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A Conversation With :

Photographer Luciana Golcman

POSTED Sep 23, 2014

Baby Toys - Estella Soft Baby Rattles School Bus

After our photo shoot a few weeks ago for our new collection of baby toys, we had the chance to chat with our photographer, Luciana Golcman. Read more below on her background in photography, tips for shooting pictures of little ones, & favorite places in NYC to view art!

1. Tell us a little bit about your background & what drew you to family, children, & newborn photography.

I’ve always been the one with the camera in my hands. Not only on trips or events, but even when there were no digital cameras I was already making “film selfies” with my friends on our nights in! When a stranger would ask me to take their photo I’d put so much effort into framing it well, having the subject well lit, and so on. I guess it’s just something within me. As for why I chose to photograph what I do, I absolutely LOVE children and the innocence in their eyes. Grownups can be shallow, mean, fake, but kids just can’t! They are themselves 100% of the time. And that’s what I love about it. So I started with kids and from then I branched to newborns, because, come on. Who doesn’t love a baby? Then my clients ended up asking me to photograph the whole family and their bumps. So this way I ended up filling all those gaps in motherhood and photographing bumps to families.

Baby Toys - Estella Knit Rattles

2. Did you go to school for photography?

I actually went to school for “Social Communications,” which is just a fancy name for advertising. In Brazil it’s very different and you don’t have a major and a minor. You simply have a career – so mine was advertising. In school I had many photography classes but definitely not enough, so after I moved to NYC (about 8 years ago) I started taking classes at ICP (International Center of Photography). I never did a full term program but I’ve taken about a dozen Continuing Education Classes both as a student and as a Teaching Assistant. And I don’t plan to ever stop learning.

3. How would you describe your shooting style?

What I look for when I’m shooting is to reveal a person’s soul through an image. I don’t like posing it’s fake. I love natural. When I have a session with kids, for example, I have them have a fun playdate with me and their family, and I stay “backstage” waiting for the wow moments. And as we’ve all heard before, “The eyes are the windows to the soul, ” so I’m insanely intrigued with the eye and how they sparkle when we’re happy. Or how it shines when it’s teary. It’s all connected.

Baby Toys - Estella Knit Airplane Baby Rattle

4. ISO, shutter speed, aperture – help! How can a beginner get the most out of a point-and-shoot or DRSL camera?

ISO, shutter speed and aperture are the exposure triangle. When you change one you have to compensate with the other(s). It’s like a seesaw. If the one side is heavier than the other, it’s going to tilt. So all you have to do is balance it out.

My advice for those wanting to learn how to shoot manually is to try to understand one by one first. Start with the “aperture priority” mode. See what happens when you drastically change the aperture. Then move to the shutter priority mode. And finally join them together to add the ISO factor.

Soft Knit Baby Rattles - School Bus Rattle

5. Are there optimal places or times of day to shoot? Any tips on how to get the best lighting?

All photographers talk about the “golden hour,” which is that short time right before sunset or right after sunrise. At this time the light is much softer and the shadows are not as hard. So it definitely looks much more flattering on your subject. Midday light is the harshest one, but there are always ways to work around it. After all, the best time to shoot is always NOW.

6. What are your top three tips for taking pictures of babies & young toddlers?

Patience, patience, patience. LOL.

Baby Clothes Estella NYC

7. Any particularly memorable moments or laugh-out-loud stories from your shoots with little ones?

Every shoot is has a memorable moment. I laugh so much every time. I’m not sure who is having more fun: the kids or myself!

8. When it comes to kids, attention spans can wane quickly – do you have a tips for keeping them engaged or tricks to get real smiles out of them when they’re not in the mood?

When they are really not feeling it, the worst thing you can do is force them. They are supposed to have fun, not be a perfect professional model. That’s why I always ask the parents to pack water, juices, snacks, and toys. If they are not feeling it we have a break, play, rest, and wait for them to feel better. The one thing that never fails, though, are bubbles. They just love them!

Baby Toys - Knit Rattles Estella NYC

9. You live in New York – do you have any favorite spots to take pictures?

My “public” studio, definitely (and by that I mean Central Park). It’s amazing how many different backgrounds you can get in Central Park! And because I usually blur the background to focus on the eyes, all I look for are backlit trees or anything else that would look beautiful blurred.

10. How about favorite places to view art in the city?

That’s a very difficult question. NYC is a Mecca of art. I love visiting the small galleries in Chelsea and Soho. And I’m extremely bummed that “Yellow Korner” (a great affordable photography shop) closed last year. New Yorkers deserve more places like Yellow Korner!

Baby Toys - Knit Baby Rattles School Bus Ambulence

11. Your talent speaks for itself through your photos. Is there anything you don’t do well that you wish you could?

Thank you very much :) We are always our worse critics. Every day I think to myself “I don’t do anything well! I still have so much to learn!” But if I should pick one thing I would say I can always learn more about light. Photography is all about painting with light, and the more you learn the more you see that it can change the way you look at the world.

Baby Toys - Car Rattle Estella

Thanks, Luciana!

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Just In :

NUNUNU Fall 2014!

POSTED Sep 22, 2014

Girls' Dresses - NUNUNU AW14NUNUNU AW14 - Toddler Boys TopsNUNUNU FW14 - Hoodie Sweatshirt Geometric PrintNUNUNU AW14 - Girls' Leggings SkirtNUNUNU Fall 2014 - Denim Baggy PantsNUNUNU FW14 - Denim Toddler Baggy PantsNUNUNU FW14/15 - Baggy Pants StarsNUNUNU Fall 2014 - Army Jacket

The NUNUNU FW14 collection is now available to order at Estella – and this year we are offering some styles in sizes up to 9 years! The Israeli baby and children’s boutique brand is celebrating its 5th birthday this season, and is doing so with the same attitude & humor we all know and love. While old favorites, like the bold star and skull graphics, are still included in the collection, the designer brand has also introduced new prints and materials for fall 2014. Geometric prints cover girls’ dresses and toddler sweatshirts, a pullover top is created entirely out of metallic fabric, and tulle &  faux-leather details add the perfect amount of style and urban flair.

There are also new styles we are excited about, like the girl’s leggings with a skirt overlay and baby & toddler harem pants. As always, the designer baby and toddler clothes are practical, versatile, and highly-wearable – while some pieces (see: hoodie sweatshirts and toddler crewneck tops) are perfect for days at school, afternoon activities, or just lounging at home, other items (like this girl’s dress) offer the perfect alternative to stuffy, often-uncomfortable formal wear. Edgy & fashionable yet still functional & kid-friendly, NUNUNU successfully combines style and personality to create clothes that babies, children, and parents will all approve of this fall. Happy shopping!

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Happy Weekend :

Estella’s Weekly Roundup

POSTED Sep 19, 2014

Toddler Girls Clothes - Fall 2014

NUNUNU PSA! The fall/winter 2014 collection launches at Estella September 22nd at midnight (aka late Sunday night). We will be offering some items up to size 9 years! In the meantime, you can check out a preview of some of the pieces we will be offering, here. Have a great fall weekend, and we’ll see you back here next week!

Why tech CEO’s limit their kids’ screentime.

This Winter Water Factory x Hazel Village collaboration is so cute!

50 fun activities to do with your family in NYC this fall.

Fall = pumpkin season. Recipes for all meals & occasions.

A beautiful neutral, space-themed nursery.

10 great gifts for new moms.

New Jellycat stuffed animals are here!

How cool are these inkblot pillows + prints?

Pretty cream & navy fall pieces from Velveteen.

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Estella Picks :

Girls’ Dresses for Fall

POSTED Sep 16, 2014

Bobo Choses AW14 Girls' Dresses - Leopard PrintBobo Choses AW14 Girls Dresses - Superpeanut PrintBobo Choses AW 14 Girls Dress - Birds PrintBobo Choses AW14 Girls' Dresses - Laureus Print

Looking for girls’ dresses this fall that are weather appropriate, versatile, and imaginative? Then be sure to check out these fun options from Spanish baby and children’s designer brand Bobo Choses. Each dress features cozy long sleeves, cinching at the waist, and whimsical designs that make them imaginative and fashion-forward. The superpeanuts & laureus dresses are made from a comfy fleece and the double buttons on the shoulder add a cute touch, while the birds & leopard print options are made from a cotton twill that’s durable and practical. They’re as perfect for a day at school as they are more formal occasions, and the fact that they are all machine-washable means they’re easy to care for and can be worn over and over again. And, as the weather cools down, your daughter can even pair these dresses with a pair of faux leather girls’ leggings or these shiny toddler leggings for a look that is equal parts stylish and warm!

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Preview :

NUNUNU FW14/15, Part 2

POSTED Sep 15, 2014

NUNUNU AW14 - Hoodie Sweatshirtgirls-dresses-nununu-fw14-15-a-line-dress-starsNUNUNU FW14/15 - Crewneck T-ShirtGirls Dresses - NUNUNU FW14/15 Star DressNUNUNU FW14 - Girls Leggings

Here are a few more preview images from the NUNUNU FW14 collection! The Israeli baby & toddler clothing brand’s designers, Iris Adler and Tali Milchberg continues to bring attitude and humor to baby & kids’ fashion this fall & winter with bold black & white graphics, wearable girls’ dresses, and practical baby one-pieces. If your looking for high quality basics with edgy graphics and contemporary styles, NUNUNU is one to keep on your radar. The countdown is on…

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