Mother/Daughter Photos

Recently I was hired to shoot some photos of a mother & daughter.  It's something that so far I've not had the opportunity to do...and after this session its something I would definitely do again.  

mother-daughter | Darrin Estep Photography

Mom (Katrina) and I had many conversations about the type of look we were going for and we agreed the images would be more on the serious side however, we wanted to have some fun as well.  As you can see, we did both.

mother-daughter | Darrin Estep Photography
mother-daughter | Darrin Estep Photography

Gabby (the daughter) wasn't super comfortable in the clothes that mom brought but she went with it.  We made sure to allow for some time for her to stretch her wings a bit.


We ended the day with a few of Katrina.  Fun session with the two girls.  We have more scheduled for later in the year.  Can't wait.

mother-daughter | Darrin Estep Photography

Family Photos at the Great Swamp

Late fall in NJ can be a great time to shoot outdoor.  On this day we had some nice cloudy weather that most photographers love.

NJ Family Portraits - Great Swamp

With some research, I found a location within the Great Swamp that worked great for Nick & Nirali's family shoot.  We had this cute family walk a bit and huddle in for a few poses.

NJ Family Portraits - Great Swamp

A few images I liked from a little more walking around the grounds.

NJ Family Portraits - Great Swamp

Some individual shots of the kids.  The older children were a little more willing to step out on their own.  For the youngest, mama had to tag along for that shot.

NJ Family Portraits - Great Swamp

Family Photos in Berkeley Heights with the Kale's

Rupa has become a good friend and valuable business contact over the past couple years.  She owns Bottle & Bottega in Berkeley Heights, NJ and she recently asked me to snap some photos of her young family.  

Darrin Estep Photography | family

I was fortunate enough to have this great location picked out by her.  It has all the qualities that I look for as a photographer: great light (open shade), nice scenery that's not distracting, limited number of people around.  This had all those things.

Darrin Estep Photography | family

Given that it was a little chilly outside and we're working with small children, we moved quick and tried to keep things interesting to keep the energy high and positive to get some great smiles like  I got here.

Darrin Estep Photography | family

Cute family.  Lots of fun.

100 People

I received an inquiry several months back that read something like, "Hey, we're having a family gathering in the summer and we'd like you to photograph the full set of people".  Sounds innocent enough until you discover that the invite list is just over 100.   

Might be old hat for some but I looked at this as a challenge since up to that point, the largest group I've shot was about 25 people.  I reached out to the internet for suggestions and there were some good ones.  'Bring a bull-horn and a step ladder' was a funny one that I remember.  Turns out I didn't need the bull-horn but I definitely knew I would need the ladder.

I showed up a little early to scope out the situation and this venue had a wedding going on outside (the preferred location) and the family's event was inside.  I had about 30 minutes to determine a location, set up lights, grab some test shots and get it done. 

Here's the result.  A few head-swaps later, I did manage to get everyone in.  Phew. 

100+ People from the Takacs Family

100+ People from the Takacs Family

Andrew's Bar Mitzvah

April was a busy month.  We had my daughter's birthday, a wedding I shot with a friend, a birthday party I shot the next day, some new video work I took on, and a family Bar Mitzvah in CT.  

My disclaimer for this event is that I was an attendee, not a hired photographer.  Although, I did bring a couple things with me just in case I got the urge to capture the family event.  I felt awkward as I walked into the party and wasn't there to work the event.  On the other hand, it was nice to just shoot what I was interested in.  Here are some of my favorites.


And the last set of images here are pretty fun.  Emersyn held her own against the older kids at a game on musical chairs.  She lost to the Bar Mitzvah boy, Andrew.


Nyla @ 9 Months - With Friends

So, for the 9-month photo shoot with Nyla, we mixed it up a little and brought in some friends.  Suman (or Nyla's mom as she'll more often be referred to now) arranged for some kids from the same building they live in to join in some picture taking fun.

We started with some of just the immediate family (nice Valentine theme this time)...


And finished with three girls that play together on most days...


By the way, I loved this one for all the different things going on in the image.  The expressions and moment captured is why I love photography.  Looking forward to the 1st Birthday in April.

Suman + Rishi + Nyla

Last I saw this happy couple, they were a couple.  Things have changed - for the better.  Nyla is a 4-Month-Old cutie and as you can see from the first image below that we have a sticker to help us keep it straight :-) 

Here's lookin' at you

Here's lookin' at you

Nyla was sitting in her car seat when I arrived and we pretty quickly got started shooting.  Not surprisingly, she wasn't sure what to make of me initially.  I can just imagine what a baby would think of a stranger showing up in her house and keeps moving a large black square to my face and then away.  Never thought about it before but maybe its more like a game of peek-a-boo to her.

True to character, Suman and Rishi had a bunch of scenarios planned.  I've posted some of my favorites from the session.




So much fun.  Looking forward to the next shoot!

Friends and Family

Not too long ago I learned that a very good friend was pregnant.  A friend that I used to work with and a friend who's wedding I shot.  Maternity isn't something that I've shot before so, this came from searching the web for ideas and collaborating with Suman & Rishi on some thoughts they had for fun shots. 
Together...with room in the middle
We were fortunate enough to have a room in their building to shoot without people around, except for one lady that was on a video conference call in the next room the entire time we were around.  This worked out really well since this location was very homy.
I thought it would be interesting to setup a shot where they had lots of books, "Special Delivery" in this shot, where they're learning and discovering.  Rishi and Suman are a great team and its such a great experience each time we get together.  Congratulations to the both of you!

Help Portrait: Take 2

This past weekend I took some time away. Time away from friends, from family and from anything else I could potentially do on a Saturday to volunteer for a great cause called Help Portrait.  This the second year I've participated and this year was just as rewarding as the last.  Here's how it works: 

First, you find someone in need.  Take their picture.  Print it and give it to them. That's pretty much it.  Oh, and you do all of these things in the same day, for free.

This year, we were at a small church called Humanity Baptist Church in Newark.  As I rolled up, I sat in the parking lot for a few minutes since I was the first one there.  It was 11:00.  Shortly after, Jarvis (the organizer for this event) along with several others arrived.  I got out to introduce myself and help bring some things in.  Once we got setup, people began to arrive and it was already noon.  I was on the edit/print station again this year which is a tough spot, especially at the end of the day.

For the participants, they would enter and immediatlely be paired with a greeter which would explain how things work, have them fill out a permission form for using their photos, take them over to a hair/make-up person if they so desired, escort them over to have their pictures taken and then make sure they knew where to go to get their final product (that's where I come in).  I would grab the files from the shooter, import them, speak with the family for them to pick one they want to have printed.  Once the selection is made, I clean up the image and print it.  If the family chose to, we would print a second image for them on matt paper for them to write a message. This is one example shown to the left.

Of course, I'm leaving a few things out.  The patience of the families, the good spirits of all that were there and the great feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day.  One story that stuck out was a family that asked to have their picture taken but couldn't make it to the church where we were setup.  So, a few of us went to them. The picture was of a little girl (about 10) that had breathing tube and wasn't expected to live much longer.  She gathered with her mother and father for a special family portrait.  Very sad but a great example of the power of photography capturing that moment for that family.

Mom's Visit

Its always nice to have grandparents in to visit, especially when its not for a birthday or holiday.  It allows for some quality time.  We didn't have a ton of 1:1 time with "Grandma Sharon", as she's known, and Emersyn but I managed to get a few good pictures I wanted to share.