Author Archives: lucy-baber

Midlife Plot Twists Podcast Update

Ever feel like you’re the only person in the world going through the midlife plot twist that the universe decided to throw your way? I’m here to tell you those things you’re going through – they happen to a lot of other people, and I want to help make sure you don’t feel alone going through them. We’re already on Episode 12 of the Midlife Plot Twist podcast and we’ve been having a blast getting to talk with SO many incredible people about their own plot twists. See what’s been going on lately! 

Episode 12: Sex and Faith in Midlife with Reverend Dr. Beverly Dale
In this liberating conversation, our guest peels away the barriers that many of us put up from a sex negative upbringing and shares scripture-based references highlighting how many churches could shift how they’re educating about sex.

Episode 11: Redefining Relationships in Midlife with Paige Wolf
Our guest Paige talks about what it’s been like exploring a polyamorous lifestyle during midlife. She opens up about the realities of dating, deciding what relationships are the right ones for you and so much more! 

Episode 10: Midlife Reinvention with Paige Lewis
Learn what it’s like to completely reinvent yourself – more than once! Paige shares about some of the big changes she’s had to make in her life including leaving a religious cult and changing professions – and what that bravery has really taught her. 

Episode 9: Women’s Health in Midlife with Julie Cristol
No shame here! Women’s health changes dramatically in midlife – and we have almost NO time to prepare for it (or anyone who wants to talk about it). Well, thank goodness for Julie! She jumped on the podcast to talk about menopause, perimenopause, advocacy, and so much more related to our health as women. 

Episode 8: Midlife Chill with Paury Flowers 
Paury pivoted her career to be a better fit for her and her passions for health and wellness. In this episode, she talks about the cannabis industry, the war on drugs, and legislation on cannabis. She is an amazing reminder that it’s never too late to do what you love. 

Episode 7: Preparing for the End of Life in Midlife with Rachel Moore
I love that my guests aren’t afraid to talk about the dark and scary moments of life. Rachel was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer. In her interview, we talk about how this plot twist has changed everything for her and her family.

As you can see, we tackle a wide range of subjects on Midlife Plot Twists! I am so excited for you to tune in and listen to all of the incredible guests and their lives. There’s definitely something for everyone and I hope you enjoy what you hear!

Top 10 Reasons to Get Post-Pandemic Photos

Summertime is here! And maybe it’s just me, but it feels like Philly is coming to life even more than ever before… or maybe it just feels that way now that we’re coming out of the pandemic. This summer, I’m so excited to see some of my favorite families in the city for their portrait sessions. I’ve missed these hot evenings, ice cream cone dates, and splashing in the fountains with you!

But I get it – not everyone is sure about a summer family session this year. It’s been a really long year for all of us and I personally think a photo session is a great way to celebrate everything we’ve been through. Here are my Top 10 reasons to get post-pandemic photos!

#1: New artwork on the walls.
It’s time to update those family photos hanging on the wall! You’ve been stuck at home for the past year, looking at the same old photos. Let’s create some new art together and refresh those frames!

#2: Your kids grew.
Pandemic or not, kids grew. They’re now in different stages of life. Maybe your baby is walking or your older child is about to graduate. Don’t miss this part of their lives being documented!

#3: More places are open again!
We have options when it comes to family photos – and we’ll find a space that makes you feel safe. Whether it’s grabbing those ice cream cones or a quiet garden outside the city, we will find the perfect spot around the Philly area for your family’s photos this year! 

#4: You survived.
Enough said. But, seriously: let’s celebrate that we’re coming out on the other side of this pandemic! So much has changed this year and it’s worth celebrating that WE MADE IT!. 

#5: I missed your hugs!
I really did and I’m looking forward to being able to hug and see you all SO soon. So many of my clients have come to feel like family to me, and it warms my heart every time we get to hang out and catch up!

#6: Schedules are going back to normal.
This means that the fall is going to be busy again – school, sports, work, meetings…the responsibilities and obligations are going to fill back up again. My fall usually books up a few months in advance, so why not take advantage of the slower summer days to get on the schedule now? 

#7: No more masks to ruin your makeup.
I mean, I’m ALL about being safe. But wearing a mask definitely messed up my makeup and I know I can’t be the only one. As you feel comfortable, it will be a nice change to not worry about smudging your makeup before the session as more of us are now fully vaccinated.

#8: A new post-pandemic look.
Got a new haircut or styled your hair differently? Or maybe you’ve fallen in love with a new look. Why not capture updated portraits reflecting your new style?

#9: Get out of the house!
It’s time to go explore – take your family to a new garden or into the city to see the fountains. We can move around more easily now, so let’s take advantage of it. So many of my clients thank me at the end of their session because of how much fun we have! One client even told me it felt like a date night for him and his wife! Let’s go run around and just have FUN together!

#10: I’ll help you the entire time.
I’m a mom myself – so I know the fatigue that comes with finding ways to entertain the family 24/7 at home. Give yourself a break and go do something fun together that you don’t really have to plan. I’ll help you figure out where to go and when to meet – all you have to do is show up and have fun! 

In all seriousness, the summer is one of my favorite times for family portraits. There’s just so much joy around us during this time of year. And with the freedom that’s come on the other side of this pandemic, it feels SO GOOD to be out with my favorite Philly families. If you’re ready to book a session for this summer, let’s talk! I can’t wait to see you and capture your summer memories!

Black History Month 2021 Wrap-Up

It started with a simple, straight-forward goal: I decided I was going to watch more Black-centric movies for Black History Month this year. I’ve already been watching tons of movies (particularly horror movies) with all my quarantine free-time, and this felt like a really easy, accessible way to broaden my horizons and hopefully walk away with some meaningful lessons.

Ok so first of all: Hahahahahahaha I just used the word “easy” in the same paragraph as “Black History Month” so clearly I did not have a clue what I was getting myself into!

As naive as it may sound, I did NOT expect this little personal challenge to hit me over the head with so many heavy truths. To be honest I’m kind of still reeling from and processing most of the important themes from these movies…many of which I didn’t even expect to be so deep! But rather than keep putting off this post until I achieve perfect clarity, I thought I’d just share a list of the movies (and other media) I watched and to very briefly address a few of the major themes that have been on my mind ever since. You’ve probably seen a few of these, and might even like to chat more about them…if so, please reach out! 🙂

Movies I Watched for Black History Month:
Do the Right Thing
Coming to America (original)
Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror
Judas and the Black Messiah
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Tales from the Hood
I Am Not Your Negro
Attack the Block
The Last Black Man in San Fransisco
One Night in Miami
Da 5 Bloods
Sugar Hill
Black Dynamite
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Other Black media I’ve been consuming lately (honorable mentions):
Woke (show on Hulu)
Grownish (show on Hulu)
Luster (novel by Raven Leilani)
Making Good Neighbors: Civil Rights, Liberalism, and Integration in Postwar Philadelphia (book by Abigail Perkiss)

Some other great Black-centric movies that you should watch if you haven’t yet:
Get Out
Queen & Slim
Black Panther
Black is King
The Girl with All the Gifts
His House
Lovecraft Country (show on HBO Max)

A few of my takeaways from this little project:
– I need to learn more about gentrification and how as a white woman I can use my voice (and dollars) to help and not further hurt the Black community (both locally and at large).
– I need to learn more about Malcolm X.
– I need to learn more about how the medical establishment has let the Black community down and how we can amplify more trusted Black leaders in the current STEM community.
Stories matter, representation matters. Storytelling builds empathy. Quality “entertainment” always does more than just entertain. The more we expose ourselves to stories about people who don’t look like and live just like us, the better off we all will be.
– Decades of crappy marketing has tried to tell us that there are the kinds of movies that only Black people will like, and then there are the movies for “the rest of us”. White people need to consume more Black media so we can send the message that we want to see more Black representation on our screens and that Black media deserves bigger budgets.
– Black horror is Black empowerment. There are some really incredible stories being told in the Black horror genre, and I’m here to keep seeing more Black heroes (and supervillains) to keep pushing these conversations forward. (And frankly I could go on and on about how horror as a movie genre is also really great for dealing with anxiety, but that’s a whole other post for another day…)
– Black history is American history. I’m definitely planning on watching more Black-centric movies from here on out, not just in February. And if you have an interest in anything I just wrote about, I would invite you to do the same. I’m always happy to chat!

Parent laughs with toddler son in front of mural wall Philadelphia family session Lucy Baber Photography

COVID-19 Safety Plan (Spring 2021 Update)

It feels surreal to think we’ve been living in this COVID world for a year now. I’m happy to say that I will be FULLY VACCINATED by mid-March! Although it doesn’t mean much is changing as far as my COVID policies and procedures (out of an abundance of caution for you and your family!), I want to take the chance to update you on my current status and safety policies.

maternity couple yellow flowers

Good hygiene, please!

First and foremost, I always wash my hands. I did well before hand soap and sanitizer flew off the shelves, actually. During this outbreak, I’m making extra sure that I preface any session with good hygiene for everyone’s sake. Being outdoors and capturing your family in their most natural setting without true “posing” makes it super easy to keep my distance and stay hands-off.

Are masks (still) required?  

Yep. I’ll be wearing my mask when I greet you and do anything that requires that I get closer than 8 feet to your family. If we’re outdoors, I will likely lower it when I get further back to actually take the portraits, so that you can both hear me and everyone is able to feel more relaxed. Sessions will still be zero contact…we’re not quite in the clear for lots of hugs and handshakes just yet!

Sick/Cancellation Policy

If anyone is experiencing coughing, shortness of breath, or any other symptoms, we will reschedule for at least two weeks later. Additionally, if anyone in your family has recently tested positive for COVID-19, please let me know and we will reschedule. Although I know it can be frustrating to reschedule, your health and mine (as well as my family’s) is of the utmost importance. 

If you aren’t feeling well or you’re dealing with other emergencies, let me know. I’m happy to be flexible with rescheduling your session. By making sure we don’t spread germs, we’ll make this outbreak a little bit easier for everyone. Please just let me know if you want to reschedule or need other accommodations.

Family photo session with parents kids and dogs playing in backyard Philadelphia Lucy Baber Photography

Vaccination policy

Although I will be fully vaccinated by April, I will continue to follow distancing guidelines and good hygiene before, during, and after your session. If you express that your family is fully vaccinated as well and you are ready to re-negotiate any of the above practices, please let me know and we’ll work out the details so everyone feels safe and comfortable. But otherwise, all restrictions will continue to be followed. 

Dad and daughter lie on mosaic floor during Philadelphia park family session Lucy Baber Photography

I’m so thankful to everyone who has made it possible for me to stay in business through COVID-19. Together, we can continue to fight the spread of COVID. I appreciate your understanding and support!

COVID-19 Safety Plan (Winter Update)

2020 was a truly weird year. As winter sets in, it’s time to re-evaluate my operating procedures in the wake of the continuing spread of COVID-19. While most things aren’t changing (yes, I’ll still be wearing a mask and we’re staying outside as MUCH as possible…oh, and still no hugs), there are a few updates I wanted to share with you.

The first and most important update is that I will be taking a SUPER limited number of indoor newborn sessions through the winter. This is so your sweet babies don’t have to be out in the cold…but there will be restrictions in place for all of us and our health. Family sessions will remain OUTDOORS ONLY. Please also keep in mind that outdoor family sessions can only have up to 10 people. That means NINE family members plus me. Anything for larger groups or events will have to be postponed until the state gives us further guidelines.

Location, location, location.

I will only be shooting outdoor family sessions for the foreseeable future. These sessions will occur on private property or limited locations I’ve chosen that will have lower crowds, making it safer for all of us. Since families will not be masked during the session, you’ll notice I’ll be shooting with a longer lens and keeping at least 8-10 feet between us (the CDC recommends 6 feet, but I would like to be extra sure we all stay healthy!). 

Are masks (still) required?  

Yep. I’ll be wearing my mask when I greet you and do anything that requires that I get closer than 8 feet to your family. If we’re outdoors, I will likely lower it when I get further back to actually take the portraits, so that you can both hear me and everyone is able to feel more relaxed. When you’re not being photographed, I’d highly recommend you wear your mask – and take it off during the portraits. 

Sessions will still be zero contact. That means no handshakes, hugs, fixing your hair, holding your bags/belongings or touching any personal items. Oh! And don’t forget the hand sanitizer. I’ll have my own on me, but please provide your own so we can be extra careful. 

Please know that you are responsible for the movements of your children and pets during any sessions with me in the near future. Although I love being able to help during sessions, everyone’s health must take a priority. I will verbally provide posing suggestions and instructions throughout our sessions.

Indoor Newborn Sessions

In an effort to keep everyone healthy, I will only be taking on TWO newborn sessions a month through the winter. I ask that we stay in touch about the hospital’s precautions before and after the baby’s arrival so we all know what’s going on. Sessions will be limited to immediate family only and will remain as no-contact as possible. And, I will ask and strongly encourage you to not book your session immediately after you’ve had prolonged contact with family who does not live in your household. If you can, it would be great to have commonly touched surfaces, like doorknobs, wiped down before I arrive.

Contracts & Ordering Sessions

All contracts will be updated to reflect these new policies. By signing, you are agreeing to them – and to letting me know if we must reschedule. All ordering sessions will continue to happen virtually following your session, as has always been my policy. I look forward to seeing what artwork you choose from your session!!! 

Sick/Cancellation Policy

If anyone is experiencing coughing, shortness of breath, or any other Covid symptoms, we will reschedule for at least two weeks later. Additionally, if there’s ANY chance you may have been exposed, please let me know so we can reschedule your session. And, of course, if anyone has tested positive for the virus, please let me know and we will reschedule. Please also let me know if anyone in your family tests positive in the two weeks after our session, to help me take the necessary precautions for my family and other clients. Although I know it can be frustrating to reschedule, your health and mine (as well as my family’s) is of the utmost importance.

I know that all these rules seem overwhelming. Through it all, I truly appreciate your support and understanding as we figure out how to make these sessions as safe as we can. This virus and this winter can be tough, but we’re tougher – and we’re still going to find the safest ways to document your family’s story. Happy holidays!

100 Black Dads: The Gallery Show!

I’m super excited to announce that the 100 Black Dads project has its first gallery show! The show will run October 24 – January 17, 2021 at the Banana Factory Arts Center in Bethlehem, PA.

I recently stopped by the gallery with my trusty sidekick and photographer bestie, Elaina Borchelt, to help set up the show. I had no idea how much work goes into hanging photos in a gallery space! There was a LOT of math and measuring involved!

Since 2020 is officially the Weirdest Year Ever, the show is taking place both in-person (for those of you brave souls who are willing drive up to Bethlehem, PA) AND virtually online! I’ll be hosting a virtual panel (via Zoom) on Friday November 6 at 6:30 PM, where you’ll get a chance to hear from me and the other project photographers, in addition to a few of our awesome dads! Registration is totally free, so I’d love to have you join us! 🙂 Sign up at the button below!

For more info on the gallery show, click here! And if you’d like to read my recent interview with The Banana Factory all about the project, please visit this link.

Midlife Plot Twist podcast Mari-Carmen Farmer

Episode #002: Midlife Career Moves – Mari-Carmen Farmer

Changing careers can be daunting, but what about making career moves in your 30’s or 40’s? My dear friend, Mari-Carmen Farmer, joins me to share all about how her life experiences led her to making a midlife career move to become a midwife. Listen in as Mari shares about her experience with loss, the comfort she’s found in the symbolism of labyrinth, and how becoming an empty nester left her feeling motivated and accomplished.

Episode #001: Finding Yourself in Midlife – Renee Shea

As we approach midlife, many of us are finding ourselves again—particularly when we run into a midlife plot twist. I’ve watched my amazing friend, Renee Shea, conquer her own midlife plot twist with strength and grace. Listen in as we discuss how she managed unexpected plot twists in her business and personal life.

About Renee (1:06)

Renee’s Photography Transformation (5:25)

Accepting and Creating Her Brand (9:10)

Renee’s Midlife Plot Twists (13:35)

Takeaways & Learning from MidLife Plot Twists (18:52)

Femininity vs. Masculinity (18:51)

Advice to My Younger Self: You are enough. (27:11)

Age vs. Maturity vs. Life Experience (28:18)

Social Justice and your Business (31:36)

Mentioned in this Episode:

Trailer: Midlife Plot Twists Coming on October 1st

Welcome to Midlife Plot Twists with Lucy Baber! In this show, we’ll be chatting about all of the weird and unexpected ways that our lives seem to be changing as we inch closer to turning the big 4-0. As my friends and I start approaching 40, we all seem to have one thing in common—MAJOR PLOT TWISTS are happening all around us.

We’re seeing midlife career changes and body changes, responsibilities shifting, and so much more. Whether you’re starting over in something major in your life or have accomplished the goals you set for yourself, we’re tackling the big questions we all have… like what now or what’s next?

Join us on this journey to discussing the topic of women’s issues as we approach midlife (or maybe you’re already there). Hit subscribe and tune in on October 1st!

Cold Weather Accessories for Family Portraits

Fall sessions are always beautiful, especially in Philadelphia. There’s something about the fall air that makes us all breathe a little deeper and smile a little bigger. Family portraits can be a lot of fun this time of year too, because even with our social distancing guidelines, there are plenty of amazing things to do as a family!  There’s pumpkin patches to walk through and warm cocoa to drink. But cooler temperatures mean that sessions take place in chillier air as the year winds down. Since sessions will be held outdoors through the fall, be sure to plan ahead for your cold weather accessories for your family photos! These cozy accessories can bring some fun to your fall and winter portrait sessions!! Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite places to grab warm items for your kids! 

Parents with two laughing toddlers in park family photo session Northwest Philadelphia Lucy Baber Photography

Where to Find Accessories:

Target and Old Navy – I won’t lie to you. When it comes to buying hats, scarves, gloves, and nice warm coats for my two boys, Target and Old Navy tend to be my go-to stores! There’s always some fun and colorful options for both of them… and I know that younger children often have really adorable patterns available for warmer items! Choose colors or prints that your children love. It’s an easy way to keep them warm and bring their personalities to your session. Try to avoid bright neons whenever possible still! 

Parents carry newborn child in arms and toddler son on shoulders in winter snow Fishtown Philadelphia Lucy Baber Family Photographer

Etsy: Rough Bark Knits – This Etsy shop has some adorable knit hats for adults and kids. There’s even some matching sets for both parents and kids. All of her fun designs can bring a little personality to your session easily!! 

Etsy: Little Bea Boutique – Located in Columbus, OH this small shop on Etsy has some adorable crocheted pieces for your family! There’s some really adorable options for your kids! Let them pick out one they love and you’ll have a great option for your portraits… and later in the winter when they’re ready for the snow fall! 

Etsy: FierceStitchCo– I’m really loving the cozy infinity scarves from this Black woman-owned Etsy shop! I just might need to get one of her signature SHAU.L’s for myself! 😉

LoveLolaKnits – Another Black woman-owned small business that I am so excited about! How gorgeous are these cowls??

Siblings hug and smile during winter family photo session in park Rittenhouse Square Philadelphia Lucy Baber Photography

Tips for Choosing Accessories for Fall & Winter Portraits

The first priority for these accessories is that they’re warm and comfortable for your kids (both for your portraits and use later). Using them in your portrait session helps keep everyone warm, and when people are warm, they’re happy. And, that makes our job way easier! 

Try to choose colors that will allow your portraits to feel timeless, even with fun accessories. Some of my favorite colors for the fall include: mulberry, mustard yellow, tans, and deep greens or blues. Don’t be afraid to let your little one show their personality, but try to avoid bright neon colors whenever possible. 

As with other sessions throughout the year, mixing patterns, colors, and textures is a great way to bring an extra bit of life to your portraits. Encourage your family to find complimentary pieces to wear that allow them to feel like themselves (and keep them toasty warm) for your portraits!  Finally, all of my sessions have clients moving a lot. So make sure everyone can move easily, even with hats, coats, and scarves on. No one wants to be the kid in the puffy coat unable to put their arms down!  

Choosing your outfits for fall and winter family portraits doesn’t have to be stressful! Use my Pinterest board for some inspiration, and feel free to ask if you’re struggling. I love helping my clients look and feel their best for family photos!