Being a Night Owl…This is MY Normal! {Miscelaneous, Life Prints Portrait Design}

Posted on March 15, 2011. Filed under: Articles | Tags: , , , , |

I am a night owl, a night person… definitely NOT a morning person!  I am also the mother of an 8-year-old and a business owner.  These facts present a problem.  Why?  Because the vast majority of society (at least in the United States, which is where I happen to live) live and work on the presumption that 9am-5pm is normal.  Yes indeed, this is a problem.

Here’s a little background.  Growing up, my mom slept a lot and at times which were not conducive to raising three children.  There could have been a plethora of reasons behind this, but needless to say it affected the entire family in a very negative way.  As I look back on it now in creating this little history, I am feeling guilty and more than a little bit of camaraderie with my mom as to how life must have been for her back then (as well as now since this continues to be an issue for her.)  I can say that the sleep “issues” I have now are not new by any stretch of the imagination.

High School:  I was raised mormon and I was raised in California.  That being said, for all four years of high school, I attended what is called early morning seminary… religious classes at 6am at the church prior to going to school at 7:45ish.  I graduated from seminary, though I’m not quite sure how considering that if you added up all of my missed mornings of classes for all four years, I think I totalled about two years of actual class attendance.  Even once I got to my regular high school classes each morning, first period was a complete waste as I literally slept through most of it.   Needless to say, I was not any more a morning person then than I am now. 

Young Adulthood:  At nineteen years old, I was promoted to store manager at a location for a popular frozen yogurt chain.  Great job… unless I had to be there early to open the store.  That wasn’t usually too much of a problem since we didn’t open the doors until 10am.  I could get there by 9am and be alright… most of the time.  There were days though that I had to be there by 6am to tear apart, clean, sanitize and reassemble the frozen yogurt machines.  I managed okay… until the end of my second year in that job.  I had been handed the rains of one of the busiest corporate stores in the company, which was located just miles from the corporate headquarters.  I just couldn’t make it out of bed that day to clean the machines.  I wanted to.  I had planned to.   But it didn’t happen.  When I did arrive, I did the best I could but didn’t exactly do a stellar job.  Later that day, I received a call from the company’s vice president who was wondering why I hadn’t shown up (how the heck did he know?)  Unfortunately on top of not being a morning person, I had started to develop a nifty catalog of excuses (and in some cases outright lies) as to why things didn’t get done in the mornings.  On this occasion, I got caught in a lie by the VP of the company.  He was nice enough to allow me to resign rather than fire me.  That was a big lesson for a young kid… don’t make excuses or lie when you can’t get your butt out of bed in the morning.  I felt guilty.  I felt worthless.  I had screwed up a good job and I knew it.  Fortunately (I thought), I was 21 years old and had a big change coming up for me as a member of the mormon church.

My Time As A Missionary:  I’ll keep this part short.  I served a mission for the mormon church which for a female consists of leaving when you are 21+ years old and serving full-time for 18 months in the city and country which you are assigned to teaching folks about the church and it’s beliefs.  I was assigned to go to New York City in the spanish speaking program.   I was thrilled to be going as I had planned on doing so my entire life and I just knew that I would be able to overcome all of my weaknesses during this time period.  I knew that if I was obedient to all of the rules of the mission and the church that I would come out stronger and be blessed in many ways.  I would like to say that I do not regret having served a mission for the LDS church even though I am no longer actively involved with it.  I met wonderful people, had some fantastic experiences and learned a lot about myself.  The reason I bring this period up is that one of the mission rules was that we had to be back in our apartment by 9pm and in bed by 10pm, then be up no later than 6am the next morning.  I followed this rule to the t for the entire 18 months.  It was more than difficult to get to sleep early and to be up that early, but I did it.  I felt that if I did so, when I got back home I would be somehow cured of my sleep problems and be able to go forth and prosper as a morning person.  Bottom line… it didn’t work.  That, along with a number of other “weaknesses”, were not only not overcome but I came home dismayed and distraught that I had failed to turn my faults into strengths… maybe more on that another time.

Life As An Adult Student & A Working Adult:  Over the next couple of decades, it became crystal clear to me through trial and many errors that I was most definitively not a morning person (as if I didn’t already know that.)  If I had problems with classes in college or at work, it was ALWAYS due to an early morning schedule and me being late.  That’s it.  That sums up my life as a student and employee… if it’s in the morning, I’m in trouble.  So I learned to make sure my schedules always started after 10am.  Unfortunately the society we live in doesn’t always work that way and I would continue to fall into the early morning trap whenever my will was not taken into consideration… in other words, when forced to be someplace early… I’m in trouble.  That’s not to say that I can’t sometimes get up early and be okay.  If I have to do it on a regular basis or for an extended period of time however, then… I’m in trouble.

Being A Mom:  Well, what can I really say here?  Babies don’t wait for you to get your butt up out of bed… nor do toddlers or 8 year olds.  I take that back.  My 8-year-old will wait now because he can watch TV or play on his computer.  However, the school frowns on my bringing him in at 10:30am every morning. 

Living With An Early Bird:   So, a couple of years ago I meet a fantastic person who is highly motivated and is up at the crack of dawn every morning.  I played along for a while… hey, we were in the honeymoon phase and we do CRAZY things for love.  I went to bed earlier and got up earlier and didn’t even mind… for a while.  But eventually all good things must come to an end.  Have I mentioned that I’m not a morning person?  Not even love can conquer all things I’m afraid.  More power to her.  I am truly amazed at the amount of work she can get done at six o’clock in the morning.  It astounds me to be honest.  But I catch back up at midnight!!

And Finally, Being A Business Owner:  Hmmm, 9-5 you say?  Those are the hours I should be open?  I suppose so.  But here’s the thing, that doesn’t really work for me.  I know because I’ve tried… for my entire life.  Where has it gotten me?  Feeling guilty & frustrated and missing deadlines, appointments and generally disappointing everyone around me.  Depression?  Yep.  Feeling worthless?  Yep.  Angry?  Yep, even that.  At myself and the world that tries to force me into it’s box.  (As a self admitted free spirit, I don’t do well with being boxed in!)  So, what to do? 

What am I suppose to do with all of this information that I’ve gathered over the past 41 1/2 years?  I give.  I will not try to force myself to be and do something that is not me.  I’ve said it before and then I’ve gone and tried to do what the rest of the world says I need to.  Does this seem silly?  It may to many of you because this isn’t your issue to deal with.  But many of you understand exactly what I’m talking about.

This post actually started out as an email to my mom to tell her about some information that I found on the internet.  It quickly became apparent to me however that I had a lot more to say about this. 

Here’s how the email originally started

I’ve been very frustrated lately (well okay, for my entire life really) because of not being able to get up in the morning to live life on the rest of the world’s schedule.  I know that you understand exactly what I am saying.  Having a child who needs to get to school every morning forces me to get up, but I either end up back in bed or very grumpy and groggy.  Of course, I have tried many, many times throughout my life to change my sleep patterns but to no avail.  When I was on my mission, I followed the rules exactly which were to go to bed by 10pm and be up at 6am every morning.  I did it… though it was not easy.  I really thought that after 18 months of this, I would be able to maintain that type of schedule and not have problems functioning in the mornings any more.  Guess what?  As soon as I came home and was allowed to follow what my body naturally wanted to do, I was right back to being an extreme “night owl” and having trouble if forced to wake earlier than about 10am (though noon would be better.)

And here is what I found that I wanted to share with her…  Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome.  There is actually a real sleep disorder that describes the problems that I experience, and they have made genetic links to it.  I have to say that while I have not been diagnosed with it, everything that I have read so far fits me to a capital T.  I’ll be discussing this with my primary health provider this week.  Knowing that I’m not just lazy or a flake makes my heart light with joy!  What I also read is that the treatments for this have mixed results and most do not fix the problem long-term.  That too is important for me to know.  It takes a whole load of stress off me because I understand that there is a physiological issue going on inside me that allows me to be awake until 2-3am every night and get my best work done, and that while I sleep pretty well during the time I’m asleep, it is perfectly normal FOR ME to not be able to wake up fully before 10am-12pm.  I don’t have to feel guilty about it or feel like I am somehow falling short of where I should be as an adult, a mom, a business woman or as a human being.  This is my normal.  And knowing that will allow me to do what I need to in order to be successful.  If that means not scheduling photo shoots or meetings with clients before 11am then that’s what I’ll do.  If that means staying up until 2am every night to get all my work done (such as this blog or editing clients images), then so be it.  I’ll get up with my son in the mornings and get him to school because society demands it (and he really likes it.)  Then I’ll come home and go back to bed until my body says it’s the right time to get up.  Rinse and repeat.

I know this may seem strange to a lot of people out there, but I am really feeling a sense of peace about this right now.  This is something that has tormented me my entire life and with which I have struggled with and against.  I have put way too much energy into it and I can start to let it go now.  Another piece of who I am has slipped comfortably into place and I will allow it to exist in peace and harmony with all the other pieces that may or may not fit quite right yet. 

So to all you morning larks out there… bravo!  I’m glad it works for you.  To my fellow night owls, let’s forget about the guilt and do what works for us.  We’ll be happier and healthier for it!

Thanks for reading along with this epiphany of mine!  I hope everyone finds the things in life that work for them and make a glorious life out of it all.


PS – Come take a look at my photography site if you feel like it!

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Let’s Shoot Some Self-Portraits! {Photography Education, Life Prints Portrait Design}

Posted on March 11, 2011. Filed under: Articles, Education | Tags: , , |

Yesterday, I wrote about how important it is for photographers to have a picture of themselves on their website.  I mentioned finding another photographer to do a photo session swap with, and then today I had another idea.  I’d like to take this one a bit further though.

Have you ever done a self portrait of yourself?  I have.  I’ve done them when I need to test lighting and I’ve even done one when I didn’t have anybody else to do it for me and needed an image for my website.  It’s been a while since I’ve done that, but it was fun and garnered some interesting images for me.  So I thought I’d throw a little challenge out there.  I want everyone, whether you’re a photographer or not, to do some self portraits.  I don’t care if it’s a picture taken at arms length from your point & shoot camera or a fully staged studio shot.  Just get out there and start snapping away

Why would you want to do this?  First, it’s fun… really.  Are you goofy, fun, outgoing?  Then try to capture that in some creative way.  Are you shy, introverted and this sounds painful to you… especially when I tell you that I want you to post it online?  That’s okay.  Break out of your comfort zone a little bit and see what you can come up with.  Let’s see shy little ol’ you.  Here’s a picture I did of myself a few years ago when I was testing how to use a hair light in my makeshift home studio…

(I think this was before I learned to pluck my eyebrows!)

Here’s what we’re going to do… for the next week I want everyone to start working on your self portrait.  Then next Friday (March 18th, 2011)  I want everyone to post one of their images over on our Facebook page (  We’re going to have a contest and give away some prizes ( I don’t know what they are yet because I just thought of this, doh!)  But we’ll have some fun with it.  I think we’ll do different categories.  How about these:  most original, most professional, goofiest, best lighting and best smile?  I’ll announce what the prizes will be next week and then once you’ve posted your self portrait, we’ll use likes to vote.  You’ll only be able to receive one vote from a person (we’ll double check usernames) and whoever wins with the most votes in each categoy will receive a prize.  This is going to be fun!

So start thinking about ideas for your self portrait.  Tomorrow, I’m going to post on ways to come up with ideas.  Feel free to chime in if you have any great ideas now that you’d like me to include.

Alrighty then!  The ideas I come up with at one o’clock in the morning.  Yipee!!!!!

Can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with  🙂


P.S.  If you have a website or blog and you post a comment here, make sure you put a link to your site so that you can get some incoming links going!  It doesn’t have to be obnoxious, just finish the comment with your name and put the link under that.  No problema mis amigos!


And don’t forget to come visit our main site…

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A Picture On Your Page {Photographers Education, Life Prints Portrait Design}

Posted on March 9, 2011. Filed under: Articles, Education, For Photographers | Tags: , , , , |

I was inspired yesterday by a fellow blogger/photographers post regarding going in front of the lens to have her own portrait done.  So I thought I’d share a little pet peeve of mine that I talk about in my workshops for photographers.

Why don’t photographers put a picture of themselves on their own website?  Seriously!

We who are people photographers are dependant on people valuing… photography.  We ask them to hire us and pay us money to take their pictures.  We want them to buy prints from us to display in their homes, offices, purses and wallets.  It is implied by the very nature of our jobs as photographers that we value the power of pictures.  So what does it say to a potential client who goes to your website, looks on your about or bio page and finds no picture of the photographer?

What they find instead is a bunch a text about the photographer or the studio.  They may even see a picture… of somebody the photographer has photographed.  Cute as that person and their adorable little kid is, it’s still not the photographer.

I don’t get it.  I really don’t.  Okay, I understand all of the “reasons” we can come up with to not get this done… “I don’t have anybody to take MY picture”, “I’m a photographer.  I’m more comfortable behind the camera instead of in front of it”, “I’m trying to lose weight first”… really?

So here’s the two reasons I think it is really, really important for photographers to have their own picture on their website:

  1. We believe in photography.  We don’t just love taking pictures, we understand why pictures are important for people in their lives.  Because of that, we lead by example and show potential clients what we want them to do.
  2. A picture is worth a thousand words… literally.  You can have all the text in the world on your bio page but if you put your picture on there, you let potential clients get to know you.  They are going to take that first step towards feeling like they know you. As portrait and wedding photographers, an important part of our success is building relationships with clients and potential clients.  They need to trust us and they start that process with the information they get about us… and a picture tells them a whole bunch about who this person is on this anonymous website they’ve just navigated to.
  3. We need to understand how our clients feel in front of the camera.  We’re no more perfect than they are in terms of how we feel about ourselves and they need to see us putting ourselves out there like we are asking them to do.  That way, you can honestly say you know how they feel when it comes time to overcoming objections to why now isn’t a good time to get their pictures done.

So there you have it!  Photographers, go find a photographer friend to do your business portrait for you.  If you don’t have a photographer friend, go find one.  Look up some photographers in your area and call or email them and propose a portrait session swap to do each others portraits.  Don’t wait until you’re the perfect weight or feel great about your hair, skin, smile, nose, butt, thighs… whatever!  It will never be the perfect time….

I take that back.  NOW is the perfect time… go get it done and let your personality shine through!!

P.S.  If you’re in the Portland, Oregon area I am going to be doing a workshop on business basics for photographers and one of the things we’re going to do is business portraits for each other!  I’ll be putting some info on here soon about the dates for the workshops.

Take care everyone!


    Lora Phillippi_photographer_portland oregon

Childrens photography_portland oregonCome visit us at

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What Are You Worth As A Photographer? {Photography Education, Life Prints Portrait Design}

Posted on March 8, 2011. Filed under: Articles, Education, For Photographers | Tags: , , |

When I first got started in photography, I was in a state of “portfolio building”.  In other words, I knew I wanted to take pictures and get paid for it, but I didn’t have any pictures to show to potential clients.  Ah, the infamous catch 22.  So I did what 99% of wannabe professional photographers do… I started taking pictures of friends and family and in exchange for them “modeling” for me, I gave them a few prints (aka: TFP, time for prints.)  It worked!  I started building a portfolio of images that I could show people and say “hey, I’m a professional photographer.  Now I’d like you to pay me XX for me to take YOUR pictures.”  If folks liked them, I was in business… and surprisingly enough to me at the time, they did like them.

Looking back at those images and the ones that followed over the next year or two, quite frankly I’m embarrassed by many of them and surprised that so many people actually wanted to pay me to take their portraits.  That’s not to say that they were horrible… compared to uncle Bob’s.  Compared to seasoned pro’s though, well, let’s just say I wasn’t winning any grand champion awards (though I did take third place in the reflections category in the county fair!  We’ll save competitions for another article.)  What I had realized though in building my portfolio and in those early days of charging clients for my services, was that if I could compose a decent image and didn’t cut anybody’s heads off… folks thought they were pretty good.  Why?  Because they couldn’t get their kids to stand still for them and because grandma always cuts everybody’s heads off in pictures (at least mine does… I love you Gammer, but you know it’s true!)

At this same time I was getting started, I had this idealism that I would be able to bring “fine art portraiture” to the masses… in other words, amazing portraits at prices that could undercut the expensive studios.  I remember actually writing somewhere, that I felt like “regular” people should be able to have the same high quality portraits as people who could afford to go to the fancy studios in town who were charging outrageous prices for people  to get their pictures taken.  I figured, if I got enough people through my doors at those “affordable” prices I’d be set for life.  You see, while I loved photography, I hadn’t yet been in business as a photographer.  I mean, yeah, I had charged some people money for the work I did and had a business name and all, but I hadn’t had to support my business or my family with that income yet. 

Boy, was I in for some surprises!

So there were several factors at play during this time period.  First, I was an inexperienced photographer with a decent eye but not such great technical skills.  Second, as an inexperienced photographer, I didn’t know much about quality prints and I was either giving away my digital files on a CD with sessions and/or getting all my prints for people done at Costco.  I’m going to talk about the digital files in a minute, but lets talk about prints for just a second.  I thought things were going along pretty well in terms of the product (prints) I was giving to people.  I was charging a fair price ($18 for an 8×10 in 2005) and was getting a GREAT deal on my cost by getting them printed at my local Costco.  I had even done a little research on printer profiles and had my online ordering set up so that I could get accurate colors through them.  Then I had a huge wake up call.

My sister had a baby.  Man was I excited because I was now the family’s official professional photographer and I was going to get to do the newborn portraits of my week old nephew, Ethan.  I flew from Idaho to Massachusetts to spend a week with them.  I took all my camera gear with me including a couple of backdrops, lights and stands… the whole nine yards.  The images themselves weren’t too bad.  I got home, posted them online and told people to start placing their orders.  Well, my brother-in-laws mom ordered some prints from me and I got them all done, sent them off to her in California and about a week later I received an email from her.  I don’t remember the exact wording of the entire email, but I do remember this one part:

“why is he gray?  My grandson is not an indian baby!”

Um, first of all, I’m not sure why she thinks indian babies are gray… but,  the point was that these were color images and babies should not be gray.  I pulled out a bunch of other images that I had from Costco and when I looked at them with a now critical eye, she was right.  Everyone was kinda gray.  Wow!  That’s not good.  So I had them redone and double checked my monitor, my color profiles, everything.  I sent her the new prints.  Better, but still gray.  At that point, I started doing some serious research.  I contacted several professional labs and had sample prints made.  Here’s what I found out:

  1. Babies really are pink in printed images (not just on my computer monitor)
  2. Quality does matter!  I’m talking paper here to packaging.

I was truly blown away with this new-found knowledge and couldn’t believe the difference that one discovery made in my presentation as a professional.  And the funny thing is, I could now see my work in a different light.  I could see the quality in what I was providing people.  It boosted my confidence and guess what… I boosted my prices a little.

So my next big wake up call came in December of 2007.  I had the amazingly fortunate opportunity to go to a week-long “digital boot camp” with one of the top photographers in the country, Kevin Kubota.  It changed my world in terms of my career and who I am as a photographer.  Without going into all of the details that would be way too long for this article, what I came out of that training with was an appreciation for who I am as an artist and as a business person. (Keep in mind that I had been doing this for about three years now and my technical skills were getting much better.)  I had been so UNDER-valuing my work that it was just plain sad.  I was basically giving it away.  Why?  Because I loved what I was doing and wanted to be able to share that with as many people as possible.  In my mind, that meant that if I charged an “affordable” price that more people would hire me.  I was doing charity work for several organizations and I was giving discounts hand over fist to any paying client who seemed like they needed one.  At the first sign of resistance to my prices (which weren’t that high to start with) I would start offering discounts and throwing things in for free.  “Oh, you can’t afford to pay for a session and for prints because of the new baby?  Well here, let me throw those on a cd for you.  How does $50 sound?”

That’s great for a hobby, but it’s sure as heck no way to run a business!

I’m a very compassionate person.  I like to be involved in charity organizations and I like to help people.  Kevin said something to us that was so profound about this… he said (and I’m paraphrasing here) “If you want to help somebody out who can’t afford it, then give it to them for free.  Otherwise, charge what your worth and what it takes to run your business successfully.  Then take some of that money you’ve been so successful with and go help a whole bunch more people.”

So what did I do?  I came home and I got to work.  I reworked my pricing.  I reworked my philosophy on giving out my digital files.  I reworked my branding and marketing to better match who I now saw myself as in terms of being a true professional with both passion and ability, as well as a business to run.  I STOPPED giving my work away!  Read that again… STOP GIVING YOUR WORK AWAY!

I had gone through a true metamorphosis from being a wannabe professional photographer in 2004, to a highly skilled, confident business woman and professional photographer in 2008.  Four years and a world away from where I had started.  That doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a whole lot more lessons to learn in a lot of areas, but I had taken myself and my business to the next level.  That’s what I want to help all of those aspiring photographers out there do as well.  You don’t have to start out with an art degree from a university to be a professional photographer.  Anybody with a digital camera and a desire can do it… or can they?

I’m an optimist and a dreamer… so that part of me wants to say “YES!”  absolutely everybody can do it.  But here’s the caveat to that… anybody can do it who is willing to step out of their comfort zone and learn what it takes to run a successful business and then have the guts to do it.  The artist in us wants to dive into the creative process and be all about the smiles and fun.  The business person in us must take a hard look at what it takes to be successful. 

So, what are worth?  And can you support yourself and your family on what you’ve been valuing your work at up until now?  If the answer to those questions don’t meet up with reality, then it’s time to start making some changes. 

My next articles are going to be on the true cost of being in business as a photographer and the value of prints vs. digital negatives.  I think you may be surprised by what we talk about!  I hope to see you back here as we delve into the deep dark scary world of running a successful photography business.  BUT… by doing the scary stuff, we get to do all the fun stuff that makes it all worth while for us creative types!!

Come on over to the main site and see what we’re up to.  I’d love to chat with you!

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Happy New Year {Life Prints Portrait Design}

Posted on January 3, 2011. Filed under: Articles, Studio Information |

I want to wish everyone a truly happy new year!  Needless to say, I’ve been extremily “un-diligent” in keeping up on the blog for the past two months.  On the positive side, it’s been because we had so many appointments with such FANTASTIC clients that it’s been a rockin’ holiday season for us.  On the down side however, I’ve not kept everyone up to date on with all the great things going on with the studio.

So my first New Year’s resolution (in print anyway) is to keep up to date with the Life Notes blog (and Facebook, twitter, etc… all that online social stuff, ya know?)

In the spirit of that New Year’s resolution, I will be making quite a few posts in the next few days with some images from all the great sessions we’ve been doing the past two months.  We’ve got some of the cutest little clients we could ever hope for (both human and furry ones) and I can’t wait to show them off to everyone.

So thank you to all of our clients for your business and your loyalty this past year… and my hope is that this coming year will bring you all of the happiness and prosperity (in it’s many forms) that you could wish for.

Much love to you all!


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A Very Cool Experience… Mister Miagi Style {Life Prints Portrait Design}

Posted on October 29, 2010. Filed under: Articles, Image Posts |

Last month, my son attended a parade in Gresham Oregon where his Taekwondo school was marching.  It was a lot of fun with TONS of people… okay, maybe a bit chaotic.   Shortly before the parade itself was suppose to begin, we had all found the staging area where we were suppose to wait our turn to march.  Unfortunately, we found that we were one of the very last groups, it was a hot day and everyone was getting a bit anxious to get going. 

At one point, there was a large group of us standing around in a rather disorderly fashion with most of kids surrounding the school’s instructor, Master Jeong.  As we were standing around, a dragonfly started circling over head and caught everyone’s attention.  All of a sudden Master Jeong raised his arm in the air with two of his fingers held out like you might if you wanted a bird to sit on them.  Within seconds, this dragonfly started circling around and alighted on his fingers.  Master Jeong brought his hand down in front of his chest and actually started petting the dragonfly!

You should have seen the looks on all the kids faces as they encirled their instructor, who obviously was achieving a whole new level of respect and admiration at that moment.  Heck, most of us adults watching were standing there with our jaws dropped open in amazement.  Of course, I love dragonflies to the point of having a dragonfly as part of our logo for Life Prints.  So I was thoroughly impressed!

Luckily my son’s father, TJ, had his camera with him and thought quickly and started snapping some pictures.  Then just as quickly as it began, Master Jeong lifted his hand back into the air and the dragonfly flew off.

Amazing.  Truly one of those moments in life that make you pause and wonder at the beauty of nature and man’s relationship to everything around us.

Life Prints Portrait Design

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Living without Fear

Posted on July 30, 2010. Filed under: Articles |

So, I’ve mostly used my blog in the past to post images for clients and give little studio updates.  Okay for business, but kinda boring… ya know?  So I’ve decided to add a bit more meat to it.  I want to be able to share some of my thoughts about various topics related to both photography and other equally important aspects of life.

This past year I had participated in a group discussion where the topic of fear was presented.  One of my cohorts at the meeting talked about something that had a profound affect on me at the time and has become even more important as I’ve had time to ponder it. 

We all have things that we fear in life.  Some are huge and some are just little things that we encounter on a day to day basis.  But what if you did something different when that fear comes up?  How would you act, what would you do, what would you say, if you weren’t afraid?  Really think about this.  Say to yourself “right now I’m feeling afraid of xxxx… if I wasn’t feeling this way right now, what would I do?  What action (or inaction) would I take instead of what my fear is making me feel like doing?”

Can you imagine the impact that could have on your life?  Let me give you an example of something that I tried this with.  I went hiking by myself a few months ago and I got to a point in the trail where there was a clearing in the embankment going down below me.  At the bottom of the clearing was a HUGE tree that had fallen over and was laying across a stream that had some small pools around it.  It was gorgeous.  It was a hot day but this area of the trail was completely covered by a canopy of trees and it was cool and quite.  I decided to go down to the area by the water and check it out.

So now the trail is up above me and I’m standing on this huge fallen tree over the stream and it is just so quite and should have been peaceful.  I perfect spot to take out my lunch and camera and spend some time enjoying myself and my solitude.  As I was standing there though, I started to get a little knot in the pit of my stomach.  A little bit of nervousness or fear was starting to creep in.  I was a bit secluded down there and if some crazy person wanted to come down off the trail and attack me, nobody would be any the wiser.  What if there were ants and bugs on that log I was standing on?  This peaceful setting was starting to feel kind of creepy. 

In that moment, I had two choices.  I could turn around and go back up to the trail and keep hiking, or I could sit down and eat my lunch.  I decided to think about what I would do if I wasn’t feeling this fear (rational or irrational didn’t matter.)  And what I would do if I wasn’t afraid or nervous would be to sit down and eat my lunch.  Then I would take out my camera and record some of the beauty I was looking at.  I would listen to the stream running and the birds singing.  I would take a moment to enjoy the serenity. 

So I did.  

Break from fear_hiking in Oregon

What a wonderful day it turned out to be when I gave up my fear in that moment and chose to enjoy the beauty and serenity.

If you have a story about overcoming a fear, please feel free to share it either here or send me an email personally.  I am thinking about doing a personal project documenting in photos and words people overcoming their fears and the amazing opportunities that open up to them when they do so.

So here’s to living life a little more fearlessly each day!


Lora Phillippi
Life Prints Portrait Design
Portland, OR- USA
PHONE: 503.953.6505

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Model Search: Maternity and baby portraits

Posted on January 31, 2010. Filed under: Articles |

Hey folks!  We are so excited about the model search we are running during the month of February. 

If you read our entry from last Sunday, then you already know that we are now specializing in maternity photography and baby photography.  Because of this, we have been working on some fantastic new ideas for our sessions, but we need some mamas and babies to work our magic on! 

Do you, or somebody you know, want to be featured in our studios marketing campaigns!  This is a perect opportunity to have your maternity portraits done or to capture your baby in a beautiful piece of artwork for your home or office.  The best part is… your session is complimentary and you get an 11×14 fine art print as well!  That’s a $210 value and you will receive all of the usual time, attention and gorgeous images that we give every client.

So we’re putting out the call.  Email us at with your name, telephone #, if you are expecting we need your due date and if you have a little one then we need their age, and then write a little bit about why you would like to be included as one of our models. 

To read a bit more about the model search, take a peak here…

And don’t forget to pass this on to all of your friends, mothers groups, etc.  We want to hear from everybody and include a diverse group of mamas and babies in the images for our marketing campaigns.

Thanks gang!  And remember… Life truly is Beautiful!

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Specializing… Maternity and baby photography

Posted on January 25, 2010. Filed under: Articles |

Well, with the start of the new year has come changes for me personally as well as for the business.  One of the things that I’ve discovered over the past year or so is that I am absolutely, completely in love with maternity and baby photography.  The thing is, I already knew that.  But after making the move to Portland almost a year and half ago, I went into a frame of mind that because I was starting my business over, I somehow had to start over in terms of taking whatever types of sessions came my way.  In doing that, I began to move away from what I am truly passionate about and I started to lose some of my motivation and creativity.

But that’s the fantastic thing about life… we always have the opportunity to change and grow.  I am rediscovering my love of photography as I begin to get back to the roots of what I love to do.  I am truly passionate about shooting sessions with expectant moms and the sweet little babies with their baby smell and tiny fingers and toes.  The intimacy of those types of sessions drive my passion and creativity. 

Because of that, we’ve decided to bring the studio back to it’s roots as well by specializing in maternity and baby portraits.  That doesn’t mean that we won’t do family sessions with our little clients moms, dads, siblings, dogs…whoever!   It just means we’re going to be focusing on the start of these new little people’s lives, and I’m going to be throwing my heart and soul into it which means all of you are going to get the best of me!

I so look forward to this new year with all that it brings.  I am going to be posting a new article here on the blog every Sunday night with lots of sneak peaks from sessions throughout the week. 

So thanks for following us and I’ll talk to you soon!

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The Art of Fine Art…

Posted on July 20, 2009. Filed under: Articles, Image Posts |

While it’s true that Uncle Jim can take the pictures of your wedding day and do a pretty decent job, one of the things that we strive to do is create images for you that rise above “pretty decent”.  You have spent months and months planning every detail of this day.  And it’s those details that matter when it’s time to look back at your wedding book years from now.  What are you going to remember, and more importantly, how are you going to remember it?  Is “pretty decent” what you are looking for… or do you want to remember the magic? 

When it’s time to look for a wedding photographer, you are going to have a lot of choices.  You will find many, many photographers out there who are good at what they do (as well as a number who may be just getting started!)  You’ll find a broad range of prices and packages, styles and personalities.  So take the time to sit down and prioritize what parts of your wedding are the most important to you.  If you decide that your wedding photography is at or near the top of your list, then we ask you to take the time to meet with us so that we can show you the difference that we can make in capturing this once in a lifetime day.




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