Carmen (#577) 04-25-14

After photographing Jessica (#576), my wife and I continued walking on a boardwalk lined with shops. Our path took us very close to doorways. As we walked by Casual Cottage Gifts and Clothing, Carmen suddenly appeared, almost at my shoulder. One glance and my eye was caught by hers; I had to acknowledge her. So instinctively I said, “Hi. Could I ask you for a favor? I belong to a photograph group...,” And just like that, it was out.

Carmen's head went down and she shook her head 'no', as she said, “Of course you can photograph me. I have photographed my family and friends for most of my life with a manual camera. I'm from a Catholic family in Kentucky, so there are a lot of people to photograph.” She likes black and white, and really prefers sepia toned images. The first few images had the forced camera smile. I told her so. Then I said, just be yourself, and I smiled, pulled my hand down over my face and 'wiped' the smile away. I looked into her eyes for a couple of seconds, and then got this shot.

She looked at the LCD and said, “OMIGOD, that's me! That is good, it's really me. I take so many pictures of other people, but never get one of the real me.” She said that she wanted a copy, so I gave her my MOO card and asked her to e-mail me; I would return her message with the image attached. As we parted, she took a couple of quick steps toward me, shook my hand and said “Oh thank you so much.” Wow, that seemed a bit effusive, but occasional enthusiasm is sure nice.

Sure enough, the next day I got her e-mail. It began, “Hi, this is Carmen whose photograph you shot in John's Pass in front of the store where I work (you asked me to take off my glasses so you could see my eyes)...”, as if I could have possibly forgotten her within 24 hours. So, I attached these three iterations of the image and sent them back.

Later, I got this reply, “Thanks so much. MY LIPSTICK IS RUNNING!!! EGADS!!!” I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I'll take her word for it.