Pawsburgh Photography: Blog en-us (C) Pawsburgh Photography (Pawsburgh Photography) Sat, 22 Jan 2022 07:20:00 GMT Sat, 22 Jan 2022 07:20:00 GMT Pawsburgh Photography: Blog 120 80 You Just Click a Button, Right?

I started my photography journey as a child. I learned to take photos on film, I've even developed photos on film! I've had cameras from Fisher Price to 110 to point and shoot to my professional DSLR. Plus iPhone! It's no secret just about everyone has a camera in their pocket these days, even kids! My daughter is 7 and she's already plotting to get her own phone when she turns 12 (she came up with that age, not me!) That's her pictured when she was 2. How accustomed we've gotten to just clicking a button and we can have a beautiful photo. When people approach me in public places and I have my camera, they ask me to take a photo for them and sheepishly say, "It's just a phone." and I chuckle and tell them, "Yes, I use one too!" In fact I have an entire Instagram account devoted to photos I've taken with my iPhone (@pawsburgh_onthego - check it out!) I love the convenience of having a small, usable camera in my pocket at all times. (Often it doesn't even make it into my pocket, it just stays in my hand!)

Photography for me started as a passion. I sold real estate for 10 years and then worked for another agent for 7. One day he just didn't need me anymore. Just like that, no warning, and I was out of a job. That's the day God started leading me on an entirely new journey, and he's confirmed for me every step of the way that this is where I'm meant to be. It's not been an easy journey, but it continues to be an amazing one.

First I realized it wasn't just about being able to take a photo, it was about being able to edit it as well. So I started learning how to improve my editing skills and learn new software. When you take a photo with your phone or any digital camera, the camera is doing the work for you. It decides how long the shutter should be open. It processes the file and decides how much to saturate the colors and how to present a usable end result. But in professional photography, I have the camera programmed to process nothing, and I do it myself to achieve the look that I want or that my client wants. This is not just the work of Photoshop, photographers have engaged this process with negatives for decades!

Next I realized I couldn't make it professionally with one consumer grade starter camera, the pop-up flash, and a "kit lens" (the lens that comes with said consumer grade starter camera.) So I upgraded my camera body and added on multiple lenses that can take photos in different ways. Then I realized having a business was much more than taking photos and someone giving me money to do it. Setting prices for my own business is quite difficult! Some people say it's not enough, or it's too much, and how do you know who's right? Well the answer is different for everyone. I may not be the photographer for you, or you may not be the client for me, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Having a legitimate business means I have to collect and pay taxes, I maintain business and equipment insurance, and I market and network myself in person and online. Finally, it's not even enough to have one off-camera flash, I'm buying a few more and learning how to bend and control light to suit each photo opportunity. Each new skill will improve how I deliver a fantastic final product to you.

Technology is evolving and phones are getting better and smarter at taking those photos for us. The easier it gets, the more people jump on the bandwagon and try to make easy money from it. But still, photography is a skill. Not everyone can take a great photo because they have a camera, just like not everyone can put a roof on a house even though they have a hammer and nails, and not everyone can bake even though they have an oven. My business is evolving too, and my skills are evolving, because I'm focused on evolving them. Photography can be easy and anyone can click a button, but behind the scenes there is so much more to it. Significant investments of energy, time, skill, the right tools, and money are all behind the final product and what it costs to get there.

]]> (Pawsburgh Photography) pawsburgh photography pittsburgh pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh photography pittsburgh real estate real estate photography Fri, 01 Mar 2019 06:20:42 GMT
Why "Pawsburgh"? I've been asked many times about my business name. Sometimes I even have been asked, "Where's Pawsburgh?" Some people don't even take it as a business name, they think it's a location! I mention the story behind my name briefly in my "About Me" biography, but I'd also like to address it in this separate post.

I met my friend Julie in 2008. She has a dog rescue and being a photo buff, I started snapping photos of the rescue dogs and she used them for attracting adopters. This arrangement went really well, and people started to tell me how well I captured personalities. My favorite comments are from adopters who say they had to meet this dog because of the captivating photo! I started crafting a business plan to expand and charge money for my skills.

So many photographers use their own name and add Photography. I need to be different. My own name is very common and also negatively famous, and I like something catchy. I read once that somebody said, "you can't trust a business who doesn't use their own name." Really? It's a personal decision what you want to call your own business! I'm not "hiding behind" a name. I want you to remember it! I want it to be unique.

I wanted to make business cards because I was asking random dog owners if I could photograph their dogs out in public and on walks! Only one person ever turned me down. But I wanted a way to tell them who I am and offer them a way to see and purchase the images. Julie and I brainstormed name ideas and Pawsburgh was born in 2013! I immediately knew what I wanted my logo to be, and I had a graphic designer friend, Shane at Henderson Graphic Design and Illustration, create my vision for me.

At the same time, I had sold real estate for 10 years and was working for another agent. Architecture has always been another passion of mine since I was very little. Real estate and showing houses fulfilled a dream for me. But it was time to combine my photography skill with my passion and add property photography. Then hmmmm.....what to do about that name! I'm sure real estate agents look at me funny when I tell them they need to hire Pawsburgh Photography to make their homes look their best! (I'm used to funny looks so I don't mind!)

Last fall, I started getting asked to do business head shots and high school seniors, and I even got to photograph a wedding! One of the seniors was hesitant to use my images on her social media because of the connotation of doing "dog" photography and she didn't want to be teased negatively because her friends would assume my only subjects are dogs and therefore she's a dog! I seriously considered changing my name to reflect the diverse range of photography offerings that I have. But it was hard to come up with something different and special that isn't already taken. And if I have a name that describes one or two aspects of my offerings, it won't fit another. There's no blanket name that I can think of that would represent all that I can do.

So I return again and again to Pawsburgh. People know me by it because I've used it for so long. I love my logo! I describe my offerings in my tagline - SPACES, PLACES, FACES, PETS - FOCUSED ON YOUR PITTSBURGH PHOTOGRAPHY NEEDS!

Whether you have a space, or a place (Pittsburgh is my favorite!), a face, or a pet, or a combination of Pawsburgh for your photography needs! 

]]> (Pawsburgh Photography) head shots pawsburgh photography pet photography pittsburgh pittsburgh photographer pittsburgh photography pittsburgh real estate pittsburgh real estate photographer property photography real estate photography Mon, 14 Jan 2019 05:59:23 GMT
The Art of People Portraits Wedding 9-2-17

It all started with a wedding. I was asked to photograph it, and because it was a small event at a private property, for only four hours, I said yes. 

It was the day Hurricane Harvey remnants were scheduled to sweep through Pittsburgh. When I arrived early for pre-ceremony photos, the light was just perfect. Two hours later as we prepared for the start of the ceremony, the sky was clouding over and the light was very different. Thankfully, the rain held off until we were almost finished with portraits outside. It was such a beautiful property! We wanted to take advantage of all it had to offer. But I sure was glad I followed the advice of others and picked up a clear umbrella.

It helps to photograph awesome people, who are relaxed and easy going and friendly! Through the whole process, I learned more about posing, editing, and working in the rain than I had before. Wedding photography is certainly very different from pet photography. There's a high level of anxiety and striving for perfection, in skin and tones, in body image, and delivery. At one point, I was coming home from dropping my daughter off from school and it looked like smoke was coming from the entire front of my house! All I could think of was I hadn't delivered those wedding photos yet! Thankfully it was just a cigarette the neighbor had tossed into a trash can on their front porch. 

<senior photos> <high school senior> <pittsburgh photography>High School Senior 2018

I relish this learning experience, and am so thankful for the kindness of these friends as well as the ones who followed in the whole month of October, asking for senior photos, newlywed photos, family plus pet photos, and now Christmas photos. I look forward to many more human clients and images to share with you!

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]]> (Pawsburgh Photography) human interest people portraits pittsburgh portrait photography wedding wedding photography Wed, 22 Nov 2017 06:35:58 GMT
"Before" Architecture Session

Real estate isn't always glamorous and beautiful. TV and magazines offer image after image of perfectly color coordinated, light and bright, crisp rooms full of sunlight. Here in the real world, some homes are rough around the edges and are going to take some elbow grease and cash to get them to really shine again.

An architect purchased just such a home recently and asked me to take the "Before" photos so we can freeze in time how it looks now that he owns it. Later we will compare these images to the "After" photos. 

This room above is the only one with an intact original fireplace. All the others have been covered over, probably in the 1970s.

These old homes have the stunning details that survive time.

Leaded glass front door and side panes!

If you have an old home, or a new home, whether it's rough or fabulous, professional images that stand the test of time are a great way to showcase it.

Contact me today to schedule an architecture session!

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]]> (Pawsburgh Photography) architecture photographer architecture photography before old house pittsburgh photographer real estate real estate photographer real estate photography renovation this old house Tue, 25 Apr 2017 17:28:44 GMT
The Fall Flower Show at Phipps Conservatory My favorite season holds all my favorite colors: AUTUMN. There is a wonderful place in Pittsburgh called Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and I was asked by them to provide photos of their 2013 Fall Flower Show for their publications. I am over-the-moon excited about this opportunity and I can not hide it! In two hours, I had 500 photos and now have to choose the best way to share about 100 of them.


The Grand Entrance

The lobby immediately grabs your attention with these colorful pots and matching flowers, and a descriptive card launches the theme.


Once upstairs and through the doors, this room greets you with pumpkins! And abundance of orange, yellow, green, and popping purple!


Next, I moved into the Garden Railroad. This year's theme is Prehistoric!


Next I entered a room full of different types of chrysanthemums. This room had less autumn color, but was gorgeous nonetheless.

Clearly not a mum, but that last one I couldn't resist! And no, I don't know what it is! Feel free to share if you know!


For the Grand Finale, I'm so glad I came to this room last or I probably would not have left it! The scene literally took my breath away.

                 A peek into the Desert Room!



I can't send enough praise for this show, the people who put it all together, and the breathtaking displays.

If you have the chance, go see it all for yourself!



]]> (Pawsburgh Photography) Phipps autumn color flowers pumpkins Tue, 29 Oct 2013 21:03:37 GMT
The Stories Behind the Photos Welcome to the Pawsburgh Photography blog! This is where I will post the stories behind the photos. Check back soon for new content!

Fred (shown here) will be available for adoption through very soon!

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