CEO AND FOUNDER
Years of Experience
My family has collected contemporary and fine art as far back as I can remember. Because my parents were avid art collectors, I discovered my love of art, painting and the creative process early in my childhood. It was this fascination with color and creativity that sparked my interest in photography as a new medium to work with. Photography was “instant art” and it was love at first sight!!!
Within 3 years, my company had grown into a team of talented photographers and filmmakers, and Sarah Merians Photography & Video Company became one of the premiere studios in the tri-state area! In 2006, film was replaced by digital photography and the way images were received and shared changed completely. While digital is a contemporary medium that has made images accessible to all, we believe that digital files should not be where our clients’ photography journey ends. Creating beautiful custom albums is still important to me, and I love creating family heirlooms that can be handed down from generation to generation just like a piece of jewelry that has been in the family for years. My father always said “If you love what you do you don’t work a day in your life “. I feel truly lucky that I have this opportunity to combine what I love to do with my professional career. Special event photography and magnificent family portraiture has been my life’s work for over 25 years, and I continue to be inspired by capturing these moments for generations to come.
Founded in 1986 and based in New York City, Sarah Merians Photography & Video Company is one of the leading boutique wedding, mitzvah, social and corporate event photography studios in the Tri-State area.
Over the past 30+ years, we have grown into a full-service studio for all stages of our client’s lives. Our mitzvah children have become our brides and grooms, and our brides and grooms have continued to return with their new and growing families. From belly to boardroom, we truly capture life at its best!
Our first division Weddings & Mitzvahs, evolved out of Sarah’s love for capturing these milestone events. Over the past two decades, as client accolades have grown, so has our reputation and our team of talented photographers.
Kids & Family came about through both Sarah’s love of children and her strong relationships with her brides and grooms. It was only a matter of time before Sarah was invited to photograph their growing families with the same creativity and care that made their wedding photos and albums so exquisite. Generational photography helps us to weave a story and leave a legacy for our children. We are so thrilled to be there for our clients as they welcome their new generations into the world. This division is where kids and photography click!
Occasions & Traditions covers all life’s special events beyond weddings and mitzvahs. From brises, christenings, and baby naming, to sweet sixteen, milestone birthday parties and family reunions – this division enables us to continue celebrating with our clients. While these events may be smaller happenings over the course of a lifetime, they are equally special. Whether these gatherings take place at a restaurant, catering hall or your home, special events with your friends and family should be captured and preserved. Professional photography and albums create heirlooms that can be passed down from generation to generation.
Albums & Décor, our product division, came about because our photography clients were thrilled with our intimate design process, white glove service, and the premium quality of our albums. These clients shared their albums with their family and friends, who then told their family and friends. Before we knew it, new clients began bringing us piles of pictures and asking us to turn the chaos into tangible memories. We realized that there was a huge void in the industry, and we were happy to be a part of the solution!
Today, Albums & Décor even creates albums for clients whose special events we did not photograph! We have also created spectacular products for clients using their own personal images. Honeymoon and vacation photos are a perfect example of special memories we can help you turn into albums, frames and even custom photo art for your home. It is easy to take a photograph, but it shouldn’t stop there! We feel it’s most important to preserve the memory in a tangible and creative way!
Business & Meetings grew out of our accomplished and successful clients, who inquired often about corporate photography for their own professional and business needs. Corporate needs range from headshots, and website development to large-scale events such as product launches, Galas, fundraisers, business meetings and company retreats.
Sarah Merians Photography & Video has grown into so much more than simply snapping a photo. The “&” in each of our divisions represents the company we are today. We want to be in our client’s lives for a lifetime, as opposed to just one, singular event. This special relationship we foster with each one of our clients, in addition to the wide range of products we create and services we offer, is what sets us apart from other photographers. We are photographers, artists & so much more!
Sarah Merians is the CEO and founder of Sarah Merians Photography & Video Company, a New York based company, founded in 1986. Known for being the premier boutique photographer in NYC, capturing people, families and special occasions. It has been said that “Sarah makes celebrities feel like everyday people and everyday people feel like celebrities.”
Over the last 30 years, Sarah has grown her business into a premier full – service photography studio in the New York Tristate area. Ms. Merians states, “it’s not just about the picture, it’s about what you DO with the picture”. One of the keys to the studio’s success has been the cultivation of life-long client relationships for all of life’s events.
Sarah is a pioneer in the field of contemporary social photography, having evolved the art from static portraiture to dynamic event coverage. As a devoted artist having special relationships with her clients, she works tirelessly to capture the essence of the individual. Her work is energetic, passionate, loving and thorough. A true force of nature, there is no one like her.
Sarah’s work has been featured in publications ranging from The New York Times, Town & Country, Martha Stewart Living, New York Magazine, The Bump, and New York Family to name a few. Sarah has personally photographed Stevie Wonder’s daughter Aisha’s wedding, Bruce Springsteen, Martha Stewart, Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Prince Philip, Rod Stewart and many others. Her photos have been selected to be in the permanent collection of the National September 11 Memorial Museum. She is also a frequent speaker on the topic of photography as art and has been a guest lecturer at the International Center for Photography in Manhattan.
Sarah has been a member of several organizations through the years including Women’s Leadership Exchange, the Women Presidents Organization, and The Women’s Executive Circle of the UJA Federation of New York. These organizations focus on personal and professional growth as a female entrepreneur.
These are values we live and work by:
Sarah Merians Photography & Video Company preserves the most important moments in our customers’ lives. We are the premier studio in the tri-state area – the photographer of choice for our customers’ personal and professional events. Because every customer is unique, we offer a portfolio of services ranging from cutting edge innovation to traditional artistry. We provide unparalleled quality and creativity with an exceptionally high level of service that helps us nurture life-long relationships with our customers.
A “real” New Yorker, Sarah has lived in the East Village for the past 30 years with her husband and children, the youngest of whom recently graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans. Described as a “force of nature” Sarah is truly a pioneer in the event photography industry. Initially a fine art painter with a BFA from Syracuse, she eventually gravitated toward photography with its unique combination of art and humanity. Her work is energetic, loving, clean and thorough.
When Sarah is not capturing a family portrait, baby naming, maternity shoot, mitzvah, wedding, or corporate event you can find her doing the many hobbies she loves. She brings her yoga, working out, and tennis energy to every job she does. It’s often said that Sarah makes celebrities feel like everyday people, and everyday people feel like celebrities. At your event, she will be ten sets of eyes capturing every detail so that you can relive every moment when the party is over.
Sarah feels her clients deserve the best and NO ONE will work harder for you than Sarah!
Liel brings the color and passion of his native Trinidad to every event he photographs!! Endlessly positive and energetic, his clients often have just as much fun taking their pictures as they do on the dance floor! A true artist, Liel will “paint” a picture of your special day through beautiful and vibrant images that capture the very essence of your celebration! Using the latest technology and best equipment, Liel is constantly pushing creative boundaries.
When he isn’t shooting, Liel spends quality time with the love of his life and their 6 children at their home in Brooklyn. He works out to stay energized and has several hobbies one of which is restoring vintage cars with his dad. He follows a strict vegan diet which is perhaps the source of his superhuman strength! Liel is one of our top photographers and has been with the Company for more than 10 years. We are lucky and honored to have him part of our Sarah Merians family.
Sheila has been with Sarah Merians Photography & Video Company for over 20 years and is one of our most sought-after photographers! Clients come back to her for all their lifetime events with our studio. Sheila has such a loving and caring demeanor that Sarah often receives letters from clients stating how amazing and sweet she was at their event… but strong enough to get the job done!
She currently lives on Long Island with her husband, her three children and her dogs (a German Shepard and a Doberman). She has worked her martial arts skills into her event coverage and is always looking to up her game. Sheila shoots with the Cannon Mark IV, one of the best cameras on the market. Lively and sweet with an experienced eye, Sheila’s photography is romantic and warm. Sheila loves to show couples what their love looks like! If she isn’t at the ocean that she loves or attending to her orchids, Sheila will continue to capture the emotion of your day with her gentle and unobtrusive approach.
Dahiam is young, tall, handsome and the best new addition to our team! He was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the US when he was 8 years old with his family. He was raised by a family of creative artists and videographers and was destined to have a camera in his hands.
He began in our industry as a videographer and migrated to photography because he said it is an art form that really gave him pleasure. It is because of this skill and talent that he brings that quiet intensity to his work. His style is documentary and powerful as he captures the most incredible moments with his state-of-the-art Sony cameras and lenses.
When he is not working hard Monday through Sunday, you can find Dahiam watching sports, movies, or just lost in a good book. Finding time for travel (another passion of his) is difficult as he is so desired and very busy capturing parties and corporate events. His images glow with incredible color and creativity as he moves behind the scenes capturing the beauty of your day.
Andres grew up in Colombia and moved to the US several years ago. He has since married and is raising his daughter here and loves being a family man. Andres brings the utmost professionalism to his work through the many lenses of his two to three camera capture on events. He is charming and professional, and these qualities are reflected in his incredibly creative and thorough work. When he isn’t traveling he is busy shooting corporate events and weddings and his unique artistic talent leaves our clients feeling lucky to have had him document their event.
As a young child in the Dominican Republic, Roberto worked at his father’s photography shop developing and processing photographs. In 2004, Roberto, along with his wife and son, emigrated to the United States where he immediately put his extensive photography knowledge to work as an event photographer! His technical prowess can be seen in the natural and life-like lighting he creates through various techniques. His unique and creative eye, coupled with his kind and gentle demeanor, make him the perfect person to spend your special day with! Patient, even keeled and accustomed to large, loud families Roberto gets the job done with no drama!
In addition to photographing events, Roberto is also incredibly technically skilled and helps us with image processing, retouching and color correction on all the events that come out of our studio. From pushing the trigger to beautifying an image – he is the total talent package!
Davitte has been part of the Sarah Merians Video team for almost 20 years! Davitte came to New York with his wife and two children from the Dominican Republic 20 years ago and we are so lucky he landed with our team. Davitte loves to travel and learn from everything he sees. He brings this wisdom, extensive experience and energy to every event he films – from large scale corporate events to intimate weddings to rowdy mitzvahs – our clients return to him year after year.
He is always upping his game and gear and has the best video cameras on the market. Mirrorless, Sony, and Cannon, are his gear of choice. He also enjoys working with drones for aerial perspectives. At your event, he will capture amazing footage from a documentary point of view and with a cinematic style. Later, in the editing studio, he will piece these moments together to tell the story of your day in a beautiful short film that captures the essence and emotion of your event.
Davitte is an incredible cinematographer and storyteller and we are lucky to have him as part of our team.
Born in the US to parents from Columbia and Cuba, Alex brings a tremendous passion to his work and our clients are the lucky recipients. Due to his strong work ethic, you will often find Alex manning 3 cameras and a drone at his events to not miss any angle or action. Even when not on a job he will put time into “his craft” and considers his video work one of his hobbies.
If Alex is not working hard with a camera in his hand, he loves spending time with his family and 2 children 9- and 12-year-old. He will always find the time to head to the tennis courts as this is yet another passion for this talented young man. Alex is caring and professional and clients love working with him. We are lucky he is part of our team!
Sarah Merians Photography & Video Company has been blessed to have Lisa part of the team for almost 20 years. Lisa is our amazing Director of Sales. She arrived for her job interview in her early 20’s to meet Sarah and it was love at first site. Lisa will help you find the perfect photographer and videographer from our team for your once in a lifetime event, and hold your hand through the post creative process as well. Lisa is intelligent, caring, focused and passionate about the Company and has been instrumental in helping to make our success story what is today. Our clients are so lucky to work with her.
I have spent the last 4 hours looking at photos and I am NOT kidding! These photos are sensational! Beyond spectacular. Sarah is so talented it is INSANE! I want to “heart” every picture, print them all and have them…I don’t even know where to start or how to pick…any help on how to best narrow would be greatly appreciated. Also, how do I share the link…just forward to family and they can log in with their own email? I don’t want to cross with their hearts…etc. Thankyou in advance.
Sarah- You guys nailed it. The pictures don’t lie. That party had an incredible amount of energy. Somehow you captured it. Great job!! Thanks! Debbie – Mother of the Bride
Mother of Bride
You were one of our favorite parts of the evening. Great photographer AND fun to have around!
Thank you for helping make the evening memorable for us. With gratitude,
Sheree & Philip
Parents of bride
I just wanted to thank you so much for all your great work at the wedding last night. We really enjoyed spending the evening with you. Best, Jennifer
Did not get a chance to say goodbye last night. Just want you to know we really appreciated your work yesterday and everything you did to capture our wedding. Look forward to seeing the pictures. Thank you.
Father of the Bride
I don’t have anything but amazing things to say about Sarah Merians. We used Sarah Merians for both photography and videography for our wedding. From start to finish, I wholeheartedly trusted them to capture the most important day of my life. Our photographer, Liel, is amazing! We used him for our engagement shoot, which gave us an opportunity to get to know him and his style before the wedding. He’s professional, fun and insanely talented. Everyone raved about him. Liel and the videographer Davitte worked seamlessly together. The photo booth was well worth it-All our guests had a blast taking pictures with fun props! Everyone we worked with at Sarah Merians was responsive, knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with. I’d highly recommend using them!
Hi Lisa, WOW! The video is absolutely amazing. Thank you very much! We watched the highlight real and are working through the whole video. The photos are great too.
I’m hearing glowing reviews from both photo shoots. Thank you for being you!
Partner at Foley Hoag Law Firm
Hi Sarah- It’s Candace. Just wanted to say your team and you did such a great job – I am so excited to see the photos. Thanks so much!
Liel is amazing!!!! He captured our day so perfectly. Sarah Merians is always amazing…first our wedding in 2001 and now our son’s Mar Mitzvah in 2022. Thank you!!!
OMG, got the pictures and just finished looking at them. They are AMAZING!!!
We are grateful for Sarah Merians Photography! I look at our stunning photos and albums ALL the time! (1994, 2001, & 2016 weddings and Bar Mitzvah…so happy) #thankful
OMG! I just sat down to look at the album. It is MAGNIFICENT! Just no words. Every picture is perfection and captured the night so perfectly. Thank YOU!!!!
Mother of Bat Mitzvah girl
I hope you are having an enjoyable day. My name is Demetria Johnson. I work with the Public Relations side of BWTT. I first and foremost wanted to express what an absolute pleasure it was to have Ms Sheila Aviles onsite during the conference. She made everyone feel welcomed and warm in front of her lens. There is no doubt this will exude through her photos. Would you happen to have the images ready by chance? I would like to send them out to publications with post release coverage, as that is timely. Also, I want to make sure proper credit is given when the images are used. Should it read, “Sheila Aviles c/o Sarah Merians Photography & Video Company? Looking forward to connecting with you.
Press for Black Women Tech Talk
We have hired Sarah Merians Photography to photograph student graduations at Sotheby’s Institute of Art – New York for years. Sarah is a pleasure to work with. She is always on top of things and makes sure we are well taken care of. The photographers are professional, courteous, and talented! We’ve been impressed with the photos every year and have never been disappointed. Our events are large in scale and Sarah’s photographers have been friendly, calm, and they make sure we get every shot we ask for and more! The photos are amazing. Thank you for another successful graduation ceremony! Looking forward to next year!
Sotheby’s Institute of Art
Sarah: I loved having you at my party. Many of my guests could not believe you were everywhere all night. The album is really great in every way, love it. I cannot thank you enough. I cannot wait to show it to my kids and multi grandchildren. I hope to find a way to work together again, way before my 90th.
80th Birthday and longtime client
It looks incredible! You jazzed me up! Thank you again 😊
Perhaps the smartest thing we did when we started planning our kids’ b’nai mitzvah? CALL YOU!!!
Truly, I have admired your work for years…and now that I’ve actually gotten to know you and work with you, I admire YOU and your artistry more than ever!!!! I can’t tell you how many compliments we’ve gotten about your pics every step of the way. From our pre-shoot to the service day… to our re-scheduled party… everything you’ve shot looks utterly gorgeous. And the silver lining of our postponement was that we actually got to work with you… in addition to your talented staff 🙂 Some things really do have a way of working out, huh!! (And again, we really appreciate your flexibility re: our date change.)
So, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for sharing your talent (and your personality 🙂 with us. We can’t wait to see the rest of the goods and put together the albums. It’ll be like reliving our party :)
Thanks again and rock on!!
Kate and Steve
Parents of B’Nai Mitzvah children
You were amazing on Friday at the pre-prom!! Thank you so much for being here and for your patience with all the kids and families who wanted 1000 pictures!! I can’t believe we were so lucky with the weather and that your car was parked right in front of the museum!!
Everyone is chomping at the bit for the pics!
Thank you!!! Xoxo
Mom of Prom Daughter
Sarah, we love you and think you are very cool! In addition to being an excellent photographer, Sarah’s energy makes her an absolute delight to work with. Her quiet confidence is contagious and throughout the shoot you will grow increasingly comfortable being in front of the camera. Whether you need professional headshots, family photos or an entire event captured, you can trust that Sarah will live up to her exceptional reputation for getting it just right. Thank you Sarah!
Jess and Doug
Thank you so much!!! Wow such a quick turnaround Sarah and beautiful photos. You have been a pleasure to work with.
Bat Mitzvah mom
I just finished looking at all the photos with Ali and Andy. They’re wonderful. We are all so happy. You really captured the beauty and love of the island. Standing here with them and we can’t thank you enough. Truly gorgeous pictures!
Mother of Bride to Be
“We highly recommend it! Liel and the team were amazing! Everywhere we looked (and our guests!) we could find a photographer to take the pictures we wanted. Liel’s energy, passion, and creativity is phenomenal. He was such an important and fun part of our day!”
Ariel & Stephen
BRIDE & GROOM
“Jenny was the photographer for 2 of my childrens’ weddings within 5 months. Talk about stress! But Jenny took all of the stress out of photographing every special moment from literally every angle. Jenny put everyone at total ease so that shots were filled with a very natural happiness. She is so energetic, filled with fun, and had an incredible ability to see and photograph even the smallest detail so every moment is captured. One of the brides is now pregnant – Guess who will be doing the baby pictures?”
A VERY HAPPY MOM
“We had a wonderful experience with Sheila and team!! Their perfect mix of candid and posed photos truly captured the magic of the entire day, from getting ready in robes, up until the end. We look forward to cherishing these memories forever!”
Emily & Andrew
BRIDE & GROOM
The albums are getting rave reviews and bringing many smiles as they bring us back to that special day! They will be treasured. Thank you again for your beautiful photographs.
Father of the bride
Thank you for your assistance, patience, and guidance over the last few months! It was a pleasure working with you in making our event a success. All of our attendees were floored by the quality, hospitality, and attention to detail of everything and everyone involved.
Director, Heterodox Academy
Was great working with Sarah – We loved having [her] team, spirit and enthusiasm for the job and project onsite!.
Assistant Account Executive, Legacy Marketing
Working with Sarah was fantastic. She required very little direction, was aggressive in the best way possible and always got the shot.
Director, Heterodox Academy
Thank you to the Sarah Merians team for jumping in and handling the last minute rush and especially for the rapid turnaround of the photos. They are exactly what we were looking and hoping for and we are so excited to share them! You set a high-bar for the other events this week!
Sarah is incredibly talented and a lot of fun to work with! She can get the most hardened, serious lawyer to smile!
Partner, Mayer Brown LLP
I would like to express my gratitude for your quick and tireless efforts with GBTA’s inaugural WINIT gala. We really appreciate your high level of coordination, flexibility and cooperation with the logistics of the event. The feedback from our attendees’ experience was amazing and we could not have done it without Sarah Merians Photography & Video Company!”
WINIT by GBTA (Global Business Travel Association)
We are THRILLED with how the video came together! We can’t watch it enough! Thank you!
Bar Mitzvah mom
“The bat mitzvah was wonderful and we absolutely LOVE Sarah. She is fantastic and having her there was a dream. We were so entranced by and confident in her picture taking ability that we didn’t even take any photos on our phone! Can’t wait to see what you send!”
Bat mitzvah mom AND Sarah Merians bride!
“The photos are amazing! Will be very difficult to choose (for the album) – Sarah was amazing!”
Bar Mitzvah mom
“I can’t thank you enough. The whole day was perfect from beginning to end and I could not have been happier. People thought the photos you took of Steph on the walls were beautiful”
Mitzvah mom and event planner
I cannot tell you how happy we are that we chose you to help us capture this milestone in our lives! Liel was absolutely perfect! He did such a fabulous job getting every shot quickly and seamlessly…he was so skilled in his set up and composition…He was kind and unintrusive. He was professional and respectful and extremely hard working all day and night! Thank you and A++ for Liel and the Sarah Merians team!!
Bat mitzvah mom
I want to reiterate how thankful (we are) for your time and your professionalism this week. I know we can be tough but you managed everyone so well and had them all leaving (their headshot session) feeling confident! Thank you, thank you!”
Marketing Manager, Sotheby’s International Realty
“Sarah is not only a great photographer, she is an amazing director with a keen and creative eye! Photoshoots for my team of 16+ normally takes all day but with her energy and direction, we were done in half the time with twice the selection options. The Field Team loved working with Sarah and can’t wait for our next shoot.
Nikki Field THE FIELD TEAM
Senior Global Real Estate Advisor, Associate Broker, Sotheby's International Realty
“Sarah is the BEST wedding photographer ever. She is detail oriented, on top of everything in a way that is unparalleled, is extremely professional and also FUN!! She even pulled out some amazing dance moves at the end of the night, all while taking the most incredible photos! We could not be more happy with our decision to work with Sarah and her team. They go above and beyond to deliver exactly what you want.. and more!! We love you Sarah!”
“We found Sarah to be a warm, engaging personality which made us comfortable with her quickly. Her suggestions were easy to respond to and we did. The result was an outstanding collection of wedding photos that we will treasure for the rest of our lives!”
A note to say what a pleasure it was working with you last evening. Joel and I are extremely grateful for your talent, creativity and professional manner. It was truly a wonderful experience during a memorable time in our lives. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Mother of the bride
Sarah and her team were amazing! We had a pretty tight timeline for pictures between our ceremony and reception and were worried we wouldn’t be able to get it all in but Sarah was so efficient and flexible with us that we were able to take pictures in our desired location and still make it to cocktail hour right on time, which friends and family swore to me would not happen! Not only was she able to accommodate our timeline the day of, but she made it stress-free, seamless, and easy for us which allowed us to to enjoy every minute of it. Our pictures came out incredible and were available 3 days after our wedding! Can’t wait to work with Sarah and her team again soon! 🙂