Sunday, January 30, 2011

1920's wedding

Forty five years after my brief sojourn photographing weddings in England, I find myself at City Hall, New York City, with the daughter of a friend and her husband to be. They want a picture on the Brooklyn Bridge. I did that later, after the legal conditions were met. Here they are standing in front of the Justice of the Peace, just as the groom is being told, that now they are married, he may kiss his wife. He obeyed. In many ways this was one of the best weddings I have ever been to, or photographed. The father of the bride collected Caroline and me in his comfortable car, drove us to the city with the bride and groom, gave us a wonderful lunch and drove us back to Garrison.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Going away separately

A bride and groom leaving the Hyde Park Hotel in London for their honeymoon. She isn't sure whether the man clutching her is not a better bet, and he thinks another drink (but probably not his last), will help things along.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Seven-year-old writer

On the cheese counter line at Fairway in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a father and his seven year-old daughter waited their turn. Caroline, who was behind them, was taken by their warm relationship and the little girl's liveliness and good looks. They began to talk to each other. He was English, and by chance, lived as a child in the street adjoining mine in London. Caroline told him that she thought I would like to photograph his daughter.

And so it was that last Saturday we met for a sandwich at The Hope and Anchor and to take a photograph. The place was packed, but a slim, quiet and polite young man immediately took care of us and showed us into the back room. As soon as we were settled the girl took a notebook from her satchel and started work with a pencil. "I'm writing a book," she said. "Actually, at the moment, I am working on The Table of Contents." Then she read us the first paragraph of the book: "The dark crept into a light corner where Judy was sleeping. No-one could hear the loud moans of the dog. When a piece of the sun popped out of the air it bounced off clouds in a fast speed. It landed with a thump. It was a glowing ball as bright as a star but more. It started to grow into a flower. Everything was dark. The flower was sucked into the ground. Judy and her 2 brothers started to wake up."

She ordered pancakes and bacon and as she ate, she chatted and wrote. I looked around and saw behind me an empty table in good light which the management warmly welcomed me to have my subject sit at, whenever I was ready to take the picture. The light came from a glass door into the street and a mixture of coloured and regular tungsten lights from the room.

The girl suddenly said, "I thought we were here to have my photograph taken and all we have done is talk, talk." She had talked as much as any of us and had also been busy devouring the extra bacon that she ordered with her pancakes.

I was ready, and without any fuss she sat where I asked her to and she sat how I asked her to. The other customers looked and smiled as I am sure everybody does when they see this radiant, high-spirited girl.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Woman enjoying life

Cigar smoking, cookie eating, happy as a lark woman, outside 84 Diner in Fishkill, NY. I wanted to go somewhere big and busy. Here it was, the diner I had passed a hundred times on my way to Newburgh, where the parking lot is always full and you get exactly what you expect in huge quantities, served by waitresses who weave through the tables and past each other at the double. A granny, with a tender hold on her grandchild's hand is given, with a reassuring smile, the right of way in this whirlwind traffic of nimble plate carriers, as the waitress stops dead to let her safely through.