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Eye of the Beholder

by | Nov 28, 2014 | Family | 3 comments

Robbi and I take a lot of pictures. Of our kids. Of our books. Of our adventures. Even, sometimes, of one another. But sometimes it’s fun to see what happens when someone else is behind the lens. We’re lucky to have a number of friends who are also professional photographers and who have volunteered to spend a day with us, documenting the happenings in and around the barn.

Most recently, we were lucky enough to have been the subjects of husband and wife team Horace and Jennifer Trovato. Horace shot film and Jennifer with a gorgeous digital SLR that made Robbi drool.

If you are having an event or just want someone to capture a day in the life of your family, I can’t recommend these two more highly. Not only are their photos gorgeous, but they are warm and kind and very good at artful engineering of scenarios, angles, and even kid expressions. Knowing how to work the camera is just a small part of being a great photographer. Horace and Jen also have the instincts and the disposition.

ALL of the photos Jen and Horace sent our way were lovely, but here’s a tour of the greatest hits, as far as I’m concerned.

This year’s quintessential family shot, complete with Alden and Augie mugging willingly and Kato not being entirely convinced.


Here is my girl and her dog in the leafy canyon between the barn and the overgrown oak leaf hydrangea.


The three musketeers. The three amigos?


My favorite thing about the shot below? That little speck of a two year old peeking out from behind and between us.


Tweedle Rob and Tweedle Me.


I’ve shared this shot already, but I love it so. This what I mean about Jen being a genius about creating ease and capturing spotaneity. I never like photos of myself, but this one captures exactly how I feel when I’m with Robbi.


And this one captures exactly what it feels like to love two people exactly the same amount but in entirely different ways.


And look. Jen even makes our books look beautiful. Here is a stack of Microflash Picture Books, in preparation for some workshop or another.


My girl at her desk, probably laughing at me, not with me.


A portrait of the artist drawing a portrait of a surly fat frog.


While I unleash my unfiltered fury on the wire-o binder.


Look what happens when you really know how to use a camera: the crop, the shallow depth of field, the light.


Here’s the header photo for the gritty expose. Who wants to write it? You wouldn’t even have to hire a photographer. We’ll give you lots of juicy quotes, I swear.


By the end of the shoot, the aforementioned frog was not just surly and fat, but also green. It didn’t seem to lift his disposition.


I love this shot of Robbi binding a copy of The Baby is Disappointing.


And here we are in the letterpress studio, talking about this or that, or possibly both.


Our antique furniture cabinet. In this case “furniture” are the pieces of wood used to hold lead type in place when setting up a plate to print. Because we print with photopolymer, we don’t actually use furniture, but we do like how it looks.


I’m so glad Jennifer captured this shot of the front windowsill, which is still full of Seiko’s pottery tools, just as it has been for the past three decades.


Our studio is infused with her tireless creative spirit. Our work is better because of her.


Here is my girl. Jen captured her perfectly. Her joy, her beauty, her knowing. Her tendency to eat paintbrushes.


And here’s my headshot. Robbi says she loves this one, but I am not convinced.


This one is much more to my liking.


And now for the mushy stuff. I saved it for the end, in case you want to bail at this point. I’m not sure if there’s anything less interesting than contentment.


Unless it’s sun-drenched contentment. Blech. Sorry about this.


We’ll end with this shot, Robbi in the doorway between the shop and the studio, surrounded by her mother’s work, on the threshold of our new creative space. It’s a gorgeous photo and it’s a kind of visual symbol of what’s happening these days, what has been happening for the past eight years. The passing of the baton, the emergence of an artist.


It’s so good to see oneself from a different angle. Through a different set of eyes. Lucky for us, Jennifer and Horace are so very good of what they do.

And, speaking of Horace, I should say that all of the photos above are by Jennifer, who was shooting with digital. Horace, who was shooting with film, chose two shots from the day to develop and send to us as prints. Robbi loves the photo of me and I love the photo of Robbi. Which makes sense, I suppose.


I can’t recommend Horace and Jennifer more highly.

You can find them here.





  1. Holli

    Really beautiful photographs of a wonderful, loving family

  2. jenifer endicott emley

    well, you’ve brought me to tears …. what beautiful pix – I feel very happy!

  3. Emily Eldredge

    Gorgeous gorgeous GORGEOUS tribute to your work, your family, and to each other. LOVE the love. (And keep that mushiness coming, Matt and Robbi! It’s delicious and refreshing! :) )


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