Jim and Barbara (#701) 11-11-14

While sitting outdoors sipping a way-too-hot cup of coffee, there was laughter behind me. I looked out the corner of my eye, and this couple were acting like they were having the time of their lives. Hopefully I wouldn't mess that up. As always, I made eye contact alternately as I explained my intention. While looking at Jim, I said “I belong to a camera group called 100 Strangers...” That's as far as I got before he started laughing and rolling his eyes. Jim saw the whole story before I could get the words out. And both were happy to be included.

Barbara was originally from Union County, NJ, and Jim was from Amityville, NY. They lived in Manhattan for many years, as Jim was an investment banker. In fact, he still is working. He looked around, raised his palms and said,”Why not work here?” I replied, “Oh, so this is a business meeting?” “Yes, we're writing this $5 off (laugh).”

Jim had noticed the same thing I have. Men in our generation use nicknames: Jim, Bob, Bill, etc. The younger generation use the proper names: James, Robert, and William. I am still amazed that we had a president named Jimmy.

I took a lot of pictures of Barbara – just could not get a genuine look without a camera-smile. She once had a professional non-smiling portrait that she hated and discarded. I was on notice. As Jim laughed so much, it was difficult to get a serious pose of him too. I liked this image, where he seems to be 'swallowing a smile.'

I showed it to Barbara and asked if she could do that. I got several more Barbara pics and liked the authenticity of this look. I felt good, as I really had to work for this.