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.

You may kiss each other!

You may kiss eachother, originally uploaded by jess_leclair.

On October 8, 2005, I was honored to be the photographer for my dear friend Celeste’s wedding to Joe. Together they have a beautiful daughter Sofia. The whole event was just lovely and so very much fun. It was a joy to be there and share the day! Check out my flickr site (under “Celeste and Joe” the “Weddings” collection) to see more pictures from the day.

This was actually the last wedding I shot with film before making the switch to digital. As nerve wracking as it was at first, it is SO MUCH easier to be totally digital. Where as before I had to worry about running out of film and should I use black and white film or color film and what speed should it be and on and on. Now, I just click-click-click knowing I can take as many photos as I want (especially now with my 2 gig card!) and make any of it color or black and white and I can make instant decisions about what to change if there is not enough light. It’s so much easier! And printing capabilities are improving every day. It is so much easier to make really beautiful wedding albums now too! So much fun to be had! Yay for technology!

The red couch

The red couch, originally uploaded by jess_leclair.

This photo was taken of my brother Dan and me at our step-cousin Jackie’s wedding, September 9, 2006. Though I wasn’t the official photographer on this particular wedding, I did take a fair number of photos (you can head on over to my flickr site to see more). I have to give props to the women who were officially responsible for the photography that night for one very specific thing. This red couch. It was a small touch of brilliance. They set up this very inviting couch with a camera facing it. On the couch was the remote for the camera. Anyone could just come up, sit down and take their own photo! It was better than a photo booth! Though I must say, they should have made more people aware of it. We just sort of stumbled drunkenly over and started fiddling with things. At which point the photographer’s assistant came over and told us what it was. We got to see some of the images later and they were a total riot. By the end of the evening people were getting REALLY stupid.

Good times, good times.

Good Gollie Miss Mollie

Sweet Mollie, originally uploaded by jess_leclair.

This was taken the same day that Mollie took her very first un-aided steps into her Daddy’s arms. What a day!