Cut • Connect • Create: A Vision Book Workshop for Parents and Kids | San Francisco Bay Area

Sometimes you come up with an idea, share it on social media, brainstorm with some of your tribe, pour lots of love and energy into it, and make it happen …all within a few weeks!

Last weekend, I hosted Cut • Connect • Create: A Vision Book Workshop for Parents and Kids. This was the first workshop of its kind (from what I can tell) where parents and kids were both invited to spend the morning together dreaming big and creating vision books that highlight who they are and what they hope to accomplish.

We met in a beautiful light-filled space with big windows for daydreaming and inspiration. The morning began with music, mingling, and munching on breakfast snacks as guests arrived.

During my presentation, I talked about my WHY for hosting this workshop. I shared the story of how my daughter and I spent one day in January working on our vision books, at her request. We spent H O U R S cutting, chatting, laughing, listening to music, sharing cut out images and words that we found for each other, and most importantly, connecting. It was such a special day for us and I wanted to create the same experience for other parents and kids.

Female teacher presenting at vision book workshop she is hosting for parents and kids

A quick iPhone shot captured by my husband

The idea of a vision book stems from the belief that when you surround yourself with images and words of who you want to be, what you want to do or have, or how you want to feel, you help manifest these ideas and allow the opportunity for them to come true! I’ve been creating vision books for years and believe they are powerful tools for making things happen in your life. I also believe they help teach children important life skills of planning and setting goals.

It was amazing to witness how everyone approached the creative process in their own unique way and with such intention and focus. The morning was full of great conversations, thoughtful right-brain engagement, and connection between parents and kids.

I love being a hostess and making space for people to connect. Combining these with my two other passions of teaching and being a creative artist made this experience truly rewarding for me, and I can’t wait to host another one! ;)

If you are interested in finding out when and where the next workshop will take place (HINT: I’m hoping to take this show on the road and may end up in your city!), click here to join my newsletter . In the meantime, here are highlights from the workshop.
Table set with vision book workshop suppliesJames and the Giant Cupcake_Oakland

Delicious (and adorable) cupcakes were from James and the Giant Cupcake. Food set at the vision book workshopParents and kids work on vision books at workshop hosted by Lori Fuller Photography A young teen works on vision book at workshop Parents and kids work on vision books at workshop Parents and kids work on vision books at workshop Parents and kids work on vision books at workshop Parents and kids work on vision books at workshop. Parents and kids work on vision books at workshop.Two young girls show off their vision books at the workshop hosted by Lori Fuller Photography Parents and kids show off their vision booksSpecial thanks to all of the creative, enthusiastic parents and kids that joined the workshop!
A mom and her children pose for a photo at the vision book workshop hosted by Lori Fuller Photography

And, of course, thanks to my family (husband not shown) for all of their assistance in helping carry all of the materials to the workspace, setting up, cleaning up, participating in, and their overall supportive awesomeness.

Good News + Gratitudes Jar 3.0

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!

Family creates notes of gratitude to place in jar throughout the year.

Son writes a funny note and reads note from Good News and Gratitudes Jar.

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?!? ;)

Young girl reads folded notes from gratitude jar.Young boy reads gratitude note while father watches.Young girl laughs at funny gratitude note. Daughter reads notes of gratitude. A son, daughter and father read and laugh gratitude notes.A son, daughter and father sit around dining room table reading notes from Good News and Gratitudes Jar.Family members read notes of gratitude to each other.

Family members read notes of gratitude as part of family tradition.

Bottom right: Showing his approval for a note and this activity with a dab. Don’t YOU spontaneously dab at the dining room table?

Family writes notes of gratitude throughout the year and share in the first week of the new year.

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.

Totally Awesome Awards 2016

Red Tricycle Finalist Totally Awesome Award

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!

Family photographer is finalist in Red Tricycle's Totally Awesome Awards

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!

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!



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?

family ties image

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.”

Image_Lori Fuller Photography

First Day of Kindergarten

Image_Lori Fuller Photography

Last Day of 5th Grade

The Photo I Can’t Stop Looking At

Image_Tamara Lackey Photography

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 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!