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My Top 5 Locations for Outdoor Portraits!

Summer is finally here! And that means that outdoor portrait season has officially begun. With the sunny skies and warm weather, I love taking my clients outside the studio. The outdoor light is magnificent and it shimmers in the late afternoon ‘golden hour’. On top of that, everyone is sporting that sun-kissed skin and “school’s-out-for-summer” look, making their portraits that much better!

Here are 5 of my favorite locations to shoot at on a pleasant summer’s day:

1. Verona Park, Verona, NJ


Verona Park is a 54 acre, picturesque park with a beautiful lake bordered by Lakeside and Bloomfield Avenues in the southern part of Verona. The lake is surrounded by weeping willow trees and winding paths, and a most notable stone bridge which makes a wonderful backdrop of family photographs.


2. The Countryside


Farms offer sprawling vistas and plenty of nooks and crannies for fabulous photography. The wide-open spaces allow a photographer to experiment with their subjects, easily moving them around the grounds to offer varying backgrounds and scene-setters.


3. Eagle Rock Reservation, Montclair, NJ


Eagle Rock Reservation is 408 acres of hills, streams, and valleys located on the borders of West Orange, Verona, and Montclair, New Jersey. Though located in the middle of the most densely populated county in the most densely populated state in the country, the Reservation is mostly undeveloped and boasts an extensive trail system within its borders. It’s so close-by that I am there often enough to consider it my outdoor studio.


4. Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Morris Township, NJ


Morris County’s Frelinghuysen Arboretum is located at 53 East Hanover Avenue, Morristown, New Jersey. It is open daily without charge. It is also the headquarters of the Morris County Parks Commission.  Paths wind throughout the park giving you a mixture of broad landscapes and intimate gardens that are great for family portraiture.


5. The BEACH!


One of my all-time favorite spots for portrait sessions is down the Jersey shore. With the crowds gone after 5pm, we sometimes can have the beach all to ourselves.

In fact, if you are headed down the shore this summer and are looking to capture you and your family at their summery best, schedule your FAMILY PORTRAIT SESSION asap!

Here’s the current schedule:

Bradley Beach, Avon, and Belmar area,  JULY 7, 8, 27, 28, AUG 19, 20

Long Beach Island AUG 13, 14, 15

Email for updated schedule.

What better way to bring the beach home with you?

Call 973-783-1065 or E-mail contact@philcantor.com

…Plan ahead:  schedule your outdoor summer portraits
before another season’s over!


Bring Summer Home with You!



It’s Time to Schedule Your


Plan ahead: Reserve your outdoor summer portraits
before another season’s over!

Here’s the current schedule:

Bradley Beach – Avon – Belmar

July 7, 8, 27, 28 & August 19 and 20

Long Beach Island*

August 13, 14, and 15

*Email for updated schedule

Call 973-783-1065 or E-mail contact@philcantor.com

CLICK HERE for examples!


Phil’s Top 4 Father’s Day Finds!

Hey all of you procrastinating progeny, still haven’t gotten that Father’s Day gift? Phil has got you covered! Take a gander at Phil’s Top 4 Father’s Day Finds to help you decide what to give the Big Kahuna in your life this coming Sunday. Use your best judgement, of course.

1. Mounted Singing Fish!

We all know Dad’s LOVE fishing. So why not give him the ultimate trophy, a singing fish! Now Dad can relive his best fishing trips while being serenaded by this trout troubadour.


2. Useless Gadgets!

Don’t you know that the worst inventions make the best gifts? Who doesn’t want a typewriter for their iPad? Or the Useless Box? Or the infamous banana slicer? Go ahead and find the most unreasonable gadget out there and know it will be your dad’s favorite gift of all time.


3. Flair Hair!

Is your dad self-conscious about his luminously bare noggin? Get ready to be his favorite child. Give him a glorious head of hair, complete with visor, without the help of Rogaine! This luxurious headpiece not only assists your father aesthetically, it also serves as protection for his sensitive scalp and shade for his peepers. Talk about a hat-trick!



4. A Photo Session!

All kidding aside, if you really want to please dad, a photo session is the way to go. There is no better way to capture you and your father’s relationship than with a classic portrait. Years from now, you will be able to look back at the photograph and relish that moment you shared together. There is no better time to create a memento that will last a lifetime!

Call 973-783-1065 to chat about the possibilities, or Email me.



A Photography Master

Last night, I went to the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in Manhattan to hear one of my favorite photographers speak.  Howard Schatz was a ophthalmologist in San Francisco who loved photography. 20 years ago, he ditched medicine and moved to New York.

I first became aware of him when I purchased his book about redheads called Seeing Red As I learned last night, he has over ongoing 40 projects ranging from redheads to underwater dancers to boxers.  This 75 year old photographer is an amazingly prolific, innovative, and daring photographer.


MKA Seniors launched

It was beautiful June weather on Sunday as The Montclair Kimberley Academy Class of 2015 received their diplomas. The ceremony is classic and traditional: uplifting organ music accompanied the kids as they processed down the center aisle of the historic First Congregational Church in Montclair. After the bell rings the official close of the ceremony, the students stay together for one last class portrait.

I’ve been photographing MKA seniors and the graduation for 23 years.

MKA Class of 2015 blog_-web


Visiting Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe, PA.

Strange name for a town. It’s original name was Mauch Chunk, which is quite a mouthful. Seems the city fathers were looking around for something better and the widow of the famous Native American athlete, Jim Thorpe, was looking for a place to build a monument to her late husband. Both sets of interest coincided and now there’s a town named for Oklahoma-born Jim Thorpe, who had absolutely no connection with Mauch Chunk.

It’s situated in a crease in the western Pocono mountains, where the Lehigh River makes a gorge. The town is nestled against the steep slopes of the mountains and it has become a tourist destination as the coal industry has disappeared. There is whitewater rafting on the river, a scenic railway and biking on the Lehigh Gorge RAIL-TO-TRAIL.

The cave is a leftover of an old train tunnel and the bike trail is on a narrow berm that lay between the Lehigh River and the Lehigh Canal.

The town is an eclectic mix of brick and wood Victorian mansions built by the coal owners on the higher slopes and the workers houses down below. I can report that the bike riding was beautiful and the food in town was superb…think gourmet and artisanal, but since it is Pennsylvania, the portions were large. No tiny little nuggets on a decorated plate here.