Whether honorary or bonafide - thank you for spoiling or schooling grandchildren everywhere!
Thinking about leaving the city for a relaxed change of pace?
All you need is two Ivy League degrees, preferably one with a minor in chemistry to make your own kefir, and keep those cloth diapers white. Plus let's just throw in an animal husbandry certificate of achievement to ensure the bee hive thrives and the horses (not shown) are healthy.
Did I fail to mention her 3 year old and 2 month old, plus the high school class of pubescent teenagers to whom she teaches history?
Yes, so relaxing...
Sometimes you are going along in an ordinary studio session and you suddenly realize, mom's top will look great on her 6 year old! No need for beauty pageant makeup, just a beautiful personality and a little attitudinal glam. If you love to see your kids more stylized, it's just a matter of communication, rather than happenstance. Tell us, and we can plan for a more editorial feel.
Skip the "outfit" and go for options that reflect your style and showcase your baby's sweetness. For this newborn's shoot we incorporated the grandma's crocheted blanket for a vintage vibe and meaningful portrait. The whimsical flower pattern fabric was purchased to make a baby quilt. Though it's not made yet (no explanation needed) that didn't stop us from making use of it. And the Eames rocker, well, who doesn't look good in one! Finally, newborns look good with parents draped over them.
If you are reading this you are probably a mother, or about to be one. Caring for another human being may be natural. It's also one of the hardest things in life to do with grace and consistency, while remaining sane. Then suddenly one day your child turns to you and exhibits their own sense of compassion or humor, and your heart swells up with wonder that our babies are growing up. And in that process, so are we.
Happy Mother's Day to you!
Gowanus, where our studio is, used to be a no man's land between Park Slope and Carroll Gardens. Migratory birds stopped off at the toxic wetlands opposite our building. Now a flagship Whole Foods Store sits on the site and the entire area was Superfunded a few years back. I saw swans in the Gowanus Canal last weekend.
There is a 600 unit apartment complex being built a few blocks away (there goes my downtown Manhattan view). The positive side is that now I see so many families out for strolls, enjoying the urban scenery, the graffiti and grittiness, while still being able to pick up some organic milk.
TIP: hot playdate for little kids is the last row of parking in the Whole Foods parking lot. Grab your lunch then spend a happy hour watching the balletic performance by excavators and front end loaders at the metal crushers on the opposite side of the canal.
It's winter, it's winter and then suddenly it's not. Spring is such an underrated time of year to take photos. No pressure of the holidays looming, means we often miss out on one of the most photogenic times of the year. You're not sweating and frizzy haired. You're not frozen and runny nosed. You are happy to be out in the world again. Document it.
I was shooting some editorial work for a designer friend using my own kids (not recommended.) At the end of the shoot they were relaxing on the sofa, and I shot off about 10 frames. They must have been warmed up because they hammed it up and the next moment relaxed into a sweet and open moment.
For each child there is more than one authentic image that represents them. When I sit with clients to look at their images they often choose the happy image, but what strikes your heart most?
It's so lovely to see a family grow up, and grow in size. A maternity session that includes the kid/s or husband or pet (or all of them), shifts the outcome. It's no longer just the story of your shape, a portrait at a moment in time, but also the relationships between you as you are about to welcome this new addition into the family. Love, in images.
As a photographer I often have to contend with snacking during a photo session - when to give, when not to give, what to give and if it is transactional. The best advice I can offer it to make sure they were fed recently so they aren't so hungry. As a parent I know they are conditioned to ask for snacks every 30" however!
What's transactional? Well if a child isn't old enough to understand a bribe, it's better not to present it that way. "If you do this, you can have this." Instead you get a child who is frustrated and miffed at how stingy you are with the treats or snacks. Disaster.
What not to give your kids - anything that gets stuck in their teeth. Such a sweet smile except for the orange goo of the cheddar goldfish, or the raisin sludge amongst those pearly whites. Try green grapes instead.
Some snacks can be very cute to include as part of a game. "Lie on the floor and I'll pretend you are a fish and I'll drop the bait in your mouth." Lots of anticipation and eye contact.
Snacks as props are another fun element. In the summertime it's festive to have a wedge of watermelon or an ice cream cone (spare change of clothes alert.)
Finally, a word about lollipops and other sugary treats. Never give one until the session is almost over. You don't want a green mouth preserved for eternity, nor a hyped up little one headed for a sugar crash. However a treat at the end can really get your small people excited for a last hurrah of joy and then they'll go home to a well deserved nap, or maybe you will.