Blog Spotlight: Carolyn Anderson Photography

Hey guys! As you all may know, we here at The Rustie Nail have adopted the mantra of The Rising Tide Society when it comes to community over competition. The idea is that we embrace other creatives in an effort to build of network of like minded creativepreneurs. It’s a concept that has pushed me into building such amazing relationships with creatives both here in Dallas-Fort Worth and back home in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. Each and every individual I have met has taught me so many little tips and tricks on how to build this brand and I am so grateful. As a thank you, I have  the opportunity to shine a light on what some of my new friends have been up to.

In our last Top 5 Blog, we highlighted some of the state parks in the area that double as recreation areas and portrait session backdrops. You may have noticed the ridiculously beautiful landscape shots that we featured in that Blog. My new friend, Carolyn Anderson, a self-taught photographer out of New Alexandria, PA, was gracious enough to provide all of those awe-inspiring photos. Today, we’re gonna shine a light on Carolyn, her journey in photography and what’s next on the horizon!

Where do I even begin? I found Carolyn through social media. Her photos kept popping up on my Newsfeed and I couldn’t help but fall in love with all her images. Every one of her photos highlights some of the favorite places to have spent my time as a child growing up in the wilderness of PA. She has this brilliant talent of capturing the color quality of her subjects. Honestly, her photos kind of give me the feels. I grew up in her neck of the woods and find myself seeing so many familiar places in her galleries.

Carolyn is a mom to 2 gorgeous young ladies and a wife to her highschool sweetheart, Dan. She was born and raised in New Alexandria, PA. She specializes in landscape photography but admits having done it all, from proms to weddings for friends and family who have asked. She’s an outdoorsy gal who began taking photos in 2006. By 2007, she had purchased her first DSLR, a Canon Rebel. After years of practice, Carolyn held her first solo Photography Exhibition on Nov. 7th, 2015 at the New Growth Gallery in her hometown. To date, she is a member of the New Alexandria Art Alliance and has had photos accepted into the West Penn Trail Juried Art Show and the Westmoreland Art Nationals. She’s been featured in the Latrobe Bulletin and in a heavily-followed Facebook page entitled “Only In Pennsylvania“. Though she considers photography more of a hobby, she is totally open to the idea of expanding into a profession. Now wouldn’t you all love to see that? I know I would.

For more information on how to purchase Carolyn’s art, head to her Etsy shop. To check out what she has going on in the everyday, head to her Facebook page or to chat with Carolyn just shoot her an email. I loved having the chance to get to know this sweet gal over the last couple of weeks and look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with her in the future. Keep the good work Carolyn! We love your work and can’t wait to see more!

To learn about the other creatives we have featured on our blog or to nominate someone to be featured, shoot us an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com or check out our last Blog Spotlight: Whitney Bowman Photography. 

Top 5 Parks in the Laurel Highlands for Photography

My last Top 5 was based on the Top 5 Parks in the DFW Metroplex for Photographers to set up a photo shoot. This week, I thought I would tackle my hometown and the surrounding area! After all, the Laurel Highlands is where my love for photography began. Even as a tyke, I always had a great appreciation for the area that I grew up in. I spent my childhood playing on farm land in good ole Crabtree, Pennsylvania. I learned to appreciate the natural beauty of a season’s harvest and the picturesque 100 year old farmhouses that grace the countryside of southwestern Pennsylvania. The best of all are the leaves in the fall. Something about all the color that comes to life before that first blanket of snow is just idyllic. I know, I seem a bit melancholy but I really do miss it most days, the changing of the seasons. The air is just different and that’s why I crave the opportunity to set up shoots when I am home. It’s my way of exploring my old stomping grounds.

Lucky for you, I’ve scoped out my favorite places to set up shop and am including a few of the tricks I’ve been stashing up my sleeve. To provide even more inspiration for exploration, a local photographer out of New Alexandria, Carolyn Anderson, has provided some pretty amazing shots of these places for you to really get the feel of how these spaces change annually! Carolyn is a southwestern Pennsylvania native with an active and ongoing love affair with landscape photography. She shares my passion for capturing the people and places that make this particular corner of the world extra special and we’ll definitely be sharing more on how to view her work here on the Blog in the future. Keep an eye out!

5. Keystone State Park (1150 Keystone Park Rd, Derry Township, PA 15627)

Located in Westmoreland County, this little slice of heaven can be found in the midst of the family-owned farms that make up the community of New Alexandria. With a swim beach and concession stand, this park makes for the perfect family day trip. If you want to make it a whole weekend, they offer campsites and RV hookups too! The boys can fish Keystone Lake while the ladies pick flowers from the adjacent fields. Lastly, photographers be on the lookout for a pretty awesome sunset. This place has been known to provide some really great backdrops! For more information on hours and camping availability, head here.

Photos courtesy of Carolyn Anderson, a photographer based out of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania.
|Keystone State Park| Photo: Carolyn Anderson
Photos courtesy of Carolyn Anderson, a photographer based out of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania.
|Keystone State Park| Photo: Carolyn Anderson
23Aug2015 041a copy copy
|Keystone State Park| Photo: Carolyn Anderson

 

4. Twin Lakes (216 Twin Lakes Road Greensburg, PA 15601)

Also located in Westmoreland County, this park just continues to grow. After deciding that an expansion would boost more community involvement, the park added the Franklin Dog Park, David R. Peach Dek Hockey Rink and the Peach Plaza Skate and Action Park. There is even a new Winter Sports Area for the kiddos to sled during those Snow Days! Use the park for fitness on it’s many trails or take the kids fishing on one of the paddleboats! The Boathouse is loaded with lots of goodies for the whole family. And don’t miss out on all the fun of the Arts and Heritage Festival that usually takes place the first weekend of July. The booths boost loads of artitistic crafts, winery tastings, the world’s best Fried Veggies. The Kids Corner is a must for those who wish to have their face painted as a butterfly or a fireman for the day! This place makes for a great day out of the house in any capacity. Let those munchkins run wild and then have a picnic. This place is sure to please. For more information, head to their website.

Photos courtesy of Carolyn Anderson, a photographer based out of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania.
|Twin Lakes Boathouse| Photo: Carolyn Anderson
Photos courtesy of Carolyn Anderson, a photographer based out of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania.
|Twin Lakes State Park| Photo: Carolyn Anderson

 

3. Mammoth Park  (Blacksmith Rd, Mt Pleasant, PA 15666)

This gorgeous park is located in Mount Pleasant. Within this massive piece of property lies a 24 acre fresh water lake that can be seen from the Observatory Deck. This park is ideal for family picnics in the summer and sled riding in the winter. A skate park, tennis courts, bocci and shuffleboard courts can all be found on this 408 acre piece of property. But my favorite part about this place is the insane 90 foot slide! As a kid, we brought our wax paper and shot our way to the bottom. For more information on how to find this hidden gem, head here.

 

Photos courtesy of Carolyn Anderson, a photographer based out of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania.
|Mammoth Park| Photo: Carolyn Anderson
|Mammoth Park| Photo: Carolyn Anderson

 

2. Linn Run State Park (Laughlintown, PA)

Linn Run State Park is hands down my favorite place to hang out in the Laurel Highlands. Bordering Forbes State Forest enables this park to boast 50,000 acres of land for outdoor recreation. As a kid, my family and I would hike our way to Adam’s Falls and Slippery Rock, an area of the park that hosts a natural water slide. Bring your inner tubes! I even had my Senior Portraits taken here way back when and I even spent most of my Senior Skip Days hiking the trails back to Beams Rock with a few of my favorite miscreants. This dog-friendly slice of heaven sits on the outskirts of a hippie town and  the best drive to see the colors change in the fall. Check it out. Don’t forget to stop by the Natural Spring and fill up on that fresh mountain spring water!

Photos courtesy of Carolyn Anderson, a photographer based out of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania.
|Linn Run State Park| Photo: Carolyn Anderson
Photos courtesy of Carolyn Anderson, a photographer based out of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania.
|Linn Run State Park| Photo: Carolyn Anderson
Photos courtesy of Carolyn Anderson, a photographer based out of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania.
|Linn Run State Park| Photo: Carolyn Anderson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Ohiopyle (Fayette County, Pennsylvania)

This massive outdoor wonderland covers the expanse of 20,500 acres. There is literally an endless amount of things to see and do in this area. You can hike the various trails, take the kids fishing, head out on a whitewater adventure down the Youghiogheny River Gorge, backpack the 135 mile long Great  Allegheny Passage, brave the biking trails, try your hand at rock climbing or just have a picnic and camp out with the family. Make sure to check out Cucumber Run and bring your inner tubes for the natural water slides in Meadow Run. Whether you are in need of a location for your next Portrait Session or just want to take a few pictures of the kids in their element, this is the place to head to. For more information on how to get the most out of your stay in Ohiopyle, check out the state’s website!

Ohiopyle

 

Photos courtesy of Carolyn Anderson, a photographer based out of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania.
|Ohiopyle| Photo: Carolyn Anderson
Photos courtesy of Carolyn Anderson, a photographer based out of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania.
|Ohiopyle| Photo: Carolyn Anderson