It can happen somewhere as simple as a doctor’s office or cafe, but all it takes is a glimpse of medical scrubs or chef’s whites and I’m a goner. I drift into a daydream in which I wake up to morning sun as gentle as lemonade and a kitchen sink that isn’t full of dishes, and then I pack a thermos of soup for lunch and ride my bike to work in a neatly starched uniform. At the office, I file things away the moment they cross my desk, make a difference in people’s lives for hours on end, and then maybe rehearse for a community theater production of “Pippin” before biking home for dinner. Once I get to this point in my fantasy, an optometrist usually jars me awake with, “Now, cover your left eye,” and I look back at him/her with what can only seem like the most psychotic brand of puppy-dog infatuation on the planet. Yeah, that’s right: I fantasize about being an optometrist. I realize this may sound insane, considering many an optometrist, chef, or meter maid out there probably fantasizes about being a writer on a regular basis, but what can I say? I feel there’s something positively dreamy about uniforms, office hours and designated stopping points…
What makes a place feel like home? Is it the freedom to eat breakfast for dinner whenever you please, the smell of your favorite shampoo, or simply the people you share it with? I remember spending childhood summers at my cousin’s house on Cape Cod and I fondly recall all the strange yet wonderful sensations that told me I was far from my own home. For starters, there were vast backyards of running space unlike anything that existed in Boston, the excruciatingly itchy bites of beach flies, and the pruned fingertips that came from afternoons spent in the deep ends of swimming pools. One such deep end belonged to my cousin’s grandmother, and – because back then I found this concept of swimming pools outside of the YMCA let alone in someone’s home particularly exotic – I would plead with my cousin to spend whole days “backyard swimming.”
Great loves, friendships and rivalries are all made up of a billion glances – when you understand this, you grasp almost everything there is to know about visual storytelling. Sometimes these glances are through flickering candlelight, over cups of coffee or amidst the clacking of light sabers, but, no matter the locale, they are the heart of any emotional tale. On the first weekend of April my fiancé and I romped around our backyard with a photographer who I quickly learned understands this concept better than anyone. This incredibly talented shutterbug is Jamie Conlan, a guy I’ve known for several years as someone who can get my love talking for days about German cars and taco stands, and he remained the very same guy when he wielded a camera in his hands last weekend. Not once was I aware of him posing us or shushing silly conversations; he kept us rambling away with each other, rolling eyes, punching arms, keeling over in laughter, and even making psycho eyes at our dog. And, I eventually realized there was a stealthy method behind his casualness – while my fiancé and I were goofing off, Jamie was busy capturing genuine moments in time.