Hunter | Grove City High School Senior | Pittsburgh Senior Portrait Photographer

A few of Hunter's favorites things are Garth Brooks, warm apple pie with ice cream, and sitting on her Grandma's patio. Even though she would describe herself as a simple country girl, I have come to know Hunter as so much more! She is sweet, strong, and independent. She's a pro at making others laugh and her greatest passion in life is to be a good person. At times, Hunter can be crazy and fun, but she also enjoys sitting back and reading a good book.

One of her goals in life is to become fluent in both Spanish and French! In fact, Hunter is part of the Spanish club at school! Hunter is also so smart! She's in the National Honors Society and she spends time tutoring middle school students during the week. But that's not all! She also plays volleyball and volunteers to be on the hair and makeup crew for musicals at her school. If you haven't caught on, Hunter loves to get involved where ever she can. This allows her to meet new people and make new friends (something she also enjoys).

With so many interests, she's not quite sure what she wants to do after she graduates. One thing she does know is that she'll spend her life doing something she loves! As she enjoys this last year of high school, Hunter looks forward to participating as much as she can, spending time with her friends, and making lasting memories. It has been such a privilege to get to know this sweet, blue jean wearing girl. Enjoy this gorgeous collection of photos from her senior photo shoot!

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Reece | Fresh 48

Ever since I became a mama, I have loved watching other new moms experience all of the special things that are still fresh in my own heart. The first hours with your new baby are so very special. You are taking this time to notice every tiny detail about this sweet little person. You look into the eyes you've waited months to see and try to soak up every special second. It goes by so quickly which is why I was excited to capture some of these moments for our dear friends, Mark and Megan. I loved photographing this fresh 48 session and I hope I get the chance to capture these special first glimpses of life for more families!

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Liz | Butler High School Senior | Pittsburgh Photographer

When Liz walked in to our model meeting back in March, I was REALLY hoping she would join the team! I just though she was so adorable and I could tell she was excited to be there. As I've gotten to know Liz, I have learned that she is one of the sweetest girls I've yet to have on our model team. Within her, there is a strong desire to bring joy to people's lives. She simply can't stand it when someone is not happy. Her mission is to show people that they're not alone and that the things that hurt you don't have to effect your happiness. When she graduates, she plans to pursue this mission by studying psychology and pre law which will allow her to become a lawyer for children!

Those are just some of my favorite things about Liz. There are so many more amazing things about her! She's on Butler High School's swim team and has lettered every year for swimming! Last year, Liz broke her leg and had to have surgery. But that didn't stop her from training and working as hard as she could so she could start competing again. And that's just what she did!

Liz also loves Harry Potter, music (particularly Adam Levine), reading, and watching Netfix. She says she couldn't live without her loving mama and her sweet boyfriend. Aside from being super sweet and resilient , Liz is also funny, sarcastic, and has a dry sense of humor. If you ever get a chance to get to know her, you'll be one lucky friend! Check out a glimpse of her absolutely gorgeous senior session below!

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It's Not Me | From the Heart | Pittsburgh Photographer

WOW! I couldn't have been blessed with a more BEAUTIFUL day for Liz's senior photo shoot yesterday! Everything about Liz and her shoot were just absolutely perfect. As I drove to meet her, I reflected on my selfishness. It's so easy for me to take light of the fact that God is constantly working through me. Any time I do anything good, it's only because God was gracious enough to guide me, strengthen me, and allow me to do it. The fact is, I love my creativity and my passion to help young women recognize their beauty. It's easy for me to take credit and desire praise and success in my pursuits. But these aspects of who I am are a gift. It's not something I deserve, but it's something God has given me. It's my responsibility to humble myself and use these gifts to bless others and glorify God.

I prayed that God would guide me and use me to bless Liz and to take the most beautiful photos I've ever taken. I also asked that he would show me how to glorify HIM through it all. Just a few minutes later, a song came on the radio. One of the lyrics was "You don't need me at all, but you couldn't love me more." I knew God was speaking to me. Even though I constantly fall short of being the person I should be, God is so patient with me. And he STILL desires to use me, even in my sin and selfishness.

Within the last year and half, God has helped me grow in my creativity. I am finally at a place in my photography where I find confidence and joy in every photo shoot. I have worked with women who have been blessed to tears because of this gift God has given me. I can't take credit for any of it, but I feel absolutely honored to know God can use me for something so beautiful. As I move forward, I will do all I can to put myself aside:  my dreams, my plans, my desires. By putting myself aside, I can allow God to continue working through me. I can't wait to see what else he has in store!

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Vicky | Seneca Valley High School Senior

Vicky's McConnel's Mills senior session was the LAST of my 2017 senior sessions! She was so much fun to work with. And I loved ALL her outfits. She rocked some of my favorite colors and some gorgeous florals during her photoshoot. Since Vicky was on my model team all through her senior year, I got to see how she was able to grow and become even more beautiful than she already was! By the time we got to her senior session, she was beaming with confidence. Her true model spirit was shining through her joy and excitement. This girl was all smiles all the time! I can't wait to see where life takes you. :)

All the 2017 seniors I worked with were totally fantastic and NOW I'm so inspired and excited to start working with the Class of 2018! Here we go!

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Top Prom Picks for Butler, PA

Prom is sneaking up on us! Do you have all of your ducks in a row yet? This is without a doubt, one of the most exciting times of your high school career. There are so many factors to pulling your perfect day together! Especially for seniors, you want your last chance for an amazing evening to come together flawlessly! Finding the perfect dress, having your hair and makeup in place and on point, being adorned in the sweetest and freshest flowers...but it can be difficult to plan the perfect prom with little to no experience. Luckily, we are here to help! Here are some of my favorites places for all your prom necessities, all found right in my little town of Butler, PA!

Dress Shops: DI Bridal

Shopping prom dresses should be fun! You should feel flattered and doted upon as you try on some of the most beautiful dresses you'll ever see. Choosing to shop at a small town, family owned business will give you this experience! Our friends at DI Bridal will help you find a dress that fits and flatters you perfectly! They'll give you a fun and stress-free experience you wouldn't get if you had to find your dress all on your own among hundreds of choices from so many stores. Give them a call and make an appointment to find your dream dress!

Website: http://dibridalboutique.com

Instagram: @dibridal

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dibridalboutique/

Flower shops: All About Reclaimed by Jeff Double

I photographed a wedding last summer at which the bride and groom chose All About Reclaimed to create their bouquets and boutonnieres. I just fell in love with how beautiful these creations were! The flowers were so fresh and flawless and the arrangements were absolutely stunning. Whether you're choosing a corsage, bouquet, or boutonniere, I totally recommend you check out their options!

Website: https://allaboutreclaimed.com

Instagram: @allaboutreclaimed

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AllAboutReclaimed/

Hair and Makeup: Sara @ Caviar&Curls

Sara is my go-to hair and makeup artist for senior photo sessions. She makes sure my girl's hair and makeup are in place and perfect during the whole photoshoot! Whether you're looking to get your hair done, your makeup done, your nails done, or all three, Sara is your girl! Not only will she make you look absolutely gorgeous, she will pamper you and make you feel like the most beautiful girl at prom.

Website: http://www.caviarandcurls.com

Instagram: @caviar_curls

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaviarandCurls/

So now it's time for YOU to decide. Who will you choose to be a part of your prom experience? 

Black & White Model Shoot | Pittsburgh Senior Portrait Photographer

“I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles" -Audrey Hepburn

 

Every time I do another photoshoot, it becomes my new favorite! I love meeting up with my models to do these fun shoots. And it always makes me excited for the next one! This shoot was one I've been wanting to do for a while now. The girls wore black and white outfits and we threw in a few splashes of red here and there for fun!

Even though it was supposed to rain, we ended up with a gorgeous evening. The idea behind the shoot was to create a chic, city life feeling. The girls TOTALLY nailed it. They embraced the whole theme and became fierce. I can't wait for our next shoot together! 

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Jenna | Grove City High School Senior | Pittsburgh Senior Photographer

Jenna is such a beautiful young lady. Her gorgeous blond hair and bright eyes make for some amazing photographs. This girl is flawless! I couldn't wait to shoot her senior session and it was so on point! We traveled to two different locations during our photoshoot in order to capture her entire personality. Jenna is a little bit city and a little bit country, so we embraced that through her photographs. She is also SO fashionable and I loved being able to photograph her in so many great outfits. She rocked every single photo. As a result, her pictures display how stunning she truly is! Total model status. :)

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Jacob | Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School Senior | Pittsburgh Senior Portrait Photographer

This guy is awesome. Of course, I may be a little bias considering he's my brother. But Jacob has gone through so much during his high school career and seeing him make it this far is a blessing to me! Jacob is strong and he is always willing to be friendly and helpful toward anyone. He is a stylish fellow which always makes a photographer happy. :) He's got a diverse and artistic taste. We captured his style in the different locations we photographed. First, we took a few shots at an old high school in East Brady. Then we took it to the streets in downtown Butler. We wrapped up his session in a field where he rocked out on the drum set. He was so fun and easy to photograph!

Jacob is a super talented young man. He's always been able to achieve anything he puts his mind to! I look forward to seeing what God has in store for this next part of his life.

Jenna's BFF Photoshoot | Pittsburgh Senior Portrait Photographer

I had such a good time taking photos for Jenna's BFF shoot! These girls were all beautiful and so fun. They decided to wear plaid/flannel button downs, jeans, and boots which ended up looking PERFECT with the fantastic fall colors in the trees. We did the photo shoot at Grove City Memorial Park right at the beginning of sunset. Everything was seriously on point to make these pictures look gorgeous! At the end of the shoot, I snapped a few pictures of Jenna and her boyfriend. I know Jenna was excited about that! I hope this photos serve as a GREAT memory for Jenna and her friends!

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Emma | Butler High School Senior | Pittsburgh Senior Portrait Photographer

Emma is one of our senior models here at Allyson Leah Photography. She will be graduating from Butler Senior High School this June, 2017. I was really looking forward to taking her senior pictures back in July and she surely didn't disappoint! I'm SO excited to finally share her gorgeous photos. Emma is a stunning young lady with a laid back, but fun, personality. She always SLAYS her pictures with those piercing blue eyes. She's super fun to have along during our model shoots, keeping me and the other girls laughing and smiling. We took Emma's senior pictures at Preston Park in Butler, PA. I loved ALL of her outfits and I love that they each speak to a different part of her personality. I look forward to working with Emma during the rest of her senior year! So keep an eye out for more shots of this pretty girl. :)

Meghan & Wolfgang | Pittsburgh Senior Portrait Photographer

I just absolutely love everything about this photoshoot! The sun was PERFECT, fall colors were ON POINT, and Meghan and Wolfgang were just fabulous. Meghan is one of my 2017 Senior Models and they each have the opportunity for a BFF photoshoot. Meghan decided to use her photoshoot to get some pictures with her BFF and boyfriend, Wolfgang. I already know that Meghan is a total natural in front of the camera. As it turns out, Wolfgang does a great job, too! These two were so comfortable with me and with each other. They are super sweet and we had so much fun! I always love to capture those natural laughs and smiles, which they sure had a lot of! :D I think we can all agree that Meghan and Wolfgang are simply adorable together!

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12 Tips on How to Get the BEST Senior Portraits EVER!

It's such an exciting time in your life! And now you're thinking about senior portraits. Having your senior portraits done is such an important part of this time in your life. Not only are you going to share them with all your friends and family, but they represent then end of one chapter in your life and the beginning of another. You will cherish these photos FOREVER! And they will serve as a wonderful memory for you and your family.

Since your senior pictures are going to be a part of your life forever, it's important that you do them right. I want to share a few tips so you can make sure your senior portrait experience is an awesome one from beginning to end!

PLAN YOUR OUTFITS AHEAD OF TIME.

Think about what you love to do. These photos are meant to represent you at this time in your life. So what do you love? If you play a sport, incorporate it into your session! Use your uniform as one of your outfits or bring your soccer ball or ice skates along as a prop. Maybe you play a musical instrument. Let that be a part of your photo shoot. Or, if you love to read, bring along some of your favorite books or some cool vintage looking ones. No matter what it is that YOU love, make it a part of your senior portraits.

Think about your personal style. I love fashion! And I love that there are so many different styles to choose from. Everyone is unique, so what makes your style unique? Whether you consider your style bohemian, retro, classic, hipster, or punk rock, wear outfits for your shoot that you totally love! And may I recommend Pinterest to help you find super great outfit ideas? Really, it's amaaaazing.

Get fancy with your ideas. If you're a guy, choose an outfit that's classy. It can be a tux, a suit, or just a button down dress shirt and some nice jeans. And ladies: there are SO many fun things you can do. Wear your prom or homecoming dress as one of your outfits! Not only will it make for BEAUTIFUL photos, but it's a great way to capture the memory of that dress. Another idea is to get super creative with a long, flowy dress and a flower crown or a cute tulle skirt with a flannel or chambray top. Again, Pinterest can be your BFF if you're looking for ideas like this!

Make sure your outfits look good on you. Sometimes an outfit can look really good in every day life, but won't necessarily look great in a photograph. Wear outfits that flatter your body shape and choose colors that compliment your skin and hair color. Also, be aware of things that may be distracting in a photo (ex. bra straps, cleavage, mismatched socks). If you want help picking the perfect outfits for your shoot, some photographers offer wardrobe consultations. Ask your photographer about this!

Accessorize! You don't want to look too plain in your photos so make sure you have a couple accessories for each outfit! This includes shoes, jewelry, scarves, jackets, and hats/headpieces. Trust me, these will make ALL the difference.

Get your hair and makeup done. Having your hair and makeup done professionally will make your photos flawless! I promise, it's worth it. Your every day makeup (or even your special event makeup) is not the same as great, photo-finish makeup. Some photographers include this in their packages, so be sure to ask about that. If your photographer doesn't, look for hair and makeup artists who work specifically with photographers or with brides. They'll know the right way to do your makeup for photographs.

CHOOSE THE PERFECT SETTING.

Location, location, location. Where you choose to have your photo shoot is just as unique to you as your clothing style. If you're a country girl, a farm, barn, or field would be a perfect spot! If sports are your life, the local football or soccer field may suffice. You can have your session in the city, at a local park, or at an old, abandoned warehouse. Just make sure the location (or locations) you choose fit your unique style!

Think about it ahead of time. Some locations may require a reservation or an extra fee. Make sure you talk to your parents and your photographer about this ahead of time so it's all squared away! Some cool examples of this would be at a carnival, a zoo, or a garden exhibit. You'll also want to think about the time of day you have your photo shoot. If you want that perfect golden hour sunlight, you want to schedule your shoot for early in the morning or right before sunset.

What about the weather? Maybe you LOVE winter and would die for a photo shoot in the snow. Or do you swoon over the colorful trees in autumn? Winter, Fall, Summer or Spring, the weather will have a huge impact on how your photos turn out! Schedule your shoot for your favorite time of year.

RELAX AND ENJOY YOURSELF!

Get excited. Really! I know being in front of a camera can be intimidating, but you are a model. This is a once in a lifetime experience. Embrace it! If you relax and have fun, you'll end up looking more natural in your photos. And don't stress! this is meant to be an enjoyable experience for you.

Bring someone along. Having a parent, a sibling, or a couple of your best friends along can help you feel much more relaxed! They can make you laugh and take the awkwardness down a few notches.

CHOOSE A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER.

For real. And I'm not just saying this because I am a photographer. Choosing a photographer who values you and your portrait experience will be the most important part of your senior session. They should be able to give you great fashion advice, recommend locations that suit you, direct you and help you feel and look natural in front of the camera, and they should deliver quality photographs and products. Wait... your friend is offering to take them for free?! Cool. Do it for fun! But don't let it replace the actual senior portrait experience. You're going to want beautiful photos and products that you can cherish for the rest of your life. So find someone with experience. Someone who cares about your experience. Someone who can capture the memories of a lifetime.

You can find out more about getting an incredible senior portrait experience with Allyson Leah Photography HERE! I'd love to get to know you and help you capture memories that last a lifetime.

Fancy Flannel Model Shoot | Butler Pennsylvania Senior Portrait Photographer

We finally got to do another model shoot! After rescheduling so many photo shoots because of the weather, our Fancy Flannel Model Shoot was worth the wait. I had so much fun working with Meghan and Vicky together. They are both beautiful young women inside and out. We did our photo shoot at the gorgeous Succop Conservancy. The sunshine worked in our favor, shining perfectly through the willow tree! I also LOVED the brick patio area. It gave an almost French cafe feeling which turned out to be perfect. This photo shoot was on point and I can't wait for the next one!

If you're a junior and you'd like to learn more about being a part of our model program, check out our Model Program page for more info!

Danielle's Senior Photos | Butler Pennsylvania Senior Portrait Photographer

Danielle has such a sweet disposition. Her smile is so beautiful and genuine! The pictures I take of her always look so confident, natural, and fierce. I love working with Danielle in front of the camera! I was so excited to take her senior portraits at McConnell's Mills and work with the different outfits she brought. I love capturing my seniors at their best and most beautiful, all while capturing who they truly are. Danielle's senior photo shoot absolutely captured her strength and beauty as an incredible young woman.