Live Love Laugh | Photos by Lena » Ridgewood award-winning photographer; top 10 NYC Family photographer

I could not wait to see the results of Live Love Laugh Photos Best of 2016 contest and find out who the big winners were.  So without further ado, here are the winners!

1. The grand prize winner (with 79 votes) is ‘Pretty in Pink’!  This family will receive a beautiful 16×24 gallery wrapped canvas of this stunnning image!

2. The Second Prize winner (with 67 votes) is ‘Wishing Upon a Star!    This family will receive $250 gift certificate towards a 2017 Signature or a Simplicity session!

3. And the winners of a Free studio mini sessions are:  Juliana Napalit and Christina ( .  Ladies please contact me ASAP at to schedule your session.

There can only be one Grand Prize winner but I love all images that made it to the final round and want everybody to be able to display them in their homes. So all finalists in my Best of 20164 contest will receive a 30% discount on a 16×24 gallery wrapped canvas of their ‘finalist’!  Contact me by Feb 28 if you are interested in purchasing it.

Being a Bergen County photographer for many years now I get to see a lot of children and families year after year for their sessions.   I love watching kids grow and documenting that in images – seeing images taken through the years is almost magical to me – you can see how quickly the kids change!

I’ve been photographing these adorable duo since before they were born (i.e. their Mom’s maternity session!) and then every year after that.  And I love seeing them change from babies to toddlers to beautiful ‘big’ kids!   Last three years we’ve done these sessions at my Ridgewood photo studio – its amazing how much they’ve grown in just three years!

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I always recommend my clients to accessorize for their photoshoot – so I was very happy to find out that little A. was paying attention and came prepared with her favorite jewelry:)

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A lot of times when people think of studio photography they imagine traditional and very posed images.  Who says that studio family sessions need to be posed and boring?  I think these two are having a blast, don’t you?:)

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An image of a Mother and her kids are always very special to me and I just love this one:

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There was lots of hugs and laugher and tickles and tender moments and I think all of that translated into great family photos!

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I asked these guys when was the last time they had their pictures taken as a couple – without the kids in the pictures.  And like with so many others, their answer was ‘our wedding day’.  Being a family photographer I absolutely love family pictures but I always do my best to capture images of just Mom and Dad.  I love the way this one turned out!

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So see – family sessions at my Ridgewood photography studio are fun for kids and adults alike!  So while it is cold and grey out come to the studio for your family pictures!

  • Elayne - Oh, Lena, these are absolutely precious and so meaningful to us!!! The comparisons of the kids the last 3 years is totally priceless and it’s amazing to see how much they have really grown up. We don’t even notice subtle changes since we see them every day but they really are changing each year. You are, as always, a joy to visit in your studio and I don’t know how you do it but you really capture everyone’s personalities in your photos. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Can I thank you again? THANK YOU to the Amazing Lena!!

It is time for one of my favorite business traditions –  Live Love Laugh Photo’s annual “Best of the Year” Contest!  I’ve been holding this contest for EIGHT years;  I love being able to give back to my clients through this contest, and each year they tell me how much they appreciate me conducting it!

I took thousands pictures last year and had to enlist my trusty friends in the photography business to help me narrow down images to the top 30.   Now it is up to you to decide which image gets the title of the Image of the Year at Live Love Laugh Photos – and the grand prize that goes along with it:)


1) The image with the most votes wins.  To vote, cast your vote using the poll below (scroll all the way down to the end of the post, past images) and ‘like’ your favorite image in the ‘Best of 2016′ album on Facebook and on Instagram. The winner (an image with the most combined votes) will receive a 16×24 gallery wrapped canvas (valued at $500) of the winning image.

2) The Runner up will receive a $250 gift certificate to be used towards a Simplicity or a Signature session in 2017.

3) TWO random voters will receive a FREE kids winter studio mini session valued at $300!   It can be YOU!  See below on how to enter in a drawing for a mini session.


There are THREE ways to win a mini session.  In order to increase your chances of winning you should do all of the following:

  • Leave a comment on the blog describing why YOU want to win a mini session – scroll below the images to do that.
  • Share the ‘Best of 2016‘ album on Facebook – here is a link to it.  To do so just click on the ‘Share’ link to share it on your wall. You can write a nice comment as well:)  Just make sure you let me know that you shared the album – otherwise I won’t know that you did and you won’t be able to participate in the drawing.
  • Follow Live Love Laugh Photos on Instagram.

I will randomly select two lucky voters from across all three platforms and these guys will receive mini sessions!


Everyone is a winner because if you book a new Simplicity or Signature Session while the contest is running (by February 13) you will receive a free gift valued at $150 with your order!  So if you are thinking about having a session with Live Love Laugh Photos anytime in 2017, NOW is a great time to book.  Keep in mind you can hold your session anytime in 2017.

Please note:

  • Voting will run till the end of day on Saturday, February 13.
  • I will announce the winners on the blog on Sunday, February 14.
  • Please keep things fair and vote only for one image – IP addresses will be monitored.
  • I reserve the right to disqualify entries or terminate/modify contest if necessary.
  • This content is not sponsored by Facebook.

And now without further ado, I present to you my favorite images of 2016!   Check out the finalists, cast your vote (using radio buttons below all images, FB and Instagram) and leave a comment below for the free session drawing.

Image 1: A Hug for Mommy

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Image 2: Beautiful SmileBest of 2016 Image002_WEB Image 3: Double Trouble Double Joy

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Image 4: DuckiesBest of 2016 Image004_WEB

Image 5: Fall Family Portrait

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Image 6: Good Times

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Image 7: Movie Star

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Image 8: Boys and Their Dog

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Image 9: Family Portrait

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Image 10: Tickles With Mommy

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Image 11: All Grown Up

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Image 12: What Are YOU Reading?

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Image 13: Being Silly

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Image 14: He Is SO Loved!

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Image 15: Stella

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Image 16: Through The Leaves

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Image 17: At The Farm

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Image 18: Have A Cookie

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Image 19: Mr Blue Eyes

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Image 20: Hug

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Image 21: Chatting With Daddy

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Image 22: Santa Baby

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Image 23: Hollywood Glamour

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Image 24: Wishing Upon A Star

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Image 25: I Love You THIS Much!

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Image 26: Summer Fun

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Image 28: Growing Up

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Image 29: Sisters

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  • aerin taubin - love this shot, you’re the best!

  • George Anthony siller - Pretty in Pink # 30 is beyond cute.. love that smile..!!

  • Gene - Great Photo

  • Christina - Love pic number 21 of my friends! You do a beautiful job! How nice it would be to win the mini session. 🙂

  • Genevieve - Lovely photos! Hoping to win a free mini session with you!

  • Lotraine - All beautiful photos. Hard to pick one among all these beauties.

  • Mony - Beautiful pics!!

  • Vincent archer - Beautiful photo

  • Juliana Napalit - I would love to win a mini photo session!! My three beautiful girls are 6, 3 and 2 and my youngest is almost not a baby anymore!! I have three gorgeous matching dresses for them and it won’t be long before I can no longer get them to all wear the same thing! I would love to have them photographed one more time at this innocent, little age!! I’ve tried taking my own photos of them but they’ve come out so poorly. Your work is amazing!! Thank you for your time.

  • Karla - Love pretty in pink!!❤????

  • Adriana De Cesare - Gorgeous in pink! 🙂 Good luck little princess!

  • Alla Train - pick me

  • Elizabeth Bram - Love the anti-bullying message!

  • Val Saalbach - Stunning!

  • Barbara - Beautiful In Pink!

  • Laura Goebel - You’re such a Daddy-O, Colin!

  • Patti M Blasini - The most precious!

  • Robin - Lovely!

  • Dharmangi - She looks amazing!!!! MOVIE STAR all the way

  • Jodi - Love the movie star pic. She is adorable

  • Cathi S - Rising Star!!

  • Caroline - love our silly pic!

  • Katie Kashmanian - Love it!!

  • Janet payot - I love the natural images that Lena captures. The children look they are having a great time. What a memory to have in years to come.

  • Matt Debes - What a great picture!

  • sue zimmer - cute!

  • Allison - My beautiful daughter, son in law and grand daughters. Perfection!

  • Liz coughlin - #24 sweet Grace!

  • Elvira pinkhas - Would love a mini session for my family because it’s a busy life and kids grow so fast

  • Laura - Beautiful

  • Veronica Siller - Love my Pretty in Pink baby…the youngest of my 3 girls! You captured pure happiness in this picture! Her eyes just pop and I can’t take her cute blond curls! THANK YOU!!! xo

  • Emily Pancer - It’s so hard to choose just 1 of Lena’s photos! There are so many I love! Ultimately, since I know Dani and that was definitely one of my faves, I went with that one. Can’t wait to see which one wins!

I am a huge believer in continuing education and in investing in myself; so  every year or two I take a workshop – to learn and get better and to recharge my creative batteries.  I’ve been a member of NAPCP for years and have heard great things about their retreat but somehow never made it to one.. till now, that is.  My good friend Jaye from Life in Your Years used her powers of persuasion to convince me to go (having a Dessert/Champaign reception on the schedule was the final deciding factor in the decision making process) and once I was able to figure out who will take care of my children (human and canine!) the rest was easy!

The retreat was beyond amazing!  Seriously the guys from NAPCP thought of everything – from a stunning location (a Kimpton hotel in the heart of Santa Barbara) to amazing food (I think I gained 5 lbs in 4 days there!) to lots of personal touches (think wine bottles with personalized glasses and midnight snack goodie bags) to amazing swag – this retreat had it all!  I would’ve been happy with that but that was not even the best part – the speakers at the retreat were beyond amazing!  I’ve learnt so much and came back with lots of notes and ideas on how to make Live Love Laugh Photos the best photography studio in Bergen County!  And if that was not enough – I LOVED meeting super talented photographers from all over the country!  It was so wonderful to put names with faces, talk shop, share ideas and just hang out!

I did not take lots of pictures (was busy learning sunrise to sundown!) but we did go on a sunrise walk one morning and I sure was happy to have my camera with me – this place is stunning!  I’ve only been to California twice before this trip but now it is definitely on my list of places to go back to with Victor!

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At 8 weeks at the time of his photoshoot E. was, what photographers consider, an ‘older’ newborn’.  A lot of newborn photographers would tell you that the best time for a newborn session is as close to the birth as possibly – usually within first 10 days.  And I do tell this to my clients as well – when they want to get typical posed newborn images.  And while I love squishy sleepy newborns, as a photographer who is known for her lifestyle family work, I have to say that I love lifestyle family sessions with older newborns.  When babies are between 6 and 10 weeks they are beginning to loose their ‘newborn’ look but instead they are a lot more aware, awake and their personality definitely shows.   Having a session a few weeks after the birth also gives new parents some time to get used to having a baby (and not sleeping at night!) and time for Moms to recover.

From the moment I walked into their Wyckoff home for an at-home newborn photo session I could feel how special these guys were.  From little personal touches everywhere in their home to the way they looked at their beautiful baby boy – you could almost feel love in the air!   It was grey and rainy outside that day but inside their home it was warm, loving and cozy.  I loved baby E. Disney inspired nursery with adorable prints, lots of special toys and a hand made sign post.

In the pre-session questionnaire this Mom told me that E.’s Dad could make me smile and he did just that – it was so special to see their bond and E.s dimply gummy smile!  This guy was just 2 months old but he had his parents and grandparents wrapped around his perfect little fingers!  I loved creating first family portraits for this family of three and capturing baby E. with his adoring grandparents.  And I cannot wait to photograph them again in the future!


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