Giving is Awesome – The Russo Family

After a great year with my business, I decide to run a little contest in December to give something special to a family who might need a little pick me up.  I didn’t have a lot of rules, I just asked that people nominate someone they thought could use a little joy in their lives, someone who they thought needed a little photography in their day.

One of my blog readers, Eileen van Hoek, nominated her friend Annette Russo with a beautiful letter.  Annette – an inspiring woman who should get supermom of the year award!  After her own battle with Lymphoma, Annette and Anthony got news no parents ever should ever have to – their only daughter had been diagnosed with Leukemia.  Samantha is in her second year of chemotherapy, and is finishing up in November 2010.  Expect a party.  BIG.

Samantha (or Sam to her mom’s chagrin), is one of those 13 year olds going on 30.  She is as strong as her mom, beautiful inside and out, and just as sweet as can be.  I’d really encourage you to take a look at her blog, written updates by Annette, to see all they are going through and how much this family stands together.  They are truly amazing.

Samantha’s BLOG

Meeting them, you would never know what they are going through.  I tried to keep our session as casual as possible so it would be fun and the kids would look back on it as a good day.

Here are some of my favorite images Russo family.  It was an amazing honor to photograph you all!!

My favorite of the day – Nicholas didn’t really want to take another picture, but to his credit he did it for Sam because when I told her my idea she thought it would be fun.  It was!  (well, to me anyway!)

westchester family photographer

Beautiful mom and dad – I really wanted to get them laughing and had to make them do a bunch of ridiculous things…  still got my laughing shot even though I had to embarrass them!


The cool, collected and incredible Samantha.  She wanted this tree shot, so we took it!

Cristina Coco Photography giving is awesome Sam

and another cause she’s just too pretty and cute.


Noah and his very cool hair.

Cristina Coco Photography child photographer westchester

Oldest Nicholas and youngest Alex.

Westchester photographer Cristina Coco

And we can’t forget Buddy too!!


Thank you so much for being fun, cool, strong, sweet, polite and charming.  It was a pleasure working with all of you!

Cristina Coco Photography R family

  • kimbrali

    these are perfect coco. what a beautiful family!

  • Mollie Kendall

    These are so stunning Coco! All beautiful but that last shot is fantastic!!

  • Christine DeSavino

    Wow – love them all! Beautiful job and inspiring story!

  • Jared Rey

    Beautiful family. Samantha, you look beautiful in these photos! You did a great job capturing this family Coco!

  • kim casey

    amazing! what a wonderful way to pay-it-forward. :)

  • Melissa

    What a true gift you gave this family!

  • J Rubin

    the Russos are such a beautiful family inside and out. especially Sam, she’s an inspiration to us all! i hope everyone checks out Sam’s blog and if you’re able to consider donating to Caring Bridge, no donation is ever too small to make a difference.

  • Lauren

    LOVE lOVE LOVE the images of the kids together. What gorgeous brown eyes on the girl! And the sprinkling of freckles is perfection. Handsome boys, beautiful family. A blessing all around, to all of you.

  • Michele

    So so beautiful Coco! Wow, what a gorgeous and amazing family. I especially love the last image of them together. Will say a prayer for Samantha. Stay strong sweet girl!

  • Jowhara

    Fantastic job! What a great looking family. I especially love the two with the four kids laying on each other. And the last one is amazing.

  • jennifer woods

    Beautiful in every way !! You have a heart of gold and it shows in your work !! Sam is so pretty and her family is so inspiring…

  • Amy

    Wow- what a beautiful and inspiring family…and those pictures are priceless, so full of emotion and heart, adore them! I especially love the photo of Samantha in the tree- her soulful eyes sparkle and her smile could light up a night sky! What a gorgeous girl! Thanks for sharing this family with us! xoxox

  • Cristina

    Thanks everyone for your comments! Wow! I know Annette and Samantha will appreciate them. They are two amazing ladies and the boys are pretty special too!

  • Misti

    Beautiful family, wonderful photos.
    These photos make me smile :)

  • Megan

    That family has such a great spirit! Love these pictures!!!

  • CrystalL

    Beautiful family, and that Samantha is gorgeous, love her pretty eyes!

  • jill

    What a beautiful family! Sending lots of love and good wishes their way!

  • Laura

    What a beautiful family! You did a great job with this photo session. I love the photo of Samantha in the tree…I see a happy, confident young lady with beautiful expressive eyes.

  • Crystal

    What a lovely family! Goodness! They are all so beautiful (and handsome!) Great photographs!

  • Julie Martin

    Fantastic photos! What a beautiful family. Sam- Keep fighting and stay strong!

  • Kim Haywood

    beautiful family. beautiful photos.

  • Sharon

    Gorgeous family and gorgeous images!!

  • JenW

    Awesome! Sam- you go girl! You WORKED it in those photos! :-D

  • Alissa Bulfamante

    What an amazing family and gorgeous photos! What an inspiration! Thank you for sharing and I wish only the best for this lovely family!

  • Melanie

    What gorgeous pictures of such a beautiful and courageous family. Thinking of you and wishing you positive things and much strength.

  • Noel

    Beautiful family :)

  • Kim

    Beautiful family – beautiful shots…

  • Erin Carlyle

    Wow! Amazing pictures for such a beautiful family!

  • Katie C

    Beautiful family! Beautiful photos!

  • Steph

    love these pictures! u all look amazing!!!! :D xoxo

  • Janelle

    Gorgeous photos of an beautiful and inspiring family. I feel like you’ve really captured the heart of this family.

  • lauren

    Beautiful family! Love your processing!!

  • Amanda Padgett

    Incredible pictures! Wonderful color and focus. Gorgeous subjects too! Love the girl’s brown eyes!

  • maggie fortson

    OMGOSH!! BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS! Samantha, looks stunning! Those eyes…

  • Rose

    OMG! Beautiful family! Gorgeous kids! Awesome job! *wishing you all well, stay strong*

  • Brea Bursch

    The first shots of all the siblings together are priceless. What a great way to round out a trying experience. Kudos to the photographer and WELL DONE to the family!

  • Matt

    Thanks for sharing your gift with this inspiring and beautiful family.

  • Tarrah Fuson

    These are amazing photos! I love the playful feel that they have. My fave’s are Samantha laying on the grass with the boys. She looks totally awesome in that pink shirt and I love how it looks with the boys wearing blue. What a beautiful family! My husband (29 yrs old) just finished up chemo not too long ago and we had a huge party to celebrate, so I was super happy to read to “Expect a party. BIG!” Sending many hugs and kisses your way, Samantha!! You go girl!!

  • Aleza

    I adore the image of the four kids together :D – well worth the co-operation ;). What a beautiful family, what a beautiful gift.

  • Eileen

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  • Suzie Gorski

    What beautiful pictures….I loved them all!!!

  • Karen Dimitriou

    For the first time in my life, I a speechless! These pictures are outstanding and I wish this beautiful family all the best and will keep them in my daily prayers. On a personal note, I am also very blessed to have such a wonderful, kind and beautiful friend, Eileen van Hoek, who, because of her never-ending concern and love for others, made this website happen.

  • haley

    OMG! Sam and family… you ALL look AMAZING!!!!! Really, really great pictures!!!!! Great memories to cherish!!!!! xoxo :D

  • Timothy Pham

    I LOVE the story that unfolded in this session. Beautiful pictures Coco!

  • Julie Sowers

    Such a beautiful family and it looks like such a fun time. Samantha is absolutely adorable too!

  • http://caringbridge maria russo trolli

    A job well done, the photographer captured the beauty and inner beauty of this wonderful family considering the stress of the last few years that they all indured and especially Samantha that has gone from being a child of only aleven when this all began and now i see a young and strong teenager that is mature beyond her years.Congratulations Samantha and much love to you and to the Russo family for your strenght that you have shown through the past few years.
    much love

  • Russell

    What an awesome family!!!!
    The Russo’s Rock!!!

    Oh and nice pics too, by the way…lol ;P

  • Krista Muskovin

    Such a beautiful family. I’m in love with the one of Samantha and the tree, she gorgeous!