July 12, 2013

Portrait of a Baba

"Baba" shot in Teulon, Manitoba. Age 89 and spry as hell.

Wedding photography is tricky work. I admire the people who can do it weekend after weekend for their bread and beurre. While working within the role of second shooter, I tend to find myself drawn to the singular stars of any wedding event. Portrait hunter. In a rare moment of stillness in between running around slipping rings off fingers, loading cameras and hanging wedding dresses from trees in the bush while the bride readied herself, Baba caught my eye the instant I saw her sitting at her kitchen table in Teulon.

In the cool of her homestead kitchen, she stood out from all the rest. 

I was shocked to hear she was pushing ninety as her sparkling eyes and overall aura radiating from her electric blue soul told me otherwise. While shooting family portraits under the beating sun that afternoon, I asked Baba if I could fetch her a chair to rest. She looked at me and without skipping a beat, knocked her cane on her shin and said with a lilt "Why would I need such a thing? I have three legs!" Amen sister. Charmed I was, this was not the only portrait I asked of her. This Ukrainian Baba was giving it away for free! 

In between ceremony and dinner, she ambled over to her perennial and vegetable garden to pick potato bugs and tend to her flowers in the 35 degree heat (in her party dress no less). To me, she is the definition of beauty. If I am lucky to live a long life, I hope to age with as much grace and spirit as this little Baba.

* Kiev 60/ Portra 400 // that I like