New York City Family Photographers | Central Park Vacation and First Birthday Portraits

Central Park, vacation, family, and photos just go together. Am I right? I’m working on my New York City summer vacation bucket list and at least a third of the activities are in Central Park. Why? Playgrounds! Playgrounds with WATER! Grass! Trees! These things are guaranteed to delight your kiddos. Delighted kiddos in beautiful, natural light, in a gorgeous park, make for beautiful photos. This makes my heart SING.

While I love Central Park for personal documentary images, it also happens to be my favorite place for a family photo session. Kids feel happy in this beautiful space and there are endless spots for gorgeous photos that would look stunning framed on your walls. If you build an album of your family enjoying each other and the park, years from now you will smile ear to ear when flipping through the pages with your grown children. You will hear their laugh, gush over their tiny baby teeth (or gummy smile), and you will remember it all. It’s impossible to see all that green, all that love and joy, and not smile. I’m smiling just thinking about it.

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of photographing this gorgeous family who was visiting New York City on vacation and to celebrate their baby boy’s first birthday. Mama reached out to me, we discussed styling before their trip, and we all met up in one of my favorite Central Park spots for family portraits. I sent mama a few wardrobe options for her son and she selected an adorable soft knit romper for his May first birthday session. I also provided a neutral blanket for baby to play on.

Providing clients with wardrobe and a blanket, especially for those traveling to New York on vacation, makes their lives easier, which makes their session that much more enjoyable. I have a variety of beautiful blankets to use depending on the season, but this bright cream one is a favorite because it helps create beautiful light and skin tones by reflecting light back onto the subjects’ faces. It also minimizes the ugly green light on their skin from the surrounding trees and grass. Do you not see any ugly green light on their skin? Or anyone’s skin in my portfolio? That is because I meticulously edit each image to ensure beautiful skin tones that are as true to life as possible. If the light falling on my subject is especially warm, I do edit to allow a warmer skin tone, but I will never leave green light from trees on skin. No one looks good with green skin.

Here are a few of my absolute favorites from their NYC family portrait session.

Nicole Hawkins Photography specializes in newborn, baby, child and family photography on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City, as well as on location and in homes in the surrounding areas including Brooklyn, Queens, Westchester County, Hoboken, Jersey City, and Long Island.  

Reach out today to begin planning your baby or family portrait session and learn about Nicole’s boutique experience, fine art prints and heirloom albums. Consultations are held at Nicole’s UWS studio in Manhattan, on the phone or via FaceTime, whichever you would prefer.

Nicole Hawkins