I got a phone call last week from one of my family clients asking if I photograph Engagements, and I said sure! I’m more in the mitzvah market, but it’s always a good time to capture the origins of that future family and the love story where it begins! Yossi lives in LA, and was going to be visiting Hollywood to surprise and propose to his girlfriend, Ellie, and wanted to capture her reaction (hint: guys looking to propose, this is an excellent idea!). We spent the week strategizing about the most photogenic and semi-private beach location at the most optimal time of day for the candlelit look he was going for, and earlier this evening, he asked her to marry him, and she said yes! They absolutely radiated love and joy, and I wish them a lifetime of happiness!
This family always has so much fun in front of my camera, and it always shows in their photos! This year, when we were deciding on a location to celebrate their daughter’s first birthday with a cake smash as we did for her older sister, I suggested doing the session at home. I think every family should have at least one in-home photo session. They tend to be relaxed and bring out the best in your children, because that is where they spend the most time and are the most comfortable. It also makes the logistics easy for you, and is a great way to document your home.
I’ve been looking through old photos from my grandparents, and when something familiar would appear in a photo, or the living room is where they took fancy photos and it appears over and over again, that all has meaning, and I am grateful those memories of my grandparents home are preserved. And I’m grateful I was able to preserve some memories of this awesome family in their home!
There’s just something special about the intimacy and simplicity of a weekday Bar Mitzvah. And also something spiritual. In addition to a tallis, tefillin are worn, and Adam had a beautiful ceremony, which I’ve never seen before. Young mitzvah boys often get help with their tefillin, usually from the rabbi or a parent. And tefillin are wrapped the arm a certain number of times in a certain pattern for symbolic reasons. So when Adam was wrapped in his tefillin, the men in his family took turns with each wrap. Thinking back to what I witnessed, and reviewing those moments in these images, still gives me goosebumps. It’s like they were wrapping him in love and generations of tradition. Amazing!
He did a beautiful job reading from the Torah, and then celebrated with family and friends, and enjoyed an outstanding brunch.
This mama was one of my High School friends, who’s left The Sunshine State and resides in The Empire State. I had the pleasure of photographing her family when they were in Florida for the Spring holidays 3 years ago, and when she said they wanted to work together to capture their family’s growth, I was so excited! I love how photography allows me to stay connected to people from my past, and also, it’s always a privilege to document the same families as they evolve.
Mom sounded concerned with what to wear for their family photo session, so I suggested she send me a photo of what she had in mind. She was off to a strong start, and I replied with some suggested links and photos from Old Navy and Children’s Place to complete their look. I’m always happy to help my families style for their sessions, but I definitely try to make it easily accessible and convenient.
Next up was deciding where. Since we were photographing a morning session, it had to be somewhere with shade, so that ruled out the beach. I’m typically able to find shade in urban locations, so we met in downtown Ft Lauderdale to enjoy the morning, and their enjoyment is evident in these images!
So if you’re not local, next time you’re in the area, message me to schedule your Ft Lauderdale vacation photo session!
HEADSHOTS. Why is that word so scary?! I know I am a talented portrait photographer. I specialize in mitzvahs and families, and often will do a mitzvah pre-shoot, with mostly solo shots of the teen and a few with his/her family for a whole hour. I know how to capture a personality. But say 'headshot', and all of a sudden I feel like I'm out of my wheelhouse, and feel like there's some external expectation I may not live up to, whereas I'm an otherwise confident photographer. What is it about a headshot that is so off-putting, where really, it's just a great portrait?!
And what makes a great portrait, you may wonder? Well, in addition to lighting, composition, and focus, a great portrait captures the personality of the subject. A great portrait is real. It makes you feel something when you look at it. You feel a connection to the subject.
When scheduling this session, Mom asked if I could do that. I said, well, sure, I'm capable. People don't typically hire me for that, but yes, I can do it. Mom sent me some blog posts she’d found about theatrical headshots which really helped me focus. They spoke about different types of headshots for different character types.
So when Ellie got in front of my camera, I tried asking her to think of different things, with different character types in mind, like serious, spunky, mischevious, or bubbly. And it was amazing how her expression would change from one frame to the next. After the first few shots, she got the hang of it and started varying her expressions all on her own! It was an amazing exchange of energy, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with these portraits… headshots… I don’t care what you call them. All I know is I’m in love!
We even got to capture a few shots with her siblings and mom. We finished with brother Josh entertaining himself by taking a ride on the car door as it automatically opened and closed. This totally entertained me too!