There are few things I love more than what I call a holiday atmosphere. And by that I don’t mean Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall at the or a giant July 4th fireworks display – though I do love those, too – I just mean anywhere people are all revved up on their way to something fun. Seeing folks packed up, on the move, and ready for some time off thrills me; I love being a fly on the wall, eavesdropping on their plans. They have a little frisson of excitement about them, and it’s infectious.
At a monument, on the street, at the beach, I like to insert myself into peoples’ fun by moseying up to them when they break out their camera; I offer to take a group picture, so that all of them can be in the same shot. I take great joy in doing this, though it’s not always met with the glee I bring to the situation. Like today, for instance.
I was lucky enough to be on a ferry to beautiful Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Cape Cod, and it was a stunning, the first day of autumn. I figured I had a ripe crowd. But right off the bat, one lady looked down her nose at me as she aimed at a lighthouse we were passing. “Wouldn’t you like to be in the picture?” I asked eagerly. “No, it’s for a painting,”she sniffed. Hunh. Excuse me, Picasso.
Next, a woman alone who patted her hair and worried that her inclusion in the photo would ruin the scenery. I convinced her otherwise. A pair of lanky young Russian men. A young family of four. I was on a roll. All these smiles.
See, I’m certain that later on, these people will be happy they’re in the photos, whether they look their best or not. It will give the moment, and the scene, context. Now the photo will telegraph who you were right then, what kind of clothes you sported, what haircut you had, the expression you wore (“I forgot you came with me that day!” “I look tired.” “Look how in love with him I was!”).
I will never see these people again, and they won’t recall who was behind the camera. But I just love being there, hearing that “click,” and knowing I’m helping to make a memory.
Help someone make a moment to remember.