long island portrait photographer

Jaqueline & Bobby: The Larkfield

It’s been six weeks since I photographed Jaqueline and Bobby’s Wedding and I still feel the love from their day running through my veins.

It’s a rare gift to be in the presence of true love, and after 15 years together, Jaqueline and Bobby still emulate that “falling in love for the first time” glow. But, it wasn’t just the two of them that were filled with love; it was their friendships and families that made the entire day overflow with this indescribable warmth. From long time friendships, parents who still respect each other and each others partners, grandparents who weren’t there physically, but were there through modern technology, and all the little moments in between, this day and these people have bettered my soul.

During Bobby’s welcome speech, he discussed how at their home, they have a “grateful jar”. Everyday, they write down what they’re grateful for, and on days where they’re overwhelmed, they read a note from that jar. Since this moment, I have adopted this habit. If there is one thing I’ve learned from being around this couple and their family for the few short hours that I did, it’s that life is too short to be anything but grateful for all the blessings we have. Jaq & Bobby, I’m grateful for you two. I’m grateful to be a small part of your day, and I’m grateful for learning from you two. Thank you for teaching everyone you know the importance of those little moments. I wish you two nothing but continued happiness and success.

Maternity Portraits, Sunken Meadow State Park, NY

If you asked me a year ago if I could ever see myself photographing Maternity Portraits I would have said “no”.And, yet, here we are- three maternity portrait sessions down and falling more and more in love with them each time.

The truth is, I think there is something magical about pregnancy and I consider each maternity session a blessing. To be able to witness a mom at her strongest, and to be there to capture them at their most beautiful, it truly is a gift.

Melissa is due any second now, (no, honestly- she could be in labor right now. When we met there was no mucus plug. I don’t exactly know what that is, but, it sounds important.) but, through the hustle and bustle of the holiday’s forgot to schedule a maternity portrait session. Talking to her at the restaurant, I gently suggested that I could photograph them for her, just so she could have this moment forever and she agreed.

On a windy Tuesday afternoon, we met at Sunken Meadow State Park for some portraits. Yes, we met on the beach in January. Was it mildly insane? Probably. Do I love each photograph? Yes.

Melissa is a strong, beautiful, spirit who is going to raise the most beautiful baby. Her trust and her friendships are such a reflection of her, and I cannot wait to meet baby pup.

I am so grateful for that serendipitous Friday night, and I’m even more grateful that you trusted me with these moments, mama. You’re going to be incredible.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Family Portraits in Islip, New York

One of my favorite things about living on Long Island is how rich in history this little island is. Growing up in East Meadow, I was surrounded by the first suburbs; an extraordinary piece of history that has shaped our entire nation. WIth easy access to the Gold Coast, I have always had an affinity to historical sites and an appreciation for all the non profits that keep these buildings up and running.

Now living in Suffolk County, I have a whole new frontier of historical buildings to explore. This year, when Vitina contacted me to do her family photoshoot, I knew the exact location that I wanted to shoot at. The Brookwood Hall in Islip is a government building overlooking a lake. Operated by the town, the location has art pieces scattered throughout the landscape, a beautiful, historical building, a playground, and a beautiful little forest area. The versality of this location kept the boys moving, exploring, and not feeling constrained to one spot. We played with leaves, we saw a swan, we walked along a pebble path, and posed in a forest. This mini session was so much fun, and I’m so grateful that Vitina once again trusted me with her family memories.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Shelby; Model Headshots

Shelby is a young, inspiring model who needed some headshots for her portfolio. My friend, Sam, over at Samantha Walker Make up Services is a crazy talented make up artist, and I, am the middle woman. I thought it would be amazing to have a day where three people can truly benefit from. I, get to shoot underwater (a serious love of mine that I don’t do enough), and, Sam & Shelby get some photographs for their portfolio.

Here are a few of my favorite headshots from that day. Unfortunately, the underwater ones didn’t come out exactly how I envisioned, but they are still gorgeous! It just leaves to keep chasing that photo. It’s fun having a concept in your head and trying time and time again for it to come to life. Nothing in life worth having happens easily, right?

Kevin & Stephen: Engagement Shoot

Kevin, Stephen and I became fast friends on the first day I officially met them at my family restaurant. They were regular customers; always ordering virtually the same meal, and they always had my then crush, Mark, as their waiter. Well, one day they came in and Mark wasn’t there. I figured I would take them, make them like me, and they would put a good word in for me with Mark.

Well, fast forward four years, I married that crush, Mark, and we’re all still very good friends. The best part of having these two in my life is their ability to inspire me. Stephen, an author of (hold on, let me count them all in my office…) SIX books is an imaginative, funny, smart and compassionate person. His drive is contagious. Kevin, doesn’t just stop at being a very successful Software Engineer/Architect. Oh, no. Kevin has developed photo editing apps, games, and is currently getting his Masters. Even with all that on his plate, Kevin is an intentional listener, and goes out of his way for all in his life. I cherish these two people, deeply.

After they’re engagement, they asked if I could photograph some engagement photos for them. They were getting married exactly six months after Mark and I, and I was honored to be a part of their wedding party. Their day was beautiful, and even better, their book that they created about their wedding is just as fantastic. (I think that brings Stephen’s published book count to 7, actually)

We photographed their engagement photos at Coindre Hall in Huntington NY, the place they were getting married. We chose right before sunset, and honestly just had fun together. Even with friends, you have to break the wall of comfort with the camera. It’s natural for people to feel self conscious, or wonder “if they’re doing it right.” Once you’re able to break that wall, and, tap into the genuine nature of a relationship, well, that’s when the magic happens.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from a day with my two favorite people.