I am extremely honored and humbled to have won first place for best photographer in the Best of the Best of the Southcoast for 2017. As cliche as it may be, no one is an island and it truly takes a village to achieve something. I didn’t earn this award by myself. So, while I’m grateful that I didn’t have to make an acceptance speech in front of 400+ attendees (I am not sure my nerves could have handled that) I have to acknowledge everybody who helped, and continues to help me achieve my dream of being the best maternity, birth, newborn, baby, child and family photographer that I can be.
Seven years ago when I decided to officially go into business, my mother, Saralee Salk, believed in my dreams and gave me the startup money I needed. My late father, Harvey Salk, was always there to babysit so I could work. As my business grew, I needed to move into studio space – I found the perfect location inside the Webster Bank building (Thank you Rick and Rose Miller). However, no space is just ready to “move into” without putting a personal touch to it. Madeleine and George Whitley of Whitley Designs were those exact people who brainstormed and then brought to life my studio space as it looks now – warm and welcoming. As business continued to grow, I needed to have an assistant. My first assistant, Ashley Gibbs, was such a wonderful addition to my team. Due to some transportation issues, she had to take a leave of absence. I then brought on Kayla Costa, who is my current assistant. She is just as amazing. She has taken on more than just the role of assistant, but also set designer as well – as she helps me put together a lot of my setups and even crochets and builds some of them herself! I also have to thank my In-Laws Jane and Mark Zion. They have taken over babysitting duty which allows me to be at the studio working. My husband M. Drew Zion, a photographer in his own right, has been my rock. He stays with me at the studio when I have consultations and sales sessions, he assists me with maternity sessions, he stays up and keeps me company when I’m editing late at night, and he delivers all of our clients’ orders – including clients who live 1+ hours away! He’s also my biggest supporter and fan. I have to thank my daughters, Talia and Naomi. I know that they miss me a lot, especially on the weekends, when I spend the entire day working at the studio. But as much as they miss me, they both insist they want to “take pictures of babies just like mommy” when they grow up. Last but not least, I have all of my wonderful clients to thank. With you, I wouldn’t be here. It brings me such joy to know how happy you all are with my work and my services. I am so grateful that you all have entrusted me with taking your most precious photos. It just warms my heart that you all believe I am the best. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your votes.
I received my first place award at a beautiful gala that took place at White’s of Westport on July 20, 2017. It was a gorgeous event that included a cocktail hour, red carpet, aerialist show and a 3 course dinner. Those of you who know me, know that I’m a very casual type of person – I pretty much live in jeans and t-shirts and having two little girls and running a full time business, I never have time to put on makeup. So I took the opportunity to get all dolled up for this event. Two days before hand, I went to my hair stylist, Beth Nunes of Salon B in Dartmouth. She gave me the perfect cut and color. Then on the day of the event, one of the hair and makeup artists that does the hair and makeup for my clients, Amanda Melo of ModMakeup in Rhode Island came over and did my makeup. I have never felt so glamourous. I wore a strapless floor length satin gown. However, being, only 5’2, it was way too long for me. So my friend Annemarie Santos’ mother-in-law, Deb Santos, shortened it to the perfect length for me. I truly felt like a queen that night. I am also very blessed that some of my closest friends and family came to the gala to support me – Ann-Marie Chin, my best friend for almost 40 years, my good friend Annemarie Chagnon, my dear friend Sue Gibbs, my assistant Kayla Costa, my mother and her boyfriend Joe Pacheco, my father-in-law Mark Zion, Sr. and of course my husband, Mark Zion. Like I mentioned above – it truly takes a village. I wholeheartedly appreciate and thank my village.
Abrah Zion, of Miss Z Photography, is an award winning maternity, newborn, baby and child photographer in New Bedford, MA. She serves all over the SouthCoast and New England with her satisfied clients deriving from Boston, Providence, Cape Cod and even New York!