Step Up Your Wedding Photos at These Pittsburgh Locales

Local photographers weigh in on the perfect locations around town to add some extra depth to your wedding photographs.
Staircase photo

PHOTO BY ARAUJO PHOTOGRAPHY

Pittsburgh may be known for its bridges, but the city also has countless staircases that are bound to elevate any wedding photoshoot.

One popular location for staircase pictures is the Carnegie Museums in Oakland. Tony Araujo, co-owner of Araujo Photography, describes the staircase near the museum’s main entrance as one of his favorite locations for wedding photos.

“It’s just magnificent. It’s marble and massive, which makes for really beautiful photos,” says Araujo. 

Boland 509

PHOTO BY AMBER MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY

Amber Belveny, owner of Amber Marie Photography, agrees that the Carnegie Museum provides great photo opportunities, but she cautions any photographer to be aware of lighting. Since a lot of the grand staircases are inside, off camera lighting is oftentimes necessary to capture these images. Another common location Belveny brings lighting equipment to is Heinz Memorial Chapel in Oakland. For each of these locations she focuses on matching poses to lighting.

“If you’re shooting on the steps of Heinz Chapel or Carnegie, that dramatic lighting is going to lend itself to maybe more editorial posing or more statement poses,” says Belveny. 

 

Stair Stitch

PHOTOS BY AMBER MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY (LEFT) AND ARAUJO PHOTOGRAPHY

In contrast, when it comes to natural lighting, Belveny tries to capture more soft, romantic moments with her couples. One popular location for these types of pictures is the Fairmont Pittsburgh Hotel Downtown because its staircase is surrounded by glass windows that allow for a lot of sunlight. 

“The Fairmont is really the only staircase I can think of that actually gets some really good natural light, which is why it is one of the most iconic staircases in Pittsburgh,” says Belveny. 

Aside from lighting, angles can also be a challenge when it comes to photographing on staircases.

“You’re either going to be shooting down or shooting up, and both of those angles have the potential to be unflattering,” says Belveny.

Araujo notes that a big challenge he has encountered while photographing on staircases is having to work around crowds.

“The challenge at Hotel Monaco is that the staircase leads right down to the lobby, which is a small lobby that is always busy. Trying to time it right with people coming and going is difficult, so it might take a couple of tries to get it right,” says Araujo. 

Regardless, staircase photography has its positives, besides capturing beautiful photos.

“If you have a larger wedding party, stairs are going to be a great fit because you can get something a little bit more unstructured without really making a big fuss — it’s a time saver,” says Belveny. 

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