As a child growing up in Brooklyn, NY, Wilton-based photographer Nina Pomeroy lived in a two-story home with her parents and grandparents. As such, she had a very special bond with her grandmother–so strong, in fact, that when Pomeroy’s parents moved to Florida when she was in high school, she elected to stay back in Brooklyn and live with her grandmother.
One would think that many photos would exist of Pomeroy and her grandmother, but like teenagers everywhere, she shunned having her photo taken. It’s something she now regrets, and is a circumstance she wants to help other families avoid while there is still time.
Inspiration for My First Best Friend, a photography project that Pomeroy undertook this past winter, struck when she took some time to reflect on her work, her creative fuel, and what she wanted to do next with her art.
“It was a January day, and I was sitting in my office, trying to think of a project that would recharge my batteries for the year and also give back to others. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed something falling off the shelf above my desk. It was an old photograph of my grandmother with her mother and I reached out to catch it before fell,” Pomeroy recounted. “I realized that even though I had lived in a two-family house with my grandmother throughout my childhood, there were really no nice photographs of the two of us together.”
“My goal was to capture that special relationship between grandchild and grandparent aside from ‘occasion’ moments, such as graduations and holidays. Too often we wait until that ‘perfect moment’ where we are all gathered together and feel photogenic, and many times that moment never comes. Having too many photos of loved ones is never on a list of regrets.”
Pomeroy put out a casting call for subjects and had such an enthusiastic response that she had a waiting list. She photographed 13 families at no cost, with some grandparents traveling from all over the region just to participate in this photo session.
More than a dozen specially selected photos of the grandparent/grandchildren pairs will be displayed at an artist’s reception at URA the Spa on Thursday, May 29 from 5-7 p.m.. The event will feature a raffle for prizes, including a $200 credit toward a photo session with Pomeroy, a hair makeover with stylist Janet Montalbano, and a custom facial from URA the Spa. The event is free and open to the public.
Heather Bova, owner of URA the Spa, said, “Nina’s photography is more than just a picture or a portrait, it is the spiritual connection to life’s meaning.”
Wilton mom of four Kathryn Johnson, a neighbor of Pomeroy’s, said, “My mom was visiting us and we ran into Nina, who told my mom all about her grandmother and how she was her first best friend. Then my mom started talking about her grandchildren (one of her favorite subjects) and how much fun they have together when she comes to visit once a month–or more often if she needs a grandkid ‘fix’.”
An offer to photograph Johnson’s mom with her grandchildren quickly followed.
“At the photo shoot, which was a lot of fun, each of my four kids posed with my mom individually while Nina asked questions about their favorite activities to do together. There were lots of giggles and hugs going around. My mom was thrilled when, at the end of the session, she got to pose with all four of them. My mom has been there for her grandchildren for all the important events in their lives and the photographs really capture how much they all love their Gram.”
To Pomeroy, that is a “mission accomplished.”