LAFMIL – Origins

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”  ~ Juliet  Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

I have been asked many times to repeat the name I bestowed upon my photography business.  I have been asked how to spell it, and I have been asked what it means.  Well…here is the origin of LAFMIL photography.

Aside from having been adept at snapping pics early on, and having grandeurs of actually doing something I love and living off of it, I imagined the name of my craft being something unique.  A name that would stand out from the rest.  A title that would harbor thoughts of happiness (because, after all, don’t memories caught forever bring us joy?).  Much like my skill, the name evolved unto itself.

Quite literally it came to me one night whilst in a dead sleep.

Up until the time that I christened my business, I was still nurturing my love of creating images.  Knowing that forming an actual business and living off of it would mean individuality in this arena, I did not want to present the populace with the usual “John Doe” photography.  During the time I was pondering the thought of said name, we had already had a sizable fur family.  Six to be precise.  I must also include that along this beaten path we had the misfortune of losing a pup to the big “P”, parvo, it becomes relevant in just a bit.  Our kiddos were the inspiration for my specializing in pet portraiture.  Capturing these pups’ very essence in picture came so easy for me.  Ergo, it made sense to honor them by somehow including them in this venture.  I made an effort to include each one of their names, especially little Fred who went to the bridge after a courageous battle against the big “P” (see told you).  However, tried as I might, I could not create a sensible title for the passion that would encompass my every day upon its inception.  

As we lie asleep, our minds continue to resolve the issues of the day.  Even problems that we maintain on the back burner.  If we didn’t we would quite literally go mad.  As such, my mind systematically pieced together a word that would encompass the names for each of my pups and foster happiness and that warm fuzzy feeling.  LAFMIL.  Pronounced “laugh mill” it occurred to me that it could be considered a laugh factory where laughs are made.  All while including the first initial of each of the pups and being quite unique.

What are their names?  Glad you asked…


(but we just call him Beans)



(I know, you’re right, two “M”s.  But we just morphed it into one.)


(We call her Belle for short)  and…



Some of the folks that know us, know that we have adopted other kiddos since then.  And as much as I would like for them to be somehow inducted into the formula, I rest, and have resigned myself, in knowing that 1) the pups contributing to the name are the “founding fathers” (as it were) and 2) the other kiddos, I’m sure, will understand.

Abe Ortiz
LAFMIL (laugh mill)  Photography

2 thoughts on “LAFMIL – Origins

  1. Thanks for sharing as I too wondered where the name came from. I think it's a great tribute to the furkids that influenced your work!!!

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