Five years before Metallica and Dr. Dre began the process that would eventually lead to the shut down of the first incarnation (pre-pay-days) of Napster, I met, through my brother, a head-strong teen who was (and is) 2 years my senior: Gary Napoli. We affectionately called Gary many things over the years (you can imagine the more crude ones that teenage boys will sling around) but more often than not, he was known as Nap-Dog. (There were lots of “Dogs” during high-school in the ’90s, you see.)
It is both difficult, and probably for the best, that I either find it hard to recall in exact detail some of the finer moments of our angst-ridden years, however, I can tell you that today, Gary and I, along with my older Dave, are and always will be Best Friends.
Until recently, I rarely wanted to shoot my friends and family. I had such big dreams that I never realized where my inspiration truly came from: the people who influence me daily.
Last year, Gary inherited, from his father, his late grandfather’s 1957 Pontiac Superchief. I had heard about it throughout the years of our friendship, but hadn’t seen it until Gary brought it out one night. Now, 15 years later, knowing how important the heirloom car is to Gary, his dad (also Gary), and now his sons, Luke and Cameron, I invited them out to a park for some good ol’ picture-takin’ fun while Mom, Kelly, was away for a girl’s weekend.
I started out with crafting this great portrait of their car. I present to you: the Superchief.
But the day was more about the dudes with their car, so I quickly moved Gary in, and it only took a few moments before 5-year-old Luke, joined in.
Much like I was at that age, Cameron quickly followed his older brother into the mix.
The boys jumped into the car happy to pretend that they were driving.
Check out that scrape on Cam’s cheek! The younger boy is always the crazy one! (I know now that I was… 7 concussions later…)
Luke was a total ham for the camera! Gary, I think you might want to start taking this boy to Go-Sees.
Grandma and Pap Pap (Denise and big Gary) were keen to hang out behind me for most of the shoot, but I got them in right at the end. Since I know them so well, it only took moderate arm-twisting.
It was absolutely a great time for everyone and the shots turned out to be a great Mother’s Day gift for Kelly.