The Last Show In Dumont
A few weeks ago, I was listening to Camille Conte’s wonderful podcast, The Camille Conte Show, and she mentioned how, as she was packing up the house she grew up in, she had moved her podcast equipment up into her childhood bedroom “where all my dreams started.”
She wanted to do her last few New Jersey shows from that special place in Dumont, New Jersey.
That was very poignant to me. So many of us had our dreams start while in our childhood bedrooms.
The dream to be a sports hero, an actor/actress, a scientist, a writer, a radio host, a rock ‘n roll star.
Or even just a mom or dad.
I remember sitting in my smallish bedroom with the vintage map wallpaper with sailing pirate-looking ships on it in Northeast Pennsylvania dreaming about playing for the Philadelphia Phillies (one day) or a detective whose investigational abilities would be on par with Sherlock Holmes (the next).
I can’t say I dreamed of doing corporate communications for 20 years or being a photographer, but hey, you go where life takes you.
Anyway, what she said spoke to me and I wanted to capture that for Camille.
Camille now lives in Anchorage, Alaska, and has her radio show there. She had been back in New Jersey for a few years, caring for her mom. Sadly, Mrs. Conte passed away last year, making a horrible 2020 even worse for Cam.
So, Cam’s been packing up the house, getting ready to move on. The other week, when she said on her podcast it was time to go back to Alaska, I felt I couldn’t let her leave without doing some photos of her in that room where all her dreams started.
Dumont is small bedroom community in North Jersey, a not far from New York. As a teen, Camille would look out those small windows behind her, dreaming of getting out, as may of us do.
Hearing her talk about those dreams, and knowing she’ll be leaving this part of her life, maybe never to really return in the way she had been there before.
Camille and I have known each other since 2014 thanks to our Springsteen connections. She even had me on on as a guest of her show way back then. As I’ve been listening to her show out on my hikes, and heard her reminisce, I just knew I wanted to do some portrait of her.
So, I reached out and asked if I come up to her house before she was fully packed up and do some photos. She was all for it.
So Sunday, I drove up to her house and I spent a few hours with Camille doing these photos, talking about our hometowns, growing up, moving out, Springsteen, her mom…a whole gamut of conversation.
And we also took some time to do a couple of shots at the beloved trees of Dumont that she communed with regularly.
Cam’s a special person, continuing looking for the ways to be a better human being, be it through music or meditation. I’m very honored that she let me photograph her as she’d closing one chapter of her life and opening a new one.
© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2021