Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My photos from same sex marriage are up on The Legal Stranger website, a fantastic project started by Amanda Lucidon. The project documents the obstacles faced by same sex couples in America.

I met Amanda a few weeks ago at the pop up chapel and she filled me in on the challenges that same sex couples face.

With the passage of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 a marriage was explicitly defined in federal law as a union of one man and one woman. This allowed more than 1,138 rights and protections to married couples including Social Security benefits, veterans' benefits, health insurance, Medicaid, hospital visitation, estate taxes, retirement savings, pensions, family leave, and immigration law.

According to Federal Law, these rights are not allowed to same sex couples, whether married (according to state law) or not.

Go to for more.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Week of Love in New York

Last Sunday was a beautiful and historic day for New York when we became the 6th state to allow same sex marriage. Sunday was the first day that couples could wed, and when I arrived at the Manhattan court house at 8am there was a line around the block with hundreds of couples waiting to wed. The scene outside the courthouse was like a party, with couples and supporters crowding the sidewalk, even breaking out in song at some points with "going to the chapel, and we're going to get marrieddd!" Later on I went over to the Brooklyn court house and it was the same thing, with supporters crowding the sidewalk and cheering on the couples as they exited the building after being married. It was reported that the judges were bickering with each other, each wanted a turn to marry a same sex couple on the historic day. City hall across the street set up a sort of party room with free champagne, cake, music and a photo booth for the couples.

The entire day was amazing and I'm so thankful I got to photograph it. My entire shift I was grinning ear to ear behind my camera. I'm very proud to have been raised in Massachusetts, the first state to allow same sex marriage, and now to live in New York city. Finally the law here reflects our population.

Phyllis Sifel and Connie Kopelov (seated) are the first couple to be married in New York City

(L-R) Damian Ross and Gary Coshgrove kiss outside the Manhattan City Clerk's office

(L-R) Myron Levine and Philip Zinderman celebrate after being married outside the Manhattan City Clerk's office July 24, 2011. They have been together for 51 years.

Nastassia Heurtelou and Luz Heurtelou (right) are married at the Brooklyn Clerk's Office

Margie Baker wipes frosting on her spouse Edie Jud after being married at the Brooklyn Clerk's Office

Saturday was a whirlwind day. I volunteered at the Central Park Pop Up Chapel, where photographers, videographers and volunteers donated their time and skill to wed 24 same sex couples.

"I promise I will understand if you decide to eat an entire bag of swedish fish for dinner. I promise I will always do the 10pm dog walk. And I promise that I will always have your back no matter what life throws at us."

Bryn and Leila

Christabelle and Valerie

After the pop up chapel I shot the engagement party of Ken and Christina in SoHo.

The Strauss-Kahn Chronicles

It's been way too long since I've posted. The DSK story took over New York back in May and I've been covering it almost every step of the way, along with the entire New York Press corps and half of France's.

The public usually only sees the finished story and photographs but not much of the hours that go into putting everything together so I've also inclded some shots here of the long stakeouts in the rain, hot sun, car chases, and the long days and nights that we spend camped out on the streets and sidewalks.

Media is seen outside the NYPD SVU headquarters

IMF chief and possible French presidential candidate Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaves NYPD SVU headquarters in Harlem

Media gather outside Manhattan Criminal Court

Media is seen outside the temporary Manhattan residence of former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn

This was my first high-speed chase and it was a little scary. The French press hired motorbikes during their time in New York, which I know is a popular way to get around in France but not so much here. There were 3 cars and half a dozen bikes chasing DSK this day.

Former IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaves Scalinatelia restaurant on the Upper East Side of Manhattan

Anne Sinclair, wife of former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, leaves their temporary Manhattan residence

Doug brings key lime pie for a sidewalk picnic

Media picnic

Some media outlets were camped out around the clock outside DSK's temporary townhouse in Tribeca. After day 5 we all got a little restless and started playing whiffle ball, frisbee, badminton, kick the can..

The front page of the New York Post featuring former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is held up during a broadcast outside the temporary residence Strauss-Kahn in Manhattan

The front page of the New York Daily News featuring former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is read in Manhattan

Joe gets a little stir-crazy

A rotating cast of residents and tourists visit our camp site..

Balloons are delivered to former IMF leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn outside his temporary residence in Tribeca after a bail hearing

Media plays badminton outside the temporary residence of Former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in New York

Anne Sinclair, wife of former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, searches for her friends through the media scuffle from inside temporary Manhattan residence