LucasP: Year 4

Yesterday I noticed that his feet are almost to the edge of his toddler bed.

Today, his beloved Star Wars light up shoes no longer fit him. Funny thing about that though - I only bought them two months ago. So in just the last two months, he's grown a full shoe size right before our eyes. 

The threenager stage of life is no joke. Terrible twos look like a beach vacation compared to three. The seemingly endless task of potty training, the wanting independence vs "You do it Mommy". The constant time outs and counting to three. It's exhausting for sure.

But we're proof that you do come out of the other side, and scattered among the time outs, are some pretty incredible moments.

Watching him overcome fears, and try the things he hasn't been able to do until now is amazing. His love for all things Super Hero / Star Wars has only grown as his understanding of them does also.

I've learned that he can be both shy and outgoing at the same time. I think he gets that from me. But when he makes a friend, he instantly says they are his "favorite friend." 

He loves going on "adventures" with Daddy - tent camping, hiking and s'mores. He's even created his own campfire dance, forever known to family as "the Sticky Icky Dance."

There were a lot of firsts within the past year that aren't shown in the photographs below. Some are from our portrait membership program, others are still sitting on my computer waiting to be edited. If I tried to include them all, this post would be 10x longer.

Since his last birthday, so many things have changed. I won't say they've all been great changes, but we're focusing on the good as often as possible. And here's hoping we will always be able to.

Happy 4th Birthday LucasP!

Love you too the moon and back, and beyond the stars,
Momma

10 Year Anniversary Session: An Italian Portrait Session

I told him we had to get up at 5:30 am for our session...on our vacation. He winced and said "ok." I know that after 10 years of marriage, there were more words he'd have liked to add to that. But he didn't and I love him for that.

"It feels like our wedding was just yesterday" isn't a true statement for me. It feels as though it was rightfully ten years ago, but not in a bad way. In a lot of ways, we're not the same people we were then.

And we're definitely not a perfect couple. Honestly, I don't know that such a thing exists. We procrastinate. We leave laundry in the basket for weeks. We have our bad habits that drive each other nuts. 

But we also have 10 (plus) years of history. He's my saving grace in times when I just can't. He lets me vent, cry and sometimes yell. He brings me flowers when I've got the flu. He's a terrific daddy to our son. He takes care of us, and loves us in his own quiet, daily ways.

To me, it feels like 10 years of building something, together - a home, a life, a family.

The quiet, practically empty square at Piazza San Marco greeted us, and all at once we knew it was worth it. There were no tourists, no vendors, no crowds - just us, and Siza (our photographer, who was amazing!!) and the beauty that is Venice in the morning.

It was instantly easy to let the romance of this moment wash over me. Was it Venice? Maybe, but more likely it was because of the realization of a dream we had shared for all 10 years of our marriage.

These photographs top any souvenir or bottle of wine we brought home from Italy. They'll live on long after the case of wine will. And they were worth every step of the last ten years.

Here's to the rest of our story,

~ Erin

PS - For you Matt, save this dance for me.
 

Celebrating 5 Years: Radio Social Anniversary Party

Oh my goodness, I think we're still processing it all.

It was almost like a wedding and a reunion mixed together. Lori and I couldn't stop smiling as we talked to everyone that joined us for our big five year anniversary bash at Radio Social.

We bowled, we played, we ate great food and amazing cake. Stepping back and taking it all in, we really have so much to be grateful for when it comes to this two person operation we've got going on.

After reflecting on the party, I realized something pretty big. This is wayyyy more than a two person operation.

It's taken a village, our tribe of amazing people who have supported us every step of the way. From clients and other photographer friends, to family members, amazing friends and our ultra patient spouses – we're never without someone to push us further, or pick us up when we need it most.

Thank you to those who came to celebrate with us. We have to especially thank Heather McKay of McKay's Photography (her's are the rounded corner photos below) for photographing the event for us, and Michelle Crawford of Shell's Sweets for the delicious cake!

And thank you to all those who have supported us - whether from close to home or afar. It's your referrals and your kind words that have allowed us to do what we love for five wonderful years.

Here's to the next chapter!

~ Erin (and Lori)

Product Spotlight: Engagement Guest Book

Engagement sessions (in any season) are my favorite type of session. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that fact before. I love their peacefulness or playfulness and always their love - without the timeline of a wedding day.

We've photographed engagements anywhere from Letchworth State Park to downtown Rochester NY, and even in local coffee shops like Starry Nites Cafe or Joe Bean on University Avenue. Each one is unique and personalized to our couple.

But the one question we always get asked is - what should we do with these images? Answer: let's make a book!

But this isn't just any old Shutterfly book. Yes, it's a story of you, and who you are as a couple - but you can do more with it. One of our most popular ideas, is to incorporate the book at your wedding as a guest book.

These days, thanks to Pinterest, there are thousands of ways to display a guest book concept. Crafty people love coming up with new, never seen before ways to mark the occasion. But we love this book because it allows your guests to leave you notes, and answers to questions about love and marriage. Bonus point - there's no glue gun or mason jars involved, because we do all of the hard work for you.

It's an interactive guest book for your wedding. After the wedding, it's a cherished heirloom that you can safely keep alongside your wedding album. (And you don't have to find wall space to fit it into your home decor!) 

It shows not only who you are as a couple, but also how much you're loved by those who joined in your wedding day. So - what would you like to do with your engagement session photographs?

~ Erin

Valentine's Day is For Everyone: Fairport NY Photographers

Valentine's Day. Whether your totally for it or tend to call it "amateur hour," it's a holiday that as photographers, we do not ignore. It doesn't come in one shape or size, but it does fit everyone.

We stand for love. And while yes, the traditional holiday is meant for romantic gestures between loves - it's also so much more. Romantic love isn't the only game in town.

Yes, love is a first kiss and a first dance.

But it's also a 60th wedding anniversary dance.

Love is cuddling your kids.

Love is cherishing time with grandparents.

Love is having everyone in the same place, because it's rare.

Love is sisters and brothers.

Love is an adorable pet.

Love is your girl squad.

Love is reminiscing over first dates together.

Love is holding hands through the hard stuff.

Love is enjoying the silly things.

Love, is whatever you want it to be. It's whatever moment means the most to you, with those you truly treasure.

Valentine's Day is for everyone, because love is everything.

Happy Valentine's Day!

~ Erin

Vendor Spotlight: Shell's Sweets

Over the years we've met some pretty incredible people. Today we're here to share a little about a creative mind we've had the pleasure of getting to know - Michelle Crawford. She's a business owner, cake artist and fantastic lady!

 Michelle in her Kitchen

Michelle in her Kitchen

We met up with her at her kitchen for a chat and some pictures, and here's what we found out!

Quick Bio About Me: Many people ask me how I got started in cakes. It definitely wasn't something I saw myself doing as a full time business but it seemed to unfold that way. As a kid I always loved to bake and create things. I learned the basics from a family friend and began making cakes for family and friends. There was a time where I was unable to create much due to school and work. However, once my nieces and nephews were born I started back up. This is what really fueled my love for cake and now my cake business.

What does it mean to be a cake artist?
A cake artist is someone who takes the unexpected (flour, butter, sugar, eggs, etc) and with a vision creates a work of edible art. 

Where does your inspiration come from?
Haha - it might be easier if you asked where didn't my inspiration come from. I am constantly seeing things and thinking "That would look great on a cake!" My biggest areas of inspiration are fashion, interior design. color and nature. 

What's your favorite flavor?
Ooh that's a tough one! I would have to say it's a toss up between my Dark Chocolate cake and Peanut Butter Buttercream and something I call Snickerdoodle, Cinnamon cake, White Chocolate Ganache and Cinnamon Buttercream. Mmmmmmm....

What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is the creating. I love seeing either what I have in mind or what my customer has in mind come to life. There's nothing like it! One of my favorite things make are sugar flowers, lace or anything cute! 

Any hobbies outside the kitchen?
If I'm not in the kitchen you will probably find me crafting something, taking pictures (You have nothing to be concerned about haha), and spending time with friends and family.

How do people find you? (web, social media, etc)
You can find me at these locations:
Website  / Facebook  / Instagram  / Twitter  

Thanks Michelle! We can't wait to work with you again soon!

Michelle's mom, pictured above, is often around to help, but doesn't do any of the baking. She helps wash dishes, fetches things and generally just enjoys watching Michelle work. It was a pleasure getting to know both women! And who doesn't need another photo with their mom? Such a pleasure!

Why I threw out my wedding photos

Yeah, I said that. And yes - I really did just throw them away. As a photographer, it was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

Your current thoughts probably range from - "Ok?" to "What the $%&*? Erin - WHY?!"

Well... because they were useless to me.

Before you think my marriage just went down the drain, step away from the phone and refrain from texting me like a crazy person. I'm still happily married. I promise.

But, I really did throw away my wedding pictures. At least - the two burned CD's that they were living on in the bottom drawer of my desk. I know, they weren't even in a safe place.

I have the files still, I moved them to three different locations years ago. But the CD's were useless to me.

I threw them away because I don't have a device in my home that's capable of reading them anymore. Which is exactly what we've been preaching to our wedding clients and families for years now.

It's also why I made a wedding album. It's why I made a tangible, printed heirloom - so that one day, I won't have to realize that I have no way to share in the joy of those memories.

If you've got discs of photos lying around that you've never done anything with, I'm not surprised. If you want help making those discs into heirlooms - give us a call.

So that one day, you won't have to throw away your memories.

~ Erin

001_0Q3A8255.jpg

Tips for Protecting your Digital Photos

Let’s get real for a second. You should know by now that we encourage printing as the best way to enjoy your photos long term. However, we realize that with the volume of photos created these days, it would be physically impossible to print every photo without needing to rent a storage unit.

This means that most photos live only in one place - your hard drive. That is, if you remembered to take them off of your phone or camera at all.

How do you keep them safe? and what are we keeping them safe from? 

 Whether it's the first dance, or first steps, we all have photos we want to keep forever!

Whether it's the first dance, or first steps, we all have photos we want to keep forever!

Common ways people lose digital files, and a few possible solutions: 

1. Hard drive failure or file corruption

All drives fail eventually, so having things stored in just one place is risky. Luckily, the solution is pretty simple... have multiple copies. 

Solution: Ask your favorite tech guru to set up a RAID backup for you, use Time Machine on a portable drive if you're an Apple user, or keep photos on your phone and computer.

2. Theft, loss, fire, flood damage or other physical disappearance

This can only be prevented by having an offsite copy of your files. Offsite can be cloud based, at the office, or in your mom’s basement... basically anywhere that is physically separate from where your main drive lives.

Syncing to an offsite NAS is how we do this, but cloud storage would work for the average family photo collection. Check out BackBlaze, Dropbox or Resilio Sync for these services.

3. Overwriting a file or accidental deletion

The best way to avoid this happening is to have a good organization system. Do it any way that makes you happy, as long as you are consistent. And then, when you know your strategy, make sure someone else could figure it out. IE: If you aren’t available to ask, can your spouse or child find a photo they are looking for? 

TIP: Utilizing an 8 digit date structure makes sure every file name is unique. Ex: 20180101 for January 1st, 2018. Then you can choose to add a description or sequence number to further delineate your files. 

Bonus Tip: Use Folders to organize by like category. Whether that is event, person, location, theme, or whatever you choose. Folders are your friends.

 My personal photos are organized by date, then subject. Using the 8 digit date structure keeps everything in chronological order

My personal photos are organized by date, then subject. Using the 8 digit date structure keeps everything in chronological order

Conclusion

There are many ways to lose files, but there are also many ways to keep them safe. If photos are valuable to you, protect them! Print your favorites, put them on the wall or in a book that you can pass down. In the future, no one is going to want your CD's or thumb drives, so print the important photos. And the ones you just want to have on your screen saver? Stick them in the cloud just in case something bad should happen.

If you have more tips, feel free to add them in the comments! If this helped you, we'd love to know. Thanks for being here!
-Lori

5 Years and Counting: Happy Anniversary Us!

So often we get caught up in the daily tasks of running a business that we forget to step back and look at all we've actually accomplished.

But not today. Today we're celebrating a milestone anniversary of us. Five years ago today, we made "Lori & Erin" official in the eyes of New York State - and we haven't looked back. In this industry, so many of us are independent and prefer to go it alone. So, finding a photography partnership can be a little like finding a unicorn. It's something rare.

For those that don't know our story, you can check out the recap in this post from earlier this week. Whether it was the Almighty, Buddha, or Yoda using The Force, I believe that finding each other and creating this business was meant to happen.

We've set goals and faced challenges. We've grown together, as well as individually into who we are and why we do it. We aren't the same people who started this journey. We're stronger and smarter and maybe a little bit crazier (in a good way). And all because we had an idea of a partnership over five years ago.

And it's also because of you. Looking back on all of these sessions has been wonderful. We're so grateful for each of your smiles. You have helped us grow. Thank you for putting your trust in us, year after year to help you treasure your relationships forever.

Here's to another five years!

Lori & Erin

PS - Here's a video recap of ALL five years, are you in it? 

 

 

Gift ideas for the photo lovers on your holiday list

You've already had photos taken this year, but you never did anything with them. Now it's holiday season, and you just realized you need Christmas cards and gifts! Lucky for you photos are the gift that are cherished forever. They are above and beyond, more valuable than any trinket you'll find at the mall.

So if you need a little inspiration, here are a few of our most popular products this time of year:

1. Ornaments! We offer metal and loft ornaments. They're a perfect small gift for anyone on your list. Put your favorite photo on one side, with the year and a message on the back. Boom, custom, easy and done!

2. Float Wraps! This item has a wow-factor. It's unique, ready to hang (no worrying about frames!) and easy to order in any size from 8x8 to 24x36.

3. Holiday Cards! Don't waste hours searching through, and fighting with online sites. Let us create exactly what you are looking for. We have a lot of customizable options to fit the color and wording choices exactly as you desire.

Need more ideas? You can browse our full catalog for inspiration!

Then call us and we'll make your holiday shopping personalized and thoughtful as well as easy, and most importantly, DONE!

Our deadline for holiday orders is December 6th. So please don't wait til the last minute!

Internship Available: Fall & Winter 2017

Our business is always growing, and we want to share some of our experience with the next generation of photographers!

We are looking for a motivated individual aiming to gain experience in the business of portrait and wedding photography. You’ll learn tips and tricks while working with real customers, as well as many of the back end tasks business that most people don’t think about. The position will begin sometime in late September and run through November, with an option to extend through the end of December. We expect a weekly commitment of 5-10 hours.

You’ll get a behind the scenes look at what it’s like to run a photography business. We’ll review your portfolio (if you have one) and address any specific areas you may want help with. You can pick our brains about what we have learned in our 5+ years of running a full time business!

Tasks Could Include: Assisting on Portrait Sessions/Weddings • Packaging Print Orders • Social Media updates • Compiling Blog posts + other odds and ends as they come up

To Apply: Send an email to hello@lorianderin.com with the subject line: Intern Application. In the Body, please include all of your contact information and answer the following questions:

Tell us about yourself - what are your passions? (Other than photography) • Will you get school credit for this internship? • Are there any requirements to receive this credit? • What is your availability? Days/Times • What is the number one takeaway you would like to get from this position? • What is your favorite photo or blog post on our website? Why? • How familiar are you with Lightroom and Photoshop? • Do you have your own laptop?

Deadline to Apply is midnight on September 30th. Thank you for your interest!

20161101_3567.jpg

Spotlight on Wood Prints: Rochester NY Photographers

If you don't know it by now, we wholeheartedly believe in printing your pictures. We believe that prints outlast digital files, and become priceless heirlooms to future our generations.

We love adding new items to our ever growing catalog to display your memories. We have canvas, framed prints, metal for the modern artist and now we also offer wood prints.

They are for someone who prefers a natural look, as the image is printed directly on real maple wood. The grain from the wood comes through on the lighter areas which will give it a warm feel.

No two wood prints will ever be the same because of the nature of the maple wood printing process. So it's great for someone looking for something unique!

Tangible printed photographs, whether on your wall or in a book create a different feeling of happiness than of those left in a digital world. If you need help deciding what to do with your photographs, call us. We're always here to provide you with ideas, and give you the perfect piece to smile about.

~ Erin