This cover of Dan’s Papers North Fork is a charming family photo taken by Ewa Skapski at Santa’s Christmas Tree Farm in Cutchogue. Skapski — a Long Island photographer based in Riverhead and specializing in maternity, baby and family photography — discusses the festive cover, her process and inspirations.
A Chat with Photographer Ewa Skapski
What’s the story behind this week’s festive cover photo?
The Christmas season is full of iconic images with Santa, Christmas trees, lights — these are just a few to name. When Stacey Soloviev brought the red truck to her Santa’s Christmas Tree Farm a few years ago, we began collaboration in taking photos, which is now our yearly tradition.
This year is no different. Together with our wonderful Santa we created this image (Forgot to mention: The girls in the photo are Stacey’s daughters). It is no doubt an iconic Christmas image, it creates a nostalgic feeling and also excitement for the coming holiday season.
The families visiting the farm can take free photos with both Santa and the truck. For some, it is also already a yearly tradition, and I couldn’t be happier to know I took a small part in helping to create the memories for them.
What does your typical process of planning, taking and editing a photo look like?
Typical process involves planning the time — my favorite is late afternoon or right before sunset. The choice of lenses is important also, and finally shooting in the manual mode. This gives me the total control over the final outcome. Editing take place in Photoshop where I can apply the artistic touches to the final image.
What’s something you’ve learned during your career as a local family photographer?
I have learned to read the radar when planning my sessions (haha literally) — very useful in this profession, especially with the unpredictable Long Island weather.
What photo subjects inspire you most as a photographer?
Many things inspire me. It could be the warm light falling on the subject, sunset light or simply the look in someone’s eyes. I love photographing people, not poses. There is no simple answer to this question.
What accomplishment as a photographer are you most proud of?
It’s very simple — my returning clients. There is no bigger complement to a photographer to know someone loved the photos I captured for them and decided to come back to work with me again.
What do you find most fulfilling or exciting about being a photographer?
To me, it’s the ability to freeze the moment and also to share my perspective and vision. Discovering new places and meeting new people. Also, the photography community on Long Island is fantastic, and I’ve gotten to meet some awesome, very talented photographers.
Would you like to share any closing thoughts or additional information?
I would like to share this quote: “A portrait is not made in the camera, but on either side of it,” by Edward Steichen and I absolutely believe it. Thank you.
To see more of Ewa Skapski’s photography, inquire about photo sessions and learn about current specials, visit ewaskapskiphotography.com.