Early Morning with an UWS Family

Starting a family session at 7am is fantastic – okay, not the “getting up by 5am” idea for me, but I love seeing what families have established as their morning routines. Little things the parents do that seem like nothing – braiding hair, making oatmeal, helping the kids decide what to wear – are actually full of amazing little moments and connections.

I was offered a plastic cup immediately upon my arrival
new york family portraits documentary uws upper west side

new york family portraits documentary uws upper west side

new york family portraits documentary uws upper west side

new york family portraits documentary uws upper west side

When I first talked with this family, I asked for one thing that made them unique. The mom wrote “we have a family band.” Wanting to be surprised instead of inquiring further, I was very curious to learn what she meant. Every morning before the family members disperse for work and school, they all sit down with instruments and sing traditional Jewish songs together. Amazing. Just ten minutes a day, but it’s something these kids will remember for years to come.
new york family portraits documentary uws upper west side

new york family portraits documentary uws upper west side

new york family portraits documentary uws upper west side

This was a Friday morning, and at the end of family band time the little boy asked his mom, “momma, is it time for Baby Shabbat now?” I nearly died of cuteness overload. She explained that first he had to go to preschool, and then afterwards would be Baby Shabbat. He seemed satisfied by this answer.

new york family portraits documentary uws upper west side

Good-byes are said before heading out for the day.
new york family portraits documentary uws upper west side

On his way to pre-school!
new york family portraits documentary uws upper west side

new york family portraits documentary uws upper west side

new york family portraits documentary uws upper west side

new york family portraits documentary uws upper west side

A quick little nap
new york family portraits documentary uws upper west side

new york family portraits documentary uws upper west side

new york family portraits documentary uws upper west side

Must…reach…phone….
new york family portraits documentary uws upper west side

new york family portraits documentary uws upper west side

A quick nursing before nap time
new york family portraits documentary uws upper west side

Baking Cookies in Maine

It’s cookie baking time! I love seeing little kids introduced to family activities and traditions. Homemade cookies were always a staple in our house growing up, so it was high time we introduced my niece to this wonderful tradition.

First step: clean the counter. (with a little distraction from Auntie J)
maine cookie baking documentary day in the life toddler

Measuring cups have often been a favorite toy of hers, and now she gets to witness their actual purpose.
maine cookie baking documentary day in the life toddler

maine cookie baking documentary day in the life toddler

maine cookie baking documentary day in the life toddler

Mmm… that looks intersting
maine cookie baking documentary day in the life toddler

Stirring the batter with Nana
maine cookie baking documentary day in the life toddler

So much for keep her dress and face clean
maine cookie baking documentary day in the life toddler

maine cookie baking documentary day in the life toddler

She found great joy in drumming on the plastic wrap.
maine cookie baking documentary day in the life toddler

But then tragedy hit when she learned her drums were to be taken away. Oh, the sadness…
maine cookie baking documentary day in the life toddler

Clearly that didn’t have a lasting effect.
maine cookie baking documentary day in the life toddler

And even better once she climbed on to the counter
maine cookie baking documentary day in the life toddler

Are you interested in having your family traditions captured? Get in touch and let me know what special activities your family does this time of year.

Sweet little baby in Chicago

chicago baby mom

chicago baby

chicago baby

Last Hurrah in Brooklyn

This adorable family was packing up and leaving their familiar Brooklyn neighborhood for good. They wanted to celebrate their time here, so they invited me to their home and favorite neighborhood spots for a morning. The moment I rang the bell I heard the dog barking incessantly, then the dog sat on my feet once I got to the hallway, and upon entering the living area one of the girls ran out naked and proceeded to do a little dance, shaking her naked bum at me. I could tell this was going to be an excellent day. I was not disappointed.

Dancing, dressing, and nursing – three great ways to start the day.
brooklyn new york family documentary photography

I love way the dog is looking at his human here. When I’m photographing kids I often find myself on the floor, and this sweet little dog would take most of those opportunities to plop himself down in my lap. I guess he approved of me.
brooklyn new york family documentary photography

brooklyn new york family documentary photography

The baby was just a month old, and her older sisters were quite taken with her.
brooklyn new york family documentary photography

brooklyn new york family documentary photography

Mom, you’re busy, so I’ll help get this hair out of your eye.
brooklyn new york family documentary photography

What’s the best way to get around the streets of Brooklyn? Scooters, of course. Especially with these stylish helmets.
brooklyn new york family documentary photography

A trip to the post office is always good for a morning exploration.
brooklyn new york family documentary photography

brooklyn new york family documentary photography

brooklyn new york family documentary photography

brooklyn new york family documentary photography

brooklyn new york family documentary photography

brooklyn new york family documentary photography

brooklyn new york family documentary photography

Frozen yogurt!
brooklyn new york family documentary photography

brooklyn new york family documentary photography

brooklyn new york family documentary photography

brooklyn new york family documentary photography

brooklyn new york family documentary photography

brooklyn new york family documentary photography

Unhappy baby
brooklyn new york family documentary photography

brooklyn new york family documentary photography

brooklyn new york family documentary photography

We took a detour on the way back to visit the (mostly-friendly) neighborhood cat.
brooklyn new york family documentary photography

Everyone gets juice boxes.
brooklyn new york family documentary photography

brooklyn new york family documentary photography

brooklyn new york family documentary photography

Baby was crying, so I had everyone play along.
brooklyn new york family documentary photography

brooklyn new york family documentary photography

Do you want to celebrate your family in this style? Contact me today!

Art Project with the Kids

Are you constantly on the lookout for interesting activities  to do with your kids? Read on for a fun art project. I reached out to my friend Christina Soriano, a teaching artist, about combining forces to bring something new to parents. Enjoy!

Back to School Literacy and Art Project
by Christina Soriano, Teaching Artist

Help prepare your children to be classroom-ready with a fun, inspiring project that will keep them creatively focused and promote motor skills. This project is inspired by a book by Peter Reynolds titled “Sky Color”, whose heroine is a young artist named Marisol. The story encourages observing how the sky changes colors during different times of day and weather. I’ve read the book to children ages 3-10 and regardless of age, it always gets them excited to start making art!

20150502_art_032
Project: Sky Color Cityscape or Landscape Collage

Materials: Large format watercolor paper, a variety of wide and thin paintbrushes, watercolor set, water cup, paper towel, scissors, glue stick and a variety of collage papers (textured, solid, patterned, metallic)

materials

1. Introduce the activity by having your child look at the sky and make 3 observations about the colors, clouds and weather.

sky

2. Begin to paint! Encourage color blending and mixing with the watercolors to create their own “sky color”. *Artist tip: Brush a thin layer of water on the paper before adding paint. This will allow the paint to flow easier.

painting
3. Allow a few minutes for the watercolor paper to dry. During this process, encourage your child to describe what types of things they notice outside such as houses, buildings, landmarks, even lampposts or fire hydrants!

skyline IMG_3436
4. Begin cutting the papers and create different shapes and sizes of shapes. Paper can be torn or ripped, too!

cutting shapes
5. Once the paper is dry, overlap and glue smaller shapes over larger shapes to create depth, dimension and detail!

glue-shapes
*Bonus step: If your child is old enough, have them write a story about their art piece. Otherwise, do an “art share” and they can talk about their work!

Enjoy and have a great fall season!

Christina Soriano is an artist and grade K – 5 art teacher in New York City.
To learn more, visit her website and Twitter page.

A Friday Evening on the Upper West Side

I had the pleasure of spending a Friday evening with this adorable family. I love being able to see what routines families have created for themselves.

Upper West Side Jewish family on a Friday evening

This little one was quite intrigued by me. I love when babies stare me down.

Upper West Side Jewish family on a Friday evening

A dramatic expression calls for dramatic light

Upper West Side Jewish family on a Friday evening

Holding on to mom’s nose for support. Perhaps a bit too tight.

Upper West Side Jewish family on a Friday evening

Who has time to nurse when there’s a NEW PERSON in the room?!

Upper West Side Jewish family on a Friday evening

Everything is amazing!

Upper West Side Jewish family on a Friday evening

I was told ahead of time that she would be super excited when her dad came home. So adorable! She started jumping & dancing in her mom’s arms. I love seeing how little kids react to their family members. What a precious event for dad to come home to each evening.

Upper West Side Jewish family on a Friday evening

So happy to see dad!

Upper West Side Jewish family on a Friday evening

Saying hello to Grandma and Zayde on video chat

Upper West Side Jewish family on a Friday evening

Hooray for awesome video chats!

Upper West Side Jewish family on a Friday evening

Sometimes it’s hard to be a baby

Upper West Side Jewish family on a Friday evening

Some traditional songs to start the evening

Upper West Side Jewish family on a Friday evening

No meal time is boring at this house.

Upper West Side Jewish family on a Friday evening

Practicing her sharing

Upper West Side Jewish family on a Friday evening

Another cheer!

Upper West Side Jewish family on a Friday evening

She’s joining right in for the evening songs.

Upper West Side Jewish family on a Friday evening

Quiet time

Brooklyn Family Portrait

I spent a beautiful summer morning with fellow photographer Kelley Bruso and her family, exploring Brooklyn.

brooklyn new york family portraits

brooklyn new york family portraits

brooklyn new york family portraits

brooklyn new york family portraits

brooklyn new york family portraits

brooklyn new york family portraits

brooklyn botanical garden new york family portraits

brooklyn botanical garden new york family portraits

brooklyn botanical garden new york family portraits

brooklyn botanical garden new york family portraits

brooklyn botanical garden new york family portraits

Beautiful Light at a Wisconsin Camp

Cute kids and beautiful light are hard to resist

“toddler

“beautiful

“beautiful

“beautiful

Introducing: My Niece!

I am thrilled to announce that I officially have the title of Auntie Em! My tiny niece Meredith was born at the end of January, and I was so excited that I was able to spend time with her and the family just a couple weeks later.

So much hair!
maine newborn baby portraits

The many scrunchy faces of Meredith
maine newborn baby portraits

maine newborn baby portraits

maine newborn baby portraits

Monkey butt!
maine newborn baby portraits

I love her little smooshy face. Also the fabulous hat knitted by a friend of the family’s.
maine newborn baby portraits

maine newborn baby portraits

Lucy the dog picked the perfect time to develop an ear infection and require surgery (two days upon their return home from the hospital) – hence the great cone of shame.
maine dog lab cone of shame

No cone of shame will stop her from cuddling with her humans, of course
maine dog lab cone of shame

maine newborn baby portraits

maine newborn baby portraits

maine newborn baby portraits

The complete family!
maine newborn baby portraits

maine newborn baby portraits

maine newborn baby portraits

First FaceTime!
maine newborn baby portraits

This was my first attempt at learning to swaddle.
maine newborn baby portraits

My sister’s friend made this adorable fish sleeper – no need for swaddling here!
maine newborn baby portraits

Auntie Janna enjoying some time with her
maine newborn baby portraits

My favorite pair from the family shoot
maine newborn baby portraits

Fabulous Brooklyn Family

I had a splendid day with this family!

Stunning blue eyes on Lyle
Quarfordt Family

Nap time for Rhys, though that didn’t last long with all the excitement at the house
brooklyn nyc family kids dog

Siri and dad
brooklyn nyc family kids dog

brooklyn nyc family kids dog

brooklyn nyc family kids dog

Family story time!
brooklyn nyc family kids dog

Omar was keeping watch
brooklyn nyc family kids dog

brooklyn nyc family kids dog

brooklyn nyc family kids dog

A little snack break
brooklyn nyc family kids dog

Happy times with grandma!
brooklyn nyc family kids dog

brooklyn nyc family kids dog

brooklyn nyc family kids dog

brooklyn nyc family kids dog

brooklyn nyc family kids dog

I love all the bright colors and artwork in their playroom
brooklyn nyc family kids dog

brooklyn nyc family kids dog