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


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


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!

FAQ : How did you two meet? The story of how Lori and Erin Photography Began

We get asked this a lot, in one variation or another. How long have you been working together? How long have you known each other? Are you sisters?

Well, you've opened a can of worms... here goes!

The Quick Story

  • No, we are not related - though we might as well be
  • We each had independent businesses before L&E began
  • We met at Greater Rochester Professional Photographers (GRPP) in 2009
  • We worked our first wedding together in 2010
  • Began planning the partnership in 2012
  • Officially signed the papers and became Lori & Erin Photography in 2013
  • Now we live|eat|breathe Lori and Erin Photography!

The Long Story

It was a dark and stormy night... just kidding, I don't remember what the weather was. What I do remember was standing in the back of a large room filled with photographers at a GRPP meeting, when this new girl introduces herself as a graphic designer/photographer who works in the printing industry. 

I did a double take as she spoke... is this girl for real? SMH. She was describing me. My first job out of college was working for a print company while I built my design/photography business on the side. Immediately after the meeting, I introduced myself. She was there with her husband, so I met Matt as well.

Who knew I was meeting my best friend? I don't think either of us did.

We got to know each other through meetings and conferences, and eventually starting shooting for each other. I'm not sure how else to say it, but we just clicked. (Ba dum, dum - symbol crash) 

As friends, photographers and human beings, we wanted many of the same things. We both wanted to switch from doing photography on the side, to making it our full time career. We liked working with people and capturing relationships. We even had a similar shooting style.

I made the leap first, and eventually, Erin left her 9-5 as well. The first time a partnership was mentioned, it was in jest.

But then, we started to think it wasn't so crazy. What if...

What if we could make it work?
What if we could support each other?
What if we could share expenses?
What if we could offer consistency to our clients?
What if we could... succeed?

It took nearly a full year to design the new business. We talked everything through. Who would do what tasks? How would we pay ourselves? Who would be responsible for various things? Who would switch their brand of gear... oh that could be its own post!

By January 2013, we felt confident in ourselves and each other, and we jumped. We pooled our resources and began opening new doors.

Five years later, I still feel it was the right move.

We push each other to be better as people, as creatives, and as business owners. We are able to remain best friends - perhaps because of the business. Or perhaps because we respect and accept each other, quirks and all.

Our first photo conferences together. Where we met, started getting to know each other and the story began! Yes, we're admitting there were togas involved.

Our first photo conferences together. Where we met, started getting to know each other and the story began! Yes, we're admitting there were togas involved.

Then we proved we could survive 12 days together in a foreign country with 1 car, with our husbands. Clearly we were ready to start our business!

Then we proved we could survive 12 days together in a foreign country with 1 car, with our husbands. Clearly we were ready to start our business!

Us have fun at a wedding? Nope, never. 

Us have fun at a wedding? Nope, never. 

Well, there you have it. Was it what you thought? Do you think we are crazy? Or, are you glad we met? Let us know in the comments. 

Thanks for being here,

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



Welcome Mini Albums! Rochester NY Wedding Photography

Oh my goodness, I'm in love with this new album. We're calling it our "Mini" Album. Even though it might be a smaller size, (at just 10x7) it's uniqueness and beautiful design makes it grand.

It's new to our Art Catalog for 2017 and just makes the perfect wedding keepsake for the parents who supported your big day. It's a step up from our everyday storybooks, while not being an overwhelming. It's just the right size to include all of their favorite images from the day.

My favorite thing about this album? It's more unique than those boring old traditional parent albums. Check it out, you'll see what I mean.


This is why we shoot RAW... always.

Some photographers shoot RAW. Some shoot JPG. Some hop back and forth depending on the day/job/requirements.

If this is gibberish to you, I'm going to show you the difference right now. But first, let me explain the situation. 

My husband and I were on a remote hiking trail in Hawaii. 4,000+ miles by plane, an hour of driving, and then 6 hours of strenuous backpacking to get to this spot. The trail was narrow, muddy and shaded by trees. At the head of the valley was the Hanakoa Falls that I had been dreaming about for days... weeks maybe. It was my goal to swim at that waterfall, come hell or high water.

We made it there, and into the icy water I went. My husband was on shore to take the photo, but as he grabbed the camera it started to rain, which quickly turned into a downpour. He pressed the shutter without a chance to glance at the settings, which I had set before the clouds came over us. The resulting image on the left is what we got... and as you see, it is incredibly underexposed.

We scrambled to get the camera and our towels under cover, but the rain didn't pass. It continued on for the rest of the night. 

This moment -- me swimming at the base of a 440 foot waterfall... by myself... in the rain... 4,000+ miles from home-- almost didn't turn out. This is one of the only photos we have from what is honestly the highlight of the entire trip!  A once-in-a-lifetime kind of moment, if you will.

But when I got home, I used Lightroom plus that RAW file, and was able to bump it up 3.15 stops to get the image on the right. 

Swimming in Hanakoa Falls

Swimming in Hanakoa Falls

This right here is why I will always shoot RAW. Because there are moments too important to lose to a bad camera setting, and this memory is priceless.

If this image had been shot JPG, it would have been basically useless and ruined. 

In our line of work, we find ourselves quite often capturing once-in-a-lifetime-moments. So rest assured, we will protect your memories.


FAQ: Have you shot at my wedding venue before?

We've photographed in a lot of places. I honestly don't know how many different locations we've been to in the past five years. Trust me, it's a lot.

So when you ask if we've ever photographed at your venue before, chances are we have. We've been everywhere from the Finger Lakes, to wedding venues in Syracuse and Buffalo. We've even photographed in venues in other states like Colorado, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

However, whether we've been there or not really shouldn't matter when you're selecting your wedding photographer - and here's a few reasons why:

1) It's all about the light AND knowing how to use it!
Locations like the Avon Century Barn and the Hyatt Regency in downtown Rochester are two VERY different locations. Barn weddings can be tough to light properly, especially after night falls. And big ballrooms often don't have natural light. So consider that if you're picking a photographer with tons of natural light, airy outdoor images in their portfolio.

In the end, being fast, portable and knowing how to add light when it's needed guarantees we can light any venue properly. 

Light in a barn, and light in a ballroom are very different.

Light in a barn, and light in a ballroom are very different.

2) We like to have a plan
I don't know about you, but I don't like to take a test without studying. So if we haven't shot there and we have the opportunity, we like to look around first so we can know what we're working with – indoors and out. Whether in advance with you, or even getting to the venue extra early that day to scope it out.

3) Being different is fun
Finally, if we haven't been there before, we're seeing things around us as brand new. A wedding photographer who has worked at your venue dozens of times might not. I wouldn't say that's necessarily a bad thing, but when we get the chance to work somewhere new, inspiration strikes. Then we can really give you some unique images, something that's just for you and no one else has.

Even the venues themselves agreed, they'd never seen these shots before!

Even the venues themselves agreed, they'd never seen these shots before!

So as you're planning your big day, and researching your wedding photographers - make sure you think about ALL the angles (ba dum dum). In our opinion if the photographer you're hiring is a professional, whether they've shot there before or not really shouldn't matter in the end.

~ Erin

3 Reasons You Haven't Scheduled Your Family Portrait Session and Why You Should

3 Reasons You Haven't Scheduled Your Family Portrait Session and Why You Should

Because your kids aren't going to stay kids forever (and are beautiful even when they're running around), there’s no younger you than today, and there’s no time like the present. Right now, today is truly all we’re guaranteed in this life.

Guest Post: Why You Need to Print Your Photos, Rochester NY Photography

In today's world, there are more pictures taken every minute than ever before. Yet, a very small percentage of them will ever be printed. They'll live in a digital world, on a phone or a computer until that technology becomes obsolete and they'll then sadly disappear forever.

So today we're sharing another guest post, provided by Design Aglow that we hope opens your eyes to why we believe in the power of prints.

Shared from Design Aglow
It’s been a hard day. You’re tired--and let’s face it--a little cranky. OK, a lot cranky. So to cheer yourself up, you walk over to your computer and fire up the DVD of your recent family portrait session so that you can flip through the images. After seeing the slideshow playing on your tiny laptop, you can’t wait until the rest of the family comes over so that you can pass the computer around the dinner table. 

Here’s another scenario, similar to the first, except for one crucial point: those incredible, indelible images are hanging on your walls. You see them every time you walk by; you smile every time you walk by. In each room of your home, the heirloom photographic art makes your heart swell, overflowing with the investment you’ve made in your family, the investment in adding permanence to your memories.

The impulse to purchase images on a disc instead of a canvas or a print is strong. We feel as if we don’t actually own something until we possess every image from our shoot, as if the only way to experience our family is by being able to make as many reprints of them as we want.

But images on disc sit around. They become stuffed into a desk drawer, until their media is rendered obsolete and the images cannot be accessed anymore. They remain untouched, until that day when we’ll have enough time to put them in an album or print them ourselves. Finished products, on the other hand, are just that. They are ready to hang, ready to enjoy. They are instant--and constant--gratification. They are objects that can be passed down to your children, and your children’s children. The tangible nature of fine art--that it is an actual object, hanging on your wall or sitting on your coffee table--is meant for enjoyment, for experience, not to be archived on a shelf in a plastic media case. A CD of all of your images is not fine art. And the creation of fine art cannot be cheap. Crafting memories and creating personalized products that can be enjoyed for generations is a job that carries a lot of responsibility and weight, and demands finesse and skill. With professional photography, as with so much of life, you get what you pay for. Photographic art is an investment, to be sure, but it’s one that you’ll never regret.

Every day, we stress the importance of printing your photographs. We don't care if it's in a book or on the wall. We don't care if you forget our name in 20 years, as long as your pictures are printed for your children, and their children. We cannot say it enough.

FAQ: 4 Reasons Why You Need Two Photographers at Your Wedding

We frequently get asked by couples if both Lori and I will be photographing your wedding. The short answer to that is "yes, always." But some of you might be wondering "why? I mean, isn't one of you enough? I don't want my wedding to turn into a production with two photographers there."

Sure, we hear you there. But we wanted to give you a few reasons why you DO want two wedding photographers capturing your wedding day.

1:  Viewpoints
First the obvious. With two photographers you get two viewpoints of one story. Lori thrives off of her photojournalistic background, as do I, and I love to focus on making sure that romantic side of the story is told also. We may photograph things you don't realize are even happening, because you're busy somewhere else. We can cover more ground, and see more with two sets of eyes than you get with one. 

2: Relaxation
Truth time people. Weddings can be chaotic, from the moment you sit down in the makeup chair to the ceremony to family portraits to reception. It's a necessary evil to be organized so that everything runs smoothly. And with both Lori and I there, that's what happens. We can capture all of the important details, and family portraits, and bridal party fun faster when one of us is organizing what's coming up next. And in the end, all of this organization gives you, the Bride and Groom a chance to breathe, relax, and really enjoy the day together.

3: More Ninja Moves
The best compliments we receive after a wedding are along the lines of "I didn't even know you were there!" That's because, with two of us we actually AVOID being noticed. We don't need (or want) to be in anyone's face or way to get a shot, and we don't need to run around a church like maniacs trying to get different angles of the wedding ceremony. Because we're like two trained ninjas, placing ourselves at different locations in advance and then quietly moving short distances. We never need to jog from one end of a church to the other to get a shot.

4: More fun and creativity
We're two extra friends and creative minds, tagging along on your wedding day to laugh with and often at. It's our job to keep you relaxed and comfortable, for those gorgeous real expressions. Throughout the day, Lori and I create a friendly competition between each other to see who can find the most creative shot of the day. Which in the end, gives you even more amazing images. 

So, what could be bad about all of that? Not much, right? You get two creative and professional wedding photographers (ps - not a main and an assistant), who you know and have met. Two photographers who stay out of the way when needed, and who make you laugh and keep the day moving at the right times.

In my opinion, it's really a no brainer.

~ Erin

Green Practices in our Business: Photography in Rochester NY

I don't know about you, but I am pretty fond of our planet. I love being outdoors, smelling the clean air and hiking along sparkling waterways. It's our job to protect Mother Earth for the next generation, so they can enjoy her beauty as well.

So, what are we doing as a business to help the planet? I'm glad you asked!

 - We work from home, reducing auto emissions
 - We use minimal, but recycled, packaging
 - We reuse paper and packaging materials whenever possible
 - We recycle what we can't reuse
 - We send invoices and receipts electronically whenever possible
 - We use digital proofing, only printing ordered photos for less waste
 - Our marketing materials are printed on recycled papers when possible
 - We use rechargeable batteries for all of our gear
 - We shoot digital (no toxic chemicals or water waste like film)
 - We work with local printers and framers (good for the earth and the local economy!)
 - We grow our own veggies, and have even been known to give them a way! (Okay, that's not business related, but the garden is right outside the office window! Check it out next time you're here.)

We love the environment, and hope you do also! What are you doing to help the Earth? 

Here's wishing you a vibrant, green Earth Day! 

FAQ: Where should we go for my senior portrait session?

We are location based photographers. This means we shoot anywhere BUT inside a boring, stuffy studio. There's no laser light backgrounds in our lives!

Instead, we photograph our seniors in their favorite places and spaces. Do you love hanging out at the beach, or are you more at home on the ice? Or maybe you love shopping at the Rochester Public Market or cheering for the Red Wings!

Some of you may have a spot or two that fits your personality to the 'T', but others are not always sure. Maybe you know what you want the photos to feel like, but aren't sure where to find that look.

DON'T PANIC!  We've got you covered.

We have created a list of nearly 100 spots around the area that provide unique environments for your senior photos. Whether you want something urban (but safe), formal with columns, or a casual barn setting, we've got the spot. Fields, waterfalls, trails, piers, docks, flowers, you name it, we'll find it.


Still need help selecting the location for your shoot, come on in! This is one of the things we go over at your complimentary consultation. We'll get to know more about you, your interests and personality. We use that information to plan the perfect spots to visit for your senior photos.

So, what are you waiting for?  Click here to schedule your free consultation!