Shots From My Car Window #8

Self-Portrait in the Rearview Mirror

Rear-view Mirror Self-Portrait at the Hardback Cafe

This project began as a fun way to amuse myself and the kids who worked at The Hardback Cafe.  One day, I drove up with my camera in the car.  While I was waiting for my hot Mocha (skim milk and whip), I leaned out the window and shot myself in the rear-view mirror.  What else is there to do while you wait at the drive-thru?  When one of the kids came to the window, I shot her too.  Then the other kids wanted photos.  So…on my daily trips around town, I stopped for my Mocha and shot another kid.  They all wanted copies of their photos to stick on the wall of their little cafe space.  A moment of boredom had turned into a project for the kids.

As I edited the photos, I began to think of the kids.  I thought of their dreams and of how they saw themselves.  I smoothed away the youthful blemishes (sometimes too much for the critical eye of a photographer) because I wanted them to see the beautiful children that I saw.   This little clan of “service workers” stayed basically the same for several months.  We became a floating, fluid family…they behind the window and I in my car.   Somehow, that foot of separation in space between us made no difference.  We talked and joked, and they told me, in two-minute episodes, about their problems, their families, their dreams, their plans.  Eventually, they moved on one at a time until there were none.  Godspeed, my children.  I, too, have dreams for you.

15 Comments on “Shots From My Car Window #8

  1. And then there’s you. Nice to meet you! Did you flip the photo? In any event, I am all for including a smile and a ‘how is your day going?’ with my business transactions too. It doesn’t bring down the price but it certainly adds value to the day.
    And taking a cue from a prior commenter, how did you find my blog? Thanks again for following it and have a day worth remembering!


  2. Your series was very enjoyable and shows that if you are real/honest with people they will reward you by being the same back, hope the McDonald’s kids are just as accommodating.
    How did you find my blog?


    • Jackscrap, I picked you out of a number of bloggers who liked another post by a different blogger. Don’t ask me why. 🙂 I think something you said in the “about” icon that pops up when you hover over the image interested me. I was instinctively right. I like your blog and your work. I re-posted your Tawny Frogmouth photo to my FB page. It prompted quite a bit of discussion among folks who know birds, but didn’t know this one. Thanks. I loved Frogmouth!


  3. This series is a wonderful concept and beautifully executed. The choice of B&W is perfect. Very impressive all around and it reflects well on you. 🙂


    • Thank you for appreciating what I was trying to do. I am touched to have the approval of a professional like you. You make an old lady smile! 🙂


      • I am not a pro photographer, so many thanks on your view of my efforts. As a media Literacy teacher and encouragement from my, an Art teacher and artist, I have developed my skills, first to assist students and then as a creative expression. Once again, I must say your photographic eye and choice of subjects have produced excellent compositions, full of emotion and meaning. Enjoy the day and keep on photo-blogging. 🙂


  4. Don’t you love my avatar….I came through Yahoo instead of Facebook and they give you a very mean and grumpy face if you do not have a picture. That will most certainly urge you to get busy and upload one. Lol


  5. I look at these pictures and realize there is a difference between those of us who “live” life and those who glide along on a plastic string, gathering possessions, trying to influence people, but are too self absorbed to see the beautiful souls of the other human beings around them. You may not think that this relationship is special but it is. You are the type who, when staying in a hotel, will know the maid’s first name by the time you check out. You have never flown on an airplane without talking to your seat mate, and when you cruise around on Facebook you start conversations and even sometimes make life long friends that you have never seen in reality. How special is that?


    • Sue, you and I were curious old souls straight out of the womb. Mother and I visited my first grade teacher long after she retired. She told us a story of how curious I was. After the morning prayer, I officially reported to her that some of the other children had their eyes open during the prayer! I suppose I always had my eyes open searching for something. You are the same. That’s precisely why you understand. You would know the name of the maid, the desk clerk, the waiter, the janitor too. I don’t do what I call “cocktail chatter”. I was never any good at it. I like your analogy of the “plastic string”. You really must start your memoir. Just start with the photo of you and your dad. I am waiting.


  6. I completely agree with nias…..this is one of the most impressive photographic series I’ve seen in a while….and this is saying A LOT as there are some great series here on WordPress.


    • Alex, my response to Nia is meant for both of you. You cannot imagine how excited I was to see the notices in my inbox telling me that you girls had commented. The tremor in my right hand increased in anticipation as my old fingers rushed to guide the mouse toward your comments. I know these photos are not technically good. It doesn’t matter. They were for the kids and for me. Bless you for for awarding me the honor of comparing the little series to that of real photographers. You have made an old woman happy! I wish I could share your thoughts with the kids wherever they are. Thank you.


  7. Your “Shots From My Car Window” photographs fascinated me. You really did great shots! Usually I don’t like portrait photography, I mean to give a pose… And also I don’t take this kind of photograph. But what I love, to catch/capture naturally… And although they know that you take their pictures, this is amazing you captured them so naturally…. I loved them all, they are all so beautiful. How I wished you to take my picture too 🙂 Thank you for sharing with us, you brought me a beautiful touches with all these smiling faces…And how I wished to visit The Hardback Cafe… But let me say this too, the power of all these beautiful touches comes from your beautiful heart of eyes… I can talk more all about these shots… 🙂 You impressed me so much. Have a nice and enjoyable weekend, with my love, nia


    • Nia, You are a dear soul. You understood. I’m not a photographer. I don’t understand photography. I don’t take technically good photographs. I’m just an old woman who bought a camera to take snapshots of her grandson when he was a baby. The kids in the photograph here were not posing. Their expressions were always just like the ones in the photographs. I’m sure they thought I was a strange and funny old lady. After the last one moved on, I changed my route to McDonald’s and my brew to iced coffee. I have a new group of wonderful kids who worry about me when I show up at 2:00 in the morning!

      I cannot tell you and Alex how much it means to me that you understood the photographs and even compared them to the work of real photographers like yourselves. Bless both of you! I feel as if I’ve earned my own little Pulitzer. Please call me “Granny” if you stop by.



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