Posts tagged "Hand-Knit Toys"

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 :

Estella Superhero Dolls, Part 2

POSTED Aug 4, 2014

girls-boys-toys-estella-flash-dollBoys Toys Estella Knit Flash Dollgirls-boys-toys-estella-seymour-dollgirls-toys-estella-trixie-red-dolls

Here are some more pictures from the photo shoot we did last month for our hand-knit superhero dolls (you can see part 1 here)! Pictured here are Red, Trixie, Flash, & Seymour. Made by hand in Peru by local artists, these soft, 100% cotton dolls are bursting with character. They don’t fit the typical mold for ‘perfection,’ but celebrate their unique quirks & personality traits that kids everywhere can certainly relate to. They are meant to encourage being comfortable in your own skin and loving what makes you different. A wonderful alternative to the mass produced dolls out there, these knit dolls are also great option for those in the market for designer baby gifts.

P.S. See part 1 here, which includes bios on each of the soft dolls.

Stylist: Alex Evjen
Photographer: Kym Ventola

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Just In :

Estella Superhero Dolls

POSTED Jul 14, 2014

Boys Toys Estella Seymour DollGirls Toys Dolls Estella Knit Red DollBoys Toys Estella Flash DollGirls Toys Dolls Estella Kat Doll

A few weeks ago, we had a photo shoot for our new collection of superhero knit dolls! How great do Seymour, Red, and Kat look playing with Seth, Madeleine, and Claire? And then there’s Flash, getting into trouble in the trees…

A little bit more about the dolls, if you’re curious: Hand-knit in Peru by local artisans, these characters were created to inspire self-expression, acceptance, and love. These toys for girls & boys are full of personality and, most importantly, possess various traits that most toys do not usually celebrate but kids everywhere can identify with and relate to. They don’t fit the typical mold for ‘perfection’ but have so much spirit and joy that they are superstars on their own. Plus, they are a wonderful option for those in the market for unique designer baby gifts!

Seymour - Seymour isn’t the strongest guy on the block, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to save the day. Well-meaning and brave, though sometimes a bit clumsy, this selfless superhero loves adventure, dares to go where no one else will, and is ready to help others out at a moment’s notice.

Red - Don’t be fooled by Red’s sweet & defenseless appearance. A modern-day Little Red Riding Hood, she is tough, street-smart, and no pushover. She may be delivering goodies to granny but she certainly won’t fall for anyone’s tricks. Steer clear, Mr. Fox!

Kat - Kat loves sports and is ready for any game – the rougher the better. This athletic girl (she hates the word “tomboy”) is super talented and tends to disappoint the boys when she beats them. She proudly wears her thick black glasses, tube socks, and favorite purple number 22 jersey. Kat’s got game is ready to play.

Flash - Blessed with quick feet and a zest for life, Flash is still recovering from a small speeding accident and wears an eye patch on the advice of his doctors. What he lacks in vision though, he makes up for in spirit – he loves adventure and seeks out any opportunity to zip like the hero that he is.

Trixie (not pictured) - Trixie is a feisty trailblazer with confidence to spare. She wears a mask to add a touch of mystique to her image, sports high uneven socks – she likes them this way and doesn’t care what others say – and accentuates her asymmetrical ears with a pink bow.

Stay tuned for more pictures, coming soon!

Stylist: Alex Evjen
Photographer: Kym Ventola

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Hand-Knit Baby Rattles

POSTED Dec 7, 2011


Hand-Knit Baby Rattles, Best Holiday Gifts For Baby.  Estella hand-knit baby rattles are back, just in time for the holidays.  Our most popular baby rattles are back in stock, the metro-card rattle – an apsolute necessity for any City baby, and the purse rattle, where would she put her metro-card if she didn’t have the purse.  And of course, we have the taxi, the football, the firetruck and the baseball. A darling of the press, these hand-knit rattles are unique and bursting with character. Click here to see more

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Baby Gifts :

Hand-knit Baby Rattles

POSTED Nov 17, 2011

Popular every holiday season, Estella hand knit baby rattles are fun for baby & adult. Hand-crafted in Peru, baby and adult can safely enjoy baby’s first baseball, football and taxi. Click here to see more

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