A Senior Session Sneak Peek!

A Senior Session Sneak Peek!

After a few days spent celebrating with family on the other side of the state, I’m excited to be diving back into work with two fun sessions. Winter is a fabulous time for photography, whether it’s indoors *or* outdoors!

Today, I want to share a few outdoor images from the first session with Hanna, a 2009 senior at Hershey. Even though it was a frigid day, we roamed around town and had so much fun finding locations — and choosing the perfect scarf to accessorize. I love the results!

Happy Birthday, Myron

Happy Birthday, Myron

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything but sneak peeks here, but I couldn’t let this day go by without a word about Myron Cope. And it’s not just because the Pittsburgh Steelers are heading for another Super Bowl. It’s more about Myron himself today, his birthday.

The longtime Steelers color commentator was born on January 23, 1929 and passed away nearly a year ago. His nasal delivery irritated a few people, but it was music to my ears—Myron always had something interesting (OK, maybe “outrageous” is a better word) to say!

Perhaps more notably to those living outside the ‘Burgh, Myron created “The Terrible Towel.” And more notably to me, in 1996 he gifted the trademark rights to The Terrible Towel to the Allegheny Valley School, where his autistic son resides. In the 12 years since, the school has made more than $2 million in royalties on The Terrible Towel.

During his life, Myron Cope did a lot for the autism community in Pittsburgh. He spoke out as the parent of an autistic child, and helped to educate people about autism. He and his late wife, Mildred, helped to found the Autism Society of Pittsburgh, and raised quite a bit of money for the organization and other autism causes.

A few months after Myron Cope’s death, my own son was diagnosed with autism. Even though I was unaware of Cope’s contribution to the cause of autism before then, it touches me now. He was willing to speak out at a time when autism wasn’t trendy, when it wasn’t frequently diagnosed or discussed.

Before this gets too maudlin, here’s a link to some of Myron’s best “Copeisms.”

And now back to maudlin: Thanks, Myron. And happy birthday. I hope you have a front row seat for that game on February 1.

Thanks to Christopher Preksta, who created the amazing art you see here. You can buy a print or a t-shirt at his CafePress site.

The Season For Giving

The Season For Giving

You know someone. You know someone who’s experienced a tragedy, is struggling to stay afloat, is raising kids while holding down more than one job, or is volunteering selflessly despite extenuating personal circumstances. You know someone who can’t afford custom photography, but who would cherish it this holiday season. You know someone who deserves a year-round reminder of their family’s spirit, love, and beauty.

You know someone. I guarantee it.

I want to know who they are, and I want to give them the chance to experience complimentary custom photography — $500 worth. Whether it’s a large portrait for their wall or a number of 8×10 portraits to share with their extended family, it’s in your power to give them the artwork they deserve this holiday season.

Oh, and the best part? The person who nominates the winner receives a complimentary session plus a $150 print credit. What better reason to show some love could there possibly be?

The rules:

* You cannot nominate yourself, and the person nominated must sincerely be incapable of purchasing my services. (Being unable to make mortgage payments for a two-million-dollar-vacation-home in Paris does not qualify as sincere financial need.)

* The nominee must reside in Central Pennsylvania. Tell me who you know, what they’re experiencing, and why they deserve my artwork. Please include a way to contact both your nominee and yourself as well.

* You must e-mail me the full story : FCivello@mac.com

The winner will be announced on Christmas Eve — so get nominating! I can’t wait to read all of your entries!

Open your heart to someone this holiday season — and thanks for giving me the opportunity to open mine.

With love,


P.S. This is all part of a photographers’ initiative called Giving Is Awesome. If you know someone in another part of the U.S. or Canada who deserves custom photography, you may find the right photographer at the Giving Is Awesome site.


I received many nominations of truly inspiring people and deserving families, and each one was profoundly moving. I am so touched by the thoughtfulness and love on the part of the nominators.

Selecting a family to receive this gift was a very difficult decision. I wish I could do portraits for all of the nominated families, as every family deserves portraits documenting their children, their love and their life.

I will be announcing the winner (and the wonderful person who nominated the winner!) publicly on the blog tomorrow.  In the meantime, I will be contacting those who have won to congratulate them, and wish them a very happy holiday.

Many blessings of love, joy and peace…

Capturing the Spirit

Capturing the Spirit

I recently had the chance to photograph a wonderful family. The idea was to get a formal photo of the grandparents with their four grandchildren, and then to photograph the four grandchildren individually.

anh 7

It was a cold day, so we met at the family home and took pictures indoors. I had such a good time getting to know the family, and especially the kids, ages 9, 4, 3 and 16 months. They had such unique personalities, and I wanted to somehow capture those personalities. It wasn’t easy indoors, but I’m so happy with the images I’m seeing so far!

This is the oldest: responsible, reflective and thoughtful beyond his years, truly a great big brother:

anh 5

And his little brother, three years old and dreaming of being a superhero. He had a gleam in his eyes that could light up the room!

This is another big brother, still growing into his role (after all, his little sister is still a toddler), but doing quite nicely. He was so well-spoken and mechanically minded, very earnest when he talked with me, and so grown up…even when he needed a snuggle with his stuffed monkey:


And finally, the baby of the family—definitely the apple of everybody’s eye, so adorable in her smoked dress and hat:

anh be

Fleeting Moments

Fleeting Moments

This post is for the moms out there—you know, the ones who are usually behind the camera and rarely in front of it. I think I know how you feel. Read on, and let me know!

Maybe you feel uncomfortable about getting your picture taken. Do you seem to find something negative about every single picture of you? I confess—I do, too! But if you’re like me, you also secretly wish to have photos of yourself, where your inner beauty shines through. Sure, you want photos of you with your children or grandchildren—that’s important, too! But I’m talking now about a beautiful portrait of you. Just you.

For years I’ve been very self conscious about getting my picture taken. I’m not sure why so many of us feel this way, but I do know I want to make it better for us. With that in mind, I’m going to start offering “Let Your Light Shine” portrait sessions.

These sessions will be designed with the goal of lighting you up from the inside and capturing you as the shining star that you are. I will be combining my photography with gentle coaching to empower you and help you tune into your strength, confidence and beauty. My goal is not only to make a lovely photo of you, but also to make sure that you fully enjoy the experience of having your picture taken.

If you see yourself in these words and you’d like to discuss a “Let Your Light Shine” session, please drop me a line or pick up the phone and call me at 717-329-5985.

Some of my best photography sessions happen in the middle of winter—right about now!

Chilly weather often means there is some fantastic light outdoors, and I love to incorporate furry hoods and colorful scarves into the picture. And when it’s time to take a break from the weather, there are a variety of indoor venues for great photography—including your own home.

I just had a chance to photograph two sisters in a winter session. We spent a little time outside, but the majority of our session took place in their home, where they could kick their shoes off and get comfy. And that made for some great images. The fact that these two are gorgeous didn’t hurt, either!