Where are your images right now? Are they still on the DVD set you selected from Kristen Wynn Photography?  Maybe they’re on Facebook too.

You invested a lot in your wedding day or portrait session. You had your hair and makeup done, new outfits for the whole family, maybe a manicure, had your engagement ring cleaned, your husband had his hair trimmed, I know some of you even whitened your teeth for the big day. You spent time planning locations and pinning inspiration shots on Pinterest.

And yet the biggest photo you have displayed in your home is an 8×10″. An 8×10″ is what we refer to in the industry as a “desk print,” meaning it is placed on a table. 8×10″ are usually too small to be put on a wall as a rule of thumb.

Why not go bigger? I know 24×36″ sounds big, but when you hang it on the wall, it’s just right.

Amy and Will chose a favorite image from their Oakland, Pittsburgh engagement session last winter and had it stretched and mounted on canvas.

When the order arrived here at the office, I loved it. I wish I could have kept it as a sample for my office walls, but alas, it had to go to its rightful home at Amy’s place.

As I packaged it for delivery, I couldn’t resist taking a few photos of the canvas image. Thanks so much, Amy and Will, for the inspiration for this blog post!

If you are seeking some wall decor from your session, check out the Kristen Wynn Photography Product Guides here under the Pricing tab.

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Amy Scarlato said: | Jul 12, 2012 - 07:07:36 |

We absolutely LOVE our canvas print and will definitely be ordering more! The larger size looks awesome on the wall and the quality of the canvas is excellent. We are happy customers and highly recommend this product. Thanks KWP!

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On the day after Christmas, I met up with Amy and William for their engagement session in Oakland. Amy is a referral from one of my previous brides, Kristina. When they were younger, Amy and Kristina did dance together, and Amy is having a late fall/early winter wedding the way Kristina did!

I knew I would love working with Amy right away! She managed to get Heinz Chapel for her ceremony, which is really difficult and an accomplishment in and of itself. When she contacted me, I think it was a matter of only days before I had her down in my books as booked-we just clicked really well.

Amy sent me a photo of her and Will taken over Thanksgiving, and it was in black and white-she really likes the classic clean look of black and white imagery, so we made sure to focus on that during the session.

Although it was a little cold (and I think we were getting over colds too!), Amy and Will came dressed up. I love when a woman wears heels and a dress to her session-it gives a great timeless feel to the images and really elongates the legs too!

Will, an engineer, proposed to Amy with a very unique rose gold ring. Rose gold isn’t something I get to see every day as a wedding photographer, but I love the warmth of it. Will also dressed up in a suit for the session, and it really went well with the classic locations we had selected-the CMU columns and the Pitt Campus.

You two are an awesome couple and I can’t wait to work with you this year–I know this wedding is going to be amazing! Thanks so much for giving me the honor of working with you two!

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Kristina has been so patient in waiting for her engagement portrait sneak peeks. It has been two weeks (although I showed her a quick image last weekend)! I do try to blog sessions in the order in which I photograph them out of fairness to all my couples, so Kristina and Josh’s images have been sitting here, complete, ready for blogging, and I’ve been dying to get to them-their image package has been taunting me on my desk. July is such a busy month in the world of weddings! Thanks so much for your patience, Kristina and Josh.

Kristina and Josh are getting married this fall and I’m just so excited for them. Kristina is honestly one of the prettiest girls I have ever met, ever. A few years ago, I saw her photo on a Christmas card, since our parents know each other through work, and I thought how gorgeous both Kristina and her sister are. So I was super excited when she emailed me to photographer her engagement portraits and wedding. I love photographing her even more because she is on the short side and so am I, so it is easier for me to photograph her at eye level! 🙂 (I love you tall brides too; I just use a little stepladder to get on your level and avoid shooting from down below).

We started planning out their session several months ago, and located a wonderful winery outside of Pittsburgh that was gracious enough to welcome us in for photos. We lingered after the session-I think we closed the place down!

It was hot and sunny when we arrived, but we were able to find some shade. The session wasn’t rushed at all, but leisurely, and Kristina and Josh are pros at modeling, barely needing any direction.

They’re not only at ease in front of the camera, but they are both SO, so nice. When a couple is good-looking, that’s great, but it is what is on the inside that counts and makes for a fun session. A great fit with each other, sweet personalities, and nice and polite (as well as willing to try any crazy poses I ask), well, I just couldn’t ask for better clients! That’s pretty much a photographer’s dream, nice people in love. They’re wine aficionados, so we incorporated that into their session with a few styled items.

I loved working with the two of you and the fall can’t come fast enough for your wedding! :)I can’t wait to go out and make more images together on your big day! Thanks so much for giving me the chance to capture these photographs for you two!

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Years ago, I met Kelsey at work. I was SO delighted to hear that she was engaged to be married! We both worked teaching summer school in Pittsburgh as young brand new teachers and education students. It was challenging and fun and crazy at times.

Just the other day, I was walking through a park on my lunch break, and saw a crowd of day campers running all over, teachers shouting instructions, and for a second, I turned to my husband and said “I miss that.” He looked at me in disbelief, as the kids were quite rowdy and I haven’t taught in more than three years. “I really do miss it,” I repeated, and I meant it.

Of course, I LOVE photography and being my own boss. 🙂

One of the things I missed about teaching is meeting really great people like Kelsey and forming friendships with young women who are out to change the world one student at a time. Kelsey and Kevin met at Penn State University, where Kevin studied communication while Kelsey was in elementary education.

Their love for Penn State runs deep-they’re hoping to get married at the stadium next summer!

I asked Kelsey and Kevin how long they had been together before getting engaged, and their answer was jokingly “This time? Or counting all the times?” I love that their relationship is so normal. They met when they were just freshmen in college, and of course had some on-again, off-again moments at that young age. But then a few years ago, they got serious.

They moved to D.C. for work and grew closer. Last Thanksgiving, Kevin bought a ring. Kelsey was on a field trip with her students, and they viewed the Hope Diamond at a museum. She sent Kevin a photo, teasing about the diamond’s size.

When she came home that night, Kevin proposed with a diamond of his own, maybe not as large as the Hope Diamond, but every bit as special and precious. I think that makes it their own “hope” diamond, signifying their dreams of the future together.

While we were on the North Shore, a footrace was going on, blocking the typical skyline shots. I thought it might be fun to put Kelsey and Kevin in the middle of the craziness and let everyone race on by as they just paid attention to each other!

Enjoy your engagement, you two! It is a very exciting time, and I wish you so much happiness!

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nikki said: | Jul 16, 2011 - 11:07:21 |


Jeremy and Mindy said: | Jul 19, 2011 - 12:07:17 |

wonderful job Kristen!!! these are great 🙂

Alicia said: | Jul 19, 2011 - 07:07:48 |

Congrats Kelsey! Kristen – your pics are gorgeous!!

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Most of my couples come from referrals, which is great, since I already know we will have a connection. But Phillip and Shayla found me through the internet, and we’d all only talked online. So I was a little nervous as I prepared for their engagement session!

I highly advocate doing an engagement session, since it really helps you get to know your photographer. It also allows you to get comfortable in front of the camera. You learn your best angles. And you find poses you love (and poses you can tell the photographer to avoid on your wedding day). Another great plus to engagement sessions is getting to see how great your partner looks in the images. There is always an image where you look at your husband or wife-to-be and think “Wow, he really looks cute from that angle” or “I love her eyes in this photo.”

I met up with Phillip and Shayla at the Mellon Institute. I love the light here, and it also provided some cover from the rain, since the weather had been quite stormy in Pittsburgh. Overcast is the best light sometimes, and I miss those shooting conditions already down here in sunny Florida! Since Mellon Institute is practically an institution for portraits in Pittsburgh, I like to challenge myself to use it differently than I’ve done in the past and use different angles and poses than other photographers.

Phillip and Shayla met online. I loved hearing them tell their story-Phillip started it and Shayla jumped in to finish. Shayla had tried out a dating site a few times previously without meeting “the one.” So she decided that this time around would be her last attempt with it. Lucky for her, Phillip was just signing up. It was his first Match.com date and her last…and it was their last first date ever.

It turns out, Shayla actually attended college with one of my 2010 brides, Amy-it’s a small world! After college, Shayla also received training in working in a vet’s office and currently cares for the animals there. Phillip works for a local university.

They’re currently dealing with a little bit of a long-distance relationship, so I know they are eager for their August ceremony and reception in the South Hills to be able to spend more time together and not have to travel back and forth so much!

We had so much fun chitchatting and getting images that I accidentally kept us out way past the end of our session time-oops, and it was on a school/work night too. Sometimes, when you have a couple that is really sweet and fun, it is hard not to get carried away with just getting “one more shot!”

I can’t wait for your summertime wedding-I’m so excited! It was SO, SO good to meet you two! Congrats on your engagement!

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Anonymous said: | May 22, 2011 - 07:05:00 |

Love these pictures! You guys stayed true to yourselves and it shows! Phil still love those socks! Can't wait to see you both! I'm counting down the days!


Anonymous said: | Jun 8, 2011 - 08:06:29 |

Just beautiful you two! Cant wait until August! Love you! : )

– Rochele

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Kim and Mike met through Kim’s sister. There *may* have been some karaoke involved, I hear. 🙂

They share a love of music, as Mike is in a band and Kim still enjoys honing her craft, as she’s been singing since she was in high school. I knew Kim would rock this session out with different emotions and a wide range of looks since she always had a great stage presence during her high school and college acting days.

Photography has allowed me to reconnect with so many good friends. Years ago, way back in 2001, Kim was one of my earliest models for photography. I remember I posed her holding up a rose, and it was truly cringe-worthy on my part. I hope she won’t be cringing at my work now. I’ve luckily come a long way since my first Kodak 35mm when we were HS juniors, but I still have a long way to go.

Kim mentioned that she wanted to do something maybe music related, or maybe something in a field, and of course, we wanted to incorporate their guitars and Mike’s truck. I no longer live in the Pittsburgh suburb where we all grew up (always home in my heart), so I drove out scouting. And I was amazed to find an overgrown area between a car wash and an auto body shop. I called the owner of the lot and, in true Pittsburgh neighborly fashion, he agreed to let me use it.

I think Mike was skeptical as I directed him to just drive the truck in, mowing down anything in the way. But he was a good sport and went along with our crazy idea.

Kim and I used to drive past this lot all the time in her first car, a light blue temperamental Ford Taurus, ten years ago, sometimes speeding to make it home before our 11pm curfews. And as I checked my settings and she changed outfits hidden from the road, I asked “You don’t still have the Taurus, do you?”

She sadly told me she didn’t. She upgraded, being a college graduate and working adult now. 🙂

The night was cold, and we finished up in the field and headed towards a second location. We were in Mike’s neighborhood now. The light started to fade, but I was determined to use this weather-stained wall. It is the back of an old bowling alley, and the way the grass grew unevenly, you could still see where the lanes had been years ago.

And as Mike picked Kim up for the final shot, they radiated happiness and young love. I’m so happy you two found each other! 2012 will be wonderful year for your wedding! I wish you all the best! 🙂

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They grew up on opposite sides of Pittsburgh. The possibility for a meeting was there, and they were already destined to be together, but for over twenty years, their paths never crossed.

Ryan was on one side of the city, while Ashley was growing up in my neck of the woods.

We became fast friends. While Ryan was playing baseball and doing other boy things, Ashley (among many other activities) agreed to act as my very first model for my photography.

The summer when we were sixteen was the summer that I started to get an interest in photography. I wanted to do a little shoot. I had a Kodak 35mm camera purchased from Walmart for about $30, two prop hats from my mom’s closet, three willing friends, and absolutely NO clue what I was doing. Like every photographer, I sometimes still feel like I have no clue what I’m doing, but I know so, so, so much more than I did in July 2001.

For example, I always shot with film (yes, we only had film cameras back then, believe it or not) that was ISO 800. Why? Because the package advertised that it was good for “fast action.” I wasn’t shooting NFL football games- I was shooting simple snapshots of friends, so I have no clue why I would always get 800 speed film!

But Ashley and two other friends (Kaitlin and Kimmy J, if you are reading this, do you remember this day?) came with me one summer evening. We went to a local park by my parents’ house and did some silly poses.

I’m embarrassed to show my work from way back then, but I scanned my capture of Ashley from that day:

I know I was terrible. But Ashley supported my silly idea back when we were just kids. And I know she will support all of Ryan’s dreams through their years together, because that’s the kind of person she is, a dreamer who envisions what can be.

Ashley moved on from being my photography model. It was understandably a one-time thing! She went off to college, graduated, and started working. She met Ryan there. It would be her last first date.

I knew I would soon be saying goodbye to “single girl Ash” after I first met Ryan myself. He was it for her. We all felt it. We all knew.

He is just such a nice guy, so genuine, a perfect gentleman, and funny.

Over time, they got together.

They got serious.
He got a house.
She got a guinea pig.
They got a dog.

Then…he got a ring.

He got down on one knee in their kitchen.
She got to say yes.
They got engaged.
And in that moment, they both got everything they ever wanted.

Two weeks ago, we started out at their home and traveled to Pittsburgh for some engagement photos. As we wound into town through Oakland, Ashley was reminiscing in the car. She stopped her story about some funny/wild antics at one point and said to both Ryan and I, a little sheepishly, “I’m SO different than I was back then. It’s like I’m not even the same person. I’ve changed so much.”

In the backseat, I looked out the window and thought about that statement. I’ve always loved her for who she is. I absolutely adore the woman that she’s become. That little girl grew up, her experiences shaped her, and she fell in love with a super great guy.

You two are perfect for each other! 🙂 I am so overjoyed that you found each other! Can’t wait until the I Do’s!

5 People have left comments on this post

Anonymous said: | Aug 28, 2010 - 10:08:59 |

Very nice pictures Kristen Wynn! You do a great job and you have very good ideas for locations. I know Ashley said she had a great time doing the shoot. Can't wait until the wedding! Good luck with all your photography!
Bobbi Dunn

Ash said: | Aug 28, 2010 - 05:08:33 |

I LOVE them, KWynn! Love you! Thanks!

Kaitlin Keefe said: | Aug 28, 2010 - 07:08:35 |

Love the pics of Ash and Ryan… hate the pic of me and ash lol. And this makes me realize that you have been in Pittsburgh sometime when I was. Are you still here?

Candice said: | Aug 29, 2010 - 09:08:37 |

Kristen, Your photography is getting so good! I can see you evolving and each photoshoot is better than the last. Great work!

Kristen Wynn said: | Aug 29, 2010 - 10:08:17 |

Thanks for all the great feedback! 🙂

Kait, I was in Pittsburgh for a few days earlier this month for work. (There were five shoots in five days!) I'd love to meet up with you when I'm in town next and not so swamped with work! 🙂

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On a hot, hot summer day, I ventured to downtown Pittsburgh with Erica and Nick. It was the open house at the new Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, home of the Pittsburgh Penguins, so we hoped to get a few shots with it in the background. It proved to be a little challenge, as the building is super new and signage is limited to, well, you can see it up there, about a hundred feet in the air!

We did a few different combinations, with at one point, Nick and Erica jumping off a concrete bench to get them closer.

They are hugely dedicated Pittsburgh Penguin fans, sporting long sleeve black jerseys on a day that the temperature pushed ninety-five degrees. 🙂 The theme of their engagement session was “A Tour of Pittsburgh” and we wanted to go to spots that were special to them and their relationship. They have a ton of little surprises planned for their May wedding next year to represent that, but I won’t give any of them away here in case their guests are reading!

Erica and Nick both were attending my old grad school alma mater, RMU, right outside of Pittsburgh when they met and started dating. But, they didn’t meet at school like I had previously thought. No, Nick told me that they met in a “dive bar” (his words, not mine) near campus and jokingly suggested we should stop there for a few photos.

We headed up to the university, winding our way from Mellon Arena through beautiful Sewickley and drove onto campus. Erica and I have some fond memories of RMU, where we did, in fact, meet. (We met on campus, not at the aforementioned dive bar, although I’m pretty sure we celebrated our last day of class once at Primanti’s up there!) I really bonded with Erica during our teaching boot camp we went through a couple years ago, so I was so thrilled when she asked me to photograph her engagement and wedding. It is an honor.

And big shout out to my fellow teaching boot-camp survivor, Liz, if she’s reading this! 🙂

I got to know what a sweet person Erica is while we were in an intense situation and she always, always stayed sweet, polite, realistic, funny, and nice, even under extreme pressure. That’s why she’s a great teacher now. Those qualities are why I know that she is going to be an amazing wife and life partner for Nick.

So not only is she super sweet and nice, she could also diagram this sentence for me if I asked her to! 🙂

Nick is a super funny guy that put up with a lot on a hot sunny day to get these images for Erica, so thanks so much, Nick! I’m pretty sure his favorite part was our fun at Consol and the old Mellon Arena.

As the sun started to set, we headed to Pittsburgh’s Riverwalk and got a little bit refreshed in the fountain. The cool water felt amazing on such a hot day to all of us, so after capturing this last image, we packed up the car and called it a night before the sun dipped too low in the sky.

Congrats to both of you on your engagement! I can’t wait until your big “I Do’s” in May! 🙂

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Right before I left for Christmas and on New Year’s Eve Day while I was home for Christmas, I did some photo shoots. If we are Facebook friends, you may have already seen the shots, but I thought I would post them here anyway.

I had a ton of fun in downtown Pittsburgh. This bridge shot creeps my mama out because it looks like they are actually sitting on the side of it, but don’t worry, there is a walkway right beneath them.

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