Forgive me, but I couldn’t help myself. During some downtime in the services, I snuck outside where parents were keeping their younger children entertained. I love photographing babies and young children. So here are two sneak peaks of two adorable boys. In a few days, I’ll post two of some pretty, young girls I got to photograph. Thanks again, to the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island for letting me be a part of such wonderful moments in peoples’ lives.
Anna and Gerard Succes are the parents of two adorable daughters. Alessia, their oldest, is one of Walker’s best friends, and earnest advocates. They met last year on the playground and they attend the same nursery school here in Astoria. They’ve been as thick as thieves since the first day they met. Alessia is an energetic, beautiful, strong-willed girl who knows how to enjoy life.
Ilaria, Alessia’s younger sister, is a delightful bundle of baby cheeks and giggles. She just started to walk a few months back. She has a sparkle in her eyes, and her giggle exudes joy. She’s a giving, bright young girl who’s easy to get to love.
I had the pleasure of taking Ilaria’s portrait to commemorate her first birthday recently at Rainey Park here in Long Island City, Ilaria’s family managed to get into a few of the photographs themselves. Both daughters are so fun to photograph. So are both parents. I’m hoping they invite to take their portraits some more. They are a great bunch of people and it’s a pleasure to know them.
On March 28th, a day after my 49th birthday, Bishop Mdimi Mogholo, a beautiful, compassionate and able man, passed away from complications of Pneumonia. Bishop Mhogolo was a vibrant man, full of energy and good humor. He exhibited amazing intelligence and compassion. He served his Diocese with great ability and energy. I got the joy of meeting him when I visited Tanzania in 2008. I was a last-minute replacement for a pilgrimage to Tanzania as liaison for the Congregation of St. Saviour to the Carpenter’s Kids Program in Central Tanganyika. (http://carpenterskids.net)
Even though I was one small member of a large contingent visiting the Diocese of Central Tanganyika, Bishop Mhogolo made me fee at ease on the few occasions I got to talk to him. It was if I was a I was a life-long friend. That’s the kind of man he was. At the time I met him, I was in the earliest stages of discernment for the priesthood within the Episcopal faith. It was in Tanzania, strangely enough, that after having not picked up a camera in nearly 15 years my passion for photography was reignited. I had taken a small, Canon Point and Shoot along with me, and I couldn’t stop taking pictures every minute I was there. After I got back I put together a presentation about the Carpenter’s Kids Program that I was fortunate enough to present to other congregations in the Diocese of New York. It was during these presentations that I realized my true desire was to begin doing photography again.
What I experienced in Central Tanganyika transformed me profoundly and I will never forget my time there and the great people I met on the trip. I can thank Bishop Mhogolo for that. I pray to God I can serve my fellow man with one-tenth the ardor and ability that he did. We miss you already, Bishop.
I met the Reverend Lindsay Lunnum over a decade ago when I was seriously contemplating the vocation of priest within the Episcopal denomination of the Christian faith. She was a good friend of a friend in our parish who recommended her to me as a good source of guidance on the whole vocation process in our denomination, which can be a daunting journey. I remember her as always being wise with her words and gracious with her time. So when she asked me to photograph her installation at Zion Episcopal Church in Douglaston, New York I was thrilled. It was an amazing day. I got to meet her family. She has a wonderful husband and two beautiful children. On this Sunday the sun shined soft but bright. The congregation celebrated with hope and expectation, and Bishop Provenzano gave an amazing sermon.
By the way, she is the first female Rector installed in the Diocese of Long Island. Congratulations, Reverend Lunnum, and thank you for letting me photograph such a seminal event for the Diocese.
When Christopher Schmidinger, the Regional Vice President and General Manager of the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City asked me to photograph a party held to honor his birthday, I was thrilled to take on the assignment. I was a bit nervous, too, because Mr. Schmidinger is a man who has run New York City’s iconic Five-star, five-diamond hotel for a decade now.
It was an intimate affair involving family and life-long friends. The food was top-notch. The band was sweet. The ambience was simply sublime, and for one night, I got to live the dream because I got to photograph it all. I thank Mr. Schmidinger and his family for allowing me to be a part of their party.
I had the pleasure of seeing two well-organzied retrospectives featuring the work of Lewis Hine and Zoe Strauss last week with my good friend, Bill at the International Center of Photography. http://www.icp.org/museum
Lewis Hine, champion of the poor and disenfranchised in his photography, is considered to be one of the precursors of both modernist, and documentary photography. His works on child labor, immigration, and the poor are still well known today. The retrospective showing at I.C.P. goes further by exhibiting a broad overview of Hine’s work along with complementary materials that anchor his work to its own era while allowing us the pleasure of rethinking his place in the pantheon of photographers today.
“Zoe Strauss: 10 Years” is a retrospective of Zoe Strauss’s work that is divided into three categories — all of which show her strength as a photographer. The exhibit contains over 100 photographs spanning 10 years. At this retrospective we get a good look at her portrait work, her urban landscape photography, and street documentation photographs. Strauss’s photography originated in 2001 when she first began to exhibit her photography on concrete columns beneath an I-95 underpass near her home in Philadelphia. Beginning to photograph at the age of 30 when she was a babysitter collecting welfare, Zoe Strauss explains that her photographs are, “an epic narrative about the beauty and struggle of everyday life.” Focusing on her neighbors – people who were just getting by – allowed Strauss to hone a style that is more empathic than exploitive. Strauss’s portrait work, oftentimes of complete strangers, is certainly unique, and idiosyncratic. But she is more than just a portrait photographer. Her urban landscape photographs are certainly of equal beauty and distinction.
At first glance one might not see much in common between the two photographers currently exhibiting at I.C.P. But upon closer examination one notices that both photographers’ work contains an emphatic spirit unmatched by most of their peers. I highly recommend you visit the museum before they go. Both exhibits are up till January 19th. I.C.P. is located at 1133 Avenue of the Americas on the corner of 43rd Street, near Bryant Park and is easily accessible by many trains.
Brian and John had been committed to each other for nearly 20 years when they decided to get married. Many things have changed in the United States since Brian and John decided to become a committed, monogamous couple. For one, the state of New York granted through legislation marriage equality to same-sex couples in 2011. Both John and Brian agreed that the one thing more they could do to honor the depth of their commitment and love was to get married legally. They asked me to photograph the event and I immediately accepted the honor.
Brian and John had an intimate wedding the last week of October at the Alger House in the West Village. It was a wonderful event, full of love and celebration. I noticed two things as I photographed throughout the night. First, Brian and John truly love each other deeply. Second, all the people present appreciated and understood that love, and all seemed truly happy to be part of such a wedding. I’ve added a few photographs from the wedding in Brian and John’s honor. I hope my photographs honor what I witnessed. And I thank them for choosing me to be a part of such an important moment of their relationship.
Special thanks to Lisa Brown for helping me out too. It was a pleasure working with you, Lisa.