In April of 2016, I purchased my first dSLR and dove head-first into family and children portraiture. Aside from me just loving kids, after years of watching my mom and cousin run photography businesses, I instinctively knew I had to see if it was for me.

My Passion for Storytelling

While there were a few¬†bumps along the way in that first year of business, including learning how to truly master my camera, how to photograph¬†portraits and working with light (so important!), I discovered my greatest passion that year: storytelling. As an actress growing up and working in the New York City theater scene, I always loved storytelling. But getting behind the camera and documenting stories took my love for the art form to a whole other level. I was in the director’s chair. I was observing moments of joyful human connection, documenting it with a click of a shutter, painting it behind the scenes, and then gifting priceless heirlooms to families that would love them forever. I felt purpose. I felt true fulfillment. I was coming from a place of service. To this day, that feeling intensifies every year.

Looking Back

It’s been 2-and-a-half years with my camera, and becoming a photographer has taught me more about light, depth, contrast, shadows, color and human connection than any other job. I’ve learned more about storytelling in that first year in New York. I learned about community, about sharing joy with others, about the art of service.

I would not be here photographing families across the globe as a traveling destination family photographer if it weren’t for that first year in New York City. This post is dedicated to them – to the HWP families of 2016 and 2017 that gifted me more than I ever could them. Thank you to the families who took a chance on me that first year in business. Thank you for allowing me to work my dream job, gifting me the precious gift of purpose and fulfillment, passion and meaning. Thank you. I’m excited to come visit New York again in the future and document so many more stories – especially as all these kiddos grow up!

In honor of Small Business Saturday, my time in New York, and just feeling super mushy over all the love I’ve been fortunate to document, here are a few of my favorite images of those family sessions in New York.

Check back here on the blog for my Children of New York favorites!

Families of New York

Families of New York | Favorites from an NYC Family Photographer

November 27, 2018


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I'm Helena! As a creative storyteller, I document magical moments through my lens and my pen. A lover of childhood, fairytales and natural light, I'm inspired to share the light around me. I'm the ultimate Disney nerd, and I'm obsessed with cats and expressing my love for the simple joys of slow, daily life.

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Helena Woods is a destination newborn and family photographer based in France and New England and travels worldwide. She is known for her natural light, modern classic, and emotive photography style.