New Packages for Clients!

I first fell in love with photography when I was six years old. My brother, seven years older than me, had a kodak disposable camera lying around, and being the obtuse little sister that I was, I took it and made it my own. I’ll never forget the sound the camera made as I wound it up, or looking at the image I framed through the viewfinder and pressing the shutter to capture that moment. Of course, that first moment was documentation of my brother’s messy room: I was tired of always being yelled at for clothes on my floor when right across the hall, another room was just as messy.

Baby Leanne ready to get her gremlin hands on things that were not hers

Baby Leanne ready to get her gremlin hands on things that were not hers

My first set of photographs was a day in the life of six year old Leanne. I lined up my stuffed animal friends for the perfect shot on my little bench, I followed my childhood dog around the backyard, and took pictures of my parents. I was upset I used my twenty or so pictures so quickly, but, seeing my work when my parents finally got around to getting that camera developed was so monumental to me. I was able to “hold” my day again. They were physically there, captured forever.

My parents still have those first ever photographs in their home, and I love being able to hold those moments again. Now, while my photographs have certainly evolved from blackmail and my dog going to the bathroom, the feeling that I get when photos are developed haven’t changed.

In today’s digital age, it’s easy to forget how important printed photographs are. It’s easier to leave the photographs on the computer and just share them on social media. Which is why I’m excited to introduce a new package for all my clients moving forward. I have wanted to do this for a while now, but, I wanted to do it in a unique way to myself. I also wanted to make sure the pricing would work: it’s a finnicky balance to honor your art while also honoring budgets, but, I’m proud to be able to offer clients something new.

Moving forward, when you book with me, each session will include a keepsake box with prints inside. Of course, clients can still order prints through their galleries (and, I would definitely suggest doing any canvas prints with my printer!).

As I grow and expand my business, the importance of being true to my values grows more and more, and I’m excited to honor six year old Leanne with these keepsake boxes. It’s my hope that holding your photos will bring you the same joy it always brings me.

Looking forward to printing and creating more and more memories with you all.

xo,

Leanne

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Will & Kate: A Northport Love Story

When I met with Will and Kate to be their wedding photographer, there was something kismet about being around them. Perhaps it’s the way Will and Kate look at each other, or the way they put each other at ease, but being around them felt so comfortable and right.

When we discussed an engagement session , there was only one spot they had in mind. Having gotten engaged in the Northport Park, that was the only place they wanted to have their engagement photographs taken.

Strolling through the park together, it was those little moments that made the session so special. It was the way Kate would look up at Will with that sparkle in her eye, or, their willingness to trust me when climbing a bunch of rocks “for the shot.”

After this engagement session, I couldn’t be more excited for their wedding next year.

Here are a few of my favorites from the day.

Family Photoshoot: Northport

For Mother’s Day, Joe bought his wife a family photo session. With two kids in college and one a teacher upstate, their lives were moving rapidly, and all they needed was a pause button. Getting a family of young adults together is not an easy task, but, after a lot of back and forth, we were able to make it happen.

Spending early Father’s Day with this family was a gift. We all laughed so hard, and it was the best way to spend an early sunday morning. Plus, it was a nice change of events to photograph adult “kids”, although, a lot of my techniques didn’t translate to them well. I guess only 2 year olds like “Ducky”. (kidding! Ducky wasn’t present)

Here are a few of my favorites from the day!

Jaqueline & Bobby: The Larkfield

It’s been six weeks since I photographed Jaqueline and Bobby’s Wedding and I still feel the love from their day running through my veins.

It’s a rare gift to be in the presence of true love, and after 15 years together, Jaqueline and Bobby still emulate that “falling in love for the first time” glow. But, it wasn’t just the two of them that were filled with love; it was their friendships and families that made the entire day overflow with this indescribable warmth. From long time friendships, parents who still respect each other and each others partners, grandparents who weren’t there physically, but were there through modern technology, and all the little moments in between, this day and these people have bettered my soul.

During Bobby’s welcome speech, he discussed how at their home, they have a “grateful jar”. Everyday, they write down what they’re grateful for, and on days where they’re overwhelmed, they read a note from that jar. Since this moment, I have adopted this habit. If there is one thing I’ve learned from being around this couple and their family for the few short hours that I did, it’s that life is too short to be anything but grateful for all the blessings we have. Jaq & Bobby, I’m grateful for you two. I’m grateful to be a small part of your day, and I’m grateful for learning from you two. Thank you for teaching everyone you know the importance of those little moments. I wish you two nothing but continued happiness and success.

An Introduction to my new Best Friend

Having documented Heather and Mike’s journey to parenthood, it only felt right that I try my hand at newborn photography with my new best friend. I’m not going to share her name, because while she definitely did work for the camera at 11 days old, she doesn’t even know what the internet is yet. This little lady was the first newborn, newborn, I ever met. And, let me tell you: I’m in love.

Now, before you start buying me baby onesies, this still doesn’t mean I’m ready for one of my own. The greatest part about someone else’s child is that you can return them when they start crying. I have never tried my hand at newborn photography, and I’m thankful that Heather and Mike had more faith in me than I did. Did I spend the 36 hours prior to the shoot obsessing over everything newborn portraits? Maybe. Did I buy the special pillow and blankets and little wraps and a bow for my new best friend? Maybe.

Was I scared holding her because she looked so new and innocent? Yes.

But, did I love the way she cooed and took in the world? Yes, yes I did. And, now that her birth announcement is proudly displayed on my refrigerator, I can share some of my favorite pictures from this afternoon.

P.S.: As if Heather and Mike weren’t good enough to me already, Heather used my book in the portraits for her daughter, and even typing this, I’m getting teary-eyed. I hope one day I can read it to her. If you’d like to pick up your own copy of one of my books, check me out on Amazon here.

Lately

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A long, long time ago, I wanted to be a blogger. I passionately documented my life on the inter web for all three people who frequently visited my page to see. Life updates, funny posts about customers (I work in a restaurant: I have ENDLESS funny stories about customers), recipes, and whatever was on trend. And, then the blogging world changed. I needed to share more of myself on Instagram, share my outfits, and constantly post content. I was overwhelmed. And, while I made money on my little blog (affiliate marketing, yo!) I knew that path wasn’t for me.

Now, with all that said, YOU’D THINK BLOGGING ON MY PHOTOGRAPHY SITE WOULD BE THE EASIEST PART OF THIS WEBSITE!

That’s really just me, yelling at me, for not updating this more often.

And, so here I am, attempting to break my writers block with a little Thursday evening ramble to catch everyone up on my happenings.

Since the last maternity photo session I posted, I have photographed a baby shower, another maternity session, a newborn portrait session, and a wedding ceremony at town hall. I’ve also been photographing the food at our restaurant for our Instagram content, and in between all that, have photographed some personal projects. I am also working full time still, which has involved rolling out 3 new menus in just under a month. Yeesh, writing it all out like that helps me understand why I’m so tired, haha.

With editing finished on all but one of those above sessions, I have never felt more rooted in my path. I think a lot of people can resonate with the feeling of “wanting to follow a dream or passion.” Especially in today’s climate, it’s so easy to wonder if you’re on the right path, and, where I live, it’s also easy to wonder if you’re doing “enough”. I often write in my instagram captions how I’m “grateful” for each experience, and I think that’s the perfect word to describe how I feel about this photography experience. I am so grateful that I am able to be a part of these moments with people. I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue my education and learn new techniques. I’m grateful for the feeling photography provides my soul. It’s almost as if my soul has been trying to steer me to this path for the last ten years of my life and now that I’m on it, it’s just elated.

Two years ago, I had my palm read. Within the lines of my palm, the reader found a lot of truths and predictions about my life. Now, while I received a lot of information in that reading ( I typed it up for reference), two parts of it really stood out to me.

  1. That I have a long love line, and it started about 5 years ago (3 years ago during the reading.) I met Mark, my husband, 5 years ago so that felt sweet.

  2. That around my thirties I’m going to live in a much more creative world. My aesthetic line is long, and the lines surrounding it indicated that I’m going to have a very creative career.

Well, next week is my twenty ninth birthday. I’m on the precipice of my thirties and while most people dread it (believe me, I don’t love the forehead lines I am developing) I’m mostly excited to see if that all comes true. With the way it’s moving, I think it is.

Now, before I fear hitting “publish”, I’m going to stop writing. Cheers to sharing all of the galleries and some more musings!

Feel free to visit my instagram @veritymomentsphotos

I’m also HOPING to get this website redone soon. I hired someone back in October, and they ended up being a total bust, BUT, now that I finally have my refund, I plan on finding a new designer. Here’s hoping, at least!

Thanks for following along!

Maternity Portraits, Sunken Meadow State Park, NY

If you asked me a year ago if I could ever see myself photographing Maternity Portraits I would have said “no”.And, yet, here we are- three maternity portrait sessions down and falling more and more in love with them each time.

The truth is, I think there is something magical about pregnancy and I consider each maternity session a blessing. To be able to witness a mom at her strongest, and to be there to capture them at their most beautiful, it truly is a gift.

Melissa is due any second now, (no, honestly- she could be in labor right now. When we met there was no mucus plug. I don’t exactly know what that is, but, it sounds important.) but, through the hustle and bustle of the holiday’s forgot to schedule a maternity portrait session. Talking to her at the restaurant, I gently suggested that I could photograph them for her, just so she could have this moment forever and she agreed.

On a windy Tuesday afternoon, we met at Sunken Meadow State Park for some portraits. Yes, we met on the beach in January. Was it mildly insane? Probably. Do I love each photograph? Yes.

Melissa is a strong, beautiful, spirit who is going to raise the most beautiful baby. Her trust and her friendships are such a reflection of her, and I cannot wait to meet baby pup.

I am so grateful for that serendipitous Friday night, and I’m even more grateful that you trusted me with these moments, mama. You’re going to be incredible.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Maternity Photos in Islip

The greatest gift you can give a photographer is trust, and that is exactly what Mike and Heather gave me the day of their Maternity Photoshoot.

Heather knew she wanted to capture her expanded baby bump before Spud was born. Mike knew he didn’t want to shoot on the beach again ( I can’t blame him- it was windy that day.) I knew I wanted to use my last smoke bomb. Together, we created a vision.

While I have yet to experience what it is like to grow a human inside of me, and while I still envision it much like when Bella from Twilight was pregnant, there is something magical about the idea that one woman human is carrying around another human for nine months. Heather and Mike talk about “Spud” (they won’t tell me the name- I tried!) as if she has been around forever. And, maybe she has. After all, their love story dates back far, and this Spud is a creation of two people who genuinely, truly, love and respect each other.

Much like the novels that Heather teaches, I wanted Heather and Mike’s love story to be encapsulated in a magical way. I wanted their photos to have the juxtaposition of the darkness of the woods, with a whimsical element like the giant balloons. The balloons also serving as a pun because Heather is truly about to pop.

These portraits are not typical Maternity Photos, and for that I’m grateful to Heather and Mike. I wanted to capture them at their purest, happiest moment since their wedding day. I wanted to give them genuine portraits of their love, and I wanted to be able to show Spud one day just how in love her parents are.

Heather and Mike, thank you for trusting me with this moment, and for your friendship. I cannot wait to meet Baby Spud.

Family Portraits in Islip, New York

One of my favorite things about living on Long Island is how rich in history this little island is. Growing up in East Meadow, I was surrounded by the first suburbs; an extraordinary piece of history that has shaped our entire nation. WIth easy access to the Gold Coast, I have always had an affinity to historical sites and an appreciation for all the non profits that keep these buildings up and running.

Now living in Suffolk County, I have a whole new frontier of historical buildings to explore. This year, when Vitina contacted me to do her family photoshoot, I knew the exact location that I wanted to shoot at. The Brookwood Hall in Islip is a government building overlooking a lake. Operated by the town, the location has art pieces scattered throughout the landscape, a beautiful, historical building, a playground, and a beautiful little forest area. The versality of this location kept the boys moving, exploring, and not feeling constrained to one spot. We played with leaves, we saw a swan, we walked along a pebble path, and posed in a forest. This mini session was so much fun, and I’m so grateful that Vitina once again trusted me with her family memories.

Here are a few of my favorites.

That Time My Laptop Was Stolen

If there was ever an area about my business that I’m most insecure about it would be my portfolio. Not because of the quality of photos I take, my edits, or what I deliver to clients; I am so proud of the artistic photographs I am able to capture. That is years and countless of hours of practice and dedication. My style is a reflection of my soul and every picture I deliver is something I’m proud of. However, I am insecure because I lost 85% of my portfolio to a stupid mistake.

A few years ago, when I was just starting out on this photography journey, I was traveling out in Washington State when my computer and camera equipment were stolen. Being new to the game, I didn’t have a back up system in place. I had some photos in a large dropbox file, but, I never imaged that there would be a day that I didn’t have my laptop or my portfolio.

Weddings where I was a second shooter, gone.

Early family portraits, gone.

Personal work of landscapes and concerts, all gone.

I was twenty three and had just realized that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and I lost all of my work. It was a devastating blow. Fortunately, I had my camera body on me that night, so while I lost most of my work and equipment, I still at least had a camera. Perhaps a sign that this was still something I needed to pursue.

I stopped photographing “people” for three years after that. I still had the bug, but, I felt like I wasn’t responsible enough to hold their memories. I moved, would capture events here and there. Slowly, I gained my confidence back. And, about a year ago, I started photographing events, family portraits, engagements and even weddings. Within eight months, I photographed more portraits and weddings on my own than I ever imagined.

I now have a very thorough and sensible back up system in place. Photographs immediately go on onto a hard drive, and, as soon as they’re on that hard drive, I then make copies into a large cloud folder. Every photo meticulously labeled. I hold on to RAW photos for at least 8 months after any event; just in case a client thinks I missed something.

The moral of this? If you’re ever thinking “her portfolio seems limited” it’s because it is. It’s not reflective of the ten+ weddings I shot before my equipment was stolen. It’s not reflective of the early portrait sessions I would do. It’s only reflective of my work in the last year. The last year where I’ve fallen in love with the art of photography all over again. Every shoot, every frame, every image is another moment to fall in love with what I do.

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