Category Archives: portrait

Portrait Day

I spend most of my time behind the camera taking photojournalistic event images, but I really enjoy a good portrait session with one of my favorite subjects, my son Christopher. I am actually hoping to do more portrait work next year because I enjoy it so much. I get to use my studio lighting equipment and modifiers that I can’t always use when I am shooting a wedding cause I am moving around so much. I enjoy putting together a complex setup with soft boxes, umbrellas, gels, grids and snoots, but I appreciate when you can get awesome results from one key light, off-camera to blend with the ambient light which sings by itself.

We were supposed to have portrait day this past weekend for my son’s football team, but Mother Nature did not allow it. Another photog taking pictures of my son, he won’t allow it….he won’t smile right. So we decided to gear up and take some pictures right out in the backyard. I wanted to get some images for the family that will show his true personality (clown) and that he will enjoy. After snapping 25 images in different poses, with and without the helmet. Chris and I narrowed it down to 18 that we really likes (mostly cause he made silly faces), but he told me he wanted specific images for his bedroom wall and one that he wanted to put in his wallet. He doesn’t like the picture day portraits that we take with the rest of the team. We really just go for the team photo so he can always remember all his team mates.







Just go out and take some pictures.

– Mark

My Leather Craftsmen Album

I picked up my new leather craftsmen studio sample album a few weeks ago and I am very happy with it. It is a beautiful book. I went with a 12″x12″ size which opens to 12″x24″ panoramic when viewing it’s 62 pages. The book is so well crafted and you feel it when you pick it up and turn the page. I’m not sure of the actual weight, but it is very solid and the slipcase is a nice touch.

It is absolutely impossible to have samples for every available cover option that they offer, so I went with a classy personal favorite. I chose a cedar brown euro leather with an ivory euro leather vertical stripe where my studio name is inscribed into the ivory stripe. It’s freaking sweet! I do have swatch kits to show all available leather and fabric cover choices, but it does it almost no justice until you get to look and feel it.


They even stamp the box with my studio logo. Sweet!







My studio logo goes on the back cover of the book. Nice touch.



I am very happy with my new sample book from Leather Craftsmen and I am excited to show it to my clients. Only a few have actually seen it so far, but I already have a couple of orders sold.

Thanks LC.

– Mark Stumpf

Mark Stumpf Photography

Mitzvah in NYC on 9-10-2011 –

I was fortunate enough to be in NYC on Saturday, the night before the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years. As much as I hate to think about that day, NYC really did a nice job remembering everything and everyone.

I did a pre-shoot at the temple on Thursday, and then Saturday September 10, 2011, we were on the Skyline Princess cruise boat that departs from world’s fair marina for the reception. And what a reception it was…..the boat loops around downtown and the Statue of Liberty, then comes back for a 4 hour tour in NYC. Just enough time to get some partying in……and some pictures. It’s my fourth time on this boat and each time it has been so different.

Beautiful night, beautiful skyline, beautiful family. God Bless America!!!




















Too much partying….

Congratulations Jake, I know you had a great day!

– Mark

The Calm Before The Storm

One week before hurricane Irene almost completely evacuated Fire Island, I was shooting a wedding on beautiful Ocean Beach, Fire Island. There was rain in the forecast, but Mother Nature was understanding and it didn’t start to rain until I was well on my way back home. Coincidentally, this wedding was postponed from the previous weekend when we had the torrential rain storm that stopped the ferry service from going to Fire Island. Crazy weather.

Anyway, we were moving quickly in anticipation of bad weather and still got all the shots we wanted. It was a beautiful day and makes me wish I spent more time on Fire Island.
















Fire Island is a pretty awesome place to tie the knot. I love the beach….

Congratulations to Stephanie & Al!

Perfect way to say I Love You…….Again!

I recently photographed an event type for the first time, however I am very familiar with the setting. It was a beautiful wedding ceremony where the wedding vows were renewed to strengthen their marital bond. It was like a mini wedding, yet no different in structure and importance.


Congratulations Angie & Fernando!

Joanna & Xavier

I met them when they contacted me earlier this year regarding their upcoming wedding. A beautiful couple who love spending time and exercising together. They were on vacation somewhere far away and met another couple from long island that were vacationing on their honeymoon, who’s wedding I had just photographed. The two couples became friendly during their time away. Joanna & Xavier were recently engaged at the time and were in the beginning stages of the wedding planning. I learned when I first met Joanna that this couple I mentioned had spoke so highly of my work while they were away, she felt she had to contact me…..and they did.

We had an awesome engagement session only a week before the wedding and displayed a beautiful 24×30 framed collage at the wedding reception showcasing some of the pictures. They were married in Elmont and the reception was at the beautiful Swan Club in Roslyn.

I’m not too good with the words. Let’s get to some of the pictures……..













Congratulations Joanna & Xavier. I had an awesome time shooting your wedding. You have a beautiful family.

– Mark

Kimberly & Mark

Kimberly came to me over a year ago accompanied by her Mother and decided to book her future wedding with me. She was up from Texas where she lived at the time with her fiancé Mark, whom I had not met until a week before the wedding. They both moved to Maryland a month before their wedding date, as if the anticipation of the wedding was not stressful enough. It was because of that move closer to Long Island which is why I was able to meet Mark before the wedding date. This is important to me and the couple to know who they will be working with on this special day. With all that was going on with the two of them, I could not have met a more down to earth couple.

I was able to get some really nice preparation shots at Kimberly’s mother’s house where the bridal party was getting ready. Wedding party formals at Captree and Ceremony/Reception at Timber Point Country Club. It was hot, but at least it didn’t rain. Here are just a few of the highlights from this awesome day.



Congratulations Kimberly and Mark. It was an honor and a pleasure to document your special day.

– Mark

Wedding Memories

The wedding album is the icing on the cake. It’s the last time I touch the images from that shoot and move on to other shoots and projects. It’s the way it is. Which is why I prefer to design all albums myself instead of outsourcing to someone no matter how busy I am. They would probably do a good job, but do not know the images like I do. They don’t know why or how I took a particular image.

I’ve been the busiest I have ever been and I still manage to design all the albums for all my clients. This is another album I recently finished for a great couple.

Coming of Age

I covered my first Mitzvah reception about 5 years ago. Before then, I had never even been to a Mitzvah and didn’t really know much about it. I was just starting out as a photographer and needed to get some event experience to test my skills. So I contacted the brother of a friend who owns a DJ company and he agreed to let me work to get some experience for almost no pay. I really just wanted the experience, because I wasn’t a photographer…….yet. I began working for him as a zap shooter. Those are the people that work for the DJ company and take pictures to put them up on the projection screen or plasma while the reception is in progress. They are not usually photographers, but someone using the DJ’s camera equipment to take still pictures.

Well, I learned more that day than any other time in my career. Event photography is not just walking around with a camera on auto and composing shots. I learned how to push my camera to its limits given the low light situation of a quite large, yet almost pitch dark catering room. A lot of my pictures in the beginning were blurry as a result, but they did get better. If it were me, I would not have hired me to shoot another day unless I was working for free and there were a more experienced shooter present. Well, the DJ dude didn’t actually look at the pictures I took and gave me several more jobs. I have to say, although he did not pay attention to the quality of the product he was delivering to his clients, it gave me an opportunity to grow with this craft and I knew I needed to do this exponentially with each assignment. I was reading everything I could get my hands on that spoke about photography, but nothing ever proves your understanding of it until your doing it yourself.

I have had the pleasure of covering quite a few Mitzvah ceremony’s and receptions in my career. I cover as many mitzvah events as I do weddings each year, and from my approach, they are almost no different. In fact, covering the mitzvah assignments is how I gained the experience and confidence to start shooting weddings. I keep a very similar mind set when covering these events. There are plenty of family present, a beautiful and structured ceremony and reception, lots of portraits and plenty of tender moments to find and capture.

My clients have been very good to me as my business has grown by word of mouth. I am thankful for the opportunity that my friends brother has given me to get started and for my wonderful clients that I have grown to know over the years. Here are some pictures from a recent mitzvah. I had a blast covering it and I look forward to many more this year.