As we all hang tight in the name of health and safety, a lot of events are understandably being put on hold. (We’ll all celebrate together, eventually.) But some “happenings” wait for no one—things like the ninth month, birth or a milestone birthday. NYC area family photographers are stepping up to help your family capture these important events while you’re sheltering in place. The solution? A virtual photo shoot via Zoom, FaceTime, etc. Read on to learn how it all works, and see actual photos taken via remote sessions!

photo: Michelle Rose Photo


Like so many other businesses, photographers have taken things online. The modified professional photo shoot involves a pro serving as a consultant and guide to a client before, during and after a photo session."We plan out the shoot from top to bottom: decorations, outfits, locations you name it!," says Michelle Rose of Michelle Rose Photo, who launched her remote milestone shoots in early April. "They send photos of their space for me to take a look at and I point out where the best spots would be to take photos, just like I do when I enter a clients apartment for the first time."

Yes, in most cases you are the one taking the actual photo (probably with your phone), but it's with the input of a professional via Zoom, Facetime, etc. Perhaps not the ideal situation for your big shoot, but the good news is that probably not surprisingly, rates are significantly less than those for in-person sessions. 

In addition to guiding you during the actual shoot, these photographers will help you style your shots, recommend colors and/or props and retouch your favorites to make them super pro. Sessions are typically about 30 minutes to an hour, and basic tech needed is a phone and a wifi connection. 

photo: Karen Haberberg Photography

Karen Haberberg Photography

Karen Haberberg is doing maternity, birthday and infant shoots virtually, providing a portfolio of three to five retouched photos from the sessions.  For her photo shoots, she is the one actually taking the photo, capturing frames via FaceTime, while she coaches parents on elements such as angles and lighting. Through April 30, she is also offering complimentary sessions to healthcare workers as a way to spread a little joy to these first responders in a challenging time. "My goal is to give them a brief break from the Coronavirus, the news, patients and stress," she says. "My hope is that they are forced to get dressed in regular clothes, comb their hair and have a few minutes of fun with their family or alone, while I photograph them.

She has also launched a project entitled, Unmasked, a portrait series on healthcare workers who are in contact with Coronavirus patients. "These workers are covered from head to toe in Hazmat suits and appear anonymous, interchangeable and often scary to their already isolated patients," she says. "Using Facetime, I will be photographing them uncovered and providing them with a digital portrait of themselves that they can print, with their name on it. They will then be able to attach the image to their suit in an effort to humanize them to patients and to the world around them." Click here to learn more about the project. 

For remote photo session rates post April 30, contact Haberberg here


photo: Michelle Rose Photo

Michelle Rose Photo

For her remote shoots, Rose schedules the sessions to take advantage of when an apartment is receiving the best natural light. And, she makes sure you're prepped. "The day before the session I send over a checklist for each client individually so they have everything they need the next day for the shoot. Nothing is out of the ordinary and should already be in the home, except for maybe some cake smash decorations and the cake." (Order in, folks!) 

Rose has partnered with Jam with Jamie to offer her cake smash shoot as an add-on to any private session, and the photographer is also donating 10 percent of profits to charity, with recipients changing weekly. (Baby2Baby was a recent beneficiary.) Contact Rose for rates, which are significantly reduced from those for IRL sessions.  


photo: Stylish Hip Kids

Stylish & Hip Kids Photography

This photo from Stylish & Hip Kids Photography proves the yes, you can get a lovely newborn shot (with an assist). For all remote sessions, owner Mariliana Arvelo consults with the parents about outfits, lighting in the home, and the basics of setting up a camera; she also provides a gallery of images to use as a reference. Sessions are 30 minutes and produce a gallery of 10, retouched photos. The cost is $300, a significant break from the standard rate of $900 for an in-person session. 


—Mimi O’Connor

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