Photo By: Richard Gilleland
The Paseo is the arts district of Oklahoma city, a groovy little area filled with galleries and artists of every genre and medium possible. My husband and I enjoy heading downtown for the gallery walks on the first Friday of the month. It was late January but still the street was teaming with life, sound and movement. Street artists, musicians and performers lined the walkways on either side of the street.
We’d visited each shop and gallery as we made our way through the current of people. Near the end of the block we entered a gallery where the work of photographer, Richard Gilleland was exhibited. I didn’t get far before discovering this photo. I couldn’t seem to look away…I didn’t want to. I just stood there captivated, examining every minute detail from street light to the flowers in the window.
My husband had noticed me scrutinizing the photo and came back to me. I tried to put words to what I was seeing…feeling. What struck me the most, beyond the brick lined street, architecture and splashes of color was that it was life happening… a frozen moment in time. If the shutter snapped a mere minute later, this moment would’ve been lost forever. The lady in red with her basket of goods to sell, woman with balloons would’ve exited the scene and the wedding kiss, a thing of the past.
The photographer noticed me too. Perhaps the look upon my face spoke the words I could not find. He introduced himself and offered me a glimpse behind the curtain. He described the city, the movement and the courtyards that lay just behind the buildings doors in exquisite detail. Taken in the Chech Republic, a wedding had just taken place and the party came outside for the wedding photo. Notice if you will the photographer just left of the bride.
I left that night with a new appreciation of photography, in love with a photo and a little bit smitten with the white haired gentleman behind the lens. A few weeks later, on Valentine’s day, my husband, who takes joy in my childlike wonder, presented me with this…a perfect kiss, frozen in time.
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