Outdoor Fall Family Photos at Riverfront Park | Pittsburgh, Pa

Lauren Carlini of Bestiedressed shares her experience as a mother & a business owner.

Fall Family photo of four in a park having a tickle fight in Pittsburgh, pa by LeeAnn K Photography
Outdoor Fall Family Session at Riverfront Park in Pittsburgh, PA

Lauren Carlini and her family are one of the coolest families I have had the honor of photographing. They are fun, playful with a touch of awkward (you know teenagers?)


We planned their outdoor fall family session in early October but due to typical Pittsburgh weather, we had to reschedule.


BUT, it was a blessing in disguise because we could not have asked for a more beautiful fall day for their fall family portraits.


Pittsburgh family photo of a mother and her son taken by LeeAnn K Photography

I never photographed at Riverfront Park but the location was amazing. It offered us a variety of backdrops that gave you that fall family photo vibe while also offering other backdrops for timeless family photos.


PLUS, there were bathrooms they were able to utilize for changing into their second set of outfits. A pretty ideal setup if you ask me.


Fall Family photo at Riverfront park by LeeAnn K Photography

Lauren is a local blogger and mom to two growing boys. In this blog, she shares her experience in motherhood and business advice. You can find her online at Bestiedressed!


Now let's get to Lauren's unique perspective on motherhood and business!


Fall Family photo at riverfront park by LeeAnn K Photography

What's your favorite part about being a mom?


Like all things worth doing, motherhood is challenging but incredibly rewarding. My favorite part about being a mom is watching my children evolve into the wonderful people they're destined to be. Evan is funny and goes through life like a bulldozer, but he's also incredibly smart and zeroes in on things that blow my mind.


AJ, our teenager, is passionate and thoughtful. We are constantly complimented on his maturity level. He has faced adversity in his young life and he continues to knock it down. They do these amazing things that make me so proud and I'm like "I cannot believe that we did that!!"


Lifestyle family photo in Pittsburgh park by LeeAnn Stromyer
Black and white family photo by LeeAnn Stromyer

20 years now, what do you hope you'll remember? What do you want your children to remember?


I hope I remember every single thing- I feel like they change every time I blink. I'm so thankful for technology and social media for this reason. The time goes so quickly and there is always something in every moment that I want to hold on to.


This phone is like a montage of the past 10 years. As far as the kids go, I just hope they remember how much joy there is in our home.

Our lives are busy, and sometimes we get frustrated with one another, but the joy outweighs the overall chaos of family life every single day. I hope they remember that we were always on their side, no matter what, and we always will be.


Fall family photos at Riverfront Park in Aspin Wall by LeeAnn Stromyer
Fall family photos in Aspin Wall, Pa at River Front Park by LeeAnn Stromyer

What are some challenges you've faced as a mom, how did you work through them?


Even the smoothest journey through motherhood is challenging. I've never met a mom who would categorize her motherhood journey as easy. When I met Gene, and we decided that we wanted to date, I was an instant parent.


We never got that easy, breezy kidless dating life. I was like 25 at the time. I remember being so excited for nights he spent at his mom's and then feeling so guilty for it. It was HARD, and looking back I was pretty selfish and immature a lot of the time.


I fell in love with that kid, though, and I think he might like me too.

Family photos by the river in Pittsburgh, Pa by LeeAnn Stromyer

Unique family photos in Pittsburgh, PA by LeeAnn Stromyer

If you knew then what you know now, what advice would you give yourself about being a mother?


Stop and breath and repeat.

I gave up the illusion of being the perfect mom a long time ago. The goal isn't to look like the perfect mom with a perfect family- it's to have happy and healthy children, whatever that looks like for them!


Mother and son fall family photos at Riverfront Park in Pittsburgh Pa by LeeAnn K Photography

Fall family photo in Pittsburgh, PA in park.

When did you start your business, why did you start your business, & what is your mission in your business?


Bestie Dressed is a shared vision- I started the blog with my two best gals, Emily and Kristin, in Spring 2018.


We wanted to inspire moms like us to invest in themselves. Mothers give everything to their children, but we need to fill our own tanks from time to time.

Girlfriends are a great way to do that. The concept is like shopping with your best friends. That's also why we don't run a kid-centric mom blog, we LOVE being moms, but we're a lot more than that. Another thing we focus on is showing clothes on different body types in a wide range of budgets.


Fall family photo of four in Pittsburgh, PA in park.

Where can people find you on the web? (insta, website, facebook, etc)


@bestiedressed Facebook.com/Bestiedressed Bestiedressed.com We have a fun little closed group on Facebook you can access from our page as well!


Fall family photo in front of old bridge Pittsburgh, PA in park.

Unique fall family photo in Pittsburgh, PA in park.

How do you find a balance between your business & life?


You just have to say no sometimes- to your kids, to plans, to collaborations.

We only have so much time, and your physical and mental health has to come first.


Lifestyle fall family photo by LeeAnn K Photography

Who does your business serve? What do you want your audience to feel after interacting with your business?


I'd say many of our followers are busy, super savvy and SMART women. They are amazing ladies- many of them are mothers- who I can only hope get as much out of what we do as we get out of interacting with them every single day.


Father and son family photo in park by LeeAnn Stromyer

What do you struggle within your business most? How do you work through it, and what advice would you give someone in the same shoes?


My biggest struggle is fear.

I'm learning how to take risks. My best advice to any woman who wants to work for herself... you already have this amazing talent to give to the world, you just have to get out of your own way.


Family photos on the water at Riverfront Park in Pittsburgh, Pa by LeeAnn Stromyer

What's the biggest thing you wish you would have known about before starting your own business?


Everything? Haha, we decided to start the blog, never imagined we'd make a dollar from it, and learned as we went. I think it's okay to do that. No regrets!


What's the best part about owning your own business?


My family has been in retail for a long time- I've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly with owning your own business. Often times your business owns you, and you have to be up for anything, but it's so great to be the captain of your own ship.



Fall family photo by the water in Pittsburgh, Pa by LeeAnn K photography

Father and son lifestyle Fall family photo by the water in Pittsburgh, Pa by LeeAnn K photography

Mother and son lifestyle Fall family photo by the water in Pittsburgh, Pa by LeeAnn K photography

Hiya, I'm LeeAnn!


Thank you so much for taking the time to read this mama's unique story.

I'm not just a family photographer, I'm a storyteller which is why I do

my best to share the story behind the photos.


If you're a mama or a woman who loves reading others' stories you'll

want to check other blog posts like this one -

A Single Mom by Choice


Interested in booking a family session or just want to stay in the loop on current blog posts, you can contact me directly or sign-up for my monthly newsletter.


Looking forward to connecting and having you in my corner!


Much love,

LeeAnn