My priority to be more and do more and create an experience they will never forget Capturing their memories in a fun and memorable way is just as important as their beautiful images

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Spring, Pittsburgh, PA Engagement Session

Happy Thursday, everyone!  AHHHH!! It’s been so long since I’ve posted an official engagement session and this one was all kinds of fun and beauty!  Everyone, please meet Brittany and Erik (and their fur babies Barkley and Yoda) and give them all your Hannah Barlow Photography love!  Their spring, engagement session in Pittsburgh, PA is on the blog right now!  Enjoy!

Alright, per the usual, I’ve got to give you some of the backstory.  I got to “meet” Brittany and Erik on a Zoom pre-booking consult.  I’m going to be honest…I was a little nervous!  Brittany said she felt super awkward on Zoom meetings but with my elopement and wedding schedule this past winter, it was hard to find a date we were all available to meet in person.  She also seemed so sweet…maybe even quiet…and she also knew exactly what she wanted out of a wedding photographer (with specifics).  Well, I thought maybe (JUST maybe) I’d be a little too “Hannah” for her.  Many of you are probably new here so you haven’t met me.  I’m a weeee bit high strung and I’m a little louder and more excitable that most photographers.  So, for that Zoom meeting?  I took some deeps breaths and told myself to cool it.  We ended up having such a great meeting and they decided to book!  YAY!  For this session?  I didn’t hold back.  I tried.  I did…especially since Barley (below) is more timid but all my “Hannah” came out and I had an absolute blast!

So, let’s move into the session.  Lacey tagged along with me.  Not only do I prefer to have some back up in the city, but she is also second shooting the wedding I have this weekend and we hadn’t been together for a while…so a little practice wasn’t going to hurt anybody!  Erik’s parents (Hi, Lou and Anne) were kind enough to come and be the babysitter for Barkley and Yoda.  We found the six of them having arrived early and waiting for us.  The wind was CRAZY and it was cold but we were going to make it work.  This was actually our makeup day because the prior Tuesday had rained and we had to cancel.  So, after making quick friends with Yoda…I realized Barkley wasn’t going to be a fan of mine.  He’s very shy and there was a lot going on in this Pittsburgh park (Point State Park), so I even said out loud, “I guess I’m not going to be able to be Hannah with this one and make all my noises”.  I’ve made that mistake in the past…but with high strung dogs…I make my Hannah sounds…and they go crazy.  Well, my Hannah sounds (the ones I use to get their attention) were too much.  So, we improvised with lots of people behind me making faces and lots of treats and snack.  And we laughed…and laughed…and laughed.  It took a lot of work on ALL of our parts to get these photos but we did it (and I may have photoshopped some heads to get everyone looking at the camera…but don’t tell anyone).  Just looooook!!! So good!

Alright!  We got those done and now it was time to go full blown Hannah on them and get these photos started!  Seriously, the wind was CRAZY…so I kept them in this spot to give them some traditional photos, sans city..and without the wind.  I love these SO much! AHHH!  Also, these are all a combo of my photos and Lacey’s.  Giving credit where credit is due, of course!  Brittany said they were nervous to have professional photos done but I knew we’d be ok.  I gave them my usual Hannah speech and told them to roll with it and THAT is just what they did!  Right?!  SO GOOD!  They rocked it!

These two met in SC when Erik was moving from Texas.  Brittany said she was meeting up with friends and had arrived first and Erik was there watching a game.  They struck up a conversation and the night ended with her giving him her number.  A few months of chatting later, they decided to make it official!  From my perspective, they make a great match.  There was no awkwardness and there REALLY could have been considering we were battling the wind and cold and some people who wanted to stop and watch and chat.  Nope.  They rolled with it literally leaning on each other and taking my lead.  There was a “strange” pivotal moment the morning of this session that I just KNEW Brittany and I were going to get along great and it got me so much more excited for these photos.  I had texted her so she’d have my number and she texted me back…funny GIFS of course.  That always adds some pressure to me…I wanted these photos to be so good for them!  Looking at them now?  I can feel it in my wedding photographer bones…there’s going to be a lot of texting leading up to their wedding…and the pressure is going to be ON to make that big day just perfect!

Now, for the city photos they really wanted!  Lacey stole my thunder (and I’m totally ok with that) on this angle with the bridge in the background!

Ooo yea.  These two will be getting married at Oglebay exactly ONE YEAR from tomorrow.  That’s actually where Erik proposed too which I just LOVE!  They researched and found that Oglebay had Christmas lights (speaking to my Christmas loving heart here).  They spent the day at the zoo, got some refreshments and snacks and then took a stroll.  Right before they were preparing to take a selfie, Erik got down on one knee and asked her to marry him!

I wanted to get some buildings in there too!  What you’re not seeing in these photos is our serious wind struggle.  It was blowing her hair, Erik’s hair, MY hair (in front of the camera), her dress…you name it.  We were also giving them breaks to put their jackets on and warm up.  You’d never know though, right?!  This is probably one of the hardest scenarios to take photos in and they didn’t even bat an eyelash.

All these years, I’ve never photographed the fountain at Point State Park!  So, I had them dance and spin!

The sun was SUPER bright and I was “cheating” and using flash to light them from the front (which Lacey didn’t have)…so, being the amazing second shooter she is…she improvised! I mean…I LOVE IT!  Check out this one below!

I always tell my couples that the first few minutes of any session is “weird” but then you get comfy.  They were definitely more comfortable now and legit trying to keep warm!  I LOVE the colors in these ones!

Then, Brittany suggested sitting photos.  You all know I don’t typically do them…but ask you shall receive!  I initially put them in a weird pose (which I always warn my couples will happen at SOME point in the session…I always do it eventually).  They fixed it themselves and just look how great!  Weather permitting, we’ll be redoing these at the wedding! GAH!  Some of my favorites right here (below)!  Probably going on my website too!

I already showed you this color version at the beginning but I love it so I’m sharing the black and white below.  What better way to end this Pittsburgh engagement session than with a “walking into the city” kind of photo?! EEEKKKK!! I’m so excited for them to see them all.  This is such a small snippet of what I’m about to send them in their gallery!

…and that’s it!  That’s a wrap on this one.  First, I want to give another huge shout out and “thank you” to Lou and Anne for helping us with Barkley and Yoda!  Secondly, huge thank yous to this couple for letting me be their photographer and braving the wind and cold for this session!  It’s going to be an AMAZING Oglebay wedding next year.  Ceremony will be at the formal gardens with a reception at the Pine Room WITH DJ Brian Oliver.  I mean…what more could you ask for, right?  Their big day is going to be a highly anticipated one on the HBP team schedule!  I can’t wait!  Happy Thursday, everyone!  Thanks for reading!

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My priority to be more and do more and create an experience they will never forget Capturing their memories in a fun and memorable way is just as important as their beautiful images





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