The 11 Best Family Photographers in New York City
The artistic playing field in New York City is formidable, to say the least. This city’s one of the biggest cultural centers not just in the United States, but in the world. That’s great news for you if you’re scouting potential New York family photographers, though — it means you’ve got some of the best around to choose from. Our list of the 11 best NYC family photographers includes shutterbugs who excel at an array of different styles. And they all share one thing in common: the desire to capture the love between family members in the truest way they can.
Laura Volpacchio’s work tends towards what’s sometimes called an “illustrative” style — it’s closest to documentary photography, though with a little bit of staging, offering a balance between technical control of the scene and authentic emotion. And authenticity is what Volpacchio most strongly strives for. It shines through in every photo she takes, whether it’s a mom bouncing her son on the bed or the whole family playing on the beach.
Award-winning family photographer Francesca Russell chases natural light and real moments with the keen eye of a practiced veteran. Her photos feel like perfectly captured little moments in the best parts of your everyday life, which is a beautiful approach.
“It is so hard sometimes to stop, slow down, and really see how good life is,” she says. “It’s hard to see through the thick of it.” Her work is the remedy for that symptom of modern life, a constant reminder to stop and look at how wonderful each day with your family actually is.
3. Daisy Beatty
Whether it’s in her Greenwich Village studio or out on the streets of the Big Apple, Daisy Beatty makes images that are stylish, natural, and creative. Her technical prowess behind the camera is evident in each shot, but she also nails the other parts of the equation.
She knows how to properly use (often complex) professional lighting setups in the studio, and she has a deft hand in editing — her color correction and level adjustments lend her photos some character without dipping into inauthentic territory. Her philosophy is as lovely as her work: she wants people to see themselves portrayed beautifully.
Emily Burke earns her position among the best NYC family photographers for her soft, bright, natural light style. She’s very celebratory of family life and of the creative process. To Burke, family photography isn’t about looking back later and feeling nostalgic for a time that’s gone — it’s about remembering the energy and joy of that moment and using it to re-energize the present moment.
Erin Borzellino’s documentary-style family photography buzzes with energy. The strongest shots in her portfolio all have a sense of motion and life; they feel almost like movie stills. That also lends them an engaging cinematic quality. Borzellino’s photos feel like she’s not in the room, as if she’s peeking in on everyday moments and framing them up perfectly. Even among the best NYC family photographers, her skill in distilling these little moments stands out.
Jenn’s portraiture focuses primarily on families, newborns, maternity, and couples/engagement photos. That’s a thriving market cross-section for portrait photographers, and Jenn competes with the best of them. How? First and foremost, by never chasing trends. These photos are meant to withstand the test of time.
So, her images are classic, sharp, and colorful. They’ll look as good when your grandchildren check them out as when your mother does. Most of Jenn’s work is out in the world, creating illustrative scenes in which natural interactions can bubble to the surface.
Kelly Williams is another adherent to the increasingly popular photojournalistic style of family photography. By now, you’ve seen a few examples of this done well, but let us tell you — it’s just as often done poorly, and the contrast is striking. It’s the difference between a candid, badly focused and framed smartphone shot and a beautiful work of art that’s going to stand the test of time.
For Williams’s part, her great strengths lie in the way she uses framing and depth of field to isolate family members exactly how she wants them, all without losing the background of the city. Bonus point for her spot-on editing, which is enough to make everything feel lifelike and vivid without becoming overly stylized.
The hallmarks of Stefanie Korherr’s style will be evident the moment you check out her Instagram feed: highly saturated colors, high contrast, and fun, kinetic scenes. She’s got a knack for clever compositions amidst family home visits (where she really shines), like shooting over a couch and getting just enough of it in frame to make it feel like you’re peeking in on a candid family moment, the way another child might do, an effect that draws you into the scene.
Or, simply photographing a child standing on her mother’s feet. Who hasn’t done this with a kid? And yet, when they’re grown, it’s things like this that bring into sharp focus the bittersweet passage of time. All that to say Korherr’s work is evocative, and we love it.
Miriam Dubinsky’s work tends towards natural light and minimalist, subdued color palettes, lending her photoshoots an elegant vibe. She excels at capturing remarkable expressions on children’s faces, something some photographers — even good ones — sometimes treat as a bit of an afterthought amidst other considerations about the shot at large. Children are so expressive, and that in turn leads to expressive photography, the kind that elicits delight (and a healthy dose of “awwwww“).
Michelle Lange, lover of film, sunshine, and gelato, knows a thing or two about producing chic family photography. Her minimal color palettes, peachy skin tones, and ample greenery are right at home in lifestyle magazines or Pinterest boards. Like other strong family photographers, she’s awesome at setting up a scene her clients will love. All the while, she allows their authentic emotion to rise to the occasion, ensuring the photos always ring true.
11. Mariliana Arvelo of Stylish Hip Kids
Mariliana Arvelo of Stylish Hip Kids has earned a place among the best NYC family photographers for their boldness of vision. Arvelo and her team can take the kind of subdued, classic family portraits that many other photographers excel at, sure. But, if you want their best work, let them brainstorm, then experiment. You’ll be surprised at the imaginative, quirky, and beautiful photos they generate as a result.