Maternity-First Year – A journey with London/Melody Moore Photography-NYC/NJ Contemporary/Lifestyle Photographer

I am so excited to post this 1 year session of London’s.  It was such an honor to journey with her from the womb through her first year!  

We started at Billy’s Bakery in Chelsea.  I think I’ll start all my sessions with a little sugar from now on!  She was so cute with the cupcake and tried redecorating it.  She was not into getting messy but was a great little cupcake model!

Next, we headed down the street and I was able to capture her having a great time as a 1 year old New Yorker.  Dogs, stoops, bubbles, graffiti and all.

Thank you London!!!

Maternity through first year 3


Blurry Toddler Syndrome-Contemporary Portrait Photographer-Melody Moore Photography

What do you do when you have a toddler that has just learned to walk and will not stay still, even for a second, to get a picture of them? More than likely all the pictures turn out  blurry and most of them are of the back of her head.  This is so frustrating and if you have ever tried to take a picture of a toddler, you have had this experience.  Here are a few tricks to help with the blurry toddler syndrome!

Put your camera on the sport setting or high speed continuous shooting (most phones have this now), get some exercise and run out ahead of your toddler, turn around, and start shooting!

Bubbles are always a great way to get them to stay in one general area.

Sit your toddler down on something or someone!

If you want a shot of your toddler with other people and she doesn’t want to be held, have them walk or stand behind her.

My favorite trick- tell them that there is a monkey or some other animal in the lens and they have to look right in the lens to see the monkey.

Finally!  Your toddler is pooped and you can hold them!

Thanks for reading and I hope these tips are helpful!



Maternity Studio Session-NYC/NJ Contemporary Portrait Photographer-Melody Moore Photography

This session took place on a rainy cold day of winter and we were all so happy to be able to stay in the comfortable, dry studio!

Big Brother wasn’t too interested in standing still for photos but we won him over with a fortune cookie, a stool and some building blocks!

The little man was so excited to stand on the stool that he spent lots of time hugging and kissing Mommies belly.

Capturing Mom and baby bump by themselves is a must!  It is very important to make sure your client is comfortable during these sessions.  Feet are often swollen which makes standing for a long period of time less than ideal.  Make sure to offer snacks and plenty of water to your client as well as a chance to get off their feet often.

I love to capture Dad talking or singing to the baby belly and just love this image of big brother unwrapping the present!

Tips for working with an older Newborn-NYC/NJ Contemporary Portrait Photographer

The optimal time to capture a newborn in their newborn state is the first 7-10 days after they are born.  They can easily be coaxed into positions and are super sleepy.  After 10 days they really start to wake up and spread their wings!  The fetal position only lasts for a few days before they really want to stretch out and explore life outside the womb.  This little beauty was really AWAKE!  If you are shooting an older newborn don’t try to coax them into positions, instead swaddle them.  They will often be interested in the camera lens and look right in it as well!

Bringing the parents personality into the images is always fun.  Daddy is a writer and literature professor, so I asked him to bring some of his favorite books.  We used Mom’s glasses and then I very patiently waited until the little scholar was sleepy enough to lay her down on the books.  I covered her with a blanket and kept my hands gently rocking her until she was fast asleep.  For these shots you may not have much time so it is important to set them up before hand.  I used a baby doll to get the settings right in the camera.

Siblings!  Big brother is VERY active and was not interested in sitting still so I captured a quick shot of him holding baby sister and then we got his favorite toy out and let him play with it around her.  The image in the stroller also worked great!  Big brother was strapped in!  🙂

Have fun!  Who hasn’t had the urge to eat their baby?  Ok, as I type that, it sounds HORRIBLE and just plain wrong, but you know what I am talking about right?  Sometimes cuteness just needs to be gobbled up.

What a gorgeous family!!!

Ideas for 3 Month Session-NYC/NJ Lifestyle & Contemporary Portrait Photographer—Melody Moore Photography

There are some huge differences in terms of development between an infant session and a 3 Month session.  3 Month old babies do not sleep as much as infants and are not as squishy and flexible so there is pretty much no chance of coaxing them into positions.  They DO start to have good neck strength so you can prop them up in a nursing pillow or with towels rolled under their chest and get some great shots of the cutie discovering a new point of view.

Many 3 Month olds are most comfortable on their backs so make sure to get shots from different angels and always make sure your camera strap is around you neck when kneeling over them.

Involve Mom and Dad as much as possible.  They are the best at getting great smiles from their little ones and capturing the moments when they are just interacting with their babies make the most precious images.  Guide these moments toward the best light available.

Always get a shot of the parents with their faces right next to babies.  There is always so much love that shows through in these images!

Tips for Toddler Photography/Melody Moore Photography-NYC/NJ Contemporary Portrait Photographer

This session was taken at the amazing New York Botanical Gardens in The Bronx. This was done in the terrible cold of winter but you would never know! NYBG has a fantastic indoor Conervatory that we were able to take advantage of, as there were no big shows or events going on. What a joy to see little Anna experiencing all the beautiful plants and atmospheres (jungle, desert, etc.). I thought I would include a few tips in this post for photographing your very active toddlers that I used during this session.

1. I introduced the camera to Anna and told her that a monkey lived in the lens. 🙂 This works for almost any animal and told her she had to look right in the lens to see it. This will work for at least a few shots.

2. Setting-I love choosing parks and outdoor areas for little ones to EXPLORE and capture them having these experiences.

3. I used a lot of different angles. Above, side, on her level…just run around them and capture as many images as you can. YAY for digital cameras!

4. Noises/Squeaky toys. I have a wonderful squeaky penguin that I can hold in my hand along with holding my camera at the same time. This will only work for a while before they become “immune” to the noise.

5. For family pictures it is best for the parents to get on the toddlers level or for the parents to hold the toddler. A great trick is to have the parent tickle the toddler just a little bit to get those great fun smiles.

6. Instead of saying cheese, ask them what their favorite food is, or silly word. Saying PIZZA or MONKEY is a little more fun and honest than just getting them to say cheese.

Toddler photography can be exhausting but it is beyond rewarding. There is nothing better than capturing true discovery and honesty. Toddlers don’t know any other way to be and it is a beautiful thing.
I have MANY more tricks up my sleeves for toddler photography and will be posting them in the coming weeks.

Gramercy Park Engagement—NYC Contemporary Portrait Photographer

It was such an honor to photograph this couple in Gramercy Park, the only private park in Manhattan!  There is so much history here and it was incredibly romantic that Mark proposed to Regina in this park.  We were VERY lucky with the weather as it was definitely cold but the next day was so windy that all the leaves were gone.  We literally got the last day of Fall captured for their engagement photos!

Colin 8 Months—NYC Contemporary Portrait Photographer–Tips for preparing for session

I had a great session with Colin and his parents in our beautiful Inwood park in the peak of the Fall colors.  The leaves were stunning and we were able to really take advantage of this by letting Colin have a bit of fun amidst all the leaves!

A few tips on preparing for family sessions:

1.  The Family should all wear coordinating clothes but NOT matching.  Wearing the same color family but not the same color and also wearing the same type of clothes..i.e, if Dad is wearing a dress shirt do not put your children in t-shirts.  Layering looks really great (cardigans, light scarves, blazers, light jackets).  Pick out what you are wearing the week before to make sure that nothing has rips or stains and that every thing still fits your rapidly growing children!

2.  Get haircuts and hair colored, if you do that, a week before or a few days before the session.  Hair cuts need a few days to settle in and hair color needs a few days to oxidize.

3.  Right before the session make sure everyone is well fed and bring along snacks and treats if need be.  Bring snacks that are not messy and that would not possibly stain clothing (cheese sticks, raisins, crackers, nuts…).  🙂

4.  Bring a soft cloth to wipe sleepies from eyes and baby wipes for everything else.

5.  Make sure all nails are cut or manicured and clean.

6.  Shoes may need to be polished or just cleaned up a bit.

7.  Relax-becuase now you are well prepared and can focus on having fun during your session!

Quinn, Laura and Eric—NYC Contemporary Portait Photographer

Wow!  This family is crazy talented.  Mom is a ballet dancer that was just starting rehearsals for An American in Paris, Dad is a ballet dancer for the Met and toddler Quinn, who had just turned 1, had booked a few print ads himself!  They are truly a beautiful family, both inside and out.  It was a beautiful sunny and WINDY day in Inwood.  The leaves were perfect and they were all great sports about the breezy weather.   A few of the shots were taken with Quinn standing on top of a very special rock that marks the spot where Manhattan was bought by Peter Minuit in 1626 with trinkets and beads!  How cool is that!

The Marthas and Family—NYC Contemporary Lifestyle Photographer

This session with The Marthas was one of the most fun sessions I have ever had and I’m sure it had something to do with the fact that we are neighbors and have become great friends over the last few years.  Capturing two active toddlers was also a super fun challenge.  We were able to capture the kids just being kids and also get some great portrait shots as well.

Some people may be confused as to what Lifestyle photography is.  I’m sure every photographer has their own idea what it is and how it works for them. Good ole wikipedia says “Lifestyle photography is a style of portrait/people photography which aims to capture and document real-life events, situations, or milestones in an artistic manner and the art of the everyday.”  I like this definition-it works for me.  In this session we used the familiar backdrop of our neighborhood along with our Farmer’s Market (and a tasty snack), our local park in the peak of Fall, a soccer ball a lot of love.