Award winning Pittsburgh photographer: 4 more FPJA awards in 2020!

Super psyched to receive a handful of awards from the Family Photojournalist Association (FPJA) in 2020!!  These awards are especially meaningful because their competition for documentary family photographers is judged by some of the most notable and respected working newspaper photojournalists and picture editors in the news industry. This particular award cycle was judged by Gary Porter, Michael Ainsworth, Renee C. Byer, and Susan Walsh.

The award winning pictures are selected because each one tells a story about the family, capturing a special moment using strong technique. The FPJA community is where the best of the documentary family photographers head for support and study, and I’m pretty proud to be considered among them.

(Whoop! Whoop!)

Below are the specific images that were awarded this round. This first one was taken at the end of a 2 hour photography session with the B. Family in Fox Chapel. Dad was cuddling with the kids in the nursery before bedtime, with both real puppy and stuffed puppy surrounding them. It felt very much like a timeless, relaxed, relatable moment to me. One of my favorites from the day!

image of dad sitting in nursery holding baby and big brother, while big stuffed dog and real dog lay around

This next image was captured during the S. Family’s 4 hour photo session in Wexford, PA. Mom has her hands full with these two very active boys, and her younger son was in the process of learning to ride his bike. I loved the way she kept him steady as he rode, with her grasp on the back of his shirt. He didn’t even bat an eye at her holding him! During your family photo session here in Pittsburgh I am always looking for these candid connections, micro-stories that tell so much about your relationships and your life at this point in time. It’s my job to document all these subtle memories for you, without you even realizing.

There’s so much caring in that little gesture. <3

image of little boy riding a bike while mom holds his shirt and walks alongside him

The V. Family brought me to their home for a 4 hour photo session this past winter, and this next award was given for a moment between dad and their toddler during their in-home photography session.

I love so very much the look in baby girl’s eyes as she reaches up for her daddy. And the caring arch in dad’s frame as he takes care of her. So much love in this simple moment.

award winning fpja image of little girl in highchair reaching up for her dad who is unbuckling her

One more image was awarded from The B. Family’s 2 hour photo session in Fox Chapel this past year- and it’s by far my favorite of the bunch! Their pup had just run off with one of the baby toys, and was in the process of being reprimanded by mom as he fled the scene… when I captured him mid-jump! Paired with mom’s reaction and big brother’s hiding under the blanket, this is just such a chaotic, happy frame. So much happening here- definitely feels like real life (at least in my crazy house HAHA!).

image of family in backyard laying on blanket with chaos as dog runs around

One of my photography students asked about the story behind this final image, what about the scene informed my decisions about camera settings and angles. I was thinking about doing a blog series that went through Behind the Scenes stories about some of my favorite images. Would this be something you are interested in?? (Let me know!)

PS: Here is more about the FPJA organization, per the details provided on their website: Masters of Moments | The Best in Family Photography

As professional family photojournalists, our job is to show you and your family at home, at work and at play. Rather than take a family portrait of stiff smiles and starched collars, people who hire a family photojournalist want to be in the middle of life with those they love, not herding whiners into a studio or stuck behind a camera themselves.

Sounds about right! You can learn much more about the FPJA’s standards directly on their website.

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