Focal length

Lately I have been noticing that the photographs I am making of Cohen have been from a different distance than before. There is a little more space between him and I. Each step away from me is a step closer to Cohen’s independence. There is a constant look of wonder in his eye as he climbs through this new world of his. It seems like he’s lost in this mad fog of new sounds and colors and loving every minute of it.

The photographs that I am making are still in nature, but when put together they are slow moving cogs in the documentation of Cohen’s existence. Each frame a different moment that speaks of the present, nods at the past and winks at the future. There will come a time when these pictures will be all we have of this time in Cohen’s life. These pixels, saturated with the memories of his childhood, will be the first entries in the most important timeline that I will ever be a part of.


Sayonara mother f#%&@#

Well, Cohen's new thing is to run around the house yelling "DIE, DIE, DIE," which he learned from watching Tim Burton's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" I admit that gluttony, addiction, mindlessness and selfishness are too advanced for Cohen to understand at 19-months, but I still thought that he might come away with something else besides "die, die, die." Should we be worried, or should we embrace the fact that we have a potential serial killer for a son? Hey, I mean having a little Dexter running around might not be that bad. So with that in mind, here is Cohen playing Die Hard at Tony's Pizza.

To document, or not to document

As a photographer, I am constantly struggling with the decision to either document the life that's going on around me, or live it. With Cohen, that decision has become a much harder one to make. Is time behind the camera, when I'm with Cohen, actually time away from him? Or, is it time spent preserving memories? Does time behind the camera take me out of those memories? Should I be watching, instead of documenting? Should I be engaging, instead of shadowing? I say a lot of times that my camera is my memory. I'm beginning to believe it.

Cohen is a walking, talking bundle of curiosity. Constantly exploring, eating, touching and pulling things that he shouldn't. He learns new words faster than I can remember them. His favorites at the moment are up and down. he is constantly pointing to the heavens, saying "up, up, up." We are working on please and thank you. He says them, but we are not sure he has any idea what they mean. Cohen is a dancer, but I fear he received his mother's lack of coordination and his father's lack of rhythm. Bananas are his favorite food at the moment. He likes to eat them in two bites, filling his cheeks to the brim with one-half a banana at a time. Sleeping through the night is still a sometimes occurrence, but we are moving in the right direction. He is very easy to put to sleep, but staying that way is another issue. After some colorfully soiled diapers, Cohen is finally realizing that crayons are for drawing and not for eating. His concentration comes in short bursts. He will work intensely on something for about 15 or 20 minutes, then it's onto the next thing. Given the choice, Cohen would be outside all of the time. He is constantly pining "side, side," while pointing out the patio doors to his kingdom, the backyard. Eddie and Cohen still maintain their love hate relationship, exchanging blows every now and then just to let the other one know he's still there. Cohen loves to be read to. He is constantly bringing books to Tana and I. There are not many quiet moments, but, as most parents know, silence means trouble. Most of the time though, when things get quiet you can find him sitting in front of his book shelf reading. Or pretending to read. Or doing whatever you do with a book when you don't know how to read.

Having a front row seat to Cohen's personal evolution swells up all types of cliche ideas about life, love, children and what it all means. But in the end, life is just slivers of time that we cling to and stitch together as memories. We keep them in the closet, for gray days, so that when we look back we can truly believe they happened. Believing our memories, is as honest an act of love as I can think of, and if my time behind the camera contributes to my ability to remember, and therefor love, it is time well spent.


i see you in the morning your awkward little steps taking you on your daily pilgrimage you are familiar i want to put my ear into your soul i can not promise much, but you are my feet, my life, my poem.