We specialize in working with Children. In fact, they are so important in our work that we have set aside a separate page to cover child photography. We also really enjoy photographing Pets and have a separate page devoted to them, too. Click on either of those buttons here or at the head of this page to read more about our work in those areas or go to Portfolios to see examples of our photographs.
In addition to children and pets, we make all kinds of portraits: individual head-and-shoulders portraits, anniversary portraits, graduation portraits, family and other group photographs, engagement portraits, and quite unique informal portraits of graduating college students and high school seniors. We are also very interested in making publicity photos for academics, writers, musicians and others. We photograph people as we see them, avoiding clichés, sentimentality, over-dramatization, and superficiality, using only the simplest of backgrounds so that you, the subject, are absolutely central to the photograph. Although these portraits cannot often be truly candid, we try very hard to capture spontaneous and natural expressions and movement.
It's important that you feel as comfortable with us as possible. During a portrait session, rather than pushing you into unnatural and stressful poses we search for ways to help you (or your children) feel and look happy and relaxed. To this end, we ask that you meet with us before the portrait date.
When the weather cooperates, we often like to work outside. Your favorite park would be a great place, or your own back yard. We charge no location fee when we work outside as long as we don't have to travel too far to get there. If you need assistance finding a location, we'll help you look for a place outside that makes you feel comfortable — and makes you look good.
By the way, if you would like us to make an engagement portrait for you, let us know. There are many kinds of engagement photographs and we will be very happy to work with you to create something that is really memorable and fits appropriately into your lives and plans. Again, the parks are great places to take such photos, but you might well do better to use your imagination and think of places that mean a lot to you. We recently made some great photos for a couple who met downtown on jury duty. (Where do you think we took their engagement photos?) Click Portfolios here and take a look at the Engagement photos in the Portraits Portfolios. Also look for the Engagement thumbnails in the Weddings text. If we photograph your wedding the engagement portrait can be incorporated into the wedding package.
We include publicity photographs with portraits. Our publicity photographs are mostly made for academics, writers, musicians, actors and others in the arts but we also make fine executive portraits. Some publicity photographs are clearly serious portraits, and we make no real distinction between our portraits and any of our publicity work. If you need a particular kind of portrait for publicity, we will focus on your own special goals and needs. Beyond that, the underlying principles do not differ significantly, so we offer you examples of both publicity photographs and other portraits together on this page.
Virtually all the portraits we make, except many of our publicity photographs, are shot both with a very high-resolution digital camera and also on traditional black and white film. The black and white negatives are printed in our own darkroom on traditional archival fine-art paper. We alone in the Tri-state area align ourselves in this way with the great traditions of the past, at the same time offering you the best of the very new: the advantages of extremely high-resolution digital color photography.
If you are interested in exploring the possibility of making a portrait, or a publicity photograph, call or email to set up a preliminary appointment. There is no charge. We will want to meet with you anyway before the portrait session, to get to know you a little, and to understand your needs, and to work together with you, if necessary, on any difficulties you may experience facing a camera. (Few of us who are not models really look forward to having a photograph made; we understand at least something of your discomfort!)
At the sitting itself, we won't rush you. If you need time to settle down and forget what you are doing, we'll be happy to go slow. On the other hand, if you are one of those people who need to be photographed as quickly as possible, before your nerves attack, we'll try to recognize this and work extra fast.
You'll not be asked to pose your hands or head in unnatural ways. We'll maneuver you subtly into good positions if we can, at the same time seeking to make the portrait above all bring out your own personality and character. Even if you really dislike being photographed, we will try patiently to catch you off guard, waiting for those brief moments when you are most yourself, and at your best.
In the studio we have just a few very simple backgrounds. If you want an outdoors photo but have no special place in mind, we'll help you search out an appropriate, simple environment where you will feel comfortable — and look good.
After the session, we will prepare the proofs, which are included in the sitting fee. They should be ready to pick up in about ten days, all printed digitally in an attractive and handy magazine-style proof folder, which is yours to keep. The black and white images, although recorded on film for hand enlarging in our studio darkroom, have been scanned into the computer, digitized, and will appear side-by-side with the digital color images in the proof folder. You will find it easy to order from this folder, and it is great to keep as well, as a record of the sitting.
We do not ask you to buy a portrait package; you may order as many or as few prints as you wish. They are available in various sizes and since we keep the files and negatives you may come back to order more copies later.
We will not generally "desaturate" our digital files of color images, printing these in black and white -- unless you specially request this. Despite what is now often asserted, black and white prints made from digital files are seldom, if ever, as good as true film-based hand-printed black and white photographs. For use on the internet, or in printed material, on the other hand, desaturated files will make excellent black and white images. Read more on our use of both digital and film-based capture and printing, in the opening paragraphs of the Weddings page, and also About Us: Our Photography.