I’ve always been jealous of people who wear their cameras like a second skin: unconsciously; constantly.
I have a hard time balancing the effort of capturing the moment with the experience of BEING in the moment. But I try to walk that line. For me this means having my camera near me, but not necessarily on me. It’s just in the room, like a cat you COULD pick up and hold, but might not. Maybe you’ll just watch it. Maybe you’ll ignore it, like’s it’s surely ignoring you. (I’m a cat person. Comparing my camera to a cat doesn’t bother me in the least.)
In June, Dan and I visited his family in Ohio for the first time in, oh, three years? (It can be harder to leave the freelance life than you’d expect!) We had two priorities: meet our new(ish) baby cousin in Columbus, and visit the town where Dan grew up, a tiny place way up in northeast Ohio called Hubbard. (The sky is really blue there, but I didn’t make a picture of it.)
Because the drive from Atlanta is so long, we stopped over for one night at the cousins’ house in Columbus, and met Baby Camille for the first time.
This is not Camille. This is an awesome filing cabinet I wish was mine:
THIS is Camille:
But mostly this:
Camille doesn’t warm up to strangers right away. For two to three days she pretty much just regarded us and our cameras with suspicion.
I’ve visited Columbus plenty of times since Dan and I met, but we’ve never been to Hubbard. But Hubbard is where he grew up, and he’d talked for years about taking the three hour drive up to see his old hometown… and introduce me to his aunt and uncle. Keep in mind: I’ve NEVER MET ANOTHER ALMASY. Most people get married and, if they take their partner’s last name, are immediately surrounded by a great big family with that same last name. But Dan was raised primarily by his mom and stepdad, and there wasn’t a single Almasy at our wedding. I’m okay with being one of two. Me and Dan. Just us Almasys. (Or “Alm-slays”, if you’re the receptionist at the doctor’s office.)
Anyhow, as we got closer to Hubbard, I got kinda nervous. I was going to meet another Almasy for the first time.
First we stopped for the BEST PIZZA EVER. At least, that’s what Dan promised me.
Pizza Works delivered. Seriously. I was craving this pizza even today. We’re going to have to go back to Hubbard STAT. It tasted the way Pizza Hut felt in the ’80s, when you could drink Pepsi from a pitcher and play PacMan for a quarter.
(A week after we got back from Ohio, Dan and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. In November we will have been together for a decade. I’ve had some of the highest highs and hit the rockiest bottoms with this guy. I’m so, SO happy we’re together.)
This is Dan’s Uncle Greg and Aunt Lynne. My first other-Almasys. They run a big, beautiful farm in Hubbard. I didn’t take any pictures of it. I was busy just BEING there.
My favorite part of the evening with the other-Almasys was when we all sat around the table after dinner, pouring through old pictures and talking. For the first time I saw Dan in another man. He and Greg were sitting there talking and laughing (they have the same laugh), and I SAW that blood-tie. I’m sure it sounds weird that it mattered to me, but it did. It was like finding that somehow, surprisingly, you have another home.
Then it was back to Columbus, for more baby-judgement.
These people. I love them.
There are a lot of business’s in the world with “Dan” in the name. There aren’t many “Anne”-named businesses, except for “Auntie Anne’s” which I seriously WISH I owned. I could eat those cinnamon pretzel bites EVERY DAY.
This is Camille warming up. No, really. She is.
Much love to everyone who made these pictures possible, even the folks I didn’t photograph, because I was too busy enjoying their presence. :)