Lucy Liora Photography has one MAJOR announcement

Friends near and far, clients and those I've yet to meet,

Lucy Liora Photography has one major announcement: we are completely revamping the business! Why change a good thing you may ask? Why, because the best is yet to come. (a phrase I'm repeating to my husband as we go through a major declutter at the house and it's the only way to get him to throw out all. the. junk.)

This is also a time of reflection for me. The revamp means changes here at the studio, personally and professionally. I've been feeling restless and off, bothered by intangible things that I couldn't quite put my finger on. And then it all kind of crystalized, for no apparent reason at all. 

I needed to structure my business to personify every detail of my mission and core values. Every aspect of the business needed a little sprucing up. From the first touch point to the final delivery, my entire business needed a make-over so I made a giant list and diligently went down each one to make sure that it, in fact, exemplified what I've proclaimed to be as a business woman and a newborn photographer. In short, my business needed to become an intimate, involved, curated, and fully custom-tailored experience. So from head to toe, we are getting a make-over. It's going to be good. 

You see, I don't just want to take a pretty or cute picture, although that's certainly always the final product I deliver to my clients. I want more than that and starting in 2017, I'm asking for what I want. Because deep in my heart, I know, without a shadow of doubt, that it's what you, my client, truly wants too. My heart is to not just a take a pretty picture, send you the digital negatives and never connect again. My heart is to tell your story of this new small but life changing addition. I want to tell your family's story at whatever stage we we meet. I hope you will humor me, and allow me to show you that this is how I can serve you best. Allow me to share with you how I imagine that you would enjoy your photos, having these tangible memories of this time in your life. This is my new mission. If you choose me, I'd be honored and certainly involved. This is my invitation to you, to think critically, and if you're sleep deprived, I'll think with you! Take this chance to think about what will make this experience meaningful and last a lifetime. 

I hope I've peaked your interest in one way or another, whether we have worked together before or not. For my current clients, please be patient with me during this change. I've been a grateful recipient of your grace and flexibility and hope that you will continue to extend it to me during the next couple of months. One of the things I'm most excited about but is also taking the most time, is rebranding my entire packaging. Think luxury, think of the entire process of opening a Chanel box until the merchandise finally emerges. That's the mood board in my brain. I've searched near and far and sourced the finest products money can buy. Think Italian leather bound albums and Japanese linen covers. Think hand crafted walnut wood boxes to house your gift prints and gorgeous acrylic birth announcement cards to adorn your fireplace or dad's desk at work. Gone are the days of going to the mall and taking photos in front of a single background. Your investment with me is worth designer merchandise or even a small vacation and it should be packaged as such to reflect its timeless value, don't you agree?
 

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Off to more "work" it's past midnight here but why do I feel so blessed?
-Lucy

San Gabriel Valley Newborn Photographer - Sarah's Outdoor LA Maternity Session

I love ALL my clients, I really really do. An investment with Lucy Liora Photography is a two way street. I spend so much time getting to know my clients as well as share about who I am as a photographer, business woman, and human being that by the time someone signs on the dotted line, a budding friendship has started to form. But every once in a blue moon, you meet a couple so special that you can't help but tell them their shoot was the best time you had on-location and honestly, I meant every word. 

Sarah, like so many clients, was a referral. As soon as she reached out I knew that I had to book her (didn't tell her at the time). She is expecting twins, you see, a boy and a girl and anyone who knows me knows that I love boy/girl twins since that's what my own brother and sister are. Sarah and Ryan are truly special. Shooting outdoors requires a lot of flexibility, something that doesn't come easy for some people especially when said person is deep into her third trimester carrying twins. But they were so flexible, silly, and fun. They were so fun that even after the sun had fully set below the horizon, I was still shooting. 

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I can't wait to meet your little ones so very soon. I've been planning for their shoot for months! Sarah and Ryan, thank you for choosing me. That afternoon at Tree People was honestly a blast for any photographer and I'm grateful that you picked me to capture this special moment. Your love for each other and your growing family is so evident, your laughter was contagious, and I've come to regard you as good friends already (you may not feel the same way back, it's okay...) 

XO,
Lucy

location: tree people (LA)
tutu maternity gown: sewtrendy
halo: anthroplogie
lens: nikon 24-70mm

Friday Lucy Drafts Bucket List...

While the LLP specializes in newborn photography, I, a creative woman with a camera, still totally have a bucket list of shoots in mind. I'll share them here so should YOU ever require such a service, get in touch won't you?

Lucy's bucket list of shoots she wishes to accomplish before she...well....kicks the bucket

1. my own newborn shoot
2. my own pet newborn shoot (c'mon mikeyyyyy, let me get a puppy *puppy eyes*)
3. an editorial couples shoot in the desert of Joshua Tree where a giant round balloon comes along too (completely inspired by a friend from NYC who's work is just breathtaking, Friday Lucy is in awe...)

photo credit: Forged in the North
4. a bourdoir session for a good friend (ahem. c'mon friends)
5. a secret proposal where the girl is ACTUALLY completely caught off-guard. Women are really good are finding out surprises man...
6. an underwater shoot, preferrably with a mermaid

Happy Friday everyone! And call me, if you just happen to have been looking for a photographer for one of the above <3

{EDIT}

Since the initial draft of the above list, Mike has, in fact, agreed to #2. Lucy has been bouncing off walls all day and night. She has started ordering puppy things in droves. She has also picked out a name: Momofuku (means lucky peach in Japanese) (yes, I'm aware that it's also the name of one of David Chang's restaurants in the east village aka my old stomping ground) 

one guess at which breed.... hint: 

img from Pinterest

img from Pinterest

San Gabriel Valley Newborn Photographer - welcome baby Maximilian

I make it a point to keep business cards on me always to hand out to expecting mamas when I see them. During a grocery run at the local Trader Joe's a few weeks back, I ran into Steph in the check-out lines. The initial introduction is always awkward. After all, you'd have to walk up to a complete stranger after having wagered with yourself on whether or not she's actually pregnant then very quickly make your intentions known. I've noticed that pregnant mamas are especially wary of approaching strangers and usually blurt out who I am what I want rather quickly. 

Long story short, a few weeks later, Steph, hubby, big sister, and baby Max came into the studio for Max's newborn session. Unfortunately Max was feeling a bit under the weather and could not sleep soundly the entire session. We hushed and soothed him yet every time he was repositioned, he would stir awake. Parents always comment on how unbelievable they find my patience and endurance in the heated studio but honestly, your little ones make it so so easy. 

As always, here's my wish for you little one:

May you grow up to fill such a big big name. May you lead an ever enriching life. May you find delight in the simple things and may grace and peace surround you even in your darkest days. May you adore your big sister and become the best of friends. Always remember that family is what truly matters and family will carry you through. 

With lots of cooing and love,

L

Take a picture, just because...

Today is a Friday as ordinary as ordinary can be. We have no particular plans evident by the fact that we are both still in our pajamas as the clock strikes dangerously close to noon. And you know what? That's fine. Fridays like this are reserved for eating cereal for lunch, napping on the couch, reading an actual book with a hot cuppa, AND taking photos. 

The house is as messy as messy can be. Because we have no particular plans today, I did not particularly tidy the day before. There are used cups on the coffee table and the kitchen sink may be very occupied. The house may not be particularly ready for an impromptu photoshoot but Friday Lucy don't care. Friday Lucy runs for her D750 and snapped these moments that are forever captured. 

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You may think it's silly. You may judge me. You may even agree! These are the moments of our lives and they must be recorded as the stories we recount traveling down this long road. We recount heroic adventures and achievements but also these quiet moments when you find your husband so endearingly adorable, your heart skips a beat. You may roll your eyes but Friday Lucy don't care. Friday Lucy is too busy doing absolutely nothing - except keeping her camera very very close, in case Mike breaks out in another dance session. Friday Lucy will probably leave the camera and go join him this time. 

Toodle-loo and a peaceful yet memorable weekend to you,

Lucy

San Gabriel Valley Newborn Photographer - welcome baby Alvin

I don't like to play favorites... but baby Alvin totally made it to the top. Baby Alvin came with a whole entourage, mom, papa, and nanny all showed up to this shoot but he was cool as can be. Cool means "completely knocked out" in baby photographer language. Only woke up for one meeting which nanny totally took over (I always try to spare mom from feeding but if the nanny comes, I gladly relinquish ha).

Mama ended up wanting 3 mini accordion albums as well and I couldn't be happier to send them off with Mom. After an entire summer of girls, baby Alvin broke my streak and, just between you and I, I'm jumping for joy. Can't wait to pull out my boy stuff and off to the LLP closet we go!
 

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As always, here's my wish for you:

宝宝,不要怕世界,去迎接它,去庆祝它,去追求它,去保护它。他是你的世界。祝你一生充满新福,爱情,友谊,欢笑。中文真的很难写。。。!

阿姨sorry啦!

San Gabriel Valley Newborn Photographer - welcome baby Preston!

Once in a while, you meet a mama. You don't just want to be her photographer, you don't just want her to book a session with you because you believe you will be a great fit, you want to be her friend. Alice was this mama. Alice brought Preston to the studio for a weekday shoot. These shoots without Mike really always iterate the importance of having an assistant. For nothing else, sessions go by so much faster with his help...

Baby Preston was perfect and as gentlemanly as his moniker. He pretty much cooperated with my every request. I was most tickled by the Princess Bride set up. It had just been added to the LLP closet and baby Preston wore it perfectly. 

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As always, here's my wish for you:

May you find that love most live their whole lives without. May you fight for it and defend it with all that you are. Whether that love ends up being for a person, a career, or a dream. May it fill your days with value and purpose. May you always be the good guy, one with integrity and kindness. May all your dreams come true. 

Xo,

your mama's new friend Lucy

How to prepare younger siblings for newborn session

Preparing a younger sibling to participate in the newborn session is so incredibly important for 2  reasons:

  • safety: younger siblings can accidentally cause harm and injury to a newborn posed next to and on them
  • cooperating with newborn: posing a young child next to a newborn has to be a relatively quick process as newborns are unpredictable in behavior and can easily wake up and unsettle during the posing process
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Including a younger sibling/s can often times be the most stressful experience during the entire shoot. The best chance to avoid potential roadblocks is preparation before the shoot. Here are a few suggestions to try to prepare your younger child for the newborn session. There is never a guarantee when working with younger subjects, but doing the following steps before a shoot can greatly improve the chance that we capture that elusive sibling portrait:

  1. talk through the situation days before the shoot. Talk about my house, studio, me, the camera, the lights, and everyone who will be there. Talk through expected behaviors and the need to cooperate during the shoot
  2. show them some examples of what you want to achieve for the shoot. Pinterest is a great way to show your younger child what we want to photograph so that there is an expectation of what mom/dad wants to achieve and what the camera is trying to capture. Get them excited by asking them to pick their favorite poses or things to do with the baby for the shoot (send me those ideas if your younger child picks any!). Check out this board I pinned for potential sibling shot ideas to share with your younger child
  3. practice! Days before the shoot, play pretend and act out the newborn session with the younger sibling. Grab your iPhone and try to create excitment and fun in posing the siblings together. Do spot the baby during this process but practice having baby lie next to the sibling, in their arms (if they're able). Practice asking them to sit and lie down next to the baby. Practice having them look at, kiss, and lean towards baby on cue. Make sure to create a big hoopla and give a ton of praise for cooperation
  4. prepare to bribe. Think about what rewards you are comfortable offering should you need to bribe the day of or during the shoot and come prepared
  5. loop me in! Do you notice anything during your practice runs? Is the sibling particularly rough or excited around the baby? Is the sibling unwilling to sit near the baby? Is the sibling totally uncooperative during mock sessions? Email me in advance and loop me in! The more advance notice I have as to what to expect, the more I can prepare to negotiate with sibling come session time
  6. don't lose your cool during the shoot. One of the easiest way end a sibling session is if the parents get mad or frustrated. Younger children respond especially poorly to this. They are incredibly sensitive and it's important to note that they're asked to pose in front of the camera in a stranger's house with that stranger around! This can be a daunting and uncomfortable situation for even adults so it's so important that you leave the coaxing to me and just be supportive and excited during the posing process

There is no scientific reason but I've found that girls tend to cooperate less than boys of the same age in sibling posing. Another suggestion if you find yourself in this situation is to have your younger child pick out her outfits before the shoot. Little girls might be more cooperative if they can look their best for the shoot. 

It's important to note that no amount of preparation can guarantee a younger child will cooperate the day of the shoot, but I hope that the above few suggestions can preemptively deter some potential bumps for day of. I can't wait to meet your family!! I can't wait to see some magic and some disaster. We can laugh about it later!

Cheers,
Lucy

Did you find this post helpful? Check out these other session prep posts.

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5 tips to prepare for your hospital newborn session aka the Fresh48

You're days away from meeting your brand new baby, you can feel it in your bones. You are packed and ready and have briefed all your family members and friends on appropriate and expected behavior when the big day is here. You are ready as ready can be and have even booked a photographer for your birth and/or a Fresh48 session. (click here if you've never heard of the Fresh48). 

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Now what?

Consider these 5 tips from me to you. Whether or not I'm currently on call for the arrival of your new little, I'd like to share these tips with every expecting mom so that you can have the most seamless and stress-free hospital lifestyle newborn session possible. 

Tip #1 - pack all your toiletry/styling tool/makeup essentials in your hospital bag. You may or may not look or feel your best the day of your Fresh48 and don't want to be without that magic in a bottle of a concealer or your favorite mascara. Your hair might also need a little TLC and before your brain completely goes to mush, make sure that they're packed and ready for you come shoot time

Tip #2 - pre-educate all potential visitors on expected behavior before and during the shoot which essentially boils down to, clear the room or schedule visitation outside of the session time. Your photographer will most likely just be photographing immediate family, the session can take upwards of 45 minutes depending on the cooperation of your new little one

Tip #3 - if sibling/s are present for the shoot and under an age where verbal negotiation and agreements don't always work reliably, be sure to have on hand treats of high value that have a proven history of bribing success

Tip #4 - give your cell phone to Dad for day-of communication with the photographer. Make sure Dad knows when to expect texts/calls from the photographer and keeps an eye on the phone. You won't remember to, your brain and heart will be fully focused on baby

Tip #5 - do nothing else! Don't move furniture around that might be in the way, don't change the baby into new outfits, don't clear up space, don't fret. Your photographer should be able to do all of the following should he/she need to during the shoot. The idea is for you to relax and interact with baby, be candid and have fun! Stressing before the shoot will be counterproductive. The photographer is a fly on your wall, so I make it a point to tell moms to do nothing in preparation for me except the above mentioned tips. I will handle the rest

Bonus Tip: in case you were wondering, because I always wonder about tipping etiquette, you are not expected to tip for any of your sessions with me. While I've received tips from clients before, it is always unexpected but nonetheless appreciated. Please understand that this is not an expectation of LLP. 

Are you currently expecting and intrigued by the Fresh48? I'd love to chat with you about it!

Know someone who might find these tips helpful? Share it for us please!