She was sitting alone on the park bench. I saw her immediately, sitting alone, looking very content. Two people came up to me to ask me about the Hasselblad 500c/m I was carrying. I enjoyed talking to them, but was keeping an eye out on her. When they finally said goodbye, I turned to see her still sitting there, in a column of shade on an otherwise unseasonably warm, sunny autumn afternoon.
I sat down and asked her if I could take her photo. She said yes, or course. I love that answer.
A few years ago, I was visiting a good friend and his Father was over visiting. I asked him if I could take his photo. He said, “Yes, I think it’s an honor to have someone want to take my picture.”
It was the same for her. She asked me where I would put the photo, and I told her about this new photo project I was working on, called TheWisePhotoProject.com. I told her I’d put her on there. She seemed flattered. I set up the shot and took two frames with the old Hassy.
Her daughter came over and saw me. I offered to take a photo of them together. And I did. Here it is.
I came home that day and thought that was about as good a day as I can think of, one where I got to document this sweet older face, and then get her connecting to her daughter. This is about the most important work I do. Documenting real people in real places. Capturing them without knowing how I would be touching their lives. The spontaneity of it all.
It was truly a good day. When I see these photos, they make me smile.
She asked me a few times where I would put the photo, and each time I answered that I’d put it on my site for The Wise Photo Project. I don’t know if she had a bit of dementia, but in any case, I got the opportunity to make her smile, make her connect with her daughter and create photographs that will last for generations.
I want to print them large, like 20×20 and frame and mat them for them. The magic is in the print. That is where the photograph lives, and lasts, forever.