Since I named my blog "painted bird" I think it would just be downright silly if my first post wasn't the back story to one of my favorite pet names.
I met Whitney through Flickr when she commented on a little Polaroid of me. Hands on my hips, wearing a nauseating amount of stripes, and the Gorge beaming in the background... she commented, "What a view! I'm from Portland and work for a newspaper too. Which one do you work for?"
What followed was an exchange that can only be characterized as AWESOME. We quickly found out that we worked for the same company, just in different offices. When I ask her how long she has worked for there, she giddily responds with "a year tomorrow!" I reply back, "Ah nice, I'm at 8 months in 5 days which already seems like forever!"
Flickr now tells me that it has been 58 months since that introductory exchange. I just gave my two weeks notice yesterday. She moved on months ago. Still, I always find myself coming back to this photo and that conversation. Nostalgically I'll tell her, "I'm reading our love affair blossom!" She makes fun of how I reminisce about it but I think the reason why I love it is not only the amazing coincidence but because it essentially introduced me to a whole new level of photography and with that an entirely whole new world. Whitney is exceptionally talented and her forté has always been Polaroids. I remember seeing her photographs and immediately thinking, "wow... I am completely doing it wrong." While I do believe I am talented with knowing when something is done right, I lack the ability to ever execute something so beautiful myself.
Eventually we finally met as she screamed my name one summer day among a large Last Thursday crowd of hippies and the extremely trendy. She was undeniably adorable with her bright red lipstick and her shockingly loud voice. I remember the beau asking, "who IS that woman?" Within months of our first meeting, Whitney ended up transferring to my office and we started having little Polaroid shoots when we could fit them into our breaks. A little while later she invited me over to take some portraits at her house. Lined with little cat eye tips, Whitney took the first Polaroid of me and cooed, "my little painted bird."
And it stuck.