rochester photographers

Sean: Penfield High School Senior & Family Pictures

Part family session, part senior session, all fun! What's better than hanging out in your backyard with your sisters and parents?

For his senior portraits, Sean wanted to keep it simple. He selected his favorite shirt, his favorite tree, and a beautiful summer night. I loved creating images for this gang of easy going people for them to cherish as Sean heads into his senior year at Penfield High School and beyond.

Say hello to Sean and family!

-Lori

2017 with LucasP: rochester photography

All honesty - 2017 wasn't my favorite year. I'm in a place right now, where I'd prefer to move forward, even though it's hard. Despite all of it's hardships, 2017 had some beautiful moments in the life of Lucas P and our journey as a family.

Lucas grew taller, his words come faster (and louder), his true personality emerging stronger every day. For weeks he wouldn't leave the house without a super hero cape or stormtrooper mask on. He still loves his trains, but now mixes his imaginary worlds together. Batman saves Thomas the Train, and Stormtroopers chase dinosaurs. Holding onto this boy's childhood moments have been a saving grace in the chaos.

Those who know me know that we experienced loss, but also immense love this year. Seriously it was intense and an other-worldly kind of love. It's the kind that leaves you dumbfounded and awestruck. I'd always known it was there, but never fully experienced and felt until this year.

If there's anything I can leave you with from this year, (other than some cute family photos) - it's this.

Don't hesitate to take the pictures. The moment might not be perfect, or the lighting not ideal, or your make up is not on. Some of the photos from this year of my life are literally the last of their kind. I'll never be able to recreate these photos. Take the picture - because someone who loves you, might need to hold onto that photo tomorrow.

These photos bring me smiles, laughs and sometimes tears. But they're reminders of a life that's full, and lived and loved. They're something else to hold on to - keeping me tethered in the storm and giving me a reminder to keep showing up, even if it's pouring.

Because when the rain finally stops, I know I'll see the rainbow.

With love, and hope for a brighter year,

Erin

Special thank You to NorthGlow Photography for our family session this year!

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

Alexander: School of the Arts Senior Portraits

Alexander is a vibrant personality. He is kind, warm, and theatrical. 

He was referred to our studio by his cousin, Grace, so I knew this would be a fun session! We explored the Sunken Gardens and Highland Bowl together to make some senior portraits that would fit his characteristics perfectly.

Check them out - oh and wish him luck as the LEAD in Little Shop of Horrors this year! Congratulations Alexander!

-Lori

Ryan + Danielle: Statler City Wedding Photography

Everything about Danielle and Ryan's Buffalo wedding felt grand and beautiful- just as it was supposed to!  From the beautiful church ceremony to the classic, ballroom setting at Statler City.

I loved the way he looked at her as she came down the aisle, arm in arm with her Dad. And I loved how she beamed back at him as well. All day long, they laughed, kissed and loved with all that they have.

There was a gorgeous, romantic 1920's feeling about the day, and Ryan and Danielle were at the center of that beautiful romance. It was truly a day to remember always.

"There is all types of love in this world, but never the same love twice." (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

Danielle and Ryan, yours is a beautiful love, unlike any other. Congratulations!

~ Erin

The Vendors!
Hair & Makeup:
Kristi Inzinga & Allie Lodato
Flowers: Mary Rose, Essential Element Flowers
Ceremony: First Presbyterian
Reception: Statler City, Buffalo NY
Bakery: Muscoreil's
Videography & DJ: Soundwave
Transportation: S&S Limo

Vince + Amanda: Lockport Canalside Wedding Photography

When we first met with Amanda and Vince, they told us they wanted their wedding day to be different. After being wedding guests countless times, they wanted their day to be something unique.

Amanda looked stunning in her gold trimmed gown as she walked up behind Vince for their first look. I typically encourage a first look if I can, but it was even more helpful on this day - as rain began minutes after we finished up their portraits. It was such a relief to have all of our important photographs completed in the nick of time.

It rained through their (covered, thankfully) ceremony, but stopped just in time for a super fun, boat cruise down the canal for cocktail hour. We traveled through the Lockport Lock system on the Erie Canal and back to the venue for dinner and dancing. It was such a great way to start their celebration.

Amanda and Vince, it was so much fun to capture this day for you. Thank you for being you, and for planning a day that was not only beautiful, but fun for everyone involved.

As your cake topper so perfectly put it - and so the adventure begins! Congratulations!

~ Erin

Thanks to these vendors who helped complete this day!
Hair: Tiffany Torres
Makeup: Tiffany Ramos
Florist: Stacy K Floral
Venue: Lockport Canalside
Officiant: Pastor Dan Brown
Bakery: Rachael B Cupcakes
DJ: DJ ET Music, Evan Tavelaris
Transportation: Q Tours

Why I'm a Photographer: Reason #937 and counting

It was almost three years ago when we set up his crib. I was still pregnant, so it didn't seem real yet. How could I possibly know at that point, what placing my baby in that crib would feel like?

But now, night after night he's slept (mostly) peacefully in that crib. I do know how it feels to rub his back as his eyes close, say good night, and tell him I love him.

You know the saying. All good things must... right?

This. Is. Why. I. Take. Pictures.

Because tomorrow we'll put him to bed in a "big boy bed" for the first time. I blinked a few dozen times and he again changed before my eyes.

No, I didn't miss any of it - I was there the whole time. But now, that particular feeling of him as "a baby" will begin to fade. As time passes, my pictures of him will remind me of that feeling. They will become even more invaluable.

Nothing in this life stays the same for long, right? I know more changes are on the horizon for us. I may not know exactly when, but when it does, I'll have this moment captured forever.

Change is inevitable, for you and for me. It's sometimes hard to accept, but it's a natural progression in life.

What changes are coming your way? What do you want to capture before it does?

This is why I take your pictures.

~ Erin

The O'Connor Family: An Extended Family Portrait Session

Grandparents, parents, kids, grandkids, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews - all in one place, at one time. For some families that's a near miracle.

We've photographed Rosanne and her family before, but this time was different. Because it's a rare occurrence for them all to be together, and for this family it was a privilege to photograph for them.

So they gathered at The Century Club in downtown Rochester, and we captured the whole family together. They're so kind and fun, and one of the easiest large group portraits we've ever had the opportunity to photograph.

Here's a few of the images that we were happy to capture of this great family. Enjoy!

~ Erin

Amanda & Vince: Black Creek Park Engagement Session

Oh these two. From the minute I heard that they got engaged on the top of the EIffel Tower, I knew they were adventurous and up for anything. They love to travel and they love hiking and exploring with their big love able dogs, Jude and Shadow.

They wanted something of a winter wonderland for their engagement session - but of course, we live in Upstate NY where even in December you never know what you're going to get. They took us to their favorite spot in the woods at Black Creek Park in Chili, and while the day was a little dreary, when we ventured into the woods together none of that mattered. 

I loved the sweet way Vince smiled at Amanda, and then the way she would laugh at him or even on occasion stick her tongue out at him to get him laughing too.

We may have found the right light and background - but they made their engagement session about who they are together. Fun, adventurous but also sweet and romantic all at the same time.

We're just the lucky ones to get to show that off.

~ Erin

My Favorite Family Portrait: Allegany State Park

My Favorite Family Portrait: Allegany State Park

Yet I have one of my favorite family portraits. It's not posed perfectly. My son is taking off his shoes (one of his favorite activities these days). And we certainly didn't coordinate our clothes that morning. Heck, half of us were lucky we'd even showered. Makeup? Forget it.

I don't care, I still love the results.

For Photographers: How to survive wedding season...

This one goes out to all of our fellow photographers and wedding vendors!

We got into this job because we love the people, the moments, and the excitement of a wedding day. However, it doesn't take long to start feeling the effects of the long days. Aching shoulders, bad backs, tired legs and thumb blisters (yes, that's a real thing). Oh, and let's not forget to mention sun burns, bug bites, and grass stains on every piece of clothing we own.

But if you are like me, you still love it! Through all the aches and craziness, I still love capturing this once in a lifetime day for the amazing clients we have the privilege to serve.

We need to take care of our bodies

So, if we want to stay in the industry more than a few years, we need to take care of our bodies, right? So, how do you do that? Everyone has their own method. And if you don't have one, you need one! I have found mine in yoga.

When I did my very first photography internship with Neil Sjoblom years ago, I learned about everything from lighting, to editing and people skills. But I still remember the day he told me to take care of my back.

I believe he had just come back from the chiropractor. Even though I was young and pain free, I took his advice and purchased a rolling bag to prevent future shoulder pain. I later invested in the Spider Holster system to take the weight off my shoulders and move it to my hips. These two pieces of equipment are some of the best investments I have ever made.

Step two for me, has become yoga. My path to daily yoga was not a straightforward one.

My first experience with yoga was in college, and as much as I wanted to like it, I thought it was strange and uncomfortable. I drifted away from it for a few years, and then tried again at a handful of different local studios.

I'm not sure exactly how it happened, but this is my best guess:
 One day, I didn't want to leave the house to go to class, so I searched online for yoga classes. I did one with Jillian Michaels, and a few others whose names I have since forgotten. Then I found Yoga with Adriene. I instantly connected with her personality and yoga style and subscribed to her channel. I mixed at home yoga with classes for quite a while. 

Yoga on the beach!

Yoga on the beach!

The Game Changer: Daily Yoga

Then, two January's ago she announced a new program: 30 Days of Yoga. This was the turning point for me. As someone who still only practiced 1 or 2 times a week, this was a challenge to do yoga 30 days in a row.

It was truly a game changer. Never had I ever felt so flexible, so confident and just plain good about myself. Since then, I have become much more dedicated and try to practice every day.  At this point, I am a 5-6x a week yogi. I like to start my day with yoga, and sometimes practice before bed too! When I don't practice, my body reminds me. I've learned to listen to my body, and give it what it needs. 

 

Yoga for Photographers

Somewhere along the line, I tried the Creative Live Course: Yoga for Photographers with Vanessa Joy. She put things into photographer terms, and offered some ideas specific to our field.

Now, yoga is a must for me before and after a wedding. I do lots of stretching which gets my body ready, and the slow pace and meditation gets me mentally ready. At the end of the day, I'm usually wound up from the excitement, so yoga calms me back down and stretches me out so I can sleep.

I have even been known to do some stretching DURING a wedding! If I can sneak off for 5 minutes and find an out of the way spot, I can stretch my legs, do some forward folds and feel energized for the rest of the night. It is seriously transformative, and I cannot recommend it enough.

If you have tried yoga in the past and didn't like it, maybe you just need a different instructor. There are so many styles and forms of yoga, I believe there is something for everyone, you just have to find it. 

For me, yoga is my secret weapon for surviving wedding season.

What works for you?
-Lori

Courtney and Scott: Rochester NY Engagement Session at Amore

I'll admit it, I wasn't sure what to expect when Courtney mentioned they'd like to do their engagement session at Amore. I mean, it's in a Wegmans after all. I knew that technically it's set apart from the grocery store, but there was something odd about pulling into the grocery store parking lot to photograph something so romantic.

But Scott and Courtney spend a lot of time at the bar at Amore, so it really fit them perfectly. And the bar setting gave us sooooo many intimate and beautiful options! You seriously can't even tell there's a bustle of activity happening just steps away.

After a glass of wine, we ended our evening at Cobbs Hill with a little greener setting. It was so fun to watch them go from romantic to a more playful side as our time together concluded.

We're so thrilled to be able to witness and capture their upcoming wedding day. We've known Courtney for awhile, and have already been to one of their family's weddings - so I know this wedding will be just as amazing!