Savta: A Tribute Through Grandmother’s Portraits

Field Trap: Sunflower Field Photoshoot for Three Families by Zorz Studios (1)
Field Trap: Sunflower Field Photoshoot for Three Families
September 18, 2019
Catchup: Last-Minute Maternity Photoshoot by Zorz Studios (1)
Catchup: Last-Minute Maternity Photoshoot
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Enjoy this client’s tribute to her mother through a series of grandmother’s portraits — both artistic and whimsical.

Another fine and touching example of a client progression from wedding to boudoir to family and grandmother’s portraits. I met Irina in Puerto Rico shooting a wedding in 2014. She was one of the cheerful bridesmaids. Right after her return to New York, she wrote to me inquiring about a boudoir session as a fine art birthday gift to her husband (and she had given birth a few months ago!). The next month it was done.

Two years later her sister-in-law took part in my annual boudoir marathon along with five other ladies. (Curiously, two of those ladies and mothers of two children, later also had hyper-energetic family sessions with me: one in the fun-packed Liberty Science Center and another in the beauty of Poconos nature. As much as it is difficult for a male photographer to gain trust in the sensitive boudoir market, I enjoy building a treasured rapport and loyalty.)

Last summer Irina contacted me with an idea of gifting her mom with beautiful pictures as of an incredibly strong woman surrounded by her children, whom she raised on her own, and grandchildren. We decided to place the accent on black-and-white photography to emphasize the character and importance of grandmother’s portraits to her family. I also offered to come to their home in Brooklyn where everyone would convene. As I advise the clients, my studio setup is portable, down to the backgrounds and high-class German lighting equipment with an array of modifiers and accessories. I can work in any room regardless of its condition. Even if it’s cluttered, my background transforms it. So, if it’s a logistical challenge to come to the studio, the studio comes to you!

As I entered Irina’s apartment building, I was up to two pleasant surprises: first, I recognize my other past client in the face of her sister-in-law from that boudoir marathon! I simply didn’t register the family ties back then. Turned out, I was about to shoot families of two more past boudoir clients! Second, imagine seeing your photography work hanging in someone’s bedroom… It feels like a big deal to me.

Savta: A Tribute Through Grandmother's Portraits by Zorz Studios

This family photoshoot took two hours and was all revolving around grandmother’s portraits. I used various combinations of kids and grandkids, culminating in the all-get-together series. As usual, I tried both traditional and whimsical poses and expressions—you cannot last for too long with kids on the traditional path. The deep portraits of the grandma with her two children were particularly touching to me and I used a more painting-like light on those opening tender shots.

I used the title “Savta” to reflect on my clients’ Jewish heritage. The word translates as “grandmother” from Hebrew. Enjoy these grandmother’s portraits and celebrate your family roots, too! Here’s to her joy, wisdom, love, and health!

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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.

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