I have two favorite dogs in my life: Luna (Luna Tuna, Luny, etc.), a boxer mix I knew over a decade ago in Oakland and who moved to upstate NY; and Serena, a wise and aptly-named greyhound, who lives in an antique house in Marblehead, MA. I’ve known both a long time and when invited to document these twilight days I saw such beauty in failing hips, fogging eyes, grey muzzles and the love pressed into fur all these years by caretakers who don’t have a lot of time left with dear family members. I’ve never photographed dogs so intimately before but I might have fallen into a new-to-me kind of portraiture that I’d aim to do again and again. Here’s to you Luna + Serena, and your loving human families, with sweet tears in their eyes.
I received some really worthy and wonderful nominations for my gratis portrait session announced back in November. At first I wanted to figure a way to select them all as winners but realized I just had to choose. And so Jen and Rick and their twin girls (nearly 2 months old when I photographed them) are who I decided to turn my lenses upon. Their story in brief: They bravely faced 9 years of trying to start a family amidst a flurry of miscarriages and, ultimately, the organization that housed Jen’s eggs lost them all when she was 41 years old. Rather than suing, Jen and Rick accepted donor eggs and went forward.
I was moved by this act of courage and headed out on a drive earlier this month to a part of Massachusetts where I had never been to spend some time in their warm company. I had originally meant to ask in person more about their story but was so involved in capturing them in this moment that the drama that led them to this place seemed to be an aside, which seems strange to say since most of us have never endured something so ongoing and unexpected. One day, perhaps, I will ask of their experience.
Meanwhile, without further adieu, I introduce the sisters Elyssa and Eva and their parents who have already proven come-hell-or-high-water. Much love to you four.
You may remember my posting of Lindsay and her giant belly back in December, on the first snow that we had. The twins, River and Wren, are now three weeks old and they, plus their parents, have been through a series of adventures particular to birth and twins. Suffice to say everyone is home and cozy now, phew. Two days ago I visited their farmhouse on a very cold, sunny day and in between holding/rocking/gently bouncing River while Lindsay tended to Wren, and in between nursings and tea, we made a series of shots of the newness of being in this world.
Lindsay turned their summer and fall harvest into baby food at the ready, when the time comes.
Jo Kaplan Lee and Dave Lee, the talented duo from Allegro Photography, are due any moment with their first baby. They are on my mind so it’s high time a few of these photographs we made together get a special send off, and a last look at “before.” Before their lives will be forever more so different than they are today, in the most amazing ways.
On the first snowy dusting two Saturday’s ago, my sister Jeni and I headed over to Lindsay’s house. Lindsay, her 8 year old daughter Stella, and her husband Scott are the new inhabitants of a toasty farmhouse from where Scott is Appleton’s dairy and livestock manager. (Appleton Farms is one of my favorite places and where we visit frequently during farm share season). Twins are due so soon and we took this hint-of-winter day to document. If you happen to be friends with Lindsay you might persuade her to show you all of the shots we did with her gorgeous body in all its glory! Excited to be invited to return and photograph the new family members soon.
A note about the turkeys in Lindsay and Scott’s yard! I haven’t spent much time with turkey flocks but was fascinated by their tandem behaviors. They strutted and spread tail feathers in seamlessly choreographed movements. A Turkey Carnivale tribute to Lindsay’s twins perhaps!
In August we visited friends who live in North Falmouth for the summer. They bring their four kids, bikes, chickens and aging dog. They grow lots of food in their garden. They spend most of their time outside and on the river that feeds into the mouth of a nearby harbor. It’s a bit like McCloskey’s “One Morning In Maine” but down on the Cape.
My kids’ ages fit right in with theirs and playful highlights included tire swinging, riding bikes and scooters en masse, and collecting all manner of sea creatures to investigate closely in a salt water tank over a few days before releasing. As a parting gift I photographed the Noordzij’s. They are such a unit that wrangling a group of six plus pets wasn’t a wrangle but an easy collaboration. These days I make it a personal challenge to create family portraits with everyone in the shot, to keep working it until I feel we’ve got something meaningful and representative. I come to the portraits with something in mind but I love seeing what emerges, usually a hybrid of preconceived and completely spontaneous.
I really enjoy photographing friends, particularly for that extra glimpse we get of each other in a slightly different context: Me in action with my gear and them doing their unique family dynamic thing. It can be a bit circus-like and I especially love it when parents think we probably didn’t get much in the way of pictures, that their kids were zooming all over and doing this and that; And then, later on during their presentation, to watch mom and dad’s faces and hear their laughter and wonderous surprise that, indeed, we rocked it. We really did. A family captured at this place and time. So here’s to a fun collaboration with Jocelyn, Mark and their energetic kids who have been making me chuckle heartily for the last bunch of years. Hard to choose just a few here…
This past Spring and Summer I tootled around a bit with Martha Almy, chef and creator of Bantam Feast, to participate in some farm-to-table inspired cooking and communing. I invited my taste buds and cameras along, naturally. Martha is ripe within that intersection of food and community and bringing it home–literally in most cases to her home-venue–where guests can enjoy themselves in a meaningful, feast-full way. My, how I enjoyed photographing food in action, at Apple Street Farm, where she sourced her greens, and in various kitchens, sampling bits along the way. Delish!
Dear Readers: Run don’t walk over to Martha’s Facebook page and get notified of upcoming Bantam Feast dates. With each announcement the first 12 lucky guests to rsvp get a seat at her table in her Salem loft, which in itself is not to be missed.
Portraits got extra interesting this month. To feature Lindsey and her technical hooping skills I enjoyed playing with light and motion and settling them into the look I was going for. Check out our action shots down at Waikiki Beach in Salem! Marvel at her hooping prowess! I have to say we nailed so many shots and here is just a wee handful of my personal faves. Do you have one you like best?
Recently I’ve been getting my nascent hooping groove on and Lindsey made me two pretty hoops of my own. Come swivel with us on the Salem Common. Wednesdays at 7pm is beginner’s night and there’s info on Lindsey’s Siren of the Circle’s Facebook page. She has a spin jam on Tuesday eves and an advanced hooping class on Thursdays. I suspect you’re mentally going back to your own hula hooping days of yore and think it’s a done deal for you now. Best kept secret: An Adult-Sized Hoop. I won’t say anything more, just come down to the park and jump in.
June 2nd was STORMY and the rains and winds were even more pronounced at this lovely inn which faces wide open ocean. Sure everything needed to move inside but that didn’t stop the vibe at this wedding, which will have me grinning with delight for a long time to come. Have you heard the story of how I met this couple? They found my work online and got in touch and when I described how to find me for our meeting, Amie emailed: “We’ll see if we can make the hike over!” They literally live across the street and none of us can quite figure out how we hadn’t met before. Crazy coincidence. It’s serendipity really. So now, not only did I gain these most terrific clients, I have the greatest of new neighbors too. They are so vibrant and so in love. Congratulations Amie and Camille, what a gift to be with you and your guests on this day. xo