6 Tips for Back to School Pics

It’s that time of year. If your Facebook newsfeed looked anything like mine did on Monday, you know that the start of a new school year is highlighted by new backpacks and sneakers, anxious youngsters with cautiously optimistic smiles, and doting parents who want to capture this fun/emotional/exciting milestone!

Whether it was your first day back to school last week, this week, or is coming up after Labor Day, here are 6 tips for creating fun back to school photos that highlight this time of year for you and your child.

  1. Take a photo in the same spot each year. Our front porch seems to be our go-to spot. Try to find a backdrop that is minimal and won’t distract from the subjects too much. It’s fun to see how they grow and change in that same space each year.Image_Lori Fuller Photography
  2. Get them while they’re moving. If you walk to school, show the route you take. If your kids get on the bus, have them strike a pose as the bus is pulling up to the stop. If you’re lucky, you may capture a special moment like this where my kids were holding hands and smiling (now I would have to bribe them to do this). The oversized backpacks are especially photo worthy as they not only show off current trends and styles, but they are ridiculously cute on small humans.Image_Lori Fuller Photography
  3. Tell the story with details. Take a couple of shots of the school building or playground, the inside of the classroom or hallway, and even their little lunch boxes with special love notes! I wish I had more of these kind of photos from my own school days because you don’t always remember these little things, and I think they are a fun way to tell the story.Image_Lori Fuller Photography
  4. Photograph through the tears (yours and theirs). I’ve shared this one before, but I love it so much that I’m sharing again. We sometimes don’t want to photograph someone when they’re sad or upset, but the power this image has over me brings me to tears just as I’m typing this. I remember clearly what a big step this was for him, how difficult it was for him, and yet he did it…and he had a dear friend helping him through it.Image_Lori Fuller Photography
  5. Friends Rule. Remember who their best pals were in elementary school, even when they get older and they find your “everyone get together” command highly annoying.Image_Lori Fuller Photography
  6. Get in there! Whether it’s a more traditional, posed shot or something a little more candid (like this one), you owe it to yourself and your little ones to get in the photos with them! You will never regret being in photos with your kids…promise!Image_Lori Fuller Photography

Happy Back to School Days!

xo,

Lori

Photo Adventure Mini Camps for Kids

Does your child want to learn how to take better photos? Do you need a few hours to run errands? I’ve created Photography Mini Camps this summer to benefit both kids and stay-at-home parents!

Mini camps are two-day sessions for kids 8+ who want to learn photography in a fun, hands-on way! We’ll meet at a local park and after discussing concepts, we’ll be out “in the field” taking photos and putting new photo skills to use. Spaces are limited, and the July session is almost booked up. Email me to reserve your child’s spot!

Kids in the Bay Area taking photos

What I Learned from Alex P. Keaton

It was somewhere around 3 or 4 in the morning. I found myself flipping channels to distract from the insomnia I was once again experiencing. As I clicked the remote, I stopped at an old familiar favorite. If you watched TV in the 80’s you probably remember the sitcom Family Ties. It’s the story of two liberal parents, their conservative son Alex, and his two younger sisters, Mallory (a boy crazed fashionista) and Jennifer (the most mellow and normal of the bunch).  I was happy to see these familiar characters on in the wee hours of the morning when I needed a distraction to occupy my nonstop brain.

As I watched the opening credits, I found myself viewing one particular scene with a whole new perspective. In a few brief shots, you see the Keaton’s all sitting on the couch together, flipping through a photo album. All at once, the scene was so familiar to me because I had watched this show a million times growing up, yet it seemed so foreign to see a group of people sitting together looking at a photo album. Then I wondered, why does it seem so foreign…and does it have to?

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Photo source: YouTube

A photo album is a tangible piece of family history. It highlights birthday parties and summer vacations and graduations and weddings and births and anniversaries and ordinary, everyday moments. It showcases children growing up and parents getting older (whether we like it or not) and triggers something within us to see this passage of time in such a way that gives us pause.

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that I get really excited when my clients choose to let me design an album for them from our session. I get excited because I know that, as my clients, you are receiving an heirloom product that can be held, flipped through, and handed down from parents to children to grandchildren. It highlights this small moment in time and tells your family story as it looks right now.

In a time when there is so much focus on technology and devices, I want to bring the simple act of flipping through an album together back! I want you to run your hands over a linen cover and let the sturdy pages pass through your fingers where your images have been preserved through archival-quality papers and inks. I want to create the opportunity for you to sit together for a few brief minutes in your crazy, busy day and smile as you recall the moments documented. I want you to not be worried about images being lost forever because hard drives crashed, images weren’t archived properly and prints were never made. I want you to have this tangible product to enjoy and look at and hold and pass down for years to come.

With this in mind, I have made some exciting changes to the structure of my product offerings and have curated packages that include, in addition to thoughtfully chosen prints and digital files, a custom album design. When you choose Package One, you’ll receive The Classic Album, which showcases 20 images of your choice from your family photo session (one image per page). Packages Two and Three include The Storyteller Album, which highlights up to 30 images displayed in a custom designed layout.

Day in the Life Photos with Lori Fuller Photography

The Storyteller Album highlights your photo session by creating unique page designs that tell your family story.

family in front of house in upstate new york

The Classic Album beautifully displays one image per page, leaving plenty of white border space for a clean, modern look.

I am excited about offering different package options now and can’t wait to photograph your family and design a custom family album for you! Ready to book your session? Click here to get started. If you book by July 31, 2016 you’ll receive complimentary engraving on the front cover of your album – perfect for adding your family name, the date, or both!

The First Day (and the last one, too)

“I bet we can all agree that the first day of a new school can be frightening, right? Well if you had that feeling you’re not alone. I was so scared I was kind of crying! I turned and waved to my parents as we entered the building. I was nervous. New kids. New teachers. I had no idea what it would be like. Each day I started to feel more safe and even made some friends. After a few weeks I learned this was a great school and we had lots of privileges most schools don’t get. And I was also happy that the teachers helped me try new activities. Thank you RHS for giving me the will to try new things and making sure I always feel safe.”

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First Day of Kindergarten

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Last Day of 5th Grade

The Photo I Can’t Stop Looking At

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Photo credit: Tamara Lackey Photography

Being an 11-year old boy can be tough. Being the mom of one can be just as tough. It seems like every stage of parenting has had its struggles, but this one is different. There is such a push-pull relationship between desire for independence and freedom, yet the need for morning cuddles and reassurance of his “place” in this world. As he is figuring things out, so am I. I’ve spent the last eleven years of his life trying to protect, shield, guide, nurture, kiss and hug away every unsafe, negative, hurtful and harmful thing. But I know it’s time for me to let go a bit more, just like with every stage before this, and let him continue paving his own way. We are navigating these pre-teen years together and some days are, without a doubt, more challenging than others. This is why I gasped, then teared up, then stared at this photo of us for a really ridiculously long amount of time. It speaks volumes to me about our relationship right now and I am beyond grateful to Tamara Lackey who captured this photo of us during her most recent workshop in San Francisco.

It was actually this photo that inspired the idea of the Mama and Me sessions I am hosting on Sunday, June 5 here in Oakland. I believe wholeheartedly that we need to exist in photos with our children. We need to see ourselves fully present and engaged with these young humans as a way of celebrating our love and lives together. I have also learned (from experience) that we sometimes spend so much time taking care of others that we don’t take care of ourselves. This is why these sessions were not only designed to capture Moms with their children but to give Moms some time to be spoiled and pampered with a makeover, some quiet time, and a swag bag of goodies. Special thanks to Wendy of Mio Salon whom I’m teaming up with for hair styling and makeup, as well as the following small businesses who generously donated the following swag bag goodies for every Mama who signs up:

25% off any Pilates class with Bonnie Machuca at PrecisionPoint Pilates

a complimentary mini facial OR brow waxing by Feliz Dubois of Feliz Dubois Skincare

2 for 1 offer on individualized yoga classes with Katy Fox of We Are Movement

You’ll find a few other special surprises in the swag bag, too! We’ve got a few spots left so contact me at lori@lorifullerphotography.com to reserve your space!

Mothers Day gift photo session

 

Living with Intention

Image_Lori Fuller PhotographyLast week I had to go to the dentist to have my night guard realigned (gum recession is REAL, people!) and the appointment ended up taking longer than expected. I intentionally left my phone in my purse – on the windowsill away from my chair – so I wouldn’t be distracted or tempted to aimlessly kill time looking at the screen. The dentist was in and out of the exam room making adjustments to the apparatus, so I could’ve easily used the extra time to check email or social media. Instead, I decided to just sit and be still. To close my eyes and take deep breaths, something I don’t do nearly enough. When the dentist was in the room, we chatted about our kids, schools, the housing market, the trials and tribulations of living in the Bay Area, and so on. As he worked, he talked about some of the stresses happening in his life while I listened. I empathized with what he was saying and I tried to offer advice. But mostly I was just there, fully present, actively listening and engaged in that moment. When it was time for me to go, I went to the receptionist to pay my bill. She disappeared to the back for a moment when the dentist called her. She returned to the front with a slight grin on her face, took her pen to the bill I was looking at on the counter, crossed out the amount due and wrote the words “thank you.”

I have not stopped thinking about this incident. Had I been distracted with my phone or my own stresses, I would’ve missed out on having a rich conversation and experience with someone whom I typically see for about five minutes every six months. Had I not made the intention to be fully engaged authentically, I wouldn’t have received such a generous gift. I believe amazing experiences and unexpected surprises can happen when we are fully aware and present in a moment, and when we make intentional choices to do – or not do – something.

This week I began a three month journey working with an accountability group where the expectation is to be fully present, engaged and authentic with a small group of women entrepreneurs. The belief is that the more you show up and the more you put in, the more you’ll get back in terms of reaching your potential with clarity of your dreams and success in your business and life. The commitment I’ve made to this course, as well as my experience at the dentist, emphasizes my passion for living life with intention and purpose, both personally and professionally. This month I’ll be focusing on living with intention, and I hope you’ll join me! Feel free to share any ways you live with intention – I’d love to hear from you!

xo,

Lori

Mama and Me Sessions

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Most of the moms I know love being pampered. We also simply adore our kids (most of the time – wink wink) and we treasure the rare photos that we have together with just us and them. I’m not often IN the photos since I’m the one usually taking them. Admittedly, it’s even more rare for me to want to be in the photos because I usually have no makeup on and the four hours of sleep I got the night before are really shining through in the form of bags under my eyes. But I’ve been professionally photographed now with my family on a few occasions and the photos I have of my children and I together always give me chills. They tell a story that I don’t always see, one that sometimes feels like it is quickly fading away as they get older. I feel this sense of relief that I have these fleeting moments documented in time by someone else who was there capturing a real, authentic moment between us. It also helped that I took the time to have hair and makeup done by a professional so that I could look and feel my best.

I believe every mom should have this experience, which is why I’m offering a special MAMA and ME day of sessions! Just in time for Mother’s Day gift-giving, these sessions are designed to get moms IN the photos with their kids. They are also designed to give each mom the gift of time to herself, and to spoil her in a much more meaningful way than flowers or chocolates ever will!

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Mothers Day gift photo session

I’ve partnered with local businesses to bring this amazing day of mini shoots to my community. Mini sessions include hair blowout and makeup application by Wendy of Mio Salon, a 20-minute session for moms and kids, styling assistance and your choice of two packages. I’ve also received some amazing donations from various businesses and each mom will receive a swag bag of goodies!

I am only booking a handful of these sessions on Sunday, June 5, so be sure to RSVP for this event quickly. Please send an email to lori@lorifullerphotography.com with Mama and Me in the subject line.

Want to give as a gift to that special mom in your life? Gift certificates are available and come in perfectly packaged envelopes, ready for gift-giving on Mother’s Day! PSSST…it’s this Sunday, May 8th!

Hair and makeup services are for one mom per session. Additional services are $75 each per person.
May not be combined with other offers.
The collection of sales tax is required and is not included.

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Photography Summer Camp for Kids :: Alameda, CA Photographer

Summer Camp_Oakland_Lori Fuller PhotographyLooking for a fun summer camp for the kids? I’ll be teaching Photography Camp once again this summer and I couldn’t be more excited about it! During these one-week sessions, students will learn the basics of photography and composition. They’ll learn how to use their cameras and will spend most of the time out “in the field” practicing the skills they’ve learned. At the end of the week, they’ll take home a better understanding of the way their cameras work and how to see the world through photography. They’ll also take home a Photography Field Guide, a tangible custom guide that they will create all week at camp.

Summer camp is being offered through the Alameda Education Foundation and will take place at Haight School, 2025 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda 94501.

Camp for grades 6-8 will take place from 8:30am-12:30pm June 27-July 1.

Camp for grades 3-5 will take place from 8:30am-12:30pm July 11-15.

Enroll before April 30 to receive a $20 discount!

Although I am not in charge of registering students, you can easily do so by clicking this link:  http://alamedaeducationfoundation.org/ (click the blue Summer Camps button on left)

Here are just some of the fun moments from last years Photography Summer Camp! Hope to see your camper this summer!

A Gift for YOU on MY Birthday // Oakland, CA Photographer

birthday giveaway_lori fuller photography

Rather than begrudgingly admit that it’s my birthday, I am trying to embrace the thought of getting another year older in my own way! I have once again collaborated with a local business to create a photo session package giveaway!  Woot woot! Read on to find out more and learn how YOU can be a part of it!

My Birthday Giveaway!


WHAT’S INCLUDED:

-Hair styling and makeup application by the very talented Wendy Ventresco of Mio Salon (located in Oakland’s Montclair district)

-A 25-minute “Update your Profile” session. We’ll create fun (or serious), smiley (or straight-faced) awesome (or even more more awesome) images that you’ll use to update your social media, website, blog, dating site…basically anywhere you need an updated and fabulous photo showing off fabulous YOU!

-three high-resolution digital files of your choice

Entire package value: $450

HOW TO ENTER (you must complete all three steps in order to participate):

1. Follow or “like” Lori Fuller Photography on at least two of these social media sites:

2. Sign up for the LFP newsletter here.

3. Leave a comment on this blog post telling us that you’ve completed steps 1, 2 and 3. ALSO, please answer this question:
What is your favorite chocolate?

THE (MIGHTY FINE) PRINT: No purchase necessary. Giveaway ends at 11:59pm Friday, March 4. Winner will be randomly selected on Saturday, March 5. Offer has no cash value. May not be combined with other offers. Hair styling and photo session will take place in Oakland, CA on a mutually agreed upon date in spring 2016. If you are a teen under 18 years of age, please get your parent’s approval. By signing up for our newsletter, you agree to receive occasional emails from LFP. Your email address will never be shared.

Mio Salon_Oakland_Image_Lori Fuller Photography

5 Tips for Staying Strong :: PrecisionPoint Pilates, Oakland CA :: Lori Fuller Photography

One of the ways we can practice SELF care is by paying attention to what certain things are doing to our bodies. Many of us have jobs that require sitting, a LOT of sitting, which has a negative impact on our bodies. People were meant to move! I reached out to my friend and client, Bonnie Machuca, of PrecisionPoint Pilates to see if she could offer some simple tips for ways we can keep strong and active, even if we find ourselves sitting most of the day. Below she shares 5 simple techniques to get up and start moving!image_Lori Fuller PhotographyDo you find yourself sitting for hours on end at your desk or stuck in endless traffic? Do you experience mysterious low back pain, tight legs, shoulders and sore glutes? Most likely this is caused by over-sitting and not enough movement/stretching in your daily routine. Sitting causes our hip flexors and hamstrings to get tight and weak, and our glutes and lower abdominals to get loose and weak. Here are 5 easy tips to stay strong and stretched if you’ve been sitting for longer than 2 hours:

  1. Quadriceps Stretch: Stand behind your chair—you can use it for balance. Place one hand on your chair and grab your foot from behind your back with your free hand. Your knee should be bent and slightly pulled behind you. Tuck your pelvis a bit to get more stretch. Hold this for 30 seconds and repeat on other side
  1. Hamstring Stretch: I will call this a standing roll down. Stand up as tall as you can get, take a big inhale and stretch your arms overhead. Waterfall your arms, head and then trunk over your legs until you are in a forward fold. Stay over your legs to enjoy this hamstring stretch. Roll up and repeat 3 times. Make sure to engage your belly as to not overwork your back.
  1. Lower abdominal work: This one is easy peasy and can be done anywhere. So no excuses, please! While sitting at your desk or car, sit up as straight as possible. Arch your low back slightly. Take a big inhale and as you exhale tighten an imaginary belt around your waist. Try and make this belt as tight as possible. Congratulations! You are engaging your Transversus Abdominus (your most important abdominal layer)!
  1. Shoulder and Neck Rolls: While standing next to your desk, stand up as straight as you can get. Roll your shoulders forward six times and then backwards six times, then roll your head in small circles to the right three times and to the left three times. This helps loosen the muscles of the neck and shoulders that get tight from typing and stress.
  1. Simply take a walk: If you do not have the time for a lunch stroll, just getting up to stroll around the office between long sitting times will suffice. Just the mere act of walking helps stimulate the synovial fluid (fluid that helps lubricate the joints) in the spine, hips, and knees. Walking is a wonderful way to prevent arthritis. So keep those tennis shoes handy!image_Lori Fuller Photography

Bonnie is the owner of PrecisionPoint Pilates, located in the vibrant Grand Lake neighborhood of Oakland, CA. She is a busy mom of three, is active in her children’s school and is one of those people you just enjoy being around. Her energy and smile is contagious, and I loved every minute of this recent session we did at her studio! For more info on Bonnie and the different classes she teaches, check out http://www.precisionpointpilates.com/ and be sure to give her some social media love by following her on Facebook .image_Lori Fuller Photographyimage_Lori Fuller Photography image_Lori Fuller Photography image_Lori Fuller Photography image_Lori Fuller Photography image_Lori Fuller Photography image_Lori Fuller Photography image_Lori Fuller Photography image_Lori Fuller Photographyimage_Lori Fuller Photographyimage_Lori Fuller Photography