American Bedroom - Eastport, Maine

The Incredible Journey - I have had many journeys during my life and for American Bedroom, but this particular trip was pure magic.  I come away from it telling myself to 'Expect the unexpected.'  The beauty of the place was outmatched by the beauty and generosity of the people I met. I feel very honored to have experiences like this. It elevates the soul and rejuvenates the heart.

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My adventure began with an email from Kim and Dan who live in a tent with their 3 dogs way up in Perry, Maine, almost in Canada.  Even though it's four hours north I was quick to say yes and scheduled a date. They were as I expected them, kind and gentle folks who are taking charge of their existence and living the life they want.

 It took some time to figure out how we could get the two of them and all three dogs in one shot. It was also challenging for me because their tent roof is covered with insulation for the Winter which cut down most of the ambient light. I decided I would come back at dawn and try to get something completley different utilizing daylight. 

It took some time to figure out how we could get the two of them and all three dogs in one shot. It was also challenging for me because their tent roof is covered with insulation for the Winter which cut down most of the ambient light. I decided I would come back at dawn and try to get something completley different utilizing daylight. 

Next stop - Kim and Dan took me to The Rosebud Lounge - ( no further explanation needed)  The people here were so friendly and welcoming! After I was introduced to everyone one woman - MJ got on her phone and started calling people around town to see if they would be open to having their photo taken....in their bedroom! To my dismay people were saying yes....and suddenly I had a producer!! She took my prototype American Bedroom book and off we went. 

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MJ was so excited to take me to meet people. She also had me on a tight schedule and kept saying...'We gotta move on, we're losing light!"   I told her they pay people big bucks to do what was coming to her naturally.  She keep saying...'This is an amazingly fun day!"

Our first stop was with Suzanne and Sandy - who happened to be relaxing in their bed with their two little dogs. They were both retired teachers. I told Suzanne as I was leaving that I was impressed with how willing and open they both were and she took my arm and pulled me close and said 'If you are not open then you are missing out!' 

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Next stop was John - an antique dealer. His house was so full of antiques I asked him if it was also his store and he said 'Nope, just my house.'

 Besides photographing John in his bedroom I could not pass up a portrait opportunity!

Besides photographing John in his bedroom I could not pass up a portrait opportunity!

Next we went to April and Bill's home on the water with a spectacular view. They had just gotten home from a trip and were still unpacking. They agreed to see me..not sure if they would participate or not. Bill was very sweet and reminded me of a gentle neighbor I once knew. April was a delight and told me to wander around the house. I was taking in the view and then saw her off to my right in another room. I walked over telling her how beautiful her home was and found her weeping. She said she was alright and finally told me she had just buried her Mom in Tennessee.   While looking at my book  she read what Pepere said about losing his wife and it touched her deeply. I gave her a hug and said these tears honored her Mom - I  asked her if I could get my camera and she agreed. This is one of those times when as a photographer you just better have your act together - you only get a few shots.  I did manage to get a beautiful image and the two of us formed an unusual bond in those unguarded moments of grace. 

 April ' I miss my Mommy.'

April ' I miss my Mommy.'

Next we visited Carolee and her little dog Bear - She also had a water front property with gorgeous views. She did not want her face to be in the photo but suggested she would be ok with her back.  As she sleeps in the nude and wanted authenticity we wrapped her up to the waist and then her little dog Bear jumped in.

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We came to the end of the day and the kind folks at the Rosebud had heard that my Airbnb had been canceled ( they are not even open for the season yet - snafu) So, the lovely Kari took it upon herself to find a beautiful place for me to stay right in the center of downtown Eastport with a magnificent view. 

 5:15 am 

5:15 am 

Luckily a little diner right next door had coffee at 5:30 am...and off I went back to Kim and Dan's.

 Not however without a few stops along the way.

Not however without a few stops along the way.

Back at Kim and Dan's we tried a couple different scenarios  - I wanted to photograph the types of things they would do - so sitting by the wood stove with the dogs...and cooking breakfast.

And, since Kim just had a birthday and she is unabashed about nudity AND she is a Goddess we did a few nudes.

  I can only think Gauguin!

 I can only think Gauguin!

 'We escaped to nature to invest in a life we don't have to take a vacation from. The American Dream is what we make it, and for us it starts in a tent. In our small space there is no room or need for inhibitions, nudity is my expression of freedom.'

'We escaped to nature to invest in a life we don't have to take a vacation from. The American Dream is what we make it, and for us it starts in a tent. In our small space there is no room or need for inhibitions, nudity is my expression of freedom.'

 After a non stop 24 hours in Eastport I headed home for the four hour drive wondering what I may have done in this lifetime to deserved the grace bestowed upon me by these kind and giving souls.  As I left the sweet Kari said 'Welcome to the family.'