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5 Reasons to Do a First Look

Thinking of knocking tradition? Need some reasons to do a first look? I’m all about turning old-timey wedding traditions upside down! With 10+ years experience in the wedding industry, trust me: you won’t get bad luck if you see each other before the ceremony. Need convincing? Look no further. 1. Get the most amazing photos. I’m listing this first because of all the reasons to do a first look, this is probably my favorite. Photos. Amazing, organic, emotional, story-filled photos. If you see each other for the first time at the ceremony, of course you’re going to feel something… …but with the officiant talking…a baby cooing in the audience…the best man letting out a cough…there’s really not going to be room for that feeling to breathe. Your heart will be pumping, and I’ll be snapping away at those perfect smiles… …but when you do a first look somewhere private, intimate—just you, me, and the love of your life—you capture something incredibly powerful and organic. In that private space without all those leering eyes, you and your love are free to let your excitement and joy overflow in the most natural, organic way possible, making for some incredibly memorable photographs (and moments!) 2. Calm…

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9 Things on My 2016 Photography Wish List

Looking for an experienced Pittsburgh destination wedding photographer? Contact Palermo Photography now!   This is part wish list, and part my attempt at waving my arms wildly and saying, “Hey! Anyone looking for a great Pittsburgh destination wedding photographer?” Just saying—I know a girl who knows a girl with lots of destination wedding experience. Seriously, though, I love my city. I love our huge palatial churches and I love all the gorgeous and unique places I get to photograph weddings in every year. I especially love that, as a wedding photographer, I get to balance my love of Pittsburgh out with my love of traveling. I’ve shot weddings all over the country and traveled across the ocean, and I’m so excited to get to do more of that. Still, in addition to my travel goals, there are a few other things I’m dreaming of, too. Here’s what I have my eye on: 1. Lo & Sons Claremont Bag I absolutely love the exquisite craftsmanship of this camera bag—yes, a camera bag! 2. Photobooks like this from Artifact Uprising Artifact Uprising is a pretty incredible company that makes everything from wood calendars to these simple yet sweet little photo books. I’d love to grab a collection…

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12 Toasty Warm Winter Wedding Cover Ups

Okay, so not all of these will keep you warm in subzero temperatures, but I still can’t help but love all these wedding cover ups! While autumn and winter are typically a wedding photographer’s “slow seasons,” I still get several couples looking to take advantage of the crisp, clean white background a beautiful winter has to offer, or the bright pops of color we might discover during a fall portrait session in the woods. If you’re one of those brides (or thinking about becoming one!) here are some great wedding cover ups for you to get inspired by! 1. Something soft and intricate 2. A cable-knitted shawl 3. A bright red cardigan with matching details 4. A giant, fuzzy, hooded cape 5. A breezy, lacy bolero 6. A deep, woodsy brown, fur shawl 7. A leather jacket 8. Short dresses + fuzzy wedding cover ups = <3 9. A bright yellow cardigan to match the setting sun 10. An alternative to the white dress with a deep, burgundy sweater 11. Something soft and pastel with sweet, floral details 12. White sweaters paired with chunky, woodsy scarves How about you? Could you pull off an outdoor wedding in the autumn or winter? Tell me about…

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What are Intimate Weddings?

Obviously, I love weddings. But intimate weddings? I really love intimate weddings. That’s because it’s not really the weddings that I love—it’s the people. It’s the love and the celebration and the secret glances and the unabashed smiles and the single tears. It’s the intimacy that makes marriage meaningful—that makes that moment, that exchange of vows, so meaningful. But what do I mean by “intimate weddings?” Here’s the thing: Huge weddings with 200, 250, 300+ attendants are really fun: especially once the dance floor opens up. But in an intimate wedding, I get to experience all that love and sweetness even more up close than I can while swerving in and out of an enormous wedding party. I classify intimate weddings as having about 150 attendants or fewer. But intimate weddings, to me, also include destination weddings… …and elopements! You know how they say “the more the merrier?” To that I say, “The fewer, the sweeter.” Smaller weddings give me an opportunity to really get to know my couples and everyone they love. They tend to be significantly less stressful on my couples as well, meaning more relaxed shoulders, brighter eyes, bigger smiles. Another pro: couples who choose destination weddings, elopements, or smaller weddings…

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Giving Thanks: A love letter to my work

When I stop and think about the road I have traveled to get to where I am today–in my business, in my life in general–there is a lot to be thankful for.  I am so genuinely thankful for every day that I get to do this work, capturing life’s most precious moments for people who invite me in to see a glimpse of what moves them, what fills them with joy and excitement.  I am so thankful every time I meet a new couple who are about to embark on a life together.  I am so thankful every time a new mother asks me to photograph the perfect miracle that is their new child.  I am so thankful to see that year after year, there are so many people out there falling more in love every day, making new memories, adding new milestones and members to the their love-filled lives.  And most of all I am so thankful that I get to share these precious, intimate and fleeting moments with people who enter my life as clients, and walk away a friends. One such couple I am so grateful to have met are these two lovebirds who just tied the knot at…

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3 Tips for Better Wedding Family Portraits

Wedding Family Portraits: What You Need to Know Most will admit—compared to all the other photo ops on your wedding day, family portrait time might not be the most glamorous. But for a vast majority of the couples I work with, it’s still an extremely important tradition—for the couples, AND for the family! There are 2 problems though—2 BIG problems with wedding family portraits, actually. TIME: Dark churches with staff trying to rush family members out after the ceremony resulting in major time constraints and ORGANIZATION: basically, Grandma not realizing that everyone was staying after the ceremony for portraits—so she heads off to the reception and doesn’t get to be in the pictures Today, we’re going to solve those problems. 1. Making TIME for wedding family portraits Traditionally, family stays behind after the ceremony to get their pictures taken at the altar. This is all fine and well, but a lot of times we run into problems: Lots of people on a dark, shadowy altar with overhead lights Church time limits requiring the family to leave the church between 15-30 minutes after the ceremony (and we’ll always lose some of those minutes, especially if you have a receiving line right after the…

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11 Ideas for the Warmest Winter Wedding

The likelihood that your Pittsburgh winter wedding will be a cold one is high. No worries! I’ve hopped on Pinterest for you and nabbed a couple really great ideas to keep spirits and shoulders toasty warm for your whole wedding. Got any ideas to add? Let me know in the comments!                     In search of award-winning Pittsburgh wedding photography? Contact Palermo Photography now!

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5 Heart-Melting Engagement Stories

I love these incredible, heart-melting engagement stories. Why? They’re from my clients! Palermo Photography is passionate about storytelling, so it only makes sense to share some of these incredibly sweet engagement stories on the blog. Clients telling me their engagement stories first-hand is also a really important part of connecting with them: the more I know about your story, the better I can tell it. Now, get the tissues. 🙂 1. Bryan & Susannah “After a long-distance relationship, Bryan proposed on June 14, 2016. He took me to the lobby of his old apartment building where we first met at a party and popped the question there. His friends still live in that apartment, and all our family and close friends were waiting there to celebrate afterwards! Bryan is very much the ‘chill’ outgoing one in the relationship, while I am more type A, but he brings out my fun and silly side! Bryan is the nicest guy in the world and he is very close with my family.” 2. Kate & Danny “The proposal was not quite a surprise—we talked a lot about getting married, wanting to be married, and then finally, we were ready to get engaged—so I knew it was…

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The Folklore of the Pittsburgh Cookie Table

The Pittsburgh cookie table is one of the reasons why this city is the perfect place for me to work. Sure—the wedding industry in this city is an active and creative one. There’s also all the interesting things I discover shooting engagement photos and weddings in new churches and chapels. Another plus—I get to be a part of one of life’s happiest moments for countless people every year! But really, the cherry on top of everything? It’s the Pittsburgh cookie table. Psst: some of my clients recently won awards for their cookie tables. Check out the features in Pittsburgh Magazine here and here! A cookie table is a spread of literally thousands of cookies in dozens of different varieties that sometimes replaces the cake as the center of attention during dessert.  Just as often, though, an ornate cake will accompany this vast array of sweets. The important part, though, for many Pittsburgh weddings is that there’s a table stacked with home-baked goods.  The tradition of unveiling the table is as long-standing for some families as the couple’s first dance or the exchanging of rings. The cookie table is a local phenomenon that stretches back almost a hundred years, according to some accounts.  In…

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News

Welcome to the NEW Palermo Photo!

Once upon a time, in a neighborhood not so far away, a young girl picked up a camera for the first time, and basically never put it down. Flash forward many years later (more than 10 years ago now), Palermo Photo was born! Staying true to the passion, and a love of all things photo that little girl with a camera had. Palermo Photo is all about using photography to capture the beauty of life’s special moments. “Life is full of fleeting moments fading away off a linear track, but as a photographer I can grab a moment and save it forever.” ~Maria Palermo   We are Palermo Photo, a boutique photographic studio dedicated to giving you a custom and incredible experience as you embark on the most exciting journey of your life! Weddings last only a day, but the memories live on for generations. Taking photographs is not something we take lightly. We feel it is SO important to find the best photographer that delivers to you a stunning collection of moments and emotions that perfectly reflect your individual personalities. Those memories define your relationship, and ultimately your wedding day. Like any living being, each relationship is unique. We aim to tailor the experiences we offer to bring out the…

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