Milepost 2-2-16 –living in a rented apartment near the beach.
My dad used to say that the real joy of having anything – is sharing it, and I proved him right again today. The joy of artistic expression through photography has been multiplied by the joy of giving as I have been visiting my Dominican neighbors with copies of photos that I took of them 3 years ago.
I have made a project of printing the photos, mounting them on 5×7 rigid foam backings, and then handing them to the folks who are in the photos. Part of the fun for me is experiencing the reactions of people who don’t often get noticed by passersby, let alone being given a memorable gift that will almost certainly become a family treasure.
A lot can change in 3 years, and it has been both surprising and gratifying for me to locate so many of the folks that I photographed last time we were here, although in one case, the horse was the same and the people were different.
The quest to locate these people has created a secondary adventure that is even more fun than the original photo expedition. When I found one young guy at a fruit stand, the place had changed a lot and I didn’t recognize him. When I stopped and showed him the photo asking him, “Where can I find this guy?” he looked at the photo and pointed at it and then himself, exclaiming, “It’s me!”
One of the funnest reunions was when we finally located a little old grandma — after several stops to ask where she was, each stop getting us a little closer to her. She was on the porch of a house with her granddaughters mixing a big bowl of cake batter. When we handed her the photo her eyes got big and she threw back her head and started laughing. They passed the photo around with excitement and then she told us the old house had fallen down, and she pointed to an empty slab next door. Yes, there had been some changes in 3 years.
Photography is a wonderful traveling companion. Feeding my artistic appetites has brought me a lot of satisfaction over the years. And in giving it back to my subjects and enriching their lives in this small way, I have found a way to feed my soul as well.
The real joy of having a photograph is sharing it — not just with the cyber world, but with the people who shared their beautiful faces to make it what it is, a work of art.
I love the people of the Dominican Republic. They are gorgeous, inside and out.
Read Kaye’s beautiful account of this adventure on her blog here.