family portraits

Early Years

   Photos by Dean Spiwack

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The front of the four-page birth announcement Dad created, celebrating the arrival of our youngest brother Dan.


Dad shot these pix in the evening after my fourth birthday party.


I still remember the photo shoot.

The back cover. I’m in my party dress!


1960—Carmi was 11, David 9, I was 4 ,and Dan was three weeks old.

That’s me as an infant, being smooched by sister Carmi and

brother David.

That’s me as an infant, being smooched by sister Carmi and

brother David.

My sixth birthday at Cross County Center in Yonkers, NY, 1962

There was a place called The Adventurers—a forerunner of McDonald’s—that had a tiny amusement park in the back.  Here we are, being amused.


Dad was a master at getting kids to laugh and smile for photos.


Top row: Nancy Simpson, me, Lauren Weisenberg

Middle row: Carmi Spiwack, Wendy Wapner, Linda Gritz, Rhonda Schnur, Susan Svedosh,

Emily Eisenberg

Third Row: Mitchell Wapner, Lucy Garbus, Heidi Garson, Stephanie Ozer, Eva Weiner

& Daniel Jonathan Spiwack, age 2.

1951—Infant David Spiwack being bossed around by older sister Carmi Spiwack, clearly in charge of the rabbit.


I’ll bet this was a 4x5 contact print.


In the 40’s & 50’s, Dad used to shoot in 4x5 format with his Graflex, as well as 2-1/4x2-1/4 with various Yashicas and Rolliflex cameras. Later, it was just 2-1/4x2-1/4 and finally 35mm for color, but only after the invention of fast films...400 ASA and up.


Dad would have loved Photoshop. He was ill by the time the first PCs were in use, and never lived to see the real advent of digital photography. I like to imagine him spending endless hours lost in Adobe and the internet. What fun he would have had!





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My dad, Dean Spiwack, was a noted family portrait photographer in the New York area from the 1950’s through the 1970s. He often said that when the events were over, all that was left were the pictures. He was right.