December 31, 2014

Moments of the Month | November 2014

Hey, happy new year!  Let’s talk about November! Or rather, let’s go off on a tangent that these November moments make me think about.  Hmmm ….

It’s not that weird (for me) that I’m doing my November Moments of the Month post on New Year’s eve.  In fact, it worked out the exact same way last year — I  checked.  Maybe even every year before that since I started this monthly project. Whatevs.  It doesn’t actually  feel that weird at all to be reflecting, today, on the beginning of what inevitably becomes the craziest time of the year. And to be looking forward to a time of year that, in my younger days, I used to dread.  January.  Eeew, right?  Nothing happens in January but hibernation and resolutions of detoxifying and, well, refocusing.  That used to seem like drudgery.  But I’m ready for it.  I really am.  Bring it on, please.

What I love about photography — for myself and for others — is capturing those authentic moments that tell my story (or, you know, others’ stories) right now.  Not just the “today we did this!” moments, or the “everyone look here!” moments.  November and December are filled with those moments, as we frantically make magic and memories for our kids and families, check the annual traditions off the list and — here’s the biggie — achieve the elusive “holy grail”  shot that will grace the front of the holiday card.  I don’t have anything against those moments, or those photographs.  It’s just that, for myself and for others in November and December, it seems to me that the balance tends to tip a little heavily in favor of those moments at the expense of the “this is how we are” moments.

An example.  For the past few days since Christmas (other than a quick family getaway that you’ll hear about whenever I get around to December’s Moments), we’ve been reshuffling our house.  My two youngest boys have been sharing a room and a bunk bed for several years.  They’re really the best of buddies.  Their relationship is one of those “things” that I most love to watch and appreciate and photograph.  It’s honestly SO photogenic, that relationship.  But.  There are some facts that have been getting in the way of the harmony in the relationship lately.  Like the fact that one is seven and prefers to conk out by about 7:30 and that the other is 11 and is more of a night owl, “sneak reading” into the wee hours.   And the fact that the seven year old early-bird leaps out of bed ready to play while the day is young, and the eleven year old greets his chipper morning attitude with the grumpiness of someone who, well does NOT want to be woken up by that kind of energy on any day of the week.  There’s also the fact that both are kind of messy and neither wants to take responsibility for keeping their stuff organized in the somewhat cluttered space, which leads to arguing.   Luckily for us, we think this is a solvable problem.  If one kid moves up into the guest room on the third floor, each of the four kids can have his or her OWN room.  This means LOTS of organizing and cleaning and moving and setting up and stuff for me this week, but … the relationship, we think, will be the better for it.

A few nights ago, the move became official and everyone slept in their own rooms.   A little sad for me, but … must solve the problem, you know.

The next morning, at a delicious Christmas-vacation pace, I shuffled out of my own room to witness something that epitomizes the kind of moment that fuels my LYYP heart.  The little guy tiptoed out of his own half empty bunk bed and peeked into what’s now his eleven-year old brother’s room, to find his big bro reading a book in the big full-sized bed.  He scampered back into his own room, grabbed a book (chosen, like most things, based more on its potential for impressing big brother than on his actual reading level), and climbed into the big bed right next to him.  And the two of them stayed there reading for a while.

I didn’t have my camera upstairs, or even my phone.  But I WILL capture that moment (or, you know, one like it).  Mark my word, it will happen.  In January. 😉

Gosh, I talk a lot.  All that to say that I’m looking forward to refocusing on the “authentic moments” in January.  A new year.  2015!

November was good, too.  With the many attempts to get the Christmas card picture and some day trips to the NY Tenement Museum and historic St. Paul’s Church, there was also a great soccer win and several awesome speech victories, a first-time chess tournament and an incredibly fun night channelling our inner Hells Angels.   There were also birthday muffin parties, snowy weekends with good friends, a quick bungalow-check visit to Breezy Point, and a tree-hunting excursion with our Breezy Point walk friends.   I had two goofy assistant helping me do some location scouting for my micro mini sessions at Lieb’s Nursery and Christ Church of Pelham — stay tuned for a recap of those great days (and awesome locations).  Not pictured here is the actual “holy grail” photo that landed on our Christmas card.  You’ve probably seen it, but if you haven’t, it’s right HERE.  Oh, and Thanksgiving happened, of course!  I somehow managed to not take a single picture with my real camera, but I do have a few in my Instagram feed, and there’s a favorite video I took of my favorite surprise guests — Mimi and Pop — enjoying the Thanksgiving night hootenanny.

My sweet little niece turned five…

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A JV soccer city championship, a town meeting piano recital, and a goofy assistant helping me scope out a new LYYP location.  (Love Lieb’s!)

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Christmas card attempt number one…

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… and number two, on the Lower East Side (why not?).November Moments of the Month_0005

Novel Night.  If you don’t know what that is, I explain it HERE.  November Moments of the Month_0006 TWO goofy assistants helping me plan for the second day of micro mini sessions at Christ Church in Pelham.  November Moments of the Month_0007

Cub Scout trip to St. Paul’s Church in Mt. Vernon.

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And a fun post-Thanksgiving night away in snowy Dutchess county.

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The two on the sled in this first pic are the ones who are no longer roommates.  So far, the relationship is doing great.   Instagram proof from this morning. 😉November Moments of the Month_0010 November Moments of the Month_0011 November Moments of the Month_0012 November Moments of the Month_0013 November Moments of the Month_0014 November Moments of the Month_0015 November Moments of the Month_0016 November Moments of the Month_0017

Some fun with a new tilt shift lens and a rented fish-eye.  Yes, this is how I enjoy myself.

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Annual Christmas Tree hunt with our Olive Walk neighbors in Breezy.

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And one more, because there’s nothing permanent about that tattoo.
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THANKS for looking, and Happy New Year!