earth day

Voluntourism: Why you won't see Lori in March

As I do the paperwork to validate our commitment to 1% for the Planet, I realize, we’re doing a heck of a lot more than donating 1% of our profits. We’re donating our time too! Lori here, and ya’ll know that the environment is important to me.

I’ve written about this before…once or twice.

So this year, we’re taking it one step further.

My husband and I will be taking a few weeks in March to volunteer at Albufera Natural Park, near Valencia, Spain via GOAT Volunteers.

The journey is the destination

The journey is the destination

València’s Albufera Natural Park is one of the most ecologically important areas in all of Spain.  Its biodiversity and economic impact on the region are significant reasons to preserve this incredible collection of wetlands.  It has been declared as a place of special protection by the European Union due to the wide range of wildlife; specifically water, wading, and migratory birds including several in danger of extinction.  Albufera also supports intense agricultural (cultivation of rice), industrial, hunting, and touristic uses whose consequences have resulted in significant pollution and encroachment on the wildlife’s natural habitat.

The Environmental Conservation in Spain project focuses on helping the local teams with their recovery plan and park management & maintenance activities.  Natural “green” filters were planted to clean the water of Lake Albufera to help improve water quality and promote growth of aquatic plant and animal life.  Your days will be spent either in the water or along the trails that run through the park.  You’ll be tasked with clearing waterways, eradicating invasive plants, picking up rubbish, planting various plants to increase biodiversity, and assisting with research tasks performed by the local teams. -GOAT Volunteers

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park

So if you need anything photographed in March, Erin will be here to help you. And if you want to follow along on my and John’s adventure in Spain, find me on instagram @adventureswithlori

People I have mentioned this to have been really interested, so I asked to be an ambassador with GOAT. If you are interested in this type of voluntourism, use my name when you apply and save $25 on your application fee!

So what do you think? Is this something you would do, or are you happy to follow along from the comfort of your home? I’d love to hear your feedback now, and during the trip, so chime in on social or in the comments below!


Earth Day, Earth Month, Earth Always

walking along the erie canal

I have always loved animals, nature, and being outside.

Being a photographer, I get to incorporate that passion into a vast majority of our sessions. Turns out I'm not the only one who likes to be outside!

Since I started helping people treasure their lives through photography, I've realized a lot of those moments take place in the great outdoors. The people I have met along the way have brought me to parks, trails, and favorite vacation spots I hadn’t seen before. I often return to them after the session, to explore with my husband and dogs.

I am so incredibly grateful for these opportunities. I get to work under the clouds and trees. I get to see kids enjoying the paths and ponds, mud and bugs all around us.

So it's natural to me to want to protect what I love, and where I work. 

Our family loves to be outdoors and explore!

Our family loves to be outdoors and explore!

With a global population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, demand may surpass nature’s ability to provide, unless conservation measures are put into place today.
— Rick Crawford, Emerger Strategies |

I'd like to invite you, this Earth Day and every day, to think about your impact on our planet. Are you helping it or are you hurting it?

If you'd like a place to start, check out some of the small steps below. It wasn't all at once, but I have been building toward a more sustainable life one step at a time. Individually, perhaps is no big deal. But all together, it adds up.

  • Growing your own vegetables (our grocery bill appreciates this!)
  • Water your garden with rain water collected by a rain barrel
  • Start composting (Pretty darn easy, ask me for tips if you’re wondering!)
  • Join the NRDC, The Sierra Club, The Arbor Day Foundation, or another nature oriented cause (free address labels, if nothing else 😜)
  • Become a member of Eco System Restoration Camps (I find this start up lends me optimism when I feel despair)
  • Attend local events, such as those by the Rochester People's Climate Coalition
  • Reduce the amount of beef consumption and add more vegetarian meals to your menu (we’re certainly not vegan, but it’s something)
  • Reduce your use of cleaning solutions where soap and water will do (we're partial to Norwex for cleaning with just water).
I swear food tastes better when you grow it yourself

I swear food tastes better when you grow it yourself

Get Involved

Need some encouragement? Have questions? Leave a comment. I would be honored to be your support system along the way!

Have a great tip to share? Let us see it in the comments!

We’d love to hear what you do in your home or community to make the earth a little greener. We’re all in this together.


nature scenes

How to Make a Difference on Earth Day

Right now in the world, there are a lot of causes out there that need our attention. So many in fact, it can be downright overwhelming. While many are important, it is hard to be passionate about all of them.

The one that is very near and dear to my heart is the environment. Without a healthy planet to inhabit, everything else is infinitely more difficult to help. 

Climate change is one of the great dangers we face, and it's one we can prevent. -Stephen Hawking

So I choose to start here, and am working everyday to make my corner of Earth a little bit better. For example, I use rain water and compost in my garden, donate to environmental charities, recycle everything I can and more.

My newest goal is to help others make a difference too. 

From littering to coral bleaching, over fishing to clear cutting... animals, plants, the land itself needs our help. There are many ways to get involved.

I could go on all day about the ways the environment needs our help, but there are many other websites where you can find that information

Instead, what I want to do today is make a difference. Will you join me?

I've selected some images from my travels around the world that showcase the beauty of mother nature and why I want to help save her.

In honor of Earth Day, make a donation today and I'll send you your favorite photo to use as a desktop background image.

This will remind you, every time you sit down at your computer, what we are fighting for. It will encourage you to hold onto that plastic bottle until you can find a recycle bin, or not to use plastic at all! (A fantastic goal).

How to participate and help make a difference right now.

1. Pick your favorite environmental organization (or use mine: NRDC)

2. Make a donation of any amount.

3. Forward me ( your receipt and tell me which image A, B, C or D, you like best.

That's it! You'll have helped make a difference on Earth Day and get a free desktop background as my way of saying thank you.

So THANK YOU for reading this and taking action today. We all play a part. Now go outside and get some fresh air, hug a tree or plant one! Let's leave this planet better than we found it.


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!