Ballet dancer en pointe | group shot on love seat | Fleur Foto Photography

Dancer Portraits

Ever since I began my studio journey I knew I wanted to get a group of ballet dancers into the studio for dancer portraits. I had a vision in my head for these portraits and I am really pleased with the results.

I started dance when I was three years old. From that time, being a dancer has been a part of my life, with small breaks here and there to have children and when my schedule conflicted with classes.

Right now is recital season with every spare moment for these dancers spent in rehearsals and extra classes to perfect their routines. After much planning, we settled on a date and time the girls could make it to the studio. Thus ensued a very fun packed 2 hours of photography and ballet.

Ballet pointe dancer | dramatic black and white | Fleur Foto Photography

I knew I wanted to use a variety of lighting techniques to really highlight the talents and the amazing feats that dancers can perform. These are a couple of my favorite dramatically lit images that we created.

Ballet dancer en point | burgundy top and skirt | Fleur Foto Photography

Ballet takes technique. It takes creativity and emotion. It also takes amazing strength and flexibility.

Ballet Pointe Dancer | Black and White | Fleur Foto Photography

I remember when I got my first pair of pointe shoes. It’s the moment every young ballet dancer dreams of and awaits with anticipation. It’s also the moment of harsh reality when you learn that not only are these shoes incredibly uncomfortable, they hurt like…..well, you know! I often joked that if you ever wanted to torture someone to get them to tell their secrets, just put them in pointe shoes and make them stand in them for a few minutes. You very quickly learn that although those dancers on the stage that make it look so incredibly easy, beautiful and smooth, it is anything but!

Ballet Dancer en pointe | Black and white studio portraits | Fleur Foto Photography

When I moved to the US and began taking classes here at my studio of choice – Ellens School of Dance – I was introduced to the world of gel toe inserts.  What?!?!  Where had these things been all my life? I had previously danced with nothing but a little lamb’s wool packed at the toe of my pointe shoes; a token gesture at comfort that provided anything but that! These inserts made it feel like I was dancing on air by comparison.

Ballet dance en pointe | Black and white duet | Fleur Foto Photography

Still, gel inserts or none, ballet continues to have that pull for me and will always be a big love of mine. So much so, that this summer I will begin teaching speciality classes in the method I trained in the UK – Royal Academy of Dance. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to pass along my love of ballet to a younger generation and see these girls develop and flourish.

Ballet dancer | en pointe arabesque | Fleur Foto Photography

I think you will agree that these ladies are insanely talented and amazingly beautiful and graceful.

ballet dancer studio portraits | dancer en pointe | Fleur Foto Photography

Whether or not dance becomes their livelihood or like me, remains as a passion throughout their lives, the friendships made, the bloody toes, the sweat and the euphoria of performance will remain with them forever.

Ballet Dancer en pointe | Black and white backlit | Fleur Foto Photography

Ballet dancer en pointe | group shot on love seat | Fleur Foto Photography

Once a dancer, always a dancer!

Thank you ladies for making these images some of the best I have ever created.

If you are interested in dance portraits, contact Laura here or call (978) 571-6280.  Laura is a portrait and lifestyle photographer based in Londonderry, serving Southern NH and Northern MA, including Groton, Hollis, Nashua, Billerica and Windham.

lifestyle photo session| hockey locker room | Fleur Foto

Hockey Lifestyle Photography Session | Londonderry NH Photographer

A large part of our family life is taken up by hockey. Hockey practices, hockey games, hockey scrimmages, and hockey equipment. My boys can’t get enough of it. If they’re not playing on the ice, they’re playing in our driveway. If the weather is too harsh for outside play, then they’re either watching it on TV or playing it on a video game. They collect hockey cards. Hockey is everywhere and we wouldn’t change a thing! Recently, my younger son and his Mite team took part in the Don Heyliger Memorial Tournament in Dover, NH. It was a weekend away for us and our fellow hockey families, and a chance for me to capture the event in a lifestyle photography session.

My boys love staying at hotels for the weekend. We don’t have to travel far afield, but if there’s a pool (and a TV), they are like pigs in mud.

lifestyle photography session|Hotel Scenes | Fleur Foto|hockey tournament

Our team manager set us up in a great hotel in downtown Portsmouth – one of our favorite cities to visit. We managed to enjoy a little bit of the city in-between the trips to and from the Dover ice arena. I loved being able to stroll with my husband for a couple of blocks to the nearest Starbucks for our morning pick-me-ups.

My boys both play for the Southern NH Cavaliers. This is such a great organization. They are non-profit and really care about the kids and ensuring that the focus is on both skill development AND the enjoyment of the game.

lifestyle photography session| Ice rink bleachers | Fleur Foto|hockey trip

Through hockey, my boys are learning some very valuable life lessons – much beyond the rules of a game and how to score a goal. I read a letter that was titled “A Father’s Wish” today shared by a fellow hockey mom on Facebook. I won’t reproduce the whole thing here, but I greatly empathized with the sentiment. Like most team sports, hockey is about respect – respect for your coach, your fellow players and the referee’s decisions. I loved the lines in the letter:

Teach him to play as a team and never to be selfish. Teach him never to blame his goaltender when a goal is scored against him, because five mistakes were made before the puck got to the goalie.

lifestyle photography session| Hockey coach | Fleur Foto|hockey tournament

While the tensions run high on the ice during the tournament, our team knows how to keep the mood light and fun before the games. Boys and girls alike, they can let their hair down in the locker rooms.

lifestyle photography session| Excited young hockey player | Fleur Foto|hockey tournament

lifestyle photography session| Hockey Jersey | Fleur Foto|hockey tournament

Hockey teaches valuable lessons at a young age. We won’t win every game. Winning isn’t everything. It’s the goal, but sometimes we will lose. Sometimes those losses will be hard, especially for younger players. Learning that on the ice helps our players to deal with other losses they will face in life.

lifestyle photography session| Zamboni | Fleur Foto|hockey tournament

When we hear the Zamboni preparing the ice, the locker room gets a buzz. The kids get pumped and their smiles are wide. We happen to have a very good looking team too! These kids adore each other. When they are off the ice, they want nothing more than to spend more time with their teammates.

lifestyle photography session|Hockey Team | Fleur Foto|hockey tournament

Coach Bob gets the kids to walk in an “orderly” line – I don’t think one of them will ever forget his “I can’t dance” by Genesis congo line!

lifestyle photography session| Shirt and tie | Fleur Foto|hockey tournament

What did I say about hockey, hockey, hockey? That’s right – if they’re not playing it on the ice, they’re playing it while they wait to get into the locker room!

lifestyle photography session| Taping hockey stick | Fleur Foto|hockey tournament

We are very fortunate to also have a number of assistant coaches on our team. They are all dads that wanted to get actively involved in the association and their kids’ sports education. We wouldn’t be without their help at practice and on the bench during the games. Thanks, Coach Dan, Coach Mike and Coach Matt for all your help and dedication this year!

lifestyle photography session| Taping hockey stick | Fleur Foto|hockey trip

Hockey means gear – a lot of it! And the gear has gear! There is a fine art to taping a stick – one that is learned early and practiced often.

lifestyle photography session| Locker room scenes | Fleur Foto|hockey trip

Though we may dress smartly and look angelic, sometimes looks can be deceiving….

lifestyle photography session| Getting hockey gear | Fleur Foto|hockey tournament

Soon it’s time to get down to business and get suited up. The first time as a parent that you put your kid’s hockey gear on, it can feel like you are doing a 1000 piece puzzle with no picture to follow. Soon enough, though, you and your hockey star learn exactly what goes where and in what order.

lifestyle photography session|Locker room getting dressed | Fleur Foto|hockey tournament

lifestyle photography session| Hockey scenes | Fleur Foto|hockey tournament

Coach Bob names a team captain for each game – it’s one of the many special touches he gives to his kids’ hockey experience. The kids are so thrilled to be leading their team for that game.

lifestyle photography session| Team Captain | Fleur Foto|hockey tournament

lifestyle photography session| Explaining the plays | Fleur Foto|hockey tournament

Right before they take the ice, Coach Bob goes over the plays he wants the kids to make. He reminds them where he wants them to place the puck in each scenario. The kids are transfixed, hanging on his every word. And they are not the only ones….

lifestyle photography session| Hockey Parents | Fleur Foto|hockey tournament

lifestyle photography session| Water bottles and skates | Fleur Foto|hockey tournament

Soon it’s time to line up ready to take the ice. Sometimes, it’s necessary to get some last minute adjustments to your helmet from your older brother.

lifestyle photography session| Hockey helmet | Fleur Foto|hockey tournament

In hockey, some life-long friendships are made; by players and by parents. You become part of an extended family. A group that you can count on. They have your back as you have theirs.

lifestyle photography session| Hockey Buddies | Fleur Foto|hockey tournament

Sadly we’ll be saying goodbye to Coach Bob at the end of this season, our head coach. We’ve had the privilege to know him, and my boys have learned from his many years of experience and wisdom. Under his tutelage, my sons experienced their very first moments of hockey. He’s taught them so well with care, compassion and, when needed, a firm but fair hand. They don’t make that many Coach Bobs in this world. We were among the lucky ones to be able to call him our “Coach”.

Special thanks to Coach Bob – you have no idea how you will be missed or how much we would like to thank you for everything you have done for our team. If you find you have too much time on your hands, I know a group of young kids and their parents that would be only too happy to see you back on the ice with them.

As this season comes to a close and playoffs are looming, it’s with sadness I think of not seeing the same familiar faces two, three, four times a week. Have a fun summer my Cavs family. Enjoy your lazy afternoons and evenings. We will look forward to seeing you again in late August, and if you’re just as crazy as we are, we’ll see you around the rink this summer too!

Laura is a lifestyle and portrait photographer based in Londonderry, NH, but also serving the surrounding areas of Nashua, Hollis, Brookline and the Greater Boston area. Laura specializes in maternity, newborn, child, family and high school senior photography. Book your lifestyle photography session today by contacting Laura here.

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 Session | Family Photo Session | Antique Green Truck | Inheritance Farm Permaculture | Fleur Foto Photography

Limited Edition Photo Sessions | Family portraits| couple in front of stone wall | Inheritance Farm Permaculture | Fleur Foto Photography

Limited Edition Photo Sessions | family portraits | Child on green truck | Inheritance Farm Permaculture | Fleur Foto Photography

or these:

Limited Edition Photo Sessions | family portraits a| Older couple with antique green truck | Inheritance Farm Permaculture | Fleur Foto Photography

Limited Edition Photo Sessions | family portraits in the snow at Inheritance Farm Permaculture | Fleur Foto Photography

Limited Edition Photo Sessions | family portraits | Older couple kissing | Inheritance Farm Permaculture | 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.

Child and Fall Family portrait sessions at Londonderry Rail Trail by local photographer Fleur Foto Photography

Bloopers and outtakes, cobblers and shoes

I don’t know about you, but one thing I find even more entertaining than a good comedy movie is the blooper reel during the end credits.  Something about seeing the actors slipping up and cracking up at themselves, just like an ordinary person like you and I, really tickles me (because after all, that’s all they are).  After going through the shots I recently took of my own children for this year’s Christmas cards, I thought you would like an insight into my own bloopers and outtakes reel.

Bloopers and outtakes |Child Fall Photo Sessions | rail trail in Londonderry, NH | Fleur Foto Photography

First there’s the “really mum?” sullen look of my older son.  You know it….your kid does it too.

Bloopers and outtakes|Child Fall Photo Sessions | sticking tongue out | Londonderry, NH by Fleur Foto Photography

Then there’s the point when things just start getting silly and they can’t hold it in any longer.  Naturally, there’s the 25% of the shots where my older son doesn’t even look at the camera;  we can see both of these in the above example.

Bloopers and outtakes|Child Fall Photo Sessions | Perplexed look | rail trail in Londonderry, NH | Fleur Foto Photography

Then there’s the perplexed look; an improvement on not looking at the camera at all, but still making this 50% unusable for a card picture.

There’s a saying about a cobbler’s child not having any shoes, and I admit that I probably have taken more pictures of other people than my own children at this point.  But, I’m happy to report that this year, the Bower children have their feet taken care of…..oh and their Christmas pictures.

I thought you also might a look behind the scenes of a photo shoot, courtesy of my husband and his iPhone camera.  Here’s what a typical set-up looks like:

Bloopers and outtakes | Child Fall Photo Sessions | Behind the scenes | rail trail in Londonderry, NH by Fleur Foto Photography

Bloopers and outtakes |Child Fall Photo Sessions | behind the scenes | rail trail in Londonderry, NH by Fleur Foto Photography

Bloopers and outtakes | Child Fall Photo Sessions | Photographer behind the scenes | rail trail in Londonderry, NH by Fleur Foto Photography

And then there are the ones which produce the shot….but sometimes you also just have to ride out the silliness….

Bloopers and outtakes | Child Fall Photo Sessions | behind the scenes silliness | rail trail in Londonderry, NH by Fleur Foto Photography

Bloopers and outtakes | Child Fall Photo Sessions | boys and fall folliage |Rail trail in Londonderry, NH by Fleur Foto Photography

And then there’s the “be still my heart” shot when you see the grown boy lurking around the corner and it makes you want to just stop time in its tracks.

Bloopers and outtakes |Child Fall Photo Sessions | boy looking over shoulder | rail trail in Londonderry, NH by Fleur Foto Photography

Looking for a photography to capture a lifestyle or portrait session of your child(ren)? I’d love to learn more about you and your family and craft the perfect session for you.  Drop me a line today or give me a call on (978) 571-6280.  There will be plenty of bloopers, but I guarantee we’ll capture those unforgettable moments in beautiful artwork for you to display and cherish.

Laura is a Londonderry-based professional photographer, specializing in capturing the personality and the essence of your child.  Laura also offers family, newborn, senior and family portraits.  Serving Southern NH and the Greater Boston area; also in Londonderry, Derry, Windham, Nashua, Hollis, and Amherst.  Get your session booked today to take advantage of special pricing available until the end of the year.

Good genes and good times – family portrait session

This summer was a little different for our family.  My husband is fortunate enough to work with a company that gives its employees an 8 week sabbatical every set number of years of employment.  We took full advantage of that this summer and packed our time with lots of trips and experiences for us to enjoy as a family.  One of those was to rent a beach-front house in Rye, NH.

Both my husband and I love this area of New Hampshire and this town.  The house was just minutes’ walk from a lovely state beach, and right on the shoreline.  It was a perfect spot to just relax, listen to the waves and watch the sunrise from our bedroom window.  Since the house happened to have three bedrooms, we  invited my mum to join us from Scotland for the two weeks.  My boys had a lovely time just being with grandma and I think she had a nice time just taking walks along the coastline and reading books on her kindle on the deck in the sun.

I loved us all having time together and was even able to get some lovely shots of my mum in this impromptu family portrait session.

Family portrait session at Rye NH shoreline by Fleur Foto Photography

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