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.