When I was a college student I incorporated my family members into a lot of my projects. For my documentary photography class, I photographed my grandfather while he drank a can of 7-up. He loved to burp, say “ex-squeese me” and then flash you a big smile. After I graduated and moved out of my parents house they kept some of my college photo projects hanging in my room. My burping Papa photos have been greeting me when I come home for years, even after his passing over 10 years ago. The last time I was at my parent’s house, I decided to take the series of photos and scan them for preservation. It made me realize how much I wish I had been able to photograph all of my grandparents. The craft projects my Gram would help me with and the funny sour lemon face that my Grandpa would make. A portrait of them in their home, sitting in their favorite spot would have been amazing. So I’ve started a new passion project, senior portraits. I listen to their stories, gather their wisdom and photograph them doing what they love. My first senior is Marion also known as Nan. She raised 7 kids on a farm in rural New Hampshire. She used to split wood in the winter wearing a dress, stockings and leather shoes. She made lots of bread and clothing for her growing children. She also knit wool mittens and still knits mittens for family members and local charity groups. She was working on a pair while I photographed her at her daughter’s house. She also enjoys a good word search to keep her mind sharp. It was such a pleasure to listen to her life stories while photographing her portraits.
Papa with his big smile and can of 7-Up