Wayyyyyy back in December, I received an email from a lady in Saskatchewan, asking if I did Gift Certificates. But, of course I do, Madame! She wanted to pick up a GC as a Christmas present for her mom and stepdad because it had been a long time since they’d had their pics taken. Unfortunately, through a comedy of errors, I didn’t get a chance to do their session until last Sunday, but better late than never.
I can’t name my clients because they apparently used to be spies, or maybe they’re in the Witness Protection Program, so we’ll just call them Lolita and Ricardo. What? Those were the first names that danced into my head!
My first impression of Lolita was that she was still beautiful, even though she had seven great grandchildren already. She had clear, expressive eyes and a killer smile and I knew that she must have been the epitome of gorgeous back in the day. My first impression of Ricardo was that he was a curmudgeony old fart – set in his ways (his old, olllllllllld ways). He reminded me of a mixture of both my mom’s mom (Gma Ada) and Greg’s mom’s mom (Gma Rigmor).
I liked them both instantly, but I knew that Ricardo would be an especially delightful challenge for me. I would have to use my entire toolbox of wit and charm (because I have so much of that these days) to bring him out of his shell.
His first words to me were, “You’re only taking three pictures, so you had better make good use of that camera.” (Ok, I lie. His first words to me were actually, “I was sitting here watching you strip out of your motorcycle gear and I was hoping that you’d keep going…” because I’d taken off all of my gear while standing on the front lawn and he’d been watching me through the living room window. Ricardo, you old Perv!!!)
Needless to say, the shoot was quick and dirty (not that kind of dirty…) because I didn’t want to push his patience past the point of pictures, so to speak. So, I did what I do while he spent a lot of time informing me about how much he hated the internet and how it wasn’t safe and yada yada yada. I refrained from telling him that I get 95% of my business through the internet and without it, I wouldn’t have the world’s greatest job. (I know, it’s hard to imagine me refraining from saying anything, isn’t it?) He also told me that he would sue me if so much as one photo of him showed up on the internet. I stabbed back by informing him about Canadian Copyright Laws. He told me that this would be the last shoot he ever did if any of his photos showed up on that danged internet, I countered with, “But think of how grateful your grandkids will be to have some up to date photos of you both to look at once you’re dead and gone.” Ha!
And so it went on, back and forth between us, with other moments of intermittent discussions about their lives – Seven daughters between them. No sons. 17 grandchildren. 7 great grandchildren – and one very comical moment when he suggested wearing a paper bag on his head and I told him to go for it!!!!
Lolita was quiet and totally tolerant of Ricardo’s non-stop diatribe about the internet and I started to realize that he was a big ole burnt marshmallow – all tough and leathery on the outside, but ooey gooey mush in the middle. It was obvious that they love each other and it made me feel all warm and gooey inside too.
Near the end of our shoot, Ricardo mentioned that his retirement hobby was restoring old trucks. Talk about an instant change from perma-grump to a boy and his toys. We had to have a looksy and he was proud as a peacock right down to his toes and I realized that my initial hunch was correct – rough and tough exterior, heart of a teddy bear. This made me like him even more.
And, through it all, guess who snapped, oh, over 100 pics…yes, that would be me. Guess how many Mr. Grumpy was smiling in? Uhm, all but five! Who’s a rockstar? Again, ME!
By the end of the shoot, I was really enjoying myself and felt happy that I’d met this quirky couple. They walked me to the bike, made sure all was good and saw me off, arms around each other, with a happy wave.
Near the end of the shoot, Ricardo even gave me permission to post a few pics on the internet…(HA! If he’s reading this, I can feel his blood starting to boil. Probably doesn’t remember that part…). Don’t get your knickers in a knot, old man, just have a look below!
Ha! Gotcha! Thanks Ricardo and Lolita. It was a pleasure to meet you and work with you.
Have a good day, my friends. I wish you all enough…