Friday Close-Up: Suzanne Cohen Photography

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It's the time of year when we focus on our families more than ever. Photographs play into this season in a big way. As a mom, Suzanne Cohen knows capturing images of your young family is something you will never regret. As a photographer, Suzanne aims to deliver something different to her clients. In her work Suzanne hopes to combine a fun (read low-stress) session and simultaneously deliver images that you'll cherish. We caught up with Suzanne to learn more about her craft.

What differentiates you from other photographers that shoot kids?I have a unique style and approach that captures the inner essence of a child. I understand this is not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s ok. I would much rather present a photo of a child that is candid and natural than a staged, posed, and forced looking picture. When parents see my photographs of their children they thank me over and over again for capturing that moment in time.

You began your career in Texas. What is the big difference between Southern families and NYC urbanites?Southern families take a laid back approach to life whereas Urbanites are constantly on the move in and around the city. Southern families are very concerned with getting that “big smile” from a picture with everyone looking at the camera while Urbanites are often interested in more candid, photojournalistic style photos. Either way children are children and are happy in their surroundings wherever they live.

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You seem to favor outdoor settings. Why is that?Outdoor settings offer a unique backdrop and add so much character to a picture. Even if the background is blurred, it provides a beautiful image as the child is clear and in focus. My favorite photos are close-ups of a subject with a beautiful park or landmark structure as a background. The “pop” effect of a child’s face can be so powerful, providing an everlasting image. 

You shoot children again and again. How do you stay fresh? I stay fresh by starting each photo shoot as if it’s my first. I prefer to let the child do his/her own thing and run around and play. They will always be happiest when they are not being forced to do something.

Do you shoot digital or film? Why? I only shoot digital, because in this day and age…. “hey, why not?” I can take up to 1000 images per shoot, and this always ensures that every detail is captured. I am able to move all around the subject and snap as many angles and poses as possible, therefore, letting a child just be a child. I am certain to walk away with fantastic images whether they are looking at the camera or away.

What's your favorite gallery or museum? The Frick Collection is my favorite museum. Set in a one -time residence, the Frick Collection can make one feel regal and stately just moving through the museum. The larger than life paintings are breathtaking and have such fantastic stories behind their canvases. The other wonderful thing about the Frick is that you can view the entire museum in half a day.

Favorite children's book?Harry the Dirty Dog

Rough estimate--how many pictures have you shot of your son? Oh let’s see……. We must be into the thousands by now!! My son has given me such inspiration and joy as a photographer and it is because of him I love shooting children even more now than ever.

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What can parents do to guarantee a great photo shoot? Parents can help their child by making sure they are well rested and fed. Scheduling a session during a nap time or feeding is not recommended. Also, parents are the ones that can make their child the happiest, so having them behind the photographer cheering their child along can work wonders. Also, bring snacks and a toy if you need to take a break. Children have about a 20-30 minute window in front of the camera, so it’s very important to move along as quickly as possible.

Black and white or color?I am a huge fan of both. I prefer black and white framed photos of children in a home. This gives such a dramatic effect. However, color allows us to see the child’s hair, eyes, and skin in it’s natural beauty. Grandparents and family members almost always prefer color, so I provide a combination of both when delivering the photos to the client.

Suzanne Cohen Photography



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