I think this guy’s name was Eddie. He was outside at a wedding I shot recently and was having a cigarette looking into the rain alone. He looked really sullen and sad and while I did get a picture of him staring off, once I started talking to him this picture much more accurately captures this guy. He immediately, and I seriously mean immediately, broke into a story of mostly gibberish but from the words I could make out it had something to do with a girl he loved once but that he was too much of … something… then I think he said elephant. I really don’t know who he thought I was, but he clearly wanted to tell his story. I listened, and didn’t understand, but that’s a lot of what happens when I’m hearing other people’s stories. Then I needed to leave, unfortunately about half way through a point he was making, mostly mumbles then laughter. I came back and wanted to say by to him, and he started dancing. This guy seems like a gem.
This is a lady I met outside the church as I arrived to the ceremony location. She spotted me from a ways off while she was walking on the street and I know we caught each others attention but that she was hesitant to approach me. I couldn’t tell from the distance if she was trying to find the wedding location or not, so I kept my gaze in hopes that she would know I’m not too busy to talk to her. She approached me and the closer she got the more I could realize that she was really distressed and needed help. Having to juggle trying to make sure she got some help from anyone at the church, hearing her story and talking with her I kind of assumed the responsibility to look after her in between down times. She had been dropped off there by public transportation saying that the church would help her, admitted that she was an alcoholic, that she was in need of making changes and spiritual direction, and at the end her head dropped and began weeping saying “i’m afraid”. I wanted so much to put my camera down at that moment and be the church that she went there to see for support. I walked in with her, had her take a seat on a pew and she just gazed up at the crucifix and stained glass. She eventually did get someone to tend to her, but while I was waiting for the bride to put on her dress I found her sitting in the hallway and asked how everything was turning out. We talked for about 2 more minutes and I asked if I could get her picture to remember her story, she began to weep and said “I don’t like how I look, I’m sorry”. That’s when I noticed a lot of ink on her legs and asked her about her tattoos, and she began to tell me that the drum on her leg was to represent the war. I wish I could have heard more about that story and stayed with her, but I couldn’t.
I love when real people share real moments, moments of real humanity, even though they are brief.