The Day – Finding love in photography, family and photographing families

This article is part of a special section devoted to black history. The Special Month Over section will be released quarterly, followed by Pride, Hispanic Heritage and Native American months.

Tricia Ross recalls that on her second or third date with her husband, he brought his camera and took lots of photos of their surroundings at the Nautical Mile in Freeport, Long Island — restaurants and both. With Philip sharing her interest in photography, Tricia was relieved to find someone who didn’t find it weird that she was taking pictures of everything, but rather had a “capture the moment” attitude.

It was far from someone she had dated before. Tricia remembered this guy telling her she was acting like someone just got out of jail, taking pictures like she hadn’t seen anything in 15 years. She was hoping to find someone who didn’t make fun of her hobby.

That date with Philip dates back almost a decade, and the two – now 42 – have since married, moved from New York to Norwich and had a son, now 5.

And created a photography company: Artsy Rossy Design.

“We have a mutual love of coffee (lots of coffee!), French macaroons, and what’s probably an unhealthy obsession with crime and crime dramas (Chicago PD and Criminal Minds are huge hits in our house)” , reads their website. “We are based in Southeast Connecticut and available to travel across the United States and around the world (hear it for collecting passport stamps!) We truly share the belief that every moment, whether whether big or small, deserves to be captured, cherished, and shared!”

At first they got their feet wet by photographing friends for free, then they started doing mini-shoots at Wickham Park in Manchester for $99. To this day, the Rosses still don’t know how the first paying customer – someone they didn’t know – found them, but they have now photographed his family at least 10 times.

When they first started talking about doing professional photography in 2017, they didn’t know what they wanted to shoot, but thanks to word of mouth and social media, they continued to have families. Trisha said she also loves doing branding shoots and the people who hired them were all female business owners.

When I interact with families, “I ask a lot of questions,” Tricia said. “What does your child like? What interests your child? What do you like about your child?”

She said customers say they are very close. In an instant, that meant getting a bigger smile from a child while dancing and singing to the theme of the animated children’s show “Pocoyo.”

There is a lot of diversity in their photos – Middle Eastern, African, Asian, Filipino, Haitian, West Indian families. They did Diwali pictures for their first client and shot the Holy New Martyrs Fall Festival and the Russian Bazaar in Norwich in the fall.

Another cultural event they photographed in Norwich was the Cape Verde flag-raising ceremony last June. As they left, they thought they hadn’t seen anyone else with a camera, so they contacted The Norwich Times to share photos capturing what Philip noted he saw that day: “all love and unity”.

“I don’t think we get enough opportunities to see in the media where blacks and browns meet and there isn’t violence,” Tricia said. She also commented: “I love Norwich because of the cultural diversity. I feel very comfortable here. I never felt like anyone was looking at me sideways because of the color of my skin.”

Photography enthusiasts bond in New York through connections to Barbados and Connecticut

Tricia grew up in East Hartford and got her first camera at age eight. She lined up stuffed animals to be photographed and took pictures of her friends and her bike, then entered high school photography contests.

Photography started as a hobby for Philip when he was growing up in Barbados, after his father gave him a camera for Christmas. He immigrated to the United States at age 24 and became a citizen in 2020, after taking classes at the Otis Library.

Tricia and Ross have found some interesting connections in their backgrounds: Tricia’s parents are from Barbados, and when Philip’s grandfather immigrated to the United States, it was in Connecticut. Her grandfather lived less than half an hour from where Tricia grew up.

When they met in New York, Philip was helping run a warehouse for a furniture company and Tricia was working in an administrative role in healthcare.

They had only been dating for five or six months when Hurricane Sandy hit. Philip is a weather buff, and considering Tricia lived in a stilt house in the water, he convinced her to stay with him in Queens.

When Tricia returned to her apartment, all she could see from the car was the National Guard. She had to show her ID to pass. There was no electricity.

“I opened the door, and it was something you see on TV, where you’re like, ‘Oh my God, that’s not happening,'” Tricia said. above the water, the water line was three feet away in her apartment, everything smelled of sewage, she stepped on the carpet and heard the squish, squish, squish.

“I walked out and sat in the aisle, and one of these guttural screams, I just cried,” Tricia said. Philippe helped her. She moved in with him in Queens, and within a year they were engaged and married.

In 2014, they returned to Tricia’s home state. Her parents lived in Glastonbury, and as her mother’s health declined, she wanted to be closer.

She was able to continue working with AdaptHealth, first from their New London office and then from home, but long before the pandemic hit. She works full time while Philip has done seasonal work with UPS, but stays home with their son, Sean Anderson, who has autism.

When Sean Anderson was about two years old, Tricia said he was “kind of like the Tasmanian Devil.” It’s something she shared to comfort her second client, who was concerned that her one-and-a-half-year-old son was everywhere for a photo shoot.

“I said, ‘If we can get pictures of our kid, we can get pictures of any kid. “”

e.moser@theday.com

Stewart C. Hartline