Monthly Archives: September 2010

L is a ham. She is exuberant and expressive and loves attention. In short, she is three. Three is so much fun, they can talk to you and interact with folks. They can be “reasoned” with in their own way. In the case of L, she can command the attention of her Zadie and Nana in a way that is unparalleled.

But three is also the time that many first children become older siblings. Not such an easy adjustment. L was recently joined by E, her little sister who is only a few months old. L and I bonded over being the older sister–she rightly pointed out that her mom is also the older sister. And, in a heartwarming moment, she demonstrated an uncommon understanding of what E means to her life, “a sister is your friend for ever and ever!” E has herself quite a special friend for ever and ever.

We were lucky enough to have Zadie and Nana join the shoot for a few minutes, and in that time it was clear that these little girls had run away with their hearts. Nana had a wide smile and Zadie cradled E’s little body in his big hands.

This session was the redemption of a gift certificate I gave for a silent auction–there are lots more of those lurking out there–hit me up! I would love to meet you and your families.

Now, without further adieu, L and E and the adults who adore them:

The many faces of L

I feel like E is looking like she is pulling one over on them in this photo! The all-knowing infant.

Matching grins:

Children’s age and the number of photos taken of them are inversely correlated in my experience. Remember back to the days of film (if you are old enough to recall) and you will remember that one roll could last the better part of a year. When you took the roll in to be developed there were invariably a few photos that you never anticipated in the prints. Or you would have this Halloween mixed with last Christmas and Easter. Even with digital, the number of good photos of children as they get older definitely dwindles.

But it pays to keep shooting–every year–no matter how many pleas to stop. Because there is a magic time where you can actually see the child disappearing and the young adult emerging. It is like watching the baby become the child. Sometimes it is an awkward metamorphosis. However, NOT in the case of these lovelies.

Their mom was prompted to call by the impending right of passage known as braces. Ugh. I can relate to that un-fun element of growing up, but I think that H is going to weather the storm pretty fantastically. Perfect teeth are only going to add to her adorable appearance. She was a great model, full of enthusiasm and a gentle nature that was evident in the way she dealt with all the animals. Yes, did I mention that this shoot included not only two adorable ‘tweens, but a few horses and goats as well as a exuberant labrador named Lucy? H is fearless–with a serious glimmer in her eyes that shows her spirit.

C is her brother. A little more cautious. A little more serious. A little mischievous. I have a bunch of shots of him biting his lip to the side contemplating the next funny face he would make to cause his mom to groan about getting a few good photos. But bring Lucy or the goats around and the real ease and smiles emerged. He also secretly likes his sister a lot, and, I am sure it would pain her to admit it, but she loves him too. It was all over the photos.

I had such a good time visiting their beautiful homestead on a gorgeous nearly fall day. I think that you will be able to tell. I can see a wall of beautiful images in here, can you?

When I was little I was so confused… I understood the New Year’s Eve new year–the new number made it real. But there were other new years that people talked about, new year at school, a new year at Rosh Hashana, and a new year for me on my birthday. I recall the time in about the second grade when I finally understood the mystery of all the ways we count off [all the different kinds of] years.

As an adult in Boston the new school year is pretty salient–parking gets more scarce, pedestrians travel in clumps and get a little more brazen, crowds grow, and at least one student-driven U-Haul hits the low overpass and backs Storrow Drive up for miles. Ahhhh! The autumn has arrived.

And I have come to appreciate the idea of two formally recognized new year celebrations. On Rosh Hashana reflection is encouraged. I usually gather with friends for meals, we go to synagogue, chat and hang out, usually without television or other diversions in observance of the holiday. There is challah and brisket and candles, apples and honey (if you have not tried it, I recommend it!), and gratitude for another year together. We are quiet, but appreciative. It is a 10 day period of reflection on the last year (which we are currently observing), a look toward the next year and an exercise in envisioning your next year.

You guys all know how the December 31 new year celebration goes–the bigger the party, the better. This one is about celebrating, turning the page, and creating temporary, but annoyingly large, new crowds in my gym.

Both have their function. I appreciate both opportunities.

In the midst of this I have been consciously marking my own year. From birthday to birthday, with my 365 Project. Every day a photo of myself that I have to take. Through this process I have learned a lot, so much more than I thought I would. First, it is an exercise in appreciation. I love my job, but many days it is solitary endeavor. There is not so much that is obviously photo-worthy going down… How many images of me editing shoots can you really be subjected to? So, in planning for these pictures I have had to examine the small but important happenings in my day–sometimes it is easy, other times it is tougher. Second, it is an exercise in self-acceptance. I don’t look great in every photo (ironically, when i am taking photos of myself I often forget to smile–and sometimes blink!–because I am so busy making the camera work right). Third, there have been many happy accidents and lots of learning. I allow myself to do things with my camera in this project that I can adapt to shoots, but might not have been brave enough to without this practice. Fourth, I don’t have very many shirts! Since I am not out and about every day, I have cut back on the wardrobe and that means lots of repeats in the photos. Finally, while I was sure the project would be a record, I am already amazed at how much more salient it makes my year’s memories.

So, in the spirit of the new year–however you define it–here is a peek into some of my favorite photos from my 365 project (you can see all of them here):

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