Kristen Kidd Photography

Photo Documentary: Exposing Life As It Develops

This past Easter weekend I went home and, with my family, spread my Father’s ashes.  In an unceremonious and seemingly uncorrelated event, I decided I wanted to gather several transplants from the home I grew up at to bring back to our new home in Pennsylvania.  What transpired from this was a sort of “act of remembering”.  I was reminded of pieces of life that will never change, pieces that cannot stay the same and pieces that we carry on in new and different ways.  

A poem I wrote for the service:  

The Places We Find Those That Carry On

Dad I found you in the pages 

Of the Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening

Behind tomato cages of concrete reinforcement wire

And black and white illustrations

Of garden plans.

You were many things.

You taught me people are many things.

Today I choose to remember you this way:

Giver of life

In the planted and plotted,

Buds and suckers

And a life pruned over a lifetime 

Hoping - working for a better yield.

Dad, I found you in the sleeves 

of 78s and 45s.

Sometimes in-between the Rolling Stones and The Carpenters,

Between Jimmy Dorsey and The Supremes, 

Simon and Garfunkle and Chicago

Or Johnny Mathis and Johnny Cash.

God, I hate Johnny Mathis.

Yet, he takes his place among the rest,

Proof that I love you.

Because my Father’s record collection

Is not my Father’s record collection

Without an occasional verse or voice

Or note I’d rather not hear.

Today I choose to remember you this way:

A masterpiece symphony

In a cacophony and unresolving chords.

Listen to the words:

An offering of meaning 

For the things we, ourselves cannot articulate.  

Kristen Kidd Photography

I am extremely excited to announce the launch of my new online portfolio. It is much more user friendly, sleek and attractive. I hope you enjoy taking a gander! I’ll be updating it periodically with new galleries and eventually selling images directly through the website.

A few weeks ago Beth and Jen at the bourgeoning Pennridge Animal Hospital asked me to do a session in their new, cozy digs.  The exam area is in what feels like the den of a home, complete with fire place, a couch, toys and all the standard vet necessities to exam the pets that come through.  Beth requested I specifically capture some images of them on the floor with pups because this is the down to earth care they offer all of their furry, hairy or feathery patients.  They set themselves apart getting on the animals level, providing house calls and even occasionally seeing patients at the last minute.  While I was there, wrapping up the session, on a Sunday, they were following up with “patient’s parents”, making calls and appointments.  The amount of love and care these two entrepreneurs give to their field is a site to behold.  I’m really proud to be apart of capturing the ambitions to come to life and unfold into a great new business in the community.   

One year ago I met Angie at a party for a medical practice I did a photo session for.  She told me she had an interest in hiring me to do some portraits with her and her beloved Nana.  She gushed over her love for her grandmother and I was elated at the prospect to capture her and Nana together.  It was this past weekend that all of our schedules coincided.  Most portrait sessions (especially where grandparents are involved) evoke thoughts of grandparents sweetly sitting in chairs with muted back drops as their family members flank their sides in a formal fashion.  That’s lovely, but I was overjoyed when Angie came to me with visions photographing Nana “doing the things she loves”.  ”I really want to make her feel special.  I’d love to get her behind a sewing machine.  She loves to sew.  I love to have some of her behind the mixer too.  We both love to bake.”  

"Fantastic", I said.  "What are we sewing?  What are baking?"

What transpired was a walk to the snowy park, hemming of pants, reading on the sofa and baking banana bread - all activities that are beloved by both Angie and Nana when they visit one another.  

My soul was warmed to tell the story of one grandmother and her granddaughter.  This is why I do what I do - to preserve timeless and cherished memories.    

Photo Documentary Series:  A Year In The Garden

These are samples from a year long documentary series I did of one, local garden.  It was amazing to see the changes with each season’s passing.  For more reflections on the beauty of the great outdoors see the extended catalog.

Six  months ago we bought a house.  This is the latest update on our home.  I included areas that are still a work in progress.  It’s been an amazing journey that continues on.  

kristenkiddphotography:

Commonly, by now, you know I do stories about other people and other places.  Occasionally though, I tap into my narcissistic side and post about my personal journey.  Those of you who may read in a more devoted fashion might have noticed a few less emails in your inbox these days.  (Since we all receive way too many emails, it was likely a welcomed respite.) These images give you a glimpse into why there have been crickets in the place stories.  It turns out that sometimes I simply can’t do everything all the time and be everywhere at once.  Who knew?!  

Dave and I began a journey of making a home… sometimes more literally than we bargained for.  We purchased a home in the middle of town (which is the lifestyle we love - close to trains, restaurants and bars) and have jumped full force into revitalizing what was once a turn of the century beauty that be came a run down drug house in one capacity or another.  

We’ve heard the stories from neighbors and even realtors that live a ways away.  Apparently this gem carries quite a sad history of the reality of poverty and the choices that sometimes come hand in hand with that reality.  Despite that downer, we’ve really embraced our situation and do what one can only do in times like these… laugh. “Remember the time we bought a crack house?”, I ask Dave.  He smiles and we rip up another slab of unidentifiable splotches on carpet.  We question the substance in between carpet and laminate.  We toss it all in the trash and move on.

In all honesty, we have been in love with the idea and (thus far) our process of making this place ours.  There’s nothing so cathartic as demolition and peeling away the old to reveal something better buried underneath.  

I will be bringing updates along the way.  I hope you enjoy my self-indulgent journey and maybe find commiseration and a good laugh or too, if you too are a home owner.

At the edge of World’s End State park there’s the little town of Forksville.  There’s a one lane bridge, a country store with a fantastic restaurant inside.  There’s also a program of festival’s throughout the year.  On my particular visit I happened upon their Fall Festival.  Here I took in the wares of many folk artists and learned that Polka music in the mountains of Pennsylvania is basically a Yankee’s Bluegrass.  

However, best of all, was the chainsaw artist contest.  The smell of freshly sawed wood took me back to my days growing up in the back woods of Virginia working a very long, cold day with my family and family friend pulp wood cutters to earn our firewood for the winter.  I’d never actually seen a chainsaw artist work, in person.  It was amazing seeing these creations come to life and in such great detail.  I gained instant respect for the medium.  

In America and many other countries to say a woman’s place is in the kitchen is to evoke a spectrum of hostile responses and rightfully so. There’s no need for a women’s lib lecture for you to know where we’ve come from and how far we’ve come.

Yet in some countries the kitchen is also the women’s place of empowerment. It is the place that they provide for their families both physically and emotionally through nourishment.

During my time spent in Honduras I toured home after home where women would proudly bring me into their kitchens and show me what they were preparing for their families that evening. As I walked into each home and treaded across everything from tile floors to dusty dirt floors I saw tables spread with multiple courses and other times pots simply filled with corn and water. I began to notice and document the disparity between these women’s lives that in turn reflected the disparity between socioeconomic classes. Yet, more importantly I gazed into the commonality they shared of family, love and generosity. There I found that the portion on the plate was irrelevant to the content of the heart.

Halloween is truly one of my favorite holidays.  Candy?  I could take it or leave it, but the whimsical fantasies of taking on a completely different identity - that’s for me.  Nearly every year pain staking time and energy (but never too much money) goes into my costume.  Beyond my own personal delight, I love witnessing the transformations of others.  Halloween is one night when all things absurd are welcomed and encouraged.  

In my experience, American society is one of the more boundary/personal space oriented cultures.  There’s a general, mutual understanding of don’t walk on my lawn, don’t come over unannounced, don’t park in my spot, don’t touch my stuff,etc..  Being someone who’s always struggled with boundaries, Halloween is a welcome respite of an acceptable dose of relentless lawn traipsing, in your face, diving into everyone’s bowl of goodies.  I love it.  

Having lived in condos and apartments that for unknown reasons never saw a notable amount of trick-or-treaters (places oddly shrouded in silence and seclusion amid everyone literally living on top of each other)  I was elated to partake in the first Halloween flanked by hoards of mummies, fairies, super heros and even Einstein (someone give that kid an extra handful of treats!).  One hundred and fifty one-night thespians stepped foot on our porch.  Surrounded in jovial atmosphere, I couldn’t help but put together a series celebrating one of the best holidays of the year.