Family Portraits in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

The best clients are sometimes your first clients. Julie and James responded to an online posting for my photography back in the summer of 2012 for their small intimate wedding in Bay Ridge. They were my very first wedding, and I think I was more excited than nervous to shoot their intimate gathering. You can see their photos in the Wedding portion of my portfolio.

Flashback! Julie + James circa 2012 :)

Flashback! Julie + James circa 2012 🙂

Fast-forward two years, and I receive a lovely little “hello” from them in my inbox one November morning… No longer just Julie and James, but Julie, James, Ryan, and Luke!! The boys, ages 2 and 1, with those bright blue eyes that melt the hearts of any human being, were totally rambunctious and so much fun to photograph.

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A helpful tip for anyone photographing toddlers – keep that shutter going constantly and get on the floor to be eye-level with them (still working on my technique as always!). Below, Luke on the left, Ryan playing with dad on the right. It’s hard not to fall in love with these two hunks!

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And of course, I had to sneak a few shots of the two love birds, now mum and dad. Still as much in love with each other as on that summer day in 2012 when they said   “I Do”…

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With two wiggly toddlers, snapping the perfectly composed shot is not always easy, so that’s why we improvise as photographers. Their beautiful home in Bay Ridge boasted a chandelier from the early 1900s, which doubled as an excellent setting for my favorite candid close-ups of the family.

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This last one has everybody’s face in it! Christmas card, anyone? Next, we took advantage of the warm-ish weather and strapped on everyone’s shoes for some outdoor shots. I absolutely love shooting outside (especially under the lovely overcast skies we had that day) and kids do the cutest things when they play! Like gazing at me for a split second with bright googly eyes while piled in a heap of leaves…

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Or looking off into the distance while planning their next mischievous scheme…

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Or taking an impromptu geology lesson from Dad.

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Having had enough of the leaves and rocks, we headed down the street (literally 4 houses down) to grandmas! I can only imagine how awesome it is to have grandma, aka drop-of-the-hat babysitter steps from home with two little ones. Less of the “Over the river and through the woods,” and more like, “Down the five doorsteps and ten steps away, to Grandmother’s house we go!”

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Luke and Ryan clearly led the way, too. I can’t get enough of the look on their little faces when mum and dad called for them…

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By this time, the little ones were quite over-energized by being at grandma’s that our attempts to take some additional group shots were more candid than expected. I still think it totally captures the family dynamic of giggles and laughter 🙂 Oh well, we tried!

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Although grandma’s was fun, it was time to head home for a late morning snack. But before we said our good-byes, I captured a few more shots in their sweet little cul-de-sac (I had no idea these little oases existed in Brooklyn!).

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And as the holiday season comes and goes, and despite the cold days that lie ahead, remember the warmth of family in your heart. I am so honored to have been the Lanigan’s photographer for the second time, and look forward to many more family shoots with this gang!

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The Love of a (Growing!) Family

This post has so much more meaning to me than the typical  “oh-look-at-my-latest-client-shoot” post. The one year anniversary of my dad’s passing was approaching last week, and I was mentally preparing myself to accept whatever waves of grief and emotion were about to hit. This past year has taught me to deal with sadness head-on and immediately experience the pain without bottling it up, which only creates a volatile mental state. Losing a parent is a horrible feeling, and the grief that results is one that I would never wish on anyone. But that’s not what this blog post is about.

This post is about the pure beauty of family. So, I completed my usual online ad for head shots a few days prior to the anniversary, and I received a request from Marisa to do a maternity shoot. Initially I was hoping to distract myself with a nice dinner out or a movie on the 9th, but Marisa was one week away from her due date, and the only time we could meet was that very Wednesday night. Something told me this is what I needed to do.

That something was undoubtedly true. I met Marisa, her husband and three-year-old daughter down at the Dumbo Pier and experienced the profound, unconditional love this family expresses. DSC05042

8 Days away from her due date (which is today!!), Marisa is the most beautifully glowing mommy-to-be. I especially LOVED her hand-made sash to show off that gorgeous baby bump!

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Skyler, the spunky and excitable 3-year-old daughter was so well behaved, and became my official photographers’ assistant by the end of our session.

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She’s kind of the cutest little girl I’ve ever met!

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Mom and Dad can’t wait for the next addition to their family to arrive. Fun fact, baby is due the day after Skyler’s birthday!

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Even though the carousel horses were sleeping for the night in their glass barn (ah the stories you have to tell to children so they don’t despair!), using them as a backdrop was a great setting for us! Miss Skyler even photo-directed this next shot:

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We all love our mommas, but I think she’s a bit of a daddy’s girl, like me 🙂

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We also couldn’t have a complete shoot without a few one-on-one’s with the beautiful mom-to-be. Seriously, if being 9 months pregnant looked this good on everyone, there would be so many more babies in NYC!

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And as the sun began to set to the west, beyond the towering buildings of lower Manhattan, I was able to sneak this shot of the two love birds before the security guards told us to get off the grass (they fortunately let us take our time – who rushes/ yells at a pregnant lady?!).

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And one of Skyler, of course. I have a feeling that this little girl is going to do big things!

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Oh, and if you haven’t already guessed, it’s a girl.

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All in all, this was the best way to spend my evening last Wednesday. I was so completely wrapped up in the love and happiness of this family that I forgot it was the one year anniversary of my dad’s passing. This photo session reminded me of why I love what I do – Photography not only captures fleeting moments of time, but allows us to reveal the true essence of a person’s soul. If anything, it gives us a beautiful memory to hold close in our hearts that will literally live on for generations to come.

I continue to cherish each memory of my loved ones – whether they have passed or simply left my path of life for the time being. I don’t wallow in misery when I look back on photos with my dad; instead I am able to travel back in time to those exact moments and remember the sound of his voice, his tenderness, his love. And as my wonderful step-mom says, “Love is in front of you, behind you, beside you, and within you always”.

I like to think you can alternate Love with Family.

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To all the families out there, you are all pillars in each others’ lives. Hold each other close, forget your conflicts and resentments – family is forever my dears.

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First Christmas

Well I have officially broken out the indoor studio gear as the chilly Brooklyn weather is finally catching up with us. Baby Lucas (7.5 mo) will be celebrating his first Christmas with mum and dad this year!It was simply too hard to choose which photos to post, so I’ve included a bunch for you all to enjoy.

If you are in the Brooklyn / NYC area it’s not too late to get a great family shoot in for the holiday season 🙂

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Family!

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Daddy Love

Mum

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Standing!