photography's gift: the people you meet
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It was the last day of summer and everyone knew it. Even though it was October, temperatures were hovering around 80 degrees F. Forecasters were predicting highs in the 50s for the next day so everyone was savoring today's warm sun and mild temperatures. Ed and I were enjoying our last outdoor lunch of the season at a table in front of the Hydrangea Kitchen across from the high school.
The kids had just gotten out of school for the day when a tall good looking young man came up and asked me, "Aren't you the photographer?" I said I was. He introduced himself as Avery Duncan and asked if I would ever have time to take a look at his photographs of Detroit. I said "Sure" and asked if he had any he could show me today. Avery brought over his laptop, set it up on our table and showed me some stunning images of Detroit's buildings, images that showed the beauty of the city I love. Well, Avery loves it too and his photos show it. We got to talking and in the midst of our conversation he asked if I could possibly take his senior class picture for the yearbook.
Today Avery came to my studio here at home and I managed to take 77 portraits from which he could choose the one he liked best. Avery's choice was a smiling portrait of himself dressed in a suit and tie taken from the waist up. My favorite, artistically speaking, was the photo posted above. Yes, it is rather dark and moody--certainly not suitable for a yearbook picture--but I think this image captures something in this young man that most people rarely see. Our cameras can do that sometimes: catch the intensity that drives us to persevere and overcome challenges others might not even know we are facing. From this image I know that Avery will make his way in the world with strength and determination. He is a young man of purpose and I wish him well.