A Celebration of Life

Hundreds of mourners gathered in Mt. Vernon on April 14 to celebrate the life of rapper DMX, who died at White Plains hospital from cardiac arrest.

The memory of DMX filled the air at the Mt. Vernon park, close to where the rapper was born.

Despite his death, the April 14 event was not a somber affair. While a DJ played, the park resembled a neighborhood block party. Several speakers and close family members paid tribute to the legend, while the roar of motorcycles from the Ruff Ryders rode by.

While Simmons’ hip-hop lyrics spoke to his personal struggles and faith, he never forgot his Westchester roots.

Rally Against Hate

Hundreds of people came together on Saturday afternoon in Scarsdale for a rally denouncing hate targeted at Asians.

In the wake of the Atlanta shootings, Scarsdale High School students organized a vigil which was attended by people of all religions and color.

While listening to a variety of speakers, many placed flowers for condolences, flew Origami kites, and hugged their children just a little tighter.

A Year Later

I had not visited Manhattan since March 2020, when I was walking towards a dinner date before a Town Hall event featuring Andy Borowitz. It was then, that the world as we knew it, ceased to exist.

Restaurants closed, theater, sports events, and businesses closed. Toilet paper was hoarded. Sanitizers were difficult to find, and we had to find a new normal.

A year later, March 2021, the city is coming back to life. There is still no theater, dining bubbles have been designed and masks are the norm.

I finally ventured back to the Big Apple, fully vaccinated, and feeling a freedom I had not felt in a year.

Rituals During a Pandemic

As the unprecedented year of 2020 draws to a close (and we are all looking forward to seeing it in hindsight), I think we can all agree that it was a time like no other.

Quarantining, zoom parties, and social distancing became the norm. While weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs were cancelled or postponed, photographers became just another casualty of the job market.

So it was with excitement, that I accepted one last assignment at the end of this year.

I must add, that when I accepted this job, I truly thought that the deadly virus would be under control. Needless to say, that was not the case.

These photos represent the unique and bizarre, uncommon and unrivaled year of 2020.

Photography while social Distancing

After months of sheltering in place and staying safely at home, I was happy to have the opportunity to photograph one of my favorite families on the beach in Southampton.

With my longest lens in tow (“That camera is bigger than you are” is the common refrain when I use this lens), I set out to capture Ethan’s one year milestone at his “happy place.”

Luckily, the sky was overcast, the beach not too crowded, and we were able to capture the happy family.

Grandparents helped elicit these smiles, though Ethan was very happy to explore the sand beneath his toes, oblivious to our task at hand.

During this terrifying period of pandemic, it felt so good to capture some real emotion and true meaning of family.

Sasha’s Bat Mitzvah

    Amidst a week of political primaries and corona crises, it was a pleasant diversion to photograph Sasha’s coming of age.

Though I was not permitted to photograph at the synagogue on Shabbat, I was able to document the rehearsal, as Sasha practiced reading from the Torah, relatives were called up for blessings, and her  parents beamed with pride.

After months of planning, and a few hiccups (some dresses had not arrived since they were coming from China due to Corona), the celebration went of without a hitch.

As an unbiased observer, I can tell you that it was a lovely party, filled with close family and friends and a feeling of warmth among all.

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No Hate. No Fear

This Sunday, over 20 thousand people, many holding signs or covered in flags joined in a march for solidarity for New York’s Jewish community in response to many recent anti-Semitic attacks.

Groups from Cleveland and Toronto, as well as Philadelphia and DC made the trip to New York to participate. Jews and non-Jews alike marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to a rally in Cadman Plaza.

Sponsored by the United Jewish Federation of New York, the ADL, the AJC and thousands of other groups, young and old participated in this amazing show of solidarity. I was proud to participate in this momentous march, and hope we can make a difference!

Narrative Photography

Last week, I decided to push the boundaries of my photography and I enrolled in a wonderful master workshop with the amazing Ed Kashi and Ashley Gilbertson, two photographers associated with Vii agency, and involved in advocacy projects and concerned photography.

The workshop taught us how to think outside the box, how to capture emotion in a narrative, how to photograph how a place feels and how to get an emotional response.

I chose as my project Washington Square Park, and after 5 days, I only skimmed the surface. I loved the energy and vitality of the park from early morning to late evening. I met some very interesting characters along the way, and came away with some images I really love.

Hoping my audience does too!

New Parenthood

The next best thing to seeing your own children become parents, is watching their old schoolmates do so.  

Moving from little league to the big leagues, changing diapers like a pro, Generation X is making their parents proud.

These millennials are a joy to watch, and I love being able to capture the amazement,  wonder, and love they experience in the early stages of procreation.

 

 

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