first day

Why is it that the older we get, the more we struggle with time?

Me & Him | Salem Willows, 2019

Me & Him | Salem Willows, 2019

What used to feel like a structured, manageable, time for everything / everything in its place span, now feels chaotic and often overwhelming even without having kids or a larger family to take care of.

Is it simply more chaotic and more cluttered between emails (work and personal), social media, projects (work and personal), digital vs analogue, cell phones, more people, more traffic, more time to get between here and there and back again.

I don’t have answers to any of these but painfully aware of the slow evaporation of things that feed my spirit - taking pictures, exploring, music, cooking, reading a book, a cup of coffee in a cafe, the beach at sunrise or sunset, yoga, exercise etc.

Certainly there are additions that weren’t in place decades ago but I’m determined to squeeze in things I’ve missed. I’ve made subtle commitments and accept imperfection. One of those was photographing more frequently for myself.

Pictures from week one.

this year

At the beginning, the year ahead is wide and long & there’s a natural tendency to look ahead with hopeful eyes & a clean slate - like “this” year is going to be THE one it all happens.

salem harbor | 2018

salem harbor | 2018

In years past, my list has included a range of items I knew in advance would never happen but it felt good to lay the words down on paper. And I guess offered an out when I didn’t stay within the lane I’d outlined.

The thing that’s always been at the forefront - clarity on who I am as a person and a photographer. But I’ve learned that forging ahead with that intention only makes the prize that much more evasive for we find ourselves when we’re not looking (but living) and photography merely follows in step.

So I’ve learned over time to keep my intentions as guides (rather than end results) with a few actions that are doable.

2019 Intentions

  1. photograph more (at minimum, twice a week)

  2. create a home that feels right (window shop, research, DIY projects)

  3. explore more / sit less (something as simple as a coffee & a croissant, an afternoon walk, a sunset)

  4. take risks (yes, ask that person on the street to take their picture and find out who they are)

  5. appreciate beauty (read poetry & stoics, listen to music, visit art museums)

  6. keep moving (walk to work a few days, cycle a few mornings before work when it’s warmer)

  7. stretch (15 min yoga at home everyday and a class at least twice a week)

  8. go to bed earlier with a book instead of 24/7 news

  9. meditate/sit (Dan Harris Awakening)

  10. prioritize people that are important (write two letters a month, text the nieces every week; call the parents once a week; visit F&F as often as possible)

what’s missing?

  • Losing weight (I’d rather enjoy the ride and feel good than be 140 lbs)

  • Detailed projects (I have a loose outline for one and will trust the rest will surface)

  • Grandiose adventures (tho in truth, I have one intention to visit Newfoundland)

  • Writing - while I wrote daily for years, I haven’t in a long time; I picked up The 52 Lists Project: A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration as a way back.

Overall, while that which binds us be released.

Bonne Année

2018 selects

It was a year of scenes more than people, ones that now feel still. The times I had to simply walk around and be were far and few between. Looking at these now, I remember each day; some shared with others, most on my own. And despite the few personal trips here and there, most were from Salem.

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. – T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Here’s to another year … and a continuation of our voices.

The Beginning

This day. The first that really felt like the turning of a season. A long walk...lingering conversation, beautiful silence. And these kids in the water. Not even as a kid would I have gone in on this day. Not even on a dare. I don't like freezing cold water in the summer so getting into this in APRIL - never. But I can't deny a deep appreciation for their joyfulness & ability to frolic like it was July. 

Swimmers in April | 2018

Swimmers in April | 2018

The Ad

My husband was the first to spot this from a ways back. Given our times, I was prepared for just about anything - a political ad, a call to action, a #Metoo moment. The last thing I expected - an advertisement. A well done one as well and apparently one that he does fairly regularly in sand or snow. This realtor with a rake and a message. 

Man Raking an Advertisement | April, 2018

Man Raking an Advertisement | April, 2018

The Mineral Springs

When we first moved here from Seattle, I insisted on a water delivery service until we tested our tap and found it rated higher. But sadly, in the past few years, things have changed. It just doesn't look/taste the same. And so one of us (not me) did a little investigating and came across this hidden gem.

Jesus, Cross & Adirondack Chairs | 2018

Jesus, Cross & Adirondack Chairs | 2018

I was intrigued enough after my husband returned from his first visit and went with him the following week. What I wasn't prepared for were the artifacts - a VW Van with plastic flowers, the Jesus, Cross & Adirondack Chairs, the Altar with a rake and fire extinguisher....and then the springs themselves. And then there's the water. If you're in the area - - Pocahontas Mineral Springs in Lynnfield. connect with the owner for a portrait.


End of year thoughts.

We arrive again in the frozen glaze of nature's looking glass.. And considering the chaos most of us processed and absorbed (and resisted), the ending of this year finds me feeling a bit worn.

And busy.

2017 was a hell of a year in every way.

It was a year of making my voice heard; an endeavor which requires intent and effort- writing letters, making calls, going out with the crowds when it was cold and keeping up with legislation. I've learned that while living in a democracy in our times is hard work, it's worth every moment.

 It was also year filled with another kind of work .... clients with stories to document and events - my other profession. When the two collided, it was a combination which led to difficult choices ... not being able to get to the gym  or yoga or the zen center as often as I've grown accustomed to; letting go of blogging and newsletters and website updates and social media.  Being ok with a cluttered house, a million projects on hold and apparently holiday cards which remain sitting on a table waiting for me to sent. There were many months spent literally at a computer from 6am to midnight (my husband will attest to that!)

I'll also admit that I've fallen a prey to mainlining news (a diet I don't recommend) as I simply haven't been able to shut it off (despite the moments i've been forced away were beautiful blessings) .  But I see a need this year to trim it down. The whirling dervishes will whirl as they say and the toll it's taken on my psyche is noted.

Overall, I was left with an impression of last year as one of work and news and intermittent photography and was pleasantly surprised in looking through last years  pictures to see a range of colors and shapes and faces and places. While I don't deny a need to step outside more frequently and consistently, there is proof I've actually been more than a few places.

And even though most of my time in many of those places was spent in a hotel room or convention center, there were a few stolen moments (and pictures) ... where I forgot about the the day and simply took it all in while taking pictures. Here is a sample of my year in review.

Rabbi's Son Bar Mitzvah | Lexington

While I give my heart to every story, this one was a first - a Bar Mitzvah for the son of a Rabbi. While we’d planned to begin with a Home session, we ended up with Friday at the Synagogue, the Party and Sunday Brunch. And while I knew emotions would run high, I wasn’t prepared for the heartfelt joy that permeated every moment from his siblings, parents and family. While it may seem ordinary to document the moments leading to Shabbat, it is actually far from it - here in particular, with the Rabbi draping the Tallit over his son. In returning for Habdala and photographing in candlelight without flash, it was the beam of light that shone on the faces that formed a circle around the room. The transition to the Party was jublient and the fleeting imipressions of time as it sped by so quickly during the Party. And then there was the brunch held on a beautiful warm summer day; the light, the love, the color and relaxed exhaustion among family. 



Beautiful Chaos | Bat Mitzvah Documentary

“Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion. ” 
― Martha Graham

Imagine you’re about five months from a major move with three boys ranging from four to ten and a daughter with a Bat Mitzvah - one who’s danced in the Boston Ballet Nutcracker, has played the harp since she was a tiny girl not to mention her love of gentle bunny.
The meaning of "beatifiul chaos" is an understatement. And while there were more than one concern on documenting at their home let alone on the Friday before the ceremony, it was within those stolen moments at home, and in those at the Synagogue following that tell the story of a calm among the storm. The love that’s expressed in the most everyday of moments to stolen vignettes that felt near epic in their rendering. 

While we began earlier in the week to document a Rehearsal (one in which the girl asked her Mom to wait outside), it was the Friday sessions - first at home, later at the Synagogue - when the true story surfaced: one of love, family, chaos and calm. We opted for portraits on Saturday afternoon at their new home and finished up on Saturday night with photography of an intimate and moving Habdala ceremony through the joyful Hora celebration. This is her story in 140 pictures over one hundred beautiful pages.