I acquired a new friend last summer. She does beautiful photography as you will see. It is kind of fun how we met. Through different people we happened to be standing in line next to each other while waiting to be extras in a movie being shot in Naperville. It was hot that day (how nice to remember that!) and we stood in line for a very long time. We started chatting seeing as we were both alone and it was good to have a creative person to talk to during the wait. She was happily snapping pictures of the surroundings and we just got to talking. We have since become Facebook friends and I am glad to be able to call her that….a friend.
I asked her to put a little biography together along with some photos. What an interesting life story! This is Gwyn Dekker:
I was a junior in high school when a classmate handed me a Rolliflex and said “Congratulations, you’re the yearbook photography editor.” Fifty years later, I am still walking around with a camera in my hands.
When I bring out old photographs, they open the door to memories. Movies unreel in my mind of what was happening just before, and after I took that picture. I can also remember the many darkrooms where the pictures were created.
This one, for example. We lived in the slums of Detroit in an old house with a large covered porch. We were sitting on the steps, blowing bubbles. Inside the flat was a fireplace with a fantastic painting of a face with long flowing hair. This giant room had been painted black by the previous tenant. Across the street was a family that had had their home invaded several times. They brought home a Doberman one day and had no more break ins. Next door to me was a group of young people who talked revolution and tried to raise my consciousness. Living above me was a musician who had the most beautiful long hair I had ever seen. On warm days I could hear him playing his guitar. All these memories and more are stored in this solitary image.
That is the magic of photography. If you are lucky, it captures a time, a place, a mood, a memory.