CAPTURING THE MAGIC OF CHILDHOOD

I’m about to launch into telling you about my thoughts of Halloween, but first, to those of you who have just stumbled in and know little about me, and why I write – I’m hoping this blog, these images, help you to think about what you love about your neighborhood. What memories do you want to collect? Can I help you collect them?

So, a mom-confessional time.

I have a love-hate relationship with Halloween. But my neighborhood is conspiring to pull me more towards the love side. Can I talk about what I hate first? Basically I’m a grumpy grinch who doesn’t feel like shelling out cash for my kids to have sparkly new Halloween outfits every year (in fact, I usually hit Target two days after Halloween, load up on 70% off Halloween clearance to give to the kids for their November birthdays and Christmas). I hate the mounds of candy and how it makes me anxious about obesity and wastefulness and what cavities. I hate having to basically designate an entire day to dealing with costume angst, begging, schlepping through a neighborhood, and sugar crashes.

But what is pulling me into the love side? When I step behind the lens and start looking and seeing the magic that we are creating. The memories.  The year my 2nd kid made a Groot (Guardians of the Galaxy, people!) costume out of Amazon brown paper packaging. The year my oldest, in new teendom, won a costume contest by tying keys to his shoes and going as “low key.” The piling of candy into categories and massive candy swaps (with any trade having to be authorized and approved by an adult to keep the olders from scamming their younger sisters). The inventiveness, the cackling, the pride and sheer joy. Even the crashes seem so perfectly part of childhood when I stoop down to see things from their eyes.

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CENTER CITY FAMILY RAMBLE

I start many conversations with clients these days telling them that more and more, my style is moving farther away from posed, and more towards documentary.  This family was one of my favorite examples of what I mean by that.  A documentary, storytelling session starts off with a conversation between me and you, where I start helping you think through – what is it about my family, during this particular slice of life, that is so special that I want to wrap it up and make sure I remember it forever?  I have a questionnaire that is almost less for me and more for you – so that you can pause the laundry and dishes and have a moment of reflection – what exactly is the the thing that might drive me crazy now, but that someday I’ll miss?  (For me, at this very moment one answer is the pile of books that my 8 year old leaves in the bathroom, by the sink and ready to be splashed on by her younger sister).

This family embraced the spirit – welcomed me into their Philly row home, and Miss Sassy Middle Sister walked me through their house, stopping to snuggle with her dog, watch her older brother sulk a little with his game system (he was nursing a foot injury and not having the best day), and watch her younger brother tumble upside down on the couch.  Brushing teeth?  Putting on shoes?  Dog licking food of the plates as mom puts them on the dishwasher?  Yup – that’s what we do in the morning before hitting the city.

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PHOTOWALK PHILADELPHIA

Summer has hit and yes, I’ve disappeared a bit from blogging.  I do have a backlog of photos to share and write about, but I’m letting a recent photowalk jump the queue!  Why?  Especially in the summer, as the heat hits and I slow down business work in order to enjoy the simple joy of being present with my family, as an introvert, I can also get crazed by the emotional drag of hearing “Mom!  Mom-mom-mom-mom-MOM!!!!” all day long and for all manner of reasons.  For my church, I led a small group of photographers on a photowalk through Philadelphia, and although it was hard to clear my schedule for it, I felt a certain amount of photographer refreshment to pull away and visually look at subjects that are not my usual jam.

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