When I photographed the Tanner family last Sunday, the parents and two kids had just returned from a Hawaiian vacation. I have known Nicole since we both attended UC Santa Barbara (more than) a few years ago. Now we both live about three miles from each other in the Bay Area. While I was taking pictures, I kept thinking about the different definitions of the Hawaiian word “aloha.” It means hello and good-bye and something in between. I think that also describes my relationship with Nicole and her family. We keep showing up for each other. I expect that it will always be that way… some cosmic Aloha.
Here is the slideshow again from the December 2014 photo visit.
Two years ago, I photographed the Tanners the first time shortly after they moved from the Central Coast. You can find the slideshow in the post.
Sometimes I think I am a good photographer. It happened again after I began viewing the photos from last weekend. I loved the pictures… and then something happened. I realized that I loved the pictures, because I loved the people I photographed. At one point, I let the two girls use my camera and they took some pretty good photos too. The youngest person took one of my favorite photos of Nicole.
People often ask me for advice. I am a photography teacher. I know how to use a camera. I understand aperture and shutter speed. I know more technical stuff than most photographers. I also know the important stuff, like how to hold a really smelly chew toy while a kindergarten girl is using my camera to take my picture. I took this photo with my smart phone. Is that my secret?
Maybe I just really love photography, which is not so much a criticism of my ability, as it is a description. Did I tell you that the dog toy smelled really bad? Did I forget to mention that it was more than worth it?
Today is 12/13/14. It is Taylor Swift’s birthday. I started thinking about Taylor as soon as I saw the little pink guitar (or ukulele)… or maybe when Nicole flashed the “gangster of peace sign” that I associate with Taylor Swift’s “22” video. Of course, if I am truthful, I think about Taylor Swift daily. Aloha could mean Shake it Off.
I hope that I can photograph the family every two years. When I return, I want to step on the same welcome mat. Until then, I want to remember that I have arrived … every day, everywhere.