Deep underground in the tunnels of the NYC subway system, I sat slouched in my chair with a single camera and lens around my neck (a conscious decision to use minimal gear on this shoot) and thought about the family I was about to document.
Jen had followed me on Instagram for a few years since seeing this photoshoot and reached out after hearing I’d be in NYC – her hometown. We’d gone back and forth a few times, trying to find the right location, which in New York is actually a really hard decision. We settled on Roosevelt Island, a long and thin piece of earth that sits in the East River, exactly in-between Manhattan and Brooklyn. This was my fourth trip to Kesh’s favourite city in the world and I was honestly shocked to learn about the island – I’d never even heard of it.
My stop was approaching and I jumped out and immediately realised just how far underground I was as I climbed the escalator for what seemed like forever. I emerged and walked along the edge of the island towards the park we’d arranged to meet at. I’ll never forget that walk – Manhattan seemed so surreal as I tried to take in a perspective of it I’d never seen.
I can’t explain how hot it had been in the lead up to our shoot. NYC is indescribably humid in the summer and I was thankful for the grey clouds that had gathered and even the few drops of rain that fell on my t shirt. Jen and her family met me at the gates and I learned that the Blaber’s actually called this island home, having lived here before heading over to Brooklyn.
It’s always a privilege to document a family. You make yourself really vulnerable when you ask someone to point a camera at the things you love the most. Honestly though, this was such a comfortable thing for me to do and I felt such a honest love between Jen, Matt, Nicholas and Margaux. We spoke about living in and out of the city, the benefits of Brooklyn versus Manhattan and the intricacies of juggling family and work. These guys do it with ease.