Generations of Friends

Jess and Laura 1983

This is my friend Laura. I have known Laura since we were both 4 years old (yeah, that’s me asleep on her shoulder). For those keeping count, that is 25 years. This picture was taken in 1983, on the way back home from a trip to the Boston Children’s Museum (my family was living in Massachusetts at the time). It was a long ride, we’d had a fun day, and I was pooped. Seriously, how many five year olds do you know who would put up with letting someone sleep on them AT ALL let alone in a bumpy car? That is life long friend material right there.

Jess and Laura 1985

Our families lived in the same neighborhood and we all became great friends. We used to take ski vacations together. On this one, in 1985, Laura gave me the chicken pox. It took me a long time to forgive that one.

Jess and Laura 1989

My family moved away from Massachusetts in 1986. But Laura and I stayed in touch. This photo was taken in 1989 in a subway stop in Washington DC (we were showing off? maybe? who knows…). Laura’s mom and her future step-dad invited me a long with them on a business trip to DC. It was the first time I’d ever flown in a plane. And even though it had been a few years since we’d seen each other, we fell right back into step, as the best and easiest of friends do. As we grew, our trips to visit grew less and less frequent, but we always sort of knew where the other was and what they were up to.

Jess and Laura 2000

In 2000, Laura married a wonderful man named Shane. And in 2001, they had a baby. A boy. Jackson.

Shane Jackson Laura and me 2003

This photo was taken in 2003, the very day I met Jackson for the first time. It’s such an amazing thing, meeting the next generation. Indescribable, really. It was also around this time they decided it was time to move to Maine (finally!). I was so thrilled to have my oldest friend back within a reasonable driving distance!

Less than a year later, their daughter, Abby, was born. And now I have TWO amazing new friends.

Abby peeking

I get to play with them and watch them grow.

Abby smiling

And see them change and blossom. Its hard to put into words how deeply cool I find all of this.


To get to photograph them and know them and know that I’ll be part of the things they remember from being little.

Jackson laughing

Such a gift.

Jackson hanging

This is just one of the many reasons I love what I do. I get to record life and watch it unfold all around me. I get to document some of the most important times in peoples lives. It is an honor and a privilege and just so much freaking fun. Especially when you get to do it for people you love.

To see more photos of Jackson and Abby, check out my flickr site. There are two sets, taken a year apart. Its amazing how much can change in just one little year. You can tell that in the second set, they are much more used to me and my camera. They had a very hard time staying serious and following any sort of directions from me. They just wanted to play! Not that I minded – on the contrary, I love just following them to see where they lead. Such imaginations on these two, I swear.

So thank you Laura, for continuing to be one of my dearest friends. In another 25 years, I’ll be photographing the kid’s weddings, telling stories of Abby screaming “TICKLE ME!” and Captain Jackson of Playground Rocket Ship Alpha, and posting photos of us with gray hair and relieved looks on our faces.

4 Thoughts on “Generations of Friends

  1. Ellie on 6 August, 2007 at 5:16 pm said:

    Omigod, Jess, this is SO cool! The early photos bring back such GREAT memories and the ones of Jackson and Abby are great! You are a gifted photographer of children! And, as Laura said about herself when she sent me the link, this made me cry too!

    Love, Ellie

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