Two–New York, NY

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I always pen a letter to my daughters on their birthday, and though a few (ok, six) weeks late, here’s the latest.

FEG,
Happy Second Birthday. It’s been a wild two years–emphasis on the wild. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since you were nameless in the hospital. If we thought you were a hurricane at age 1, you progressed into a full tsunami over the last year. You are daring, fearless, funny, determined, independent, athletic, and tall. You are a challenge in a way that your sister never was. You are a whirlwind of exploration and curiosity, which typically results in daring dangerous feats, like standing in the windowsill and counting down 3 (fee)-2-1 as you leap off to hopefully land on the couch, or running as fast as you can toward moving traffic when not locked down in your stroller. We can’t believe–knock on wood–that you haven’t broken a bone yet and have had only one visit to a plastic surgeon. Every time I enter a room with you, I do a quick scan of what you can get into, and usually determine that we can’t stay there for very long. Even at your two-year checkup, you managed to unplug all of the computers in the exam room and climb onto the windowsill and jump off.

You get into everything–favorite pastimes include: emptying the refrigerator, eating icy Eggos from the freezer (then leaving the freezer open and melting the contents), clearing all objects off of the coffee table in one sweep, getting water all over the bathroom, emptying file cabinets, grabbing the sharpest knife in the dishwasher and running away with it, dumping out bottles of lotion and soap, or spraying an entire room with baking soda or baby powder. You are fast–if I turn my back for one second, you are gone, which is terrifying. When I lost you at the beach club this summer, I could usually find you splashing your hands in the men’s bathroom toilets, going down the stairs to the parking lot, or knocking over all of the cups at the self-serve lemonade station. You can open things with your teeth–soda bottles to dump all over, toothpaste to suck down…the possibilities of this skill are endless. This summer, I had poison control on speed dial as a result of your constant curiosity. Incident 1? Trying to drink lamp oil. Incident 2? Eating dog thyroid medication from your grandparents’ pantry. “Child-proofed” and “Farrell-proofed” are two completely different things. The second week in our new apartment, you plugged up our bathroom sink and left the water running, then nonchalantly came back to play in the living room. Thus, our first real introduction to our new super and neighbors was by causing a leak downstairs.

And then there is your climbing. Windowsills, dining tables, countertops, pantries, forbidden staircases, beach chairs, ladders, scaffolding, and playground equipment, there is nothing that you don’t want to climb. I’ve stopped panicking when you do this, because a) it’s going to happen anyway, and b) you’re actually very agile with incredible balance. You’ve been climbing out of your crib since 16 months old. You wander the house in the middle of the night, eating things out of the freezer and creepily appearing in doorways to say hi. You can run around in the dark and climb over gates wearing your sleep sack. It’s just who you are.

You love your sister, i-yeeee, and you especially love breaking into her room, throwing all of her bedding onto the floor, and playing with/destroying her intricate magnatile creations. You are going through a very big Mom phase, which results in a lot of crying, clinging, and an intense hatred of school drop off. Though you’re getting better, you’ve never been a snuggler. Usually your attempts to show love result in pain, as you are all elbows and head butts, though we appreciate your efforts.

Despite all of these personality “enhancements” that make you impossible to watch, at the end of the day (when you’re in bed), we adore you. We love your blue sparkly eyes and white blonde curls. We love watching you ham it up–you love to put on sunglasses, roll your eyes and make funny faces to get people to laugh. You are friendly–you say hi to everyone and wave incessantly from your stroller. You love to dance, paint, and draw. You are obsessed with dogs. You are a fabulous eater and have to drink “bubble wa-wa”. You love eating BOOBY (Pirate’s Booty that is, which can be awkward when you shout BOOBY out of the stroller and on airplanes). You call every meal of the day “dinner”. Your language explosion in recent months has been a joy to witness and you have so many great phrases such as “OHH! YEAH!! GO TO STORE BUY MORE!” and many others.

Cheers to making it to your second birthday without any severe injuries and here’s to another year of fun, exploration, and growth. Maybe you can let up on us a little bit this year, just a little?

XO

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George - November 7, 2016 - 12:21 pm

Adorable as usual… Hoping that as F’s language skills progress she can ease up on you guys!

xx

Central Park Fall Family Session–New York, NY

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It may have taken me a year to blog about this session (can blog sessions be like wedding presents? Under the wire at 51 weeks?!), but the amazing fall weather and colorful foliage reminded me to finally post it!

I met this adorable Upper West Side family on a crisp Halloween morning near the lake in Central Park. To take advantage of the softest light, I hold my morning sessions early. As a result, we had the park mostly to ourselves–which was a miracle considering that it was also marathon weekend! These three running and giggling sisters-along with the bursting fall foliage-made for a fun and vibrant session. We explored some hidden pathways, captured the stunning yellow reflections on the lake as the twins told each other funny secrets (I swear, this color isn’t photoshopped!), and spent some time on the rustic bridle path as well. There is no limit to backgrounds or hidden nooks when you are photographing in Central Park! As someone who has two sisters (and an often left out brother), I capturing the bond between between these three.

This session was an auction donation for my daughter’s wonderful preschool, and it’s always a treat to contribute something to the school and work with new families in return! C, J, K, M+V, it was a pleasure to work with you all and I can’t wait to meet sister #4 after Thanksgiving!

If you love this fall color, I’m holding sessions in Central Park on the weekend October 29th- get in touch to schedule!

XO

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FRIENDS Award Dinner–Metropolitan Club, New York

sarahgreigphotography_stomp_1173I’ve had the pleasure of working with Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts in many different capacities (my first job in NYC!) over the past 9 years, and I was so happy to photograph their recent Awards dinner honoring O. Kelley Anderson. Over 200 attendees at the stunning Metropolitan Club celebrated Kelley and raised funds for FRIENDS. FRIENDS is a non-profit that does incredible work to maintain the historic buildings on the Upper East Side and fights for appropriate zoning to keep a strong sense of place. They also run an amazing architecture and NYC history program that reaches over 1,500 first and second graders each year on the UES and East Harlem. Basically, they keep our city and neighborhoods from developing into a vast wasteland of charmless megatowers, while training a young generation of preservationist and historians. Yay for that!

sarahgreigphotography_stomp_1199Here’s a bit about Kelley:

Kelley began his professional life on Wall Street, but in the middle of a successful career, realized his true calling in the art world. For 25 years, Kelley was a director at the Coe Kerr Gallery, one of the premier dealers of American art. Founded in partnership with the collector Frederick Woolworth, the Coe Kerr Gallery exhibited such renowned artists as Andrew Wyeth, Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent, and Andy Warhol. In 1989 Kelley founded The Art Show, the first art fair of its kind in New York City. Presented by the Art Dealers Association of America, the show drew more than 12,000 visitors, including top collectors, to the Park Avenue Armory, and raised thousands for the Henry Street Settlement. The Art Show continues to this day, setting the standards of excellence with museum-quality exhibitions.

As a member of FRIENDS board for over two decades, serving as Treasurer since 1996, Kelley has contributed enormously to protecting this community’s historic character and quality of life. Kelley has also been a vital member of the leadership team of the Knickerbocker Club since 2003, including three years as its President, and has been a loyal supporter of the Museum of the City of New York, the Municipal Art Society, and the Central Park Conservancy.

I was also honored to hold a portrait session this past spring with the honoree to create the cover image for the benefit invitation. We were able to capture Kelley among his art collection as well as on his own beloved East 73rd Street, which he and FRIENDS successfully fought to add to the historic district. Here are some from our portrait session, as well as some from the amazing event!

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Felix and Josie–Upper West Side Newborn Portraits–New York, NY

SarahGreigPhotography_stomp_1158When one of my best friends decided to have a third baby, she got a great surprise–she was having twins! And not just any twins–boy/girl twins to keep her family as an even split! Did I mention that she was one of my only friends who hadn’t yet defected to the suburbs, our oldest daughters are besties, and she’s the friend that I put on all of my emergency contact forms and call at 3am to come help when I’m in labor? Yup, that kind of friend. She and her husband have been city dwellers for 15 years, from San Francisco to Chicago and then New York, but if you find out you’re going to have four kids in an apartment, I GUESS I can understand moving out of the city. Cue the tears. My only solution to cope with this “tragic for me but happy for them” life event was, of course, to document it!

We did a mini photo session a few weeks before Josephine and Felix arrived. I wanted to document them in their soon-to-be old neighborhood, and we also did a full newborn session when the twins were one month old. Photographing newborns is a lengthy and tricky process, and twins makes it twice as interesting! We were able to balance their feeding/sleeping/crying/diaper change schedule and after much effort, we got some of them sleeping peacefully together. Victory! And even one of Josie smiling in her sleep! The way they snuggle together and intertwine their limbs while sleeping is so sweet.

Needless to say, their mom is my complete hero for handling FOUR children under the age of 5.5 with such grace and patience, all the while buying a house, keeping up her lawyer gig, and moving 2.5 hours away. And doesn’t she look so gorgeous in these images? I’m glad we captured a bit of the fire escape in the background of some images as we used the natural window light–they are their final images of life in the big city. I also love the one with big brother James keeping an eye on things during our session.

K, B, E, J, F & J, there is a gaping hole in our city life without you here, and I stared blankly at the “emergency contact” space on a school form last week for a good long while. Though we know you’ve landed where you should be, we miss you like crazy. XO

 

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And then there were two more redheads!!

Family Photography–East Village, NYC

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I had such a blast working with this family–just look at that laughter above! I’ve known the parents since college (mascots formerly known as Jeffs) and they have now grown to an adorable fam of four. We started our session in their apartment, which I always love to do as it’s comfy and familiar for the kids and I can capture images in their rooms among their favorite toys–in this case, trains, instruments, and play doh.  I’m pretty sure their mom should design for Pottery Barn Kids, Land of Nod, or Serena and Lily, as I adored their bedroom design and it added nice pops of color to our session. These boys have the bluest eyes and the greatest smiles–though I admit that some 2.5 year old smiles were brought to us by our favorite candy, M+M. I also plan to hire these parents as my photo assistants at my next family session–they were that good!

After we captured some great shots with natural window light (including some bed jumping and a guitar serenade), we attempted to head outside to Washington Square Park to photograph the boys at play in the spring greenery…until it started pouring on the quick walk there. Hailing and gusting winds to be exact! We ducked under cover in a huge arch door at Grace Church, and ended up taking a few great shots there and calling it a day. Sometimes the weather takes over the best of plans, but it was a blessing in disguise as the shots in front of this amazing architectural door are unique and beautiful. I love framing children in architectural elements, as it really gives a good sense of their size in comparison to the rest of their world–and here you can see Luke looking so tiny in the gigantic doorway. J, R, L and W, it was a fun morning and I’m so glad to capture these adorable young guys! XO