Thursday, July 10, 2014

Father Daughter Ball

What a rich time I had as a newspaper photographer in Norfolk, Va. Remembering a military father/daughter ball I covered last June. What joy.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Oakland Days

On assignment for KQED, I got a chance to celebrate the advent of summer in the Bay Area. I hear it's gonna start getting hot one of these days . . . 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Last year I photographed the memorial service for Staff Sergeant Justin Johnson, who was killed in Bagram, Afghanistan on June 18, 2013. 

The service was held at Fort Eustis and we were asked to keep our distance from the family, which is a caution I normally adhere to. I feel deeply uncomfortable meddling in other people’s lives without their express permission and invitation, which is perhaps why I’m not the most successful hard news photographer. After the service ended, I went to find the public affairs person to check on the spelling of a name of someone I photographed, and saw this adorable little boy. I made the picture and then asked if they wouldn’t mind sharing their names; Justin Johnson Jr., 3, lost his dad and Staff Sergeant Willie Foster lost a friend.

There is something about this moment— about the continuity of love even after death, and about the sweetness of a strong uniformed man giving comfort to a friend’s son. I think there should absolutely be privacy in grief (read David Woo’s account of photographing memorial services for some real insight) but I don’t regret seeing and sharing this moment.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Passion Fruit Curd: Chapter One

We're getting ready for a huge Easter brunch at Cait's house in Kigali, Rwanda, and after a trip to the market and a haul of fruits and veggies, the first thing on the prep list is passion fruit curd. Cait's adapting the recipe from 101 Cookbooks to suit the local fruit here. Between the homemade english muffins and pork sausage we're working on today, it's a weekend of cooking and it feels just like home.

Monday, April 14, 2014

From the beach

Traveling with friends through South Africa, with a few nights spent at the beach in Kommetje, we would wake in the mornings and take walks along the beach. As a gift to everyone at the end, and especially my friend Cait, we gathered all the things we found and arranged them. Traveling light (in all the areas of my life) is a real value. The dream: a small bag with jeans and a few tank tops, a toothbrush, a beautiful dress and some heels, and my camera. The dog, of course, if we're in the Jeep. This was the best way for me to take some of the beauty of the trip and share it. I love friends who enjoy curating the world as much as I do.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Setting Sail

Here are the things I remember about the Coast Guard Eagle— the first day they put us in harnesses so we could learn to climb the foremast as the crew and students aboard set, maneuvered, and furled the sails. The sea was so rough by the third day that some students clipped themselves to the sides so they wouldn’t fall overboard as they were throwing up. This was taco day, so I had all the tacos I wanted. That the captain was a quintessential captain, whose favorite part of the day was clearly teaching the students celestial navigation. The fundamentals. And this dawn at sea, with a young sailor looking out across the Atlantic. And me, looking and him looking. That’s the very best part of the job.

Traveling now through Rwanda and South Africa, I remember all the other travels in my life. There’s lots of time for thinking. From Guatemala alone when I was in my early twenties to up in helicopters for the newspaper, to now, I find the more situations I’m in, the easier it is to maneuver through all of them. And that open skies and spaces allow the reorganization of experiences in my mind. So now, things that happened over the past year, are slowly starting to make sense. So here’s to setting sail!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Home in Rwanda

These last three months I've imagined myself as one of those English ladies, spending the season as a guest in a series of wonderful country homes-- from Connecticut to California and now this magical house in Rwanda, which will be a quick home base before a road trip through South Africa with some of my oldest friends. It turns out that there is a profound comfort in showing up at someones house and effortlessly finding a home there makes life on the road less of an exile and more of a fluid adventure. Things that stay the same: warm sweaters and painted nails and bad rap music and great food, always. It's a real gift to step out of regular life for a moment, to be reminded that there are places in every corner of the world where the people that love you stay the same.