rochester ny photographers

Rochester NY Proposal Photography: Jenn and Steph

Jenn called me a few days before in hopes that we were available to capture this momentous occasion in their lives. A scavenger hunt was afoot - and Stephanie had no idea it was about to happen.

Jenn had selected locations based on moments in their relationship for Stephanie to find her next clue, as well as their parents. She had gathered everyone together so that she could propose to Stephanie in the most romantic way possible.

The scavenger hunt ended at the Strathallan in Rochester NY, where Jenn got down on one knee and proposed to Stephanie. It was truly a beautiful thing to witness and share in this time of their lives.

Jenn and Steph, I wish you nothing but the best for a future of adventures together. Congratulations on your engagement!

Highlights from Valencia & Barcelona, Spain

There was a request for photos from our trip to Spain, and well, twist my arm!

Most of our trip was spent in Valencia - the Tancat de la Pipa to be exact. That’s where we volunteered, working to restore Lake Albufera and it’s surrounding areas. Our group was specifically working to clean up the lagoons, which supply lake with clean water.

Every day, we traveled down the bumpy dirt road to our project site. Each day we received a different assignment which brought us all around the lagoons. We moved plants, weeded, monitored water levels and waded in to plant aquatic grasses, and it felt great to be making a difference. There are only three full time staffers working this large area, and without volunteers, they simply wouldn’t be able to get it all done.

We weren’t alone. We met volunteers from California, and also local college students getting hands on experience. We traded stories about our cultures while we worked, learned new words and developed friendships. If we had traveled from place to place on a tour bus, we never would have made these genuine connections. This was by far my favorite part of the trip. We got to make an ecological difference while enjoying the sunshine and making friends.

While we were there, Valencia was celebrating Las Fallas. This festival, dedicated to St. Joseph, is several days long. While I had read about this in advance, I truly had no idea how BIG it was. Our volunteer hosts going out of town for the long weekend should have thrown up some red flags, but we had no idea.

Las Fallas is not just a four day festival like I had read - but a month long one. We arrived the week before the festival officially began and were greeted with daily fireworks in the streets. We saw hundreds of ninots (large sculptures) get assembled. And as the festival drew near, we were treated to concerts outside of our window from 12-4am. And on the last day, they burn down all the sculptures!

Despite the noise and festival crowds, I always felt safe. We walked or took the subway around the historic city. We saw mile-long parades of people in traditional dress, carrying flowers to a create a several story tall living monument. (Think Rose Bowl Parade.) We saw the holy grail, the beach, and the largest aquarium in Europe. In Valencia, we were both travelers and volunteers.

Leaving Valencia, we spent a weekend in Barcelona before coming home. Here, we did a 180 and became tourists, taking the open top bus to see all the city highlights. We took a day trip to Montserrat in the mountains and finished with a guided tour of La Sagrada Familia. If you aren’t familiar with Gaudi’s famous structure, go Google it right now. Seriously. I have been in the Vatican, and I would say this church is far more stunning.

We certainly enjoyed our time in Spain and the Tancat de la Pipa! If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about volunteering abroad, I highly recommend you check out Goat Volunteers. They have over 60 projects to choose from in 14 countries. And, if you mention my name when you apply, you can save $25!

So, if you have been to Spain, what was your favorite part? And if not, where should we go next!?

Talk to you soon,

The Rock: Rochester NY Photographers

It was a random day in August and my day to pick up Lucas from daycare. When I arrived, the kids were all outside on the playground. As Lucas and I turned to leave, one of his friends, Alex ran over to Lucas to gave him a hug, and a rock from the ground as a parting gift. Lucas held that rock the whole way home, and then he left it in the cup holder of his car seat for safe keeping.

It was a cute moment, but one that a parent can easily shrug off. But Lucas didn’t.

He loved that rock, and looked for it every time he got in the car. He would panic if he lost it on the floor. He’s held on to it all these months.

What was it about that rock that he loved so much? I don’t know for sure, because four year olds aren’t rational. It’s something so simple and small yet it’s something he treasures because Alex gave it to him.

The lesson I saw in all of this was to truly treasure the small things. Sometimes the gifts we get aren’t what we thought they would be. Every hug and smile is a gift. Sometimes all it takes is a rock to make someones day.

Merry Christmas friends, here’s hoping you get your tiny rock this year.

~ Erin


Sisters at Schoen Place: Pittsford NY Family Portraits

It was 85 degrees in mid September, and it was only 10:00 am. They were a little sleepy from the night before. But Mom and Dad promised them ice cream from Pittsford Dairy Farms if they were good for their family pictures at Schoen Place.

Not only were they good, they hammed it up for me as often as possible. They shared their latest ballet moves, hugged and played along the canal like professionals.

I’d say that they most certainly earned their ice cream before lunch. :)

~ Erin

Apple Picking at The Apple Farm: Portrait Membership Program

Wow - what a night we just had for our Apple Picking membership event. The craziness of chasing families through the apple orchards was so much fun! When I say chasing, I mean some of the kids were literally racing through the rows of trees. And yes, mine was one of them.

This is our second year of this particular event and it was also our most attended ever. The Apple Farm in Victor is a great stop for apples and pumpkins, and we took advantage of a great Sunday afternoon with each one.

At one point I heard my husband say “wow, this is actually kind of surreal.” and I asked him to explain. He went on to talk about how we’ve watched not only our own child grow and change from year to year - but each of the other kids and other families as well.

We know more than their names. We know their favorite stuffed animal’s names, we know which ones love to run and which ones love to snuggle and be shy. We know how to get some of them laughing, and we’ve watched each one come out of their shell a little more each month.

It’s an honor and a privilege to be part of so many families lives. We’ve watched them let their guard down and share real, unposed moments in front of us. It’s a privilege that comes with time and a growing relationship because of our membership program.

Thank you to our families for coming out, and enjoying time with each other, and letting us be part of the fun too.

~ Erin

PS - if you want to see what this program is all about, join us at our next event on October 28th at Wickham Farms!

Tinker Park Family Portraits: Two Year Old Chloe!

Ella the elephant was an important part of this particular family portrait session. After all, she's two year old Chloe's BFF. I can't say that I blame them, they are pretty darn cute together. Especially when Chloe felt that Ella was hungry and should have a dandelion snack.

Chloe always keeps us on our toes. She loved finding flowers and leaves at Tinker Park in Henrietta. She also loved playing with her birthday balloons and the end of the session.

A portrait session with a two year old is kind of like a race. It's a fun game of chase, because two year olds have a love for exploring. Chloe is a natural explorer with a smile that lights up the world around her.

And we just love capturing that smile.

~ Erin

Beach Fun with Family: Portrait Membership Program

I honestly don't know how else to say it - our members ROCK. They get it, they get us and every time we see them it just gets better and better.

The photographs we take at these events are of real life. These kids are real, and their parents let them be that real because way back in the back of their minds, they know that these are the moments they'll forget over time.

They'll forget that big excited grin as they run to the water fully clothed. They'll forget collecting shells and feathers and rocks along the shore. They'll forget how watching their kids play makes them feel, no matter how crazy the day was up to that point. They might even forget that sticky mess of an ice cream cone, melted all over their face, clothes and shoes (though, not anytime soon.)

Except - This night they won't forget, because these photographs will be there to remind them. This moment in their children's lives is now captured, preserved, and forever cherished in photographs.

This event might have been one of my all time favorites - a perfect night for sand, sun, waves and ice cream.

If you want to remember that messy but happy face, if you want to remember the moments in between the dressed up portrait sessions - you should be here, with us.

Active and fun two year old portraits: Webster NY Photographer

Alaina and her family have been part of our membership program since Alaina was born. It's been amazing to watch her turn into this bubbly little girl. Witnessing and capturing growth, not only in Alaina's size but as a family is a beautiful experience. 

Picking flowers, climbing benches, playing peek a boo - really, is there a better way to spend a morning with a two year old? I think not.

Her eyes light up with happiness when she's playing. And that laugh, I swear you can almost hear it in these photographs. 

Check them out, you'll see what I mean!

~ Erin

Travel Theme Wedding Details: Finger Lakes Wedding Photography

Last year we photographed some pretty awesome weddings. After going through some of our favorites, I noticed something pretty interesting. Many of our couples have a love for travel.

Coincidentally, so do we. Swapping travel stories is actually one of Lori's favorite things to do. So our conversations with our couples roll pretty easily about all of the different places we've been to or want to visit in the future.

Even better though has been all of the ways our brides and grooms incorporated their wanderlust into their wedding.

We've seen world maps and globes used as guest books. We've seen favorite Finger Lakes vacation spots used elegantly as table numbers. Vintage vacation photos adorned dining tables. We've even photographed a garter complete with a compass decoration.

I think the moral of the story is - if you want to go places with your wedding day there are so many ways you can do it!

Safe Travels!

~ Erin

Brighton Family Portraits at Home

A family with three kids under 8 is always on the move. Running, playing, and goofing around were all a part of their family portrait session at their home in Brighton.

We pulled out all the stops to get everyone in one location at the right time. There was silliness and a lot of gummies to go around. 

Their perfect Saturday sounds pretty amazing. They like to have a big family breakfast in the morning, then take an adventure together. At the end of the day they come home for a family movie night.

Where do we sign up? Because we want in on all of it.

~ Erin

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,