What would I rather be doing instead of blogging?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text][vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]Today blogging is essential to a business, in order to make sure you get a great placement in the Google rankings. Ugh! I just have to hear the word blog and I look like that deer in the headlights! To have to come up with a topic and then to write about it stresses me out. The thought of blogging stops the possibility of any creativity. You would  think that as a creative this should be a simple task. For me, I have to be passionate about what I am writing,  I have to feel it inside.  Like when I’m taking a photograph - it's visceral, it's a part of who I am and capturing it is easier when I can feel it. The feeling I have when I am in the moment is equivalent to loving someone so deeply that it just makes you happy. Your heart opens up, your eyes go wide with excitement and wonder. Your heart is connected to the universe and everything just seems to be perfect and nothing else matters. …..Well that's what capturing a photo feels like for me. The moment of pure love and connection. 


So I guess this brings me back to my original question.  What would I rather be doing instead of this blog? I would rather be laying in the sand with my grandson Henry. Experiencing with him the first time he got to feel sand. The wonderment and curiosity he was experiencing I was able to capture every moment down to the little grains of sand trickling through his fingers as he watched with amazement. These are the moments and feelings that are so important to photograph and capture.

[metaslider id=5432]


He had a cast on his leg for 8 weeks so this was the first beautiful day he was able to be outdoors without it. It took about a week for him to learn to walk again so there we were in the middle of this big field, and I was wondering what he was willing to do. Then, he just went! He didn't care that his leg wasn't perfect, that the strength wasn't there.  He tumbled, he rolled, he face planted, and he was having the time of his life. That day he learned to run! I felt his excitement, freedom and even his runny nose; I felt it all and captured it all. Even down the the moment he was scolding me!

I ended up doing a lot of the shooting with my heart rather than looking through the viewfinder that day.  The heart sees moments very differently than the eye and those moments, for me, bring the greatest smiles!

I hope they bring you smiles too!

[metaslider id=5655]

Sweet little Jillian

I love doing newborn portrait sessions, mostly because I love kids! The session was at the families home, and as soon as I walked in big brother Joey wanted to show me his magic tricks. I have to say he was pretty good at the Sword and The Stone. Although he showed me how he did it I still made sure I couldn't remove the sword. By the time I was set up Joey was ready to rock and roll and show off his new baby sister. And such a sweet little girl she is!  

Newborn portrait

Newborn portrait

Newborn portraitA family portrait is a must! Newborn portraitNewborn portrait Newborn portraitNewborn portrait Newborn portraitNewborn portrait

April showers bring May....


Are you looking forward to the warmer weather as much as I am?

To be honest, I was convinced we would be basking in the sunlight by now,  but I’ve come to realize it was just a dream!  

Even though it’s not as warm as I would like, I am pretty confident that this Spring will end up being much warmer than it was last year.

Which brings me to...


May is one of the most beautiful times of year! I have a bunch of photo shoots scheduled for the Harbor and surrounding parks as we wait for the trees to bloom.  All of these shoots are taking place during the week because we are all too familiar with how crowded parks and the harbor can get on the weekends.


Not all families can get together on a weekday, I have booked 2 all inclusive dates at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum.

The Arboretum is coming into bloom and May is the time to be there!

I’m looking forward to capturing you with all the new colorful blossoms that decorate the beautiful grounds.

Looking for the best family portrait to display proudly in your home?

You know the one that captures the love and dynamics and of course those special moments. Like a sweet whisper in your child’s ear or the loving embrace and giggle after you just shared a secret? It’s those moments that you want to embrace and keep forever.

Come meet me at the Arboretum!

We'll have fun and together we will capture those magical memories!

Choose your date!

Saturday May 14th

10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 am, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm

Saturday May 21st

10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 am, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm

Call or email me today to reserve your time and receive

$25 off the session fee

631.462-5355    jen@zootshoot.net

[/vc_column_text][vc_gallery interval="3" images="5538,5535,5536,5533,5534,5537,5539,5541,5542,5543,5544,5545,5546,5547,5548" img_size="large"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Absolute Imperfection

Absolute Imperfection

Poised and perfect isn’t the way I prefer to capture your kids, because let’s face it— they rarely are (if ever) that in real life. Instead, I prefer to shoot them as they really are: silly faced and sassy posed, erupting with laughter and pure joy, wide eyed and undeniably innocent, yet eager to express that one-of-a-kind personality. Those are the things that make them absolutely and perfectly yours.



Capturing Memories at the Vanderbilt Museum

Portrait Day at the Vanderbilt Museum

Saturday, May 16th

Sessions available from 10am-4pm

* 1 HOUR PHOTO SESSION On the grounds of the Museum

* TICKETS to the VANDERBILT After your photoshoot, spend the day with your family, for free.

* ALL FOR $150 Reservations are required.

Call 631-462-5355 to reserve your Vanderbilt Session


The Snowball Effect

Andriano-Gianluca Photographing children definitely has it's challenges! And I just love taking them on!

Luca had to have some photos taken for his school yearbook. We were limited on time because of deadline so we ended up scheduling him to come in one day after school. As we all know it's a long day for a 4 year old to begin with and the last thing they want to do is have their picture taken.

Here is his mothers account of what happened

~So, I took my 4 year old son to Zoot Shoot for a photo shoot and as we were on our way he was so cranky! I said to myself  "this isn't going to go well I should just turn around and go home" But I didn't. We arrive and my son was not having it at all!  He was crying and having a typical 4 year old tantrum. I decided to leave matters in Jen's hands so I left the room where she was now left with a crying 4 year old. Oh no!~

Now I'm thinking what would a 4 year old love to do? Ahh, I got it!!  Hey Luca! "How would you like to throw some snowballs at me?" His head popped up! "You just have to promise you wont hit me in the head." ( Nothing better than planting an idea into their heads hehehe) He gave me the biggest smile! We finally made our way out to the front porch of the studio, I had a dozen snow balls lined up ready for him! I handed him the first ball and man what an arm! It went whizzing by my head good thing I ducked! Again and again he threw them at me until his little hands couldn't take the cold anymore! The shoot took all of about 3 minutes, but that's all it takes to capture the moment!

~Not only did she get great photos, my son was happy and laughing when they were done!  I couldn't have been happier!  

Now, I know Jen for many years, but if I tell you from the first time I met her  it was like I knew her for years. She is so personable, creative and obviously patient. 
She has now been photographing my kids for almost 8 years. I can honestly say every shoot I have done with her has been not only a success with now 4 children but the photos are amazing!!!
We were all happy! But most importantly, Luca is happy! and I think he'll have a pretty good memory of the time he got to throw snowballs at Jen the photographer :))

Communion / Long Island Family Photographer / Girl

Look how sweet this little girl looks.  We photographed her in the studio and did a few outside since the weather is shaping up.  This is the perfect time of year to get outside and embrace the blue skies.  Outdoor family sessions are so much fun!

Family / Long Island Family Photographer / Celebrate Motherhood

Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else's happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you're not sure what the right thing is...and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.”   ― Donna BallAt Home on Ladybug Farm

I found this quote and wanted to share and inspire everyone to hold onto these magical moments.   Happy Mothers Day!


Golden029Seivers43  5x7

Communion / Long Island Family Photographer/ Girls

There is nothing like photographing little girls all dressed up looking like little brides.  

Loving the new studio space.  It gives me the opportunity to take my clients outside and photograph them on the porch which has an overhang for those not so sunny spring days.

Capturing traditional and non traditional communion portraits gives parents more options.

Let Us Inspire You / Decorating With Photography

While Jen & I were having our Tuesday morning creative pow-wow we started talking about "the final product".  We discussed how our clients absolutely love their images but get overwhelmed when it comes to choosing HOW they will display them in their home.   What usually happens is they leave the studio after dropping at least $500.00 on 8x10 and 11 x 14 print orders with no plan on where to hang them.   We have decided to make this process easier for you by starting to share pictures of wall displays that we could all have in our homes.  It just takes a little more planning.  The good news is,  we are here to help you! 

We created an inspiration board in pinterest.  Check it out...http://www.pinterest.com/zootshoot/portrait-presentation-ideas/

Look how you can use 1 large black & white photograph to fill the wall for impact.

display2_large blnwhite

How great is this?  Enlarge one great shot of each of your children.  Let each of their personalities shine!

wall display_

I will continue to post pictures of rooms that showcase photography as art!

Communion Portrait Tips

I get many calls asking what is needed for a perfect Communion portrait. So I have taken a moment to list all of the tips for that perfect portrait!

What you need to remember for your daughter or son's First Holy Communion photo shoot.

For Girls

Clint-5x7FlatCard-byPCB-FrontHair – make sure you have an appointment with your hair stylist. It’s very important to make sure not all of the hair is up.

Also make sure its not too close to the front of their face.

Fingernails- polished

Remove tattoos and stamps- Nail polish remover works great!

Stockings  Don’t forget a back up pair.

Baby powder - Dresses can be very itchy.

Bouquet – We have many to choose from if you don’t have one yet.

Rosary beads and prayer book – We have these on hand as well.

Pack her jewelry in your bag the night before.

For Boys


Haircut at least one week before.

Fingernails- Trimmed 

Remove tattoos and stamps- Nail polish remover works great!

Boutonniere – The smaller the better. Freesia is perfect for the little men.

Rosary beads and prayer book – We have these on hand in case you need it.

Socks – even though you tell them which socks to wear, don’t count on them leaving the house with them on!


Ironed shirt    

Pack his jewelry in your bag the night before.  

I keep hairspray, hair gel, bobby pins and safety pins on hand. So no need to worry about that.

Here are some additional tips:

During our consultation you can let me know your concerns about their smiles or teeth. It's always best to keep this bit of info away from them.I will make sure I capture their perfect expression.  Many moms will make a special day for their pictures. Make your appointment prior to the actual communion day and create a memorable day for them. This will relieve a lot of the stress for them and for you as well!  It's also a great idea to schedule your daughter's trial hair appointment for the same day as the photo shoot.

We all need someone to help us with decisions but if you can limit it to one additional person that will make it a lot easier on the children.

Best to keep most of the details of the days ahead away from the kids, they have a keen sense and will pick up on the anxiousness of the preparation which can sometimes lead to an anxious photo shoot.

If you need to come on a day when all the children are home from school. No worries, I have a couch and t.v. that they can relax in front of along with snacks.

Please view our Communion gallery at




Communion Portraits at Zoot Shoot

It's a big day for all of those 7 and 8 year olds! And of course, we as their loving parents, get just as excited for them. All of the arrangements we need to make in order to make their First Holy Communion a very special day!

The children have been preparing for this day for two years! The day they get to receive Christ. Most of you will celebrate with a party inviting all of your family and friends to welcome them into the church. It's also a time to capture the special occasion for your son or daughter with a beautiful portrait for your home.

Here are some packages we put together for our 2014 Communion season.

In studio session fee:  $85.00 single / $125.00 with family.

Package A:  $405.00 - (1) 11x14 / (3) 5x7 / (20) 4x6 thank you cards

Package B:  $595.00 - (1)  11x14 Canvas or framed print / (1) 8x10 / (3) 5x7 / (20) 4x6 thank you cards

Package C:  $795.00 - (2) 8x10 / (4) 5x7 / (20) 4x6 thank you cards / (1) 12 page album

Package D:  $1295.00 - (1) 11x14 Canvas or framed print / (2) 8x10 / (4) 5x7 / (20) thank you cards / (16) wallets / (1) 20 page album

Outdoor Communion Portrait

Indoor Communion Portraits


Parent Workshops at Zoot Shoot

Learn how to get your child into the industry legitimately.

Understanding the Business of Show Business with Sally Stewart.  

Sally is an industry professional and will be our guest speaker this month!


2:00PM - 4:00PM Sunday March 2, 2014


Zoot Shoot 189 Main Street Northport, New York 11768

Sally Stewart will be hosting a workshop for Long Island parents who are interested in learning how to get their child into show business and modeling, legitimately!  The goal of this workshop is to educate parents about the business of show business and help them become stronger and more effective advocates so they are educated to make the right choices for their child. Sally will cover topics such as: What's legitimate and what's not?  Does my child need to take acting lessons? Should I seek out a manger or an agent?  Is my child cut out for this?

The workshop will be held on Sunday March 2nd from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm at Zoot Shoot.  Pre-registration for the workshop is required by February 28th. Call 631.462.5355 to reserve your seat. The fee for this workshop is $25.00. Light refreshments will be served. 

Sally believes if you can teach a child to develop integrity, authenticity and great business sense around the craft and business of acting you'll give that child a gift he or she will have for the rest of their lives.
Sally Stewart is an industry professional.  She has been a professional actor for 20 years and has been an acting and career coach for professional child actors for the last 4 years. She has trained with Susan Batson, Wynn Handman and is a graduate of the William Esper Conservatory. Sally is a member of Screen Actors Guild/AFTRA and EQUITY. She has guest starred on Law and Order,
Guiding Light, The Sopranos and on film and stage.  Some of Sally's students are SaCha Coleman who appeared with Oscar winner Denzel Washington and Oscar nominated actress Viola Davis in the Tony award winning Broadway show "Fences". Sally has also worked with Travaris Spears who played Nelson, Paul Rudd's son in "Admissions" and Chad Coleman from "The Walking Dead."  She also works with children who attend performing arts schools and work commercially.