When I showed up to photograph FB friends, Kate & Charlie and their kids, Ruby and Max, Ruby insisted that I photograph her "without my my brother. Or my mom or dad." She was wielding a large stick at the time. To be fair, Ruby and I have a special connection, which stems from the private swim lessons I teach. I absolutely adore her, and thankfully her parents appreciate our connection. I am in a group show at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art - the first Museum to show the FB Portraits - and Ruby's portrait is in it, so I thought it would be fun to bring her to see.
"Does this make me famous?"
"I think so, Ruby"
"So like if Matisse was still alive and he bought it, I would be really famous"
"Yes, Ruby, you would be really famous"
We played on the gorgeous museum grounds, where she took off on the cliff to climb rocks (and I was scared to death I lost her to the ocean) and insisted I photograph her everywhere. Then out for a girls dinner and mani/pedi. Needless to say, 6 year old Ruby made friends wherever we went, and even tipped our waitress with the special rock she found. "I want to give that nice lady something to remember me."
And then on the way home, Ruby takes my camera and makes a movie "I hate Justin Beiber, but his girlfriends songs are good, I hope they broke up":
Emma and I packed up and said good by to our sweet home on Kentucky Street. We had every intention of crossing the bridge over to the lower 9th ward to see the Brad Pitt houses but couldn't fit it in before our flight. Although I am thinking about shooting him an e-mail to throw up a couple of grocery stores while he's at it.
The afternoon shoots got a little delayed because I had to wait over an hour for a cab. -I was worried I was going to run out of light, when Louise came and got me. She dropped me off to photograph Ann, John and their daughter Livvy who are technically related to me ( Ann is my grandfather's wife's daughter, I think that makes her my step Aunt). I met them for the first time in LA at my grandfather's funeral (who I was not particularly close to). We ended up hitting it off and staying in touch over the last few years. Ann is the publisher of Nola Baby & Family magazine which she started when she was looking for parenting resources and had a hard time finding any. They were extra kind to have me over (and feed me a glass of wine) because they had literally just unpacked from moving.
Ann was also nice enough to me drop off at Wayne and Louise's around the corner. They are old friends of the family from Maine, although I did know Wayne professionally, when he was the editor of Casco Bay Weekly and a huge supporter of the arts in Portland. He is a freelance journalist now, writing about all kinds of things, but an expert on rum and the cocktail. Louise is a public defender, so we talked a bunch about the corruption & racism in the NOLA police force. She told me of two heart wrenching & bone chilling stories of cold blood murder by cops post Katrina - the Danziger bridge shootings and Henry Glover. The cops, just now in 2011, being sentenced. Thanks to journalism and the FBI (never thought I would thank them for anything).
Then they took me for dinner at their friend Pableaux's house where I met a bunch more interesting people and ran into Brett Martin, who I went to Hampshire with. Apparently its a a tradition to have red beans and rice with sausage on Monday nights, so I was honored to be part of that. They were fantastic, as was the cornbread, watermelon we all shared family style, and of course Wayne's tea punch.
Back to work, for real today. I started off with two morning shoots, both of people I met while in New Orleans. I'm sure why I felt guilty that I was having so much fun, and only had 4 shoots scheduled (1 cancellation) while I was there, but I did, so I added them. I think its hard for me to believe that I can make a photo project out of doing what I love to do. I also really liked Zack and Leesaw and Chad so I wanted to include them in the project. Leesaw and Chad rented us their cottage and their house was just as amazing as our place. A house after my own heart, they kept the original details and filled it with thrift store gems.
I suppose I didn't have my total wits about me, because I forgot to photograph the inside of Zack's house, but have an outside view at least. He showed me the trailer for the documentary about a Burlesque troupe in New Orleans that he is finishing up which looks really awesome. Then we headed off to meet the others at the Country Club, a clothing optional pool/club close to our house.
Like I've said before, Xander and Richard make friends wherever they go, including the stranger who asked us to sing for her mother's day card, and the group of people at another jello shot house. Emma and I got a late start for the evening, and ending up at places that were closed and/or ready for all the jazz fest people to go home. We did however peek in the windows of bread making factory and catch the end of a band on Frenchman's Street.