Wales–UK Adventure Part Two

Perfectly enchanting. That’s what I think of when I remember Wales. On the second leg of our journey we visited the northern area of Snowdonia and stayed in a town called Caernarfon. It had everything you could want–fish and chips, a castle, and a beautiful countryside. What more could you ask for?

And yes, the people really did speak Welsh, which is nothing like English. Like I said, enchanting.

See for yourself.

It was a sleepy start to the day for Liam with another long car ride.

This is my version of drive-by shooting.

First view stepping out of the car.

This had to be one of my favorite things…but you have to look closely..

That’s right, the Welsh word for Prime Minister is “Prif Weinidog.” Nice.

I didn’t know they had helicopter launch pads back then…

We climbed lots of these…

…so we could see this.

Verbose English signage.

Stretchy castle.

Then it was off to the countryside.

More drive-by shooting.


Mr. Handsome with Cute Nephew.

We hiked through the countryside and mostly saw shrubs, fields, and flowers…

Until we came through a clearing and saw this…

And this.

Show off.

If we didn’t have to hike back, I would’ve liked to join them.

Still, we had this lovely church.

And we ate dinner in the little village.

Later that night, after we got back into town, Jay and I walked around and enjoyed the sunset.

It’s a post post office.

Next stop is Durham!

Rachel Clayton - Wow Mary! I have to say your pictures are AMAZING!! You truly have a God given talent for photography! I don't think I've ever seen vacation pictures as great as the ones you have! Some of them are hilarious too! I could look at your pics all day!

Kara - yay for castles! I like the verbose English signage, haha. And the Post Post office. I liked seeing signs in German that if you thought about them as English sounded weird – like exit is ausfahrt and emergency exit is notausfahrt which makes me think hm, not-exit. So every emergency button and level was definitely not. Anyway, great pictures and beautiful countryside!

David Dunton - Mary, I feel compelled to flatter you here. In every set you post, your superb eye shows through, even in these vacation photos.

Your creative and elegant compositions, your awareness and use of light, and your artful post-processing create a beautiful end product that few photographers achieve, especially in the brief span of years you've been working on your craft.

It's been a pleasure watching you develop your passion into a full time career, and I hope people will value your product as the premier-level work it is, above and beyond that of most event photographers out there (and I've looked at a lot of them!).



martha - I like the one of us going into the castle – I look really tall!

Steph and Justin | Pittsburgh Wedding Photography | 6/20/09

It was going to rain. All week long the weatherman said it was going to rain–and not just a little sprinkle, it was going to rain, thunder, and lightning.

I’m so glad the weatherman was wrong, because Steph and Justin’s wedding was held a couple of Saturdays ago on the Gateway Clipper Fleet. Rainy weather and boats don’t mix well.

But Steph and Justin sure do! (Ok, lame segue, but seriously, these two are totally in love with each other and had a wonderfully sweet wedding). There was a bit of a scare when a few drops began falling from the sky, but they soon passed and Steph and Justin boarded the boat with their friends and family. They held the ceremony on the top deck, while the poor captain fought the wind to keep Point Park in view. It was actually kind of fun, though, to get different views of Pittsburgh in the background. Then it was downstairs for dining and dancing as the city shoreline slipped by.

I have to start by saying I absolutely loved Steph’s hair and hat! She looked GORGEOUS–(but I’m also a bit partial because I had a similar tear drop hat and veil for my wedding).

Steph and Justin saw each other before the ceremony.

Justin walked up the aisle to meet Steph, and then they walked back down together.

They wrote their own vows to each other.

Real men cry on their wedding day.

Just beautiful.

Think Captain Planet…

Love the details.

The best man had a good night, too.

Thanks Steph and Justin for letting me be a part of your day!

Andrea and Aaron’s Engagement Photos

Last night I headed out of Pittsburgh to Raccoon Creek State Park for Andrea And Aaron’s engagement session. While we didn’t see any raccoons, we did see some deer, fish, and a beaver–all of which were swimming in the water. Craziness.

Andrea and Aaron were a lot of fun to hang out with, and I loved hearing their story. They both confessed to bad first impressions of each other–she thought he was cheap, he couldn’t handle her “frizzy hair”–but fortunately their relationship didn’t end on the first date. They laughed as they admitted they fit the saying, “opposites attract,” but I think they have the most important thing in common–their love for each other. And don’t think that’s sappy!

Their wedding is actually in less than two weeks, so I promised a fast turn around on the photos. Enjoy!

Yay for swing sets!

Andrea - We couldn't be happier with the way these came out! Thanks for the great ideas and wonderful shots!

Milla - Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!! I LOVE the dock shots. The light was beautiful… great job mary!

York–UK Adventure Part One

It’s quintessentially English–the very picture of what you imagine a Dicken’s town would look like, minus the modern updates. I found York to be full of bustling crowds and busy shops, which just added to its charm. But I’m getting ahead of myself. You’re still wondering how I found myself to be in York.

We left Pittsburgh on Sunday June 21st, connecting in Newark and landing in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was an overnight flight, so needless to say we were a bit bleary eyed on our Monday morning bus ride from the Edinburgh airport to the train station in the center of town. I’m sure we stood out like a sore thumb with our large “American” sized suitcases (apparently Americans just can’t leave home without half their closet). Anyway, after arriving at Waverly Station we boarded a train for Durham, England, where Martha, Ben, and Liam live. Needless to say, Jay and I were quite exhausted by they time we arrived, so we did very little site-seeing on Monday.

The next day, however, we all five climbed into a car and drove to York, where we spent the day exploring the town.

First up, though, is the little village where Martha lives–this park near their townhouse makes you feel like you’re living in the country.

I hadn’t seem Liam in about a year. He was a bit shy at first.

Now there’s a smile.

Liam studies the stuffed animal I brought him.

Blue-eyed boy.

Is he dancing?

Ok, ok–pictures of York.

Yorkminster. No, it doesn’t really slope up like that–it’s just my lens and the fact that it’s so very tall. Quite impressive.

Inside ceiling.


Please, really, no busking.

We had tea at Betty’s–a cute tea room that’s been around since the 1920’s.

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you–it’s really that slanted.

You can actually walk around on the city walls–but not your dog.

Old and new.

I don’t recall the name of this park.

Liam was more interested in chasing birds.

We visited the national train museum.

Royal carriage. Yeah, I could travel like that.

Old castle. Don’t worry–there’s lots more of these to come.

The end of the day–still smiling.

Stay tuned for Wales…coming next.

Yay! A New Nephew! » Pittsburgh Wedding Photographers | Birchtree Photography Blog - […] just heard the exciting news that my sister and brother-in-law’s newest baby was delivered safely. […]