Jeff the Craftsman.

I am working on a personal portrait/documentary project of people who have inspired me throughout the years. This is meant to be an ongoing project, something that I will continue to add to throughout my life. I have a long list of people I would love to photograph for this little project of mine, but when the idea first came to me, my immediate thought was that I needed to photograph Jeff. 

Jeff, and his wife have been friends of my parents for as long as I can remember. Jeff's wife is an incredibly talented decorator, artist, entrepreneur... basically a creative genius! Their daughter used to babysit us, and I was in school with their youngest son, but it wasn't until a few years ago that I really got to know Jeff... I started some woodworking projects and began building things in our garage. I was basically learning as I built, and it was suggested to me by my parents to visit Jeff in his workshop for some help. 

I loved spending time learning from Jeff, not only is he an aww-inspiring craftsman, he is also incredibly smart. He explained the history behind the tools we were using (some dating back before Lincoln was president!) and taught me what type of tools to look for at flea-markets and antique shops.

I looked forward to my visits to Jeff's workshop, I found the tools we were working with beautiful and fun to use, but mostly I found Jeff incredibly interesting. He talked adoringly about his granddaughters and shared a favorite donut recipe with me. We talked about places I should visit and he gave me advice on life, success and happiness...

I came to Jeff to learn a little about woodworking, but ended up coming away with so much more. build (do) things with intention, embrace the simple, and find joy in the work.