I have been thinking of what to write about John and Claudia for some time now. Many times I feel at a loss for words, because they have been such a huge influence in my life, especially John. I met John while I was studying for my Bachelor's degree in Flute Performance at Portland State University. He gave a masterclass with a colleague of his on extended techniques and improvisation for the flute. From then on, my outlook on the flute and my approach to music had been forever changed. A few months after that evening masterclass, I contacted John to inquire about taking a lesson or two with him. Little did I know at the time what a huge impact it would have on my life. That first lesson led to me studying with him for several years, and him becoming my mentor as I made my way through not only my undergrad studies, but throughout my time as a graduate student as well. His wife, Claudia, is a fantastic poet, whose words I have been greatly inspired by. I would have to say that her style is unlike any poetry I have read before (although I am not as well-read as others when it comes to poetry). Perhaps it is because I know her personally, but she uses such authenticity in her writing that is quite moving. Their life as creatives and parents to their daughter River, and how they balance the two, is really inspiring. Sometimes I just wonder how they do it! (Patience is the key, I know.)
I had the honor to take photos of John and Claudia last year, soon after they formed their duo Thick in the Throat, Honey. This duo is inspired by their relationship together and their relationship with music, art, and life itself. Claudia's clever poetry combined with John's imaginative skill as an improviser reflect their love for each other and their devotion to their art.
I was so glad they called me again this year for another shoot, to celebrate the launch of their new website (which is amazing by the way, check it out!) and Claudia's new book, Bruising Continents. Our session was earlier this July and was so much fun. They chose Powell Butte Nature Park and I couldn't have been more pleased to shoot there. It is a beautiful location with so many options and great views. It was a beautiful morning and a clear day (any Oregonians know how special a clear day is!), and they finally got to meet my husband, Steve! After we finished with photos, we climbed to the top of the hill to enjoy the view of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Jefferson. It truly was so good to see John and Claudia again, and catch up on the past year's happenings. I hope you all enjoy some of the photos I captured during our morning together.
Please take a few minutes to check out their websites too!
Thick in the Throat, Honey
John C. Savage
And you can order Claudia's new book here! Bruising Continents