A poignant memory

I was scheduled to do some portfolio work for a young model from Bozeman. She was going to arrive at my studio at about 10 am and we had several shots mapped out. I was getting the lights set up, cameras checked and loaded, having my morning coffee when an office mate from down the hall entered my studio, white as a ghost and visibly shaken. He asked if I had seen or heard what was going on in NYC. In a moment I was on the internet looking at the most horrific images of buildings collapsing, papers, concrete, steel and human bodies falling from the sky. A quick call to my sister in law relieved my fear that my nephew might have been in harms way... but the news was good. My nephew Theo had called briefly to say he and his wife were safe, but it was obvious that life, as we know it was about to change.

In walked Jill Jin, a young woman with a disheveled aura and eyes that were speaking of the pain in her heart, but not given to tears. She was wearing a garment of shock and apprehension. Conversation was difficult under the circumstances. We sat calmly and discussed the options of rescheduling the shoot. She was about to walk out, when I had the thought that these photos might be about something much more meaningful than images for a model portfolio. It was a time much un-like what I had expected, but I decided to capture the moment that was given to me... regardless. I uttered the idea as best I could and Jill agreed. The following images, although poignant have a very unique beauty. I could try to describe the moment in words, but I think the images speak for themselves.

Jill recently emailed me and asked for these images. Thanks to Jill, I relived those moments and rediscovered these images today. It caused me to dig down into my old files, like the memories of the painful realizations in life that we tend to forget. For some reason it was today of all days, when a highly disturbed student walks onto a campus in Virginia and takes over 30 innocent lives. My heart goes out to all those that lost loved ones on that day in New York several years ago, and today in Virginia.

So, in my late night thoughts, I don't know exactly how to bring this full circle, except to encourage all of us to embrace love and not hate, to practice compassion for ourselves and each other, and most of all to find forgiveness in our hearts.

Images Copyright 2007 Larry Stanley

Maybe this belongs on my personal blog. Cody, feel free to delete if you feel it's out of place. I thought I would stir the pot and see if other's would pour out the images and life experiences they've been sitting on! Sincerely, Larry


  1. Larry, I enjoyed the retrospect and the thoughtful story. Her facial expression says so much. Thanks for the good message, it is needed in the time we find ourselves in.

  2. Jay and I were both amazed that you continued with this photo shoot on 9/11, capturing the unified emotion of our country in the eyes of a single model. Props to her for sticking with it, too. Thank you for sharing this story.



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