I’m dog crazy (mine, Babette’s, friends’) and grin like a madwoman at every pup I pass on the street. But I’ve managed to restrict the Venn diagram where my love of dogs and collectible objects overlap to vintage cast iron dog doorstops (and two boot scrapers). The first doorstop I acquired was in Lucketts, VA, and it was, of course, a black and white Boston terrier.
At an auction at the Epworth Center in High Falls over Memorial Day weekend 2012, I bulked up my collection, adding a German shepherd, an English setter, and expanding into the boot scrapers, a dachshund with the scraper in his back and two spaniels flanking the blade. It was one of those rare sales–although the room was full, everyone else’s desire was fixed on other objects and my haul was a giddy bargain.
A uniquely stylish woman whom I recognized from New York (and only knew by first name) was after a few specific paintings and when she and I spoke, and introduced ourselves, I was surprised that she was someone I certainly knew of—Linda O’Keeffe, design writer and editor extraordinaire, and formerly the creative director of the much-missed Metropolitan Home.
That August Linda emailed to find out if I shot interiors in addition to portraits. We met, talked for hours on her screened porch, and she asked if I’d like to shoot the Hudson Valley houses that would be part of the new book she was working on, her first for Rizzoli. With a lot of excitement (but also more anxiety than I’d had in accepting an assignment since very early in my career), I said yes.
Fast forward–I photographed eight projects for Linda’s recently-published “Heart and Home: Rooms That Tell Stories.” The book includes houses, apartments and lofts–in New York (upstate and down), Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, Berlin, France, India, the Philippines–which belong to architects, designers (interior, fashion, furniture and creative), artists, collectors, antique dealers, and shows in gorgeous photos and layouts and fascinating pieces how the pros please their most demanding client: him/herself.
I loved the shoots–working with Linda, meeting the designers (and sometimes their dogs), loved how different shooting interiors is from shooting portraits, and then again, how it’s not that different. And I’m immensely proud that one of my images is on the back cover.