photo ©Michael Casey

On Monday, April 21st, the 118th Annual Boston Marathon will be held.  Emotions are running high this week as we commemorate the anniversary of last year’s bombings.

Recently, Dulcey Connon and I had the great opportunity to work with Michael Casey, who photographed a couple of projects that we had collaborated on.  Talent aside, Mike is A+.  I knew, once he started playing 80s rock during our full-day shoot, that we’d mesh — it made for a fun, productive job, and I got to leave with a signed copy of his book!  It wasn’t until after our first meeting, that I spent more time admiring Mike’s portfolio of work, which ranges from architecture and interiors, to classic portraiture and events, and loose documentary style political work.  I admit, I wanted to see more of his interiors images, but was so moved by his Marathon photos.

When I talked to Mike about those photos, he had a story behind the day he took them.  He shares his story and many more photos he took at 4:45am that Sunday morning after the Marathon, in this video clip:

 Published on Apr 22, 2013 by Michael Casey

After the hectic events of Marathon week, I went out early early Sunday morning to capture the quiet of Boston. I was up and out at 4:45 a.m. and wanted to be in place for sunrise over the Hatch Shell where I learned a huge American flag was flying. I arrived to find no one around. It was a very powerful sight and so peaceful to hear the gentle flutter of our beautiful flag. I then moved around the Public Garden to find some handmade signs sprouting from the ground like flowers. And I discovered that someone has outfitted Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings in custom BAA Marathon numbers. 

I then made my way to Boylston & Berkeley Streets. This spot provided the closest view of the finish line. At the time of the blasts, my wife, Lisa, had just finished reporting and was above the finish looking for my sister, Carolyn, who was about to finish her first Boston. My mom and other sister were just below Lisa in the bleachers watching, my brother was getting in position behind the finish to greet her, and his wife, daughter and nanny somewhere up on Boylston in position to cheer her down the homestretch. The Casey family were all around the perimeter of the blasts and thankfully no one was harmed. 

Looking up Boylston, where the scene stood frozen from days earlier, it was strange and eerie. But at my feet, a makeshift memorial was calming, almost soothing. I was there for about 40 minutes having my own time with it. Reading, reflecting, making pictures of items and messages that moved me. I encountered just a few people and we quietly acknowledged one another. I watched someone take some time to leave a message in chalk for all to see. I didn’t engage because I had a feeling. It was Officer Sean Collier’s dad. It was heartbreaking. Truly. 

You’ll also see some shots from Thursday, the same day that President Obama visited the city. I just wanted to be out and about that day and soak up some of his positive energy that he left behind. I wanted to see the spot — Hereford & Boylston Streets — where Carolyn was stopped in her tracks and not allowed to complete her run. Felt I had to go and be there and see her perspective. 

We must never stop thinking about those who were killed and injured nor for their families. They can use as many positive vibes as possible. It really does help to know that people are out there thinking and praying for you. Every day. 

And you’ll notice a picture of my daughter, Riley, and her pal, Sophia, who set up a coffee stand on Sunday morning to raise money for the One Fund. So cute. They collected $54. Pretty good. They’ll be out next Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. In the meantime, you can give to www.onefundboston.org. They need you. 

Stay strong. 

© CASEY Photography

My own experience on Marathon Monday 2013 was close enough to feel the terror, but enough blocks away to not see the horror.  We pray for the families of the victims, and honor the strength of those injured and the heroes of our city — not just this week and on the anniversary, but…everyday.

Every year, the Boston Red Sox play a home game at Fenway Park, starting at 11:05 am. When the game ends, the crowd empties into Kenmore Square to cheer as the runners enter the final mile. This tradition started in 1903, and on Monday, we are hosting the Orioles.  May your Marathon rituals go on.  Mike Casey, no doubt, will be in the grandstand at the finish line.

Good luck to our friends running!  We Are Boston.

photo ©CASEY Photography with permission

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