Photographer, Creative Producer
Sonja & Jeff ... two photographers, two incredibly talented and creative people. I thought: how about spicing things up little bit, and instead of me taking pictures of them and their objects, let them photograph each other. Whilst Sonja was 'directing' Jeff, I was standing in the corner, sipping my coffee and thinking: 'this is so much fun, keep going guys!'
Jeff: The picture was a very fun day, at a lake, upstate with some friends. My best friend Chad took it, and then Sonny printed it for Christmas for me. It was a gift.
Sonja: The phone I found in Hudson, New York. I’ve always had an obsession with neon and this was from the 60s, made in France with a crystal clear translucent shell. I have always wanted a night light with that hue of pink. I thought it would be a beautiful addition to the room
J: We always sit in the corner, staring out of the window, so it’s a nice hang out zone.
S: That horse was my grandfather's horse, Bolero in the military, when he lived in Serbia during World War II.
J: When we started dating she was telling me stories like that; aout her grandfather in the military and her grandmother as a secret spy. She has all these insane stories! In the beginning, I did not actually believe her.
S: That’s a WHOLE other story..
J: I had this jacket forever. It is one of those things that I’ve had for years and years and years.
S: When I think of Jeff I think of his endless smile, blue eyes, aged white t-shirt and leather jacket and of course his bicycle.
S: My Mother had that blouse since the early 70s, and every photo of her where she wore the blouse, I was obsessed with how beautiful, confident and successful she appeared. When she returned to work after taking a short break to have children, she used to wear it with a fitted black pencil skirt, and I envied the look of power it gave her. It is silk and I think I technically stole it from her. [laughs] No, she probably gave it to me about six years ago.
S: When my Mother moved to Hudson, she quickly discovered a local artist named Earl who sells his paintings outside throughout the town. Owning an Earl is your first initiation into Hudson living, at least according to my mother. There is such a level of humor and playfulness in his paintings. They vary from cats smoking cigarettes to dogs in boxing gloves.
J: We got that one off Sonny’s mother’s friend.
J: I am a photographer and I stare on the screen all day [laughs]. I do mix of advertising, lifestyle, some fashion, some beauty thrown in there; it is a lot of travel stuff, which is nice. I grew up riding BMX bikes since I was a young boy, and when I was 17 or 18 I started photographing my friends riding. My mom always had a VHS cam recorder around, so I was always using that, and then I got into film editing at high school. But then once I started shooting on film and using a still camera, I realized that being able to tell a story in just one frame -instead of spending an hours and hours on project - is a magical thing.
S: My dad was a cinematographer, so I grew up with a camera always in hand. Every job I had since high school was photo related.
S: The top one is a painting that my grandmother bought in China. After my Grandfather passed away she did a solo trip to China, and met this very old painter who did it for her - I have yet to learn the meaning, but my Grandmother practically raised me and makes me feel close to her. The one below I inherited from my late stepfather who was an art critic/ writer and helped start the New Museum on Bowery with his first wife Marcia Tucker. You don’t think of purple as a neutral, but it surprisingly blends with every color. Since he passed away it brings me closer to him.
S: I drink a lot of coffee probably more than Jeff.
J: I wake up and make her a cup of coffee before she gets up. Then I make myself a cup of coffee and she will drink the rest of my coffee.
S: Jeff spotted the lamp at antique shop in Greenpoint, we love the floral texture.
J: The dude on the left is my buddy Shawn. I lived with Shawn in Boston, pretty much traveled all over the world with him, riding BMX and taking photos of him. He was so fun to photograph all the time; he was always getting into something wild, jumping on something, climbing something.
S: I think puzzle making, ‘puzzling?’ … Is a very meditative, relaxing activity that we love to do whilst watching a movie, having a glass of wine. There is such a sense of satisfaction when you find a piece. This one took three days to bec omplete, and involved other people.
J: It is one of those fun things when you are not even talking. The most you do is ‘I see it, it’s there!’ She finished it without me, which is upsetting.
Murder She Wrote
S: I have always had an obsession with Angela Lansbury. I used to watch Murder She Wrote in my grandmother’s bed with her as a child. There is a sense of female empowerment, and problem solving, figuring out difficult situations in a very calm, cool, collective manner. Every time I feel a cloud in my head, I turn to Murder She Wrote, and she calms me and clearms my mind.
J: I was looking for Murder She Wrote puzzles on eBay, but I also ended up finding that border game.
J: I think everything that I hold onto; they are all collected from travel, even pictures. She was such a fun woman to hang out with, we went to Baltimore to photograph her, and she was such a character. My mom has quite a collection of stuff, but it is all cool things that she has hold onto. I try not to clutter too much. I got the fish when I was in Hawaii; I talked her down to 15 dollars and drove her on moped around all day. The rock is from Mt. Zinalrothorn in Switzerland.
S: It has been a really wonderful year being together, and we feel like a family now
J: I have always wanted a refrigerator like that with someone. Being at home and having literally anything on it.
J: They are mixed, but 70% of them are hers.
S: I collect a lot of photography/art books, mystery novels. I am also obsessed with biographies of classic movie stars. It is a mix of match.
S: This is something that my grandfather had; his name is engraved on it. He used to have it in his office. I don’t know too much about it, but I love that his name is engraved on it. I want to get it refilled.
S: The picture is an illustration by one of my favorite authors, Susan Minot .I have a little gold cup of pennies that I have been saving and then jewelry.
J: These are my two favorites. One of them was given to me by my closest friend; the other one I have had forever. I called them thin mints; it’s a summer time shirt.
Thank you Sonja and Jeff for such a lovely hangout. To get the taste of Jeff's work, visit his website.
Photographs taken by Andrea, Sonja and Jeff