The greatest gifts are those that expect no return. I dropped these two photographs off to Norm, who I wrote about in a previous article. Well, those portraits don’t matter unless I print and frame them and get them to him so his family can enjoy them for some time to come.
And that’s exactly what I did. Last week, I delivered two photos in frames, one 11×14 and one 8×10. Those are going to go to his daughters’ homes. My collection of legacy portraits in home galleries around the world continues to grow.
All because I decided to take a 4×5 camera out to the lake, to see who I could find to photograph.
Norm invited me into his home and offered me a drink. We sat together and chatted about our lives and where they’ve taken us. When he saw the photographs, he asked what many people ask: “Do I pay you for these?”
I said no, I made them on my own time, I made the choice to photograph him, so to please accept them as a gift. (I often enjoy being one who can give someone a “free lunch”, especially in a world where we are told there is no free lunch.) Be the free lunch to someone sometime, it’s an amazing feeling.
The magic is in the making. The photographs are more important to me, and how they’ll stay in his family, than any photograph I could make of the U.S. President or any celebrity. Those photographs are important. But this photograph is priceless.