Monday, June 20, 2011

Gary & Helen. And Patches, of course.

If you are the dreamer type,
you know how when you've got
this vision in your head of some creative project
that you'd like to do?
And it just keeps growing
and getting more exciting as time passes?
And then one day that vision comes to pass
and it's right in front of you for you to marvel at?

One fall morning, I came across the sweetest couple
as I was walking at Lake Eola.
Those of you who know me well know
that I have a special love of the elderly.
When I saw them, walking with their little dog,
I thought man, it would be so fun to take their picture
and try to capture
their beauty,
their love,
their sweetness,
their smiles lines.
Then, I felt dumb. And so I let the opportunity pass.
I kicked myself afterwards,
and went looking for them for a while to no avail.
I thought about that missed opportunity
a hundred times in the coming days.

And then, I met up with a friend again
at Lake Eola a week or so later.
And as fate would have it,
even though it was evening,
I came across Gary and Helen again.
They were walking Patches
as they do several times per week.
I immediately approached them.
(I get that this is weird for some of you. :) )
They were happy to give me their contact number
so that I could schedule a session with them.
I showed up to do the shoot and to my dismay,
they were unable to make it
because Helen had injured her foot
and was unable to walk.
The Lord had another special opportunity
for me that morning in Melvin,
but that's another story.
In the past several months,
my life and schedule have been so hectic.
But I always kept them in the back of my mind...

I thought of them again yesterday
and gave them a call.
They were available this morning.
And so here, be still my beating heart, are the results:

Gary and Helen have been married for 61 years.
Helen is 81.
Patches, the dog, is 4.
Gary & Helen have one adopted son.
And several grandchildren.
Gary is 81.
(And as Helen whispered softly,
he is starting to lose his memory.)
There is a childlike heart in all of us.
And there's something invaluable about lasting love.
My most favorite of all:
"It makes me remember my days as a boy."
Catharsis in it's highest form, my friends.


  1. LOVE THIS! glad you seized the moment.

  2. Love these! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Ok, I'm not much of a crier, as you know, but these pictures brought tears to my eyes...beautiful.

  4. I came to vote on the cover contest, and here you have me crying. What a beautiful photo shoot, for so many reasons...