Jason Groupp June 19, 2017 Education

Name That Song Week 13 + Our Celebrity Guests: Karen and Tim

How to Play:

  • Listen to the mystery song clip below and try to match it to a song from the week 12 playlist.
  • Join us LIVE on Facebook at 1p EST, Thursday, June 14th and we will reveal the phone number for you to call in and guess the correct song.
  • The first caller to guess the correct song will win $100!!! -That’s it!

Meet Karen and Tim – Photographing The New York Experience


Hi my name is Karen Seifert and I specialize in immersing my clients in a true New York City experience—fun facts, iconic locations, history lessons and much more!

Did you know, for instance, that the Empire State Building has its own zip code? Or that the fountain in Central Park’s Bethesda Terrace—”Angel of the Waters—was the first major art piece in New York City to be designed by a woman? These are the types of tidbits our photography studio, I Heart New York Photography, makes it our business to know so that our clients, most of who are from out of town, get a true sense of their surroundings. In the end, that translates into a richer experience for them and the most cherished keepsake portraits.

The Business of Experience.

As an experience-based business photographing proposals, elopements, engagements and family sessions all with the goal of encompassing the sights and sounds of New York City in an image, it’s up to myself and my colleague Tim to help cultivate a really great experience for our clients’ entire time in the city, not just the time they are with us during their photo session. We are constantly having to keep up to date with events, new restaurants, fun rooftops—anything we’d recommend to our clients before, during or after a session. It’s actually really great because it keeps us challenged to stay in the know and as a bonus can turn up brand new locations to photograph in.

A Picture From Every Angle.

There are plenty of iconic spots in the city that clients love, too, and one favorite is Central Park. There are great shooting locations all over the entire park but we really love the area right in the middle, around the Mall and Bethesda Terrace. The designers Olmsted and Vaux included elements with arches, tiles and beautiful long wooden benches. If you point your camera in one direction, it is lush and green, and in the other direction you see turn-of-the-century architecture to place k your subject in the middle of. It’s truly a photographer’s dream and also looks great all four seasons of the year!

Top Of The Rock Beats It All!

Another breathtaking spot is Top of the Rock. Even if our clients don’t get photographed by us up there, it’s one of our big recommendations for them to check out while they are in town. Everyone thinks the Empire State Building is the observation deck to go to, but Top of the Rock is further uptown and from there you get a view of the ESB rather than standing on it! Top of the Rock has multiple levels so you can get above your subject and really show the vastness of NYC behind them. Every time I’m up there I still get that “New York moment” feeling.

OF course you can’t talk about the New York Experience without mentioning Times Square. If you do photograph there, it’s best to go at night. It’s a bit crazy on color balancing with all the billboards and lights but if you just embrace that aspect, it can make for some fabulous, and unique, shots.

Logistics, Logistics, Logistics.

Logistically speaking, as we move from one end of Manhattan to the other with clients and gear in tow, we’ve learned to pack super light with camera bags that can be worn, not rolled, and utilize inexpensive compact flashes that can be set down on the ground or held easily by an assistant. One thing about living in the city is that you might be gone from your studio for 12+ hours if you have a few sessions that day, so you have to be prepared for any time of day and any and all lighting conditions. When we are with our clients, we use just about every type of public transportation around the city—subways, ferries, taxis and of course walking. Our IHNY sessions can go up to an unlimited area package so it’s quite important for our team to really have an understanding of moving around the city. Using those services also allows us to provide more of that whole experience I was talking about. Most people who don’t live in New York find it fascinating how we get around and live our lives in this crazy place. I love that we get to give our clients a little glimpse into that daily life as well as take amazing portraits of them on their special trips.

 IHNY’s New York City Photography Guide. Part 2

Get excited, folks, because now we’re going to dive deep into more of our favorite NYC shooting locations and also discuss some of the challenges that popped up along the way and how we solved them.

In most of the locations we photograph our clients in, there are elements that we can use to really take our photos to another level. NYC is known for its large, shiny buildings and one of the best things that can happen on a session is when we get that beautiful reflected light the tall buildings bounce around. There’s plenty of times we’ve been on a street corner downtown or next to a subway grate in midtown when we’ve seen that bright light breaking through in little spots; it’s fantastic. Even if you live in a place without tall buildings, there are definitely windows and bright walls that reflect the light well. Some of the best locations in NYC for this type of reflection are along the Hudson River in the newly done Hudson River Park, as well as anywhere downtown and in midtown. Hudson River Park is just generally a great place to take some nice greenery photos and just a few streets away you can get some really gritty street locations, too.

Learn The Art of Patience!

Of course because it’s Manhattan and a prime tourist spot, some of the locations we photograph our clients in are always full of people; t’s just a given. Ninety nine percent of the time, though, if you just want to wait a few minutes, you’ll get a nice opening that you can photograph them in (as the crowds hopefully disperse!). This is not only true in NYC but also in so many other situations too. Imagine you have a client who loves their local cherry blossom festival and wants their family portraits done there? Instead of saying no to that challenge, find ways to make it work. Your client will be so happy that you made what seemed the impossible possible!

Use Your Surroundings!

Since we do use public transportation to move around during most sessions, we almost always take photos during that time too. Especially down in the subways! We usually walk down the platform towards the back of the train so more of the train will pass us when pulling into the station. We almost always do some sort of long shutter exposure with this shot. If there’s time (and it’s not too crowded) we’ll also do some longer more compressed shots on the platform. We put our client near the edge and give them direction before the train pulls in since it is usually so loud! It’s always a bit of a mad dash to get these photos and that always creates a fun experience and happiness in their photos!

Embrace the Weather!

New York City is not immune to weather. In fact I would say we live out in the weather more than most people in the country and because of that we’re always looking for our next great indoor location. Grand Central Terminal is our go-to, it’s a beautiful 100-year-old train station with a perfect green ceiling. Though shooting in Grand Central does require you to have some knowledge of off-camera flash to really give it that extra special look. We love using small, extremely portable, radio triggered flashes that can easily fit into our camera bags. They can be held by an assistant or just put on the ground or on a ledge. We use these little flashes all over the city in so many places too! Grand Central Terminal also very close to many of our other locations so it can be a quick diversion if we have a downpour mid session. We’ll also utilize overpasses, atriums and umbrellas of course! 

Tell the Story!

Even if you’re shooting a portrait session you’re still telling a story for your client. Of course it doesn’t play out the same way a wedding day does but still important to tell their story in your photos. One great little trick is to really use your environment (wherever it may be) y to layer the photos and put your client right smack in the middle of it. We’ll use trees, twinkle lights, reflective surfaces (pocket mirrors), taxis, anything we can find to layer up that photo to put our client right in the middle of the action. Don’t be afraid to use a longer lens and still make them smaller in the frame. If you’re shooting with just one lens you can still do so much by moving just yourself to make it seem you photographed a session with five lenses! 

We are lucky we have this amazing city to wander and play in for our sessions but no matter where you live and work, all of these fun elements are available to you. Don’t be afraid to try new things and take your photography to the next level!