Choosing photos for this blog post brought back all the feels from this day. Honestly, I think I had as much fun photographing Violet's bat mitzvah as the guests did celebrating her! The entire day; from the moment Violet and her family arrived, until the goodie bags were handed out, was full of warmth, love and celebration. To be witness to days like these gives me great hope for our kids. I think they are going to accomplish some pretty amazing things! xo
I'm sure by now that my clients think I just want to get into their houses and will say anything to gain entrance, and while I do enjoy seeing how other people live, I can promise you that's not my motivation. Ideally, if I could meet everyone at home and then head to the park, we'd have the best of both worlds, but that's not always possible. So, when the weather turns chilly, it's the perfect time to capture images at home. I find kids are often much more comfortable at home and show a side of themselves to me that I wouldn't see in a park setting. My favorite part of an in-home session is after I've been there a bit; I get to head off with one kiddo at a time. This is when I to talk to them and find out who they are and what they love. What are they reading? Who are their favorite superheros? And, what was their best Halloween costume EVER?! As we talk, they forget I have my camera pointed at them. Taking photos is my passion, but connecting with my subject is my goal. This connection feeds my soul. But, more importantly, it lets children know they are listened to and seen. In the end, I'm able to deliver images to mom and dad that honestly capture the essence of their beautiful (and much loved) children. I hope you'll consider inviting me over next time you decide it's time to book a session.
The first time I met this beautiful family was at their daughter's first birthday celebration. As soon as I walked into the home where the party was to take place, I was warmly greeted by everyone. I knew at that moment, it was going to be a great session. Relatives and friends continued to arrive for the next hour or so and soon the house was full of laughter and the smell of delicious homemade Indian food. I can tell you, I left the party not only with a full SD card, but a full belly! You can imagine how delighted I was to hear from them again earlier this fall. We met at one of my favorite spots and spent an hour together documenting this special time in their lives.
I always try to encourage clients to meet me during the golden hour, that time of day just before sunset when everything is bathed in a beautiful, warm light. However, I don't have to think back too far to remember what that hour was like when I had young ones. They don't call it the "witching hour" for nothing. I realize it gets it's name because toddlers and babies are often a little tired and cranky late in the day. Well, they aren't the only ones. Sometimes mommy has had a long day and is tired and cranky too! And maybe, just maybe, she starts acting a little witchy too? I certainly had days when I lost patience and wished I had just stopped what I was doing to take a break and help EVERYONE calm down, myself included. What I'm getting at is that a golden hour session isn't always ideal for every family and as luck would have it, I am a morning person. Annoying, I know, but true - I wake up with the birds. So, if you have a house of littles who are happier really early in the day, think about booking your session then. We can meet at your home or in a park, play a bit, take some pictures and then you can go about your day. No waiting around all day for your photo shoot. Afterwards, treat yourselves to a nice breakfast out. Maybe in an actual restaurant (that serves mimosas ;-)). After all, it's not often everyone will be dressed up on a Saturday morning.
And we are DONE! Love, love when the kids give me the hand!
When a family welcomes me into their home on the morning of a photo session while everyone is still getting ready, I'm pretty sure magic is going to happen. This is the kind of session I dream of doing for EVERYONE! I'm sure I sound like a broken record by now, but the day to day stuff is the BEST stuff. The images where the little guys are half dressed and still eating breakfast, the backpacks in plain sight, half empty coffee mugs and sippy cups crowding the counters. Everyone puttering around the kitchen, doing their normal routine. I want you to have these images and to know you will treasure them more than any others. I'm beyond grateful to the families who open their homes to me and grace me with the gift of watching their dance. Life is in the details. Capture them, and you will never forget them. xo
One thing my mother drilled into me was this sentiment: "If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all." Maybe not the most helpful message, but it certainly stuck with me, which is why writing this blog post is tricky. Now that my son is in high school, I recently had to log onto the school pictures website and order a picture package. Is it okay to say it KILLS me to pay money for an image that doesn't capture my sweet boy in anyway? One thing is for sure, come senior year, that boy is coming with me out to a field or downtown and having his photos made!
Photographing children has been my passion for the past 5 years, and I still love the crazy adorable energy of little ones, but recently I've fallen in love with photographing teens. Maybe it's because I now have one, and another on the brink of his teen years. I can relate to them and remember what is was like to be a teenager. All the ups and downs and exciting moments come rushing back like a vivid dream. A few weeks ago, I met this beauty in a nearby park and we spent close to a hour walking, talking and making pictures together. I say together, because it really does take two to make a beautiful photo. Make that three - the photographer, the subject and you, the viewer.
I knew it was going to be a fun session when Mom saw the humor in my choice of location for her daughter's Bat Mitzvah photo session. What better spot than Our Lady of Mt. Carmel church right here in town? It's a beautiful spot and Violet, is a beautiful girl. A match made heaven. xo
I have a little confession to make: Sometimes I get nervous when I have a senior session with a boy as opposed to a girl. Not sure why? Maybe it's because I have a mistaken impression that teenage boys don't want to be photographed. The pre-session jitters were alive and kickin' the evening I went to photograph Ben. I remember a photographer friend once said to me, "The day you aren't nervous before a shoot is the day you should hang up your camera." And he was right. It means everything to me that people walk away happy with the photos of course, but also with the experience itself! The moment I met Ben, I knew it was going to be a great session. He put me at ease immediately with his calm and confident manner - imagine feeling confident at 17? Usually, it's the person in front of the camera that needs to be reassured - but not this time. Cool. As. A. Cucumber. Thanks Ben for helping ME relax! ;-)
Last week I had a nice surprise when I was asked to photograph a few bands that were scheduled to play before our town's Fourth of July fireworks show. I'm always on the lookout for something new and interesting to photograph, so to say I was excited by this opportunity is an understatement. When I first arrived, I played it safe and used a nice long zoom so that I wouldn't get in anyone's way or be too obvious, but by the end of the evening, I was all over the stage trying to catch the moments. There was so much great energy up on that bandshell, it made capturing genuine moments pretty easy. What it didn't make easy was the culling, but that's a problem I'll take any day! Enjoy!
I admire the talent and ability of newborn photographers at the same time knowing that will never be me. I don't think I'm a baby whisperer by any stretch of the imagination. I won't come to your home with soft, organic blankets and a space heater and lull your newborn to sleep. If I had that power when I was a new mom, maybe I'd be a different type of photographer today. But, what I WILL do is come to your home and capture your life as it really is in those first few precious days or weeks. All the snuggles, a sleeping baby and yes, the less than thrilled sibling. And it's all good, because as much as I hated when people said this to me (and I mean I HATED it) it does go by quickly, and the beginning days with little sleep can all seem a blur. The images that remind you how special those days were are the photos you will look at again and again. xo
Sasha's on the blog!!Read More
Talk about a fun in-home/at-the-park session! Met this beautiful family at their gorgeous brownstone where we spent a little time just hanging out and playing. And the blue couch, don't get me started on that couch and wall covering....<3. After that, it was off to Fort Tryon Park (my first uber ride...very cool) for some running and chasing, a little bubble time and some experimenting with string lights. The kids were great and up for anything! I'm sure everyone slept well that night. I know I did! ;-)
When the weather didn't cooperate a few weekends ago, we needed to reschedule our session to a weekday. Knowing it might be hard for mom and dad to travel to me during the week and being that I'm always up for a road trip, I offered to go to them! Since we ski often, I was familiar with Rachel's neck of the woods and imagined it must be beautiful during the fall season. I had no idea how beautiful until I drove up alone one sunny afternoon. The leaves were peak, with rolling hills and a sky that seemed to go on forever...not something easy to find in Bergen County! To make things even better, the apple orchard we chose to meet at was practically empty! We had full run of the place and baby girl couldn't have been happier. I hope you enjoy looking through these pictures as much as I did editing them. Anyone up for a location session, I'm game!
Seems like a long time ago that I drove down to the shore to photograph this beautiful family, yet it was only last month. So happy that mom agreed to meet just before sunset. There's nothing like the light at the end of a day. I have to admit, I was worried that it might be too late for the little ones, but they were so happy just to run around and play in the sand and surf. I hope you enjoy a glimpse of sunshine on this gray and blustery day!
Scouting for the perfect location can be a challenge. You need to think about getting enough variety in a gallery, while being sure the background is nice to look at, or at least interesting. Imagine my delight when mom requested a session at Graydon Park right here in town! Not only is it a beautiful spot, but it is a place that speaks to them as a family. Some of their fondest summer memories, with their children, but also from their own childhoods, happened here. The stars aligned for us this night, hardly another soul there, the evening was beautiful and the water, almost glowing. Throw in a gorgeous family and it's this photographers happy place too!
Wilmington, NC has got to be one of my favorite places on earth! Last month we were lucky enough to spend a week with good friends exploring the downtown area and beaches. There's so much happening in the downtown area; excellent food, breweries turning out delicious craft beers, a vibrant music and arts scene. And the beaches were killer!! The water was so clean and the waves almost scary, just enough to make boogie-boarding a real thrill and a guaranteed source of exhaustion, and an early bedtime! My only regret is coming home to find there wasn't one picture of me! Ugh. I did all the shooting and never handed the camera off. This breaks my heart and won't happen again. As soon as I got home, I headed to the camera store and bought myself a remote for my camera. From now on, I'll get in the frame every now and then. I want my kids to know I was there having fun with them. Hope you enjoy looking through our "vacation photos". I promise not to pull them out at Christmas.
We were all getting tired of the same old thing and craved a change of scenery. I'd remember reading something in the Times recently about Asbury Park and decided that was our destination. An hour or so away, the ocean, a boardwalk, what did we have to lose? Turns out we had everything to gain. The revival down there is amazing! It has a completely urban/island vibe, if that's even a thing? Great restaurants with roof top bars overlooking the ocean, cozied up next to hip shops and street food "containers". I say containers, because literally that's what they are...shipping containers painted vibrant colors. Imagine a food truck, but bigger with no wheels.
The water temperature couldn't have been better. It was clean and the surf was rough, but not insane. I've never seen Eamon so happy and believe me, I have seen him pretty happy, many times. I literally had to pull him out of the ocean when it was time to leave. Liam spent the evening hours digging a VERY deep hole in the sand. As we drove the parkway home with a cotton-candy sunset before us, I vowed to make this a regular trek.
When the boys woke up this morning, the first thing they said was, "Can we go again today?" I wish I could've made it happen the very next day, but there were things to take care of here at home. But soon, very soon we will go again.
Oh, and by the way there are LOTS of pictures here. Feel free to scroll. :-)
Our day in the city began at the local coffee shop, afterwards we wound our way up to the park and then trekked over to the apartment for some playtime, lunch and finally, nap time. The scheduled life of a toddler is a wonderful thing - I'm envious as I write this! I've said it before and I'll say it again, these are the kind of photos that will transport you back in time the way posed photos cannot. As the years pass and you take out photos like these, you will feel many things, but regret won't be one of them. You were there, completely there. You preserved precious, simple moments of a life filled with love and hope. Give this gift to yourself and your children. As the photographer I realize it sounds self-serving to say it's worth it, but it is. It is worth every penny.