Diane Levy was born in Paris and grew up surrounded by art. Her first exposure was at home; her mother was a painter and her father worked in haute couture. She earned a master’s degree in art history and worked in Sotheby’s, one of the world’s most important art auction houses. She discovered photography when she became the owner of Galerie St. Père, where she got to know the most preeminent photographers and exhibited their work.
Diane’s passion evolved from selling photographs to taking them. There was always a camera in her hand, ready to aim at people and places that caught her eye. Her love of photography grew, and so did her expertise. She moved to New York City in 2005 and began studying photography in earnest. After shooting a wedding for a friend, she decided to make photography her life’s work. Now a resident of Tenafly, her transition to being a professional photographer is complete. She has just opened Diane Levy Photography in Englewood, a studio where her equipment, costumes and props finally have their own home, with comfortable sitting, posing and playing areas for her clients.
“Love and family are the most important things,” Diane said, “and photographs help you remember.” That’s why she loves to do family portraits. Each stage becomes a timeless memory that never fades: A newborn snuggled in a blanket adjusting to his entry into the world; a 1-year-old at a cake smash party with a silly smile framed by crumbs; a child radiating princess dreams or sports fantasies, ready to conquer the world. She keeps racks of hats and outfits to create an image that parents love.
Diane meets clients by appointment only so she can learn what they are looking for and get any materials necessary in advance of the session. Packages might include a baby with each parent, siblings and grandparents. Play areas keep the kids occupied until their turn on the stage. “I love kids and I’m very patient,” she said. “I want everyone to feel like they are at home. We have a changing table and a small play area with toys.”
Whether her subject is a child reaching one of life’s milestones, a woman anticipating the arrival of her baby, or a newborn being welcomed home, Diane aims for a look she describes as pure, clean and natural. “I’m always advancing, perfecting my approach to lighting, color and composition,” she said. “Each day I learn something new.”
Although Diane has a special place in her heart for children, she has a wide range of clients. Her portfolio includes work for fashion models and restaurants.
The studio opening is a big accomplishment for Diane. With its old-fashioned high ceilings and accessible location at 490 Curry Avenue, near the Englewood/Tenafly border, she has achieved European ambience in a very American setting. “I have finally progressed enough in my art that I am ready to show my work and bring customers to a place dedicated to serving them,” she said. “I want people to enjoy the experience and get exactly what they want.”
For a visual tour of Diane Levy’s work, and more information about packages and prices, visit www.dianelevyphotography.com.
By Bracha Schwartz