November Favorites: Pittsburgh Family Photographer / by Andrea Moffatt

From trees bursting with vibrant leaves to bare branches and the first snow, November lived up to its name. I know many dread this slow march toward winter, but November is one of my favorite months for its direct shafts of fall light, warm colors, indoor coziness, and quiet anticipation of the approaching season. 

It's also the official month of gratitude, and focusing on that never fails to make my heart full. At the end of this post, I'll share with you a little about how shooting from a place of gratitude can free you up to create images that mean something to you.

Here's my November gratitude list, in pictures...

I find that when I try too hard to make a "great" picture or when I'm on a specific assignment or deadline, I feel stressed and uninspired. It's a stifling feeling. From networking with many photographers, I've learned that many live almost permanently in this state. Always shooting for clients but never for themselves, they tell me they've experienced little growth or inspiration. 

Finding inspiration is all about knowing yourself as well as your inner artist . Very often, your happy place as an artist overlaps with your happy place in life. If you feel reenergized by being in nature, macro or landscape photography might also be where you feel the biggest outpouring of gratitude and in turn, artistic inspiration. For me, I gain so much joy from watching my boys grow up, and they inspire me every day to capture it in a way that mirrors how (I hope and believe) they are experiencing their boyhood. 

If you're feeling stuck, take some time to think about what makes you happiest: what thing(s) in your life fill you with the greatest sense of gratitude? Then approach those subjects, camera in hand, with the sole purpose of showing your heart... in picture form.