Monthly Archives: September 2009

This summer I was lucky enough to take a week-long class with Harvey Stein, a great photographer out of NYC (see his work here: ).

The class was called Photographing People. Harvey is a big advocate of the wide angle lens–most portrait photographers like to use more narrow or telephoto lenses and to stay tight in their subjects. He mad a compelling argument about capturing the scene/story around the subject. I have found myself mainly using a wide angle lens since that time, even for shots that end up being close in on kids’s faces.

Harvey also led us on trips to do street photography. “Street photography” is when you approach a stranger and ask them if you can take their photo. When Harvey described it, I thought that it sounded a little embarrassing and not so much fun; but, as it turns out, I had a ball walking around the Common and Quincy Market taking pictures of people. And I will preempt your next question by telling you that almost no one refused when I asked them if I could take their picture. Even when they did say “no” they were very nice about it and grateful that I had asked rather than just taking their photo. In some cases I gave people my card and invited them to write me and get the files. A few folks did–one even invited me to a party!

The images that came out of the class were so strong that the Griffin Museum is going to host a show of the students’ work, as selected by Harvey. As I was working up my own files this morning, I thought that I would share a few from the class. Each of the participants in the class will have three images in the show and only one of the images below will be on exhibit, but I like them all. The first one is a Haitian woman who was walking around the Common almost enrapture and carrying her Bible. The second one is a guy I found sitting outside smoking, isolating himself from the crowd with his earphones. The third one is a group of teenage girls (all the girls in the photo are the same age) that I found just like they appear in the photo, which for me tells a story. Finally, there is a “self portrait” of sorts taken with one of the other students in the class.

The show will be on November 2-8 at the Griffin Museum in Winchester if anyone is interested in checking it out!

I was asked to shoot the cover of the Combined Jewish Philanthropy’s “A Case for Giving.” This is such an honor for many reasons, but foremost among them is the chance to create an eye-catching promotional piece for an organization in which I believe so strongly. I spend a LOT of time volunteering for CJP. Many, many people do. It is not unusual to hear volunteers say that they have meetings before work, during lunch and after work. But they are not complaining. The dedication of the volunteers is second only to the all-star staff’s stunning respect for lay leadership.

CJP’s work is expansive and contributes to the creating a world that is more socially just–in addition to just plain helping a LOT of folks out. Like all philanthropic organizations, CJP has had to reassess some things due to the trying economic times. But they have also remained true to the organization’s ideals and implemented new programs in areas identified as strategic priorities. As the booklet says, “CJP’s 2010 Annual Campaign is about more than simply raising funds. It’s about raising our hopes in the midst of trying times, setting our sights on a vibrant future, and working in partnership with our Jewish family around the world.” Hope, future, family. Today. Tomorrow. Together.

My friends Rachel and Mike were nice enough to model for me with their beautiful daughter, A. She is a twin, and between her and her brother there is just no end to adorable. You will see them here again in the coming months as we gear up for holiday card season and fall portraits (she is in one of the blog headers from about a year ago, see if you can spot her). And here is the cover–


The last family of cousins. Sweet blue-eyed kids who I was lucky enough to shoot for a second time. Watching kids grow is one of the greatest joys of this job.

So, you may have noticed the preponderance of BOYS in this family! But there is one girl among the cousins–and she is the oldest. A is such an adorable and well-mannered little girl. She was trying so hard to smile and cooperate that I had to reassure her that it was OK to chat with me, that I would not be upset if she stopped smiling for a minute. I felt a little like a dentist, I would ask a question and she would nod but not move or answer! She takes her status and the only female in stride–in truth she is so happy to be the biggest and the only girl. And she is a sensational one at that.

A’s brother M is not such a fan of being photographed, but that makes me love him even more. He always comes around, just needs some TLC. Each good image is like a little victory. And he is pretty special too–last year when I met him for the first [and only!] time he was four. This year (about 10 months later) I came over and he told his mom that I had changed my hair! And he was right! I was so impressed. No many 40 year-olds catch things like that, let alone 4 year-olds. Despite his ambivalence about the camera, we did (as always) manage to get some nice shots. No too hard with these two, who, like their cousins, are pretty easy on the eyes!

The proofs are in the works, but hopefully these sneak peeks have whet your appetites!

The cousins keep rolling in… these two could not be cuter, and have some great spunk to back up the good looks. Big brother J is more laid back, and I could barely get him to look at the camera, he was so interested in all that was going on around the house (I think that some of the other kids had food and he was left out because it was his turn for photos). Plus he got busted in on by little N from yesterday’s post and his brother, R. They had some fun shots together too.

The little guy, R, was playful and kept me on my toes, the way three and four year olds often do! I just love his haircut, so mod.

Mom and dad have some heartbreakers on their hands. I was loving them in sepia, so I will show you those shots in this sneak peek!

I will have to do this shoot in a few separate entries, but here is #1. The entire side of the family was visiting, so that was 6 kids from 3 time zones, 8 adults, and tons of snacks. But everyone was laid back and got great photos as a result.

The littlest guy is B, he is nearly one and loves his big brother, N. B had just woken up and was in good spirits for his turn in front of the camera. They were so much fun together, N really could make the little guy laugh unlike any other person. And he was just the most cooperative of three year olds.

The whole family is waiting to see their kids’ photos, and I promise that I am working hard on them, but here is the first peek!

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