Sunday, September 27, 2009

Photos from the archive

I ran a newspaper in the early part of the decade. I took a lot of photos for my work. A LOT. I enjoyed that part of my job and I miss taking photos of people, now. Kids are the biggest hoot to take pictures of. I'd spend time at the soccer fields or playgrounds taking kids' pictures and then I'd ask their parents for permission to put them in the paper. The town was small and the people knew who I was and what I was doing anyway, and they usually said yes or waved and pointed to their kid.

It's capturing the candid moments that I like. Seeing the expression on peoples' faces, their sadness, worry, or excitement. When you're a reporter and there's an issue that people want to get in the paper or a fair or business event they want promoted, they are very accommodating when you raise the camera. If you are not a reporter and you take photos of people at a fair or an event, people are suspicious. And taking photos of kids these days for no reason other than to enjoy the artistic qualities of innocence is not as valid to a parent. The press pass IS a pass, from suspicion to credibility.

That leaves still shots and landscapes photos of grass and trees and flowers...which you have seen a lot of on my blog lately, lol.

So I spent time last night looking through my archive of photos taken when I was stumping around Gray Maine as a reporter, covering ribbon cuttings and fairs and school events and parades...people.

I was struck in this photo of the faces and the gently fluttering ribbon. The man cutting the ribbon opened his furniture store in 1976 and today it is still a family owned and run business. His daughter is the woman in the black dress standing next to him. A two-generation, thirty-year small business is a miracle of fortitude and grit and I admire it. Businesses like these are the backbone of America and all that is right with it.

This store in Gray, Maine had grown from 2000 sf to 40,000 sf. over thirty years' time. I see the pride on the owner's face, and the happiness of his daughter. The smiles of accomplishment of small business in America is what this photo is about, and it is contained on the faces of those people who have vision and persistence.

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