Maddie picked some unique locations (& some of my favorites) for her senior photography session. Maddie is on my Class of 2023 Senior Influencer Team so we have had a lot of opportunities to work together. I just love working with her! She is a natural in front of the camera & was as excited as I was for her session. Her session was so much fun! Maddie chose the Mexican War Streets & Allegheny Commons Park for her session and both locations provided some unique spots for photos (and a super cool surprise that neither of us expected!).
We started out the day just walking the streets around North Avenue. The architecture in the area is amazing & gives off a Savannah, GA vibe. On our walk, we met several residents & funnily enough most of them were photographers! They were super helpful in telling us some great hidden spots to check out. I personally love the color & the unique doors in this neighborhood and could have photographed Maddie’s entire session on one or two streets!
This next part of Maddie’s senior session was the unexpected surprise I was talking about earlier, and the images we created during this part of the shoot look like she was in a villa in Italy! We parked right in front of this inn, and my creative brain was on overload looking at the property. There was a man on the porch and I asked if we could come in and take some photos. He said “no” & I was totally cool with that. Nothing gained, nothing lost, but if you never ask it’s always a “no”, right? So, I gave myself 2.5 seconds to get over my disappointment and we moved on.
As we came back around the block, the man called out to us and said that he changed his mind and we could use his property for some photos. Turns out, he was the owner! I’m not sure what caused him to change his mind, but OMG, am I glad he did! I LOVE LOVE LOVE these images!! I love when everything comes together perfectly. The location & the outfit Maddie wore for this part of the shoot looked like they were carefully curated & we didn’t even know we were going to shoot here! Huge shout out to The Inn on the Mexican War Streets & the owner (I never did get his name).
Time for an outfit change! Maddie had THE BEST outfits selected for her senior session. She also was an expert at changing & had this thing called a “Dream Duffel” that should be a total must for anyone who travels. Maddie is a competitive dancer at Intensity Dance Academy so she is used to quick changes & tons of outfits.
This next part of Maddie’s session took place at City of Asylum’s Alphabet Reading Garden. I had discovered this beautiful little courtyard years ago when I was scouting a location for another senior. I have been wanting to photograph there since then. Once again, Maddie’s outfit was perfect for the location. I love how her reddish orange dress pops off of the green of the garden. I love when one general location can give us a variety of images – from urban to some greenery – and this area of Pittsburgh did just that.
This next set of images was so much fun to create! Maddie wanted some epic dance images, and I thought that Allegheny Commons Park would provide a great backdrop! For the 1st photo, I knew I wanted to use the bridge & get the city skyline in the background. I love the leading lines & the curve of the bridge, the line of trees behind Maddie, the city skyline, & the pop of purple from Maddie’s leotard. From there, we played. Maddie is a total pro, and we nailed the jumping & arabesque (is that right?) images on the first try (I took a bunch more because I’m a self-confessed overshooter, lol).
I also wanted to use the iron gate from the Inn on the Mexican War Streets for a few dance images so we headed back to where we began. At this point, it was nearing dusk, so I knew we had to work fast! It definitely helps that Maddie is also a pro in front of the camera & nails it most every time!
I love it when my clients give their input into locations! Maddie & her family took a drive to the Mexican War Streets prior to her session to scope it out. They found this pretty purple church a few blocks from North Avenue! We hurried down there to finish up Maddie’s senior & I’m so glad we got this location in before dusk! I love the symmetry of the lines between the door & windows. And, can we talk about Maddie’s head wrap?! So stylish! Accessories are a super quick & easy way to add variety to your session!
As you can see, we got a TON of images during our time shooting together! She has even more, and I had a hard time narrowing them down for her blog post. I can literally shoot for hours on end, and if I have a client who can as well, I rely on my lighting assistant (aka my husband) & the senior’s parents to reel me in. And…the light. When it’s gone, we’re typically done. Although, I have done some nighttime images on the Rachel Carson Bridge (they will be coming soon in a future blog post!).
If you are a Class of 2024 senior, now is the time to reach out to us about your senior photography session. We book fast in the Spring, & I don’t want you to miss out on working with us! Inquire here. We are also enrolling soon for our Class of 2024 Senior Creator Team, so if you want a unique experience to uplevel your Senior Year, you can sign up to get details here. I’m the only one in the Pittsburgh area offering a program like this, so if you want it, you gotta get it from me 😉.
Hair & Makeup:
Madyson Ellsworth, JL Makeup Studio