History Lesson: Leonard and Ruth in the 40’s

Although much of the forties felt the effects of World War II, the decade also experienced advancements in technology and the rise of popular film, music and literature. Some of you may not know this but St. Augustine was a major training post for the U.S Coast Guard. It was during this period that our founder, Leonard R. Tucker Sr., joined the Navy. He was stationed in Pensacola for training. (Soon after, their first child, Linda, was born!)

 

Leonard was a photographer for the Navy, mostly focusing on aerial shots where the cameras were mounted into the planes. While Leonard was in the Navy the Tuckers moved around a bit but the war ended before Leonard was ever sent overseas. It is likely that Leonard would have continued his job as a photographer if he had been sent overseas.

 

Once Leonard completed his time with the Navy, the Tucker family moved back to St. Augustine where they started photographing school children in 1947. At this time, they were part of the family business, also known as Tucker’s Studio. The studio was located on the famous St. George Street and the whole family lived above it; H.M Tucker and Mary in one half and Leonard, Ruth and Linda in the other. The family was extremely close. All meals were cooked and eaten together in their conjoined home. (It is important to remember that during this decade families were starting to recover from The Great Depression. Therefore, family bonds were highly coveted.)

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12,500 Schools and Counting: Leonard’s Jim Klein After 25 Years on the Job

A year on the job for Leonard’s photographer Jim Klein includes 70 overnight trips, 500 schools visited, and 10,000 students photographed. It sounds exhausting to the average worker, but Jim wouldn’t have it any other way. “I definitely like my job” he says of the job he’s held with Leonard’s since 1989. After being on the job for nearly 25 years, “I’ve done it all,” Jim says. “Seniors, underclassmen, groups, candids, sports, formals… I’ve had fun as a photographer.”

Jim has been having fun as photographer since he was 13 years old, when he first started seriously practicing with a camera. He grew up moving from base to base with his US Air Force father, and later followed in those military footsteps. Jim served in the US Army for ten years from 1979-89. His passion for photography and love of travel made being a school photographer an easy career choice when he retired from the Army.

“I’ve never minded travel,” he says, but for Jim, the best part of his job is working with the students. “The kids are great,” he says. “It’s easy because they listen and take direction… They want good pictures, too. It all keeps you happy.”

When we asked him what he thought about parents having increased access to digital photography equipment, Jim was quick to dismiss concerns. “Yes, technology has changed and the customer expects to get their photos sooner, but families will always want a professional portrait with a nice background to watch their students grow up.” He believes the foundation of school photography is providing the highest quality photo at an affordable price: “It’s what we’ve always set out to do at Leonard’s.”

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Leonard’s Style Report: Denim on Denim

This spring we are saying goodbye to a fashion faux pas of the past: denim on denim! While this used to be a major no-no, denim on denim is making a huge come back this spring. A few of the favorite include denim jackets paired with denim shorts, denim vests over chambray shirts and denim skirts, cropped denim jackets, and white and patterned denim. We are definitely on board with all of these looks! Who doesn’t love a great denim combo?

-AK

 

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Questions? Comments? Feel free to contact us at socialmedia@leonards.com

Love it or Leave it: Peter Pan Collars

Peter Pan collars have been seen all over the place! Designers like Carolina Herrera and Marni have spotlighted these glamorous neck adornments in their Spring collections. A Peter Pan collar is a chic accessory that adds flare to any outfit. Don’t be fooled by the name. Peter Pan collars can be extremely sophisticated. Best paired with crew neck tops and dress, these pieces add just enough edge to spice your look up. We LOVE Peter Pan collars! What do you think? Will you be rockin’ these chic collars? Or should they be left in fantasyland?

-AK

 

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Questions? Comments? Feel free to contact us at socialmedia@leonards.com

For family-run Leonard’s, It Is All About the Customers!

Dan Bell, Vice President of Sales, Leonard’s Photography, has spent 35 years in the school photography industry, the majority with Olan Mills. After working such a significant part of his career with a large public entity where shareholders drove the business, one of the great things Dan likes about working these past four years for Leonard’s is the fact that the company is so family oriented. “Leonard’s cares about its customers and cares about its reputation, providing such an emotional product.” says Dan. “We stress excellence and we always strive every day to adhere to our Leonard’s company motto: “The Image of Difference.”

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History Lesson: Leonard and Ruth in The 1930s

The 1930s are known best for The Great Depression and the severe economic hardships that were felt worldwide. Despite the effects of The Great Depression, there were still innovations being made in many areas, including technology, aviation, film and the arts.

 

During this time, St. Augustine experienced innovations of its own. As the economy rebounded by the mid to late thirties, commercial fishing began to blossom into a booming industry. Many different people from various regions and cultures flocked to St. Augustine contributing new techniques to the fishing and boatbuilding industries.

 

It was also during this decade that the famous Villa Zorayda Museum opened its doors. The building was constructed in 1883 as the residence for Mr. Franklin Smith. It is 1/10th the scale of a section of the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. The building itself is considered to be a great masterpiece; made from coquina in the Moorish Spanish architectural style. The museum featured priceless antiques and well known collections that remain on display today.

 

In 1933, our beautiful Castillo de San Marcos was transferred to the control of the National Park Service, where it remains today. Prior to this transfer, the Fort had been cared for by the War Department and the St. Augustine Historical Society. This transition proved to be beneficial. Renovations of the Fort began during the mid thirties. Under the National Park Service, the Fort’s preservation was guaranteed.

 

Now that you all have an idea of what was going on during this decade, we can refocus on the Tuckers! This week I have put together a collection of photos of our founders, Leonard and Ruth Tucker, from the 1930s. Through the photographs, we see Leonard and Ruth’s adolescent and teenage years. Although the forties are where it all begins, it was during this decade that their budding romance emerges.

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Employee Spotlight: Getting to Know The Leonard’s Team!

I was so fortunate to be able to interview Lynn Snipes from the School Relations Department. Lynn is an incredible part of our team! She is in constant contact with our customers, schools, sales representatives, photographers and staff. It’s clear that she loves to help and we at Leonard’s certainly appreciate all of her hard work. It is amazing to work with people as genuine as Lynn!

 

Check out my interview with Lynn!

-AK

 

What is your name?

Lynn Snipes

 

Which department do you work in?

School Relations Department

 

What are some of your daily tasks?

Entering school contracts, scheduling picture days, assisting sales and school representatives, as well as, photographers and customers.

 

How do you contribute to our customer service team?

I really love helping people.  The majority of people we speak with have a problem.  It’s great to be able to say “how can I help you” and know that Leonard’s will support me.

 

Here at Leonard’s we capture memories! What is one memory you are glad you captured through photography?

Walking my, now 22 year old college graduate, daughter into Kindergarten.

 

What are three words that best describe you?

Dependable, Honest, Loyal

 

Do you have any special talents?

Discernment

 

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

This is embarrassing, but I wish I knew how to take great photos!

 

If you could meet anyone, living or deceased, who would it be?

Jesus Christ (although confident one day we will meet)

 

What is the best part of waking up?

Being with the people I love that love me back.

 

Is a picture worth a thousand words? 

YES.  Just take a look at a photograph of someone you’ve loved and lost.

 

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Leonard’s Style Report: Spikes and Studs

One trend that will never go out of style is the addition of spikes and/or studs to any article of clothing or accessory. This season we have seen some pretty amazing looks adorned with spikes and studs. Countless designers have transformed look after look with these bold adornments. One of the more popular ways of rocking this trend is wearing them on collars and accessories. Our favorite? Spikes and studs embellishing leather! Will you be showing off your inner rocker with some spikes and studs this year?

-AK

 

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Questions? Comments? Feel free to contact us at socialmedia@leonards.com

Love it or Leave it: Patchwork Denim

Patchwork denim has become quite the trend this year. To be perfectly honest, when I heard “patchwork denim” I think of the hideous matching outfits Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake wore to the American Music Awards back in 2001. It is definitely not for everyone, hence the reason this trend has made it onto our Love it or Leave it feature. The trick with patchwork denim is to not overdo it. It definitely makes a statement, so it is best paired with solids. What do you think? Do you love patchwork denim this season?

-AK

 

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Questions? Comments? Feel free to contact us at socialmedia@leonards.com

Leonard’s Style Report: Graphic Prints

This spring graphic prints have taken the fashion world by storm. Whether they are on denim, leggings, t-shirts, blazers, or coats, graphic prints are the trend of the moment. Designers are tapping into prints and shapes of the past and we love it! Graphic prints are fun, fresh, and just what we need this season. Our favorites are the geometric patterns and mixed materials. Graphic prints pair best with jewel-toned extras and simple accessories. Ultimately, you want to make a statement so go graphic this spring!

-AK

 

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Questions? Comments? Feel free to contact us at socialmedia@leonards.com