how is it that three months can pass in what feels like one breath....i always shake my head and sigh at this time of year. realizing how easily i shrug off each day early on in june and into the high season of july - days that seem to linger on into the next that forge an attitude of "i'll get to the beach next week" until mid-august arrives and i find myself in a near panic of holy shit - it's almost over. maybe this is the year i'll finally awaken to the wisdom of taking in each day. and maybe next year i'll be a bit more assertive in marketing the love i have for beach documentary portraits.
there is something about what is still the early parts of summer that fills me up with a hopeful inspiration - it is a looking forward to days at the beach to linger, to wander, to meander, to reflect. i think in part it has a lot to do with my upbringing. we were rather blessed to be able to spend a few weeks every summer at the jersey shore, and to this day, it is something i simply need to do. when i lived in seattle, i actually saved my pennies all year to be able to travel to nj in the summer - that's how deep the pull is. and while this year finds me a little busier and not as free to spend endless hours in the place i love, i have pictures to take me there. and this is one of those.
i fall into this photograph every time i see it. the pointed toe of the girl on the left, the string of the board that leads me to the next who leans into the third in profile - his board tilting to the last who stands in a pose that is moving forward. this photograph for me is at once moving and motionless. it's a frozen stolen quiet still of the film that plays in my mind - reels of memories and emotions. it takes me there every single time.
while i've yet to get this printed, matted and framed on the wall, it is one of my most favorite photographs from American Summer - a series I began a few years ago that i've pulled together into a book which is currently in production and will be available in the coming weeks through the Peabody Essex Museum and a few galleries.
while our weather didn't quite cooperate enough for this kind of day, it is right around the corner. and anyone with children know what i'm talking about.
after a long hot sunny day at the beach...running, jumping, digging, laughing....exhaustion takes hold of tangled windswept hair and sun sweat skin. for this little one, she collapsed onto her mama who rubbed her back. little girl turned and looked at me with bright tired eyes and a mass of ocean spray hair. while looking at this now i wish i'd had the sense to pull back just a little to get those little hands, it still works for me. i like her mama's soothing hands covered in sand enveloping her. i like the light in her eyes and the sheen on her face. but more than all that, it's THE moment of delicious exhaustion that somewhere within, i think we all remember.
and so we begin that time of year when days are long and skies are bright. when for a moment on a particular day, i can almost remember that feeling of being a kid on the last day of school with the long stretch of summer days ahead. when i can look forward to days with my feet dug into warm sand and occasionally in water that's warmer (relatively speaking where i live).
while this photograph wasn't taken anywhere near memorial day, it's light and bright. the lines of the swings and the girls riding them caught mid-air hold my attention with feet flying and ponytails riding in the wind. i like that one turns to the water and the other to the sky for their gestures within the composition hold that feeling of being a kid in summer & the freedom of wearing a bikini and swinging high.