This time it’s personal. My vibrant friend Joyce has cancer. She chronicles her experiences with it in her beautifully written blog Sprinting Towards 60. It’s hard to read her struggles with the not so pretty toll that cancer is taking but she is an incredibly optimistic women determined to wring out all the enjoyment she can out of life. And she’s funny as hell.
In fact, in just a couple of weeks, she’ll be putting on her wetsuit for the start of the summer edition of the Mature Ladies Boogieboarding and Luncheon Society with other members of her informal group, women all over 50 who take to the water, then go out for a leisurely lunch.
In the meantime, Joyce, herself a gifted photographer, needed a current headshot for her blog, which will be featured in the Los Angeles Times’s Health section. It was an assignment I was happy to fulfill for her.
We both live in blisteringly hot areas of Los Angeles so we decided to shoot at the beach at sunset. Vicki, Joyce and Joyce’s wife Joan and I all climbed into the car and headed to the Santa Monica pier. Ah, but the lot was full. As we searched for parking, we remembered a little secret of cheap, beachfront parking. And as honest as I’ve been all this time, I cannot tell you where it is because otherwise I would, indeed, have to kill you. Joyce and Joan are already under a deathwatch, should they divulge, and they know it.
It was around 6:30 or so, the sun still high in the summer sky, but the light was warming up. The chemo has taken a toll on Joyce’s head full of red curly locks so she had on a bandana and a snappy straw fedora. We shot 12 gbs of images. Here’s one we both liked. I love the way the sun is just touching her cheek like a little kiss. We used the magic portrait lens, Canon’s 135mm L lens, at f2.8. Such shallow depth of field. The ocean is in turmoil in the background but all you see is a little blue and white. The picture is already on her blog, which makes me very happy.
Afterwards, we headed to the Border Grill in Santa Monica for a nice dinner. Well, actually, more of an overindulgence in chips and salsa and a little entree. We left the restaurant and felt the cool breeze of the ocean air. For just a couple of hours, it really felt like a vacation.