Portrait Photography Article in the Sunday Journal News

There’s a great article in today’s local paper, The Journal News.

All about modern portrait photography and some of the local photographers and studios.

No pic in the online version, unfortunately, but they did print one of my favorite images from the past year- BIG, and at the top of the page.


Here’s the image:
silly sibling portrait


Journal News Article, by Bill Cary

Feb 20, 2011

Book a private photographer for your next family portrait.

If you’ve ever tried to pin down your children for a holiday photo, you know it’s a lot harder than, “Say cheese.”

Because just when you’ve got your little ones camera-ready, your son decides to close his eyes and your daughter impulsively sticks out her tongue. And of course, the baby starts to cry.

Plenty of parents solve this problem with a professional photo shoot. And, once upon a time, the standard was to dress the family up in their best clothes and head to a department store portrait studio.

But those days may be over. More and more, today’s moms and dads are rejecting generic backgrounds, awkward poses and fake smiles.

Instead, they’re booking lengthy, private sessions with photographers — often at home or a favorite spot outdoors — that are casual, fun and intended to capture each family member’s personality.

Sure, this kind of photo shoot can be pricey: Sessions typically start at $200 an hour, and that doesn’t include the cost of purchasing the photos. But you walk away with unique, artistic photos that you’ll treasure forever….

These new portraits are more likely to depict you and your kids running on a beach, jumping on the backyard trampoline or reading a book together. Photographers will shoot you sledding, apple picking or on the local playground; some will even come to your child’s soccer game (possibly snagging you that priceless snapshot as she scores the winning goal).

“When you’re on a child’s home turf, it allows them to really relax,” says Scarsdale family photographer Kelly Vasami. “You see their natural spirit come through, rather than an uncomfortable smile.”

Plus, this type of photographer will work with your schedule — as in, show up before or after naptime — so you’re not thrown into whatever slot a big-box studio has open.

Wondering about photographers in your area who specialize in portraits like these? Here are a few who promise to deliver stunning photographs of your loved ones letting loose. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at the pictures on these pages….

Poppy Studio, Irvington

How it works: Photographer Eve Prime does most of her shooting in her studio, but she’s happy to shoot in a client’s home or elsewhere. “One thing that works really well is a combination session, where we do some shots in the studio and then run outside for a bit to keep things interesting and get a different feel,” she says. “There are several parks and other spots within a short walk of my studio.” The important thing, she says, is for everyone to relax and have fun. “If kids are having fun, we will get great shots,” she adds. “I try to keep things moving so nobody gets bored.” Prime also does a lot of work with new moms and their week-old infants.

Good to know: The most important thing for parents to realize, Prime says, is that portrait sessions need to be scheduled at a time that works best for their kids. “I find that many children are at their best quite early in the morning,” she says. “Nap times and meal times are important, and a photo shoot should be scheduled so that it doesn’t conflict with either.” Mixing siblings of different ages can be tricky, Prime adds, “especially if there is an infant and toddler combination. Infants need a lot of stimulation to catch their attention and make them smile, and some toddlers can be easily overstimulated. It can be pretty hilarious to have a little baby finally alert and smiling while his or her sibling is zooming around the studio in circles.” As far as what to wear, avoid clothing that is “too formal or matchy-matchy,” she says. “Kids should look like themselves and wear something that is comfortable. Solid colors usually work best — and try not to clash.”

Price: Portrait sessions are $150, which includes a $35 credit toward prints. Clients go to the studio a week later to view their images in a slideshow and place their order.

Customer feedback: David Probets of Scarsdale first used Prime in November 2009 right after he and his wife adopted their children from Colombia. “It was very important for us to use a photographer who could help the children to relax, be natural and spontaneous in front of the camera,” he says. “Eve achieved all this wonderfully well.” They went back a year later and were just as happy with the resulting photos. “Eve helped us to custom produce some fantastic Christmas cards, plus we used larger prints as gifts for grandparents and other family members,” Probets says. They’re already looking forward to another shoot with Prime for the holidays this year.

Details: Poppy Studio, 51 Main St., Irvington: 914-231-5371, www.poppystudio.com.