October 9, 2013

Back to School Mini Sessions at The Voracious Reader | Larchmont Family Photographer

Hi all, have I told you about the fun I had at my Back to School Mini Sessions at The Voracious Reader?  No?  Well, let me back up …

Over the past few years, I’ve realized that many of my favorite photos from in-home family lifestyle sessions have involved books.  Kids reading books, parents reading books to their kids, kids reading books to each other.  A few months back, I had the idea to hold mini sessions in a bookstore as a way to highlight this book theme and have a little fun with it.  When the timing worked out that these would be Back to School Sessions, it was even more exciting.  I LOVE back to school time — the excitement of new classrooms, fresh new school supplies, fun new outfits, new teachers and routines and classrooms and of course, new books — it’s like New Year’s Day, only much better.

I approached Francine at The Voracious Reader back in June about possibly holding the event at her shop, and she was nearly as excited as I was.   Together, we decided to add a component of giving back to the community — what better way to start the school year?  Enter the Junior League of Westchester on the Sound.  With their help, we connected with The Boys and Girls Club of New Rochelle’s S.M.A.R.T. Girls’ Committee, aimed at encouraging healthy attitudes in young girls through activities designed to build the girls’ self-esteem while teaching them how to nurture their minds and bodies.  We came up with a plan wherein Francine would have a selection of books geared toward the goals of the S.M.A.R.T. Girls’ Committee and participants would buy and donate a book or two to the program on the day of the event.

Before I tell you how it went (and, obviously, show you some of the pictures), let me confess to having had a few hesitations going in.  If you hang around here much (and if you don’t, please have a look around before you leave!), you know that what jazzes me up the most  about family lifestyle photography is capturing the real moments, connections, and expressions of a family’s life at a given moment — these, to me, tell a family’s story better than any posed portrait ever could.  That’s why my favorite location for these sessions is in the home.  It’s easy to be relaxed and “yourself” in the comfort of your own home, surrounded by your own stuff.  I was definitely concerned that spending twenty minutes with someone who’s never seen me before in a bookstore might not yield the same “realness” in the resulting images.

Well, let me tell you about the people who came through The Voracious Reader that day for our sessions.   They were fun.  They were generous.  And, thanks in some cases to some goofy ‘back to school’ props I brought along to help loosen everyone up, they were relaxed and downright SILLY!   On more than one occasion, I found myself interrupting Francine from a conversation with a customer giving book guidance (more on Francine’s incredible book recommending in a minute) to shout, “Look at this kid!” between peals of laughter.  I came home that day exhausted from shooting and laughing and happy knowing we had done a great job in supporting a good cause.

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(There are even more on Facebook that I couldn’t squeeze in here — THIS one, for example, and THIS one).

If you’re not familiar with The Voracious Reader, the bookstore “for young people with an appetite for books” on Palmer Avenue in Larchmont, you should definitely make it a point to drop by.  Francine has a great selection of books for every age and an impressive ability to find the right book for everyone who comes in — I swear, she’s read every one!  She’s also very involved in the community and is always hosting  great events like story times, young adult alliance meetings for teens, author readings and more.  If you haven’t been there since our event last month, there’s a new addition you’ll want to see —  Triple Sweet has joined The Voracious Reader as a “pop up” shop, offering cute jewelry for girls and moms.  AND keep on visiting — soon, there’ll be displays of The Life in Your Years Photography’s photos on the walls of the Voracious Reader and the adjacent tea shop!  So much to see!

Thanks for stopping by…