Thank Heavens it’s Almost Monday

It’s the eve of the Kutch Kutch reunion.
Kutch Kutch MMXI, to be exact.

Kutch kutch in Hindi translates somewhere along the lines of “chatter”. Total slang, and completely accurate. It’s nearly phonetic, kutch kutch, kutching, the sound of girls clicking tongues, getting deep into the nuances of relationships, dissecting the small details that make up the big experiences that coalesce into the years that make up our lives.

For over 25 years, I have been kutch kutching with my two best girl friends. We were given the name “kutch kutch girls” in 1993 by my best friends’ mom. An honor, really.

Every year, come heavy workloads, credit card debt, deaths in the family, moving houses, no matter what, we do a kk reunion. We pay for each others flights. We rearrange our schedules. We defend the week (or 4 days, 6 days, 8 days) like a mama bear of her cubs. Eight years ago, the three of us decided that if we didn’t make it a non-negotiable commitment, then our relationship would continually be pushed off until life was more convenient. Or worse, we’d see each other without the third of our essential triangle. And for the eight years since, we’ve met at in Montpelier, VT, at one of the kutches homes. Sadly, but albeit unrepentently, we kick her husband out for the week. And we kutch. We heal. We dig deep. We feed our souls a juice of love, perspective, community and strength (and we visit an astrologer – actually, she now visits us – just for good measure). And that juice lasts just about one year to the day. And that next year, the kk reunion comes just in time.

This year, it’s a bad time. We’re selling our home (one bedroom coop in Adams Morgan, anyone?), business is crazy, my husband has a new job, I have many out of state weddings coming up. So I’ll bring my laptop and work remotely. I’ll do what I have to do to be next to these ladies, to drink in their strength and give them some of my energy.

Last night I had a dream that I was packing for the KK reunion. And I don’t think ever in my life have I been EXCITED in a dream. But I was Psyched. Like I had won the lottery. And then I woke up and felt like I really had won the lottery, because, after all, my dream came true.

more from the mountains of vermont….

Samara turns four!

One of my favorite things about family photography is being witness to kids growing up. I first worked with Samara and her mom in 2009, and have since done four sessions with her. I’ve blogged about this before, but it never ceases to amaze me to watch these babies become kids with opinions and developing personalities.

I asked Sam’s mom to stand with her in front of her, and hold onto her fingers, like she did for a session we did in 2009, and 2010, and blogged about here. Once she did, the tears came quickly, as she had a flash back to those moments, remembering just how tiny her little girl had been, and how fast she is growing up.

It’s What You’re Willing to Carry With You

I get two questions a lot:
1. What camera should I buy to take good pictures?
2. You mean to tell me you don’t bring your camera on vacation?!

In answer to number one, it’s not about the camera. Not to say that a high quality camera and lens selection aren’t important. Of course they are. But the fundamentals of photography are housed in the ever expanding instincts and knowledge of the photographer. Buying the $7,979.99 bike that Lance Armstrong rode to win the Tour de France may make riding a little easier, but I ain’t winning the Tour on it. One of my photography teachers here in DC, Zaid Hamid, at the time used just a 50mm lens and a camera about three iterations older than mine. And mine was the least sophisticated of everyone’s. And he could still shoot circles around all of us.

The best camera is the one you’re willing to carry with you. The heavy Nikon D3 with a 400mm lens ain’t gonna take very good pictures on my vacation because it’s sitting in the closet at home. Shlepping a monster like that through the airport as my carry-on and treating it with the love and attention of a newborn baby is not my idea of kicking off a relaxing week away.

Which brings me to question number two. There are instances when I bring my camera body and a few select lenses on vacation. Back in a 2010 trip to Europe, I brought my camera body, an 85mm 1.8 lens for portraits and street scenes, and a 14 – 24mm 2.8 lens for landscapes. I thought about what types of images I wanted to take from that trip, and packed the bag accordingly.

But sometimes, I just want to sit on a beach chair and read from my Kindle. I don’t want to think about getting up at 5am for the best light, or missing dinner for the perfect twilight shot. So on these types of vacations, the only camera I am willing to bring with me is my iPhone. Which I did on last weeks’ trip to Antigua, West Indies.

Where, ironically, it was 15 degrees cooler than here in DC.

more soon,