Hijinks: Family Photography in Poconos

Bubbly: Karina + Alex = Crystal Plaza Wedding by Zorz Studios (56)
Bubbly: Karina + Alex = Crystal Plaza Wedding
July 23, 2019
Bughouse: Kids' Unruly Fun in Vacation House in Poconos by Zorz Studios (70)
Bughouse: Kids’ Unruly Fun in Vacation House in Poconos
August 2, 2019

Finally, thrilled to show what I can do with family photography in Poconos. I have a feeling there is quite more to come.

I’m getting closer to revealing my exact expanded studio presence after we moved out of NYC a year ago. Know that it’s not a sadistic plan to keep throwing silly clues at you. I just want to finish decorating the home studio before I can make it official. Until then, why hide things I started doing here? They began with the test shots with my wife, then our newborn, one of our teen daughters, and finally an engaged couple. This is Poconos, and that’s how my 2-hour commute to NYC comes about.

What makes this session pioneering is that it finally brings a whole family into the equation—some major missing link! Carefully, I started introducing myself here and launched a secret initial campaign in the local community. The feedback was solid and multiple families signed up. We already had several sessions done so there will be more riots to share! For this important ground-breaking, however, I was fortunate to have not just a random family. Will not hesitate to label this as exemplary family photography in Poconos. This is true on so many levels!

Queen of Valentines: Fairytale Boudoir Marathon 2016 by Zorz Studios (26)


I was surprised—pleasantly so!—that the area we moved into has ties to quite a few of my existing clients. Thing is, many communities in Poconos were developed by Russian-speaking New Yorkers. Summer houses (you may have heard of dacha, we also jokingly refer to them as fazenda) are in our mentality for generations. All urban Soviets dreamed of going to the suburbs on weekends. Same here. Roughly half of my community is Russian-speaking! Some live here but most have their summer houses in this beautiful area; Anna is one of them. I first worked with her during my Boudoir Marathon 2016. She now picked on that secret campaign and we scheduled her family photography in Poconos for their next visit. My best clients are returning ones, and they are treated differently.

Time and length

I learned that Anna has two kids who are fun and active. Both are sporty (gymnastics and soccer), artistic (ballroom dancing and guitar playing), and adventurous. I didn’t know about their wild dad yet… All their energy needed to have a plan for venting. What can be more boring for a kid than a grown-up constantly asking to pose, sit, smile, do this and that? I think the key to family photography in Poconos or anywhere else is to give them time.

First, you need to approach them as-a-matter-of-fact, as if you aren’t there to ask them for anything. You show up, start chatting with them, find things in common (yep), and let them go. No rush to start snapping. They get used to you and feel more at ease and carry on with what matters to them. See where I’m getting? Time. If I only have one hour, lots of it will be wasted for a warm-up or feel pushy. We definitely needed at least two hours. Multiple outdoor activities call for something even more extended.

Lastly, nature is best at its waking hour. It looks the freshest, and it produces less of sleepy hikers. I called for a 7:30 AM start and the parents obliged.

Hijinks: Family Photography in Poconos by Zorz StudiosLocation

The conditions of that campaign call for something local to Poconos or Delaware Water Gap. What else do you need for an outdoor adventure near NYC?! Raymondskill Falls, the tallest waterfall in Pennsylvania with a combined height of approximately 150 feet/46 meters, was first on their mind. A curious fact: it is only several feet lower than the Niagara Falls. The discharge is dramatically smaller, of course. I pushed for a more spirited agenda and added a hike on the Cliff Trail, discovered just a few weeks ago on my family outing. My idea was for them to enjoy a restful picnic with snacks, music, games, and a grand view at the end of the packed family photography in Poconos. Half-day session is what I hoped for and they agreed. Each of four hours of the expedition was loaded with cool discoveries and kiddo fun.


Still occasionally stuck somewhere in childhood myself and raising a few kids around, I connect pretty well with the tykes. For that, have to be foolish, curious, and caring. These two guys were easy to connect with and when kids do, they accept you and work with you. You then mix in your own agenda and they don’t notice or mind. Everyone gets what they need.


Here comes daddy. Mike is one of the funniest and craziest doctors I’ve seen. His sense of humor, at times professionally dark, was knocking my socks off. He kept that loco flame going, scaring and teasing the kids in the carefully measured portions. He helped me a lot. I had already established the rapport with mom but when both parents step in and truly take part in a shoot with cooperating children, the result is a triumph. Oh, remember a whimsical family photoshoot at the Liberty Science Center? A similar footing there: a past boudoir client, easy and fun kids, and a very supportive and involving dad. Well, these moms are actually best friends.

There it is, all the components for an ideal photo session needed. I can talk long about the flow of this shoot, a bit naughty at that. Almost each of these images has a little story to tell… The family will remember them. Imagine them 30 years later. Give your family such stories. Find a photographer in your area and go out on an adventure. If you are looking for family photography in Poconos, hit me up for that secret introductory offer.

A beach shoot will give you a classy pretty wall portrait but is there more to that? (Well, I tried here and here.) Get your butts early out of beds, pack some ninja gear, sneak into places, go beyond the fences, overlook some signs, act as no one is looking (you got up early enough, remember?), mix in some adrenaline, and share a feel of mischief with your kids. Do the family bonding thing. BE HIJINKS. Just, you know, exercise reason, especially if you aren’t a doctor.

P.S. With more family photography in Poconos already done and still scheduled this summer, I might post more of this type, if only time permits. Keep an eye. There is also a waterfall photo session for my wife and baby coming, for which we got up at 4:15 AM (sneak peek at the end).

Click images for full size. Kindly refrain from re-uploading images to social media during the first week of feature. Share instead and give credit to @ZorzStudios!


Two additional images for you: one of me by Anna after the shoot, and the sneak peek of the mentioned baby shoot with my wife by the waterfall. See ya!

Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov is a creative director and lead photographer of Zorz Studios, Manhattan-based boutique photography studio, offering arousing and daring fashion, commercial, beauty, and wedding photography. Multiple Fearless Photographer™ award winner, named among the top 50 US wedding photographers, top 10 NY wedding photographers, winner of Adobe contests, featured by Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle et al, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week photographer, and a distinguished member of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style‘s Platinum List, he is eager to step out of his and willing clients' comfort zone to pursue original artwork with a lasting impression.

1 Comment

  1. […] documentary if you will, will help you cherish those moments. I’ve just written about one family having an unstoppable fun at the Raymondskill Falls and on a spectacular Delaware Water Gap lookout. I’ll skip the […]

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