This blog post is going to be a huge promotion for Grant’s Amazing Bacon (GAB) even though he’s not exactly in the business of selling it. However, Grant is an incredible griller/ meat smoker/ pickler/ chef/ etc-er who I once traded photographs for his melt-in-your-mouth bacon (and then purchased the next order with cash). Literally, I brought home the bacon. And everyone to whom we’ve ever served this bacon has had the same reaction: “OH MY GOD! WHERE DID YOU GET THIS BACON?!” From San Francisco to Chicago to New York to Washington, D.C., we have been spreading the gospel of Grant’s Awesome Bacon. There was even a toddler, once diagnosed with failure to thrive, going back for third and fourth servings of this bacon, to the point that his mom was asking us for Grant’s name and contact, so she could especially order his bacon if it meant her kid would eat and grow.
Anyway, slightly beknownst to Grant and Court, I have been trying to encourage Grant to market his delicious cooking to a greater population, an idea over which he hems and haws. However, though I did not photograph any pictures of bacon, I have photographed their warm, kind, welcoming and very well-read family. (Court you may recognize from prior photos that I’ve taken of her company). Here are some pictures that we took right before the holidays.
There’s a phrase in Chinese: pao lai pao tu. It translates to “running here, running there.” My college roommate’s father, after hearing about my various travel shenanigans through the four years, one day declared that I was very pao lai pao tu and my own family agreed, and I do not dispute this.
Our trip to Maine two summers ago (2018) is exemplary of this motto and my personal philosophy, even though it causes those around me to grumble while I plan all the details. We decided to embark on a two week trip camping trip to Maine (with a two-day stop in Boston and three nights in an Airbnb farmhouse in southern Maine). This includes, but is not limited to, driving about 12 hours to Maine with a 4- and 6-year old in the backseat of our CR-V and then sleeping in a tent with them for nights on end. Now, a CR-V is a nice small-medium SUV which is not really designed for a two-week camping trip to Maine, especially when your kids are still confined to carseats, but in all my years of pao lai pao tu I had succeeded in packing everything tightly, from suitcases to car trunks, like a winning Tetris game. Our kids may have complained about having their feet propped up with bags underneath.
Because we had a then-4- and 6-year-old, one of whom gets carsick from watching an iPad for more than 2 minutes, I planned out our trip to break up with a stop at Rye Playland in Rye, New York, where the end of Big was filmed and where I spent my summers as a kid; then in Boston for a few days where Jon could work from the Cambridge office of his company while I dragged the kids around the Freedom Trail; then an extended lunch at the Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier in Kittery, Maine where I ate many a lobster when I used to work in Boston; and a stop at a waterpark in southern Maine before we reached our first destination in Lincolnville, Maine before we headed into Acadia National Park. We spent a few days hiking and checking out the cutesy New England towns before we went into the woods to camp lakeside in Acadia for a week. To make things extra complicated, I piled some camera equipment with me, of course, to document the whole experience, though I did leave my flashes behind – we were going au naturel on this camping trip.
There’s a difference between a photoshoot and photographing your vacation. I didn’t take pictures the whole time—for example, whenever sand was involved. Or if it was raining, which was most of Boston, so there are no Boston shots except on my iPhone. My camera weighs a lot and sometimes I just didn’t feel like dragging it up a mountain. I also didn’t want to be stuck behind the camera the entire trip—I wanted to actually be on the vacation itself. Also, when you have two kids tugging at your clothes or complaining through a hike, there’s only so much creativity you can have.
In any case, I was able to capture a lot of great moments, anyway, so here are some of my favorites.
Weddings are beautiful—but marriage isn’t always so Pinterest-perfect. I have always wanted to take some very realistic shots of marriage, 10 years later, when everyone’s completely settled into a whole different life with kids, mortgages, financial obligations, career changes, messy houses, the mundaneness of the day-to-day. But 10 years is an excellent marker to step back, examine the original wedding vows, and see if they need some refinement or fit into your current life.
I had the opportunity to capture some wedding vow renewals of Nick and Amy—two people I’ve known them since they passed their five year anniversary, and now they’ve just surpassed 10 years. They decided to officially renew their vows and added a couple with their daughters. They chose a secluded woodsy spot on a beautiful fall day in Rock Creek Park, complete with a picnic and twirly dresses for the girls. As Amy put it, it was a second chance to do the wedding the way you really wanted to the first time around. Here are some shots from this lovely morning.
I met up with Niki and Eric and their kids for a summer photo session at the Maryland Soccerplex, an enormous complex of 24 separate, full soccer fields (and indoor ones!) in South Germantown, Maryland. If you couldn’t tell, this family is clearly a soccer family. Both kids are dedicated and very talented players. Their son will be celebrating his bar mitzvah over the weekend, which will be, of course, soccer-themed. We lucked out on a slightly cooler (i.e. not ridiculously humid) late August day to play with their new puppy and kick around a soccer ball. Enjoy the pictures!
This boy, with his two loves: a soccer field and his new puppy, is becoming a bar mitzvah this weekend! Stay tuned for shots from their family photoshoot at the expansive Maryland Soccerplex, and later some shots from his bar mitzvah.
This is my third opportunity to photograph members of this family – first headshots for entrepreneurs David and Sarah, and now with the rest of their gang. They welcomed their baby a few months ago, and their other kids absolutely adore her. The oldest is thrilled to have another girl in her corner, but the boys are going to be the big brother protectors as well. These were some of the most behaved kids I have ever worked with, and they are all under 8 years old! I don’t know what was in those snacks Sarah gave to them before, but they were charming and smiling and adorable all at the same time. You can see for yourself.
This was supposed to be a picture of just David and Sarah quietly enjoying a moment together, which as parents know, is short-lived. One by one, the kids started piling up on their laps. As usual, spontaneity results in one of my favorite photos from this session! Also, these kids are unbelievably well-behaved! More later from this shoot.
This little girl is really just this adorable. Stay tuned for more from her and her family…
Violeta contacted me: “My entire extended family is coming into town and we want to take a picture of all of us. ALL of us.” And, there were a lot of them – particularly these little ones. But they were so smiley and completely photogenic, so with a few obligatory silly faces, we had a great time – even the littlest one who wavered between smiling and pouting. Here are a few select shots.
(probably my favorite shot of the day – this little girl with her big expressions)
Sara has been coming to the Outer Banks her entire life, when she spent her childhood here and then later when her parents invested in a vacation home. We got to spend a weekend with them, watching the sunrise and sunset, playing on the beach, and eating seafood galore. We lucked out on a hot, 90-degree weekend in April for the weekend. Sara likes to bring her own little family now to share in her favorite place, so we took some memorable moments at sunset with her husband Phil and their 11-year-old son.