I’ve never been a groupie. But I have to admit I’ve been a little obsessed with Rachel Belle since I first heard her on KIRO radio. I love her perky voice and the human interest stories she tells on her “Ring My Belle” segment during the Ron and Don Show. I get a kick out of her radio spots when she tells us how to grow hair (Ovation Cell Therapy!!) and how to get rid of it (Ideal Image!!) So when she asked on her Facebook page (of course I’m a follower) for people who had recently switched careers I answered immediately--pick me! I sold furniture for 18 years! I’m now a photographer! I want to be interviewed by Rachel Belle! Strangely enough, she actually did pick me--and this is the interview we recorded on Monday morning. She asked me questions while I was photographing her, which was a little unnerving, but fun. It ran Monday afternoon. That is some fast editing. Rachel is good at everything.
Micah's bar mitzvah was held recently at Congregation Beth Shalom in Seattle. Micah was calm and confident and gave an amazing speech. I was impressed by his family--they all participated in the service. It was a Thursday, so I was able to photograph Micah putting on tefillin for the first time in addition to being called up to the Torah. He went on to do so again on Shabbat, and then everyone celebrated at a lively party in Sodo on Saturday night, highlighted by a Havdala service, singing and dancing. Very nice simcha!
As many of you know, I spent the summer shooting for Seattle Magazine. I’ve been sent to photograph restaurants, stores, non-profit organizations, and an eclectic assortment of people in the news--attorneys, community activists, chefs, and legislators.
When I was assigned to shoot “Le Petit Cochon,” I did wonder why they were sending their only Jewish photographer to “The Little Pig” -- a pork restaurant that was opening soon. But then I considered the creative possibilities and I asked the chef, Derek Ronspies, if he could get a baby pig for the photo shoot. Derek wasn’t sure where to actually get a pig, which I thought was strange, considering his specialty. But he was able to round up Henry from a local petting zoo. And I got the green light from the Art Director to include Henry in the photos for Seattle Magazine.
Henry wasn’t the most gracious of subjects. He squealed a lot. We fielded stares from pedestrians just outside the restaurant. You could see “why are they butchering a pig in the middle of Fremont?” on their faces. But Derek and Henry got along splendidly.
Alas, there was no little piggie in the photo of Derek and the restaurant that ran in the October issue of the magazine. Henry was cropped out. Maybe the images of Henry juxtaposed with the cutting board, a huge knife and some garlic were taking artistic liberty a little too far. The images didn’t bother me---but then I don’t eat pork. I am just sorry that Henry missed out on his 15 minutes of fame.
My friend Debra Rettman and I have long talked about photographing Rabbi Solomon Maimon. Rabbi Maimon was not only the first Sephardic rabbi ordained in the United States, he has been a pivotal figure in the Seattle Jewish community for decades and was also the official Mohel (trained in the ritual of circumcision) of the community. His first brit milah--Jack Babani-- was conducted in 1947 and his last one--my son Raphael--in 1998. I wanted to photograph the rabbi with both “boys,” representing the bookends of his Mohel career. We were able to get everyone together on President’s Day at Sephardic Bikur Holim for this photo shoot.
The Seattle Sugarplum Elves are a riot. A song and dance variety act, they perform singing telegrams and engage in other seasonal entertainment. My lovely cousin, Talia--I mean "Two Shoes" (they all have Elf names) is a member, and arranged for me to do a photoshoot at Fishermen's Terminal for their calendar, which can be ordered here:
I was assisted on this shoot by Elizabeth Ogle and I think we both enjoyed ourselves just a bit too much.