Everyone’s dressed, the show’s booked .. and you’ve got a few hours up your sleeve. This family made the most of a visit to New York City with some fun street scene photos with their kids.

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I photographed this happy family in their backyard just before the weather turned nippy .. just as well, as the little girl had her heart set on the floral dress.

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.. calls for family photos with a bit of fun. I like the group shots to have a relaxed and happy feel, and not be too structured. The young ones love to be a little spontaneous .. and if they’re having a good time, they’ll be happy to take part in a photo shoot next time ‘round ..

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.. grab everyone and head to the beach. Or a park. You could even jump on your bikes or walk the dog. Make sure you get some photos of whatever it is you enjoy doing together. This family had an hour to spare .. and we managed to fight off some very annoying sand flies (great job, guys!)) and beat the pending rain to capture some really special moments.

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Two girls contemplating a dip. 6.50pm, Mackenzie’s Bay, Sydney, Australia.
Part of a series.

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If her favorite colors are black and pink .. I say go for it!

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While we’re on the theme of musical instruments … here are some photos that I took recently which I think perfectly illustrate how effective it can be to have a “prop” on the set. The subject brought her violin along to the shoot, and amidst a flurry of family photos, we took some time out for a selection of individual portraits – just her and her instrument. It was a calming moment. As an extension of herself, and an expression of who she is, the violin helped to make the portrait that much more personal.

Meaningful objects can be a great addition to a portrait sitting. Think of a favorite teddy bear or toy train for a child, a grandparent with their signature bone china tea cup, or a favorite hat. It tells you that little bit more.

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If you love the sound of Spanish and Argentine music (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?), then don’t miss Two 2 Tango. I first heard this award-winning duo at an intimate gathering at Faust Harrison Pianos in New York City. It was unforgettable.

Pianists Benita Meshulam and Alison Brewster Franzetti began their collaboration more than a decade ago. Brought together through their love of Spanish and Latin American music, they have developed a repertoire that showcases the wonderful sound of two pianos. The energy and focus in their performance will have you completely immersed in their music. It is truly an experience.

I was lucky enough to photograph them during a break at one of their recent rehearsals. With a performance that evening, they were fine-tuning and tweaking. The banter was easy and their camaraderie evident.

You can catch this talented partnership on March 18 in New Jersey, at the Eastern Union County YM/YWHA Harry Lebau Jewish Center, 501 Green Lane, Union. They’ll play a one-piano, four-hand repertoire of works by Mozart, Rossini, Moszkowski, Montsalvatge, de Falla and Gershwin. If you miss that, you can see them in New York City on Sunday, April 22 at Klavierhaus, 211 West 58th Street. This will be a two-piano program with works by Infante, Carlos Franzetti (transcribed for two pianos by Allison) and Rachmaninoff.

Enjoy!

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Looking for a gift idea for Valentine’s Day?

For all photo shoots booked by February 14, receive 50% off the regular shoot fee.

Gift cards available.

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All that graffiti in the Meatpacking District makes a great backdrop.

On a not-too-chilly morning we walked the streets, taking in the wonderful colors and textures of the spray-painted art and torn-off posters that bring those brick and concrete walls to life. We also found some great doorways in wonderful hues. Perfect for photographs. Then it was off to the Standard Bar & Grill nearby for some seriously good hot chocolate.

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