Jennifer Vacca

Communion / Long Island Family Photographer / Northport NY

A professional portrait holds a very unique value. It's not only about the beautiful piece of art that you get to display on your wall, it is also about the experience. A day you have set aside for your child. It's a day they will forever remember and treasure. At Zoot Shoot Photographers my goal is to get to know, understand and capture their true essence. Communion portraits are available in my Northport studio, Northport Harbor, at the Vanderbilt Museum, the Cutting Arboretum or anywhere you desire.

Flashes of Hope

A few years back after my daughter flew the coop I had this desire to do volunteer work. I went to Haiti with a group and captured the beauty of the Haitian people. But I wanted to do something more, (and Still do). Something that would last a lifetime to the people I am photographing. To those that can't, well, necessarily afford it. I came across Flashes of Hope in a Google search. I had signed up to be a volunteer photographer and I guess I forgot that I had done it. (I don't know why? Could be my crazy life I guess.) A few months ago I realized that I am receiving every once in awhile an email from Eric Hason asking for volunteers. Who is this guy? I Google him along with Flashes of Hope. He's a great photographer and Oh Yeah! Now I remember! This is what I want to do! I email Eric back a few hours later. He replies, Thanks Jen but someone beat you to it. Ugh! Ok next time I'll be a little bit more speedy. September 6th I get an email from Eric requesting volunteers for September 24th. I quickly check my calendar and bingo! I'm available! I email him back and that was it. I never received a confirmation, so I thought. September 21st I get an email addressed to the photographers signed up for the 24th. Gulp!! I didn't know I was shooting.....check the calendar.....still clear! Thank goodness! I settle into the realization that I will be packing my entire studio up and heading into Manhattan. This is going to be an incredible experience and that it was.

It was The Hassenfeld Family Fun day held at the Armenian Church on 2nd Street. Yes one block south of the tunnel. Need I say more? So many volunteers. I just love seeing the love people have in their hearts and are so willing to share. It makes all the difference in this world.

That day we saw a lot, encountered wonderful families and courageous children. We heard happy stories of children in remission and we learned about circumstances that aren't going to go the way we so very much pray that they would. These parents are pretty much living our worst nightmare yet they find the strength everyday to show up for their children and families. God bless them! They continue to be in my thoughts and prayers every day. And I hope the images bring them joy for a lifetime!

To the children - as Eric put it perfectly "The real Super Heroes" - Thank you for coming into my life!

To the parents - Thank you for showing me incredible strength and courage!

To Eric Hason - Thank you for being so generous with your time, talent and most of all for being the head of the NY Chapter for Flashes of Hope. Oh and yes you did respond quite promptly to my email. I just missed it!

To the volunteers - Thank you for sharing your love!

To Dennis Kleiman - Thank you for putting so much of yourself into capturing a moment in time the children and families will cherish forever.


Stephen D. Hassenfeld Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders NYU Langone Medical Center -

Flashes of Hope -





Come celebrate motherhood with me and at the same time we can make a difference in another woman's life!


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“Motherhood is a choice you make every day to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own.” – Donna Bell

You’re their first kiss…

Their first love….

And their first friend, as their mommy.

They are your whole world.

But they soon forget that they used to actually LIKE hanging out with you ☺

I have no photos of me with my mother from childhood.

So to celebrate the moms I know, I want you to make sure your kids don’t say the same thing as adults.

I’m working on an event just for moms and their children to raise money for 

Pink Aid. I came across Pink Aid recently and fell in love with their mission. For Mother's Day let's help out other Moms survive breast cancer with compassion.

For just a $100 donation, you can schedule a 15-minute mini-session on April 30th with me in my studio, and we’ll create a few great images of you with your child.

I’ll gift you two 5”x7”’s of your favorite image from the session, plus a fun Facebook timeline image for your donation.

Come celebrate motherhood with me and at the same time we can make a difference in another woman's life!



Its Going to Be a Very Happy New Year!!

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It’s Going to Be a Very Happy New Year!!

Today is my first day back to work since December 23rd. Every year after working countless long hours for the holidays, I take off between Christmas and New Year. My vacation would typically consist of slow relaxing mornings, maybe get some reading and exercise in. If I was feeling adventurous I may have started up the car and got a little post holiday shopping done. It was a time where I would just shut off all the stimulants around me and find center again. However this year was a lot different! As of December 27th at 9:01 p.m. I became a Nanny! The cookiest, googliest, over the moon kinda Nanny you have ever seen! My home has been transformed from a quiet singles do what you want kind of home to a poopie diaper, laundry up the wazoo kinda home. Sleep and slow peaceful mornings are a distant memory and that’s ok because when the little guy lifts his bobbly head off of my shoulder, turns his face toward my face and looks into my eyes….my heart just melts and everything in the world is just perfect!

I am very proud and impressed by my daughter Amelia and her new roll as a mommy. She is nursing around the clock with little to no sleep, yet she embraces every moment with love and wonder. She cherishes all the little milestones along with all the diaper malfunctions. Even the blasted breast pump she will curse at (quietly) when it gives her a hard time but that too she can make into a positive experience.

Time seems to fly by and at the same time the days just seem so long but in all honesty the days are much longer when I am away from my daughter and grandson.

Hope you have a Very Happy New Year filled with Peace, Lots of Joy and Joy!



Northport Village


I think this was one of the hottest days of the year, but looking at the images you would never know. Sydney was one cool girl while we hit all of the beautiful spots around Northport Village.

We never met before the shoot but I can say that as beautiful as her smile is the same goes for her personality!

Such a great Kid!



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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...

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

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

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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