Seriously I had no idea what to call this post 🙂
I was going to update my Aboutpage with lots of clever details about who I am, how I like to travel with the family (that is me in Havana above!) and why you should book an appointment with me. Right? That seems like pretty standard business practice, makes sense, I really do want you to book a session with me. I can sound interesting, I can let you know that I am a relatable dad to 2 boys and married to the woman of my dreams (which is all absolutely true). My About page already does that, so we should scrap this as an about page update. I like how my about page reads.
I realize that what I really want to do is explain why I do what I do…
What is it you would say you “do” for a living?
I get asked all of the time by clients and friends, why did you leave the day to day of the fast-paced, exciting technology startup world to become a portrait photographer? Do you know how hard it is to get into tech? Do you know how hard it is to succeed as a photographer? Yes and yes and no and no. Make sense? Great.
The reason I want to take portraits can be explained in a few….pictures (natch)! This is a picture of the shelf above my desk, where I keep a few things.
I have a few pictures on my shelf and it helps to remind me of what I am trying to do, so let me explain a few things.
First is Love. This is a portrait of Ingrid and me in a frame that she gave me to remember the summer of 1998. That was the year we met and fell in love (…awwwww) but I see those 2 babies and I think wow what a ride. She made this for me in 1998. This frame is almost 21 years old, but it has been with me the whole time I have been “figuring out” life, and so has my beautiful wife. For this I am grateful.
Second, kids. That is what happens when you marry your sweetheart who makes you a handmade frame, well at least 8 year later it resulted in kids! 😉
When the boys were born I was overwhelmed by how much I immediately loved them. This was quickly followed by a huge host of other stressed out, tired, annoyed and complicated emotions. It isn’t always so intense, but at the beginning it was. Capturing those moments when you can remember what it was to be so vulnerable and alive in such a new way is irreplaceable. I love having these images to remind me of the state of my heart at this time. For that I am grateful.
Lastly, family. When this post goes live I will be outed as the kid from our family that straight up stole Grandpa Meagher’s portrait after he passed a few years back. I found this loose, brought it back and reframed it in our studio. It is an 8×10 portrait of Grandpa when he was 17. Grandpa was born in 1929, which means this portrait was printed in 1948. There are fingerprints on the side and it has scratches from being around for 70 years. It is has been well loved and used.
This piece of printed paper has known my Grandfather most of his life. It was with him when he married my Grandma. It was with him when he moved cross country with my dad from Illinois to Washington State. It was with him when I was born. It was with him when I married Ingrid and when my boys were born. It was with him when he died a few years ago. That piece of paper has been around for all of the important moments in my life and most of the important moments in his life. That helps me stay connected to my past as I work to build my future with my family.
I put my son’s silly portrait next to him because he reminds me so much of my Grandpa.
So why do I love taking portraits of people? Because it matters. It matters that we have pictures of our family and friends in our lives. It helps us to stay grounded in our history but gives us a road map for our family’s future. That is why I have these portraits around.
Most people do not stay in Jersey City or this area. People move in and move out at a dizzying pace, but for a singular moment in time, this is their home and (usually) this is where they start their family. Not in a big home, but in an apartment bigger than their old Manhattan place, but certainly smaller than their “forever home.”
It is a crazy, amazing time for our family’s and I help create portraits to capture that. These portraits will last for generations and they have a story to tell. So I help them tell their story.
I love who you are. I want to capture you as you. I definitely want to capture your kids as they are. But at the end of the day, I want to capture your past for your future. That is why I gave up working in the fast-paced world of technology startups and joined my wife in the family business.
This has been a post about me and I thank you for indulging me. Now get out from behind your camera phone and find yourself a photographer to capture you and create that piece of history that will last for generations!