I fired off a few test shots to test the light and then noticed Dylan had a hair tie on his wrist. 

Bella was standing behind me. She said “Dylan, you want to take that hair tie off?”

I giggled, “Dylan, why are you wearing a hair tie?”

And Dylan…with that huge smile, shrugs his shoulders matter-of-factly and says with a twinkle in his eye, “I wear it in case Bella needs it.”

Now…me, being the mother of that sweet Bella with the wild, big and beautiful head of hair, knows it’s nothing for her to break a hair tie. And it usually takes more than one to pull back that voluptuous set of curls.  I also know now, Dylan’s always watching out for her. It’s a sweet feeling. 

They are sweet kids. 

Bella goes over to grab the hair tie and transfers it to her wrist. I grab a quick photo of the two of them together. Dylan smiles as she walks away. 

I quickly think back to my senior photos. I brought my then boyfriend to my session. We posed for a few photos together. It was 1999. It wasn’t really a “thing” to do back then. In fact my friends made fun of me and thought it was weird. I just did it anyways.  Because even back then, long before I was a professional photographer, I thought it was important to document the things that made my senior year what it was. I always was a person who thought ahead of the times. I wore a two piece pant suit dress to my junior prom. That style wouldn’t be very popular until about 15 years later. But looking back at those photos, I feel proud. It’s who I am. Do something and then wait for the world to catch up. So here we are 2017 and it’s quite cool to bring your high school sweetheart along to your senior session. Who knew? I guess I did. 

The hair tie is gone. I take the shot I was aiming for…

Even if you don’t take your high school sweetheart along to your photo session with you,  I think it’s a great idea to bring along a friend. The person that makes you laugh and smile. The person you have all the inside jokes with, that’s the person who brings out the best in you, that’s the person to bring!  I got some great shots while Bella did some goofy “I Dream of Jeannie” dance move behind my back. My only regret is that I didn’t turn around and snap a picture of her doing it.  I continued to capture some traditional yearbook-esque photos in that spot. I won’t bore you with them in this post. This post about the fun, artsy photos we took. This post is about letting loose and having fun capturing personality. 

We keep moving. I loved capturing them enjoying each other’s company as we walked around exploring locations. Dylan graduates this year. Bella has another year to go. I glance back at them…I hope Dylan comes along to Bella’s senior session this coming summer. He puts the best smile on her face. 

I find myself approaching the way I shoot for Senior Boys different from when I shoot for girls or even weddings. My signature style tends to be light and airy in general.  As the mom of 2 girls, I can really hone in on that feminine vibe. And to me, the light and airy feel really speak volumes. Boys on the other hand…I find myself going for the complete opposite. My heart tugs at the deep, rich colors and textured skin. I’m loving this opportunity to photograph something a little different lately. It really helps me grow as a photographer and round out my skills. After shooting a certain way for so many years, it feel great to embrace the hard light and rich colors. I hope you all like it too! 

Izzy 2018 Senior

Dream Clients are the clients that say “Hey Nicole, we don’t want traditional senior photos. We want a 1970’s fashion vibe, can you do that?” And after your insides are done jumping up and down and doing backflips, you compose yourself and say “Yes! of course I can!”

I have so so many awesome shots, but today’s post is just serving as a sneak peek! Many, many, many more to come!! 

The next look was an “Outsider’s” vibe. We brought Izzy’s boyfriend into a few shots to tell the story of her senior year. 

We have one last look to shoot! It’s going to be epic so stay tuned!!! 

Krystal and Izzy, thank you from the bottom of my heart for choosing me to bring your vision to life! It was a blast!!!

Hair/Make-up/Styling: Krystal Champ

Photography: Nicole Cassano

And a special thanks to my husband for letting us use his vintage car!! 

Emily and Joey 5.13.17

They met about 10 years ago in college. One summer Joey agreed to help Emily train for her first half marathon the summer before her senior year. Sadly he was dating someone else at the time but lucky for Emily when she moved back home the summer after she graduated, Joey was a free man and he started running with her again. Their friendship blossomed into love when they spent the fall being each other’s “plus one” for several friends’ weddings. They certainly had their fair share wedding dates, long runs and races together over the years.  But on May 13, 2017 they finally crossed the finish line at their own wedding. Like, literally! It was my favorite moment of the day when the DJ announced them into the reception for the first time as husband and wife. They dash through the golden doors of Chestnut Ridge and through the yellow tape! It was adorable! 

Even more adorable is their engagement story. Here it is in Emily’s words:

“During our last training run the week before our first marathon, Joey decided to pop the big question on Mile 3. We had both been exhausted from the evening before at Kennywood’s Fright Nights and were dreading this big race that we didn’t train for as much as we should have. When we came upon mile 3, a very familiar place that we ended up at during many of our runs, Joey told me that he had a rock in his shoe. Not expecting anything from this considering we run on gravel and were always getting rocks in our shoes, I asked him if I could continue running without him since I knew he’d catch up to me shortly thereafter. However, this time was different and Joey asked me to wait for him. As I’m waiting for Joey to figure out his shoe situation, he asked me to come over while he was down on one knee and to my surprise popped the question that I had been waiting for! Thinking it would happen the following week at our big race, I had no idea it was coming right then and there. After I said yes, I then told Joey we still had to run 5 more miles because other wise we’d die the following week running 26.2. Although that race ended up being tough anyway, I couldn’t have been happier to be running next to my future husband. ”

I couldn’t get enough of these two! They are just the kind of people you want to hang out with and their love for each other is contagious! So lucky for me, I’ll be seeing them again this fall as I photograph Joey’s sister Alicia’s wedding! I couldn’t be more excited! 

If you want to see more of Emily and Joey, be sure to check out their engagement session!

Bride’s Dress, Veil and Headpiece: MB Bride Design (Greensburg, PA

My Garter: From Joey’s grandma

Jewelry:  Pearls that Emily’s parents got from Japan when my dad was stationed there for the military.

Tux: Men’s Warehouse

Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal

Florist: Rosebud Floral in Murrysville, PA

Cake: Pastor’s Bakery in Greensburg, PA.

Hair and Make-up: Layla Marie Salon in Greensburg, PA

Photography: Nicole Cassano

Transportation: Vogue Limousines 

 Invitations/Stationery/Signage:  Emily’s bridesmaid’s mother Darlene Patrick.

DJ: Adam Bomb DJ Services

Decorations and Linens: Chestnut Ridge and Exquisitely Covered

Ceremony Location: Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, Greensburg, PA

Reception Venue: Chestnut Ridge Resort, Blairsville, PA

Rehearsal Dinner:  Water Works, Greensburg, PA

 Honeymoon: Kona, Hawaii

 First Dance Song: I’ll Be by Edwin McCain

Nick + Maggie 10.15.16

Nick and Maggie knew exactly how to make this wedding their own! Every last detail was created by the couple. Nick made the wooden centerpieces and Maggie did the watercolor place settings. The entire wedding was beautiful collaboration of who they are as a couple. Nick’s mom made the gorgeous flowers and Maggie’s brother officiated. The entire day was about love and family and I couldn’t have been more honored to be a part of it! 

Maggie loves her cats and even though they couldn’t be at the wedding in person…her friends and family found a way to make sure Maggie could celebrate her day with them by her side. You’ll see the cardboard cutouts of them on a stick, pop up throughout the day on the dance floor! It was hilarious! And even more heartwarming was the moment during the bridal party photos when the groomsmen surprised Maggie with a different cat socks, they had been wearing all day. #friendgoals 

Venue: Robin Hill Park
Photographer: Nicole Cassano
Caterer: Big Black Grill, Pittsburgh

Bride’s  Dress: Carlisle’s of Pittsburgh

 DJ Andrew Becker

Hair and Make-up: Capristo Salon in Shadyside 

Accommodations: DoubleTree Pittsburgh Airport

Jenny and Kevin 4.29.17

  After meeting during their internships back in 2012, they hung out as friends and over time that friendship flourished into a love that would eventually lead to the exchange of owl beanie babies on their first Christmas together. An inside joke between the two love birds that would one day have Kevin sporting an adorable owl print tie on his wedding day. 

 I can’t say enough sweet things about this fun-loving couple. I knew the moment I met them on a raining evening in the back of a Starbucks in Wexford that we would be a perfect fit! Jenny was sharing her wedding ideas to have long, linen draped tables set up at Irons Mill Farmstead along with a live band instead of a DJ and I was all starry eyed thinking “YESSSSS, you are my dream client!” 

If I can say one thing about them as couple, I will say this…they sure know how to throw a party! This was one reception I didn’t want to leave once my time was up. The barn was hoping! 

Bride’s Dress, Veil and Reception Sash: BHLDN

Dress Overlay: Wollowby by Watters

Alterations, Bride’s Jewelry, Ceremony Sash: Mignonette Bridal, Chicago 

Bride’s Hair Clips: Nordstrom

Groomsmen’s ties, tie bars, pocket square, and socks: The Tie Bar

Groom’s Tie: Ferragamo

Groom and Groomsmen attire: The Black Tux

Bridesmaid Dresses: Dessy

Bridesmaid Jewelry: Handmade by Maid of Honor 

Something Old, Something Borrowed: maternal grandmother’s handkerchief,  paternal grandmother’s rosary, and a sixpence from bride’s mother.

Reception Venue: Irons Mill Farmstead

Ceremony: Church of Notre Dame

Planner: Poppy Events

Florist: Sapphire and Lace

Photography: Nicole Cassano

Caterer: Medure’s

Cupcakes: Pennie’s Bake Shop

Hair and Make-up: Elements Salon and Spa 

Transportation: Zona and Primo Limo

Invitations: Minted

Band: The Sly Band

Linens: Lendable Linens

Rentals: Penn Rustic and T & M Tents and Events

Rehearsal Dinner: Quaker Steak and Lube

Honeymoon: Hawaii 

First Dance: Halo by Beyonce

Dance Lessons: Duet Dance Studio, Chicago 

Jennifer + Justin 6.4.16

Click here to see Justin + Jennifer’s Pittsburgh Engagement Session!

Published in the 2017 Whirl Wedding Guide

Honeymoon: Clearwater, Fla.

Seamstress: Sandy Newsom of Creative Fabric Solutions

Tuxedos: Men’s Warehouse

Rentals: Exceptional Essentials Plus

Planner: Johanna Sesse

Makeup: Maria Layton

Hair: Cheri Underwood

Entertainment: Steven Vance Strolling Violins and DJ

Florals & Rentals: Rosebud Floral & Giftware

Favors: Pretzel Crazy

Cake: Cakes by Tammy

Bridesmaids’ Jewelry: Crystal Couture

Bride’s Gown: Bridal’s by Lori

Accommodations: Courtyard Pittsburgh Airport Settlers Ridge 

Venue/Catering: Club at Nevillewood

Rachel + Chad 7.23.16

Be sure to check out Chad + Rachel’s Engagement Session at this link!

Bride’s Dress: Evaline’s Bridal

Bride’s Shoes: Dillard’s

Jewelry: Charming Charlie

Stationary: Wedding Paper Divas

Tuxedo: Men’s Warehouse

Bridesmaids’ Robes: Foxblossom Co.

Bridesmaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal

Garter: One Fancy Day

Cake Topper: Chic Design Boutique

Guestbook: Rebecca Arbuckle

Cake: Bride’s Friend, Karen Dick

Kid’s Coloring Pages: Sugar Pie Studio

Florist: Green’s Floral Shop

Catering: Medure’s

DJ: Craig Lawrence of Red Hot Chameleon

Ceremony: Grace Chapel Community Church

Kettlecorn: Irons Mill Farmstead

Reception: Irons Mill Farmstead

Diana + Marc 4.2.16

What can I say about Diana and Marc? They are absolutely perfect together and the most genuinely sweet people you will ever meet! Together they pulled off the most amazing wedding day and I couldn’t be more honored than to have been their photographer! This wedding was so amazing that both Whirl and Pittsburgh Magazine have published it! Take a few moments to read their story and check out their features! 

Whirl: August 2016 Issue

Pittsburgh Magazine: The Name Game

Decor and Linens: Mosaic

Entertainment: No Bad JuJu

Flowers: Blossoms by Jillian

Hair: Brooke Rockwell Hair Design

Jewelry: Zola Keller

Lighting: Gray Phoenix Designs

Makeup: Carly Tuscano, Fluhme Glam Bar

Planner: Amanda Mason

Stationary: Just Invite Me

Transportation: Molly’s Trolleys

Tuxedos: Joseph A. Banks

Photography: Nicole Cassano Photography

Videographer: Just Hitched Wedding Films

Cake: Bella Christie and Lil’ Z’s Sweet Boutique

Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BCBG

Ceremony and Reception: Omni William Penn Hote

Engagement Session: Nicole Cassano

Bride’s Dress: Maggie Sottero

Cydney + Jon | Surprise Proposal

This past July I had an exciting role in a surprise proposal! Here’s how it went down:

Cydney’s friend Christina called me with the idea. Cydney, a hair stylist, was in need of new head shots for her website. Christina, set up a session with me for Cydney under the guise that I was shooting head shots for her. The plan was that after we shot a few head shots, Cydney’s boyfriend Jon would pop up unexpectedly and PROPOSE! I would be there, ready, camera in hand to catch it all without Cydney being suspicious because “she was having head shots taken.”  And we pulled it all off! PERFECTLY

Man, it was exhilarating!! It was my first ever surprise proposal, so I was super anxious and excited and a little nervous because, OMG, WHEN WAS JON GOING TO COME AROUND THE CORNER??? EEEEK!!

As it turns out, Jon was super anxious too! He had been texting with Christina and waiting for the “go ahead.”   I placed Cydney’s back to the sun (and the corner that Jon was hiding around) and started coaching her into some fun and playful poses and expressions. About 2 minutes into it (yep, that’s it, 2 minutes!!) I see Jon rounding the corner! My heart was racing so fast! I was so excited but I just kept shooting, trying not to let it show on my face. I really should have won an Oscar for this performance!! 

Just as he was a few inches from her back, Cydney felt his presence and turned around! The proposal ensued and I was a pile of melted mush! It was hands down the sweetest thing I had ever witnessed!

After we all dried our eyes…Christina helped Cydney freshen her make up. And Jon couldn’t wait to call Cydney’s mom and tell her, HE DID IT! … I took a few official engagement photos and we sent Cydney and Jon off to a romantic dinner!

Turns out this wasn’t going to be the last surprise proposal Christina and I found ourselves a part of! I’ll be blogging about another one soon!!

Location:  Magnolias For Pittsburgh, Cultural District

Photography: Nicole Cassano Photography

Stylist: Style By Christina

Wardrobe: Lex and Lynne


A portrait session is so much more than perfectly coifed hair and pressed clothes. In fact it’s not that at all. When it comes to small children it’s about those silly faces and mischievous smiles. It’s about the sweet moments and being shy. It’s about capturing who they are at that moment in time. It’s its own kind of perfection.

This is Riley. But her Me-maw calls her Millie-Mable. A term of endearment that can only exist when someone who loves you can see your real personality. This day we captured Millie-Mable.

Location: Lawrence County, PA

Outfit and Hair Accessories: Lacey Lane

Boots: Target

Summer Kitchen for Rust Belt Lifestyle

It was a true pleasure to come together with team of local wedding vendors to create an intimate elopement concept at the Summer Kitchen in Volant, PA. Below are a few images that I captured during the day. You can see the full shoot on Rust Belt Lifestyle. 

Floral & Design:  Patti Kuhn of Posies by Patti & her assistant Chelsie

Dress:  Francis Lastoria of A Grand Day

Cake:  Anthony Dithomas

Signs: Calligraphy, Graphic Design & More by Julie Gaibis

Ribbon:  Silk & Willow

Event Rentals & Design:  Jill Hodges of Vintage Vogue Furnishings

Hair & MUA:  Alexandra Ayers & Sarah DiGiovine of The Wright Place Salon

Cigars:  Hector Marquez of Jacobs Ladder Cigar Co

Champagne & Stemware:  Moet & Chandon and Riedel

Eyewear:  Oakley

*If you are interested in holding an intimate wedding at the Summer Kitchen in Volant, please fill out my contact form

Caitlyn + Jason Engaged

Just a few of the many beautiful images taken for Caitlyn and Jason’s Engagement! They had a beautiful 10x10 Guest Album created from their photos. You can check out a sneak peek video of the album on my instagram. Stay tuned for photos of the wedding! 

Location: Private Estate

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