Other Lives: A Family History

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By Steve St. Angelo

Psych nurses Heather and Rick Caporin have the time of their life while documenting it

Rick Caporin, RN, was fully aboard when wife Heather Caporin, RN, decided to pair her love of vintage clothing and photography with that for her adorable children. But he did have his reservations when she decided they should take the show on the road. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” Rick remembers thinking. “We’re going all the way to Connecticut to get a baby photo?”

That shoot, with a photographer whose work Heather admired, was the start of something amazing: a set of family photos featuring her and the kids in fanciful garb in imaginative settings that is as stunning in its whimsy as its execution. Heather has long enjoyed buying and selling vintage clothing. When she had two girls, Madison, 6, and Lilah, 3, it gave her

Caporin family

Photo by Anja Photography

an excuse to do it more. “Oh my gosh, little girls’ outfits are so cute,” says Heather, who rarely buys clothes for herself anymore, especially with son Camden, 2, now part of the family and another girl expected on or about September 25. The rest she just dreamed up as she went, envisioning scenes in her head, corresponding with favorite photographers (often by exchanging ideas on Pinterest), then going … wherever the photographer is: a junkyard in Atlanta, a field of sunflowers in New York State (during a sudden thunderstorm … “I could tell you stories,” Rick says), Chicago, Colorado, Charleston, SC.

“Rick plays hard to get, but he loves it,” Heather Caporin says of her “assistant,” whose job includes the logistics of getting the family and the props to the photo shoot on time but mostly staying out of the images themselves. It’s just part of the journey the two psych nurses—she on Meyer 4, he on Meyer 3—began at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. “The way Heather and I met here at the hospital was a love story,” Rick says of a “Hopkins wedding” that brought an outpouring of support from their peers, who today enjoy the family images as much as the proud parents do.

The children also love the adventures, just not always on the same day. “If one of them is having a bad day [aka a meltdown], we focus on the other two,” says Rick. “We never push.”

Caporin boy

Photo by Ashlyn Mae

Photo by Sandra Bianco

Snow Photo by Daria Kielek

“We’re going all the way to Connecticut to get a baby photo?”
— Rick Caporin, RN

The buying and selling of clothes is now a business, but the pictures are just for fun. (Heather sometimes allows photographers or clothes suppliers to use the images in their advertising, setting up bartering opportunities down the road.) Told—as Rick says they often are—that his little ones could make a pretty penny as models, he’s firm: “That’s not our goal.” If the kids tire of the experience, that will be that.

Besides, “We love our jobs as nurses, we love Hopkins,” Heather says.

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