Kate Buckley Photography: Blog https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Kate Buckley Photography 2024 [email protected] (Kate Buckley Photography) Sat, 17 Dec 2022 00:48:00 GMT Sat, 17 Dec 2022 00:48:00 GMT https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u736594686-o260357250-50.jpg Kate Buckley Photography: Blog https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog 99 120 'Twas (Almost) The Night Before Christmas https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2021/12/twas-almost-the-night-before-christmas Dear Friends,

With Christmas only days away, you might be feeling a bit stressed because you haven't yet found the perfect toy or gift for that special little person (or little people) on your list.  Fear not!  I have been featuring some of my favorite local small businesses during this holiday season and no list would be complete without Fun Buy The Pound. This magical toy store located at 406 Beaver Street in Sewickley, PA is truly one of a kind.

Meet owner Brenda Fisk and store manager, who is also Brenda's daughter, Emily.

Fun Buy The Pound opened in 2005.  "We always wanted to do this," Brenda told me.  Her husband gave her a rental lease as a Christmas gift 15 years ago and they opened the toy store the following May.  Since then they have been delighting the young and the young-at-heart with a magical array of toys and their unique brand of customer service. 

I asked Emily how long she's been working at the store and she smiled and said, "Since I was 10 years old!"  She started by sorting Legos in the back room and has worked her way up to store manager.  In fact, all of Brenda's five children have at one time or another worked at the store.  "They all learned great customer service here," said Brenda.

It's almost impossible to walk into the store and not smile!  From ceiling to floor and in every nook and cranny, you are surrounded by toys, games, plush animals, and even a beautiful collection of infant and children's clothing.

I asked Brenda and Emily why they have been so successful for so many years.  "It's the personal touch that we provide," Brenda said.  Customers know that they can stop at the store on their way to a birthday party and leave with not only a great gift, but also with the gift beautifully wrapped for free.  "We also know our toys!" added Brenda.  "We handpick everything.  I think about my five kids and what they would have liked when they were younger.  And I now have seven grandchildren who are all my toy testers!"

Brenda and Emily also shared that Fun Buy The Pound is very much part of the Sewickley community.  Customers who have since moved away stop by when they're home visiting family or friends.  Many customers return to the store year after year with their children and now their grandchildren.  Emily shared some of the great testimonials from their youngest guests including, "I want to live here!"  "Adults should buy toys instead of insurance.  They'd be happier!" And, "How many years until I can work here?"

With such a feeling of joy and happiness in the store I asked Brenda and Emily what the best thing is about working at the toy store.  "The magic of it.  And working with Emily," said Brenda.  "It's a nice place to go every day," said Emily.

Doesn't get any better than that, friends.

Happy holidays!

[email protected] (Kate Buckley Photography) family owned businesses Fun Buy the Pound Kate Buckley Photography kids and toys Pittsburgh family owned businesses Pittsburgh family photographer Pittsburgh kid photographer Pittsburgh lifestyle photographer Pittsburgh real life family photography Pittsburgh Small Businesses Pittsburgh toy stores Sewickley PA shops shop local shops in Sewickley PA support local Pittsburgh businesses support small businesses toy lovers in Pittsburgh toy store unique gifts in Pittsburgh unique toys in Pittsburgh https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2021/12/twas-almost-the-night-before-christmas Wed, 22 Dec 2021 19:10:58 GMT
Treat Your Furry Family Members to Healthy Pet Products https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2021/12/treat-your-furry-family-members-this-holiday-season Dear Friends,

While we're only days away from the Big Day, there's still plenty of time to support small businesses and shop local.  Today I'm featuring one of my favorites here in Pittsburgh, Healthy Pet Products.  I've been a customer at their North Hills location in McCandless Township for many years because I value the knowledgeable and friendly staff and their quality products, not to mention the fun toys and stocking stuffers featured in the store this time of year!

Meet owner Toni Shelaske.

Toni opened the North Hills store in 2008 when she purchased the business from a couple who was as passionate as she is about feeding her dogs all-natural and organic pet food.  In 2011 she opened a store in the South Hills in McMurray, PA when she realized that customers were driving from as far as West Virginia and Ohio to not only purchase quality pet food but also to seek her advice and expertise about how to best care for their pets with allergies and other ailments.  To meet further customer demand, Toni opened a Cranberry Township location in 2019 and will open a store in Port Charlotte, Florida in 2022.

While she is quick to say that she and her staff are not vets, they have seen and experienced firsthand the benefits of feeding pets all-natural and organic pet food.  "My soul's purpose is to educate as many people as I can.  We need to be our pet's advocates," Toni said.  She and her staff are proud to be part of a movement that is reluctant to choose to medicate their pets as the first step but rather to look at their diet as a starting point.  

On a fun note, just last month Toni launched her very own label of dog toys, Toni Unleashed Toys.  

So far, the Pittsburgh Pierogi is the best seller!  Your dog can also have their very own plush version of the famous Pittsburgh incline, a Pittsburgh bridge (Pittsburgh has 446 of them, more than any other city in the world!) or 412 Pittsburgh.  And according to Toni, more fun Pittsburgh-themed designs are in the works.

During my visit, it was so apparent to me that the people who visited the store, many with their dogs, were truly family.  The staff knew many, owners and dogs alike, on a first-name basis and gushed over their furry friends.

Finally, I asked Toni what she would like her current and new customers to know about her and her business.  "I'm here so pets can live their best and healthiest lives.  This is a mission-based business.  I have to keep going."

On behalf of all of your happy and trusting clients, we hope that you do, Toni!

[email protected] (Kate Buckley Photography) all natural pet food dog lovers Healthy Pet Products Kate Buckley Photography love your pets organic dog food Pet lovers in Pittsburgh Pittsburgh dog lovers Pittsburgh family photographer Pittsburgh kid photographer Pittsburgh lifestyle photographer Pittsburgh pet stores Pittsburgh real life family photography Pittsburgh Small Businesses shop local support local Pittsburgh businesses support small businesses https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2021/12/treat-your-furry-family-members-this-holiday-season Mon, 20 Dec 2021 16:17:48 GMT
Cafe Conmigo - A Gem of a Coffee and Tea Shop in Wexford, PA https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2021/11/cafe-conmigo---supporting-local-businesses Dear Friends,

This Saturday, November 27, 2021, is Small Business Saturday.  As a small business owner, this holiday season I am shining a spotlight on some of my favorite local small businesses to encourage you to get out and support them and their owners!  

Today I am featuring a terrific local coffee and tea shop, Cafe´Conmigo located in Wexford, PA at 10 North Meadows Drive, also known as "across the street from Whole Foods."  I recently stopped by to chat with owner Derek Davies and enjoyed a perfect latte while visiting.  Derek's family owns several businesses so studying business administration in college and becoming an entrepreneur himself was a natural path for him to take after graduating from North Allegheny High School in 2012.  While attending college in Austin, Texas, Derek loved the diverse culture of his college town, meeting and becoming friends with people from many Spanish-speaking countries including Mexico and Central America.  This, along with a favorite coffee shop that he visited while in Argentina, inspired him to open Cafe´Conmigo.

Derek opened the doors at Cafe´Conmigo less than a year ago on January 19, 2021.  Restrictions from the pandemic were just beginning to lift and according to Derek, people were craving connection and community.  In fact, creating a sense of community is something that Derek spoke of often during my visit.  Not only community among the guests who come in for great coffee, tea, and locally sourced pastries but also the community of local vendors whose products are sold in the shop.


Over 50 locally owned boutique businesses, the majority who are owned by women, sell their products in the cafe´.  Derek contributes a lot of the shop's success to the sense of community that he shares with these local businesses.  "We all help each other.  You feel like you know the person when you sell their products," said Derek.  And to give guests a more global sense of community, a map showing the different countries where the coffee served at the cafe´ is sourced is proudly displayed.  

I asked Derek what he would like his guests to know about him.  He laughed and said, "Well, it seems like I'm always here!"  But then he quickly added that he loves to travel because it inspires him.  Being out in nature and hiking is his way of unwinding.  And he loves exploring and supporting new businesses.

"I've created a space that I enjoy.  It's very inclusive here.  All are welcome."  Well said, Derek.  This, along with the excellent latte, is what makes Cafe´Conmigo so special.

[email protected] (Kate Buckley Photography) Cafe Conmigo Kate Buckley Photography Pittsburgh coffee shops Pittsburgh family photographer Pittsburgh kid photographer Pittsburgh lifestyle photographer Pittsburgh North Hills businesses Pittsburgh real life family photography Pittsburgh Small Business Saturday Pittsburgh small businesses shop local Small business Saturday support local Pittsburgh businesses https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2021/11/cafe-conmigo---supporting-local-businesses Mon, 22 Nov 2021 20:28:36 GMT
Love Has Not Been Canceled https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2020/12/love-has-not-been-canceled Dear Friends,

A lot has changed this past year.  The list is long and all-too-familiar as we say goodbye to 2020.  But one thing that hasn't changed is the love of family and friends, and the love of traditions that come with this time of year, even if those traditions must be slightly altered this holiday season.  

As we all look for connections and reasons to be hopeful and happy, more than ever, I believe in the power of a captured moment.  Because the way I figure, how else will we remember that amid a lot of not-so-great moments in 2020, there were many moments of happiness, joy, and love?

Enter this sweet family.   I had an opportunity to hang out with them a few weeks ago and capture some of their family traditions, along with a lot of love and more than a few laughs.

So much love.  So much joy. 

We also took time for some outdoor family portraits.

Like many of us, they will stay close to home this holiday season, but their home will be filled with love and joy.  Because love has not been canceled this year. 

Thank you to all of the families that invited me into their homes (even as I wore a mask during the entire photo session!) this past year.  I look forward to working with more great families in the new year. 

To everyone, may your hearts and homes be filled with love, joy, and hope this season.  And may the new year be brighter for all.

~ Kate

[email protected] (Kate Buckley Photography) celebrating Christmas children photography Christmas traditions family documentary photography family fun family love family photography family photojournalism family traditions Kate Buckley Photography Pittsburgh children photographer Pittsburgh family photographer Pittsburgh kid photographer Pittsburgh lifestyle photographer Pittsburgh portrait photographer real life photography storytelling photography https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2020/12/love-has-not-been-canceled Tue, 22 Dec 2020 21:31:56 GMT
Greetings from Kate Buckley Photography https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2019/12/greetings-from-kate-buckley-photography Dear Friends,

How can it be this time of year again?!  As we all put the final touches on 2019 and look forward to a new year, I want to wish all of you a happy holiday season and peace and joy in 2020. 

This year I was honored to be trusted by so many families to tell their beautiful and unique stories.  I thought it would be fun to share a few highlights.

So much fun, right?!

My wishes for you in the new year are simple, friends.  I wish that you have many loved ones who make you smile. 

I wish that you have many in your life who will give you a hug when you need it, and even when you don't.

And I wish that you have someone to hold your hand along the way.

Thank you for following and supporting my work.  Please reach out if I can help to tell your family's story in 2020.

All the best,


[email protected] (Kate Buckley Photography) children photographer day in a life photography documentary photographer family documentary photography family photographer family photojournalism Kate Buckley Photography lifestyle photography photojournalism Pittsburgh Family Photographer Pittsburgh photographer real life photography storytelling photography visual storyteller https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2019/12/greetings-from-kate-buckley-photography Fri, 20 Dec 2019 13:15:15 GMT
Meet an Amazing Small Business Owner, Pastry Artist, and Human Activist https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2019/8/small-business-owner-pastry-artist-and-human-activist Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you enjoying the warm days and long evenings of summer.  For me, it's been a busy, challenging and exciting summer.  On the photography front, I've been mixing it up a bit lately.  I'm still loving my documentary family sessions.  Additionally, I have several exciting personal projects going on (more about that in future newsletters) and recently decided to delve into telling the stories of small businesses.  It seems to me that the people who work together are a family too and they have a story to tell, not only about their business but about themselves as individuals.  More about this too in the months to come.

My first business feature is about a one-woman wonder.  Meet the extraordinary Jasmine Cho!


Jasmine is a small business owner, a pastry artist, and a human activist.  I recently had the pleasure of documenting Jasmine, including her incredible artistic talent and her successful online bakery business Yummyholic.  Jasmine's passion and mission go far beyond creating beautiful and delectable treats.  She combines her exquisitely crafted baked goods and her own brand of activism to spark conversations about creativity and cultural awareness around Asian American history and identity.  Jasmine is also currently enrolled at Carlow University in Pittsburgh where she is researching how baking can be used as a form of art therapy. 

For this assignment, I decided to dip my toe into the waters of multimedia and put together this piece for Jasmine to use on her website and social media outlets.

I photographed Jasmine just days before she spoke on the TEDxPittsburgh stage on June 15, 2019.  Her talk has been viewed by over 40,000 people since it was posted on YouTube on July 7th!

Jasmine's star is bright and rising and I can't wait to see what the future holds for her!


[email protected] (Kate Buckley Photography) art therapy artist baker baking star baking therapy Carlow University humanitarian Jasmine Cho Jasmine Cho Pittsburgh Kate Buckley Photography making a difference pastry artist photojournalism Pittsburgh Documentary Family Photographer Pittsburgh Documentary Photographer Pittsburgh leader Pittsburgh photographer real life photography small business owner small businesses social activism TEDxPittsburgh woman owned business young Pittsburgh rising star https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2019/8/small-business-owner-pastry-artist-and-human-activist Thu, 01 Aug 2019 17:10:00 GMT
A Little Bit of Sunshine https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2018/11/a-little-bit-of-sunshine Dear Friends,

It seems to me that everyone could use a little bit of sunshine these days.  Pittsburgh, my hometown, has had a lot of sadness in recent weeks.  Add to that, one less hour of daylight in the evenings and a fall chill in the air.  So for this blog post, I have decided to rewind the clock to a warm summer day in August, when I spent an afternoon with Alison, Shailen and their sweet children, Cora and Cal.

There's something about a late summer day.  Life is carefree, and with little ones, there is often a sense of wonderment and adventure. 

What is it about exploring the unknown adventures that await in your own backyard?

Or feeling the warm summer breeze through your hair?

Or the magic in believing that something really fun is about to happen.

How would you spend an afternoon with your family if you knew that magic and fun were in store?

I know that years from now, this sweet family will look back on their images and custom made artwork from this day and smile.  They will remember the joy that they felt and the fun that they had together.

There was more than a little bit of sunshine that day, even when the rain fell.  

Thank you, Alison, Shailen, Cora and Cal.  We sure had fun!

Visit www.katebuckleyphotography.com to book your documentary family photography session. 

[email protected] (Kate Buckley Photography) children day-in-the-life photography documentary photographer family documentary photography family fun family love family photojournalism Kate Buckley Photography lifestyle photography photojournalism Pittsburgh children photographer Pittsburgh Documentary Family Photographer Pittsburgh documentary photographer Pittsburgh family photographer Pittsburgh lifestyle photographer Pittsburgh photographer real life photography visual storyteller https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2018/11/a-little-bit-of-sunshine Wed, 07 Nov 2018 17:56:21 GMT
A Special Family Celebration https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2018/7/a-special-family-celebration Dear Friends,

I recently had an opportunity to photograph a very special family celebration, a Pasni or a Nepali Rice Feeding Ceremony.  Many of you know that our son was born in Nepal.  I have a great affection for Nepal and its people.  It is a beautiful country and my husband and I found the people to be gentle and kind during our time there.  But that's another story for another time.

Perhaps you don't know a lot, or anything, about this Nepali celebration.  Because our son was almost 4 years old when we brought him home from Nepal, admittedly I had never heard of a Pasni celebration.  Well, come along with me as I share what I learned and the joy that I witnessed.

Pasni is when a Nepali child is fed his or her first bite of food other than milk, which is rice.  This celebration is held at five months old for daughters and six months old for sons.  Relatives and friends are invited to witness and to celebrate with the parents.  This particular Pasni celebration was unique in that three sets of parents, all with infant sons, cousins to one another, were celebrating their first bite of rice on the same day!  A bit hectic, for sure, but also beautiful to witness.  Traditionally, it is the baby's mother who feeds their child their first bite of rice.  But because of the unique circumstances, the three mothers decided to give the honor to the babies' grandparents.

The babies were dressed in beautiful outfits made of red velvet and silk and embroidered with silver and gold thread.  After the grandparents fed their grandsons their first bite of rice, they placed a tika, a mixture of red powder and rice, on each baby's forehead.  This is a blessing for the baby.

Afterward, other family members including aunts and cousins were invited to feed the babies.

Gifts of gold bracelets and money envelopes for the children were also given by grandparents and aunts as a token of love, luck, and prosperity.

It was truly beautiful to watch the matriarch of the family as she blessed all of her grandchildren by placing a tika on their foreheads and bowing to their feet offering an additional good omen and as a sign of respect and honor.

After the rice feeding ceremony concluded, like all family reunions, there was a lot of great food to be eaten,

tired babies to care for,

and lots of love and laughter!

Thank you to my friends Jyotsana and Adam, and to all of the new friends that I made that day, for inviting me to be a part of your joyful Pasni celebration!

To see more images from this celebration, please visit my website www.katebuckleyphotography.com.  There you will also find everything you need to know to book your session to capture special moments from your family celebrations or a day-in-the-life session.

[email protected] (Kate Buckley Photography) babies baby milestones documentary photographer family celebrations family documentary photography family fun family love family photojournalism family reunion grandparents Hindu celebration Kate Buckley Photography mothers and babies Nepal Nepali children Nepali culture Nepali families Nepali rice feeding ceremony Pasni celebration photojournalism Pittsburgh Documentary Family Photographer Pittsburgh family photographer Pittsburgh lifestyle photographer Pittsburgh photographer Real Life Photography rice feeding celebration https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2018/7/a-special-family-celebration Mon, 23 Jul 2018 01:59:26 GMT
For the Love of Mothers https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2018/5/for-the-love-of-mothers Mother's Day is less than two weeks away.  Admit it.  Mother's Day is a big deal.  I remember not so many years ago before everyone had a mobile phone and therefore depended on a landline, some people complained because their telephone call to their mom on Mother's Day wouldn't go through due to "high call volume."  I seem to recall that the call volume on Mother's Day was second only to Christmas day. 

Whether or not you are a mother, you have a mother.  And even if your mother is no longer here, it's still a very special day.  Perhaps you're now a grandmother.  (I hear that it's as great as being a mother but perhaps even better because you've kicked back all of the un-fun stuff like discipline, bedtime, and "eat-your-vegetables" to the parents, your adult children.)

Here I am with my mom, the best mom ever (and I truly hope that you would say the same of your mom,) in the fall of 1965.  She used to make matching outfits for us.  I have no earthly idea how she had time to do such things.  I am one of five kids.  My mom's generation was called The Greatest Generation with good reason.

Moms come in all shapes and sizes and are each blessed with the most extraordinary gifts.  I think most would agree that moms are patient beyond measure.

Moms are also there when you need them.

They are often the first to make you laugh in the morning.

And the last to kiss you goodnight.

Simply said, our moms love us unconditionally and make us happy.

This Mother's Day, give your mom (or grandmother, sister, aunt, or best friend) the gift of captured precious memories.  Memories that you will want to have forever.  So years from now, you will not only remember what your family looked like, but what those days felt like.  Visit www.katebuckleyphotography.com to book a documentary photography session.  

P.S. New this spring. . .Documentary-style (think unposed, unfiltered, fun!) photography sessions are now available to capture your special family occasions including baptisms, first communions, graduations, birthday parties, anniversaries, first day of school, last day of school,  getting ready for the prom and other "Gee, I-wish-we-had-Kate-photograph-that-for-us" celebrations.  And as always, your family is how you decide to define family.  For example, I also love to capture extended families including multiple generations or couples with their fur babies (aka their pets.)  Contact me for details.


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Family Values https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2018/2/family-values Dear Friends,

You've heard me say this before.  The documentary family photography sessions that I love to do are about capturing and telling a family's story, no matter how one defines 'family.'  While much of my work focuses on families with young children, lately I find myself on a mission to tell the stories of families with loved ones who have lived full and amazing lives.  Families whose older members still have a lot to say and from whom we can learn a great deal.  In this blog post, I turn to my own family, which is something that I rarely do but now the timing feels right.

I started working on this story a couple of years ago.  A lot has happened since then.  I think it's called 'life.'  Nine months ago both my mom and dad left our family, at least in the physical sense, to go to heaven.  They both lived 88 years, and I'd say that all but the last 18 months were quality years.  Up until then, they were in good health, independent, and the loving and loved matriarch and patriarch of our large Irish Italian family.  I'm quite sure that they are in a better place now and enjoying a perfect 'second act,' but not a day goes by that I don't miss them terribly.  It has taken me this long to be able to look at these photos and to tell this story about one of the many valuable lessons that they taught me.  The importance of family values. 

The dictionary defines family values as 'values held to be traditionally learned or reinforced within a family, such as those of high moral standards and discipline.'   The importance of family values is one of those things that you can't fully understand or appreciate as a kid.  When you're young, you're too busy playing with your friends and arguing with your siblings.  You're too occupied with your daily traumas and dramas.  As a kid, you're most likely just not tuned into this remarkable gift that your parents have given you.  This is my story of how my family values, those instilled in me by my mom and dad, have impacted my life.

One Sunday afternoon, a little over two years ago, my parents and I decided to visit my mom's hometown of tiny Export, PA.  Export is located about 20 miles east of where I live in Pittsburgh.  I decided to take my camera along that day.  On our agenda was a visit with my mom's sister, my Aunt Teressa who lives in a nursing home.  Aunt Teressa was 91 at the time and I wasn't sure how many more opportunities I would have to take some photos of mom and her sister together.  

My mom is on the left and Aunt Teressa is on the right.  You would have to know the Aunt Teressa of my childhood to see that she is no longer the same fiery, outspoken, opinionated, fun-loving, gifted seamstress that we all knew and loved.  Sadly, dementia has taken away those parts of her personality.  (On the other hand, she's a lot more easy-going these days!)  On the afternoon of our visit, we found her sitting in the common area of the nursing home with her housemates.  As I looked around, I was touched by the sense of family that I witnessed.  Even though they were not 'blood relatives,' the women in the room seemed to share a family bond.  They ate together, prayed together, socialized together, and enjoyed visitors together.

And yes, they were growing older together.

During our visit, we tried to talk about the present, including which grandchildren were getting married or graduating from high school.  But aside from, "How are you feeling today?" the present was less available to Aunt Teressa.  Stories of the past, such as how she would buy my siblings and me sweet pink-coated popcorn when we were young (because she was the fun, single aunt) were met with a faint smile and a nod of her head.  Mostly we held her hand and talked about the birds at the feeders outside the window.  She seemed very content and happy in her world.

When it was time to go, we said our goodbyes and headed down the road to the main street in Export.  I'm not sure when Export had its heyday.  My memories of the town when I visited my grandma as a kid were pretty much the same as what I saw that day.  It's a quiet place with a small main street, a rather large church, and a mid-size school surrounded by older but generally well-kept homes.  On the way into town, we drove through the single lane 'tunnel,' as we called it as kids, which was nothing more than an underpass.  My dad looked over his shoulder at me in the back seat and smiled as he loudly honked the horn.  The three of us laughed as I shouted, "Honk the horn!  Honk the horn!" as this is what my brothers, sisters and I did as kids when we went through the 'tunnel' to warn oncoming traffic. 

We then turned the corner and went up the hill to see The Big House.  This is where my mom, along with her three sisters and her brother grew up with her parents. 

My mom and dad were both pleased to see that The Big House was nicely maintained.  But my mom shook her head and said to me, "The house is unrecognizable from when I lived there as a kid."  She told me how my grandad would freeze the backyard every winter to make an ice skating rink where my Uncle Joe and Aunt Liz would skate.  In recent months while cleaning out my parents home, I came across several photos of The Big House.  Here is my grandma, and a man that I'm pretty sure is my grandad, standing on the front porch.

As their children grew up and moved out, my grandparents sold The Big House and bought a building on the main street in town.  My grandad, who arrived in America from Italy as a teenager, was a shoemaker.  The white building shown in the photo below is my grandparents' home.  Grandad's shoe store was on the street level and my grandparents and Aunt Teressa lived in the apartment upstairs.  My grandad died two years before I was born but I have many wonderful memories of visiting my grandma in her apartment and the smell of shoe leather and oil that remained in my grandad's shop long after he was gone.

Our next and last stop was the cemetery where my grandma and grandad were buried.  I can't fully explain the respect and honor that my dad had for relatives that had gone before him,  On a regular basis, dad visited and lovingly maintained at least three cemeteries where family members were laid to rest.  He was our family historian and a gifted Irish storyteller if ever there was one.  He was our 'keeper of the flame.' 

In my mind, there is no other explanation other than family values as to why two people, 86 years old at the time, would be on their hands and knees digging and planting and watering in a cemetery high on top of a hill in Export, PA on a sunny, hot day.  I was moved and in awe as I watched my parents doing what they thought was important, which was to honor my grandparents and their memory.  In fact, our entire afternoon together was a testimony to the family values that my parents had instilled in me.

The longer that my mom and dad are gone from this world, the more reasons I find to thank them.  It's not that I didn't appreciate them and everything that they did for me while they were here, because I truly did and I thanked them often.  It's just that as I grow older, and now that I'm a parent myself, everything that they did for me is valued and cherished even more. 

So, for the lessons that you taught me, the sacrifices that you made for me, and the gifts that you gave me, including our family values, thanks, mom, and dad.


[email protected] (Kate Buckley Photography) documentary photographer family family documentary photography family photojournalism family values kate buckley photography photojournalism pittsburgh documentary family photographer pittsburgh documentary photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh lifestyle photographer real life photography storyteller visual storyteller https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2018/2/family-values Mon, 12 Feb 2018 22:10:19 GMT
Love is All You Need https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2018/1/love-is-all-you-need When I look at the images from a session, one word often comes to mind that summarizes the story that I want to tell.  Sometimes the word is 'fun!'  Sometimes the word is 'adventure.' Or sometimes 'crazy' or 'silly' fits the bill!  To describe my time with baby Sierra and her family, 'love' is all you need.

I believe that babies come into this world at a very specific time for a very specific reason.  Sometimes it seems like such a tall order for such a little being.  But whatever the timing and whatever the reason, it all has a way of working out.  

Sierra has come to spread love!  Look at her face!  How can she not?

I joined Sierra and her family on a Saturday afternoon a couple of weeks before Christmas.  The family was getting ready to celebrate not only Sierra's first Christmas but also her first birthday shortly after the holidays.  There was much celebrating to be done! 

What a joy to be able to capture Sierra's favorite routines with her family. 

Never was bath time so much fun!


Witnessing the love between Sierra and her mom was beautiful.

Of course, all of this love and joy was meant to be shared.  I quickly realized that Sierra has a special and unique bond with each member of her family.  Including special moments and playtime with Pap.


Reading and snuggling with Grandma.

And hanging out with Uncle Eric.


Yet in the end, love is all you need.

[email protected] (Kate Buckley Photography) baby photography family documentary photography family fun family love family photojournalism kate buckley photography lifestyle photography love photojournalism pittsburgh children photographer pittsburgh documentary family photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh lifestyle photographer real life photography https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2018/1/love-is-all-you-need Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:43:33 GMT
A Morning with Tom and His Son https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2017/10/a-morning-with-tom-and-his-son Dear Friends,

A documentary family photography session need not be only a mom, dad, and their young children.  A family is how you decide to define family, and that shapes your session.  Recently I had the honor of spending a morning photographing a wonderful man, Tom and his son Cliff.  Meet Tom, who is 91-years-young.  

It was wonderful getting to know this gentleman, who has lived a very full and interesting life.  Tom is the father of five children, grandfather to 13, and great-grandfather to 11 little ones.  Sadly, after 50 years of marriage, his wife Bea died 11 years ago. 

A retired engineer, Tom has always been a hands-on type of guy, taking care of repairs around his house and working on his car and lawnmowers.  Woodworking has also been a long time hobby.  In addition to making the cabinets in his kitchen, Tom made many high chairs for his grandchildren and two grandfather clocks.  To help keep his mind sharp, Tom does the crossword puzzle in the daily newspaper.  He is also an avid gardener and until recently, canned many of the vegetables that he grew.  According to his daughter-in-law, Barbara he made "the most amazing spaghetti sauce."  Admittedly, since he had to stop driving, Tom has had to give up a few of his activities outside of his home including square dancing and volunteering for Meals On Wheels.  Still, I was in awe of his energy and quick mind and was touched by his kind smile and gentle demeanor.

On the morning that I met Tom, his son Cliff was visiting from Massachusetts.  When I arrived, Cliff greeted me at the front of the house and led me to the backyard where I found Tom hanging his laundry.

Tom greeted me warmly and after finishing the laundry was happy to show me around his lovely home and yard.  Our first stop was the basement where he proudly showed me where his grandchildren and great-grandchildren had written their names on the wooden beams.

He then leads me to his workshop, where in addition to those highchairs and clocks, a lifetime of projects was lovingly created and many a broken thing was fixed.

Tom then invited me upstairs to the living room to see one of the two grandfather clocks that he made.

I also learned a little bit about his lovely wife Bea, who was a nurse and a talented quilt maker. 

Tom showing me a framed photo of Bea and her quilts.

We then headed to the backyard where Tom was happy to share one of his other favorite places, his garage.  He ruefully smiled as he looked at no less than five lawnmowers in various stages of being repaired.  "None of them work!" he told me.  "Maybe someday," he added.

We then made a quick stop to admire his vegetable garden, filled with several varieties of beautiful red and yellow tomatoes, split and bursting with ripeness.  

Tom then headed to join Cliff who was busy replacing a set of wooden doors that cover the steps leading to the basement.  Not for a minute did I think Tom would pull up a chair and watch from the back porch.  He did exactly as I expected he would.  He grabbed his tools and worked side-by-side with his son.  They cut wood, measured, hammered nails, talked and adjusted their project plan along the way.  

Finally, when the new doors were in place, Tom did the final inspection, checking that everything was in alignment and that the hinges were tight and secure.  He smiled at Cliff, giving his approval as if to say, 'That will do nicely.'

It was then time for me to leave.  I won't soon forget Tom.  A true inspiration in so many ways.  Thank you, Tom and Cliff, for a truly memorable session.

To see more images from my time with Tom and Cliff, please visit my website, katebuckleyphotography.com and the gallery Tom and His Son Cliff.


[email protected] (Kate Buckley Photography) dad and son family documentary photography family photojournalism father and son kate buckley photography lifestyle photography photojournalism pittsburgh documentary family photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh lifestyle photographer real life photography https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2017/10/a-morning-with-tom-and-his-son Tue, 24 Oct 2017 17:42:36 GMT
Benny & Bean --- Spreading Cuteness and Love https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2017/9/benny-and-bean-----spreading-cuteness-and-love Dear Friends,

When I come across something that I love, I want to share it with all of you.  Which leads me to Benny & Bean.  This mother daughter-run business is stitching the most adorable, soft, cuddly dolls.  Each doll is handmade with love and comes in a variety of fabric colors and patterns.  With the holidays just around the corner (I know you may not want to hear this just yet but honestly, it's true) now is the perfect time to purchase these sweet friends.  The dolls will make a perfect gift not only for the little ones on your list but also for anyone who likes to snuggle with something soft and cute.  (I've been told that the dolls are a big hit with the college crowd too!)  Benny & Bean's product line also includes bib and matching towel sets, and fabric snack bags.

I recently had an opportunity to photograph the creative, sweet, and fun team behind Benny & Bean, along with some of their products.  Here are a few of my favorite shots from our session.  To learn more about where you can purchase a Benny & Bean doll, and other stitched-with-love items, check out their Facebook page, Benny & Bean.

Finally, meet Team Benny & Bean.  Thanks for the opportunity to share your story!

[email protected] (Kate Buckley Photography) benny & bean family documentary photography kate buckley photography pittsburgh documentary family photographer pittsburgh family photographer pittsburgh lifestyle photographer pittsburgh small businesses https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2017/9/benny-and-bean-----spreading-cuteness-and-love Thu, 14 Sep 2017 01:35:53 GMT
A Visit to Royal Oak School https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2017/7/a-visit-to-royal-oak-school It's always fun to make new friends.  It's even more fun when they are outside, running around playing, chasing one another, or just hanging out on a beautiful summer morning.  Such was my good fortune on a recent morning when I visited Royal Oak School located in Hampton Township (where I grew up!) north of Pittsburgh.  

I was delighted to have an opportunity to photograph the great kids attending the summer session at Royal Oak School.  When I walk into any place, with or without my camera, I immediately get a feeling about the people and my surroundings.  And my feeling about Royal Oak School is that it's a very special place.  The staff was professional and kind, and the kids were great!  They exemplified everything that I love about photographing children.  They were funny, silly, friendly, cool, shy, coy, carefree, confident and sweet.  

Enough talking!  I'll let a few of my favorite photos from my visit speak for themselves.

Royal Oak was founded in 1967 which means they are getting ready to celebrate their 50th anniversary.  That's 50 years of smiles.  Congratulations, new friends at Royal Oak and thank you for allowing me to spend a great summer morning with all of you.

[email protected] (Kate Buckley Photography) family documentary photographer family photojournalism Kate Buckley Photography lifestyle photography outdoor fun photojournalism Pittsburgh Children Photographer Pittsburgh Documentary Family Photographer Pittsburgh Family Photographer Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photographer Pittsburgh photographer Real Life Photography Royal Oak School school kids summer fun https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2017/7/a-visit-to-royal-oak-school Mon, 10 Jul 2017 03:19:02 GMT
A Wonderful Sunday Afternoon https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2017/3/a-wonderful-sunday-afternoon I'm not sure how I get so lucky.  The families that welcome me into their homes are just so darn nice!  By the time I walk out their door, I honestly feel like I've made a few new friends.  Such was the case with Jyotsana and Adam who recently invited me to document one of their typical Sunday afternoons.  It was wonderful.  Adding to the Cuteness Quotient in their home is their 14-month-old son Connor, and their sweet dog Lulu.  This session is a perfect example of how a family's "ordinary" moments come to life and unfold in the most beautiful way.  Without further ado, I will let their photos tell their story of A Wonderful Sunday Afternoon.

LuLu showing off her listening skills, 

. . . which paid off big time in getting to help with Sunday brunch clean up.

And what's a Wonderful Sunday Afternoon without a little game of billiards?

Followed by a trip upstairs for a diaper and wardrobe change. First, a quick little cleanup.

Connor's nursery was also the perfect place for some play time with mommy.

Connor modeled his special Nepali hat.

Then it was time for hide and seek.

Connor and Lulu had some more fun together.

Thank you again, Jyotsana, Adam, Connor and Lulu for a Wonderful Sunday Afternoon.  To see more images from this documentary family photography session, please visit the Shaler Township Family gallery on my website, www.katebuckleyphotography.com


[email protected] (Kate Buckley Photography) Family Documentary Photography Family Photojournalism Kate Buckley Photography Lifestyle Photography Pittsburgh Children Photographer Pittsburgh Documentary Family Photographer Pittsburgh Family Photographer Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photographer Real Life Photography family fun photojournalism https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2017/3/a-wonderful-sunday-afternoon Wed, 08 Mar 2017 22:39:55 GMT
Real Families, Real Life https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2016/10/real-families-real-life One of the great things about being a documentary family photographer is the feeling that I have when I realize that a family trusts me to be a part of their daily life.  I consider it a real honor to spend time with a family and capture those moments that only happen when it's "just family" around.  Because as we all know, there are all sorts of moments that can occur on an ordinary day. 

The sweet moments with daddy,

the quiet times to do your own thing, 

 the sad times when only a hug from mommy will do,

the silly times,


and even the "OK, everyone is tired now" moments.  

But let's face it, these are the moments that make up all of our lives, and I truly believe that these are the moments that we all want to capture and remember.  

So thank you, Jamie, Gabe, Lucy, Eva, and Lena.  Thank you for trusting me to come into your lives and to be there to capture these special moments, so that you have them forever.

To see more images from this great session, visit Cranberry Area Family under Galleries on my website. 

[email protected] (Kate Buckley Photography) Family Documentary Photography Family Photojournalism Kate Buckley Photography Lifestyle Photography Pittsburgh Documentary Family Photographer Pittsburgh Family Photographer Pittsburgh Lifestyle Photographer Real Life Photography family fun https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2016/10/real-families-real-life Thu, 06 Oct 2016 14:30:27 GMT
Doubling the Fun with Twins https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2016/9/doubling-the-fun-with-twins I have always been fascinated by twins.  Growing up I knew several sets of twins.  There were Jean and Joan in grade school.  The Foley brother twins.  Heck, the Monroe family in our neighborhood had two sets of twins.  While I don't remember ever wanting to be a twin, I thought that twins were the coolest thing.  An instant best friend, I figured.  Someone to switch identity with and fool your teachers.  A constant source of a second wardrobe.

Fast forward several years and I was super excited when friends of mine began to become parents. . .of twins!  So imagine my excitement when I had a chance to spend a Saturday morning with my friends Dana and Christian, and their adorable twin girls, Paige and Emerson!  

One of the most fascinating things about these two cuties is that after spending five minutes or less with them, I quickly forgot that they were twins.  Paige and Emerson are their own unique little beings.  They each have their own adorable look and their own endearing personality.  They just happen to be born on the same day.

I love it when I can hang out with a family and feel like I'm a part of their life, if only for a day, and yet be an observer (and recorder) of their family routines and special moments.  Saturday morning breakfasts that begin with the clinking of cups of coffee and little plastic mugs. .  .

. . .and end with helping daddy make a protein shake so he has the energy he needs all day long.

After breakfast there wasn't a lot of structure to our time together, and I loved it!  I was along for the ride.  Paige and Emerson were up for just about anything, from playing dress-up, to expressing themselves as little artists, to even belting out a few karaoke tunes!

But eventually, even this dynamic duo needed a little down time.

We sure had fun.  Thank you, Dana, Christian, Paige and Emerson, for inviting me into your home and lives.  By the way, if you happen to run into these two, be sure to wish them a happy 4th birthday.  I heard that it's coming up very soon!

To see more of our time together, please visit my web site, www.katebuckleyphotography.com, and go to Galleries, Pine Township Family.

[email protected] (Kate Buckley Photography) Kate Buckley Photography Pittsburgh Documentary Family Photographer Saturday morning family fun family fun twins weekend family fun https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2016/9/doubling-the-fun-with-twins Tue, 13 Sep 2016 01:50:34 GMT
A Fun, Action-Packed Photo Session https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2016/8/a-fun-action-packed-photo-session Join me on a virtual journey to the world of Isabella and Benjamin (aka Benny, aka Mr. Action,) and their mom and dad too, of course.  A session like this reminds me why I love hanging out with little people.  Pure fun.  Pure Joy.  With a healthy dose of silliness.  

Before the shoot I asked their mom Andrea what the kids like to do together.  She told me that Isabella and Benny love to bake.  And bake they did!  There were Rice Krispies, frosting and sprinkles.  There were sticky fingers.  There were lots of smiles and giggles.  

I was so impressed that Isabella and Benny insisted on cleaning up! After the baking fun was done, it was time for more playing and more silliness.  Andrea told me that Benny is like having four kids!  

Well, you get the picture.

Thank goodness he has his big sister Isabella to keep him in line!

Thank you, Andrea, Tim, Isabella and Benjamin for a great day.  I had as much fun as all of you.

You can see more images of my time with this beautiful family on my website, www.katebuckleyphotography.com in Galleries, McCandless Area Family.

[email protected] (Kate Buckley Photography) Kate Buckley Photography Pittsburgh Documentary Family Photographer family fun kids baking https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2016/8/a-fun-action-packed-photo-session Tue, 16 Aug 2016 14:42:05 GMT
A Very Special Family https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2016/7/a-very-special-family This may not be the last time that you hear me say, "I photographed a really special family recently," but without a doubt, nothing could be more true of this family.  To give you a little bit of background, I was honored to photograph Christina and Tassy's wedding.  Christina's mom and I are old friends from high school and life is funny that way. . .One minute you're sharing carefree, silly and drama-filled high school days with someone, and the next day you're photographing their daughter's wedding.

All couples have their own special story, how they met and why they were meant to be together, however Christina and Tassy's story is truly extraordinary.  Both of them are compassionate, determined, (and I'll add silly and sweet) people with a passion for helping others.  Both of them beat the odds and overcame medical conditions that threatened their lives at a young age.  And while those challenges may have deterred some people, they somehow seemed to fuel Christina and Tassy's desire to do more.  In fact they met through mission work in response to the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake.  You can read more about Christina's good work in Haiti here.  Learn more about the amazing nonprofit organization, Team Tassy which is changing hundreds of lives every day for the people of Haiti.

Now fast forward a little bit and enter ridiculously adorable baby. . . meet their son, Elijah.

I mean, come on now. . .those eyes, that nose, that smile. . .

Joy personified. . .from all of them, through all of them, spreading it out into the world.  The love shown by Christina and Tassy as parents, well, it almost took my breath away.


I had so much fun hanging out with them during our session.  Here are a few more favorites.  You can see their gallery (Allison Park Family) on my web site.

[email protected] (Kate Buckley Photography) Haiti earthquake Haiti mission work Kate Buckley Photography Pittsburgh Documentary Family Photographer Team Tassy adorable baby new parents very special family https://www.katebuckleyphotography.com/blog/2016/7/a-very-special-family Sat, 30 Jul 2016 13:16:25 GMT