Friday, May 25, 2012

Wang Family Portrait

One night after the wedding, esther's mom pulls me aside and shows me a few photo albums. They were mostly pictures of her, esther, her side of family, friends from her work, and a few with esther's dad too. It was really sweet of her to share it all with me. The faded and lively photos helped me remember a time before people used iPhones as their main camera. Most shots were your standard "1, 2, 3... Smile!" setup, with some pretty flowers or non-descript landmark in the background. But they still showed a little of the family history. And, they were her photos, and it was one of her ways of inviting me into the family.

Esther's dad must have heard about this, because the next day he brings over his photo album. Turns out esther's parents maintain separate photo albums (as well as separate bank accounts and bedrooms). The contents in each album are from same time period, meaning 20-30 years ago, but most of the photos are different. They had pictures of his side of the family, his friends, more of him and esther, and also a few of their immediate family.

I flipped through more posed pictures, but then... this gem.

I. Love. This. Photo.

I spent about 5 minutes studying it, and i'm still finding things i love. Esther doesn't understand why i like it so much... i'll try to explain.

We've got a traditional Chinese dinner, with a dozen dishes laid out. Mom and Dad are flanking their little girl, the center of their world. Grandma is on the left, happy as can be. Everyone is wearing bright smiles, with their attention focused on the action: Uncle pouring beer into Mom's bowl. But the innocent girl in the middle... she is the real focal point. She is ignoring the action, instead looking at someone just barely visible out of the frame.

The composition is perfect. The energy is contagious. You can actually feel the emotion in the room.

Also, my little esther has a red bow in her hair.


p.s. happy 25oth post!

1 comment:

Jack Wang said...

Kevin, I like your posts, especially this one.