Category Archives: New York City

The Frick Ball

One of the women in my All of It: Working Mothers project helped to organize the Frick Collection’s Young Fellows Ball. So I photographed it, and she and her friends were gracious and funny.

I’ll post those pictures eventually, but the other guests kept catching my eye, so here are some non-sequiturs I couldn’t resist. I do love to photograph in museums. (And I got to meet Bill Cunningham, who reminds me about the joy in photography.)

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The Mind’s Eye

I’ve just promised to read a book on the critical theory of photography each month this year.

It’s the kind of thing I always want to do but never think I have the time. But Jo Lien, a photographer and English professor in Idaho, created a blog circle and it was just the commitment device I needed.

We started off with Henri Cartier Bresson’s The Mind’s Eye, and the quote that stayed with me was this: “[Photography] is putting one’s head, one’s eye, and one’s heart on the same axis.”

I recently photographed a stay-at-home father and his corporate lawyer wife for my project on Women’s Work. HCB’s words helped me ignore my thoughts that I should be photographing something grittier, or breaking news-y, or farther away from myself. I feel strongly about birth and other kinds of women’s work, and it’s relevant to my life.

My head is curious, my eye is interested, and my heart is full when I photograph these things. So on I go.

Here are some photographs of Aaron, Miki and baby Oliver during their evening routine: dinner, bath, and a family reading of Harry Potter. A framed picture in their living room says:

The measure of a man is not the size of his
paycheck, the car that he drives or the
clothes that he wears.

It is the strength of his hands that hold
you close, the intensity of his smile when
he looks at you and the size of his heart
that will always love you.

I love you, dad. Oliver

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Feel free to read the other blogs in this circle, starting with Annie Morris’ post (her photographs are dreamy and beautiful, and she lives in one of my favorite places in the entire world).

All of It: Daily Life

Picking the kids up from daycare, training for a run in honor of a friend lost to leukemia, bathing a child – small actions that add up to a life.

(More photographs of Jen as a working mother here.)

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All of It: First Day at Daycare

But before she went back to work, Jen had to get through dropping her baby off for his first day at daycare. The morning was hectic and rushed, but everyone made it out of the house (and Jen remembered all of her breast pump supplies).

She looked forward to being around other people and using her intellect more, but she felt a strong pull toward her kids as she left them at a local daycare. Jen’s working two days a week now, but her days in the office are intense and the work tends to leak into her days at home with baby Wiley.

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All of It: Back on the Job

And then working mother Jen was back at work, running a press conference about discriminatory policing, speaking to members of the media, and pumping (and washing breast pump parts in the sink). Jen pushes herself hard at work and in her personal life.

She was glad to be back working on a cause she cares deeply about, but felt the pressure to get a long list of tasks done in the two days her baby is at daycare each week, and wondering if she could ever feel she was doing enough for her children and job.

(More photos of Jen navigating the expectations of career and motherhood here.)

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2013 ING New York City Marathon

Photographing this year’s marathon was an exciting, beautiful, 15-hour-day kind of a shoot. I was so glad to be out working for the New York Road Runners again, and was inspired by the unity and determination I saw in the runners. Seeing a mass of people all pushing themselves side by side was incredible, and it inspired me to… not run a marathon. 26.2 miles is serious business! But I do love to run, and I was moved by all the the runners’ work and togetherness (in beautiful fall light, especially).

I was assigned to photograph Team for Kids, a group of runners who raise money for youth running programs, before and after the race. We met in midtown, boarded buses that drove through an empty Times Square, and rode to Staten Island where nervousness, anticipation and warm-ups were the morning’s themes.

One runner, Mel, was planning to run four marathons in six weeks!

And after the race, I photographed the exhausted and proud runners as they cooled down and headed home.

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Whitney Museum Outtake

Well here’s one more: an outtake that I shot just for me.

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The Whitney Museum

The Whitney Museum asked me to photograph some of their tours, and I was so glad. I love shooting in museums, and I love shooting things I wouldn’t otherwise be allowed to. It’s like having a superpower…

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The Staten Island Half Marathon

I got to photograph the Staten Island Half Marathon for the New York Road Runners on Sunday. The race was a fundraiser for the residents and businesses of the borough who are still working to come back from damage they sustained during Superstorm Sandy. After the race, runners and Staten Islanders climbed rock walls, played games, listened to bands and checked out the Superbowl trophy. It was a good day, and I can’t wait to shoot the ING New York City Marathon next month!

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A First-Year Middle School Teacher

I’ve been an arts educator for ten years. But back in 2008, I wanted to give up.

I was teaching arts integration in a first-year teacher’s sixth grade English Language Arts Class. I’d work with her to figure out how photography could give students multiple ways to access academic material, and together we’d help students develop visual literacy and artistic thinking.

But we’d also lose it, in ways that I thought I never would. Once I had to step out of the classroom because I’d yelled in a way that made me immediately sorry and embarrassed. The combination of a challenging age group, an intense mix of personalities, and a struggling school led to endless frustration, even though the kids were great on their own. It seemed like the group came together like Voltron and transformed thoughtful, kind individuals into a furious, resistant mass.

I wanted to make more time to photograph, but after each day of teaching my mind would be buzzing and almost erased. So I took my camera to school, and used it to look at the frustration and intensity I saw.

We made it through the year, and I photograph much more now. The teacher is going strong: her combination of talent, dedication, and commitment to practicing the mechanics of good teaching have made her one of the best educators I’ve worked with.

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