Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Top Dog

Westport is having a Top Dog contest. To enter the contest you have to write a short essay about why you think your dog should be Westport's Top Dog of 2012. I don't have a dog but I wrote an essay about my friend's dog, Bruce and guess what- Bruce is a finalist! So I am posting the essay I wrote about Bruce with a picture of Bruce so you can all come down to Town Hall on December 15th and root for Bruce!

When you first see Bruce coming at you with his tail wagging and his shiny black coat blowing in the breeze, you may take a step back because Bruce is a 150lb half newfoundland, half black lab; a very, very big dog. There is no need for that though because to all of us who know Bruce he is just an overgrown teddy bear. When Bruce jumps up to greet you and puts his huge front paws on your shoulders to hug you, you realize Bruce must think himself a ballerina because of how gracefully the gentle giant lands on you.
When Bruce was a puppy, you would seeing him walking to Kings Highway School with his dad Brendan and brother Declan delighting all the kids along the way.

Now that Bruce has grown up he likes to relax and enjoy the beauty of Westport in his rural backyard on Woodside Road, the Winslow Dog Park and his favorite spot to hang with buddies, Compo Beach in the off season.
The reason Bruce should be voted Westport's Top Dog is because Bruce makes everyone's days in Westport a little brighter. Whether it's a Bruce story about the time he ate an entire bag of flour and thought no one noticed when he walked in the room looking like a snowman in a train wreck or when the kids and their friends need a laugh and Brendan turns the leaf blower on Bruce and his big lips flap in the breeze. Bruce just stands there enjoying the moment, listening to his family's laughter. My favorite Bruce story is when Bruce decided to find out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Lollypop. He ate fifteen, clean to the stick! (he wound up biting them like the rest of us).
Bruce is also a patient dog. He doesn't mind when his family is bored and they put silly masks on him or take pictures of him sleeping in weird positions, then text the pictures to their friends all over town. Bruce even sits with his sister Tova while she watches Saturday Night Live over and over and over on youtube.
Bruce makes people happy, which I was going to say is probably all anyone wants out of a dog, but that's really all we want out of anyone; just a little happiness at the end of the day.
After hearing this you may think Bruce is my dog but he is not. Bruce is the family dog of dear friends of mine. Unfortunately I am allergic to dogs but I still adore Bruce and need my Bruce fix whenever I can get it. Sometimes when life gets a little crazy, I'll stop by Bruce's house because I know that gigantic furball of love will come barreling down the driveway towards me, then slow down to jump up like that ballerina and give me a hug as only Bruce can do. Then I leave and maybe sneeze a little, maybe cough a little but I also leave a little saner and little happier.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


This is Troy. Maybe I should say this is the back of Troy. Troy is adorable though you wouldn't know it from a lot of my images because Troy wouldn't turn around or look up. Troy who is almost three was very busy doing his own thing, which made for some very nice shots but obviously the mom wanted one of her son's face.

So I tried.

and I tried.

and I tried.

Then finally I got it! And I got some more! Not because I am such a wonderful photographer or because Troy liked adults calling his name and making silly faces but because a dog ran by.

So click, click, click and off Troy and his mom and dad went to find the dog. (you think they could have looked back for just for a second?)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Looks Can Be Deceiving

I took this pic about a week ago and everyone who has seen it says something like, "what a moving photo" or "this is so sad". I guess it's because it's in black and white and possibly the emergency sign in the background. Maybe it's the sparkly shoes on the little girl who is laying in a stroller that she seems too big for. In reality the picture was taken on the Metro North train of a 4yr old girl from Fairfield, CT who dances at Alvin Ailey in NYC every Sunday. She seemed like a regular, happy kid, just a bit tired. Funny how pictures can be deceiving.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Pot Calling the Kettle Black?

I was in Manhattan for my son's 13th birthday and all he wanted to do was go to the Foot Locker in Times Square to buy sneakers. I'll never understand the sneaker obsession of boys. Anyway, I took my camera with me but it was getting dark and there wasn't much to shoot on the way there until we saw a bride and groom waiting for their ride outside St Patrick's Cathedral. I didn't want to intrude and start snapping pics but the way the bride's train was draped on the cement and the endearing way her new husband was holding her hand was too sweet to pass up. I only took one pic but I love it. My son thinks it's a picture of nothing. Then again, he took 20 cell phone pics of sneakers in Foot Locker .

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Favorite Person

This is John Hooper. He is my father in law and he is 90 years young. He came over for the Thanksgiving holiday to visit all the way from jolly ole England. He is my favorite person. There are too many reasons to list why on this little blog. Here is a short story about him instead.

Many moons ago when John Hooper was a young man he went out on a date with a young lass. At the end of the evening he walked her back to her front door and his date told him that he was a nice enough gentleman but there would be no second date. Instead of bursting into tears John noticed a photograph on a small table by the front door of a beautiful girl. John inquired about the young lady and was told it was his date's younger sister Marjorie who was in the hospital due to her Polio. John asked if he could visit Marjorie and was told "please do". The next day John showered and dressed and went to visit Marjorie. They chatted for hours. He made her laugh which made him smile. John was eventually told to leave when visiting hours ended. John asked if he could see Marjorie again soon. Marjorie replied that it wouldn't be necessary because she would be getting out of the hospital in the morning but thank you for the visit. John arrived back at the hospital the next morning on his motorbike with a side car attached and in it was a blanket to keep Marjorie warm.
They were married for 60 years.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The High Line

I walked on the High Line today with my mom. If you don't know it, it was an elevated railway on the west side of Manhattan that has been turned into public park space. If you haven't been, GO! It's a wonderful tranquil spot with gardens at every step. People say it makes you forget you are in the city. I think it makes you appreciate the city all the more.
The best time of year is probably late summer when the wild flowers are in bloom and the weather is still warm. Of course I wound up going in mid November when the sun sets early and the gardens have all but faded, but like the city itself there is still charm at every turn.

Friday, November 11, 2011


My new niece Alice has her first friend! His name is Rocco and they are going to be very happy together. Pictures of the happy couple coming soon.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Stone Walls

When we first moved to Westport, CT one of the big aesthetic differences that struck me was the abundance of stone walls. They are at every turn and for some reason strike me as very New England. Stone walls outline many of the properties here in Westport with a natural beauty that I hope doesn't get overlooked by the locals. Here is a sample of that beauty.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Here are some pics from a shoot I did the other day. No special story, nothing exciting happened, just some really cute kids. A nice way to start the week.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Turning the clocks back tonight. 
No more long summer nights for quite a while.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Old Friends & New Memories

A few weeks ago I went back home to Long Island to photograph a Bris for some old family friends. The mom is Chelsey. I can't believe I just typed that! Chelsey was just a little kid my whole life. Our mothers are best friends and when I was a teenager little Chelsey would come over with her mother and the rest of her family on sundays and cook rigatoni vodka and the best rice pudding ever. The dinner table was always a scene, lots of people, lots of kids, ten conversations going at once, news worthy topics at one end, gossip at the other. I didn't appreciate the comfort and love at those dinners back then. I do now. I am so glad I was at the start of Chelsey's new family and new memories. Here are a few of my favorite images from the day.