The family is one of nature’s masterpieces.
— George Santayana
Phil Cantor Photography will capture the masterpiece that is your family.
I’m Phil Cantor and I’ve devoted my life to capturing wonderful family memories. I’m a professional family photographer, but more than that, I’m just like you…I cherish my family.
Our Memories Are The Most Valuable Things We Possess.
When my mother passed away a few years ago, I felt so lucky to have so many beautiful photographs of her with her many friends and family members. But what I wouldn’t have given for just one more photograph with my mother, brother, and sister before she left us.
One of the reasons I became a professional photographer was to help families hold on to their family memories forever, and never regret not having a family portrait done.
I love everything. It looks amazing. I can’t figure out if my kids are exceptionally beautiful or if you are just exceptionally talented. I so appreciate the time and care you put into these portraits. I feel so lucky to have such beautiful images of my family. Thanks to you I have photos that capture who they are at specific moments in their lives. Whenever Johnny is challenging I just look at his laughing baby picture and I remember that kid is always in there somewhere!
Throughout this page you’ll see and hear from families in the New York/New Jersey Metro Area.
If you are considering having a portrait of your family created, rest assured that this is a decision that will bring you lasting joy and pleasure. However, there are some things you NEED to know before you and your loved ones step in front of any camera.
5 Common Myths, Mistakes, and Misconceptions about Family Portraits
If you’re at all like most families on this website, you probably haven’t given a lot of thought on how to have a family portrait created. Life’s busier and crazier than ever, and family life in particular seems to be happening at an ever-accelerating pace. The information that follows will help you navigate through the most common myths, mistakes and misconceptions about family portraits.
Getting our 15 year old teenager to relax is a real skill…I love the “feel” of our photography session.
#1 Myth, Mistake or Misconception: All Family Portraits are Created Equal.
Incorrect! You’ve probably had this question going through your mind: “How do I choose the right photographer?” Just suppose someone was to create the perfect family portrait – one where you and your loved ones looked better than ever, – a portrait that meant the world to you – What would that be worth? It’s hard to put a price tag on your family’s memories. They are and always will be priceless. So, why would you ever want to gamble with those memories?
The Photographer You Choose Should Care about YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR MEMORIES and Have the “Eye” Required to Capture the Essence of Your Family.
Family Memories are Priceless – As a Photographer I have the Privilege to Capture Moments that Will Live Forever.
I didn’t become a photographer simply because I liked to take pictures. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Art of Photography, but that’s NOT the reason I first picked up a camera. As a teenager, I quickly learned how photography had an impact on the people I photographed.
In the last ten years I have lost first my father, and now, my mom. I look at the last family portrait I made of my mother; surrounded by her three children, sons and daughters-in-law, and 6 grandchildren and I see a photograph that is priceless. I can’t even imagine what it would be like not to have that photograph sitting on the desk in my office. I look at it every single day, it is one of my most prized possessions.
The three kids and I all truly enjoyed ourselves. We talked about it afterwards and couldn’t get over how much fun the experience was. It’s hard to find something all three kids enjoy doing – a college freshman, teenage boy, and a five year old. We haven’t had this much fun together in a long time!
#2 Myth, Mistake or Misconception: Family Portraits Look Boring.
Many people think of a PROFESSIONAL family portrait as unnaturally posed — saying “cheese” as the photographer snaps the picture. Picture instead: your family gathered in your favorite room in your home. Or, outside on the new deck you just had built. Or, in your backyard by the pine trees that give your yard so much character. Or, maybe you’re in a beautiful state-of-the-art photography studio. All of you are dressed in clothes the photographer helped you choose, clothing that conveys your individual personalities, but still look great together. Well, that’s what makes all the difference, and that’s what I will do for you.
What is Important is that You and Your Family Feel Totally Comfortable in Front of the Camera!
Do you know ANYONE who feels totally comfortable in front of a camera? Nearly everyone I’ve ever met tells me the same thing: “I never look natural in pictures.” The last thing you want is a photograph where you or your family members have that fake “posed” look on your face.
I have thousands of pictures of my sixteen month old son, but almost none of him, my husband and I together. When that realization struck, we promptly made an appointment with Phil Cantor because he is the only person that we’d trust to document our memories. And the result was absolutely amazing! He truly captured the essence of our little family. We now have a wonderful keepsake and we certainly couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful result or effortless experience! Phil will be our photographer for life!
That’s why it’s so important that you feel very natural and comfortable with your photographer. Just think how great your family would look if your best friend was creating the photograph. I take pride in developing relationships with all my clients, and their entire family.Plus, I understand the “psychology” of photography. Learning the technical aspects – what lenses to use, what lighting looks best, how clothing adds or subtracts weight – all of those things are only the tip of the iceberg. Without being able to make each and every one of your family members look and feel comfortable (and natural) in the portrait, then all those technical things would amount to nothing.
#3 Myth, Mistake or Misconception: There’s No One to Help Me Make Choices about Clothing, Hair, Makeup, Location, etc…
No matter who creates your photographs for you, you will need to make some decisions. What clothing should your family wear? Where should this photograph be created? How heavy should the makeup be on the ladies in the photograph? There are a number of things to think about, and I will walk you through all of them personally.When you call, we’ll chat briefly about the things you need to know. I’ll answer all your questions about how to prepare for a family portrait.
I was worried that the kids might be antsy, but the photography session was fun and the results are fantastic.
#4 Myth, Mistake or Misconception: There’s No Rush to Have a Family Portrait Created Right Now.
You know how things are. If you don’t call me to chat about your family portrait, you will probably get swamped with other things, and forget all about it. Then, before you know it, a year – two years – five years have gone by. How different will your family be then?
First, your child takes his or her first step. next, learns to ride a bike. later, gets a driver’s license. graduates from high school. gets married. starts a family of his or her own.
These are precious times, and although things will change, this moment never has to slip from your fingers. We put things off, and before we know it, everything has changed. If your life is half as crazy as mine is, year after year you find yourself frustrated at the things you wanted to do, and never got done. A family portrait is something you deserve and will keep forever.
Your family portrait will become one of the most irreplaceable possessions in your home. Think about a wonderful photograph, created by a professional photographer, that not only captures your family’s true bonds and relationships, but does so in a way that you’d be proud to display in your home for the rest of your life.
Phil made everyone feel comfortable, instantly. He has a gentle approach that makes you feel at home, and not self-conscious at all. We had lots of laughs and it was a fun family experience! Beautiful mementos like these are truly priceless.
#5 Myth, Mistake or Misconception: There’s No Way to GUARANTEE that I Will Love My Family Portraits.
Incorrect! Depending on who creates your family portrait, that is. Just suppose you had a family portrait created, and your son or daughter didn’t look natural in it. The photograph was “okay,” but it didn’t turn out spectacular. Should you have to pay for it? Absolutely not! I believe strongly that no one should ever have to pay for a photograph that isn’t PERFECT. That’s why I am able to offer the following guarantee:
If Your Family Doesn’t Look the Best They’ve Ever Looked Together in These Photographs – You Don’t Pay Me for Them.
That’s my guarantee and personal promise to you. As far as I know, there’s no other photographer around that will make you this super guarantee.
These photographs will be completely meaningless to you unless they convey the real emotions and relationships between you and your loved ones. That’s the only real reason to have a family portrait created.
If you are not THRILLED with your photographs – if you are dissatisfied for ANY reason at all, I will do two things for you:
1st – At NO CHARGE, I will photograph your family again, and make sure that anything that wasn’t perfect is fixed, without you paying another cent.
2nd – If I am absolutely unable to thrill you – if I’m unable to create a photograph that you feel you will cherish forever, I will refund EVERY PENNY you invested in them. You don’t pay for your photographs unless you love them!
Just Call My Studio, and We’ll Chat.
The perfect family portrait is only one phone call away. Call me at 973-783-1065 (no cost, no obligation) or email me at email@example.com