It’s all about the light

It’s been nearly a year and half since I’ve posted on this blog. It’s hard for me to keep up with it. But, I’ve had some thoughts rolling around in my head for a while and I thought this might actually be the best place to put them down.

It’s about how I got here.

Well, kinda.  It’s a story about when I realized I could see light.

I come from an artistic family.  Storytellers, painters, writers, actors and musicians.  When I was in college, I decided to take an art class.  Drawing 101.  I figured it would come to me easily, it would be an easy A and I would enjoy it.  I remember my surprise when the instructor told us that we would have a weekly assignment that he estimated would take 5-10 hours of work.  At our first critique, it was clear that I was way out of my league.  The other students were handing in *masterpieces*  and I was turning in something I threw together the night before.  I definitely felt inadequate.  I tried harder the next week, but didn’t have what the other students had – maybe that was experience or talent or something else –  but it was something I lacked.

My instructor was nice enough.  He took pity on this floundering wanna-be-artist who had signed up for his course.  He tried to make his critiques gentle.

Then one day, I walked into class and he had easels set up around a pile of boxes.  The boxes were covered with sheets.  On each easel was black paper and he gave us chalk.  The instructions were to draw the sheets.

I immediately got it.  It clicked.  This was easy.  My chalk drawing could have been a photograph, and if my instructor hadn’t seen me do it, he wouldn’t have believed I had.  I remember him walking around, coming up behind my seat and stopping.  He said, “Laura, have you worked with chalk before?”  I said I had not.  He said “You have an eye for the light, this is very good”

Well, that’s all my little heart needed to hear.  I won “best of show” for the week.  I went back to mediocrity for the rest of the drawing course.  But I think I gave that random still life of a bunch of sheets to my mom as a Christmas gift (because, we never really grow out of wanting to show our art to our moms do we?)

I’d all but forgotten that moment until recently, when it surged to my active thoughts unexpectedly one day.  In hindsight, it was one of the first moments that somebody else acknowledged what I kind of knew but had never voiced – that I was attracted to light in a way that is maybe a little different than some.

When I go anywhere, I see the world in light and shadows before I see what actual things are there.  Light energizes me.  It makes my heart race and sometimes ache.  I notice the catchlights in eyes when I talk to someone, I notice the rembrandt triangle of light on a shadowed cheek when lighted from the side.  I notice the highlights of stray hairs when backlit.  I notice the dust in the air as it passes through a sunbeam and all of this fills me with an overwhelming urge to drop everything I’m doing and to capture it.

I have no idea how other people see light – but for me, it’s everything.

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Free Back to School Minis!

Ok Friends! I've decided to do something different and new – just as a way to give back to this amazing community that…

Posted by Shachmut Photography on Saturday, August 8, 2015

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Spring Mini Sessions|Newton, MA Children and Family Photographer

I have lived in the Northeast for the last eight years.  That may not make me a native, but it gives me a decent sample size of winters.  And I feel more than confident saying that this winter was Rough.  Really rough.  On top of that, we are in mid-April and still getting days of cold sleet.  People are ready for Spring, for sun, for warmth, for green, for birds, for flowers, and Dunkin’ iced coffees (right?).

And so am I.  I want to create and capture and celebrate the changing of the seasons.  I want to focus on little freckles, and faces turned towards the sunny sky.  I want to watch little feet running through green grass and I want to hear happy giggles.  I want to freeze dandelion puffs being blown into wishes and little fingers wrapped around wide flower bouquets.  Doesn’t it all sound so lovely?

Let’s make it happen.  I’m offering Spring Mini sessions Saturday May 2nd.  We’ll hold them at the Newton Centre Playground and we’ll run and hug and smile and stop time by freezing moments of you and your loved ones together.

Now, a special appeal to the mothers out there.  Yes, you.  As a photographer, I can say with certainty that I understand how intimidating it can be to get in front of a camera.  It’s the reason most of us have chosen to be on the other side (shhh, it’s a secret)  But as Mother’s Day approaches, I hope you’ll consider taking some time to get in the picture.  Of course we all love pictures of our children, that’s easy.  But it’s so important that our children see pictures with us in them too.  These mini sessions are a fantastic opportunity to get some quality images with you in them – but you don’t have to book with me in order to get in the frame.  Just make sure you do. <3

I’m gonna get in the frame too.  Promise.

Details on Spring Minis can be found below.  If you’re interested in grabbing a time, just shoot me an email ( ) and we’ll go from there.  I look forward to seeing everyone!

spring mini 2015IMG_6529
Shachmut Photography-29

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700 fans Giveaway!

My oh my, where DOES the time go?  Things have been busy busy over here and blogging is something that I have yet to learn how to balance as gracefully as I would like.  As 2015 rolls in, I will renew those efforts – but for now – let’s focus on this post. 🙂

700 fans.  That’s pretty awesome.  It certainly exceeds what I had hoped to see this year.  To make things even sweeter, I reached that milestone on the 1-year anniversary of opening this business.  It has been an amazing year.


So, let’s celebrate.  I am going to give away a 2015 mini session to a random winner here!  All you have to do is leave a comment telling me your favorite thing about the holiday season.  🙂




Here are the details:
1) Winner will receive 1 mini-session.  A 30 minute session for up to 5 people with 10 digital images.

2) Mini-Session must happen before May 1st, 2015.

3) Enter by commenting on this blog

4) I will draw a winner at random on  12/13/14



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  • Katie - Family time! =)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - The smell of a fresh Christmas tree!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel Horman - I love the decorations and the food!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly Cotton - family time!!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - The way Christmas music can melt away (just about) any bad mood.ReplyCancel

  • Jenn Reale - Christmas pj’s and all the yummy cookies!ReplyCancel

  • Andria - Laura’s beautiful pictures capture the magic in every day moments 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Jen Medeiros - Seeing Christmas through a child’s eyes!ReplyCancel

  • Jena - Cute kids in Christmas clothes!ReplyCancel

  • Meg - Holiday lights in the neighborhood!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - Vacation time with kiddos and hubby.❤️❤️❤️ReplyCancel

  • Lina Gill - Christmas music and the pure joy the little ones get opening up all the gifts Santa brought them…or my 5yr olds sigh of relief that Santa showed her naughty butt some mercy, yet again!!ReplyCancel

  • Daniela MacKinnon - Definitely the smell of Christmas trees and my Mom’s Christmas Eve dinner…the seven fishes 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Jaime - Experiencing Christmas through my daughter’s eyesReplyCancel

  • Katie - The Christmas lights 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Melinda Herring - Oh, I would so love to win this! I need a new photo and a family shot.ReplyCancel

  • Melinda Herring - I love Christmas lights.ReplyCancel

  • Tacara - Spending time with family and egg nog of course : )ReplyCancel

  • Marisa - Christmas cookie factory with the kiddos!ReplyCancel

  • Audrey - Watching the magic of Christmas and “believing” through the eyes of our kids!ReplyCancel

  • Melisa - Sitting in a dark quiet room looking at the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Kate Marie - 24 hours of ” A Christmas Story” 😉ReplyCancel

  • Heather B. - My favorite thing is ALL OF IT! <3ReplyCancel

  • Louise anne kent - The music!!! Fall on your knees. Oh hear the angels voices… Oh night. Oh night divine!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley Rossi - Letting the babies play with Christmas lights for the first time! It brings back so many of my own childhood memories of the holidays 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Alison Brauneis - Seeing the joy of Christmas on my daughter’s face!ReplyCancel

  • mary pelrine - The most wonderful thing about the season is capturing the happiness around ys with a photograph…creating a forever memoryReplyCancel

  • Nancy Dickson - The church Christmas pageant! I love seeing the joy on the faces of children!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Terence Brauneis - Watching the kids open presents, and all the delicious food of course!ReplyCancel

  • Amy LW - Cider, cookies, Christmas Eve candlelight.ReplyCancel

Letters to our Daughters |Newton, MA Children and Family Photographer

It’s been far too long since I’ve blogged. It is something that is perpetually on my to-do list, but sadly, it is almost always the first thing to get bumped down the priority list in favor of things like editing galleries, taking kids to the doctor and showering. I am determined to get into a better routine though. Determined, I tell you. 🙂

So, with that- I’m happy to have been included in this month’s blog circle of Letters to our Daughters. Each of my girls has done so much, changed so much, reached new milestones since I last wrote that I could write a whole book on each of them.

But, in the interest of time – I will keep this letter focused on one.
Dear Abby,

It happened.  Two weeks ago.  You woke up, and we walked you up the hill to your very first day of Kindergarten.

There were signs that this day was coming.  You started learning to read and write on your own.  You lost your first tooth.  You have been mildly obsessed with hair accessories and matching outfits.  Plain and simple – you’re growing up.

I’ve known since you were about 3 minutes old that you would be a good student.  You’ve always been my quiet observer – my thinker – and my people-pleaser.  Your teacher has already told me on multiple occasions what a big help you are and what a good listener you are.  This comes as no surprise, because she’s right.

I didn’t cry on your first day of school until after we’d dropped you off – after I’d dropped daddy off and while I was on my way to work.  I was driving down a street lined with full green trees – and then, right in their midst, I noticed one tree that was orange with many of it’s branches already bare.

Just like that – it hit me – the seasons are changing and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.  In a millisecond, my brain made the leaps and connections to how that applies to you, to us, to this phase in our life.  It is beautiful, unstoppable, and fleeting.  And I cried.

I am ridiculously proud of you.  I’m proud of your humor, your wit, and the way you think.  I’m proud of the way you always want to help, and I’m proud of how good you are at so many things.  Most of all, I’m proud of how kind you are.  You are inclusive and empathetic, and these are values that will shape your life.

So.  Abigail.  Know that at this moment in time, I am bursting with pride at what a beautiful little girl you’ve become.  Congratulations on starting kindergarten – I can’t wait to see where it takes you.

Love you always,




Thanks so much for stopping by!  Now follow the blog circle all the way around to read more letters from all of our talented ladies.  Next up – the wonderful Jana O’Flaherty of Photography 2204 

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  • Bianca - Beautifully written letter! And those photos just too cute!ReplyCancel

  • Jana - Oh my gosh that letter made me teary <3 And those pics of your sweet girl! So fabulous, and love those glasses on her and all her many expressions <3 Hope she had a fabulous 1st day of school (and that it wasn't too hard on you either).ReplyCancel