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Nashua NH Family Portraits

Chance and luck are strange things.  For example, it was my great luck that I got to work with this Nashua NH family when they took a chance on a raffle supporting breast cancer and won a photography session with me.  I’m not sure who the greatest winner was between us, but I’d hasten to say, I feel very lucky to now know this family and have had the pleasure to take their family portraits.  After dodging the New England weather and waiting for the snow to clear, we made a date and met at the lovely Benson’s Park in Hudson for some lake-front portraits.  I’ve shot many times at this location, but this was my first time taking it lake-front.  Wow!  What a great backdrop for this gorgeous family!

Nashua NH Family Portraits | Benson's Park | Hudson NH

Nashua NH Family Portraits | Benson's Park | Hudson NH

We had some fun, even though it was a chilly evening, and I chatted to Hadleigh about her ballet lessons.  As a former dancer myself, we had lots of barre talk we could share.

Nashua NH Family Portraits| Benson's Park | Hudson NH

We made sure we got some shots of mom and dad on their own – apparently their first portraits since their wedding day.  I didn’t have to coax too hard to get them to look lovingly into each other’s eyes.  I also love to get the kids together – this pair has a great bond and no bribes were needed to get them to throw their arms around each other.

Nashua NH Family Portraits | Benson's Park | Hudson NH

No Fleur Foto family portrait session is complete without a little bit of silliness.  A family that pulls funny faces together stays together. 🙂

Nashua NH Family Portraits | Benson's Park | Hudson NH

As I snapped away, Cohen and I chatted about his hockey lessons.  He is in a learn to skate program at the moment and loving every minute of it.  If you are a reader of my blog, you will already know that my family lives the hockey life.  I gave Jen and Josh some tips for surviving the future before them.

Nashua NH Family Portraits | Benson's Park | Hudson NH

With dance recitals and hockey games in their future, I shared so many common interests and experiences with this family.  Not only did we click straight away, they are just a very cool family that is instantly likable.

It was my great pleasure to help Jen and Josh design a gallery wall for their home with their images from this family portrait session.  It’s going to make a big statement in their family room, showcasing an adorable family.

For more information about Nashua NH Family Portraits, please contact Laura Bower.  Laura is a lifestyle and portrait photographer based in Londonderry, NH.  Laura photographs families, newborns, babies, children, high school seniors and expectant mothers in maternity portraits.  She covers Southern NH and the greater Boston area, including Nashua, Hollis, Groton, Brookline, Londonderry and Windham.  To schedule your own family portrait session, you can contact Laura here.

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|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|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|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|Fleur Foto|hockey tournament

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

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

lifestyle photography session|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|Fleur Foto|hockey tournament

lifestyle photography session|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|Fleur Foto|hockey tournament

lifestyle photography session|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|Fleur Foto|hockey tournament

lifestyle photography session|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|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|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.

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.

Quincy MA family photographer – meet you at the bandstand

I had so much fun capturing these Quincy tween siblings for their family photo session. This brother and sister are just gorgeous, and could have stepped right out of the pages of the latest designer clothing catalog.  Mom has shared with me how excited they were for their photo shoot, secretly passing along that they felt like they were models.  As they should!  We met in downtown Wakefield at a park with a really cool bandstand and lake – a photographer’s dream for options!  We quickly got to work and they had so much fun posing together. You can just tell this family has a great relationship.  They had an easy air between them and readily flung their arms around each other.

MA Child Portrait Photography tween boy and girl pictured with bandstand and stone walls by Fleur Foto Photography

The fall leaves were at peak color adding lovely yellows and oranges to our backdrop.

MA Child Portrait Photography tween boy and girl pictured with tree, fall leaves and bandstand by Fleur Foto Photography

Right now Lauren still has the height advantage over her brother Jackson but, it won’t be long before he catches her up.  I just love this connection here between them.  So did mom and she ordered this back-to-back pose in a large print.

MA Child Portrait Photography tween boy and girl pictured in park on bench by Fleur Foto Photography

Aren’t they just gorgeous?  There are definitely great genes running in this family!

MA Child Portrait Photography young tween siblings pictured with trees and lake by Fleur Foto Photography

I had a great time working with these two being a little older than some of my clients’ kids.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the energy required for working with young children, but sometimes it’s nice to have your subjects to be fairly still for you.

MA Child Portrait Photography tween boy and girl pictured with stone steps by Fleur Foto Photography

Except when they’re not still…..

MA Child Portrait Photography young tween siblings pictured with stone doorway and lake by Fleur Foto Photography

I really enjoy incorporating some of the more interesting parts of a location into my photos – you may recall when I used this retro gas station for a senior session here.  These canons were so cool, and of course, completely appropriate to a New England family photo session.

MA Child Portrait Photography tween boy and girl pictured with canon by Fleur Foto Photography

Jackson is one of my favorite young men – he’s really into music and dancing and loves to go to concerts.  He does a mean Michael Jackson impersonation.

MA Child and Family Portrait Photography young tween boy pictured with stone wall

Lauren has a great aptitude for sports – she plays on a baseball and soccer team.  She loves spending time with her friends and shopping!  Well, who wouldn’t?

MA Child and Family Portrait Photography young tween girl pictured with lake background by Fleur Foto Photography

MA Child and Family Portrait Photography young tween siblings pictured with fall leaves and lake by Fleur Foto Photography

As you can see from this small sample, we got a great variety of shots which all looked perfect in the 10×10 heirloom album I designed for them.  I know for sure that Lauren and Jackson’s extended family had some lovely photography items under their tree this Christmas!

Laura Bower is a Quincy MA child and family photographer.  Based in Southern NH, she also works with families in Groton, Waltham, Newton and the Greater Boston area.  She also photographs families in Nashua, Hollis, Brookline, Londonderry, Derry, Windham and Salem, NH.  Laura specializes in lifestyle and portrait photography of maternity, newborns, babies, children, families and high school seniors.  To book a session, please contact 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 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.