To celebrate Deborah’s 90th Birthday… 99% of her family members turned up for her party in Oakland, some traveling as far as NY. I arrived at the end of their festivities to take portraits and it was fun to see everyone so happy and throughly enjoying each other.
But one of my highlights was from the week before, when I went to Oakland to meet Deborah and find a good spot for the portraits. During the visit she shared some amazing stories about growing up in Berkeley for most of her life and being caught up in the social turmoil during the 60’s. I am so envious of her generation and in awe of all they were able to experience in a lifetime.
While I was completely honored to be able to document this important occasion for their family, I also had some reservations about taking the job. This family is well-established in the Pt. Reyes community, the community where my most favorite photographer, friend, mentor and former employer, Art Rogers, has been living and photographing for over 30 years. He has photographed the most important moments in the lives of almost everyone who lives in that town, including this family. But because they were on a tighter budget for this occasion, they selected a different photographer in another town because she was less expensive… and only then was my name mentioned. That is the only reason I could justify accepting this opportunity, because I believe the portraits Art Rogers creates are worth every single penny. The level of perfection he achieves, from the moment he composes his photographs to the day the beautifully hand-printed and custom framed portraits are delivered, should be an inspiration to every aspiring photographer…. and I am grateful to even attempt to follow in his footsteps.