If you’ve been following me here or on social media for a while, you know that a couple of years ago, my family and I started a Good News + Gratitudes Jar. You can see last years post about it here (including tips on how we set ours up). Admittedly, the number of notes seemed to be a little less than past years, but nonetheless, many sweet, thoughtful, and kind notes were written and we shared them with each other on News Year Day. I think everyone secretly loves this family tradition; I’ve already spotted every one of my family members writing notes to add to this years jar!
What family traditions do you love to do with your family? I’d love to hear in the comments.
Happy New Year!
For the record, my 11-year old son certainly knows how to spell “news,” but was just being, well, an 11-year old!
Bottom: a blurred, not-at-all-ready-for-it shot of a spontaneous hug for Dad for a sweet note written to him. Hey kid, next time give me a little warning, will ya?!? ;)
Bottom right: Showing his approval for a note and this activity with a dab. Don’t YOU spontaneously dab at the dining room table?
Top left: my husband’s favorite note from daughter. Bottom right: after we read all of the notes, we stick them into a 3-ring notebook, which is fun to flip through each year.
The 2016 Holiday Gift Guide is here! You’ll find custom holiday cards, mini albums and other specialty products that are designed to showcase your images! Browse the catalog to learn more and let me know how I can make your gift-giving season brighter.
I woke up one morning to a surprise email that said Lori Fuller Photography has been nominated for Red Tricycle’s Totally Awesome Awards in the Family Photography category!
This is the second time my photography business has been nominated – how totally awesome is that? ;)
Aaaannnnd to sweeten the nomination, I just found out this week that LFP is in the TOP THREE!
I’d love your vote to win – all you need to do is click this link and navigate down until you see LFP (it’s the 7th one down the list!). Click that big red “Vote for this Entry” button to cast your vote.
Red Tricycle is an online resource for parents to find local events and fun things to do with their kids. They make it easy for busy, on-the-go families to find activities that are kid-friendly and parent-approved.
Voting ends September 30. Thank you so much for your support and vote for Lori Fuller Photography!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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?
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.
The Storyteller Album highlights your photo session by creating unique page designs that tell your family story.
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!
“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.”
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:
Last 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!
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.