Back to School

Today is a special day! Today is the start of BACK TO SCHOOL! Our home office is in St Johns County and today is the first day of the 2016-2017 school year.

Leonard’s is so lucky to get to be CookieRecipes.jpginvolved with so many schools across the state of Florida and Georgia. We have spent day after day this summer photographing the incoming Seniors and although Senior season is not quite over for us, the real fun is just beginning for these students as they go back to school. Senior year is a time in your life where you get to reflect on 12 years of hard work all while looking forward to becoming whatever it is you want to be after high school. To all of our seniors, we wish you the best of luck this year!

For all of our underclassmen, middle school and elementary school students, we look forward to taking your pictures this year and continuing to watch each of you grow!

We hope each and every one of you have an amazing school year!


Leonard R. Tucker, Sr. Memorial Scholarship- Rachel Shirley

In honor of Leonard R. Tucker, Sr. a scholarship program was started in 2012. This scholarship is awarded to up to three St.Johns County graduating Seniors. To be eligible they must be graduating on time with their class, a full time student in St. Johns County, enrolled in one of the career academies or a member of the school’s yearbook staff, a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and finally, they must be enrolled full time in a post-secondary degree program beginning in the immediate Fall Term following their graduation. All applicants must demonstrate the Five Pillars of Character which are trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness and caring. Also, preference will be given to those applicants who have an interest in digital media and design, communications, photography, or computer technology. To apply, students must submit an essay, the completed scholarship application, two recommendation letters from academic teachers, current high school transcript or most recent report card and a sample of digital media/design or photography, if applicable. 

Recently, we had the honor of getting to sit down and talk with one of the first recipients of this scholarship, Rachel Shirley. She was a scholarship recipient in 2012 and has now graduated from FSU College of Motion Picture Arts with a BFA in Film Production.

Rachel was inspired to go in to film because it combines her love of arts and sciences. She was accepted to SCAD, Ringling, Flagler and FSU but despite the fact that she didn’t get in to the FSU Film Program immediately, she knew that FSU is where she wanted to be. She took the gamble on starting college there without being in the film program. After volunteering at several film festivals, she was chosen as a transfer student into the program and that is when her dreams started to unfold.

Once in the program, she quickly realized Cinematography was going to be her focus. Rachel told us, “I enjoy being physically connected to the actors, following their every move and being in that moment. It is powerful, moving and can be very emotional”.

Rachel gave us a fascinating insight as to what film school is like. In their time in the program, there are 5 main films you work on. You have projects of your own but you also work heavily with the other students and are a part of their pieces as well. Her fellow film school students are like family she told us. Upon graduating, Rachel completed four films herself and had over 1500 hours logged. She is also now able to do any job on a set, including special effects makeup which actually helped get her in to the film school. However, her passion is being behind the camera. She is glad that she was able to learn all of the roles on set though, this really helps them to appreciate everyone’s roles in film making and understand what they are going through.

When we asked Rachel about her goals now that she has graduated, she said she wants to stay in Florida for about a year to refine her documentary film making and also take this time for herself to recoup from school. She is going to be working for a newspaper during this time as a videographer and is also working on some freelance projects. After that, she plans to move to Los Angeles.

Her thesis film got in to it’s first film festival which she is extremely excited about! The children’s film is called Lola the Great and is about a magician’s assistant who is transported to another world where magic tricks come from. She has a difficult time finding her way back home but finds out that it is all about finding the magic within yourself.

Rachel is extremely passionate and has an amazing amount of drive. We are so proud of the accomplishments of this Scholarship Recipient and look forward to the great things that are sure to happen for her now and in her future.

You can learn more about Rachel on her website, and we encourage you to do so!

Also, if you are interested in applying for this year’s scholarship, please comment below.



Senior Spotlight: Valeria

This week we are happy to announce that our Senior Spotlight is Valeria from West Orange High School! This bright senior will be graduating with honors this year. She is on the lacrosse team and a member of the National Honors Society. Upon graduating from high school, Valeria plans to attend college where she will study business and communications. When asked if a picture is truly worth a thousand words, Valeria said, “Yes, of course!” Keep up the great work!


Senior Spotlight: Sara

This week we are pleased to announce that our Senior Spotlight is Sara from Mount Dora High School. Upon graduating high school in the spring, this awesome senior hopes to attend the University of Central Florida where she will study criminal psychology. When asked if a photo is truly worth a thousand words, Sara said, “Yes! A picture captures a moment in time that can never be repeated.” Keep up the great work, Sara!


The Leonard’s Bindery: Always Lending a Hand

This month Leonard’s is pleased to highlight one of the most important departments within Leonard’s Photography, the Bindery. The Leonard’s Bindery is responsible for assembling all of the school calendars, yearbooks, senior focus books, and memory books that come through the building. It is a department with no real off-season that depends on teamwork. They always lend a hand when one needs it, something founder Leonard R. Tucker Sr. would certainly praise. The Bindery is one department where Leonard R. Tucker Sr., or as they called him, Mr. T’s legacy lives on. His influence is still felt heavily within the Bindery and among the team.

During the busiest parts of the year, this incredible team can work on up to three yearbooks a day. “Without teamwork there wouldn’t be much progress,” says Rose Wallace.  With each machine requiring at least three employees, teamwork is a must. This is an extremely physical job that requires attention to detail. The Bindery has five awesome year-round employees, Rose, Marie, Wendy, Cheryl, and Tommy. They have been with Leonard’s for a combined total of 110 years! “Everyone in our Bindery department has over 20 years at Leonard’s! It is easy to be confident in their abilities knowing that they have “seen it all.” No two days are the same in this department and they work very well together as a team. We produce half a million books annually, plus all sorts of brochures and promotional items,” says Randy Sellers, Director of Operations.


Leonard’s Style Report: Flatforms

Flatforms! We have seen them everywhere! They have become this season’s hottest shoe. Designers and celebrities have embraced the magic of flatforms. They are extremely versatile and they come in a variety of styles, patterns, and colors. They represent the best of flats and platforms, making them this season’s must-have shoe. Will you be making a statement in flatforms this season?


 large_43359_Daphne blk rust

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Love it or Leave it: Colored Denim

This week’s Love it or Leave it trend is colored denim! We are seeing some wild hues of jeans lately. Many celebrities have already embraced this growing trend. Colored denim is a great way to add a splash of color to an awesome spring/summer look. How do you feel about vibrant colored jeans? Should we embrace color or kick it to the curb?Let us know what you think!


Senior Spotlight: Alyssa

This week we are excited to announce that our Senior Spotlight is Alyssa from Oviedo High School! This awesome senior will be graduating with honors this year. She is a member of the BETA Club and the National Honor Society. Alyssa’s most challenging undertaking thus far has been taking AP courses. “I persevered by studying every single night!” she told us. Upon graduating from high school, Alyssa plans to attend college where she will study architecture or engineering. She is most looking forward to college life and meeting new people. When asked if a picture is really worth a thousand words, Alyssa said, “Yes!” Way to go, Alyssa!


Leonard’s Photographic Lab —Team Work and A Strong Family Bond

Leonard’s Photography is a family owned and operated company that has been in business for over sixty years. While it is true that strong family ties exist within the Tucker family itself, similar family bonds resonate throughout the entire company, especially within the Photographic Lab. “We have all worked together for so long. We work well together. We are a very good team,” says Debbie Bates, the Photographic Printing and Digital Editing Supervisor. Debbie has been with Leonard’s since 1987. “When I first started we had film. Some of the photo printing was done in the dark rooms and we had to physically move the film by hand,” Debbie states. Since then, there have been incredible advancements in technology and the lab has worked together as a team to transition into the digital age.


 “At Leonard’s we believe our advantage is the people on our team. With an average employee tenure of over 17 years, we have a strong family bond amongst us that is second to none! We have such a diverse line of products and services we offer, so the fact that we are all in one location, working together as a team, helps the process go smoothly. I couldn’t be more proud of our fantastic group!” says Randy Sellers, Director of Operations. With team members that have been with Leonard’s for over thirty years, such as Susan Winman, the Photographic Lab Supervisor, and Britt George, the Photographic Packaging and Finishing Supervisor, it is no wonder that the lab operates as smoothly as it does. Both Susan and Britt attribute Leonard’s success to organization, an efficient work flow, and most importantly, team work.


Leonard’s Style Report: Precious Metals

This season we have seen tons of metallic hues cross the runways! We have seen some amazing pieces including skater skirts, jackets, and hand bags. Metallic hues add some edge to any look. So, definitely snatch up a metallic look for your wardrobe. They pair well with bold graphic prints and vibrant colors. This futuristic style has become so popular with designers. We love where this is trend!

 metallic jacket

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