I was coasting down the hill on my way to Lowes when I first spoke to Jen on the phone. As we talked, she described how even though this session would technically be a “maternity” session, she really just wanted photos of her and Drew in their cabin with their dog. Photos where she just, you know, happened to be pregnant.
This girl could not have been speaking my language any clearer.
A few days before our session, Drew & Jen invited me down for dinner. Over a delicious pan of salmon pot pie they told me about meeting in Italy on mission, they told me about a cross country trip that turned them turned from acquaintances to friends, and they told me how Drew not so secretly kind of hoped this baby would come at an epic time while they were adventuring and be born in the wilderness- Bird Point specifically.
It filled me up to spend time with these two and photograph them in the cabin where they live, the cabin they’re building, and on the banks of the water of their town.
Not only are Drew & Jen two of the most hospitable people I’ve encountered, but they also blessed me with something I love so dearly about this work. And that is the richness of connection. In this work, it comes to me over salmon pot pies and in moments of stillness when you’re so comfortable you forget I’m even there.
I wanna know the people I hold my camera up to. And that kind of connecting, beyond a name and occupation takes time. Sometimes it looks like sharing dinners, and sometimes it’s skype calls or phone calls or emails exchanges that are 90% stories about you and 10% about photography logistics. It looks like me wanting to hear the long versions of those stories and us creating this sort of comfort where my presence and that lens doesn’t really phase you at all. Its a process that takes effort and willingness for sure, and I get that it’s not for everyone. But it makes all the difference for me and my heart brims with gratitude for all those who open themselves up to it.
Connection creates comfort. And comfort creates ease. And out of that ease comes the kind of photos I want to make for people.
Much love to you, Drew and Jen, for letting me into the coziness of you home and braving one hell of a cold soggy Girdwood afternoon for the sake of these photographs. I had the best time.