Woohoo! June marks the one year anniversary of our conversion to digital technology from our beloved film. Like I have previously said, this is something that I thought our little company would never do. I have also said that I would never turn my back on a superior technology. I just never thought that digital would ever surpass good old film. That is where I was wrong! Oh, so wrong…….

Digital has allowed us to make our images into fabulous new large sizes. With 35 mm film, we maxed out for quality reasons at 16 x 20, and that was pushing it. Now we are making the most glorious 20 x 30’s and 40 x 60’s, and all with cameras no heavier or more complicated than our old 35 mm film cameras. You just cannot imagine the beauty of the prints we are now able to make!

photo-109_sizedOur lab master & head digital artist preparing a custom canvas for stretching.

We are now making more beautiful coffee table art books than ever before. Because we no longer have to scan film to make the books, the images are “first generation” and flawless. We are also able to provide a custom photo app for smartphones containing every single image ordered by every client. This would have been impossibly expensive if we were still shooting film, again due to scanning issues.

Most retouching is now a breeze and something we do not have to charge extra for! Retouching used be done painstakingly by hand and was very expensive for our customers.

Really though, the very best things about going digital have been:

We did not use 10,000 rolls of film last year! That means we did not use 10,000 metal casings, 10,000 chemical laden plastic strips or 10,000 plastic containers and boxes for the containers!

We did not use the usual BUCKET LOAD of chemicals (film developer, stop bath and fixer) that we needed a toxic waste company to dispose of properly. We did not use the tons of clean water needed to wash the film after processing.

We did not use the 10,000 plastic sleeves or the 1,000 film storage boxes.

We did not make 10,000 contact prints from the negatives.

We cut in half the number of proof prints we printed from 500,000 to about 250,000, because we are now able to see and choose which images are printed before printing.

We did not use 30,000 sheets of wood based fiber paper to make our custom prints and all the chemicals necessary to make those prints. Instead we made 30,000 prints out of the part of the cotton plant that would otherwise be thrown away. No trees were consumed in making our prints this year and the prints are still 100% archival, warm and exhibit a beautiful tonal range.

We are so excited about our digital conversion and are thrilled that our customers see it exactly like we do. We have IMPROVED the quality and range of the products we offer and have done all of this while radically decreasing the environmental footprint of our business. This is a big win for us, our customers and the planet!

– Julie

studio-4-2[1]Finished custom canvases (sized 40×60!) hanging in one of our newly renovated studios.

  1. Mandi: Wow! These are really big and are looking really great! (07/17/14, 3:18 am)

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Dads are too often the man behind the curtain. He is the secret keeper of cool and the humble rock star that prefers to sit backstage. Without protest, Dad turns dust into gold and broken things into fixed things. He teaches his children by example. Fatherhood turns a rather ordinary man into so, so much more. We think fatherhood gives a man a certain zest for life. It softens him and opens his heart to the world. Being a Dad turns him into a SUPERHERO, a STORYTELLER, ADVENTURER and SINGER of SONGS.

Inspired by our own Dads and our life experiences with them, we wanted show just how special Dads truly are. They’re gentle, kind jungle gyms… tender hands to protect their newborns; they are grandfathers telling stories of a world gone by. They are a little girl’s knight in shining armor. They are funny tickle monsters… and, simply, men full of love for their children & family. Make no mistake, Dad, we like your style!

We want to capture this. Now through Father’s Day, we are offering  special mini photo sessions for Dad & his kids. After all, with everything he does, he shouldn’t be behind the curtain but in front of the camera.

-Tera

We created this very special movie dedicated to some of our favorite images of dad & his kids.  Enjoy!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

BLOG_BOARDS_SIMPLE_10_web 1. Jessica and her Dad on one of their many adventures together…exploring the wild west! Her Dad always taught her to seek out the adventure in everyday life and  that things are not always what they seem. A little beauty and love is everywhere if you just take the time to look. 2. Julie and her Dad 25 years ago. “I’ve been married to a beautiful saint for 50 years, have 6 successful kids (not a jail bird in the bunch!) and have had all I ever needed.”  His reason for not being sad or afraid when he found out Lou Gehrig’s disease would take him at 72. 3. In Ashley’s words, “here’s a photo of me and my ultimate hero.”4.  In Sarah’s words, ” My dad is my champion! Our hero who taught his boys how to be men and his little girls what to look for in a man. We always had him to turn to for advice, hugs, tickle fights or just an ear to hear about our day.  His family is the most important thing to him  and we all knew that growing up. Thank you, Dad, for all that you do! “5.  Jamie asked, “Like this, Dad?” He replied, “That’s perfect, Jamie!” She always wanted to be his mini-me. Still does!6. Lindsay’s Dad taught her to understand that love makes your life special… In his words, ” If you love what you do—it’s not a job, it’s something that gets you out of bed in the morning.  If you love your soulmate—you’ll always have a partner that can help you and make you laugh. If you are surrounded by love—even the toughest days will end in happiness.”

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Wow, what a big week I had last week!  I am still recovering!  I spent the week in Manhattan renovating the Upper East Side Studio.  We basically gutted the place.  I have to admit, it was an absolute blast and so oddly cleansing.  Our neighbors on the street kept telling me I was crazy for renovating.  They thought the studio was lovely, but it just looked worn and so “yesterday” to me.  It looked cluttered and needed a fresh new look. We painted, tiled the floor and put in new carpeting in the camera room.  We got rid of all stand-alone shelves and put absolutely everything up on metal rails on the walls in our new design room. We covered our frame sample wall in gorgeous belgian linen drapery to further reduce the cluttered look.

CK went green last year in going from film photography to digital. In doing so, we were able to cut our environmental footprint in half!  So for our new furniture, we wanted to choose environmentally responsible furnishings. Our new desk, credenza and 8 foot long communal design table are all made from salvaged wood.  The rugs and draperies are made from natural fibers and all of the metal pieces are made from salvaged metals.  Distressed and salvaged goes well with kids!

New in this studio is our emphasis on very large canvas art in gorgeous simple and modern framing.  When you see the artwork in person you will see the truth in our motto “Your Kids are Art.”  Children are one of the planet’s most spectacularly beautiful things and they are a natural for featuring in signature artwork for your home. We still also love multiple photo sets and those remain featured on the rails in the design room.  It is amazing how a small wall with a very large print on it can be absolutely stunning!  I tend to like my art either really big or really small. Next up?  Our Greenwich studio starts renovations in 10 days!  Woo hoo!

-Julie

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Here is our redone design room.  This 8 foot long counter height table is a dream!  It comfortably seats 10! Everything we need for our design work is within a step or two from the table….including a great glass of pinot grigio or a cup of steaming Nespresso!

 

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This gorgeous 8 foot long credenza made of salvaged wood has sooooo many wonderful drawers, perfect for all of our price lists, brochures, etc.  The industrial towers are reclaimed metal and wood. See the large Great Dane?  His name is Sir Lexington.  Kids are loving him!  We’ll see how long he stays white!  The newborn portrait is one of Lindsay’s favorites and is 40 x 60!

 

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This is our little reception table with tufted armchairs in natural belgian linen. Portrait is 40 x 60 and one of our favorites!

 

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This is what you will see when walking in!  No computers, no phones, no cables or wires, just a gorgeous open space with cool art.  We hope our clients will feel so wonderful in our new space they won’t want to leave!  I know I didn’t.  When it was time to return to Chicago, I felt like I had a really long labor and gave birth to a beautiful baby and then had to leave it behind in NYC!.  Let me know how you like it!

 

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Keep It Classic

April 10, 2014

classic (`klaesik)–adj.

“…of the highest class, especially in art or literature,…adhering to an established set of rules or principles in the arts….characterized by simplicity, balance, regularity, and purity or form…of lasting interest or significance….continuously in fashion because of its simple and basic style…”  -World English Dictionary

 

Whew! The last 12 months have brought lots of change to our little company! In May of last year, we converted to digital after swearing for at least 18 years that we would never do it! What happened? Technology kept progressing to the point that digital’s benefits could no longer be ignored. The quality of the digital printing processes and papers began exceeding what we could do with film and film printing. We can now do larger prints in higher quality. We can more easily make books and greeting cards with our images. And, best of all, we reduced our environmental footprint by 50%.

Although we have changed our processes, we haven’t changed much about our look and style in 20 years. In the early ‘90’s, I was a newbie family photographer with a vision to produce photographs which would stand the test of time. I named my company “Classic Kids” because I wanted our photographs to be classic, “characterized by simplicity and continuously in fashion because of their simple and basic style.” You won’t see many props or fabricated fantasies in our work, just simple, beautiful photos in which the beauty, sweetness and energy of our young subjects shines alone.

Digital technology has produced a bazillion new techniques for altering photographs. You see it everywhere, especially with color….the super saturated, the vintaged, the hazy, the metallic, the digitally implanted clouds and sky. All those Instagram filters come to mind. Any photograph can now be jazzed up with a snowstorm, sunrays and sorbet skies. And some of it is beautiful and intriguing and we confess to indulging in that from time to time. Whether any of it will stand the test of time, though, is doubtful. Trends come on strong, and tend to go out with a thud.

With the launch of our new web site and this blog, I have done a lot of reflecting on how we have been so lucky to have survived in this wonderful business for 20 years.

I think it is because we have truly lived up to our name.

-Julie

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This photo was taken approximately 20 years ago. Pure, timeless beauty.  Raw natural light, 3200 speed film.

 

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Bare skin is timeless. It has been & always will be beautiful on a child. Another 20 year old gem that looks like it could have been photographed yesterday. 

 

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These two must be in college now.

 

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The artwork on the left and right is 19 years old. The center piece was added just a few years ago. Looks like they were shot together!  

 

  1. Christine Janssen: I am so impressed. The service and products Classic Kids provides are above and beyond. The photos and portraits are incredible, the quality is second to none, the attention to detail puts a smile on your face, and the service was so personable. Love this place. Will definitely send more business their way. (05/30/14, 3:41 pm)

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