Category Archives: Friends

More Generations

On the bus for Irish Studies

I met Alahna when I was living in Ireland in 1999 and attending the Burren College of Art for a semester. Amazingly enough, she was also from Maine and struggling with so many of the same issues I was. We bonded very quickly.

Alahna and the Castle

I photographed her a lot while we were in Ireland. She is infinitely photograph-able and put up with me quite well.

Alahna's hands

Through the door at Bunratty Castle

I mean really, how could you not like this woman? Besides her kindness and HUGE heart, she is just, like, totally adorable!

Havin' a pint

Though this picture is kinda crappy (taken with a disposable camera in low light – yikes!) it is a great reminder of all the fun we had (and all the Guinness we drank).

One of my favorite photos of myself in Ireland is this one that Alahna took of me:

Me with the Irish music

It really has nothing to do with the photo itself and everything to do with the story behind it. We were at the Cliffs of Moher (for probably the 3rd or 4th time) and Alahna noticed this little display that was playing Irish music. And she said, “Oh! Music! Stand in front of it and I’ll take your picture.”

Um, you want to take a picture of me with the music?

Hence the look on my face.

Our friendship survived the long voyage back across the pond and has strengthened so much in the intervening years. We both finished college and struggled with what to do next in our lives.

And then this guy happened.

Alahna & Tom

And then this happened (as these things tend to).

Alahna, pregnant

She is five months pregnant in this picture. I took this at her baby shower in August of 2006.

sweet face

At the time, she and Tom (the guy) were (and sadly still are) living in Colorado. So when she was home in Maine on a summer visit, her parents took the opportunity to throw her a big ol’ party. It was amazing and sweet to see the huge outpouring of love for her and this new life growing inside of her. The party was held in the gym of the elementary school where her mother works and where Alahna attended once upon a time. I stole her away from the party for a few precious minutes to take some photos.

Alahna, pregnant and on the swing

Alahna, close up

Kiss the baby

Much to my dismay, these are the only pictures I was able to take of her during her pregnancy. The next time I saw her was almost a year later and by then the baby was very much on the outside.

Huh?

Armando Mael, AKA Manny, is almost 8 months old in these pictures. Hes got such a great expression on his face here. Like he is not quite sure what the thing strapped to my face is or why its pointed in his direction.

Behind bars

Alahna can make him laugh SO HARD. There are very few things better than baby giggles and his are some of the best.

Manny

That face he makes

Alahna and Tom were both very excited I caught this face on film. Evidently he makes it all the time, but this is the first time they’d gotten him to do it for a camera. Holy Strange Face, Batman!

Manny smiles!

Alahna & Jess & Manny

I love how concerned he looks in this picture.

Alahna’s sister is also named Jessica, so I will be his Auntie Jess while she gets to be his Aunt Jessie. Terribly confusing, I know, but what else are we to do? He has to call me something! Hopefully they’ll all move back to Maine in another year or so when Alahna is finished with her advanced schooling. And then I’ll have this little guy and his momma to photograph to my hearts content! Just as with Laura and her family, it is so much fun to have a whole new generation of friends to play with. I love my work!

Maggie and Steve’s Wedding

Maggie and Steve's Wedding!

On August 11, I was honored to be the photographer for Maggie and Steve’s wedding reception in South Portland, Maine. Having been officially married exactly one week prior on the island of Samoa, this was the big party for friends and family back home who weren’t there for the real thing. It was a great party!

Maggie & Steve

To see the full set of photos from this wonderful event, please visit my flickr site.

Headshots

For about as long as I can remember, I’ve loved photographing people. When I was in High School, one of my favorite things to do was to take some friends, grab my camera and have an adventure. I’d find someplace interesting, plonk the friend down in the middle of it and somehow together we would tell a story through the pictures. Very often, we had no idea what the heck we were saying, but that was beside the point. The photos were what mattered.

Emy

In college, I was the same way. Most of the time, shortly after making a new friend, I’d pop the question: “Can I photograph you some time?” Even developed a few full blown narratives with pictures. Duane Michals was (is) my hero.

Lauren in the window

But I always enjoy returning to the single portrait. There is something about catching that moment – that fraction of a second – when the person you are photographing drops their pretense and just is. Even make-up-ed and in costume, that moment is still there. You just have to be patient. I love that moment. Its another one of those things that makes what I do so very worth it.

James in Santa Monica

People have so many different reasons for asking for head shots. I’ve done my fair share of actors just getting into the biz, but lately it seems I’ve been working with people with very different agendas. For example, Gary here is a piano player and radio DJ.

Gary the pianist

And Billi is a personal chef and baker. I did an extensive set of portraits of her and her farm last summer as she was setting up her website.

Billi and the sunflower

She loved having images of herself outside in her garden instead of the very stuffy studio shots one often sees of professional chefs. She wanted a variety of images for lots of different purposes and was very happy with what we ended up with.

Billi and the cuke

Firefly Farm

Billi in her kitchen

For more images of Billi and Firefly Farm, please visit my flickr site.

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.

Jackson

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.