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Pausing Life's Little Moments

From smiling to swaddling to teething to crawling to walking; there are seemingly millions of little moments in a child’s life that go by in a flash.

Parents try to capture each significant second either with the semi-permanence of a cell phone camera or the fleeting nature of a mere glimpse — but some moments call for a professional’s touch, an inviting setting and an expert’s eye.

With her comfortable studio and lens talent to spare, Plainview resident and photographer Mindy Useloff-Milano captures the ephemeral flashes of a child’s life through I Hope You Dance Photography; her own business venture that started with the inspiring smiles of her own young children.

“I had been a photographer my whole life and at some point I decided to make a career change,” said Useloff-Milano, whose previous career was in hairdressing and who has two young children of her own. “There are so many perfect moments that fly by, that parents sometimes gloss over, I think that it is important to capture these moments because once the moment passes, it’s not coming back.”

Useloff-Milano offers the opportunity to hit the pause button on life; capturing the look on a child’s face upon seeing their first birthday cake or experiencing their first holiday. She creates fantastic, unforgettable memories frozen in time with artistic detail and noteworthy nuances.

And when taking newborn pictures, Useloff-Milano takes special care of her youngest subjects.

“Some parents are scared to take their newborn baby outside, but later they regret not having lasting memories of those first few weeks,” she said. “Newborns need a very clean environment and I provide that. My studio is very comfortable and warm for the baby, most of them fall asleep. I also have a changing table in there and also snacks and toys for the older children. And coffee for the adults.”

Some of Useloff-Milano’s most dynamic photographs come from the cake smash, where cakes are placed in front of 1-year-olds and they tear into it as one might expect. The result is often messy, but the photographer believes that not all of a child’s documented moments should be clean-cut and perfectly manicured.

“Those shoots are some of the most fun,” she said. “Watching them just totally make a mess of the cake is so much fun.”

Besides photographing newborns and cake smashes, Useloff-Milano also takes on maternity pictures and family photos. She will also happily shoot theme projects, perfect for children of firefighters, sports fans or just about anything else. Aside from children, Useloff-Milano also works on engagement photos and even “trash the dress” photography, which contrasts elegant wedding dresses with an environment in which it is out of place, like city streets, garbage dumps or abandoned buildings.

But a there is another photography project very near and dear to Useloff-Milano’s heart, The Tiny Footprints Project. The project matches parents of premature babies living in the NICU with professional photographers willing to capture newborn photos free of charge.

“I got involved because my son was in the NICU for a long time, and I know how hard it can be on the parents,” she said. “It is a fairly new organization so a lot of moms don’t really know about it yet.”

Inspiration comes from many sources for Useloff-Milano, A Plainview resident for life, she attended Parkway Elementary School and Mattlin Middle School before attending Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School where she took her first photography class.

Inspiration stemmed from there but also from her mother, who inspired the name of her photography studio. And whose passing continues to motivate her to capture every second of a life that moves much too fast.

“A milestone is there for a second and just like that, it is gone,” she said. “Be sure to capture every moment because life happens quickly.”

For more information, check out and to set up a shoot at her Plainview studio, email Useloff-Milano at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call her at 516-351-1674. Be sure to ask about her upcoming Spring Mini Sessions, a spring-themed photography session April 5 and 6 complete with baby ducks. Also, check out Useloff-Milano’s Facebook page at


When it comes to food, New York is known for three things; pizza, deli sandwiches and bagels. Some of the best bagels are right here on Long Island. Plainview to be exact.

“When I was in eighth grade, I took a job at the local bagel store next to the high school,” said Steve Cohen, owner of Town Bagel in Plainview. “I still have that same job today, 36 years later.”

It’s hard to imagine that it’s Thanksgiving already. Is it me, or did we just celebrate? Halloween wasn’t even upon us and the stores were stocked with Thanksgiving and Christmas items. We say to ourselves, “each year, it comes earlier and earlier.” While some prepare to cook and figure out where to seat relatives to avoid arguments, others plan to dine out. To many of us, Thanksgiving means shopping on Black Friday. But for the few and far between who look forward to catching the latest film from the array released exclusively for the holiday weekend, the time has come to relish relaxation. Sit back and enjoy the weekend at the movies, while the deliciousness of turkey and stuffing is probably still digesting in your tummy.

The following movies opened on Nov. 26:

The Penguins of Madagascar (PG–92 mins)

The Penguins of Madagascar finally have their own movie. If you’re familiar with the previous Madagascar films, featuring the zoo animals and their adventures, then you already know the funny and lovable spy penguins. Packed with animated fun for the whole family, Skipper, Kowalksi, Rico and Private begin a journey as undercover agents to help stop the notorious villain, Dr. Octavious. New and returning voices include Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich, Tom McGrath, Christopher Knight, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and many more.


Owl Prowl

Saturday, Nov. 29

Holiday Tea

Monday, Dec. 1

Art in the Afternoon

Wednesday, Dec. 3


1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller,

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry,

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller,