A couple of weeks ago I posted about a photo I took for my dad. He wanted me to take a photo of an old house that his friend, we’ll call him “John”, was born in. I took the photo with no problems. Getting it printed however, that is a different story. I use the local CVS to get my prints done. I do this mostly because I can upload my photo before I leave for work and usually pick it up on my lunch break. Its quick, easy and cost about the same as these websites who specialize in prints. Anyway I’m getting off topic. I was hoping to get a print made so that my dad could give it to him on his Birthday. And if everything had worked out as planned that would have happened. Things didn’t go as planned. That Sunday morning I uploaded the photo. Went into CVS Sunday afternoon only to find that the developer was out of order but “someone will be in tomorrow to fix it” an employee assures me. I wait until Wednesday before returning to the store. A different employee tells me that it will be at least another week because the CVS tech had given up and called in a Kodak tech who would be in at the beginning of the next week. So to make a long story short what should have taken 3 hours took nearly 3 weeks. I wanted to be mad but there was no one to be mad at. The machine broke. These things happen and there is really nothing you can do except order which ever part failed and wait for it to arrive. But again I’m getting off topic again.
Finally this past weekend I was able to give my dad the print he’d requested nearly a month earlier. He presented it to John on Monday. At first John didn’t believe my dad when he said the photo was for him. Then he nearly got emotional. I made an 80 year old man speechless with the press of a button but the story doesn’t end there. John took the photo home and showed it to his wife who also got emotional, I’ll explain why later. She ended up moving the family portrait over so that a photo that I took could stand front and center on their mantel in the living room.
Turns out John was born in the house but he only lived there for two or three years. After he and his family moved out they sold it to another family. That family had a daughter. That daughter ended up becoming John’s wife. One house, two families, all the stories and memories that happened within those walls came flooding back because of me.
I don’t know how to feel right now. I just got off the phone with my dad. He called to tell me all about how happy I made this couple. I refuse to believe that I hold that much power in my hands but I don’t know how to rationalize it. It’s just a thing I do. I take photos. Every now and then the stars align and the picture turns out exactly the way I envisioned it, this was one of those times. I was hoping John would like it but I have no connection with him or this house and this is not the first time I’ve sold a photo but this feels different somehow. I guess I’ve always secretly wondered if people really like my work. If I really was as good as everyone kept telling me. I don’t want to say that this is validation but it is certainly different.