Tonight finds me beach combing once again. The sun dropping out of the sky like a bullet. I feel a twinge of concern slowly falling upon me, thinking it will be a shame to miss a Hawaiian sunset portrait.
Having just returned from the workshop I am teaching this week, I’m still dressed in my nice clothes. Feet are killing me, but a pause to change them could risk missing the descending light.
As I progress along the beach side path, it’s a mystery to me why everyone I approach says, “no thanks,” merely at the sight of me. They offer me no chance to open my mouth in explanation of my presence.
For a moment it dawns on me that perhaps there is an association forming linking me to the “naked analyst” shoot yesterday. Maybe there are enough people so offended by him, that my temporary community is now rejecting me? Man that would bite!
I question if my choice in photographing my under-dressed comrade was a wise one. That thought raises my blood to boil; thinking, “Heck to them! He is an interesting guy with a personal mission; it was my photo-journalistic responsibility to photograph him.”
Now resolved to relocate myself, I redirect my course towards the sanctuary of my hotel room to regroup in licking my wounds or rejection. Past the $25 hamburger, beyond the $22 egg roll, my plight is accepted. The beach patrons hate me. And you know what? “I’m a grown man, I can live with that.”
Esteem regained and almost to my room, I’m hit by a bolt of mind lightning. The green beach shirt I so proudly wear is almost identical to that worn by many of the resort employees. Crud! I’m now a hospitality photographer. What a turn in serendipity. No wonder the world is running from me. It sees me coming, camera in arm looking like a $30 to $50 room charge. Quick! Run! Hide!
Simple fix. I reverse my hat, return to the scene of my first rejection to give it one last college try. I guess people see me as ghetto or something and stop fearing me. Funny how the slightest change in appearance can project a completely different intent.
I make eye contact with a very cute family of three siblings taking snap shots of each other. I offer to take a photo of all of them with their camera.
We strike up a conversation, and they even remember seeing “naked analyst” the day before. More evidence that I am not loathed in these parts. Feeling relieved, I invite them to be tonight’s 365 friends. Two of the three agree.
In Hawaii for the first time celebrating their father’s 60th birthday, say “hi” to my new Korean friends Ju Young and her brother Fong Duk.
I’m telling you (and you most likely see it in their portrait), these two are having the time of their life.
They speak of Hawaiian fun days and are full of energy. I can’t help but be smitten by their colorful spirits.
Guys, a blast photographing you. Thanks for not running from me. Mahalo!