Recently, I ventured to the farthest reaches of the American side of Lake Champlain with two dear friends. World traveler and food aficionado Erica found that the waitlist for Global Entry interviews was far shorter for those willing to drive to the Canadian border than in most any other city, so we made a mini road trip out of her appointment in Champlain, NY. Along the way, we ate a lot of delicious food in Burlington, took a car ferry across the lake, and received directions to the best local swimming spot from Erica’s kindly DHS officer and interviewer, who provided his geographical insight once he had determined that she had never been arrested. I had forgotten how dry the north country feels compared to the heavy sea air of home. Everywhere smelled of pines.
Thanks to Erica for the rare shot of me and my chicken legs!
I can only surmise that a flower arrangement given to me by friends went rogue after being discarded in the compost heap last summer, because here I am, waiting for poppy seed heads that I did not plant to dry. They arrived this June in the vicinity of their earthly grave, a series of renewed and glorious blots of watermelon set on comically long, skinny necks. I thought about the women in Modigliani’s life when I looked at them. Did you know the seeds sprinkle out of those little arches at the top, like a salt and pepper shaker? I think I’ll sow them by the light of the next full moon, just because the earth in the meadow smells nice then, and I’ve been seeing some fireflies there lately.
What a joy it was to do a portrait session with this bright young woman. A thirteen year old with ambitions in music and theater, it was difficult not to exclaim “you look so beautiful and grown up!” at the click of every shutter (I mean, come on) but I wanted to make sure that this was about much more than simply looking nice on camera. To me, the best part about these photos is the sense that she is unafraid to celebrate who she is and to take pride in the process of documenting that. She also offered a lot of creative input, showing me all her favorite spots at her grandmother’s cherished summer home, which I felt was so important in making this a story about her. As a result, the portfolio of portraits we made are diverse in setting and light, but connected by a strong sense of place and the incredible poise and maturity that came out the moment we started shooting. This was one of the most rewarding photography experiences in recent memory, and I hope to do more projects like this. If you know any rising seniors who would like to do a senior portrait, I would love to talk to them! You can get in touch with me via email, CGoddard24@gmail.com.