Merritt Carey is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever been privileged to meet; a Mainer whose strength and zest for life I greatly respect. She sailed on the first all-women’s team of the America’s Cup in 1995, and besides having had careers in law and journalism, she is an avid lobsterer, a wife and mother to three. Merritt is passionate about the lobstering industry in Tenants Harbor and has been instrumental in keeping it thriving in the hands of local families.
This photograph, taken in January 2016, shows Merritt in “The Camp” which her late father built in Tenants Harbor. He passed away a couple of years ago. Merritt spent all of her summers at The Camp as a child, and this room has been left virtually untouched since then - filled with memories and sentimental objects. Old family photographs are pinned on the wall. Her childhood books are stacked on the shelves. On the floor are her father’s old leather boots, and she is wearing his jacket.
When Merritt showed me this place I immediately asked her if I could photograph her there. I loved the feeling of The Camp and how she belonged in this context. I wanted to show both of her realities in one picture: her being a grown woman missing her father’s presence, but inside of her there still being a little girl who summered here long ago. I’m still fascinated by this picture and how so much changed while not much changed at all.
Merritt is bringing her children to this same place during their summers, and I suspect they will do the same with their children someday.