Day in Philly

Posted on September 21st, 2015

I met Chuck about 14 years ago. I had gone to an art opening in Philadelphia alone and a mutual friend introduced us. I remember how we walked to my car talking the entire time. I kept thinking that I wanted to invite him to my wedding (which was 6 weeks away) because I knew I had met a life long friend. Although he did not come to the wedding, we have stayed in touch. He came to see my daughter in the hospital when she was born. Chuck even taught her to go into her daycare when she was 4 and yell “KAINNNN!!! with her fist in the air (none of the kids got the Star Trek reference but she thought it was hilarious). He is truly one of my favorite people!

I met Katie when I photographed Chuck’s mom’s wedding. My first impression was her beautiful smile and how she looked at Chuck. The first time I got to spend any real time with her was when I came to photograph James when he was born. Such a chunky happy baby with adoring parents. We had so much in common, I just wanted to spend more time with her. She is passionate about teaching and parenting. Denise photographed their extended family and in each and every image you could see how much they enjoyed each other.

Then the Facebook post that made my heart hurt. They announced that they were selling their house in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia and moving to Vermont. Even though I don’t see them much (living 10 minutes away from them) we were going to miss them being in Philly. Chuck had texted me earlier about getting family pictures done because they were expecting another child so I texted him back. I wanted to do a “day in the life” shoot in their neighborhood before they left. They were moving to such a different place that it was important to document this life before it changed.

James will not remember this neighborhood but he will want to look back and see what his early childhood was all about. My own children spend hours going through the boxes of pictures I have printed on their lives as babies. I even remember sitting in my parent’s closet where they had a big plastic container with all the pictures. It’s so important to document our lives, it goes by so fast. Remember to document and PRINT. I understand posed pictures, where everyone is matching and it’s a process to get everyone to smile at the camera. Those images are important. However, I think that looking at your daily routine, where the kids are making faces behind your back or the quiet moment where mom needs to leave and nurse the baby, those are the images that are just as important. This is way I enjoy doing family sessions, I am inspired by Tara Whitney’s work in California. I am photographing the family like I would want my family to photographed.

Someone just posted this quote that really spoke to me.. “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” -Aristotle.

So on a hot July Saturday morning, 3 weeks before their actual move, I came over to their home in Northern Liberties and took a walk with them. We went to get James’ daily bagel, got to see the Yak mural, walk the streets of Philly, go to the local playground/garden and then to the local restaurant for breakfast (and where Chuck and Katie met).

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Denise and I will miss you guys and expect a visit within the next year!!!