RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — As Lena Antaramian of Ridgewood zoomed her camera lens onto her newborn baby’s face, all she could think of was what she’d miss when she returned to work on Wall Street.
Every smile, every step, even every tear.
Antaramian knew what she had to do: she left her desk job to spend time with her family and her camera.
“Photography is like a time machine in a way and if you don’t do it, then the moments are gone,” she said, “and you won’t have anything to look back at.”
Antaramian has won several awards for her photographs of families and young children, most recently the National Association of Professional Child Photographers (NAPCP) International Image Competition.
The shot of a girl strolling a sandy beach under a sunset is among thousands taken by Antaramian since she launched Live Love Laugh Photos , around the time she moved to Ridgewood from New York City in 2008.
The image captures the innocence of childhood — something Antaramian aims to do in her work for all of her clients.
"I provide a very important service," she said. "Children change and grow — they're only babies for a little while."
Antaramian's passion has long been paired with travel — her self-proclaimed dream job being a photographer for National Geographic.
She began honing her craft on her family and friends' children in the late 2000s, fascinated by the timeline of the change in rapidly-growing babies created on film.
Seeing how people connected to her images is what Antaramian said propelled her to open her first Live Love Laugh studio in the Lincoln Building on N. Broad Street in 2013.
A year later, she moved into a larger space on N. Maple Avenue, where she is now.
"I've never regretted it," Antaramian of the venture. "It's something I really love to do."