Sessions Galore

I’ve realized this year, a fairly simple concept:  You can only do so much.  In January, in addition to my regularly scheduled life, I started officially working for our church in a ten hour a week Children’s Ministry Director position.  Nine months in, it’s been fantastic, but has also added that much more to everything.  So this morning, when I was looking through my photography business Facebook page I realized that when life is busy, things get neglected and my business Facebook page was definitely one of them.

So, I thought I’d take just a little time today before running off to Hot Yoga, to share a few pictures from some of the sessions I’ve been shooting in the past months.  Because yes, I am still doing and loving my photography.  I love people, and I love taking their pictures and even though I haven’t shared, I still am very much actively and passionately shooting amazing sessions with amazing people.

  1.  Communions…  I love a good communion session and this one was no exception.  I’ve worked with this wonderful family quite a few times throughout the years and it was so sweet to get to share in another one of their special events.

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2.  Riverhead Concert Band.  A wonderful friend and photographer asked me if I would come and shoot his band’s concert.  In my mind I was preparing for a sort of rock band event.  A few minutes into our conversation, I remembered that he played the french horn and quickly put together that I would indeed be shooting a concert band and not a rock band.  I went to their spring concert and it was absolutely delightful.  The lighting was tricky, but we ended up with some fun shots of some very talented concert musicians.

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3.  Quick Family Session.  A friend called up and explained that her family was going to a wedding and would it be possible for me to go to her home right before and capture some shots of them all dressed up?  Of course!  It was a quick and fun family session and we got some great “dressed up” pictures of her family that any mom would love.

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4.  Headshots… for his girlfriend.  I got an email from my friend Ray Hatton asking if I could take some headshots for his girlfriend.  I had to stop for a minute, because I’ve taken Ray’s family pictures for year and it was hard to believe that he had grown so much and now had a girlfriend who needed headshots.  That being said, we met up for a great session in Westhampton and got a few of the lovely couple as well.

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5.  Family Reunion.  It was a joy and a privilege to be asked to come and take a whole bunch of family shots at a recent reunion.  This family in particular was wonderful and we had a great time together getting both formal and candid shots of their special day.

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6.  More Headshots.  Loved working with this girl and loved getting to capture some headshots for her.  She’s a wonderful singer and actress and I’m so excited to see the great things that she will do.

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7.  Family Beach Session.  I shot their family last summer and was called back again for their extended family as well.  For the record my Long Island families… besides during mild tropical storms or hurricanes, this is the best month to get those family beach pictures that you’ll want to include on your Christmas cards.  Just saying.

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8.  Jewelry…  My friend Nikki called me and asked if I could photograph the jewelry that she sells so of course I said yes and we had a delightful time together.  I love the versatility of my job and the variety of sessions that I get to shoot.

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9.  Family Session.  And finally, met up with these sweet girls and their darling puppy for a family session right in their own backyard.  Children tend to be comfortable and happy in their homes so it’s always a great location for family pictures.

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And that about sums it up.  It’s getting to be that time of year again, so I’ll be putting out Holiday Session specials soon.  Thanks so much for checking in and checking out the fun photography sessions that I’ve been doing.

Our Town: Duck Walk Montessori

If you are heading east on Montauk Highway, you’ll pass the elementary school and then the church and if you keep on going, just past Eastport Music Scene and Tuttle Mower Shop is East Pond Lane.  Turn left and about a half a mile up the road is our town’s newest school, Duck Walk Montessori.  I had the privilege of meeting up with owner and director Nicole Valenti and I cannot wait to share the good things that I learned.

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First off, Montessori schools are awesome.  They focus on a child-led approach that seeks to educate using natural interests and activities.  As I toured Duck Walk Montessori, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the beauty and simplicity of each room.

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Nicole Valenti grew up in Eastport, just down the road from her new school.  She is also friends with our friends the Einfeldts, so that was a neat connection as well.

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During our time she shared her heart for her new school and it was so exciting to hear about her love and passion for teaching Montessori.  She earned her Bachelors and Masters and also has her NYS certification in childhood education in addition to being Montessori certified.

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Duck Walk Montessori offers a full day program and follows the ESM school calendar.  Nicole shared that she also has early drop off and late pick up options for families as well as before and after care for elementary aged children.

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I learned a lot about the Montessori approach to education while we toured the school.

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I’ll be honest, it all sounded quite delightful to me.

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Nicole shared a strong desire to focus more on the children and their natural learning pace.  She had beautiful materials all throughout the rooms that were ready and waiting for her new students.

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There were various stations for different subjects, and each had a very simple but welcoming appeal.

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Nicole led me through each room and as she talked it was so exciting to hear of her dreams and vision for her new school.

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We also checked out the outdoor play area and it looked quite fun to me.

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There were lots of different areas for the children to play and it made me happy to think of the fun that they would have at this wonderful new school.

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When I asked Nicole to share her educational philosophy she told me,

“I have always enjoyed working with children and it has always been a dream of mine to open up my own preschool. When I first started teaching in a Montessori classroom I was amazed at what the children were working on.  I saw a 3 year old practicing one to one correspondence with little gems, a four year old complete the trinomial cube, and a five year old fluently reading a book to a younger child in the cozy area.

It has always been a dream of mine to open up my own preschool and I knew I wanted to make it Montessori based especially since there weren’t any in the area. I love how the Montessori way is to follow the child and go at their pace. The children are given the freedom of choice in the Montessori classroom and it is amazing to see that they will choose the academic works on their own. As a teacher it makes me really happy to see children get excited about learning. It is also really enjoyable to watch the children work together, and how the older children really take on the roles of being leaders and teachers to the younger children.

I truly believe that being in a Montessori environment in the early years will help set children up for success when they move on to elementary school because it teaches them things like concentration and independence.”

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So, all that being said, I am so excited to share that if you are looking for an alternative approach to traditional education for your young child, you most definitely should check out Duck Walk Montessori.  The environment is welcoming and engaging and it was a delight to spend time with Nicole and to hear about her beautiful approach to working with children and encouraging their passion for learning.

Duck Walk Montessori is currently enrolling children ages one and up.  More information can be found at their website: www.duckwalkmontessori.com 

Or you can contact Nicole at 631-801-2652 or email duckwalkmontessori@gmail.com

Book Your Beach Session

So I have a little secret for you.  And the secret is, that NOW is the very best time to book a Beach Session with me.

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Need a Top Ten list on why you should book a Beach Session?

Well actually, I have that as well.  And here it goes…

10.  Family is forever.  At least that’s what my Dad always said.  And what better way to preserve your forever family memories than by gathering everyone together for a fun Beach Session?

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9.  Long Island Beaches are the best.  Since we’re on an island surrounded by beaches, we should acknowledge that we truly do live in a spectacular area.  Sure, I prefer the South Shore beaches, but I do have to admit that I’ve been up to the North Shore as well and their beaches are pretty amazing as well.

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8.  All kinds of sessions can be shot at the beach.  I’ve shot at the beach for everything from weddings to families to head shots.  And every session is incredible and unique because of the beauty that the beach tends to bring.

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7.  Beach memories with moms are extra special.  If you’re like me, you’re often the one behind the lens when it comes to your family.  So let me make it easier for you.  Gather up your little ones and let me photograph you together.  We can take formal shots, but then we’ll get lots and lots of candids.  Because these often are the ones that show the true beauty behind the many things that we do.

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6.  Beach sessions are versatile.  Yes, we’ll shoot with the sun and sand.  But often times, there are other locations that produce beautiful images as well.  We’ll look for the shade of the dunes or even a beach pavilion, which in turn will give you a variety of wonderful images to choose from.

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5.  Time flies so quickly.  Your little ones are growing up quickly, so this is your reason to book a session with me this summer.  Don’t let the moments pass by because capturing your kids right where they are.

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4.  Speaking of kids, yours probably won’t argue with me about having their pictures taken.  For a few reasons.  First, because I’m not their mom (my kids even give me a hard time if I try to take too many pictures).  Second, because I love kids and teens and have worked with them for years and years, so I know the importance of working quickly and with lots of energy and fun.  And usually this results in genuine smiles and less stress for everyone.

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3.  Beach Sessions are just beautiful.  Really, truly, there is something just magical about being by the ocean.

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2.  Booking a Beach Session will give you a fun reason to show off that gorgeous summer tan you’ve been working on.  Many of my families prefer to shoot wearing white, because it’s so classic and beautiful.  But really, any clothing coordination will work just fine and again will capture the special summer memories that we all cherish.

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1. And finally, the number one reason to book a Beach Session with me?  Because it’s fantastic and fun.  My goal is to capture beautiful images on our beautiful beaches and your Beach Session will create memories for years and years to come.  I prefer to shoot in the evenings, because you can’t beat the lighting right before sunset and with every session, you will get gorgeous portraits that you will absolutely love.

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So don’t delay!  Please feel free to contact me through Facebook or email: lauraherr8@gmail.com.  My Beach Session pricing is $150 (for the session fee) and can be paired with digital or print packages (that start at $150).  Also, if you book your Beach Session before July 31st, I will include a beautiful 8×10 gift print with your order.

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What Will They See?

A few years ago, I had an inquiry for a photography job.  A friend had started her own Pilates studio and wanted to have beautiful photographs taken of her business.

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In addition to photographing her new studio, we also took some nice updated head shots.  I knew that her clients would be happy to see a portrait that aptly reflected her own personal beauty and grace.

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The rest of the pictures turned out wonderfully.  To this day, I still occasionally see them used in her marketing and every time it makes me smile.

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And lately, it’s something that I’ve been thinking about more and more.  When it comes to businesses, both big and small, what do potential clients see when they search?  To be honest, we’ve very much become a social media society and therefore a pleasant and professional presence online is more important than ever.

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I’ve been so blessed to have worked with a wonderful store in our town for the past few years.  It’s been around since we moved her nearly 14 years ago.  But for years and years, I just drove by it, having no idea what was inside.

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It all changed one day, when I finally decided to go and check it out.  What I found when I walked through the doors, was a delightful shop full of all sorts of treasures.

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I struck up a friendship with the owner and to this day do much of my gift shopping there.  Last year, I was hired to do a few professional shoots for Eastport’s Little Secret.  The owner, Faye, was so happy to have beautiful and updated pictures of her shop and shared that some of her customers would mention coming in because they had seen her products online.

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This past year I’ve been working more and more with local businesses.

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When talking to them, I continue to hear the same things over and over.  As businesses, they want to attract clients and in order to do they, they have to go where people are looking.  And again, that is online.  So as a photographer, I get to come in and take beautiful pictures of their businesses so that I can show people the amazing services that they offer.

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The diversity of the business clients I work with is expanding.  Last month I captured pictures for the Riverhead Concert Band.

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They were updating their website and Facebook page and wanted pictures taken so that others could see what they were all about.  For the record, I had a delightful time shooting this event.  They actually play free concerts all throughout the summer and it really was a wonderful experience.

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I’ve also gotten jobs updating head shots for businesses.  These are two of the instructors at Buddha Beach Hot Yoga (it’s my hot yoga studio as well and I absolutely love it).  After taking these shots, the owner used them with her marketing and shared that clients loved seeing these beautiful shots and that it definitely was a positive influence for her studio.

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So wrapping all of this up, I wanted to share that this summer, I will be offering limited Business Sessions.  I truly believe that having beautiful pictures and visuals for your website, Facebook or preferred method of social media has a great impact and influence on clients and potential clients.  People may drive by your business a hundred times and never stop by, but through my Business Sessions, you can show them what you’re all about using the power of a strong and impactful online presence.

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The process is simple.  Email me: lauraherr8@gmail.com and we will set up a date.  The pricing is $250 for an hour of photography and an online gallery of beautifully edited digital images.  These images are downloadable, and yours to use for your website or social media presence.  I truly believe that people will be more attracted to professional pictures than simple cell phone shots.  Business Sessions are for businesses, both great and small.  If you are looking for ways to take the next step towards getting a beautiful and professional presence out there, please message me today!

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To see more examples of my Business Photography, please visit my website and click on the “Business” link.

www.lauraherrphotography.com