Nonprofit

A Day at Day Camp

The other week the kids at Shaloh House went to the Brighton police station to drop off thank-you cards and cookies they'd baked for the officers. I tagged along and got to spend an hour or so afterwards just taking photos of the kids doing their usual day camp thing: games of Mafia, pool time and so many piggyback rides.

Running theory: girls' friendships with each other are maybe the most fun.

Dorchester Day Parade

The other week I followed Suffolk County candidate for Register of Deeds Stephanie Everett through the Dorchester Day Parade. The day started out looking ominously dark and rainy, but Dorchester could not care less. Not only was the parade still on; hours before it began, cars were jammed into gridlock for miles around the site and residents set up their folding chairs along the sidewalk.

They knew what they were doing. The sun came out just in time for the parade to begin, in a magical cacophany of trumpets, clown wigs, and applause.

Campaign Kick-Off Party

The minute I was asked to shoot Stephanie Everett's campaign for Suffolk County Register of Deeds, I excitedly texted Janaka to tell him all about it. Getting to tap into my event and portraiture experience, all while telling a bigger story that develops over time? (And Stephanie Everett's life is a pretty incredible story already.) It's basically the amalgamation of everything I love doing, and all for a team of really exceptional people.

Thursday night was Everett's lively kickoff party at the Freeport Tavern in Dorchester, and on Sunday I'll be joining her team at the Dorchester Day Parade!

First Communion at St. Paul School

A few weeks ago I was invited to the St. Paul School in Hingham to shoot their First Communion service. It was a beautiful church, and despite growing up partially Catholic amongst many other things (long lifestory) I'd never been to a First Communion before — thankfully I had one of their very helpful school administrators at my side the whole time, letting me know what was happening and when I could stand where. I could focus purely on shooting and just reveling in the enchantment.

Cutest moment of the afternoon: the kids were asked what they thought we would eat in heaven. A bunch of eager hands waved in the air from their pews. "Ice cream!" "Cookies!" "The body of Jesus!"

Preview: HaTanach Semifinals

Yesterday I hopped in the car with two Israel Story producers to head to Israel's Chidon HaTanach (Bible Competition) semifinals. The winners go on to the International Chidon HaTanach hosted in Jerusalem on Yom Ha'atzmaut (independence day, May 12th this year), to compete with students from all over the world.

The competition was just under two hours long and conducted entirely in Hebrew, a language that, on a good day, has me recognizing about five of its words. And somehow, I didn't even notice that I couldn't understand what was being said. It got me thinking that I may be a bad listener in general when I have a camera in my hands.

Photo: peers cheer their friend from the front row.

Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to shoot an event for the Shaloh House Jewish Day School in Brighton. I'd shot a "mock wedding" for them the past summer (those images are incredibly fun, and coming soon) and loved how all-in everyone was with a wonderful variety of silliness and play concerning real-life dyanmics I had never seen before. I knew regardless of the details I would have a great time shooting it and committed immediately. "What's the event?" I asked the rabbi, day-of.

It was just a couple of hours before I needed to be out the door when he sent me a link to the Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade.

Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade

Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade

Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade

Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade

Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade

Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade

Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade

Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade

Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade

Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade

Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade

Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade

Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade

Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade

Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade

Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade

Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade

Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade

Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade

There was rowdy facepainting and balloon-making in the basement, and piles of powdered donuts upstairs. Mayor Martin Walsh arrived to much fanfare to help light the giant menorah. There were heartfelt speeches, humemr oil-use jokes, convivial handshaking, and accordion music — before all of the kids crammed into their giant brightly menorah-lit Hummer limosines to ride in a parade throughout the city.

The all-in-ness was inescapable and contagious.

Rebetika: The Origins at Onassis

One of my favorite things about being a photographer is how it exposes me to people and places I would otherwise completely miss out on. I'm a clozy sloth of a homebody at heart, and even when I know about an interesting event happening somewhere, the siren song of my couch and the cats and a good book is too strong to resist. Photography forces me out into all different creaks and corners of the wonderful world and I'm always happier for it.

Last week The Onassis Cultural Center in NYC hosted a two evening exploration of Rebetika: The Blues of Greece, and the first show was devoted to the music's origins. I was able to spend a little time with the amazingly talented performers (also, bonus, an adorable daughter) in their green room before the show, and learned that they had traveled from all over — some from Boston, some from Crete. Hearing them perform you would think they did this together every day.

Rebetika - The Origins

Rebetika - The Origins

Rebetika - The Origins

Rebetika - The Origins

Rebetika - The Origins

Rebetika - The Origins

Rebetika - The Origins

Rebetika - The Origins

Rebetika - The Origins

Rebetika - The Origins

Rebetika - The Origins

Rebetika - The Origins

Rebetika - The Origins

Rebetika - The Origins

Performers were Kyriakos Kalaitzides, oud; Tony Barhoum, qanun; Mavrothi Kontanis, oud, guitar; George Lernis, toumperleki, defi; and Phaedon Sinis, politiki lyra.

Generation Citizen's Civic Tech Challenge

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to shoot the awards and presentations show that concluded a day-long hackathon called the Civic Tech Challenge.

Generation Citizen organized this amazing event, which paired change-seeking kids with professoinal and student technologists to help them develop a method that might help their message reach the most people — from video blogs to visually engaging petitions. After a day of working in small groups, the kids and technologists presented their issues to a panel of judges and an incredibly supportive audience.

Kids presentation (BW)

Conversation

Kids gather

Kids play (BW)

Peeking through the shelves (BW)

Tie adjustments

Presentation

Vertical

Office of the Mayor

Kids read

Laughing couple

Film noir moment (BW)

Judges

Watching from the balcony (BW)

Voting booth (BW)

Hug (BW)

GIll

Sharing screen (BW)

Kids file out