Complexion and Photography – preparing for your session

I am very excited to welcome Karen Burzdak of Hanu Skin Care for the first of a series of features on my blog to help you prepare for your photo session with Fleur Foto Photography.  Karen is going to help you prepare your complexion with tips on a regimen and products to use that are organic and natural.  I’ll hand things over now to Karen to explain how to get that smooth and glowing complexion you’ll want for your photo session.

“I was recently looking at some older photographs of myself, cringing at the way my skin tone and complexion looked in them.  I looked like a raccoon.  I actually asked my sister why she didn’t tell me I looked so bad at that point in my life.  We decided that I just wasn’t doing the right things to my skin to photograph well.  Everyone wants that perfect, authentic photograph.  While there are lots of factors to be considered like an amazing background, good lighting and, of course, a great photographer, one thing you should also focus on is your complexion.

Young Skin

So what could I have done about my bad photos aside from learning how to photoshop?  Getting your makeup right is key, however, first we need to talk about establishing a skin care routine using safe products.  I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to get into good skin care habits early in life.  I have lots of clients whose teenagers have broken out skin and are very self-conscious about it.  I ask them several things.  Are they washing their face regularly? Are they using safe, blemish control and moisturizing products that won’t clog their skin?  The answer is almost always, no.

First, I would recommend a clarifying face wash like this one from La Roche (available at CVS) which is fragrance and preservative free and ranked safe by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).  Next use a blemish treatment that won’t dry out sensitive skin.  I know it sounds counter-intuitive to put an oil on your oily skin, but I recommend using an oil-based product like the one we make at Hanu Skin Care.

Hanu Skin Care Young Skin Organic Blemish Complexion Treatment

The botanical oils won’t clog your pores and will work to heal your skin. Then use a moisturizer that is geared towards your skin type. For teens, I recommend this one.

Hanu Skin Care Young Skin Organic Facial Complexion Oil

It’s great for skin that is undergoing hormonal changes and contains argan oil with vitamin E, essential fatty acids, carotenes and squalene which helps to heal damaged skin combating free radicals. This product also contains Pomegranate seed oil, packed with fatty acids and antioxidants, which reduces skin inflammation while regenerating new skin and improving skin tone and elasticity. The combination of turmeric, geranium, rosemary and clove bud provide skin restorative properties while facilitating blood circulation and detoxification just below the surface of the skin.

Young teen with clear complexion against tree by Fleur Foto Photography

The model in this beautiful photo by Fleur Foto uses Hanu Skin Care Teen line to hydrate and heal her skin. She only needed minimal makeup to look flawless while some of us, ahem, older models might need more.

Adult Skin

As an adult, once you’ve established a good skin-care routine, your skin tone should start evening out, under eye circles will diminish and you’ll be able to apply makeup to enhance the way you photograph. Read my blog post: Skin Care Tips and Tricks for more advice about skincare in adulthood.

Using an oil based moisturizer specific to your skin type

Hanu Skin Care Organic Facial Complexion Oil

and under eye product will help makeup go on more smoothly.

Organic Under Eye Complexion Oil by Hanu Skin Care

Make sure you pick makeup that is not full of harmful chemicals by using EWG’s skin deep database to check your products for safety. After lots of research and trial and error (read: raccoon eyes), I recommend the following products for a flawless finish.

  • “un” cover-up by RMS Beauty is a lightweight, nontoxic concealer that blends into skin easily.
  • Mineral Airbrushing loose powder by Physicians Formula is a talc free, mineral powder that even has an SPF30 in it.
  • Lights, Camera, Lashes by Tarte is formulated without harmful parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, and sodium lauryl sulfates.

Adult with clear complexion at Meriam's Corner by Fleur Foto Photography

Choosing products that are right for your skin type is one of the most important things you can do to achieve an amazing complexion.  Make sure you take skin tone and skin type into account when you are reading the descriptions of products.

Hanu Skin Care products are formulated from organic, oil-based ingredients that will hydrate, heal and nourish your skin one cell at a time. Our skin care products are made by using a combination of beneficial, plant based oils to meet the needs of all types of skin. To ensure your product is made with the best, natural ingredients, we formulate each one by hand in small batches with 100% pure and organic oils. We don’t use any synthetic chemicals, preservatives, or GMO’s. We’re a small, Boston-based company and we perform all sourcing, formulation, and distribution. We only make products that we would use every day and in fact, we started making these products out of our desire to have these benefits for ourselves.”

Now you are armed with all the information and some great product recommendations to prepare your complexion for your photo session.  Get in touch today to book your session!

Laura is lifestyle and portrait photographer based in Londonderry, NH but also serving the surrounding areas of Windham, Nashua, Hollis, and Brookline.  Laura also works with clients in the Greater Boston area, including Groton, Newton, and Quincy.  Laura specializes in maternity, newborn, child, family and high school senior photography.

Limited Edition Photo Sessions: Authentic New England

They’re here!  The Authentic New England Limited Edition Photo Sessions are ready to be announced.  If you follow my Facebook Page, you’ll have seen me recently talk about my excitement over my new collaboration project I have named “Authentic New England”.  I know I have been a bit vague on the details. However, while discussions and plans were underway, I just couldn’t help sharing a shot from my publicity session, or dropping some hints about something big coming.  I am thrilled to be able to now detail exactly what has me so excited!

Let me back up a little bit though and get personal with you.  In early December, my dear friends Erin and Sam Schreier of Inheritance Farm posted to their Facebook page a plea from the heart.  A desperate plea brought from desperate times.  They were in danger of losing their farm.  This wasn’t only their livelihood, it was also the roof over the head of they and their three children.  This farm has been in Sam’s family since he was 11 years old and has a rich history.  I had celebrated this wonderful couple’s wedding on this property.  This wasn’t just another internet sob story that seems to flood our Newsfeeds these days.  For me this one was personal.  Yes, of course, I would donate to their GoFundMe campaign, but I wanted and needed to do more.  The cog wheels of my mind began turning, thinking and creating ways that I could help Erin and Sam with their mission; save Inheritance Farm!

The farm’s tagline is “an inheritance is a transaction between present and future. Leave forward the inheritance of a better world.”  Leave forward.  Pay it forward.  What could I do or give to pay it forward? My mind wandered back to the beautiful house and grounds of the farm.  Beautiful rolling fields with mountains in the background.  The farmhouse itself a beautiful structure, exactly as you would picture a New England farmhouse with white wooden siding and intricate details.  Various farm buildings on the property all exude authentic charm.  Inspiration struck and I immediately contacted Erin to socialize my idea and see if she agreed it had legs.  Fast forward over some excited exchanges and a collaboration was born.  Fleur Foto would use Inheritance Farm as a photo shoot location.  Discounts would be offered on the upcoming permaculture workshops that are planned at the farm.  Vice versa, discounts would be offered for photo sessions for workshop attendees.  Joint marketing was discussed and impetus built.  But that wasn’t enough for Erin and Sam.  The quintessential givers, they wanted to ensure the collaboration would also benefit their community.  As such, our first joint event will be held on April 3rd, and will benefit the Dunbarton Congregational Church.  With all that in mind, I am thrilled to present to you Authentic New England – Limited Edition Photo Sessions:

Before I go much further, let me hand over the reins to Erin directly so that she can describe to you what is Inheritance Farm Permaculture and why it is so important.

“In the summer of 2010, Sam and I stood on the edge of a 100 square foot garden in a gown and tuxedo.  Rain threatened for the first time in two months; a sign we took as a blessing on our wedding day. Blue-pod peas and pumpkin vines, lush despite the drought thanks to Sam’s ingenuity with water catchment, overflowed with produce destined for our family’s storage and the local food pantry.  Two promises were made: to each other, and to the future of this farm that could provide so much for so many.

Years later, the “Giveaway Garden” still thrives, but now with more intention and purpose.  It is one of the hands-on learning-and-giving workshops Sam and I will host this year on Inheritance Farm, a 200-acre permaculture education and innovation farm in Chichester, NH.  The mission of the farm is multifaceted, reflecting the very essence of a permaculture-based biodiversity.  Education, community building, design and return of surplus to those in need are at the core of each workshop, including the five-month Giveaway Garden experience.  Each month, a new phase of garden building with permaculture ethics and techniques will be offered as a hands-on learning experience.  Between monthly classes, volunteers can participate in ongoing learning and interaction with the garden at weekly “weed meetings,” and take home a share for their efforts.  The surplus will be donated to curb hunger in New Hampshire.

The three tenets of permaculture are Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share.  Giving food is only one way the farm strives to give back to the community.  Tie-in workshops teach earth care in the form of biochar, alternative heat sources like compost and rocket mass technology; people care events include a discussion group to explore ethics and sustainable solutions, and collaborative efforts with community entrepreneurs like Laura and Fleur Foto Photography.  An inheritance is a transaction between present and future. Leave forward the inheritance of a better world.”

Thank you, Erin!  You can read more about the farm and its mission in this front page article from the Concord Times.  With the mention of the upcoming benefit for the church in the article, it was time to formally announce our collaboration and details.

Beginning in early March, a series of limited edition photo sessions will be held at Erin and Sam’s farm in Chichester, NH.  The first event will benefit the Dunbarton Congregational Church, with a further event being held April 3rd.  As previously mentioned, a portion of the proceeds from these events will be going to Inheritance Farm and any associated beneficiary.  These sessions are suitable for all your photographic needs, whether you are seeking a maternity session, wish to announce and capture your engagement, or perhaps it’s been a while since you had family photos taken.  We can tailor your time to exactly match your needs.  The farm will provide the beautiful and stunning backdrop scenery.  You can toast marshmallows at the large fire pit, enjoy tea with homemade bread and jam, and Erin has promised some other hospitality homemade treats.  Hair and Make-up by Lydia Acheson available (details upon inquiry).  Included in your $150 limited edition photo session fee are the following:

  • pre-appointment consultation to fully understand your photographic wishes and discuss wardrobe choices
  • 20 minutes of outdoor photography for up to 5 people (extra can be accommodated at $10 per person.)
  • (1) 8×10 mounted and professionally printed image (other products are available for separate purchase)
  • (1) ordering and image viewing session on-line or in your home

You could be enjoying timeless artwork in your home of images like these:Limited Edition Photo Sessions - Family Photo Session at historic Inheritance Farm Permaculture by Fleur Foto Photography

Limited Edition Photo Sessions - Authentic New England photo series - family portraits at Inheritance Farm Permaculture by Fleur Foto Photography

Limited Edition Photo Sessions - Authentic New England photo series - family portraits at Inheritance Farm Permaculture by Fleur Foto Photography

or these:

Limited Edition Photo Sessions - Limited Edition Photo Sessions - Authentic New England photo series - family portraits at Inheritance Farm Permaculture by Fleur Foto Photography

Limited Edition Photo Sessions - Authentic New England photo series - family portraits at Inheritance Farm Permaculture by Fleur Foto Photography

Limited Edition Photo Sessions - Authentic New England photo series - family portraits at Inheritance Farm Permaculture by Fleur Foto Photography

Exited?  We are! Limited spots are available so get in touch either online or call me today (978) 571-6280 to book your spot for April 3rd, or for future events.  To enquire about arrangements for your own fundraising event at the farm, please get in touch!  These will be days for community gathering.  Days for celebrating all the potential the future holds for the farm.  Days to support our friends and days to give back.

I would like to give particular thanks to Lydia Acheson for her time and talent in the realm of hair and make-up arranged for the Dunbarton Church Event package.

Limited Edition Photo Sessions – Authentic New England is part of a photo session series focusing on giving back to the community and supporting Inheritance Farm by Laura of Fleur Foto Photography.  Laura is a portrait and lifestyle photographer that specializes in maternity, newborn, child, family and high school seniors.  Based in Londonderry, NH, Laura also serves Chichester, Nashua, Hollis, Windham, and the greater Boston area, including Groton, and Newton, MA.

A time for launch and re-launch


I was recently honored to be asked to photographically represent my friend Karen’s new organic skincare company Hanu Skincare.  Karen needed everything from stock photos for her many upcoming blog posts, head shots and, she also asked me to come along to both support and photograph her company’s launch party at Karma in Newton, MA.

We had a blast posing around for the head shots and getting the exact shots Karen would need for her blog.  During this process, it was so very apparent the care and the dedication that has gone into the products and the company’s mission.  All the ingredients are 100% organic, with an emphasis on no “fragrance.”  To learn more about the products and ingredients, please read Karen’s blog post on Conscious Cosmetics.

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