March 14, 2021
By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net
The year was 1996, and I was attending a summer course at the Maine Photo Workshops. It was called “Finding Your Visual Voice” It was taught by a professor from the Savannah School of the Arts. One day we went on a field trip to a pretty town on the Penobscot Bay called Northport. It was such a peaceful place, and the quaint summer cottages were placed around a large center grassy area.
I was told that the town had a religious background, and every August people came for a camp meeting. At the time I was only mildly impressed by that history, but later I learned that the town was settled in the 18th century, and somewhere along the way the Methodist Camp Meeting idea was adopted, and most visitors since the first camp meeting in 1849, still go there in August for religious reasons, although the web site says that the town was now becoming a “watering hole.”
Anyhow, it seemed like an All-American picture-perfect place. While I was looking around for some photographic subjects a family, straight out of Norman Rockwell, came down the path towards me. Great…this will be a terrific portrait of Americana. My camera was set on a tripod ready to go, so I asked them if I could take their picture.
They cheerfully agreed, and as I looked at them through the viewfinder, I saw a loving, happy family, and I thought, “I’d like to be a member of that family, even for just a moment.” So I told them what I had in mind, and they loved the idea and welcomed me into the family for this shot. There was only one exposure and then they went on their way.
Whenever I look at this image I think, “I’m so lucky to be adopted by this perfect family, even for only 1/250th of a second.”
ETTA JONES and HOUSTON PERSON: “…through it all we all will be together, if the fates allow….” The album: Together at Christmas, 2000.