NIAGARA FALLS — Andrea Costrino is very patient.
She has to be. Her little clients don’t often do what she hopes they’ll do. So, she’ll pat their backs, whisper in their ears and wait as long as it takes for them to settle into sleep.
“If I have to wait for 20 minutes, I wait for 20 minutes,” she explained during a recent photo shoot.
That’s why, in the photographs she takes of little, tiny newborns, her patience pays off in the faces of blissful and perfect-looking babies. The images are so sweet they sometimes make their parents cry
Recently, the Niagara Falls photographer did some baby whispering and got young Daniel Destino II, just 6 days old, to pose for an assortment of photos that could just as easily adorned greeting cards as his own baby book.
In one setting, Daniel was decked out in earthy, autumn toned knits, made specially for Costrino by a Niagara Falls textile artist, Stephanie Casale. Daniel was tucked into a twig nest, where, settled inside soft blankets he looked just like a living doll. Or, as his dad said, a tiny garden gremlin in the teeny pointed hat.
AsCostrinoclicked away in the natural light of the family’s North Tonawanda foyer father, Dan, mom, Erin, and grandmother, Sheree Mowrey, watched rapt as the baby slept angelically in his whimsical nest.
Costrino, a former kindergarten and special education teacher, and the mother of two toddling daughters, clearly has a way with children, but Daniel made the shoot even easier by sleeping through nearly all it.
Just about to pick up her Nikon to shoot, the photographer stopped and touched his baby fingers, gently uncurling them so each perfect little digit was visible.
“I’m particular about my fingers,” she smiled before she snapped the shot. “If the fingers are clenched the baby doesn’t look peaceful.”