Tag archive for : photojournalism

Regular readers and my most recent clients all know that I had a baby two months ago today, and I’ve just come back from maternity leave. One of the things that I love doing with my photography is turning the camera on my own family.

Easter weekend gave us an amazing opportunity to introduce our baby to so many dear friends and family.The most precious introduction, by far, was introducing Ryan to his great-grandmother. My grandmother, whom I call Nanny, has a huge place in my heart. Our relationship has always been one of the least complicated, most loving relationships in my life.

When I was growing up she didn’t have to worry about how I was turning out. That was my parents’ problem. Though she undoubtably helped shape me into the woman I am today, she wasn’t responsible for making sure I hit my developmental milestones. My behavior as a child or adolescent never reflected on her, because she’s not my mom. She loves me with the fierceness of a mother, but her love for me is, well, grander than that.

She’s 97 now. I’ve been excited about the prospect of placing a great-grandchild in her arms pretty much from the moment I found out I was expecting. I knew for sure that I wanted this moment photographed, and I wanted to be the one to do it. I also wanted to be the one to place my son in her arms, so this first photo was taken by Joel.

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I knew when she laid eyes on him that the look on her face would be priceless, so that that was my like-a-mom and protege Cheryl’s assignment: Capture Nanny’s expression.

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Joel also grabbed this shot, which really captures the happiness I felt. At age 97, every day is a gift. Nanny had a close call in November, and I was worried we wouldn’t get to do this. I felt so much pride and relief in this instant.

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From here on out, the photos are all mine.

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Oh, my heart. The way she looked at him…

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The way he looked at her…

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She held him so tenderly, but even sweeter was the way he reached up to stroke her cheek.

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Nanny is my father’s mother, so there are three generations in one picture.

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I love this moment, though, too, with my mom.

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Her own grandmother was a force of good in her earliest years before she died when my mom was five. She hasn’t had a love as pure and peaceful since. Don’t get me wrong; she has mama bear love for me and my sister; a patient and welcoming appreciative love for her sons-in-law. Her marriage to my father is steadfast and passionate. She loves Nanny to bits and pieces and with a sense of duty to ensure she’s receiving the best quality care, for instance. But her love for my son Ryan is that great, grand love like Nanny has for me.

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I titled this post “bookends” because I feel like Ryan, at 2 months old, and Nanny, at 97, are really at the beginning and near the end of their lives, respectively. You can see it in their hands.

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I often imitate the British stand-up comedian Eddie Izzard when I talk about this and think about this, as seen in this video at 1:47. Yes, I actually walk around singing, “I am a gran! I live forever!” because that’s how I wish it could be.

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Cheryl doing her bit to get the baby to smile. Smiling is new for him.

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For the first 84 years of her life, before her heart surgery, Nanny was famous for feeding people. That’s what she did. She fed you. Feeding her family and friends (and let’s be honest, acquaintances and occasionally strangers) was a language of love for her. I’m so glad my son got to experience that.

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Then it was time to burp…

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Nanny never says goodbye. She says, “So long.”

Filled Under : Babies and Families

I have spent the past week shooting for Newsday, starting a few hours before Hurricane Sandy and continuing through school re-opening today. I want to say that Rockland County has been relatively lucky. That’s right; these are images from the lucky area. We did have one storm-related death when a tree fell on a house and killed a retired NYPD officer in his home, but compared to Staten Island, we are so lucky. We have been declared a federal disaster area, but we are in okay shape when you consider how bad it could have been.

Joel and I are so grateful. Joel’s mom was injured during the storm, but she’s out of ICU and should be fine. We have a generator, hot water, and heat. I am able to edit and send album designs to my Milestone clients in the evenings after I’m done shooting the storm aftermath during the day. We are okay, honestly.

This is where I have been, what I have seen, and what I have photographed this past week.

Filled Under : Uncategorized

Thursday night marked the opening of a new stadium for a minor league baseball team here near our home in Rockland! I got to shoot from the dugout and had an absolute blast. It’s been a while since I’ve shot really good sports, there’s so other way to say it; it felt GOOD, like stretching a muscle I haven’t used in a while. Roll, Boulders roll!

Filled Under : Sports