One of my most interesting sessions to date was a couple of weeks ago with Amanda and Patrick, and a group of their closest friends. Amanda commissioned me to spend some time with them during a semi-annual get-together with the goal of capturing each person’s spirit on camera. We are now in the process of creating a composite art piece that combines various images from the evening into one cohesive work of art. Seriously neat stuff.

To keep the weather theme going, this time I wasn’t so lucky – as I headed northeast, the clouds got darker and lower, so it wasn’t a surprise when the rain started. Fortunately, Amanda and Patrick have a beautifully rustic kitchen that served as the perfect place for everyone to gather for pizza and wine while we waited for the rain to stop, so I chatted and moved about while they all proceeded to get caught up on the latest developments in life, literature, and jelly-making.

Much to our delight, the rain stopped a short while later and we were able to revert to Plan A: spend time outdoors on their property. They have three beautiful horses, who really captured everyone’s attention, and we generally had a great time exploring the outbuildings and lounging on the lawn. It’s amazing what happened in the group when the first two horses came to the fence for a visit: everyone suddenly seemed like teenagers, and became (even) more open and at ease.

Given that the main focus of this session was more photojournalistic in nature, I had an experience with this group that was quite different from almost any other session I’ve done: I walked away feeling like I really knew these guys, despite the fact that I couldn’t tell you many details about them. I’d spent two and a half hours watching their interactions and their facial expressions, though, and that gives you insight into people that you don’t necessarily get from conversations about jobs and families. Oh, and the laughter. I LAUGHED…. Man, did I laugh! My stomach hurt from laughing at Elaine’s British accent – for anyone familiar with “Keeping Up Appearances”, she’d play an awesome Hyacinth Bucket.

We did end up doing portraits “just in case” (I was there, so we figured we might as well!), which proved to be as entertaining as the rest of the session – ever try to get a group of old friends to stop talking long enough to get some photos done?! :)

While the photos aren’t being used as complete and individual images in our project, I thought I would share some favourites.

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