Lots of people can take a great picture. Maybe even you. But it’s the true photographer that can balance color, composition, light and more — and also manage to capture the spirit of his or her subject. And by our estimation, that’s never more important than when shooting a family, siblings, newborn, etc. We went in search of NYC shutterbugs who can do just that, and found photographers with different styles and specialties, but all of them create work you’d be proud to hang on your wall and will cherish for years.
To Capture the Little Details: Deer Baby
Those tiny feet and hands don't stay tiny for very long. Deer Baby will document your new arrival with natural shots with a candid feel — and they'll do it in NYC, Philly, and even Germany! (Hamburg, specifically.) The Deer Baby shutterbugs frequently shoot in subjects' homes, but they're happy to head out the a park, the streets, etc. for sessions with kids and families. (Pets also make appearances in Deer Baby work.) Starting rate is $350.
For Fun Family Shots & More: Karen Haberberg Photography
Karen Haberberg does it all, from maternity to newborn to just the kids or the whole family. A graduate of the International Center of Photography, her works has appeared in publications such as Fit Pregnancy, The Wall Street Journal and Time Out New York. In addition to her work as a photographer, Haberberg has curated multiple photo exhibits, working with artists such as Annie Leibovitz and Elliot Erwitt. She shoots throughout the five boroughs, as well as the Hamptons, and sessions start at $489. Powerhouse recently published her book, An Ordinary Day: Kids with Rare Genetic Conditions which documents 27 families with children who have rare genetic diseases. You can learn more about the project here.
For Editorial Photographer Who Also Does Portraits: Julie Hassett Sutton
Brooklyn-based photographer Julie Hassett Sutton has worked with The Wall Street Journal and organization Global Kids (for whom she photographed a visit from Michelle Obama!), and you can also snag a sitting with her. One-hour sessions can take place inside or out, at your place or on location, and cost $300. Clients get a link to a private gallery for review and 20 final high res digital files.
For a Newborn Pro: Shirly Schvartzman Photography
Until you try to take a great photo of your newborn for a birth announcement, or even simply posterity, you just don't realize how difficult it is. Photographer Shirly Schvartzman has got it down to a science. The Park Slope mother of two shoots exclusively in her Brooklyn studio, and produces images of your little angel in adorable repose. The babes — which Schvartzman typically photographs when they are six to 12 days old — are sometimes swaddled in delicate knitted wraps, and others wear just their birthday suit. (Want a shot of a baby in a bucket or wearing a headband? She does that too.) How does she do it? Parents receive instructions on how to arrive with a sleepy baby, and the studio is kept at a cozy 80 degrees and filled with white noise to remind infants of their previous digs. Sessions start at $650.
For the Out of the Ordinary: Stylish Hip Kids
For a truly uncommon snap of the clan, check out Stylish Hip Kids, the studio of photographer Mariliana Arvelo. The Venezuelan native shoots both outdoors and in, as well as at her Brooklyn HQ, and her work is fun, filled with color and energy, and the essence of her subjects. (Sometimes, she even adds some fun illustrated accents in post-production.) Starting rate is $400 for a mini-session.
For a Low-Cost, Last-Minute Photo Shoot: Snapped
Yes, now you can order up a professional photo shoot on demand. Created with the goal of making it easy to find qualified and experienced photographers on short notice (in as little as two hours!), Snapped promises high quality shots and fast delivery from a small team of vetted photographers. Have trouble with delayed gratification? Check this out: Snapped provides you with digital photos in real time during your event so you can share them immediately, and a gallery of color-corrected photos is online for viewing in 24 hours. It's relatively low risk, and definitely low cost. Snapped sessions will set you back just $149, soup to nuts. Have we tried it? Not yet. Do we want to? You betcha!
For An Interesting Angle: Yuko Hirao Photography
Yuko Hirao can take a lovely, standard shot of your newborn, baby, child or family. But we love her work because she often captures fun, natural, joyful moments with a bit of an artistic flair; in addition to more standard composition, she gets evocative shots from above or behind. (She also does commercial and fine art photography.) She's happy to shoot in your home or head to an outdoor spot where you and the kids can relax and be yourselves. Hirao also spends time with clients advising on framing, retouching, and more, to make sure every photo is picture perfect. Newborn sessions start at $330; baby and kid sessions begin at $250. Online: yukohiraophoto.hechtmail.com photo: Yuko Hirao Photography
Do you have a favorite NYC family photographer we should know about? Share with the group in the comments below!
— Mimi O’Connor