ONE HUNDRED AND THREE YEARS - Tel-Aviv, Israel
This woman is 103 years old, according to the man who was with her (I'm guessing he was her grandson). When I go out shooting, I'm irresistibly drawn to texture, and the combination of the wicker chair, the fuzzy sweater, the silky scarf, the weathered hat, and, most importantly, the beautiful lines and contours of a century-old face, SHOULD have made for an easy win.
However, in my bungling excitement at having such a great opportunity for a photo, I somehow managed to have the on-camera flash on for the first frame I snapped, and those frenzied photons blasted away any semblance of nuance and subtlety.
Luckily, in this case, the smile she flashed in that first shot was one of those instinctual "Ok, this dude is pointing a camera at me; so I'll show him some teeth and hopefully he'll be on his way" smiles, and even if I had done everything right technically, that first snap would not have been a keeper.
This frame you're looking at was taken a couple of clicks later, and I feel like she had reverted to a more natural state: one that says, "Young man, my grandkids were changing diapers before you were pooping in them, so do what you've gotta do and let me get back to kicking life's ass."
I know it's theoretically possible that I could've coaxed a livelier expression out of her with a bit of schmoozing, and I know this shot certainly could've been sharper, but people were waiting for me, and I do feel like this photo captures a woman who's absolutely earned the right to spend every moment doing exactly what she wants to do, and I'm absolutely grateful for the fact that she honored me with a minute or two of her time. I can only hope that I will get the chance to pay it forward someday...