Yesterday I wrote about an interesting encounter I had while taking pictures at lunch. That was part one of the story, which you can read about here. This is part two.
Just like I promised him yesterday, I met with Carl today to take pictures of his damaged furniture.
Jen and I arrived at Carl's building just after noon today and he was quite delighted that I showed up at all. He graciously invited us in to his home and showed me his furniture that had been damaged in transit. Looking around his place it was pretty clear that Carl didn't have too much. He seemed like a simple man and he had a meagre amount of possessions and it was quite sad to see so many of them damaged.
I got to work. I brought along a couple of 580EX IIs, Manfrotto justin clamps and a few PocketWizards. I stuck Sto-Fen caps on the strobes and bounced them at the ceiling. The camera was set to manual and the strobes to about 1/2 power. A little fiddling with the camera settings and I had good exposure. As Carl directed, I snapped frames.
About forty minutes later I was done. Carl must have thanked me four or five times. He was very pleased.
Later I pulled the images in to Aperture, weeded out the bad ones and prepared the rest for printing. The end result was 27 images, which I had printed at Costco in about 3 hours. I picked up the prints tonight and will deliver them to Carl tomorrow.
I honestly don't know where this is going to end up. Although Carl insisted he will pay me for my time, this piece of work was never about the money. It was about hearing someone's story, recognizing a need and using my ability to help out. After two decades of working a job in which I felt no real sense of meaning I wanted my photography to be much more than taking pictures of pretty people. I suppose today's effort was a small example the power of a picture.
I have included two photographs from today's session with Carl. The picture of the empty plastic bag on his bike and the mysterious briefcase. The plastic bag on his bike used to contain his bike lock, chain and key but post move he was left with just a torn, empty bag. The briefcase on the other hand does not even belong to him. It doesn't have a sticker from the moving company, unlike all his other items, so he has no idea of its origins. The briefcase is quite weighty but Carl doesn't want to open it - he doesn't want to know what's inside.
I am interested to see how this story ends so I will endeavour to keep in touch with Carl. I am rooting for a happy ending.
Stay tuned for part three.