Max, Mr. Pepper & Mom

Right now as I’m attempting to write my first blog for this site, I have my little dog, Mr. Pepper, with his paw on my right arm. His cute kitty companion named Max, on my left, and both want my complete and undivided attention.

No matter how many times you swish them away, they come right back to you, ready for more. Max loves to rub herself against my computer screen and keyboard, messing up my typing in one way or another.

Not that I'm a great typist to begin with. Suffice it to say, this blog may take longer to write than I expected.

Both Max and Mr. Pepper are rescues. I have a few rescue animals in my home - mostly kitties - that I’m sure I’ll be writing about on occasion, as they are definitely a part of my everyday life and a great source of joy to me. There’s nothing better than coming home to critters who are happy to see you.

This blog writing is somewhat new to me.

  • What does one write?
  • What can I say that might interest my readers?
  • Do I write about my life?
  • My photography?
  • My process?
  • What do people want to read about?
  • What keeps people engaged in reading a particular blog every day?

I suppose since I’m a photographer, you’ll want to read about my process, what inspires me to shoot?

Personally, I like reading about people in their every day life. I like heartfelt stories that tug at my heart and show the good of humanity. I like reading about people who are bold enough to be honest about themselves and their feelings.
I think it makes me feel more normal when I can find some common ground with the writer.

I like stories that make me laugh, those funny situations that happen to us that you just can’t make up.

I’m sure in the duration of this blog you’ll be reading a few of my stories, past, present, and my future endeavors.
I have a few funny stories, though I don’t know if some might be appropriate for this venue, but they’re mine, and made me the person I am today. I know some of you will enjoy reading them.

As you’ll read on my website, I started my photography career when my mom bought me my first camera. It was a Fuji. I don’t have it anymore and I don’t even remember what model it was. I just remember when I first got it I was very excited.

Even though I had taken a photography class in high school, I didn’t feel the excitement that I did with this new digital technology. Little did she know, this simple gift would turn into a source of passion and happiness, not only for me, but for others as well.

So, with that being said, I would like to dedicate my photography career to my mom, Mary Olivieri, the sweetest, kindest, most authentic woman I have ever known.

Our relationship wasn’t always perfect, but she was everything to me. Mother, friend, cheerleader, confidant, someone who supported me through every trial and tribulation one could face. And there have been a few things in my life that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy, yet she was there by my side, every step of the way, without judgment.

Mom was someone that my high school girlfriends used to come and talk to because they couldn’t talk with their own mothers.

Even as I write this, I can see her face so clearly in my mind. She had a smile that would light up a room, an infectious laugh, a wicked sense of humor that she handed down to me, a love for gardening, cooking a great Italian meal, her children, and, my God, she had an eye for fashion. She was a gay man’s dream, and they adored her. And she adored them.

She was surely one of a kind. She passed in April of 2005.

I can’t believe it’s been 11 years since she left my brother and me. Sometimes it seems like yesterday. Other times it's like she never left.

I understood quickly in the midst of being her caretaker, that she was always going to be with me, just not the way I wanted her to be. That gave me some solace as I helplessly watched her wither away from multiple myeloma.

There are some funny stories around that too. Yes, even in the passing of a loved one, there can be humor. Those humorous times are what carry me through today.

So, Mom, I dedicate this to YOU.

I still pick up the phone to call you. I miss your advice and your voice on the other end of the line. I wish you could still be here and watch the career that you helped to create.

Know that you are deeply missed, and that I went through a box of Milk Duds just to get through this dedication. We always loved to share a good candy bar.

I love you,

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