension of me.   

December 1, 2011

Holding On To Gratitude

We got our first real cold snap of the season yesterday and Mother Nature gave us a thick layer of Hoar Frost overnight to celebrate it with.  I love the change of seasons.  The leaves have fallen off the trees.  Pennsylvania has turned brown, tan and gold.  And the nip in the air for the morning walk with the Jack Russell Terriers has brought out wool coats, Ugg boots, scarves and bright red mittens.  I'm so thankful to be able to be outside exploring the end of Fall and the beginning of Winter.

November 27, 2011

First Sunday of Advent | St. Paul Cathedral

1st Sunday of Advent at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh PA
Advent is such a special time.  I was so happy to make the trip to Pittsburgh on Saturday night with part of my family for the vigil mass for the 1st Sunday of Advent.  I'm looking forward to being able to take the next several weeks to reflect on this past year.  To prepare for Christmas from a nonsecular viewpoint.

November 20, 2011

Lifestyle Photography Tips | New Castle Family Photographer

For Sunday Stills this week we were asked to share a Portrait Session and some tips to improve Portraits.  This is a Lifestyle Session done with my Sisterella and her beautiful children.

Tip 1... Location.  It's super to have the location either be the choice of your subject or relevant to their life in some way.  This location was chosen because the children's father is an Engineer on the railroad.

Tip 2 ... Photos from behind.  I love the above photo.  Colin setting off and Anna following.  A priceless narrative to where they are in their life right now.

Tip 3 ... Not all photo need a constrained crop.  Frame for the subject/story NOT for the 'picture frame'.

Tip 4 ... If your subject is low to the ground. Then get down on the ground and shoot from their perspective.  Alternately you can shoot from up high...I love my 3 step ladder (I always have it with me now).

Tip 5 ... Background.  Before you press the shutter make sure that your background is clean.

Tip 6 ... Wait.  Let your subjects breathe.  Let things happen.  I like this photo better then the one above it.  And in a few years when Colin is all grown up, Sisterella will like this one better too.  

Tip 7 ... Shoot the funny stuff.  Mum with the 'props' makes a fun Facebook profile photo.

Tip 8 ... Be on the look out for the sweet stuff.  It wasn't hard to see what was going to happen once Anna Sophia picked a couple of flowers and headed back towards Mum.  My camera is to my eye the majority of the shoot.

Tip 9 ... Let the treasures be in the shoot.  Colin had a Railroad spike and Anna had given Mum the flowers.  They were equally proud of these found 'treasures' from our morning out.  No use in asking to put them down and tempt a hissy-fit.

Tip 10 ... Move those Focus Points.  Moving the Focus Points on the camera is now second nature to me.  It wasn't always.  But once I got used to doing it ... it stepped up my composition game.  Yes you can focus and recompose, which I do frequently for my still subject.  But for moving subjects or my fast moving Polo photography moving those Focus Points gets me a shaper better composed picture every  time.  It's second nature to me adjusting Aperture and Shutter Speed.

Tip 11 ...  Get a variety of lighting scenarios.  Front light, back light, side light.  Opportunities for flare or a silhouette shot add some drama to the Gallery that you present to your subject.  And allow your artistic side to come through.

And finally...

Tip 12 ... When you are looking for a location.  Scanning for the next place to move your subjects...your camera needs to be up to your eye.  You need to be looking through your lens so that you can see what will be in the shot.  See the environment from your lenses perspective.

Happy shooting!

November 16, 2011

Stumped with Wadsworth

O hemlock-tree! O hemlock-tree! how faithful are thy branches!
Green not alone in summer time,
But in the winter's frost and rime!
O hemlock-tree! O hemlock-tree! how faithful are thy branches!
-From The Hemlock Tree by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I wonder if the little Hemlock that has sprouted in this spot has any sense of the of the tree that once stood where it is now growing?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But I like to believe that it does.

Mighty may it grow, protected as it is by what remains of it's predecessor.

November 13, 2011

Fuzzy Cow Belly

This week at Sunday Stills the challenge was to shoot with a change of perspective.  Then post one good photo and one bad.  Sometimes a photo is neither good or bad and it's up to you to pick which shot you like best.  When Im shooting I always think...'get the shot'.  Then look for the shot within the shot or the new perspective or angle.

I shot the above photo first.  I liked the sun position and the opportunity for flair and I had a bit of a soft spot for 923 here...she was very curious about my camera.  I liked the photo and the angle but thought that I should change my position and see what else I could capture.

For the 2nd photo I just moved over from where I was standing (apron 10-12') and closed up the space between us with the zoom.

Once I got home and had a chance to look at both images on the computer I was happy that I took the time to take the 2nd image.  I'm not sure which one I like better.  For me I think I like the 1st maybe a tad bit better.  I like the way her body is leading my eye right back into the frame towards the light.

Which do you prefer and why?

November 9, 2011

Tula | New Wilmington Pet Photographer

Tula | Miniature Dachshund
I think it's safe to say that Tula is my smallest client yet!  And is she ever an adorable seven pounds of energy.  I love my JRT's but I could easily become a Doxie convert.  More photos will be coming soon from this fun session with Tula and her gorgeous person Cindy.

November 4, 2011

Big Blue Silo

Blue Sky Over Kemland Farm in Volant, PA

October 28, 2011

The Railroaders Daughter

My Niece, The Railroaders Daughter

Jay Maisel says 'that in order to take better photographs you have to become a better person'.  That's a pretty powerful statement.  One that bears more than just a passing thought.

It's the opening of your heart that allows you to drink fully of the human experience.  We are given opportunities daily to expand our views.  Choices to harden or soften our focus and understanding.  We can acknowledge or embrace the views of others.  We can share in the miraculous experiences of life.

We can open up our hearts to other people and we can let them into to our hearts.  Let them see who we really are.  Not hide ourselves away in fear that if we let people in that we somehow we will not be enough.  That we will show everything and be found lacking.

For me the word "Namaste" is such a beautiful one word mantra that helps me on my path.  It means "the spirit in me acknowledges the spirit in you".   It reminds me that all creatures deserve respect. That we were created in love...and in love we must walk.

What about you have a mantra that reminds you to stop and breathe and acknowledge?

Serendipity at Kemland

Serendipity at Kemland Farm
Surprises wait just over the horizon.   I was waiting for the Combine to make another pass at Kemland Farm in Volant, PA this past Sunday so I could get a picture of the sun setting over the back of the machine and floating into view comes this ballon.  At first I felt a stab of jealousy, for what a wonderful evening to be floating in the clouds.  Then I was thankful as they came lower and closer to be given the opportunity to take this shot.  Serendipity is a photographers best friend.

Skywatch Friday around the World.

October 26, 2011

Being Authentic

I could spend hours sitting in pasture fields.  | Equestrian Lifestyle Photgrapher

I've have tried to stick with some sort of format for posting...with no success.  Upon giving a little thought as to why that is, a conclusion has been reached.  I didn't feel that this blog was an accurate representation of who I've become.  It stopped feeling authentic to me.

That's a problem...obviously.

What does feel authentic is being able to write and share photography as I feel inspired to do so.  Whether that is a photograph made for a personal project, a street photography shot, or something for a client.   It makes no difference.  It moved me in some way and if it moves me, if it fires the muse, I want to share it.


I'm bringing this blog back into focus.  Focus on me.  My journey as a human being, as a artist, as a lover of life.  The images that I will post here will be the images I love.  The ones that move me.  That inspire me to dig deeper...make better images.  The ones that make me laugh, cry and think.

If your interested in seeing more of my work you will be able to check out both personal projects and work for clients on my website.  I have Galleries and I will be building Portfolios as well.

October 24, 2011


Jordan and Haper | Newborn Photography Session | New Wilmington, PA

I always feel honored when asked to photograph a significant moment of someones life.  The opportunity to ask through my lens..."Who are you?" and "Where are you going?".  The chance to capture the most authentic aspects of a relationship.

The above image is the epitome of the relationship between Jordan and his newborn sister Harper.  A soft tender moment between siblings that will forever stand as a testament of Jordan's love for Harper.  Of how happy he is to have her in his life.

I hope that I have many more opportunities to photograph this little girl as she grows.  But I think that this image will always mark a major milestone in my creative journey.  That sometimes.. when something is at it's most challenging.  That God intervenes and things come together.  That the opportunity to capture a truly beautiful portrait will come.  The subject will show you his heart.  Hard work and the anxiety will bear fruit.  Your vision will manifest into something greater than you anticipated and your client will have an image that will portray some of the miracle of life.  And that some part of themselves that is hidden from the rest of the world will be revealed.

I believe that great images come from somewhere else...somewhere outside of artist.  Gabrielle Boiselle who I had the great honor of shooting with last June said that "great images come not from the artist....but from God".  I have to believe that as well.

October 20, 2011

Blue Skies Forever

Fishing on the bass pond.

I love water shots.  They are great opportunities to let your eye roam around and see the image within the image.  Thanks to Skywatch Friday

October 18, 2011

The Shadow Side, New Wilmington PA Pet Photographer

Clarice, Irish Jack Russell Terrier

Amazing light can happen anywhere.  This photo was taken on the floor of my office.  I love shooting from the shadow side...not just for dogs but people too.

October 14, 2011

Autumn Visit To The Woods

Autumn Visit To The Woods
Something so incredible happens when I head out into the tiny patch of woods that is left on the farm.  It always feels as if I could walk and sit and think forever here.  Sometimes I go without my camera just to take the opportunity to soak in my surroundings to sit and view this marvelous bit of creation without having to do any actually creating myself.

On the walk back to the house I have simultaneous conflicting emotions.  Sad...that I can not morph into an animal and live my life scurrying up and down the oaks, burying acorns and getting ready to hibernate for the winter.  Happy...that my muse has lead me to just where I needed to go to recharge my creative energy and enjoy the creation of higher power.

Peace be with you.

October 12, 2011

New Wilmington PA Senior Session

Maryah DeTiberiis, Senior Portrait, Wilmington Area School District, Class of 2012

One of the things I love about being a Photographer is the opportunity that I have to meet a variety of people.  Finding out what they love and how they like to spend free time so that we can brainstorm a great session.  Talking and getting to know them gives me the opportunity to learn, not only about them but to learn more about myself.  To view the world through their eyes.  What an incredible gift that is.  With Senior Portraits I also get a look into our future by meeting the individuals who are going to be shaping our world in the near future.

As you can see from the wonderful light and color on this photograph of Maryah we are in the midst of Fall in Western Pennsylvania.  If you would like to book either a Lifestyle or Senior Session with me and take advantage of the wonderful foliage I still have a couple of dates available.

Maryah, you are a beautiful young woman.  I am so honored to have been given the opportunity to photograph you at this stage in your life.  I can not wait to see how the world unfolds for you! 

P.S. Please don't forget to get me that French phrase....I see the need to be able to mutter it to myself when I find my mind straying from my work....and I believe it will sound so much more chic in French!

August 12, 2011

August 10, 2011

August 5, 2011

Polka Dots and Blue Skies

Schroon Lake, NY ... Fantastic Adirondack Vacation
I had a fantastic long weekend in the Adirondacks with a wonderful friend and her beautiful family.  It's so wonderful to escape to a destination like this.  Crystal clear lake, sun, blue skies, mountains and fantastic companionship....a perfect weekend.

Thanks once again to Skywatch Friday.

August 3, 2011

Wedding at Camp Lutherlyn Amphitheatre in Prospect PA

 Wedding at the Forest Amphitheatre in Camp Lutherlyn, Prospect, PA
I was so honored to be the second photographer for Stephanie and Eric's wedding a couple of weeks ago.  If you want to get married outside, I can not think of a more beautiful location that combines the best of what Western Pennsylvania has to offer.

July 29, 2011

Weekend Wisdon

Have a great weekend....some words to ponder from George Eliot

July 27, 2011

Sand Crabs VS Jack Russell Terriers

It's always so fun to take Charlotte to the beach.  She's a well traveled Dog.  She's been to Malibu on the West Coast and several beaches up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

Charlotte, JRTCA, Having a nice long belly scratch in the sand in Nags Head, NC
One thing is for certain...Sand Crabs are a big hit with Jack Russell Terriers. From our first walk on the beach about 20 minutes after we arrived she was on full alert.

Sand Crab - Nags Head, NC

Charlotte, digging for Sand Crabs, Nags Head, NC

July 25, 2011

Spooky Bodie Island Lighthouse

Stormy Sky - Bodie Island Lighthouse - Outer Banks, NC

As is the 'slightly spooky' photo of the Lighthouse on Bodie Island.  I'm hard pressed to decide which photo I like better.  I think my Muse likes this one though.  Looks like something straight out of a Scooby-Doo episode.  Can't you just see the Mystery Machine pulling up?!?  Or Nancy Drew...she would have gotten herself enmeshed in something or other here.

July 21, 2011

Bodie Island Lighthouse

Bodie Island Lighthouse, Outer Banks North Carolina
When I planned this evening excursion to Bodie Island to photography the Lighthouse.  I had envisioned a glorious sunset with the lighthouse lens illuminating the sky.

Well it started out well...beautiful blue skies and wispy clouds.  Chad put down the back hatch of the vehicle and settled in on the tailgate content to let me walk the grounds looking for the perfect vantage point and deciding on a lens. As you can see, the Lighthouse lens is covered for repairs...but "no worries" I thought, "the sunset would make up for that".

After about 30 minutes I could see Chad starting pacing around, it quickly became apparently what was making him nervous.  This incredible storm was rolling  They don't call this area "The Graveyard of The Atlantic" for nothing.  The mobile phones started ringing, our family calling to warn us of the severity of the approaching storm.  My husband started to pack up.  I belligerently dug my heels in.  No way was I leaving till I photographed the storm.  We compromised.  It was worth the wait.  I'm glad I didn't get the traditional sunset.  This is so much better.

I'm going to post another shot from this adventure early next week.  It's a slightly more spooky version. Please come back Monday to check it out!

Thanks to Skywatch Friday

July 20, 2011

Beach Bum

Anna Sophia...Beach Bum... Nags Head, North Carolina
Heads up!  The next few posts will be an overload of cutesy beach pictures.  Including, but not limited to, children, Jack Russell Terriers and Lighthouses.  If you have an aversion to any of these....or sand in general you may want to skip visiting here until next week.

July 15, 2011

When An Image Doesn't Work But You Love It All The Same

Last Sundays Engagement Sessions had so many photos that worked out beautifully. I will get those photos posted next week.  But I couldn't wait to share this photo.  I know it's not 'technically perfect' but I love it.  It softens my heart.  Brett & Alicia were amazing they had such a wonderful laid back vibe.  And there is something wonderful about being with people who are so in love.

So, fellow Photographers, even if you don't nail your exposure, or a sun flare threatens to take over a shot...don't delete or hide it away...if you love it....if it moves something inside of you....if it feeds your muse....than please share it and maybe just maybe it will make someone else feel the same thing.

June 7, 2011

Goodbye Grandpa

Snapshot taken January 2011 with HTC Android
I remember as a child telling my Grandmother that "When I grow up I'm going to marry Grandpa too!" My Grandmother, ever practical, didn't think that was going to be to likely.  My Grandfather got a good chuckle out of that.  Grandma passed on 20 years ago, Grandpa joined her Monday morning.  And although I did not 'grow up and marry my Grandpa' he did set the standard pretty high.

I'm so incredible thankful for all the gifts Joseph Kapraly gave in his life. I reveled in his tales of his boyhood in West Pittsburgh. Somewhat rowdy antics with friends. Struggles with a stubborn milk cow.  Delivering said milk for neighbors and customers.  How he contributed to the care of his Mother and siblings.

Grandpa enlisted in the Marines during World War II.  He fought in the 6th Division, 29th Regiment in the Pacific Theatre.  The stories he shared of that time are nothing short of remarkable.  The acts of bravery, heroism and descriptions of human suffering poignant. He shared not only his personal history but the history of the World.

It is through someones stories that we get a history of not only where they came from and the things they did but how they became the person that they are.  How the events that they lived through shaped their lives and in turn shaped the lives of those around them.

I owe so very much to this man.  The only way that it can ever be repaid is to live a life in example of his.
  • To always leave a place better than you found it.  
  • To honor those who make personal sacrifices for our continued freedom and well being. 
  • To have opinions and stand by them.  
  • To read, grow & learn. 
  • To be concerned about the feelings of the people around you.  
  • To say "I'm sorry" when you are. 
  • To use a 'Jitterbug' when you want to hook a really big Bass.
  • To be of service to others.  
  • To look people in the eye when your talking to them even if it's hard.  
  • To know when to keep your mouth shut.  
  • To have a strong faith and live by the principals set forth in that faith.  
  • To say "I love you".

June 1, 2011

May 26, 2011

Skywatch Friday at Darlington Polo Field

Sunset at a Polo Match in Darlington, PA
My entry for SkyWatch Friday.  As Friday in Western PA means POLO then I thought it only fitting to post an image of the Sun going down and warming up the crowd while they wait for the horses to take the field.

May 24, 2011

What Sparks Your Creativity?

Anna Sophia getting her writing groove on at Starbucks.

Today I stumbled upon an article that claimed that vacationing is necessary for creativity.  I just want to get on the record and say that I wholeheartedly AGREE with that statement.  I always come back from a few days away feeling fresh and uber-creative.

The problem so many of you....I just can not pack up and go on vacation whenever I feel my creativity start to wane.  But as I was thinking about the article I realized that there are a couple of 'mini-breaks' that I take regularly that do fortify my muse.
  • Slow walk at the park with the Jack Russell Terriers
  • Fishing just before sunset...then sitting at the campfire till midnight looking at the stars
  • Laying under a tree in the grass on a blanket and reading the afternoon away
  • An hour or two at Starbucks laughing and talking with a friend
  • Sitting in the pasture watching my horse graze
  • Shootin' Safaris...when I get in the Jeep with my destination in mind and just drive somewhere and shoot for the day
So what helps you to spark your creativity...what feeds your muse?