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Get a Dose of JHP Straight to Your Inbox!

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Get a Dose of JHP Straight to Your Inbox!

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JHP FINALLY has an email list and I couldn't be more excited about it!! Over the course of the last year, I've had numerous current, former, and soon-to-be clients ask if there is a way they could stay updated on a monthly to bi-monthly basis with things like mini-session dates, cancellations, print specials, the latest blog posts new offerings, discounts, and the like, and I'm finally excited to open up this email list to anyone who would like to join!

With all of that being said, let me tell you a few things this email list is not:

  • Spam (I cannot STAND when people send me useless emails!)
  • A constant sales pitch (who wants to be sold to all the time?! Not me!)

If you are someone who is looking to stay updated on all things JHP, then this email  list is certainly for you. Sign up below!

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Montana F: Winter Mellon Park Senior Photos

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Montana F: Winter Mellon Park Senior Photos

How brave is Montana for scheduling a winter senior portrait session?! Luckily enough, her session ended up falling on one of the few 50+ degree days we had in January - which was a huge blessing, considering we had rescheduled multiple times for rain and extremely cold weather! The wait was truly worth it for such a warm, beautiful January day!

Montana actually currently attends Westminster College and is right in the midst of her freshman year! (It's never too late to have senior photos taken!). This sweet lady loves reading, along with gothic architecture, making Mellon Park the perfect location for her photos. Montana also has the most beautiful green eyes that popped SO well in her photos!

Thanks so much for a wonderful session, Montana! And good luck with the rest of your freshman year! :)

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The Pros & Cons of Scheduling A Photo Session During the Winter Months

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The Pros & Cons of Scheduling A Photo Session During the Winter Months

Have you ever considered having family, senior, or engagement photos taken during the winter months? Here in Western Pennsylvania, where winters can be long and cold, not quite as many people venture out on location for photos in the dead of winter when they can curl up in front of the fire with a cup of coffee instead (I’m totally putting myself in that group of people!!). BUT if a winter photo session has ever peeked your interest as a possibility, I’ve put together a little pros and cons list to share the good and the not so good of scheduling a winter photo session!

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Pros:

We’ll get to utilize breathtaking and unique backgrounds. When I’m driving past a mountain of freshly snow covered trees, I often stare in awe. There’s something so beautiful about freshly fallen snow that makes for a clean, gorgeous backdrop, not just when you’re driving to work but when you’re having your photos taken!

You’ll have that “cozy feeling” in your photos. There’s something about having your photos taken in the winter that immediately creates a “cozy” feeling, especially during engagement and couple sessions where you are going to be close and cuddled up anyways!

You’ll have more times to choose from with a higher probability of weekend dates being available! Because there’s less demand for photos in the winter, I usually have more timeslots available, both during weekdays and on weekends. Essentially, scheduling in the winter means you’ll get a fast pass to the front of the scheduling line!

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Cons:

The obvious one: it’s COLD! Consider this test: does thinking about being out in the cold for 60 to 90 minutes make you want to never leave your house again? Then a winter photo session might not be the best choice for you. While some people don’t mind being out in the cold for an extended period of time, others would much rather wait until the warmer months (which is completely understandable!).

There’s a higher chance that your session might be cancelled or postponed due to extreme temperatures or inclement weather. Flexibility is key for winter sessions. There’s a chance your session could be snowed out (while snow is beautiful in photos, it’s not worth endangering your life for) or postponed due to freezing temperatures (who even likes to walk to their car in -5 degree weather?!). Being flexible is KEY!

It might not be the most enjoyable hour/hour and a half of your life. This one kind of speaks for itself – hanging out in the park in 15 degree weather isn’t nearly as fun as watching the sun set on a 70 degree day. The truth is, having a photo session the winter means you might be cold to your core!

What do you think? When considering the pros and cons - where do you fall? I write none of this to persuade anyone out of a winter session, but only to educate based on what some clients wish they would’ve known in the past. If you’re still interested in a winter photo session, be sure to check out my blog post “How to Prep for Your Winter Photo Session” for tips on preparing for a cold weather shoot!

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How to Prepare for Your Winter Photo Session

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How to Prepare for Your Winter Photo Session

There are SO many things I love about photographing people in a winter setting. There are lots of unique and picturesque backgrounds, and the photos always end up having an overall “cozy” feeling to them! But what does it really take to have your photos taken in the dead of winter when it’s 20 degrees (or less!) outside? There are a couple of tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years that have helped make winter sessions more enjoyable for those who are brave enough to step in front of my camera. So if YOU are planning on having family photos, couple photos, or senior photos taken during the winter – these are my best tips for you!

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Make sure the first thing you’re thinking of when planning your outfits is WARMTH!

  • Add accessories like scarves, hats, jackets, long boot socks and boots.
  • Consider actually wearing a coat for your photos!
  • Add layers underneath your chosen outfits – socks, long johns, an extra t-shirt – anything that will insulate you a little bit more!
  • If you’ll be walking around in the snow, consider bringing a pair of snow boots for walking between locations so your “nice” boots or shoes don’t get ruined!
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Bring some EXTRA warmth with you for in between shots!

  • I always bring a blanket or two with me to my sessions in the winter, but I highly recommend bringing extra for yourself if you think of it! This can be a lifesaver while walking between locations or even just between shots!
  • Hand warmers are a LIFESAVER for cold winter shoots. You can put them in your gloves, shoes, and pockets without the camera picking it up (for the most part!)
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Be willing to be flexible if the weather calls for it.

There’s a higher chance of inclement weather, especially in Western Pennsylvania in the winter months, which means that a session could easily get snowed out or cancelled due to extreme temperatures. It’s not fun to have your photo taken in negative degree weather, which can make the session (and memories associated with it) somewhat unenjoyable, which is the very LAST thing I would ever want!

As a firm believer that photo sessions can be (and should be) enjoyable, incorporating these tips and tricks into your winter photo session will ensure that you stay somewhat warm and toasty throughout your entire session!

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Angelica M: Chic Downtown Pittsburgh Senior Photos

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Angelica M: Chic Downtown Pittsburgh Senior Photos

Don't get me wrong - I love Hartwood Acres, but when Angelica decided on downtown Pittsburgh for her senior session I was PUMPED. There's something about shooting in a different location that always gets my creative juices flowing! And, having photographed quite a few weddings and couple sessions in this same downtown area, I was so excited to see how I could work the space with a senior!

Angelica came SO prepared with beautiful outfits to match the surrounding area (plus a wine-colored hat, which complimented the city surroundings so stinking well!). What you decide to wear and how it compliments your backdrop can make a huge difference in the final images from a session! We were all over the place - from the Omni William Penn, to the downtown Embassy Suites, to Strawberry Way and much more! Angelica even brought a friend with her, and we were able to get a few photos of the two of them together near the end of her session!

Congratulations on your last year of school, Angelica! I am so excited for you! :)

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The Illingworth Triplets: Historic Harmony Senior Photos

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The Illingworth Triplets: Historic Harmony Senior Photos

I have to say, this was a first for me!! I've never photographed more than one senior at a time, so when Sarah, Dan, and Ashley's mom contacted me about senior photos for her TRIPLETS I was SO excited for the challenge! And let me say, I don't think I could've asked for a better trio to photograph. All three of these Seneca Valley seniors were SUPER easy to work with and were totally meant to be in front of the camera! We even had an unseasonable warm day for their Historic Harmony session, which made things all the better. Congratulations on your last year of school, you three! Thank you for an awesome time!

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Morgan A: Historic Harmony Senior Photos

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Morgan A: Historic Harmony Senior Photos

Morgan is one of the sweetest seniors I've had the privilege to photograph, and as a more personal touch, she lives with her family in the neighborhood I grew up in! We absolutely loved hanging out with her and her mom for her Historic Harmony senior session - congratulations on your last year of school, Morgan! You are the sweetest!

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Sharon J: Hartwood Acres Senior Photos

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Sharon J: Hartwood Acres Senior Photos

Sharon was a champ at her senior session in the cold! This girl brought her A-game (and the most beautifully colored outfits) to her session just a few weeks ago! We were even able to catch some gorgeous golden light right near the end of her session. This girl was an absolute blast to work with, and I'm so excited to share some of my favorites from her session with you today!

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