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Category Archives: children

The Birth of Avellana Jolie.

When I started shooting weddings, it was a revelation. Having been married myself, to a man I consider to be my soul mate, having struggle through high times and low times, through sickness and in health, through our own baggage and the complexities we add to each other, weddings are about more than a day to me. It’s about the promise of things to come. That the person you care about most in the world will always have your back, and you will always have theirs. To know what that truly means makes me a passionate photographer of peoples weddings.

And now, after 9 months of pregnancy, 86 hours of labor, and one very beautiful 9.5 lb baby later, to call photographing a birth a revelation feels an understatement. (btw if you are pregnant and due in april, Birth Photography is 1/2 off ;)) I’m very thankful to have made a new friend upon moving here to California, in Courtney and Erin ( Courtney was about a month behind me in her pregnancy, and we made a deal on our first lady date that we would trade birth photography. Little did she know what she was in for on my end – but she was there to photograph the most intense part of our journey – in all it’s incredible, . As for her, she was (thankfully, as I regained my strength) 2 weeks overdue despite her efforts to evict the little one. She started her induction that morning, and progressed slowly and erratically. I got a text from Erin – they just broke her water, she’s at 4cm. Here I am, thinking it will be hours before they needed us, planning to go to dinner in Pasadena and wait for their call. I texted back something about heading out in an hour or two. The next text I got back said only, 7cm. Yipes! So Huz, Uma and I jumped in the car and raced to Pasadena – 40 minutes away. 8cm. I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to make it, and I think they might have thought the same. I jumped out of the car and left Huz to strap Uma to his chest, and raced to their room. She was at a 9 last time they checked and was feeling ready to push. One hour later from when I walked into the door, this little half Court and half Erin came into the world, purple and bloody, and a girl (they kept it a surprise!). Avellana. Avi. So amazing.

To be there with Courtney and Erin was so amazing. We haven’t known each other long, but to have been there for each other during these incredible times, to have photographed each other in these, the most passionately difficult and amazing experiences of our lives is a bond that I’ll always cherish. I’m so grateful Courtney’s given me the go ahead to share these images with you. They are my favorites. I can’t wait to get Uma and Avi together for their first lady date!

the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.
the birth of avellana jolie.

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Oh my gosh, I’m crying! Punam, I ended up on your site because were doing beauty for Leah at the Ace tomorrow and then here Im seeing the birth of Courtney’s and Erin new baby girl! These pictures are amazing. Small world and Im glad to have stumbled across you and your work!

Oh my goodness, where have I been?! I don’t know how I could’ve missed this. What an incredibly beautiful experience and what touching photos. The cry is my favourite-you really feel it.
Congratulations E+C & to you too Punam, for being very brilliant.

So intense… in the most wonderful way possible.


LOVE!!! Thank you for capturing the most amazing moment in our lives. With your 86 hour labor and my freakishly long pregnancy and short labor our girls are the yin and the yang to each other, destined to be best friends. Love you!! I am so happy you moved to Cali :)

Beautiful moments captured Punam :).

Why I’ve been absent lately

Hello friends!

I know it’s been a little slow around here lately. I think that in all the time I’ve kept this blog, this is the longest period that has passed in which I haven’t posted anything. Usually this time of year, as things start to wind down and I find myself with a good chunk of time to spare, I’m posting blogs almost every day. But this year, not so much. I promise, I have a good excuse :).

I’ve been busy, creating this little one.


Her name is Uma Vivienne. She was born on February 13th, after 4 days of intense labor. She was 9 lbs 7 oz and 22 inches the moment I pulled her to my chest, and she was worth every moment my body gave over to create her. She was 2 weeks yesterday, and I’m getting back the the office work in a limited capacity. She’s a big girl, and I had a rough delivery, so I’m still recovering, and spend much of my days doing work in bed with her wrapped in my arms between me and my computer.

I look at her and can’t imagine she was ever inside of me. 9 months of pregnancy suddenly feel so surreal, and this little creature that I’ve been left with feels like she’s always been right here singled next to me in bed. I suppose she has been for quite some time, though I couldn’t see her, or smell her hair, or nuzzle her face. Mostly she could poke at me, and sometimes I would poke back. She has his nose and lips. She has my hands, ears and eyebrows. I think she has my eyes too, but it’s too soon to tell. She has long eyelashes. She has long fingers and toes and big feet. And this morning we discovered her belly button!

But without further adieu, I’d like to introduce to you, my daughter. Uma.


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welcome to the world, Uma! Congratulations Punam, she’s a doll :)


Congrats to you and husbone! Uma is so sweet and precious. I look forward to you blogging about her as she gets older…ahhhh so sweet!!! :)

I stumbled on this! Cute!! Thanks for posting! – Jessica

Ada F.

Congrats to you and Husbone, Punam!! She is so sweet and gorgeous. And I know she will be full of love and fanciful thoughts, just like her amazing parents.

She is beautiful Punam. She is truly a gem.

congrats on your bundle of joy. she’s perfect… absolutely perfect!!

she’s beautiful and you’re both gorgeous parents – enjoy every moment!even the tired ones…

She’s perfect. Congrats to the three of you; enjoy this time, and don’t work too hard!


As I embark upon these last few weeks of my own pregnancy, I try to imagine the face of the little girl growing inside of me. And despite the 3d scans of her big eyes and full lips, it’s hard to translate that gold, glowing figure into a small flesh made creature. I dream about her, she looks like my baby pictures in those dreams, but I never seem to get a very good grasp of her face.

Logan decided, on his very due date, that it was time to be born RIGHT NOW. After a 3 hour labor late Halloween night, after braving downtown NYC Halloween traffic, Logan shot out like a torpedo only an hour after Carla and Charlie got to the hospital. I was pretty surprised when I got a text from Carla, November 1st, with a picture of this little man who looks like her. Logan. Such a handsome boy. And so punctual!

I feel so lucky to have not only been able to photograph this journey with Carla and Charlie and their new baby boy, but to be going through the same journey, a few steps behind, was pretty neat. To see Carla become a mother, to see Charlie become a father, when I first met them they were two people in love and now they are parents. It’s a remarkable transformation, and watching them, and photographing their son, makes me so excited for what lies ahead.

Also, side note, little Logan was awake for his whole session! We kept him calm by blowing the blow drier on him. Magic!


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Nadia + Alex + Vera

I don’t really get the opportunity to shoot a lot of family sessions. Usually I’m traveling when I get them – but I was really stoked that Nadia, Alex and little Vera and I could make it work! We went to the sculpture garden in Trenton, NJ (living outside the city has really opened my mind up to the Metro North and New Jersey transit :)), where Nadia and Alex were married just a few years ago. It was really special to return with their relatively new little human. Its pretty amazing to imagine what love brings.
Vertlib Family
Vertlib Family
Vertlib Family
Vertlib Family
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Ann Shteynblik

Love the pics. You are a beautiful family! And I love how the beloved sippy cup made it in there as well!

They wanted this session as a suprise for the grandparents anniversary which I thought was really sweet. We all just adore her……Alex has been around at all our family events for quite a few years but weve really gotten to know him more this past year.

.Afterwards they served us excellent homemade Chili made from local beef and really good fresh bread. The restaurant had this old beat up piano with half the keys either missing or sticky and despite the limitations of the instrument Alex pumped out some serious licks I had no idea he was a closet Jazz pianist! Anyhow really great times!

Cynthia Q.

Incredible pics…incredible soul and feeling in them! Lovely!!


I didn’t know you took pics of Nadia, Alex and Vera! I love these!

Love these! So beautiful.

Jessica + Farzam – An Engagement (party!!)

This was one of the best parties I’ve been to! Kicking off my 2009 with the fabulous Jessica and Farzam, at their super swanky engagement party at the Gramercy Park Hotel in Manhattan, I finally got to understand what they meant when the told me how awesome their families were. And what a great group of dancers! Dancing is my most favorite part of every wedding (in this case, engagement party!), because it’s such a complete joy to see people who love each other be so… free together. Free. That’s what a gentlemen and party guest said to me in the elevator. I love to dance because it’s the only time I’m free, he said. I whole heartily agree. And to share that utter freedom, with some alcohol, amazing shoes, amazing music, with the people in the world you want to share this tremendous occasion. And the view was not bad.


Light Bulbs!!!_MG_0201_MG_0183_MG_0554_MG_0190_MG_0591_MG_0438_MG_0629_MG_0401_MG_0631

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You are fantastic. We just added you to our blog. Wowza.

Amazing night and equally amazing pictures!!!!

wow – that party looks like tons of fun – awesome job as usual Punam

LOVE these photos! perfect night/low light photography – something i need to learn more about. :)
your work inspires, punam!
– mandy xo

you. are. awesome. the lighting in all of these is amazing. really original compositions.


i can’t wait punam.
i can’t wait to meet you.
i wish it were here already=)
these images are so fantastic.