A few years ago, while I was visiting one of my favorite people in the world, my dearest Grammy, I was beautifully reminded of the reason that I am a photographer.
As always, I wanted to take a few photos of her after I caught her in a deep thought looking out the window. But the moment I took the first shot she was done, hiding her beautiful face behind a flowering plant hanging down in the cafe window. It was at that moment that I realized, I didn’t want a photo of her posing for me. What I wanted was a photo bearing witness to her; her life and our interaction.
We have developed such a unique friendship over the years that is has always been hard to describe with words.
The moment of my departure was fast approaching and knowing how sad we both get that we don’t know when we will see each other again. We started to reminisce over her first pink toenails in 90 years, our dinner of lemon meringue pie, DQ Blizzards and red wine, while discussing the Olympic snowboarders and who we thought had the best run on the half pipe.
I decided that I wanted a photo of ‘us’, the ‘us’ I described above.
So I held the camera with one hand and took a few shots. We started giggling right away from seeing our funny faces. I complained about my 36 year-old wrinkles, she complained about her 90 year-old forehead and so on.
What I realized at that moment was I captured exactly what I longed to freeze in time.
Something I couldn’t find the words to describe or didn’t have the talent to paint with a brush; a simple interaction and moment of a special friendship to be frozen in my memory for a lifetime, however long that lifetime is for either of us.
That is why I am a photographer; to capture our unique relationships with each other, with the world, and with ourselves.
And in that moment of being behind the lens I bear witness
to an amazing brief flittering moment,
we call ‘life’.
Trina Gadsden, Photographer