'I am excited to be here and I couldn't wait to get started. I am looking forward to getting started'
Dear Salt Lakers!
As much fun as it has been and still is to post and share portraits and stories of the Humans of Salt Lake City, I think it's time to add a little butter to the bread and to start sharing the extra and unspoken details of the 'stories behind the stories.' I have no idea how this is going to go, how long it will last, or where it will take me, but I do think that the magic of those special details should not go unsung and uncelebrated.
So far, in the near year that Humans of Salt Lake City has been in existence, I have created around 350 portraits. I have captured the magic of young people, old people, children, homeless souls living on the edge of their lives, professional people, skateboarders, slackliners, artists, refugees, musicians, mothers and fathers with their kids, people who are dating, people who are married, people who are single, bikers, travelers, tattoo artists, waiters...the list goes on and on and, what I've discovered so far is that there is a certain majesty in every soul...everyone to whom I have spoken and everyone that I have photographed is going somewhere...some are doing it with more elegance and finesse...others are doing it in clumsy and halting ways. Everyone is going forward with hopes and dreams. Some know how to reach them and some don't...maybe some even won't.
The fact remains that every single human being that I have photographed has become part of a most colorful tapestry representative of the multi-faceted magic of being Human in Salt Lake City and I can't wait to see how the creation of the capture of that tapestry evolves...soooo...here we go!
This portrait of a grandfather and his granddaughter was taken very early in the history of Humans of Salt Lake City, nearly a year ago, I think. I remember having no real idea about how to approach people with my project without scaring or disturbing them and I concluded, as a beginning, that sitting next to someone in a public place and starting up a casual conversation might be a nice ice-breaker. So, I sat on the far end of the bench with this fine gentleman and, as I recall, made small talk with him about the weather and the changing of the leaves...all harmless and meaningless banter...he was friendly and kind as his granddaughter romped and played in the nearby playground. She was just adorable as she ran back and forth between the arms of her grandfather and the fun of the jungle gym she was climbing.
So early in the game of capturing moments like this, I didn't have a recording device to capture his words as we spoke, but I made a valiant effort to remember as much of what he was saying to include in the post later. That's why I didn't quote him verbatim, but I loved that he told me that after having been married for forty years, he realized, wisely, that when he got married, his decisions were no longer his own. I, myself, have been married for nearly nineteen years and, in spite of my occasional moments of male ignorance, I realize, perhaps now even more than ever, that the decisions I make cannot be made without input and opinion from my wife. I think marriages would last much longer if couples do make the extra efforts, not just once in a while, but perhaps daily...or hourly...to pay close attention to one another, meet each other's needs in one way or another...lift one another up in times of trial...and celebrate one another during the magic times. I imagined that this man's wife is his best friend just like my wife is my best friend. May those we love never doubt our love for them and may we always marinate in the love that is given back to us.