I moved to New York City from San Francisco to run CBS Records’ Customer Merchandising department, a heady job for a young woman barely two years out of college, producing graphic and photographic merchandising visuals at the recording label that was home to so many musical artists I had loved in my young life.
When I travel, I like to take long walks through the streets of the villages and cities I visit, taking pictures of street scenes and landscapes as I go. But mostly, I like to take pictures of people, stopping them to ask if they would mind. If they don’t mind, interesting things can happen.
What a pleasure it has been shooting a video artist profile of photographer, artist, author, teacher and mentor Cheryl Machat Dorskind. I have spent the last two months driving back and forth between New York City and Cheryl’s home in Westhampton, New York, shooting her in her studio and in her backyard, and accompanying her on professional portrait shoots, a photography boat safari, and random photography walks on the inland wetlands and the beach and marsh landscape of Eastern Long Island.
When I travel, I prefer to take photos of people I randomly encounter, rather than of sites I visit. I have photographed my share of monuments and parks and churches and bridges, and I imagine I always will, but they serve mostly to remind me that I have visited a place, jarring something in my memory about a particular time in my life.
How well do we know our parents? Where we came from? How well do we understand the circumstances and situations that swirled around them at the time of our conception? And not just our individual conception, but the conception of our siblings, the creation of our families?
E.B. White’s Here is New York is my favorite book about my favorite American city. Published in 1949, it is considered an essay, most likely because of its short length, a mere 56 pages, into which White packed such timeless observations about the island of Manhattan that this ‘book’ has a permanent place on my desk in New York.
Where will you be when you are old? With your family? Your fiends? Alone? Will you be rich? Or poor? In good health? Or ill perhaps? Will you be mentally engaged? Or failing up there in some frightening way? How, and with whom, will you while away the hours of the day?