Blog Spotlight: Tiffany of Jackson Signature Photography

During my last visit home to Pennsylvania, I had the great pleasure of meeting Tiffany Jackson, half of the Jackson Signature Photography duo. This husband-wife photography team specializes in Wedding, Engagement, Anniversary and Senior Photography. Based out of Latrobe, PA, their client list is growing daily. I first noticed their work while scrolling through a former classmate’s wedding photos. The images were sharp, clean and so light and airy. After a few months of slightly stalking their social media accounts, I reached out to see if Tiff would be interested in meeting for a Spotlight on the Blog. After a few back and forth emails, I knew that I had chosen the right person to interview.

We met for coffee at The White Rabbit in Greensburg, PA to chat about all things business and what it means to dive headfirst into being a small business owner. Coincidentally, Tiffany just so happens to be the Rising Tide Society Leader in Westmoreland County. She has even hosted her Tuesday Together meetings at the very place we sat down to chat. For those of you who don’t know, The Rising Tide Society is an organization that embraces the differences amongst creatives all across the country. Their business model “community over competition” has inspired and encouraged support and guidance for local businesses nationwide. In fact, our entire Blog Spotlight Series featuring creatives like Carolyn Anderson Photography, Whitney Bowman Photography and Katie Norris of FOTOlanthropy is rooted with the Rising Tide Society’s ideals in mind.

When starting this business, I had so many questions and not many small business owners as friends to ask. So, I started to reach out. I found the Rising Tide, learned their motto and chose to start incorporating their ideals into the foundation of my own business model. I knew that I was never going to see my business evolve if I didn’t get some help and who better to ask than the photogs and the accounts that I had been drooling over since my launch date. Which in turn, brought me to Tiffany. I loved her style, the way she mixed the classic and the contemporary with the traditional and the bohemian. I also loved the way she portrayed her business on social media. In a world filled with so many eyes, Tiff found a method to organize her galleries in a way that would draw your eye to her Blog, her website, her IG, her garden, her gorgeous house, her everything. If you take a look at any of her social media posts, you immediately feel like you know her. You can get a sense for what fills her days and what brings her joy. You shouldn’t be surprised to know that her attitude is contagious. I literally felt like I could tell her my deepest darkest secrets and I had only known her for an hour.

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During our meeting, Tiff kept stressing how important the client relationship is. Their business model is founded on the premise of building a lasting relationship with their clients. A huge part of that is just getting to know them. After 8 years in the business, this duo has a good grasp for anticipating the mood of each shoot. More than anything, these two want you to see your “vision” come to life. You can be sure that whatever style or atmosphere you are hoping to convey will most definitely be portrayed if you leave these 2 in charge.

So much of making it in this business is the effort that you put in, the light that you reflect and mark you leave. Tiffany has truly curated a style and personality for their business that keeps their clients coming back. I asked her during our interview if there were any particular IG accounts or Facebook friends that I should check into for inspiration. Her recommendation was @borrowedandblue, a publication full of wedding ideas! She incorporates her love for interior design, her delight in fabulous florals and her passion for joy filled weddings into her everyday life. Which is why I can’t wait to see what she is up to next. Without giving away too many details, I can say that Tiff and Aaron have some BIG news coming up in the next year! So, make sure to keep an eye out for all the details!

If you interested in following along with all of Tiffany and Aaron’s adventures or to book your Wedding or Senior Shoot, head to their website, follow them on IG @jacksonsignaturephotography, Twitter or give them a like on their Facebook page.

If you or you know someone who might be interested in being a part of the next Greensburg Tuesday Together Meeting, head to the White Rabbit Café on September 13th at 7pm. For more information on the Rising Tide Society, head to www.risingtidesociety.com or Join the Facebook Group to see the next upcoming meeting dates, member spotlights and more.

Sarah’s Senior Portraits

Meet Sarah! This girl is a firecracker. She’s got an amazing sense of humor and a even greater sense for adventure. I met this young lady when she wasn’t but knee-high to a grasshopper. Her mom used to bring her into the restaurant I worked at in college. I was that waitress always giving out popsicles to the kids who came in regularly. It was my genius plan to keep business coming back to the Brick. If I gave the kids a treat at the end of the meal, they’d be sure to tell their parents how much they wanted to come back. It’s fair to say that I had Sarah on the hook at a young age.

This sweet girl and I immediately bonded over our love for, don’t judge me, The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Every week, her family would come in and every week, we’d catch up on our preteen TV show drama. It became a bit of ritual and I’m happy to say that all those visits turned into a great relationship. I’ve been lucky enough to see Sarah grow from being a little kid to a beautiful lady. She approached me shortly after starting my business to discuss having her Senior Portraits taken and I was over the moon.

I knew Sarah would show up in the style and I knew she’d be comfortable with me. We laughed and joked around as we strolled through the Park at Indian Lake. Her mother was cracking up as we took off under a bridge and up a huge hill to snag a few photos. I seriously could not have asked for a better session with a more beautiful client. Sarah, you are smart, sweet and kind. Please don’t lose your sense of adventure or that laugh, it’s perfect and so are you sweet girl! Let’s hope we have many more photo shoots in the future.

Winters Family Portraits

This family has a lot going on this year. Their firstborn just graduated high school, their middle child is starting her modeling career and the baby, well she isn’t a baby anymore. This may be one of my favorite sessions to date because I can literally remember when each of these kids were born. All their lives, their mom made sure to include a family portrait in every Christmas card. I literally have all their newborn pictures in a box somewhere in my office. It has been a whole other kind of joy watching these 3 grow up. The last time I took their portraits, only Keon and Kiara were involved so you can imagine how happy I was to hear that the whole gang would be joining us for this go-around.

We all met around sunset at Twin Lakes State Park. I was a little nervous at first because when I arrived it was pouring down rain. Luckily, these fashionista sisters took a little longer than anticipated fixing their hair. By the time they arrived, the sun came out and washed up all that rain! Having spent a lot of time playing here as a kid, I had a gameplan in mind. We would start at the boathouse. If we rallied the whole gang in the beginning, we would have more time for individuals as we hiked throughout the park.  We managed to find some towering rhodedendron bushes for the ladies to pose nearby and I love that those portraits turned out so fierce. As for the boys, we’ll share a little more of them in the next Blog; keep an eye out for Keon’s Graduation Portraits.

My favorite part about this shoot was that I got to take a few pictures of my cousin and his wife together, alone. For as long as I can remember, Lori has been sending me pictures of the kids but Mom and Dad are never in the photos. It’s become much too common of a thing. When this family of five first started, Nat and Lori were just a few kids. It’s crazy to think that now their kids are almost grown up. It just goes to show how fast time really does fly by.  I love that this family set up this shoot right before their firstborn heads off to college. It’s such a great way to capture their bond and the direction this family is moving. I can’t wait to photograph these guys again and look forward to seeing what’s next for this wild and crazy bunch!

To schedule your Family Portrait Session or to inquire about a personalized session, shoot us an email at therustienailhead@gmail.com. And don’t forget to Follow us on Instagram (@therustienail) to stay up to date with our events going on and special deals!

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
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|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