My formative years of growing up were in a Dutch colonial house overlooking the banks of the Connecticut River in Higganum, Connecticut. It was there that I learned how to fish and play barefoot soccer and read books in an old hammock. In the winter, the sledding was fast and cold. It was a perfect environment, and many images of my childhood are still circulating in my brain today. When I dream, it is of that wonderful house that had been a tavern during the Revolutionary War. My desire to make pictures began in that funny old red house, and the brownie camera I received for my 10th birthday sealed the deal.

Fast forward with that old fashioned film to today. For 45 years I have been an elementary teacher, and as I write this, tomorrow will be my last day. I am retiring from teaching school, but not from life. Photography has always been my way of being artistic, and with a new beginning on the horizon, there’s going to be time to live my dream, no longer just on weekends, but finally, full time. I am about to breathe after several intense years of teaching, both in an affluent private school and ultimately, in a inner city Title One public school. Photography has kept me grounded and it has helped me to give back in the form of pictures to poor children who often have had no images of their formative years. What a rush that has been! It was the best way to meet those kids on an even playing field.

After college in Boston, I moved to New Haven, where I met my professor husband and where I began that other career. Along the way came two brilliant children, and many dogs named for country musicians. Oh, and for years there was music along with the teaching, and the photography faded a little.

Having reordered my priorities, the digital world replaced the bluegrass performing. Besides, I didn’t have to pay to develop film! The dogs are now rescue golden retrievers and several parrots have been added to the chaos, and they all tolerate me when I get out my camera.

The controlled chaos is what I often offer to the human families who come to be photographed. We can shoot with live music if that’s what you’re looking for. Or with Jasper, the bluefronted Amazon parrot who seems to like people. I have a small studio at home, but if the outside environment is cooperating, I prefer to shoot outside. That way we avoid Homer’s insistent talking and Jasper’s Paul Simon imitation singing and Conway and Loretta’s wet paws. It’s all good, as my dear friend keeps reminding me.

Especially the photography.

I can’t wait to meet you!

Cindy

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