Close

When I die there should be no sad songs for me…

Coffee-000044960009-092017paigegreen

In September of 2017, on the cusp of my fortieth birthday, I set a new decade resolution to spend more time with my ninety-three year old grandfather. As a documentary photographer, with an interest in communities, I asked my grandfather if he’d like to do a portrait and interview project in his retirement community. My grandfather said, “yes.”

My goals for this project were simple. I wanted to have quality time with my grandfather, I wanted to honor and appreciate this last chapter of his life and the community that he chose to spend it with. When I asked him who he wanted to focus on for the project, my grandfather chose the coffee group that he religiously meets with every morning except for Sunday.

The result of that project was a book of portraits and interview excerpts called The Coffee Group that I shared with my grandfather’s community in summer of 2018.

Coffee-000044960016-092017paigegreen

On March 19th, 2019, my grandfather, Robert Harper, passed away at 5:30am. He was the foundation of our family and he will be greatly missed. I will be forever grateful for the time I had working with him on this project, and his words are a comfort as we figure out how to recalibrate our family without our navigator. Here is my grandfather’s portrait and interview from the book:

Robert Harper, Geography Professor/ Author

grandpa_54A0380-e

Sally and I met working on the high school paper. Working on the paper was really the first time that boys and girls had a chance to work together. Everything was separated, so none of us had any experience with the other sex in a social way. At Christmas that first semester Sally and I were working together, she invited me to go on a hayride sponsored by her club. Well, we went on the hayride and I was thrilled with her. But I was shy around girls, and really, adults too.

Afterward I was afraid if I called to ask her out she might say, “no,” or I might have to talk to her parents, and I didn’t want to do that. So I put it off and put it off. That’s when my best friend, George McCoy, locked me in the basement and said he wouldn’t let me out until I called her. But once that happened the dam broke and we were dating all the time.

I thought she was great. She was prickly, but we got along and I just liked being with her. She was my best friend. I was really thrilled when she put on a card one time, “The best thing I ever did was say, ‘I do.'”

My life was serendipity. It all just bubbled along. A wartime wedding and the GI Bill changed my life path. I enjoyed writing the textbooks. I enjoyed teaching. I enjoyed some of the work with organizations. I didn’t always succeed at stuff when I tried, but generally I did. I didn’t plan my life, but my life couldn’t have come out better, except that I wish Sally had lived longer, and I had lived not so long.

I was always kidding her, saying that I’d die and she’d marry some other guy. She pooh-poohed that. I certainly didn’t expect to be the one to live the longest. I don’t want to share my life anymore with anybody except her. I’m a one-woman man.

I don’t dream much, but when I dream I have almost never seen her in a dream. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss her, but I’m a pragmatist. My feeling is that when something happens, it happens. And when it’s over, it’s over, and there’s nothing you can do about it. So there’s no sense mourning about it all. You just have to go onto the next chapter.

I always was afraid of death because I didn’t think there was life after death, but now I’m to a point where it really doesn’t matter to me. When I die there should be no sad songs for me. I have had a good life. But I don’t want anybody trying to extend my life. There’s a difference between living and existing, and I don’t want to just exist.

I grew up in a religious, Republican family. Very traditional. Very conservative. Sally did too. But I think the University of Chicago changed our perspective. There was a lot of social concern and discussion of issues like that. Sally always was afraid she’d become a communist going to that school. But it changed our perspective on life. So once we rejected that old system, it was a matter of learning a new system.

I certainly have shifted from traditional Christianity to feeling that some kind of world religion will ultimately come out of this, and that a lot of religion is just superstition. When you think about how poorly most of the people have lived on the Earth, they were certainly looking for a world that was better than their lot. The poorer you were, the more you wanted.

I don’t really think that there’s life after death, but if there is, I hope they let us look down to see what’s going on in the world, because I think we’re at the beginning of a revolution that is going to change life as much as the agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution. I think this information data revolution is going to revolutionize your lives and the lives of your kids. It’s going to be a whole different ballgame.

_54A1995

For more about my grandfather and how much he meant to our family:

https://paigegreenblog.com/2007/08/15/traditions/

https://paigegreenblog.com/2008/08/26/bathing-beauties/

https://paigegreenblog.com/2009/09/21/apple-dumplings-root-beer-saloon-my-grandparents-and-me/

https://paigegreenblog.com/2009/08/17/65-years-photos-for-my-blob-part-i/

https://paigegreenblog.com/2010/01/12/my-grandpa-will-always-be-my-favorite-santa/

https://paigegreenblog.com/2011/09/26/you-made-my-life/

https://paigegreenblog.com/2012/01/01/why-am-i-doing-this-again-best-of-2011/

https://paigegreenblog.com/2016/01/04/i-want-to-learn-how-to-drive-a-monster-truck-in-2016/

 

Plastic Expectations in Baja

One of my new year goals was to reduce our family consumption, especially of plastic, and then we went to Mexico, where it seemed we were more dependent on plastic than ever. Here is what I learned….

slide-000440290002

Seductive plastic playgrounds may not be as sexy up close, unless you like holes in your slides.

swing-000440290005

But rusty metal ones will save the day.

arann-000440290006

Coco Loco only looks like a guinea pig pooped in styrofoam, it is actually amazingly tasty.

hah-000440290007

Although nothing is as good as a coconut served in nature’s packaging (we agreed to save the straw forever.)

snorkle-000440290009

Plastic goggles and flippers are essential for swimming with whale sharks.

ocean-000440320002

But not as essential as actually practicing swimming in the cold ocean ahead of time.

snorkle-000440310002

There was more screaming with whale sharks than swimming with whale sharks for our kids, but we agreed we’d try again after Ally learns how to swim. (oops)

jeff-000440310007

Plastic signs can be very helpful for finding your perfect chill spot.

hah-000440310011

But even a wood sign isn’t that helpful if you don’t know how to read yet.

ahhhah-000440320003

Plastic film cameras (that you have never used before) can give you lots of blurry results.

beth-000440320008

But it is possible to capture the cutest kitten love session behind the plastic trash cans when you get that focus right.

ahh-000440260007

All plastic aside, the most important lesson we learned is that we can travel together as a family internationally. After our last family trip, we were too concerned that our kids might not do very well traveling in a different country and could bring our trip to a halt that we didn’t do much planning beyond our accommodations.

beach-000440260008-s

So now that we know we are capable of exploring the world as a family, our next challenge will be to travel the world as sustainably as possible.

mural-000440250004-e

So our kids grow in to people who say “yes” to adventure. And “no” to plastic, with the exception being plastic cameras, of course.

Top Nine of 2018 (no algorithms were used in the making of this list)

000059560010-BetsyBeach2018paigegreenI did the Top Nine photo generator on Instagram, but I didn’t agree with the photos it chose, so I picked my own.057_000048360009These Top Nine (plus one) aren’t photos that other people “liked” best.

JJ-026_000037260010They are not photos that an algorithm deemed worthy enough to show other people.

079_000059800005-SCBeach2018paigegreenThey are not photos that I was hired to take, or that will help get me new jobs.

Ally4-2018000039120004They are photos from my life that I like best.

000059640007-SCBeach2018paigegreenThey are photos that remind me to slow down and make time for my own life.

045_000067360002They are photos that remind me that life is short and I only have one chance to live it.

BookClub000064790010-e-b-w45x5They are all photos taken on film with cameras that quite likely will not give me results that I expected, but they almost always give me photos that I love.

000009470002So here is to a slow new year, ignoring algorithms, being present in our own lives and having experiences that will likely not be what we expect, but will almost always be what we love.

000099240002

Free Photo Shoot with Donation to Fire Relief

The deadly wildfires that have ravaged Northern California over the past week — killing dozens and forcing thousands to flee their homes are not out yet.

At least 40 people have been confirmed dead in four counties. Hundreds are still missing. Statewide, an estimated 5,700 structures have been destroyed, including whole neighborhoods reduced to smoldering rubble. Nearly 100,000 people have been displaced” Washington Post.

“This is truly one of the greatest tragedies California has ever faced,” Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said Saturday.

These fires surround the town I where live and I want to do my part to help…

HAH6_54A4892-donate

So once again I am offering FREE one hour digital photo shoots to the first 5 people who donate $400 or more to the Redwood Credit Union to support the relief efforts for the victims of the Sonoma and Napa County fires.

home

“No matter who you are or where you’re from, home means something to you. Homes serve as the backdrop for our childhood memories as well as the background of the interpersonal dramas in our lives. Our homes hold an iconic status as a place we can always belong. A place we can always be ourselves, let our guard down and still be loved. Home is a place you look forward to, a place where just being yourself is good enough,” Dr Robi Ludwig.

paigegreen-heather92910-248

While having your home burn down isn’t the end of the world, when your whole community and the land around it burns down as well… I think it might feel pretty close to the end of your world.

19paigegreen-Dawes2812-138

It is certainly not something I ever hope to experience.

rebecca25_MG_0356

This being the first time I have lived so close to a crisis of this scale, it is so powerful and moving to see my community rally together to help the families who have lost everything.

home2

 

Once you make a donation directly to the organization, please send your proof of payment to: studio@paigegreen.com and we will set up a time to photograph your family in your home.

paigegreen-rose11511-076

Offer is good for a one hour family digital photo shoot and it includes ten high-resolution digital files. Additional files can be purchased. Additional travel fee for photo shoots outside of Petaluma. 

#photographfighter #sonomacounty #sonomaproud #tubbsfire #northbayfires #napavalleyfires

Grateful that photos don’t speak…

…so you don’t hear the whining and fighting from the 5.75 and 3 year-old boys who were tagging along on our last-minute Fourth of July escape to Mendocino County.

My hope is that these peaceful and calm photos (with my patented no whining kid filter) will eventually reshape our memories, so we remember ourselves as the perfect family, and we will remember this trip as the perfect summer getaway with the right balance of culture and quiet… 01-0065-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen02-0002-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen03-0067-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen04-0122-MendocinoGreenHarris07022017paigegreen05-0017-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen06-0023-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen07-0040-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen08-0049-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen09-0051-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen10-0062-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen11-0075-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen12-0079-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen13-0090-MendocinoGreenHarris07012017paigegreen14-0115-MendocinoGreenHarris07022017paigegreen15-0140-MendocinoGreenHarris07022017paigegreen16-0152-MendocinoGreenHarris07022017paigegreen17-0160-MendocinoGreenHarris07022017paigegreen18-0165-MendocinoGreenHarris07022017paigegreen19-0167-MendocinoGreenHarris07022017paigegreen20-0172-MendocinoGreenHarris07032017paigegreen21-0175-MendocinoGreenHarris07032017paigegreen22-0173-MendocinoGreenHarris07032017paigegreen23-0180-MendocinoGreenHarris07032017paigegreen24-0198-MendocinoGreenHarris07032017paigegreen25-0199-MendocinoGreenHarris07032017paigegreen26-0204-MendocinoGreenHarris07042017paigegreen27-0205-MendocinoGreenHarris07042017paigegreen28-0207-MendocinoGreenHarris07042017paigegreen29-0210-MendocinoGreenHarris07042017paigegreen30-0212-MendocinoGreenHarris07042017paigegreen31-0226-MendocinoGreenHarris07042017paigegreen32-0228-MendocinoGreenHarris07042017paigegreen33-0232-MendocinoGreenHarris07042017paigegreen34-0235-MendocinoGreenHarris07042017paigegreen35-0244-MendocinoGreenHarris07042017paigegreen

If anyone has tips on how to travel successfully with children, so instead of whining they sweetly thank you for the enrichment you are providing their lives, I would love to hear them.

In case you are curious to learn more about the places in the photos above, this is where we went:

Elk:

Private Cabin

Elk Creek Beach perfect for fort building.

Mendocino:

Flynn Creek Circus we were not as in love with the fighting theme this year, but still a talented bunch of people and fun to see what some people can do with their bodies.

Point Arena:

Fourth of July Parade such a sweet small town parade with quite a diverse population.

Manchester State Park Beach long walk to get to the beach, but worth it.

Fort Bragg:

Skunk Train heaven for kids, especially the model train museum, and you can bring your dogs on the train too!

Glass Beach very crowded, but still neat to discover glass treasures and explore tide pools.

Willits:

Frontier Days very authentic look at life outside of the Bay Area bubble… my kids now want to be cowboys.

Roots of Motive Power neat free activity that is great for all ages.

green grass + bouncing lambs = Farm Family Photo time again.

paigegreenAllisonWoofter01312012-161

Last year I offered Farm Family Photo Shoots at Windrush Farm and  we had so much fun…

paigegreenAllisonWoofter01312012-025That we are doing it again this year. paigegreenAllisonWoofter01312012-182Sessions are 45 minutes and include 10 high resolution digital files of your choice. 

paigegreenAllisonWoofter01312012-050

Additional images will be available for purchase.

paigegreenAllisonWoofter01312012-126

We recommend wearing clothes & shoes you don’t mind getting dirty…

paigegreenAllisonWoofter01312012-155

And bringing a colorful blanket to spread out in the grass.

paigegreenAllisonWoofter01312012-007

While we will do our best to take photos with baby animals…

paigegreenAllisonWoofter01312012-035

They are baby animals, so we can not guarantee they will always cooperate…

paigegreenAllisonWoofter01312012-021

But we can guarantee that we’ll have lots of fun on the farm…

paigegreenAllisonWoofter01312012-193

And you’ll have lots of cute photos to prove it.

paigegreenAllisonWoofter01312012-165

Farm Family Photo Sessions Dates:

March 30th-April 2nd

April 6th-April 9th

To register click here:

http://my.setmore.com/bookingpage/c2369b83-d535-4dfc-bd12-b96aa13ecb9e/bookappointment

Farm Flower Photos (this is film)

Our first ever Farm Flower Photos with Chloris Floral and Grace and Gather at Windrush Farm was so beautiful, we can hardly stand it…

000082320015-FarmFlowerAllison-032017

Outside the barn was crazy with rain and hail storms, but inside our barn was like…

000082290006-FarmFlowerJuliet-032017

000082290009-FarmFlowerHeidi-032017000082310004-FarmFlowerAyan-032017000082330002-FarmFlowerSarah-032017

000082300001-FarmFlowerAllison-032017000082340009-FarmFlowerLaura-032017000082350002-FarmFlowerJenna-032017000082350016-FarmFlowerAyan-032017

We had so much fun that we would love to do it again.

000082310013-FarmFlowerAyan-032017

At another farm. In another state. With different animals. And with lots more people. WE are OPEN to anything. If you’d like to play with flowers on a farm, please send us a message and let us know.

000082310016-FarmFlowerAyan-032017

Thank you times a million to Laura Schneider for helping make it all happen, once again.

000082340006-FarmFlowerAllison-032017

(All of these photos were photographed on medium format film.)

An Invitation to Celebrate Spring with a Florist, a Stylist and Me…

springshootpromo1s-blog

Chloris Floral, Grace & Gather and I have been playing with flowers to create photos for Betany’s blog….

paigegreenchlorisfloral_54a7550-e

For our last photo shoot we invited the whole family to play…

chlorismichaelamy02262017paigegreen_54a7881

After the official photos were over, we absolutely had to take some cute family photos…

chlorismichaelamy02262017paigegreen_54a8001paigegreenchlorisfloral_54a7906

chlorismichaelamy02262017paigegreen_54a7961

And after we took cute family photos, we wanted to keep going (to honor the trees who gave us the flowers and Betany’s beautiful arrangements) but the problem was we didn’t have anyone else to play with.

chlorismichaelamy02262017paigegreen_54a7782

So we agreed we had to have another photo shoot (while the flowering fruit trees are still full and beautiful) and this time we had to invite you. Here are the details:

Floral design by Chloris Floral, Styling by Grace & Gather, Photos by Paige Green

Windrush Farm on March 5th between 10am-3pm

Come solo or with your loved ones (limit six people per session)

Cost is $500 for a 45 minutes and includes 10 high-resolution digital files of your choice.

paigegreenchlorisfloral_54a7678s

So if you would like to celebrate spring with the most glorious locally grown flowers, arranged by Chloris Floral, styled by Grace & Gather, photographed by me at Windrush Farm (with brand new bouncing lambs) on Sunday March 5th then please click the photo below to register…

springshootpromo2-3

(Flower arrangements and backdrops will vary depending on what is growing and where we are photographing.)

 

Why I marched on January 21st, 2017 along with 2.9 million other people…

Here is some of what happened the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated president of the United States, after winning the electoral vote, but losing the popular vote by close to three million votes, because of his campaign promises to make America sexist, racist, homophobic, and full of hate again:_54a1817paigegreenmarchoak01242017City officials estimate that 500,000 people participated in the main march in Washington, DC._54a2227paigegreenmarchoak01242017250,000 in Chicago._54a2165paigegreenmarchoak01242017250,000 people in Boston._54a1950paigegreenmarchoak01242017200,000 more in Denver.

_54a1930paigegreenmarchoak01242017In New York, the estimate ranges from 200,000-500,000.

_54a2038paigegreenmarchoak01242017An estimated 60,000 people marched in Atlanta._54a2257paigegreenmarchoak01242017In Los Angeles, the estimate is anywhere from 200,000-750,000._54a2129paigegreenmarchoak0124201760,000 in St. Paul, MN._54a2048paigegreenmarchoak0124201750,000 in Philadelphia._54a2106paigegreenmarchoak01242017100,000 in Madison, WI._54a2077paigegreenmarchoak0124201720,000 in Pittsburgh._54a2043paigegreenmarchoak0124201720,000 in Nashville, TN._54a2108paigegreenmarchoak01242017And these are few of the 60,000 who I marched with in Oakland, CA._54a2196paigegreenmarchoak01242017In the history of the United States, there has never been a one-day protest that was this large._54a2021paigegreenmarchoak01242017These numbers prove that we are not going accept the agenda of the Trump administration without a serious fight._54a1924paigegreenmarchoak01242017But now that the marches are over… it is time for us to get to work._54a1894paigegreenmarchoak01242017-3

This is not about democrats vs republicans. Or conservatives vs liberals. This is about human rights and decency. This is about love vs hate. To find out what you can do to make your voice heard after the march click here: www.womensmarch.com/100

 

%d bloggers like this: