My Reinvention personal project is about women who reinvent themselves midlife.¬† Becoming a photographer in my 30s completely changed my life…and I think sometimes you don’t know what you should be doing until 30/40/50.¬† Some of my subjects have made similar decisions, actively pursuing their dreams…some have had to change by necessity or new circumstance.¬† We did a photo shoot for Marie Claire magazine with Heather Abbott last year at her Newport home and I immediately felt she was a great inspiration and a great fit for the project which I hope inspires women to believe in themselves and take action.
It’s almost been two years since the bombing at the Boston Marathon.¬† Heather Abbott was watching the marathon with friends, and the second blast hit her lower left leg.¬† Injuries were so bad she had to have the lower leg amputated.
Heather’s such a nice, upbeat person–and she’s been a huge inspiration to others in a role that’s redefined her life.¬† She’s grown The Heather Abbott foundation to support fellow amputees pay for their medical costs and live life to the fullest.¬† Many people don’t realize the high costs that amputees face.¬† Please visit her website and consider donating:¬† www.heatherabbottfoundation.org.
As part of the Reinvention project, we asked Heather some questions about her experience and life.¬† Wonderful, thoughtful answers–thanks so much Heather!!
What have you learned about yourself since the bombing?
A lot.¬† I’ve learned that I’m more resilient than I ever imagined that I could be.¬† I’ve learned which people¬†I can count on and really value in my life.¬† I’ve been amazed at how many people I’ve met who have chosen careers that provide physical or emotional help to others, rather than focusing on contributing to Corporate America and making money.¬† And I’ve learned to become a much more compassionate and understanding person, especially as it relates to dealing with people with disabilities.¬† I’ve also learned that shoes and clothes and hair and make up are still important to me, amputee or not
How did all this change your feelings about your life’s purpose?
How is your rehab going?
Any formal rehab is pretty much finished at this point.¬† I haven’t visited the PT regularly in quite a while, however I do still take advantage of certain workshops to improve my gait and/or running skills.¬† At this point, I’m still learning to navigate through everyday life and unexpected circumstances as an amputee.¬† Snow and ice are always a challenge and trying to integrate some of the physical activities that I enjoyed with two legs has been¬†…interesting… to learn to do with one (yoga, for example).¬† It was really only after completing most of my physical rehab that I’ve begun to deal with the emotional part.¬† Understanding that my life will really never be the same, that an actual person did this to me on purpose and that I’m part of the American population that’s considered “handicapped” really didn’t hit me until about a year after the bombing.¬† So, that type of rehab is ongoing and I’m learning to deal and live with those aspects as time goes on.
For the third season we headed to Storrs to photograph the defending National Champion UConn Basketball teams–the Husky Men’s and Women’s Basketball for our client SNY which broadcasts UConn basketball games.
This year we shot in the new Werth Family Practice Facility next to Gampel Pavilion.¬† Great working with our client Julie from SNY again and the terrific players from Breanna Stewart and Kiah Stokes to Ryan Boatright and Omar Calhoun.¬† Go Huskies in 2015!!¬† Here are a few pics from the shoot…
Back in September I photographed for Coastal Living Magazine, for their February 2015 issue.¬† The subject, Kate Jackson, interior designer out of Pawtucket RI was a pleasure to work with.¬† Nice home too…overlooking Galilee RI, next to the Block Island Ferry.¬† Think Spring!¬† Here’s the tearsheet…
From the urban (great restaurant scene) to the rural (bears wandering down the mountain), our town of¬† West Hartford CT has it all.
During 2014 we got the opportunity to work with our local West Hartford Magazine.¬† Joy Taylor, Chief Operating Officer and Tom Hickey, Editor and Publisher, are terrific and they’ve just launched WeHa.com news site filling a void in local news online.
Here are two cover stories we photographed in 2014: Jim Chapdelaine, Emmy award winning musician…..and Kevin Keenan, Operations Manager for the West Farms Mall.
Some entrepreneurs really defy the odds by shaking up an established industry in a big way…David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue Airlines and CEO of Azul is a great example!¬† We photographed Neeleman for Airline Business Magazine last August for a story on his latest venture, Azul, a Brazil lower cost airline that’s taking the market by storm.¬† Neeleman splits his time between Fairfield County and Brazil, and is a fluent Portuguese speaker (and Brazilian and US citizen), having lived in Sao Paulo in his youth.
We often shoot environmental portraits of execs in their settings.¬† For this shoot we packed some bold blue seamless background for a clean shot for the cover.¬† Great working with Ghim, the journalist for the story!
Last Monday we were in Storrs, CT, photographing the UConn Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams for SNY (the cable station that carries UConn bball).¬† The photo shoot took place at the brand new UConn Basketball Werth Center, officially the Werth Family UConn Basketball Champions Center.¬† This incredibly well-equipped and beautiful practice facility is a testament to the hard work and success of the UConn basketball programs.¬† Here are some of Mike’s iPhone pics of Jane in action with Ryan Boatright, Nnamdi Amilo, and the amazing Breanna Stewart.¬† The images will be used by both UConn and SNY for print advertising plus on-air at SNY.¬† Stay tuned for the photos which we’ll launch around the first game!¬† Go Huskies!!
My pal, “Lobster Gal” Sally Lerman, loves herself a good lobster roll (fresh lobster meat only, preferably warm with just butter).¬† Sally has made it her life’s mission to eat her way around New England sampling every lobster shack’s roll then blogging about it.
I joined Sally on the lobster trail last September to shoot pics (and eat rolls) for her recently published Lobster Gal book.¬† We started in Connecticut down in Noank, made our way through RI, MA and NH on up to Maine, where we headed out to sea with some lobstermen on a serene, still water day at dawn.
Great meeting these hardworking guys from the lobstermen to the lobster shack owners. ¬† A special thanks to two of Sally’s faves…The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, Maine and Ogunquit’s Footbridge Lobster for spending time with us (and taking us out lobstering)!¬† My favorite roll in Connecticut was Sea Well in Pawcatuck (they add leeks) and best for atmosphere was Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier in Kittery Point, Maine!
Below is the cover and are pics from our trip…see more images of the lobster boat trip with Chris and Tristan here.
The NY Mets wrapped up the 2014 season yesterday, so let’s look back to the beginning…back in February 2014 we made our 6th annual trip to Port St. Lucie, Florida to photograph portraits of the NY Mets players for SportsNet NY (SNY) and the NY Mets.¬† It’s been so nice to see the players year after year…boyish, fun personalities are great to photograph!
Always a pleasure working with Julie, our terrific client at SNY.¬† Julie and we sought to liven things up a bit this session to get more emotion, and we even got team captain David Wright to do a few push-ups!¬†¬† Below are some pics and here’s to a winning season for the Mets in 2015!¬† To see our past years’ NY Mets portrait shoots, click here.
In photographing my reinvention project I meet people who re-evaluate their life’s purpose, oftentimes focusing their energy and passion to help make other people’s lives richer.
Over the past two years I’ve had pleasure of getting to know a little about a wonderful woman, Linda Gelfond.¬† As Linda writes…”It seems that more often than not, in today‚Äôs world, we have come to recognize that life‚Äôs various twists and turns are not only surprising, but also expected.¬† Moreover, these changes have come to be celebrated. The challenge is to catch these curves balls and create a whole new ball field, in which we not only function, but also thrive.¬† I began my professional life as a CPA and internal auditor, with a career at a Wall Street firm.¬† I now find myself an educator, working with children who are struggling readers, and wholly committed to an array of not-for-profit activities. I work hard to make a real difference in the lives of children and their parents.¬† I‚Äôm indeed fortunate to have these opportunities, but wise enough to have grabbed opportunities that add meaning and depth to my life.¬† So much so, that if my personal circumstances hadn‚Äôt changed, my life wouldn‚Äôt have become so fulfilling.”
Linda added a terrific quote by Maria Robinson that sums up reinvention:¬† ‚ÄúNobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.‚ÄĚ
One of the non-profits that Linda works with is Project Cicero, which each year “collects 150,000 books and distribute to 1,000+ NYC public school teachers who teach in under-resourced schools.”¬† Please spread the word about the good that Project Cicero does.
Thanks so much Linda for your participation in my project and your wisdom!!
CFO Christopher Swift helped fix the fortunes of The Hartford Financial Group since the dark days of the 2008 financial crisis. We photographed Chris for a CFO Magazine article on The Hartford’s turn-around story; here is a magazine tear sheet from our session at The Hartford’s venerable headquarters.
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