The Indomitable PamSunday, August 26, 2018
It is impossible at my now age of 76 not too look back to events in my past.
Automobile accidents, terrible when they happened have faded. Deaths in the family and of friends are controlled by thinking about them in good times.
As a photographer as I file printed photographs and matted photographs of which I have hundreds if not thousands has made me gulp at the output. When I look at them I remember the studios, the lights, my subjects and how it was that I photographed them as I did.
In these many years in Vancouver (since 1975) there have been many high points and unusual shooting situations.
When I taught the Contemporary Nude Portrait at Focal Point ( a school on 10th Avenue that closed its doors some years ago) I would tell my students not to stare at the nude female and male models. The idea was to make believe they (my students) were doctors so they had to only make eye contact and not let their eyes slide. Once you were looking through your camera then you could notice and decide your shot.
When Pam showed up at our class one morning it was impossible not to stare. She was missing an arm. Where it should have been there was a smooth roundness by the shoulder. She limped and had an asymmetrical hip. I had to ask. Pam looked at me straight in the eye and told me that she had been born with one arm and with a leg that was longer than the other. In her late teens the longer leg was cut to equalize with the other. The lovely (to me!) asymmetrical hip was the result.
I can plainly assert here that Pam was (and soon will be as she has indicated she is going to visit me soon) one of the best subjects I ever photographed.
Unfortunately some of those photographs including one (there is a hint of it in the picture on the left an accidental double exposure) in which she makes herself up by holding a mirror with her toes cannot be shown here. They would glow on the wall of a good art gallery. This photograph is easily one of the best I have ever taken.
There is something about Pam that is radiated with her easy smile that beacons one to realize that in spite of terrible odds she has managed to life a life that all of us could only hope for.