This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.

This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please inquire about permissions.

All rights are reserved by Oral History Summer School.

Researchers will understand that:

  • Oral History Summer School abides by the General Principles & Best Practices for Oral History as agreed upon by the Oral History Association (2018) and expects that use of this material will be done with respect for these professional ethics.
  • Unless verbal patterns are germane to your scholarly work, when quoting from this material researchers are encouraged to correct the grammar and make other modifications maintaining the flavor of the narrator’s speech while editing the material for the standards of print.
  • All citations must be attributed to Oral History Summer School:
    Narrator’s Name, Oral history interview, YYYY, Oral History Summer School

Wendy Neefus

June 6, 2013


Hudson, NY


Recorded by

Jasmine Stein

This interview is available in-person only. Please get in touch if you would like to listen.
Is this your interview?
Click here to respond.

Wendover Neefus III, mostly known as Wendy, joined me for an interview on Thursday, June 6th, 2013 at 743 Warren Street, where his family’s photography business has been for the large portion of its lifespan. The studio, Neefus Photography, is currently in the process of closing down; Wendy and his wife are slowly but surely preparing for what he calls semi-retirement. He and I sit at the main counter among mostly bare walls with few photographs remaining.

Wendy has lived in Hudson for the entirety of his life, excluding college years, and has worked in his parents’ photography business since 1968, after the completion of his undergraduate degree. He was enthusiastic to start working there as a young man and quickly discovered his passion and talent for commercial portrait photography. These years were marked by many hours in the dark and a successful and joyful joint family work effort; Wendy got along very well with his father, while him and his mother sometimes butted heads. Wendy considers himself a craftsman, compared to his father whom he deems a true artist. His mother used to hand-color late into the night the photographs his father had printed during the day.

He discusses and frequently revisits the theme of change from analogue to digital, and the challenges and wonders tied to that change. For example, Wendy never could have imagined being able to remove braces from a student’s school photo. School photos and weddings were the business’ main jobs. Wendy’s wife, Brenda, helped him when he took over the business after his parents passed away. Although he considers himself a people-person, she was often the one to capture the expression of people during a sitting, especially babies and small children.

Together they have four sons, whose paths in life and careers Wendy discusses with satisfaction and pride. He attributes much of their success to their education at Rudolph Steiner schools, which he only stumbled upon via a strong disappointment in Hudson’s public school system. None of his sons were interested in the photography business. Brenda and Wendy also have grandchildren.

Wendy describes his two other loves besides photography: skiing and fly-fishing. He is very involved in both of these fields: he is an active member of both the Ski Patrol and Trout Unlimited. He looks forward to being able to dedicate more time to these passions, and also will continue photographing outdoor sittings, his favorite format for portrait photography. Wendy addresses both the excitements and fears he faces about his retirement.
Wendy discusses the changes he has observed in Hudson throughout his life here. While he welcomes the cultural and artistic addition to the city, he also laments the development of real estate because “nobody who can afford to live here anymore”.

In general, Wendy has no regrets looking back on his life. He merely wishes that he had completed his Masters of Photography and disliked his roll as a landlord to the various types of tenants of the apartments above the studio. Wendy celebrates his life as having been fulfilling, a successful marriage of work and fun. His motto and advice to listeners is: “Play when you get a chance, you never know what tomorrow’s gonna bring.” Wendy noted that tomorrow is Wendy’s and Brenda’s 45th anniversary.

Interviewer Bio:
Jasmine Stein
Additional Info:
Interview language(s):
Audio quality:

Audio Quality Scale

Low - There is some background noise and the narrator is hard to hear.

Medium - There is background noise, but the narrator is audible.

High - There is little background noise and the narrator is audible.


This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.

Part of this interview may be played in a radio broadcast or podcast.

Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”

Is this your interview?
Click here
to leave updates or reflections on your life, your interview or your listening experience.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.