So there I was, on a Saturday. I had no plans, no obligations, and all the freedom in the world to do what I wanted. What was I to do with all this “Freedom?” As I drove into town, I had an urge to go ‘incognito’ with my camera in hand. I told myself I was going to head into town, sit on a bench and start asking random people on the street if I could photograph them, (odd I know, totally trusting my instincts here!)
As I got into town, I parked in a random lot next to a shop I have grown to love, “The Crystal Cottage.” This parking is super convenient, pay $4.00 per hour, put your ticket in the window and you’re good to go. So I gathered my things, camera, book, bag, phone, etc… and I was off; totally ‘incognito’. I had no worries, no obligations, no one knew where I was going, or what my plans where. It felt amazing. So I walked, all over Burlington. I came across a great little spot to read my book, people watch, and just relax. After about 20 minutes, I reached into my pocket, realizing I forgot to put my parking ticket in my window; back to the lot I went (the last thing I wanted was for my car to be towed.) After many shortcuts, I got back to the lot. My car was still there, thank goodness! In a bittersweet moment, I realized I hadn’t photographed anything. In a whirlwind of disappointment, I sat in my car, 15 minutes left on my meter, wondering how I could redeem myself. I knew I could not leave before I had a photograph, I had this strong desire within me. I knew that if I got back into my car, drove home with nothing, I would have felt such a strong sense of disappointment. Then it hit me; deep in my heart. I was meant to photograph Craig and Diane. This whole time, it was all about them. I had built this beautiful new relationship with them, through a wonderful friend of mine. They ignited such a spark of happiness and love within me, and I was meant to go into their shop on this particular Saturday and ask them if I could take their photo. I walked into their story, I said a quick “hello,” camera hanging around my neck; my only intention was to ask if I could photograph them. As I patiently waited for their customers to leave, I became more and more nervous; why was I so nervous? I increasingly became anxious, palms sweating, which is unlike me in every way; then finally their last customer left. I sensed they were relieved from all the traffic, they sighed in relief. Craig greeted me with a gracious hug, and asked how I was doing. I told him, I had this sudden urge to visit them, and ask for five minutes of their time for a quick photo. He looked at me a little puzzled, and caught off guard; then proceeded to look at his beautiful Wife and say, “I don’t know, Diane, what do you think?” They both seemed very caught off guard, and unsure about the request. After a brief discussion, they agreed to join me outside; standing in front of this old, tattered brick wall. As I assured them this experience would be quick and painless, I got my camera settings and lighting set up. I looked up at them as they gazed at each other, waiting for me to direct them. They smiled and held hands as if they were about to start dancing. Their joy, happiness and love engulfed every cell in my body. All I had to do was say, relax, hold her hand and bring her in close. We took three shots, and there’s one photo that struck me. I felt it in my bones, in my heart, and it reignited a passion within me that I knew I couldn’t ignore. When it was time to deliver the framed print to Craig and Diane, I knew it had to be perfect; after all they trusted me with something so private. As I walked into their store, I was again, greeted with a warm hug. Craig was the first to see the portrait, he said, “Wow… you need to show this to Diane.” I waited for her to finish with a customer, we greeted one another, and I turned the frame around. She brought her hands to her face, covering her mouth, gasped with love and appreciated, and tears swelled in her eyes. She came around from behind the register, and gave me the biggest hug. She said, “We don’t have any photographs of us. We were never really inspired to have any photos taken, as they remind us of living in the past, and not the present; but you really captured our Love. You captured Us. This means so much to me.” In that moment, I knew this was meant to be. I had been feeling uninspired, trying to hard to be “what I thought I was supposed to be”, what I learned that day was that I had to trust my own Intuition. I will always be my best teacher, and that I truly needed to trust my own guidance and intuition. They said I gave them a wonderful gift that day, but I wish they knew how much of a gift they really gave me. To this day, the portrait of Craig and Diane is one of my favorite photos. That day I captured true love; and there’s nothing greater.