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I'm Jessica McDaniel, and May 2021 will mark my 18th anniversary photographing babies and their families all around Boston.

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The series of pictures that Jess took in this chair stood out to me more than any of the others – because of the chair. You see, this chair is about 25-30 years old, and it is covered in crazy bright turquoise and purple flowers – it’s not a subtle chair. The chair is a hand me down that I got from my grandmother’s house, when I was 22, and trying to furnish my first apartment after college on as little money as possible. There actually were 2 chairs at one point, 2 twins that demanded attention in any kind of decor, and did not fit with the subtle Pottery Barn looks that are trendy today – true relics from the bright, flower child days of the early 70’s. I have no idea where chair number 2 was lost along the journey of the last 17 years of my life. Chair number 1 is now in our playroom, a comfy place for mom or dad to hang out while the boys play with legos and trucks and use action figures to wage imaginary battles.

The thing is, the chair has never made it into any family pictures we have because it’s, well, really really loud. Untili now. Jess used the black and white medium to take a wonderful series of shots in this chair. I love them, because the chair reminds me of my grandmother so much. The brightness and cheeriness of the perfectly sewn slipcovers she made – that covered up its original sensible beige with turquoise and purple (purple was her favorite color).

The thing is my grandmother never got to meet her 3 wonderful great-grandsons. But when I look at this picture, I see traces of her in each of their faces, especially the baby in his wide, deep, eyes. And somehow, in this picture, her chair seems to envelop them, wrapping its arms around them, snuggling them in tight as they sit on its lap. The picture represents a wonderful image to me – my grandmother giving each one of the boys she never met a big, warm, bright, cheery, hug. Because I know she’d love them with all her heart.



  • Debbie OConnel
    Debbie OConnel
    Mar 24 2011
    The picture is great - the story behind the picture....warms my heart.
  • Sharyn Morris
    Sharyn Morris
    Mar 25 2011
    Beautiful picture that really captures the boys' personalities. And I love the story behind the setting!
  • Hannah Pentz
    Hannah Pentz
    Mar 25 2011
    The photos she took are so beautiful and down to earth - but now I know the story behind the chair and it almost made me cry! Grandmothers are so special, even if they can't be with us in person they are always in our hearts. Great shot for a great family!
  • Meredith Lepper
    Meredith Lepper
    Mar 25 2011
    Love it! And to think that chair has withstood 3 boys (and will continue to do so)...

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