Winning an award is always a joyous occasion and today was no exception. I attended the reception for the Elden Murray Photo Contest at the Howe Library in Hanover, NH and was happy to learn that I had won two awards. My photo, Shadow Girl, received an honorable mention in the pictorial/abstract category and my photo, Julia Grace, won third place in the people category.
But as neat as seeing the ribbons beside the photos, was the reception I received when I arrived. As I entered the long hall of landscape photography, one of the photo club members greeted me. I barely had time to look at her before she seized me by the elbow and began ushering me through the crowd.
“You have a fan,” she noted. “A rather young man,” she said. “This tall,” holding her hand up to her hip. “He’s here someplace. He just loved all your work. At first I thought he knew you because every picture he pointed to was yours, but he said he didn’t. He liked the one of the young girl. I told him a lady did it, and he said, are you sure a lady? I think he thought it must be a young girl who took the picture because that’s whose in it. I told him if I saw you I’d introduce you.” She continued to guide me, almost completing a full circle around the exhibit when she stumbled upon a boy of six or seven standing next to his blonde, ponytailed mother wearing tortoiseshell glasses.
“Is this the boy who’s been here for the past 15 minutes,” the photo club member asked.
“Yes, we’ve been here for that long,” his mother replied, giving us a questioning gaze.
“Well, this young man is a fan of Kim Gifford’s work, aren’t you?” the photo club member asked, addressing the boy. “He was looking at the pictures and he kept stopping at Kim’s, I thought he might have known her but he didn’t,” she explained, this time to the mom.
“Did he?” said the mom. “I wasn’t paying attention.”
“Well, I’m just happy you liked them,” I said, “May I shake your hand.”
The little boy looked up at me with a quiet smile and offered his hand.
“Do you want to show your mom the pictures you liked?” the photo club member asked. The boy trotted off in the direction of my photos, looking back to see if I was following. His blue eyes twinkled and he kept checking to make sure I was right behind him. As soon as we got to my first picture of Julia Grace, he stopped and pointed, glancing over his shoulder for reassurance that he was correct. I nodded and smiled and then he skipped across the room to my Shadow Girl image and pointed at that.
“Yes,” I agreed as he ran back and pointed to the pug.
His mother appeared around the corner. “He especially likes the ones of the girls,” I informed her.”
“He’s a ladies man,” his mother concluded.
Although my photos and the ribbons will be on display for the month, I took the boy’s lingering smile home with me. I received a number of congratulations and compliments for my work today, but none had quiet the weight of the child running around the room proudly pointing at my work.
I have always had an affinity for pets and children in my photos. It is nice to see that they have an affinity for me as well.