I first met photographer David Borrelli 30 years ago this month; he was taking pictures for The Central Record and I was the new reporter for that paper.
Through the years, David and I developed a close working relationship. He accompanied me on most of my assignments. We trekked precariously over broken dams, we chased down candidates on election nights, we stood side-by-side at fire-destroyed properties, school plays, funeral processions, parades and press conferences. We rolled our eyes at each other during boring speeches and oppressively long planning board meetings.
The two of us captured heartbreaking tragedies, joyful celebrations and mundane happenings, each in our own way: David with his camera, me with my reporter’s notebook. All the while, we were living our lives, raising our families and sharing updates with each other about the good stuff, the tough times and everything in between.
Eventually, I became the editor and David and I continued to work together on a daily basis. We planned and collaborated on hundreds — more likely thousands — of photo assignments that eventually graced the pages of the newspaper. He knew I was a sucker for “blue sky” backgrounds and poignant relationship pics, so he provided lots of those for the front page. I knew he was particularly proud of his action shots, so I made sure his sports pics got good placement.
I’m no longer at the newspaper; I’ve moved on to the position of Marketing/Communications Director at YMCA Camp Ockanickon in Medford. David, now retired from his day job as a teacher, is still taking great photographs for the paper. Fortunately, David and I still try to find time to work together as often as we can. He provides the photos for the Medford Calendar, working with my Rotary club (Medford Sunrise Rotary) on the annual project. He also did a fantastic drone project for YMCA Camp Ockanickon last summer, which is featured on the website (ycamp.org). Recently, he and I got together so he could take photographs of the many wonderful happenings at the three summer camps — Ockanickon for boys, Matollionequay for girls and Lake Stockwell Day Camp. We rode around camp’s 800 acres in a golf cart, stopping whenever something cool was happening — swimming, boating, rock climbing, horseback riding. Fortunately, that was the easy part — summer camp lends itself to great, action-packed photographs.
It’s funny — after all these years, David is still tireless in his pursuit of the perfect picture. And I’m still happy to have the chance to put together a few words to go with his pictures. Seems like old times!