Aakash: Minnewaska State Park Maternity Session

Black Pearl: African-American Underwater Maternity by Zorz Studios
Black Pearl: African-American Underwater Maternity
September 10, 2020
Antifam: Grey Towers Family Photoshoot Bloopers by Zorz Studios
Antifam: Grey Towers Family Photoshoot Bloopers
September 19, 2020
Aakash: Minnewaska State Park Maternity Session

This Minnewaska State Park maternity session will lift you up from the underwater domain into the sky.

Woof, publishing a fourth maternity session in a row… Yet more are lined up, including a sculpturesque vision… I should probably mix it up and do a few other topics already. It’s just what I’ve been shooting a lot of pregnant ladies recently. Last two blogs were done underwater: one for a Miss Universe Jamaica contestant and the other for a fashionable entrepreneur with a touch of psychedelic art.

Sam’s Point

So now let me pull you up to the surface and up in the sky, to the highest point (2,289 feet / 698 m) of the Shawangunk Ridge in New York. Sam’s Point is part of a vast Minnewaska State Park where I recently shot an engaged couple on a similar cliff above the Minnewaska Lake.

Mailing List Smart

Neha is a lovely Indian-American from New Jersey. Being on my mailing list, she took advantage of its exclusive promotion, which I ran during the coronavirus lockdown. Among others, she booked ahead, securing a rare sweet discount while helping keep my business afloat. (Without going off-topic, we’ve gotten no stimulus checks, unemployment benefits, or PPP. With major cutbacks, tried to work my way through.)

Neha also considered an underwater shoot at first, but the logistics didn’t work out. We then looked at some Hudson River spots with Manhattan skyline (deemed too urban afterwards) and abandoned stone mansion (park is still closed because of COVID). She then expanded her travel radius, and we ended up with something I haven’t done yet — a Minnewaska State Park maternity session!

Never shot at Sam’s Point yet, so it was even more thrilling to discover. Its geography looks similar to the Gertrude’s Nose but requires less of a walk, under a mile, which makes it possible for fit pregnant women. It is still a hike up the hill, although the path is even and wide.

Maternity Shoots Timing

I always recommend shooting into the 5-7th month into the pregnancy. It is earlier than the conventional advice but has the added advantages. Endurance is one of the biggest, along with less baby fat. Client’s primary concern of a less visible belly can be overcome if your photographer is a Photoshop expert. Neha was later in her term but she braved the hike and her maternity photos in the sky are a worthy reward!

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!

What If…

I was done with preparing the images in a fairly expected way for a Minnewaska State Park maternity session — poetic, light in spirit, and heartwarming. Even started writing the blog and created its cover image. Then, a revelation hit me: why not try my favorite dramatic take? I wrote about the caveats between deciding on light vs. dark approach for maternity shoots. Trying to select more work on the lighter side but… look what I’ve done by digital manipulation! I can’t resist the drama, and even pushed this to the cover, replacing the original version.

Work-Life Balance

Going to Minnewaska State Park is always a pleasant experience. This time worked out to bring my family and the youngest daughter. We pitched our tent; I went shooting for a few hours, then got back to them. Camped overnight with a picnic-style dinner. Watching the stars through the mesh at night made the day complete.

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. […] We arranged for a pool in Westchester, as I knew a great place nearby for a scenic maternity by the Hudson River, Little Stony Point. I had spent a few nights in my Zotel there, loved the scenery, but never got to shoot it. That’s when it hit me to finally put a drone to work. Such vistas beg for it; I wish I used it during this shoot on a cliff. […]

Tell us what you think, please!