mary therese...Villa Maria Academy, Erie Pa

erie, pennsylvania has easily become one of my favorite places to shoot.

did you know that erie has been rated to have one of the top 5 sunsets in the entire WORLD?

erie :)

the lake looks and sounds like the ocean.

you can walk the beaches and find treasures of smooth beach glass…

and the people there, are genuine and loving.

a friend explained to me, that “ erie has the coldest, most brutal winters…but it also has the warmest, most heartfelt people.”

i couldn’t agree more.

meet mary therese…

a sweet, beautiful girl reigning from the beaches of lake erie.

this girl is one of 8 children!

we met up JUST at the beginning of the fall season for her senior pictures.

and yesterday…they had 9 inches of SNOW!!!

oh erie! :)

enjoy the images of this special girl!

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mercedes...DCC senior 2019 and CLICK member!

mercedes…

i can’t believe how time truly does fly.

i’ve known this special girl since she was about 15 months old.

and here we are, as she gets ready to graduate from high school, and follow where her heart leads her.

speaking of her heart…it is HUGE.

overcoming her own obstacles has given mercedes the desire to help others as she was given help.

that’s a big reason that she joined CLICK this year…to help, to give back, and to serve.

a lover of nature, plants and art, we were able to find the perfect backdrops to express herself fully.

mercedes, you are a special girl, whose heart is feels big time.

i’m honored to work with you, and mentor you.

and i cannot wait to see how you change others lives as you enter art therapy.

-xxoxoxo

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hair & airbrush mu: shannon cooper

Gaige...Baldwin High School Senior

gaige.

i’ve known gaige since he was a newborn…actually, gaige is my cousin michelle’s handsome son. :)

i can’t believe the young man he has grown up to be…

this guy is so talented!!!

he has accepted TWO EMMY awards as a student director on the Reel Teens of Pittsburgh.

and he in his 4th year of working with his film company , Steeltown Entertainment Project.

we had to shoot these images in pittsburgh - gaige’s stomping ground :))


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love you gaige!



garrett...seniors DCC 2019

garrett,

one day sweet boy,

you will look back and see that,

all that all that you saw as true…

and what you honestly loved,

will be the base of who you are, and whom you have become…

i hope these images will help take you back there on that day.

shooting them for you, surely took me back!


my dear friend april from high school….

this is her beautiful son (sorry Garrett..we had to use that word!)…

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i'm not a jeweler, i'm a photographer :)

i have wanted a watch for about 3 years now.

but i knew the kind i wanted, and i wanted to find a good deal on it.



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i found it yesterday,

AND it was on sale!

i hesitated…like 2 seconds…

then i pulled out my saved birthday money :) and without hesitation now, handed the money over.



i was giddy!

i could hardly wait to get it on my wrist. 

but my wrists are tiny…i used to be too, but that’s another story. :)


i took my treasure home, and promptly googled how to take links out of a watch. 



i found this sweet, bubbly, little korean girl who was giving the most upbeat demonstration.

literally, her dad had bought an eyeglass repair kit at the dollar store (’tis what she said!)

and she popped out those watch link pegs like nobody’s business!

she took the links out, inserted the pegs back in, and 



WAAALLLAAAHH!

her watch fit perfectly…in like 4 minutes. 



so, i got to work…or i tried to. 

i tried a pin, a tiny screwdriver…

she told me to hit the screwdriver on top of the top of it, with another screwdriver head…it was so easy!


it wasn’t.


i bent two pins.

the screwdriver head couldn’t make enough force on the other screwdriver, so i used a meat mallet…


do you get the picture?



i gave up last night…

and had a plan to go to the dollar store to get that eyeglass repair kit today. 



and i did!

i also got a mini screwdriver set…

i couldn’t fail now…



i tried by myself again, and impaled my finger with a pin (bc ummm…the dollar store eyeglass repair kit AND mini screwdriver set were BOTH too big).

i got my blood on my watch AND in a public place ( i was waiting on some take out and was trying to make good use of my time!)



i went to my mom’s…

we tried together…



doesn't sheer determination mean something?

it should!



after trying way too long on something that i actually HAVE a jeweler FRIEND who could do this for me, 

i gave up.



i went to dave rossi’s jewelry tonight, and his brother bob helped me…lickity split. 



i tried explaining how the cute korean girl did it so easily, and how my mom told me that you tube video was not to be trusted…

and he laughed, as he worked with his SPECIAL watch fixing tools!!!  imagine that!



he knew how many links to take out…

he knew how my watch should fit…

no blood was spilled…

and i now am proudly wearing the watch i wanted so badly!



yes, there is a story…

a meaning…



the internet, pinterest, fb, google and you tube ALL make us feel like we should be able to do anything!

and a heck of a lot of us try.



but there are some things that we try, that we aren’t meant to be able to do. 

i guarantee you that mr. michael kors did not have his watch designing team, assemble his watch so i, the consumer could fix it myself. 

and that wasn’t even one of the reasons i wanted the stinking watch!



i wanted it, because i need it, and i waited for the one that i knew i wanted…

and it was worth it!



i love to teach photography…

but it takes time to learn. 



i love to shoot in my studio.

but i have studied photography, posing and lighting, for years and have spent thousands upon thousands, learning to do just that.



i love to interact with people, and to shoot memories for them at PRECIOUS, irreplaceable times in their lives…

family pictures, newborns, senior pictures and more…



you wait for these times…

they are important!



you can look for a sale, but don’t sell out on quality. 

do what you can yourself…

take as many pictures as you can of those that you love…



but when it come down to the real thing, 

recognize the real thing.

save for the real thing, 

understand the value of it, and hand it over to the real professional that can do that real thing for you. 

and you know what?  embrace it.



you won’t regret it…