Tag Archives: family portraits

Fall Photos At Art Factory Studios and Paterson Great Falls

It’s always a pleasure photographing families. Particularly families that have grown from knowing just one of the parents from waaaaaaay back when we were all kids nevermind having kids of our own. It was a lot of fun getting down to the Great Falls since they’ve done major improvements along the Passaic River. The view of the falls now has a nice fence allowing for an unobstructed view of Mother Nature in all her glory.

If you would like to book a session, family or otherwise, please contact me through http://www.thatwerksphotography.com

Family photos at Art Factory Studios and Great Falls in Paterson, NJ

Manfrotto Advanced Bags Review for the Tri Backpack

(This is an article I wrote for Manfrotto Advanced Bags originally published on the Manfrotto Bags web site.)

Shooting both photo and cinema requires me to always have quite a few pieces of gear on hand and the room to cram in more on the fly. In a matter of days I had a maternity shoot, a family shoot and a project for Rutgers Newark. The variety of gear that I need to carry with me needs to be in one place so I can set up quickly and have my inventory available to me at all times.

What I like about the bag is it fits everything I need for a shoot including two Canon 6Ds, all three of my lenses, two flashes, transceivers, memory cards, gaffer tape, BeFree tripod and extra batteries. The pack feels sturdy on my back and the straps distribute the weight evenly. No painful digging into my shoulders. I remember when I first started out and thought bags were nonsense. But a great bag is crucial to staying organized and saving your back from unwanted stress.

The Simko Family joined me at Duke Island Park (Hillsborough, New Jersey) for a family session focusing on their children. It was a very cold day, so it was crucial to work quickly and nail their personalities before the cold took its toll on cheeks and noses. I usually keep my setup light and easy to carry for outdoor sessions like this. One bag and a lightstand for a bit of off camera flash when needed.

Manfrotto bag in Hillsborough, NJ
One lightstand, BeFree tripod and Tri Backpack
Kids being kids. I love the calm to one side and the action on the other.
Kids being kids. I love the calm to one side and the action on the other.

Rima’s maternity shoot (Lawrenceville, New Jersey) was done in the comfort of her home. The living room had plenty of natural light, but I wanted to warm up the inside a bit, so I setup an umbrella and flash with a light orange gel. Just enough to kiss the room with a slight warmth. I don’t normally like blowing out backgrounds, but I liked having the room hug her in glowing light. This is a very happy time, but it’s also important to convey that feeling by making the person feel totally comfortable. I practice the advice I’ve learned when it comes to more intimate portrait settings. Talk to the person and make them feel like it’s no big deal to be in front of a camera. Everything kind of writes itself once you’ve established that.

Rima's maternity session
Rima’s maternity session

Rutgers University has hired me recently to document events hosted at the school campuses. This particular event (Newark, New Jersey) dealt more with video and put my Tri Backpack to the test. There’s quite a bit more involved with video compared to photo. Lavalier microphone, external audio recorder, LED light, extra batteries, headphones, etc. All of these items are a standard and I’m ecstatic that I can fit this array of equipment into a single bag.

Mayor Baraka speaks at GradNation
Mayor Baraka (Newark, NJ) speaks at GradNation
Manfrotto in Newark, NJ
Newark always has some sort of crazy construction going on. I intentionally framed this to look like the crane is coming out of the bag.

Of course when a friend is just minutes from boarding a bus (New York, New York) to the airport it’s a perfect time to do a headshot. Because I’m a swell guy! Sara teaches at the University of South Dakota and needed a new headshot for her school page. No problem, Sara, and safe travels.

Portrait of Sara Lampert
Sara Lampert, Assistant Professor, History, College of Arts & Sciences at the University of South Dakota

Then I headed to Times Square for some long exposure shots of the tourists. I could have sat there all day watching people enjoying their time in New York City.

Times Square, NYC. 50mm @ f/16. 20 second exposure.
Times Square, NYC. 50mm @ f/16. 20 second exposure.
Manfrotto in New York City, New York
All I need for a day trip into Manhattan.


Pleasant Valley Park Photo Session in Basking Ridge, New Jersey

It’s been a busy summer full of models, families, weddings and anything else the photo gods have thrown at me. This is a shoot I did with the Gupta family in beautiful Basking Ridge, NJ. We wrapped up just prior to the sun scorching everthing in sight. My recommendation, whenever possible, is to shoot early morning or late afternoon during the summer. I can shoot in any condition, but I like to keep people from sweating bullets. We succeeded! Thanks to the Guptas for coming out and spending time with me and my camera.

Gupta family portraits in Basking Ridge, New Jersey

Wedding Invitation for Kelly and Rick

This is an incredible invitation. I will absolutely admit to the fact that I love seeing my work in print. Tangibility is important and I think this particular invite is quite beautiful because it uses their family and engagement photos. It rings true. Kelly created the invite using Wedding Paper Divas and I am very impressed with it. Kelly also owns The Beauty Bar in Middlesex, New Jersey along with Elise Latona. Check them out for freaking awesome hair and makeup for all events. The wedding will be held at the Black Stallion in Corolla, North Carolina this September.

By the way, these were taken on top of my Nissan Cube. It’s a great car, but who knew it could double as a photo studio.

To see more of my photography work, please visit http://www.thatwerksphotography.com

Wedding invitation featuring Sandy Hook engagement and Princeton family sessions

Wedding invitation featuring engagement and family sessions

Wedding invitation featuring engagement and family sessions

Wedding invitation featuring engagement and family sessions

About The Black Stallion (source: Twiddy Outer Banks Vacation Rentals)

Largely regarded as the most majestic of wild horses, “The Black Stallion” will surely be hailed as the most regal of luxury vacation homes. As the largest home built on the Outer Banks to date, The Main House and Pool House are comprised of 20,000 square feet, which houses a total of twenty-four bedrooms in the prestigious Currituck Club golfing community. Decking encompasses an additional 4,000 square feet, and when paired with beautifully landscaped grounds and spectacular pool facilities, a perfect environment for outdoor festivities is created.

A dramatic open spiral staircase spans all three levels of the Main House and is immediately evident upon entering the second level Grand Foyer. This magnificent architectural element, paired with an opulent chandelier, creates the perfect backdrop for a remarkable grand entrance, and provides abundant photographic opportunities. Surrounding the staircase on this level, one will find an impressive great room with a grand gas fireplace, which towers up to the third floor, as well as, a sizeable dining room easily seating over fifty people. The dining area abuts an expansive deck, which is ideal for al fresco dinner parties. Adjacent to the dining area is a mix of a residential and commercially styled kitchen facility, which includes refrigerators, freezers, ovens, gas stove, dishwashers and pantry. Moving from the epicenter of this floor is one of the three impressive wings of the Main House, holding seven master bedrooms, six having private balconies.
A large living area, playroom, a suite comprised of two adjoining rooms, and four bedrooms may be found encircling the third level of the staircase. This floor’s wing contains six master bedrooms, five of which have private balconies.

Within the ground level of “The Black Stallion”, one will find a large lounge and commercially styled bar fit with shelves and a keg tap for the thirstiest of herds. This bar opens to the outdoors through sliding windows, and is equipped to handle your entire party. A recreation room, along with four large master bedroom suites, are located on this level, but perhaps the most surprising element to this floor is the additional 2,000 square foot finished garage area which can be converted to multiple uses. The area has three northwest facing carriage doors and three northeast facing sliders, which open to create an unenclosed atmosphere with endless possibilities. An outdoor patio area can be reached through the sliders and is ideal for all types of gatherings. Inside, the ground floor garage area connects to its own service bar equipped with a keg tap, wine and beer cooler, as well as a prep area stocked with a three basin sink, prep table and commercial style ice maker conceived to make catering a breeze. Two elevators, which service all floors of the Main House, are handicap accessible on this level.

A walkway connects the Main House to the pool complex, which contains a large pool area and the Pool House. The first level of the Pool House contains a recreation room with pool and foosball tables, as well as a sauna and weight room. An indoor bar opens up to an outside bar and grilling area through sliding windows. The outdoor bar overlooks the pool and is a perfect place to gather and watch sports on two flat screen TVs while utilizing the built-in keg tap.

The second level of the Pool House is designed to offer privacy and contains the exclusive “Black Stallion” Grand Suite. The ambiance of the suite is heightened by dramatic lighting and a three sided glass fireplace, which is overlooking a vintage claw foot slipper tub and tiled walk-in shower with a glass enclosure. Additional design elements such as coastal accents, hardwood flooring, a private covered balcony overlooking the pool, and wet bar are integrated to ensure the paramount of luxury. A spacious walk-in closet is also available and provides plenty of space to house formal attire for you and your guests, as needed. “The Black Stallion” embodies the perfect assortment of luxury, comfort, location and practicality, which will have your group galloping back year after year.

Heckman Family Portraits…Now With 100% More Skateboarding!

Jeff and Sarah recently welcomed tiny Isaiah into the wonderful skate park known as life. All I can ever ask from a newborn is that they do not flip out. He was a champion and even went along with my ridiculous ideas like skateboarding in the living room.

This might be the only time skateboarding in the living room will be permitted. These are some of my favorite family portraits to date because everything rolled along so naturally. Congratulations to this brand spanking new family.

Heckman Family Portraits

Heckman Family Portraits

Zipkin Family Fall Photographs at Colonial Park in Franklin Township, New Jersey

‘Twas a wonderful autumn day to photograph the zany Zipkins at Colonial Park in Franklin Township, NJ. We began shooting as the sun started setting, giving us a nice warm feeling for the hijinks throughout our hour together. Some of my personal favorites were taken toward the end of the shoot near a small cottage.

There is still time left to book a fall photo session. Learn more about it!

Family Session with the Zipkins in Colonial Park in Franklin Township, New Jersey

Holiday Photos at Rutgers Gardens

Over the weekend I spent some time at Rutgers Gardens taking photos with a few friends who are fellow photographers. The point of this exercise was to swap photos with everyone in the group so we each had some great family photos in time for the holidays. Mother Nature also decided to let up a bit so we had a nice golden sun to work with. I’ve never been to Rutgers Gardens this time of year so it was a nice change of pace from the usual scenery.

These are just a few of my favorite shots taken with a Canon 7D body amd Canon 70-200mm f/4.0 lens.

Holiday Photos at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Holiday Photos at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Holiday Photos at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Holiday Photos at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Holiday Photos at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Holiday Photos at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Holiday Photos at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Holiday Photos at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Holiday Photos at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Holiday Photos at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)