travel

10 Year Anniversary Session: An Italian Portrait Session

I told him we had to get up at 5:30 am for our session...on our vacation. He winced and said "ok." I know that after 10 years of marriage, there were more words he'd have liked to add to that. But he didn't and I love him for that.

"It feels like our wedding was just yesterday" isn't a true statement for me. It feels as though it was rightfully ten years ago, but not in a bad way. In a lot of ways, we're not the same people we were then.

And we're definitely not a perfect couple. Honestly, I don't know that such a thing exists. We procrastinate. We leave laundry in the basket for weeks. We have our bad habits that drive each other nuts. 

But we also have 10 (plus) years of history. He's my saving grace in times when I just can't. He lets me vent, cry and sometimes yell. He brings me flowers when I've got the flu. He's a terrific daddy to our son. He takes care of us, and loves us in his own quiet, daily ways.

To me, it feels like 10 years of building something, together - a home, a life, a family.

The quiet, practically empty square at Piazza San Marco greeted us, and all at once we knew it was worth it. There were no tourists, no vendors, no crowds - just us, and Siza (our photographer, who was amazing!!) and the beauty that is Venice in the morning.

It was instantly easy to let the romance of this moment wash over me. Was it Venice? Maybe, but more likely it was because of the realization of a dream we had shared for all 10 years of our marriage.

These photographs top any souvenir or bottle of wine we brought home from Italy. They'll live on long after the case of wine will. And they were worth every step of the last ten years.

Here's to the rest of our story,

~ Erin

PS - For you Matt, save this dance for me.
 

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

A Bucket List trip to Iceland

It was probably two years ago that my sister first suggested a trip to Iceland. My sister, AKA "Lisa the Waterfall Hunter", has a self proclaimed passion for... wait for it...you guessed it, waterfalls! She loves them all - from giant Niagara Falls to small hidden falls in the Finger Lakes.

Iceland, known as the land of fire and ice, is full of waterfalls. Really, they are everywhere! They have tall ones and wide ones, multi-tiered falls and waterfalls in caves. Not to mention the glaciers, volcanoes and northern lights!

So after many theoretical conversations about going to Iceland, it finally happened. And we convinced my parents to come along too! We rented a car and drove the Ring Road that circles the entire island. In one week, my dad and I drove 1300 miles while my mom and sister frequently yelled "Stop the car!" from the back seat.

We drove past a herd of reindeer and pastures of Icelandic horses. We walked on black sand beaches, lava fields, and glaciers. We hiked into canyons and saw more waterfalls than you could count. We swam in the Blue Lagoon and learned Icelandic history in the museums. We stayed in a variety of Air BNBs, once in the city, but mostly in the countryside.

And we made memories.

I saw my dad with a mud mask on, in a lagoon (he is not a swimmer.) Say the word "frump" to my mom and just see what happens. Lisa dressed up like the viking she longs to be, or with tears in her eyes at the base of a waterfall she has dreamt about. Unforgettable.

And with the video camera, two DSLRs and 4 iPhones... I think we managed to capture those memories. 

Here's a little peek into our adventure!
-Lori

Turtles, waterfalls and amazing views : My top 6 moments in Hawaii

Hello! It's your friendly wander-luster, Lori, here. I'm back from Hawaii and thought you might like to hear my top 6 moments from the trip. (If you followed along on Instagram @adventureswithlori, you might have seen some of these already!) I'll be posting more there as I go through the images not shot on my phone. :)

6. Queen's Bath, north shore Kauai. I had no idea what we were walking into, but this was one of those places that just made me feel small. After walking over uneven volcanic rocks to get a great view, I just sat in awe of the power of nature. The waves crashed and sent water shooting into the sky. It was beautiful and mesmerizing...

Queen's Bath, Kauai

5. Snorkeling in Hanauma Bay. I'm not a particularly strong swimmer and I have only snorkeled one other time in my life, but when in Hawaii... we just had to do it. Hanauma Bay made it very easy for me to see dozens of different kinds of fish without ever leaving the shallows. It really is a whole 'nuther world down there!

The dark areas you see in the water are coral reefs teeming with a variety of fish!

The dark areas you see in the water are coral reefs teeming with a variety of fish!

4. Hiking. I'm going to lump this all into one, but we did several hikes including the Sleeping Giant in the fog, the challenging Kalalau Trail, the Waimea Canyon trail and more. I think we averaged about 5 miles of walking/hiking per day of the trip. By the time we got to Diamond Head on Oahu, I didn't even feel out of breath.

Top: View from the Kalalau Trail, Bottom left: Waimea Canyon and Bottom right: Wakauwahi Cave

Top: View from the Kalalau Trail, Bottom left: Waimea Canyon and Bottom right: Wakauwahi Cave

3. Mountain Tubing on an old sugar plantation in Kauai. Think lazy river plus man made caves in a remote wilderness area. It was relaxing and fun! 

2. Getting up close and personal with sea turtles! I have loved turtles since I was young and it was so cool to see about a dozen of them chilling in their natural habitat. 

Sea Turtle nap time

Sea Turtle nap time

1. Swimming at the base of a waterfall after a 6.5 mile hike and having the place to ourselves! I can't tell you how amazing it feels to swim in freezing cold water after a long hike. It started to rain shortly after we arrived, but I didn't care. Cloud 9.

Hanakoa Waterfall, one of the more remote falls on the island.

Hanakoa Waterfall, one of the more remote falls on the island.

The whole trip was generally very smooth and enjoyable. Spending time with my husband away from chores and news was worth every penny. Starting every day with yoga and just being outside is good for the soul. We also enjoyed the aloha spirit (it really is a thing!), meeting other travelers at the AirBNB and eating lots of delicious food! 

Kauai was definitely my favorite island, though I am glad we got to experience Pearl Harbor and snorkeling on Oahu as well. So tell me, what is your favorite Hawaiian island and why?

Thanks for sharing in the adventure!
Lori

hawaii

Looking for more info about Hawaii? Check out this guide with answers to lots of common questions.

The Upside of 2016

The Upside of 2016

In the midst of all the challenges, it's easy to forget about all of the beautiful big and little moments that make up an entire year. Vows get exchanged, high school seniors graduate, vacations with family are taken, stories get read to little ones, kisses given to mommies, hugs from grandparents. As long as we remember to capture those moments the good will always over come the bad.

On Taking a Break : Lake George 2016

On the Saturday after we'd arrived at the cabin in the Adirondacks, I sat outside alone for an hour. I desperately tried to let go of all of the thoughts swirling around in my head. All I could think about were all of the "what ifs" that I can't control. I was supposed to be having fun, but I couldn't get out of my own way long enough to do it.

We all have those days occasionally. When it takes all of your energy to keep going, even when you're supposed to be on vacation.

Later on that same afternoon, Lucas noticed. And without a word he came to me and gave me the longest hug he ever had. It was then I knew, I had to give myself a break from all of what was still waiting for me at home. So I did. Because there was nothing I could do to change the "what ifs"  - and I didn't have much of my weekend left. 

We'd come to Lake George to spend time with friends we rarely get to see. We laughed, ate well (and ate, and ate some more), and enjoyed each other's company. We didn't even really go out that often, but just spent time catching up, relaxing, and being together.

And I realized (no, not for the first time) how very lucky I am to have so many amazing people in our lives. I whole heartedly believe in the sentiment that friends are the family you choose. They are the people who get us, who care, who accept our flaws and still remain our friends because they want to.

Miles separate us. So it's my hope that this trip becomes a new tradition to bring us together more often. Because every once in awhile, we need those friends to remind us to give ourselves a break.

~ Erin

On Inspiration and Practice

When I first began my photography journey, it was because of my love for the still image. I loved seeking out and preserving individual moments. I spent four years at RIT learning the art and science of image capture.

But when I went out on my own to start a business, and pursue the dream of self employment, I quickly learned how little I knew about being a business owner. So I joined professional groups (GRPP) and attended conferences to focus on learning how to create a sustainable business.

And for several years, I have worked on skills in marketing, social media, accounting, and bookkeeping - all in addition to making pictures. Somewhere along the line, I got comfortable, complacent in my photography skills. I know how to use my equipment inside and out, to the point that it's now second nature. I know how to pose groups and work quickly within time constraints. I am proud of all these accomplishments.

We now have amazing clients that trust us with their family legacies. And now that the business side of things is stable, I wanted to shift my focus slightly away from business and back to the art. The Inspire Photo Retreat is exactly what it sounds like, and exactly what I needed.

Erin and I traveled to Newport, Rhode Island to spend three days with photographers from all over the country in a welcoming environment. We met some amazing people, all with their own stories and situations. Some we were able to help, some helped us. It was as it sounds, inspiring.

The biggest thing I walked away with was a renewed passion for the documentary style of shooting. That is what I chose to major in way back in 2004. At Inspire, I studied with photographer Kirsten Lewis, a Denver based family photojournalist, who provided just the right amount of inspiration and encouragement to grow my personal vision.

The best part, and usually the hardest thing to do after a conference, is putting new knowledge into immediate practice. Lucky me, I got home and the next day headed out for a road trip to see friends and family. I was immediately able to practice this shooting style. Rather than using my telephoto lens (which I love), I used a 35mm lens, which forced me to get closer to my subjects.

We stayed with friends in Pittsburgh our first night, and I photographed their two kids. These are some of the moments I was able to witness with them.

Continuing on, we covered a couple more states to see our newest nephew be baptized in Kentucky. With 8 adults and 5 children under one roof, there was always something to photograph. I was able to spend time with three nieces and two nephews; playing, reading, and eating together. I wanted to capture the little moments.

So to sum up this long post: I'm reinvigorated with inspiration, and can't wait to share this with you on your next photo shoot! I'd love to know who this strikes a cord with, so if you like the documentary look, leave a comment below! 

-Lori

New Zealand, aka Panoramaland, in Print

It's here, it's here, it's here! My precious... my 8x18 inch, panoramic New Zealand book! 

Yes, this book is larger than my coffee table!

Yes, this book is larger than my coffee table!

If you were looking for me in February, you probably heard back from Erin. I was on the other side of the planet fulfilling a bucket list, trip of the lifetime. I wrote about it and shared some photos in this blog post.

But now... now I have the tangible record. Physical proof and many vibrant images to show for it. It's the coffee table book that cannot be topped. An original, custom creation, 100% designed and photographed by me. There is literally nothing else like it in the world– the size, 8x18 is when the book is closed. Once opened, it spans 8x36. Yes, that is three feet across. Why? Well, as I affectionately dubbed New Zealand "Panoramaland", it just seemed appropriate. I wanted to feel like I was there again, so I included multiple full spread panoramas that you can really immerse yourself in. 

Molley guards the book for me...

Molley guards the book for me...

One of my favorites is an image from atop Mount John, in which my husband, John, is the only human. The view is of Lake Tekapo and one of my favorite memories. Ahh, it's like being there again! So worth it. 

Here are the technical specs:

50 pages | 156 photographs | Inkjet printed in California | Two tone black cover with inset photo

Did this book cost more than my wedding album? ...maybe. Okay, yeah it did. But it is worth it. It holds the prime spot on my coffee table and brings me so much joy. It's fun to share the experience with people, reliving that trip over and over. Also, it gets me excited for my next trip, wherever that may be.

I'm not going to share the whole book here, as that would ruin the experience. But come on in, I would be thrilled to share it with you!

PS: We now offer this incredible type of printing for wedding albums too! Ask us about it!

Book Making: Ireland 2011

Hi there, it's Lori. You might not know this, but I love making books. I'm not a scrapbooker; I create my books digitally. I like using size and placement of images to tell a story rather than cheesy templates and backgrounds. They usually have a theme, which for me, is often about my travels. My favorite books are based on trips we've taken, but I do also love my wedding album!

This post is about one book in particular. This book was unique because I was not the sole designer, nor the sole photographer. You guessed it, it was a collaboration, with that Erin girl you may have heard of.

finished book covercover inset image

Crossing an Ocean

A little over two years ago (oh my, has it really been two years?), John and I decided we wanted to go to Ireland. He is Irish, so it didn't take much convincing. I just love to travel-- I'll pretty much go anywhere. We asked a few friends if anyone wanted to join us, and only one couple was crazy enough to say yes. Erin and her hubs Matt joined in on the planning and we made it the trip of a lifetime. Ten days, a rental car, B&B's, sea, sheep, Guinness, cheese, biking, hiking, driving, Guinness, windmills, picnics, and a little more Guiness... yup that about sums it up :)

Each morning, we grabbed some lenses and tried not to overlap. We shared a tripod, camera bags and batteries and made sure to take photos of each other. It was great having a photographer to capture our vacation! We even made it a goal to take one group shot every day. We ended up with thousands of memories captured between the two of us.

Our trip was in May, at the beginning of busy season. When we came back, we dove straight into work and barely got a chance to glance at our photos. It wasn't until the following winter when we really got started on our book. Erin may have learned a bit about me in the book making process, starting with when I created the layout grid in InDesign. I invited her to help create it, so we each picked our favorite photos from the trip, and combined them into chronological order. We would take turns adding pages, editing photos, and typing in our notes. It took a couple of months to create the book, but it was so worth it.

By the Numbers

11x14 inches * 72 Pages * 224 photos featured of 2500+ photos taken

Only two books were created, which were custom printed and bound by Booksmart Studio here in Rochester. Because of the page count, not many labs could handle our book, and I was just not willing to sacrifice quality or photos! Eric at Booksmart helped us pick the perfect cover and paper materials, and even did a tip in cover to feature one of our favorite images. It's simple, timeless, and has spent the last year sitting on my coffee table. It is great to pick up and relive the trip, and I also enjoy sharing it with guests. We've even had people tell us it looks like it should be in stores!

Here is a little taste of what's inside. Bon voyage!

ireland book spreadireland book Guinness storehouseireland book sceneryireland panoramicireland scenes

ireland rock of cashel

If you'd like to see the whole book, feel free to check it out at your next appointment! We're happy to show you this or any of our other custom made books. I've also got a cross country trip one, my dogs, croatia, my wedding, oh and several family and wedding album samples too. Have any questions about books? Leave 'em in the comments and I'll get back to you!