Underwater Kids: Breathtaking Underwater Photography

Stunning, captivating and awe-inspiring – underwater photographs are unlike any images snapped on land.  We’ve rounded up wonderfully creative and breathtaking photos of children, taken by talented photographers, beneath the surface for our latest story over on Mode.

Have a look, and enjoy.

Check out Underwater Kids: Breathtaking Underwater Photography

by Monica Marino at Mode

This post is sponsored by Mode.


When Time Stands Still | Genine Esposito Photography

The photographs that hang on our walls tell stories.  Matted and framed and preserved behind glass are cherished vestiges of time that carry the ability to transport us back to fleeting moments.

With absolute clarity.

There’s the one of 11-day old baby AA – photographed when he still had that natural fetal curl.  His newly minted big sister looks down upon his tiny body, definitely uncertain about her new role.  I never imagined that our future-selves would laugh about the difficult sibling transition – or envision the incredible closeness that our children would so beautifully grow to have.

Investing in professional family photography sessions over the years is important to us – and this summer we discovered a true gem in the New York family photography arena: Genine Esposito Photography.

We met Genine and her partner in video – Dena, early one morning in Central Park.  The kids came barreling in from the subway on scooters, with backpacks full of trinkets and a typical park-day-agenda full of sprinklers, playgrounds and a possible trip to The MET.  I wasn’t sure how well the shoot would go. I don’t make the kids pose for photos, and they usually aren’t interested in doing so.

Genine and Dena wielded their magical weapons transforming our right now into beautiful works of art.

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The kids current primary mode of transportation made it into the photographs.

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As did the magical sibling bond that these two share.

Genine Espositonyc family photographer

Through their eyes, I see into their souls.

genine esposito family photography NYC Photographer

And the uniqueness that makes these little people who they are was captured so well.

From my precious boy’s smile when exuding true happiness.

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To the way that our little-big-girl brings her beloved possessions to life.

genine esposito photo nyc photographer

The kids were at ease and had so much fun simply being themselves and I felt like I was hanging out with longtime friends.

For me, photography isn’t about perfect outfits and everyone smiling and looking at the camera.  It’s about telling our family story in ways that evoke the emotions that were felt in that very moment.  With the ability to take one’s breath away.

Genine and Dena accomplish this in the most natural way possible, with photos and a keepsake video that truly make time stand still.

Special thanks to Genine Esposito Photography for this hosted session and images. Book now and mention Marino Bambinos for a 10% discount.


Document The Day: First Day-of-School Photo Ideas

Back to School, already?  We too are lamenting the fact that everything around us seems to always be a season ahead.  All that we want to do right now is linger in the amazing summer that has just begun – but a little preparation will make the transition back to school so much smoother.  Since I’ve always been the mom scrambling for a sharpie and printer paper on the first-day-of-school, I’m sharing the best in back-to-school photo ideas over on MODE.  Please chime in with your ideas – I’m determined to step up my game this year!


Check out Document the Day: First-Day-of-School Photo Ideas

by Monica Marino at Mode

This post is sponsored by MODE, where you’ll find other great stories. Thanks for reading!


Photography Tips with Canon || Sunday Swoon

My father, a mechanical engineer with a side photography business, spoke the language of Leicas and lenses in our home.  I never quite understood why an entire spare bedroom was converted into a “camera room”, but I do have early childhood memories of being taught how to hold a camera, how to shoot and where to focus.  It took having children of my own to develop a true passion for photography.  I find it grounding to have integrated such a great hobby into my life, and I believe that my interest in photography has changed the way in which I view the world.

I’ll never forgot when I put my first DSLR In my father’s hands and the recent delight in his voice upon receiving small albums from my Instagram images in the mail.  Naturally, I was delighted to join Canon once again, to bid farewell to summer at the Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar – boasting stunning views of New York Harbor and Lady Liberty.  I have a lot to learn in terms of photography – especially shooting with a DSLR.  It was a true treat to have a go at capturing the final sunset of summer, with a variety of Canon’s outstanding lenses and the guidance of experts from team Canon.

photo 1(17) photography tips from Canon photo(59)

Here are some of Canon’s expert tips:
  • Auto White Balance (AWB) – Adjust your camera to take advantage of the different warm tones it can render by changing to the cloudy or shade setting prior to shooting an image.
  •  Exposure Compensation – Utilizing Exposure Compensation prior to shooting an image allows light control, resulting in brighter or darker images that can change the mood of the same scene.
  • Rule of Thirds – Apply the rule of thirds, an important compositional technique, by aligning your subject with the guide lines and their intersection points, placing the horizon on the top or bottom line, or allowing linear features in the image to flow from section to section.  This allows the eye to have more room to explore.

View more shooting tips and info on Canon lenses and visit the other Sunday Swoon co-hosts below.

#SundaySwoon, Sunday Swoon The Staten Island Family // Complicated Mama // Stroller In The City // Lady And The Blog // Mom Generations // Marino Bambinos


Canon’s The Big Moment with The New York City Ballet & George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

There was a time when I had big dreams of growing up to become a ballet dancer.  Christmas times were once filled with rehearsals, Nutcracker performances and even missed school to tour with the Hartford Ballet.

A childhood dream fulfilled.

hartford ballet nutcrackerhartford ballet 1These scanned photos of the Party Scene in the Hartford Ballet’s Nutcracker were taken at the Bushnell Theatre in the early 90’s by my father  on a minature speed graphic with a very fine lens. My how technology has changed!

In retrospect, dancing up until my early teen years instilled in me a particular kind of dedication and perseverance for something that I was fiercely passionate about.  I never imagined that decades later I would have a dream day with The New York City Ballet: a big moment orchestrated by Canon.

With my friend Brianne –  I began my day at Lincoln center, venturing to the New York City Ballet’s sunlit rehearsal-studios through a corridor strewn with images showcasing George Balanchine’s ballets.  Prior to taking a ballet class, we received instruction on how to use the world’s most compact and light-weight full-featured DSLR: The Canon EOS Rebel SL1.  As a mother, writer and amateur photographer, carrying around my clunky and heavy DSLR is truly a labor of love.  I don’t want to compromise on image quality when working or capturing precious family memories.  I found the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 to be an ideal lightweight, portable camera with impressive image quality (in such a small body!).

Canon's The Big Moment with the New York City BalletCanon's The Big Moment with the New York City Ballet

When I viewed images of our ballet class led by New York City Ballet principal dancers: Abi Stafford, Jared Angle and Daniel Ulbrich I couldn’t help but laugh at the seriousness in my facial expressions.  Revisiting dance with the lull of an accompanying pianist, in a studio typically filled with renowned dancers of unfathomable dedication was overwhelming. 

Canon's The Big Moment with the New York City Ballet

The ballet class highlight most definitely came when we were treated to an up-close pas de deux of the dance of the Sugar Plum and Cavalier, gracefully articulated by Abi Stafford and Jared Angle.

Canon's The Big Moment with the New York City Ballet Canon's The Big Moment with the New York City Ballet

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 captured many of their movements beautifully.

Canon EOS Rebel SL1 New York City Ballet Dancers #BigMoment New York City Ballet Principal Dancers

The day ended with a backstage tour of the David Koch Theater and viewing of The New York City Ballet’s George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.  I have attended many different productions and always dreamed of seeing Balanchine’s choreography.  To say it was breathtaking, flawless and incredibly moving is an understatement.  It was pure magic from the moment I heard the familiar pull of Tschaikovsky’s score.  I tried to soak in every single element – The NYCB Orchestra, intricate set details, ornate scenery, elaborate costumes and brilliant dancers were mesmerizing.  It was more that I could have ever imagined from a live ballet.  I promised myself that I would return to Lincoln Center someday with my own little ballerina.  For now, I have a special gift for her tucked under our tree – autographed point shoes and memorabilia, courtesy of Canon. 

Canon's The Big Moment with the New York City BalletNew York City Ballet Nutcracker Sugar Plum Fairy

A Big Moment indeed.

Special thanks to The New York City Ballet, Canon USA Imaging, and the entire team that made this #BigMoment possible.  I was not compensated for this post.  I received transportation, lunch, a Nutcracker Ticket and gift bag. Images 3-7 and 10 are via Getty Images for Canon.  Image 11 is via Paul Kolnik.  As always, opinions are my own.