I met Kevin Moran (VP of The Berkshire Eagle and guitarist of western Mass's deep rooted punk band, The Damaged) in the early 2000's during my nearly 8 year span as staff photographer for The Brattleboro Reformer. Time spent in southern Vermont under The Brattleboro Reformer was a huge staple in my life and in my career. But that's another story for another day....
Cut to today... a world where social media serves as a giant life force for staying connected and reconnecting. Be it close friends, family across the country or good people you just don't see enough of in the “real world.” For me, Kevin falls into the category of “good people I just don't see enough of.” Mr. Vice President over here, recently reached out to me- his former photography minion/ current artist/ entrepreneur trying to make a go of running a small business. Kevin's parents, Fred and Marilyn Moran are to be celebrating their 50th anniversary in just a few weeks. FIFTY years. He reached out to me, a photographer that's located over an hour away. Why? He said he knew I was the one for the job. The one to capture the first professional photos of his beloved parents in fifty years. The first professional photos of the couple since their wedding day. Needless to say, I was humbled.
Kevin gave me a bit of insight as to who Fred and Marilyn Moran of Adams, MA are. “They're hip! They're new grandparents. They fly-fish together. They're not kissy, kissy, lovey, lovey anymore. They're smart. They're sophisticated and down to Earth but not “hippy.” They will both be 73 this fall.” She's a firecracker who works on the top of Mount Greylock and is involved with the community via helping those with mental illness and a local theater company. He's a retired school principal who can no longer hear well and has a punny sense of humor that his wife “just goes with.”
I got this. I have them pegged. A couple of 70 year olds who like to be outdoors and who are still “on their game.” Kevin and I agreed that an outdoor shoot beginning by the river was the way to go. “This will be fun and leisurely” I thought. ….or how about I had no idea what I was in for! I should have taken Kevin more seriously when he used the word “adventurous.” Marilyn led the way, tromping down steep hills and ducking underneath branches while simultaneously stepping over fallen trees. Hills so steep even I, a “nothing can stop me” 30-something year old, would hesitate venturing down.
We had a blast. We explored places in Westfield I had yet to have seen. I discovered, that Westfield happens to be THE town that Fred and Marilyn first met thanks to Westfield State (University). At the beginning of their courtship, Marilyn would visit the Friendly’s that Fred worked at for the oversized ice-cream cones he would serve her. Let's face it, what girl wouldn't be won over by an abundance of ice-cream?!
To this day, I remember the childhood Illinois visit to celebrate my Grandma and Grandpa Tegel's 50th anniversary. Grandma and Grandpa have since passed. In an indirect obscure way, capturing Mr. and Mrs. Moran connected me with my Grandparents once again. For that and the opportunity to get a taste of Fred's humor and Marilyn's adventurous side, I am grateful. ~Kim
Click here to view more images from the portrait session!