This weekend, I had the pleasure of photographing the Zabel brothers and their girlfriends. Wanting to do something unique and special for their mom who is battling cancer, they came to me with the idea of capturing them while gathering together and sharing a homemade brunch in her honor. It as a way to share with her a slice of their daily lives while keeping true to their roots and upbringing. I'm going to make a bit of a leap here, but the way both Andrew and Robbie were well versed in the language of food makes me think that gathering around the dinner table with good food and open conversation were priorities in their household growing up. Their easiness and respect of one another seemed to hint at a history of coming together at meal times, exposing a true generosity of spirit.
As a new mother myself, it was the first time I really took note of a sibling friendship. The respect, hilarity, and overall easiness these brothers have with each other is really moving -- and noteworthy. So often sibling relationships can be fraught with tension, that ease is the last thing that comes to mind. Watching them, I imagined Mrs. Zabel's warm, courageous, strong and real mothering speaking through her adult sons loud and clear. If I was her, I'd be so proud -- of both her sons and herself.
This was by far the best brunch I've had in a long, long time. Fresh and seasonal, everything was hand made right down to the tomato juice in the Bloody Mary's. It was inspiring to see how this food was made not only to eat, but to express a heartfelt affection and nourish the soul of everyone involved, near and far.