Michael Kormos Photography is the most sought after maternity, newborn and family photo studio in NYC. Our approach is to create an enjoyable and giggle-filled experience, while delivering stunning portraits of the highest quality. Recognized worldwide for our fresh style, creative perspectives, and portraiture that celebrates the love and joy of families.

Pregnant in Death Valley
(manhattan fine art maternity studio)

NYC Maternity Photographer Michael Kormos captures timeless portraits in studio and on location in Death ValleyThe sunrise glow is the perfect backdrop for capturing gorgeous artistic maternity portraits

Ok I admit. As a portrait photographer it’s not often that I use my tripod. Or that I use filters (LEE graduated ND saved the day here). It’s also uncommon for me to use an ultra wide-angle lens (like the 14-24mm), nor do I recall EVER taking a portrait with my aperture down to f/16. Crazy, right? I love fusing my love of landscapes with portraiture. I think it’s a win-win situation 🙂

On a recent trip to WPPI in Las Vegas, Sophie and I decided to spend two days at the nearby Death Valley National Park, and do something that no one has ever done before (at least, to our knowledge!). To capture timeless maternity portraits at one of the most raw, desolate and inhospitable places in the USA (ok, we’re not counting Alaska this time around). Death Valley (and Badwater Basin in particular) is one of the driest, hottest, and lowest (in elevation) places in North America. We loved the idea of juxtaposing its alien environment with the frailty and innocence of new life.

A few things to keep in mind: Death Valley has literally no cell phone reception, and gas prices generally hover in the $6/gallon range. As you drive around, you will come across “radiator water” pull-outs on the road, for those times when your vehicle overheats (summer temps regularly reach 125°F/52°C, which is why we chose to do this in the winter 🙂

Thanks to my little assistant for keeping the Profoto B1s pointed right where they needed to be, to our wonderful model for making the trek from 4 hours away (you’re the best, Christina!), to Valerie for the absolutely gorgeous maternity gown, and to Sophie for being my radio DJ during the many hours we’ve spent on the road, and for her attention to posing, hair, wardrobe, and everything else that went into making this (couldn’t have done it without you!).

Equipment used: Nikon D4/D800 bodies, 14-24mm f/2.8G, 105mm f/2DC, 200mm f/2, Gitzo Tripod, Lee Filters, and Profoto B1 strobes.

Badwater Basin is an odd place. You’re standing at a dry lake, 282 feet below sea level, while out in the distance, Mt. Whitney (just past that mountain range) soars at 14,505 feet high. The lowest (and highest) point in the country. Talk about extremes. But we didn’t pick this place because it would be easy. What’s the fun in that?

The biggest difference between the first two shots below is the sun. In the first, it’s just about to set, and its light really defines the salt formations on the dry lake floor. The ground looks like something a planetary orbiter would’ve shot on… Ganymede?. The first two shots were taken with a D800 with 14-24mm. Due to the obvious wide-angle distortion of this focal length, I tried to keep the subject close to center to minimize the effects.

20 minutes later (image #2), we were blessed with some clouds, so I composed the shot with a bit more sky. However, the missing sun caused the salt formations to be rendered flat and featureless. Here the strobes provided much needed illumination, one left, one right (for the hair and rim).

When you shoot at a place this remote and unforgiving, you want “equipment failure” to be the last thing on your mind. We used Profoto B1 strobes with Air Remote. One reflected off a white umbrella provided the key light (camera left), the other was shot through a honeycomb grid and provided our hair/rim light (camera right).

Another 20 minutes later (image #3), I decide to use a telephoto. I am always amazed at the difference in perspective that a simple focal-length change can do. D4 w/105mm f/2DC. The sky behind the mountains was still pinkish, but the rest of it was deep blue. I’ve had to tune my white balance in post to 25,000 Kelvin in order to render her skin tone nice and warm. Crazy! The 105mm brought the Panamint Mountain Range so much closer. That’s Telescope Peak to the left, blanketed in snow, standing 2 miles high. Luckily, the valley floor was much warmer 🙂

Sophie and I spent the night in Beatty, NV (where you can find a room at Motel 6 for $50, vs. the $300/night resorts in Death Valley), that is, if you don’t mind the 1hr+ drive. Come to think of it, most things out here are 1hr away by car. It must be.. the standard unit of measure. Next morning we scout early, and find these surreal formations north of Zabriskie Point (image #4). This time of year is about the only season you can photograph in Death Valley and not get baked (no really, BAKED!). Death Valley is consistently ranked as one of the hottest places on Earth. Sophie was a good sport, and reminded me that asking a pregnant model to climb these hills isn’t the best idea. Luckily, we brought along a silicone belly (we HAD to have had a back-up!). That’s Sophie, dressed in pink 🙂

If you haven’t already “followed” us on Google+ and Facebook, please do!


https://www.facebook.com/MichaelKormosPhotographyPhoto showing flowing cream maternity gown accentuates the curves of pregnancy

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little Lilly the photographer
(lifestyle child photography)

For Lilly’s 4th birthday last year, she received a camera (yes, a Nikon just like Daddy!).
The kind of camera a child could drop on the floor, or submerge in a bucket of water
without any repercussions. No fancy “ISO” or “aperture” dials to distract from the
simple pleasures of picture-taking. Besides, those are just fancy words photographers
use to make themselves look smart. 😛

Over the course of the past year, she’s accumulated hundreds of snapshots of her everyday life
(okay, more like thousands, but we’ve stopped counting). She received no guidance on how
to compose images. We told her how to turn on her camera, press the big button on top,
and magically capture a moment. Voila! Nothing more, nothing less.

As she gets ready to turn 5 (aaaahhhh!!), we wanted to share some of her favorite pictures
from the past year. Un-retouched, straight out of her camera. It’s incredible to see her
careful attention to location, styling and posing, as she captures her favorite moments
in a way that only a 4 year-old could document.

For those of you interested in our budding artist, little Lilly will be offering Mini Sessions
in Central Park in 2015. Very limited availability, so contact us to reserve your spot!

NYC child photographer captures the magic of childhood through her own eyesGiving a camera to a child is a wonderful way to see the world from their perspectiveFamily photographer Michael Kormos' daughter shares his passion

Colorful Lifestyle Family Photographer
We enjoy capturing children and family photography outdoors in Central Park, at a location of your choice, or in the comfort of your home. Our NYC Photography Studio is wonderful for fine art maternity and newborn portraits, however, older children generally feel more comfortable outdoors. Not to mention, parents also are able to get lost in the moment and forget they’re being photographed. Childhood is a paradise of fleeting moments, and we’re constantly inspired to capture the magic before the moment passes. Our style of family photography is authentic, simple, and intimate. We want you to look back on your photographs and remember what this time felt like, not just what it looked like. We strive to create meaningful, emotive imagery that your family will cherish for years to come. If you’re interested in scheduling your own family portrait session, please feel free to contact Sophie by email or at our Manhattan Photography Studio at 212.544.0102.

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bits & pieces
(westchester infant photographer)

Every newborn is a unique work of art.
A tiny little person with the most perfect little fingers and toes,
eyelashes and button nose. Squishy cheeks and chubby rolls.
It’s really no wonder that parents can spend all day just gazing
in amazement at their sweet bundle of joy. There’s nothing we love more
than being able to capture these fleeting moments
as beautiful newborn photography to be treasured forever.

lifestyle newborn portrait photography and tiny sweet details captured in the studio with natural light

Scheduling Your Newborn Photography Session
Michael and Sophie recommend reserving your newborn photography session as far in advance as possible, in order to ensure availability around your due date. Newborn photography is best captured around 4-10 days, when your baby is sleeping deeply and curling up naturally into those sweet newborn poses that you’ll see captured in their portfolio of newborn photography. Newborn photography sessions are offered in their Midtown Manhattan studio or in the comfort of your home. If you’d like to reserve your own newborn portrait session, please contact Sophie at their Midtown studio. They look forward to hearing from you, and capturing your family’s most special memories for many years to come!

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Redheads Casting Call
(child photography, child model photographer nyc and westchester)

At the end of another icy day in nyc, it’s nice to warm up
with the memories of sunshine, sand and giggles! Thanks again to Style me Jaime
for not only being a sensational stylist, but also allowing us to shoot her little beauty!!
She’s actually inspired our personal project for this year… REDHEADS.
Seeking redheads, ages 3-9, for concept shoots. If you have a child,
or know of someone who might be interested, please have them email
a few snapshots to Sophie at sophie@michaelkormos.com!

Child model photographer Michael Kormos captures genuine moments of the fleeting magic of childhood on the sandy beaches of Westchester

Michael Kormos a portrait photographer based in NYC & Westchester, specializing in maternity, newborn, baby and family photography. Working together with his wife, Michael has a fun and fresh approach to family photography. They offer sessions in their studio, in the comfort of clients homes, outdoors, and on-location for a truly custom experience. They have two beautiful children of their own who keep them very busy and constantly inspired! 🙂

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