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,

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

FAQ: Wedding Photography, What's Our Style?

What's our Style? It's very a common question. It's a question that every wedding website and bridal magazine in town tells couples to ask.  A common answer from a photographer might simply be: "photojournalistic."

That's a great answer. However, we feel that there's a bit more to a photography style, and a wedding day than strictly photojournalism. Which is where we come in, because we believe that our style is composed of two distinct roles as a photographer. One where both of us are fully able to fill both roles.

Our wedding photography is a beautiful blend of the romance you want to see in each other, and the documentary style of photography that tells the story as it's happening candidly. All the while, our focus is on the relationships that matter to you.

As you look through our wedding portfolio page, you'll see what we mean.

You'll also notice that our images are clean and timeless. Do we offer black and white? Yes, because it's a classic look. That said, we purposely choose NOT to use faded filters and effects on our images. Why? Because we don't follow fads. Because when you look back at your wedding album in 25 years, you don't want to say "Oh look, the Instagram Era." Your album will always look timeless.

Because a wedding is more than just one style of photography. Between the two of us, we each have an eye and a love for both!

Two viewpoints, to tell one timeless story - yours.

FAQ: 3 Reasons You Really Should Have an Engagement Session

Our wedding collection includes an engagement session. By now, everyone who doesn't live under a social media rock knows what they are. Naturally, we believe they are not only important, but necessary. As clients, you either love the idea, or you don't. If you're leaning toward "don't", this message is for you.

Here's our top 3 reasons for including an engagement session:

1) It's an experience you deserve to have: It's an hour of time for you together, totally dedicated to your relationship. It's a date that as you're going along, you didn't realize you were having. It's FUN. Seriously... even our stuffiest, most nervous of grooms have had fun with it. 

2) So You'll Laugh More: Laughing means you're relaxed, and relaxed means you'll be yourself. No one, I repeat, NO ONE is a natural in front of the camera. Even us photographers, with years of posing experience get flustered when the camera points our way. What helps? Getting to know each other better.

The goal is to raise your comfort level so you won't be as nervous about a little P.D.A. with your fiance. And if I'm being honest - if we're going to spend a full day together at your wedding, I'd kind of want to know who you are too.

3) To learn to be more like Tyra Banks: You know all of those beautiful wedding portraits you're seeing everywhere? Here's a little insider secret: Those don't always just "happen." 

I know you want the "photojournalistic-we-just-happen-to-be-posed-perfectly" photograph - but to be honest sometimes, you need a little help. And that's ok.  

Coaching happens in an engagement session (in a non-"say cheeeeese!" way), so that on the biggest day of your life, you already know what will make you look your best.  That's how those perfect wedding portraits are created more naturally (and quickly- so you can get to the party!).

So, do you and your partner know what you're doing already, and what flatters you best? If so, awesome, you might be eligible for America's Next Top Model. If not... do the engagement session.

Honestly, we feel that engagement sessions are a huge benefit to creating more natural, gorgeous wedding photographs. We really believe in them. We hope you do too.