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Elsa: When I started using the 20x24 in 1980, my first subjects were my family and friends. Naturally, I took pictures of my son, Isaac, and his pals, Eugene Schneeberg, Aldo Moses, Rafi Hopkins, and Zephyr Secher. Casey Gane-McCalla lived in the neighborhood and joined them in high school. These boys lived only blocks apart, and went to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Open School in Cambridge, Mass. and Cambridge Rindge and Latin.

Until 1987, I had the Polaroid 20x24 camera one day a month and so I took pictures of Isaac and his friends sporadically. But beginning in 1987, when the camera came to my studio on Mass Ave in Cambridge, I was able to take pictures of the boys whenever they or I felt like it. All of the boys became familiar with the camera and my routines and they all -- off and on -- have helped me frame. I like to think each of them has developed a good eye. Now they are 24 and men.

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Elsa collaborated with Nettie Lagace to make these pages.

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