Monday, November 30, 2009

Crafting a Personal Family Portrait

As my work has evolved over the past couple of years, I have realized that what most deeply interests me is people's stories. Whether it's the story of two people eloping to New York City from Australia, the details of a child's birth, or a tale of some haphazardly serendipitous occurrence, I love the recounting of immersion in experience through story.

Christy, one of my clients from this November's VIP Studio Day, shared with me her tale of multi-tasking as a mom, wife, and art director, in order to create a holiday portrait that would truly reflect her family's personality when they sent out their greeting cards this year. When she arrived on my set that day, I couldn't help but be impressed with the tone she had created through the carefully selected props and wardrobe. Here's the story in her own words:
The VIP Photo Shoot was Saturday. We decided to do it on Thursday night. Greg and I had batted around some fun ideas for holiday photos….but never committed to anything. So Thursday night I decided if we were going to do a VIP Shoot I had to style a VIP idea….in one day. Starting with a few items I knew we could get our hands on (antique skis from Greg’s design firm, a vintage fur white hat from my closet and a white coat) I came up with a mixed era snow theme.

First thing Friday morning I posted a request on the always amazing Bococa Parents Yahoo Group. I asked to borrow white ice skates (any size), white ski bibs (men's medium), tall white women’s boots (size 7) a vintage sled (ala rosebud), a white muff and white ear muffs. Then I bundled my 1 year old daughter, Mason, into her stroller and set out for the stores. Target was the best stop…I found ear muffs and a great pair of white vintage looking gloves. DSW for tall white boots for me…no luck. Next…Old Navy where I found fur boots for Mason and a white sweater …but no white coat in her size.

Rushed home to feed Mason her lunch (and to check for responses from Bococa Parents….nothing) then stuffed her back in the stroller in hopes that she would nap while we ventured into Macy’s to find Men’s white turtleneck sweaters, maybe a white coat for Mason and a white button down for me (for our “regular” shots…forgot to mention I was finding clothes for some normal photos as well). Found three sweaters for Greg to choose from (my favorite was a Sean John).

Mason woke up about 15 minutes into the trip so I plied her with rice cakes while I raced through the store, tried on and bought 3 white button downs and had no luck in the baby department. In the meantime I had put out a call to my friend Kimberly who has great shoes in my size. She had some tall white boots and lives across the street from the photo studio in Williamsburg…PERFECT! Remembered I had a vintage fur muff in a hat box in my closet. Greg was mountain biking with friends that day and secured a promise to borrow white men's ski pants from a friend. Just need a sled and a white coat for Mason. Have to feed Mason dinner and put her to bed…ARG! Got home and fed Mason….decided Mason could go to bed a bit late, got her back in the stroller…more rice cakes… and ran back out to The Children’s Place at the Fulton Mall. Found an excellent little white long sweater with an Eskimo style fur lined hood.

Back home satisfied with what I’d found….then FINALLY had a response from a Bococa Parents member. Turned out to be an old friend who happened to have a wooden sled hanging around the house. All set! Next morning we piled everything into the car, ran by my friend’s house to pick up the sled and headed to pick up the white ski pants. Oy! The first and only snag…Greg and his friend never set up a pick up time…he wasn’t home and wasn’t going to be for awhile. I shed a few tears then we headed back home to pick up some Khaki pants to try and blend with the white theme…after all Greg couldn’t go without pants (unless…he had some white boxers? No.). Next stop AvroKO on Elizabeth Street for the vintage skis then we headed to Williamsburg.

I transformed from panicked art director to pampered model when we were greeted at the gorgeous studio with champagne and cookies. The shoot was fantastic. Mason had fun kicking off her little fur boots and living it up for the camera. Sarah’s encouragement and enthusiasm made us feel like pros….and it shows. The photos are amazing…the difficulty is in narrowing down the options. We truly had a VIP experience.

-Christy Bradshaw, Brooklyn, NY
What I love most about Christy's family portraits is that you don't have to know the whole story to perceive that there IS one behind these photographs. And, the story itself is pretty impressive, too.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hip for the Holidays - Rock-n-Roll Family Portraits!

This weekend's family portrait shoot in Brooklyn ROCKED! Highlighted by some brilliant family photo set-ups, the day also included tasty meats and cheeses to accentuate the bubbly... and Hope, Faith & Gluttony absolutely smothered us in tasty sweets like cookies, cupcakes, and butterscotch bars - plus special gift bags with more treats for the road!

Stay tuned to the Sarah Sloboda | Photography facebook page for more highlights as they are processed. (And become a fan to receive the updates in your facebook feed.)

If you're interested in getting on the list for the next NYC studio day, send an email to

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

VIP Studio Sessions, Rock-n-Roll-Style

Families get hip for the holidays!

Sarah Sloboda Photography announces the first in a series of VIP family portrait sessions for the holidays.

Gone are the days of snowflake sweaters and uncomfortable seats on a bed of faux leaves or with a background of synthetic pine trees. For hip families looking for more from their holiday portraits than saying cheese and posing awkwardly, Sarah Sloboda Photography offers a series of VIP family portrait sessions at the super-cool new K Studio in Williamsburg.

Beginning Saturday November 7th, Ms. Sloboda and her team will provide a swank studio space with tasty snacks from Hope, Faith and Gluttony and bubbly (for the grownups), as an environment for her photo-journalism inspired family portraits.

“People love the annual tradition of a holiday portrait, but parents want photos that capture their style and spirit – something that shows off their unique tastes,” Ms. Sloboda said of the inspiration for her VIP sessions. “A beautifully framed photograph makes a truly meaningful gift. Definitely better than a blanket with sleeves.”

Sessions are by appointment only and for $500 families receive a 40-minute rock-n-roll style photo shoot (families are encouraged to bring their own iPod soundtracks), super-fast proofing (three-day turn around) and a final package of two 8x10s, three 5x7s, and one digital file for holiday cards (gift list – DONE, in one fell swoop).

To request your timeslot, email or call 917.279.3445.

About Sarah Sloboda
Sarah Sloboda is a renowned New York City children's photographer and an optimist, inspiring people with photographic evidence of their lives working beautifully.

Trained in filmmaking and documentary-style photography, Ms. Sloboda's passion resides in anticipating a moment's emotional essence and ensuring its capture. Her rock-n-roll-style kids photography has also been featured in Wondertime magazine, and highlighted online in Urban Baby and A Child Grows in Brooklyn for its fresh, storybook approach to allowing kids to be fully expressive.
View her work at