We are all two people.
Let me tell you about some of them.
She opened up to me immediately, as if we'd had this conversation before. We talked about struggle. We talked about hope. It was her "why" that made her cry. It was in that moment I felt her choose. It was as if the sea had just parted for her. She just needed to know her deepest reason why.
The traveler. So full of life. Eager to see the world. She had this care free and adventurous essence that I admired. She made me remember a little about myself. What I don't think she saw was how lucky everyone in her life was to have her, to be her friend. I knew it's the friendships she develops around the world that will give her the most joy and memories. I remember thinking how I hoped my own daughter would turn out like her, so confident, so ready.
There were two sisters. The first one was easy. She let me right in. It's not often you meet someone who is doing exactly what they love to do. Loves it so much that they would do it no matter what. It's those people that are the hardest for me to photograph. I think it's because I haven't chosen that for myself yet. But in that same moment it gives me hope. Thank you ****.
The second sister was a little tougher. She was the provider, the caregiver. She always took care of everyone else. It was easy to see. But in one brief second she showed me her true self, not who she needed to be. She's always who she needs to be. What she doesn't see is the selflessness in her actions. What she doesn't see is by always caring for everyone else she is living the highest version of herself that she could live. She is who she was meant to be.
This couple reminded me of my grandparents. When I think of them one thing always comes to mind - their love for each other. They were inseparable. It was that kind of old fashioned love that I don't see much of anymore. The kind of love that still holds hands after a lifetime together. The kind that can't wait to hold each other's hand. He sat down in a way just so she could lay on him to rest her eyes a bit. He would've sat there forever for her.
This man said that he sought me out. He admired my work and wanted to talk shop. My feathers were a little puffed. Then I learned about him, about his family. He wore matching Superman t-shirts with his son. He told me he was a surgeon. Suddenly my camera and feathers weren't so important anymore. I would later find out that he operated on my father. He helped someone close to me and for that I will forever be grateful. He helps us, people close to us, every day. It's me that should've been seeking you out.
If I had the talent, I'd be a painter over a photographer. For inspiration I look to paintings, as looking at photography bores me to death. She's a painter. She's the kind of painter that I would want to be. I think every time I saw her she had paint on her somewhere. Even on her face one time. But it was that time, when the blue paint was on her cheek, that I admired her most. She was doing exactly what she was born to do. And she was so sure of it, that nothing else mattered. Of course there's always a little paint somewhere. That's who she is. It was that ability to be who she is that stuck. It's that ability that I lack.
The adventurer. This woman biked all over Europe at a time when most want to retire to Florida. I don't even know where to begin or how to tell you about her. How often do you meet someone who nonchalantly says how "When hiking in the Himalayas I bumped into Mick Jagger". And then goes into how the best part is when he's around to back up her stories! If there has ever been proof to me that someone becomes their name, becomes who they believe they are, it's her (by the way, her name is Liv).
The first time I met you I saw both of you.
Then in a moment you showed me one person. It was the person you chose to show me, the person you chose to be.
I'm here to tell you, here to show you proof, that who you want to be is already inside you.
I know because I just saw you.