Weekly Travel Photo -The Kiss

| June 3, 2010

The kiss on Santa Monica Beach

What is it about the beach that brings out the child in us? Is it an affectionate connection to the childhood memories of our past when we visited the beach with families or friends? Or is it simply the feeling that the waves are washing away the burdens of our daily lives for a few precious moments? The beach is a very public place yet no one seems to care. This phenomenon seems especially true as the sun is setting. With the subtle veil of privacy created by the low hanging sun and backlit silhouettes, kids scream with delight as the waves slowly creep toward their feet, couples embrace as they lay on their blankets, and others take pride in their public displays of affection as they stroll along the water.

I was alone on the last night of my trip so I decided to head to the Santa Monica beach to shoot the sunset. I ended up spending three hours there, mostly in one location. With my somewhat imposing camera and tripod set up in plain view near the water, I seemed to build a rapport with those around me as time passed. No one seemed to mind that they might end up in a picture and some actually flirted with the camera.

The couple in this week’s picture sat on the beach out of my camera’s frame for quite a while until they suddenly got up, moved into the frame, and started posing for the camera. She seemed quite keen on the idea as she pulled her seemingly resistant partner into the scene. It was quite humorous to watch actually. I thought I would play along, so I fired off a few shots as they kept the gig going. Once it was clear what they were up to, I called over to them and said, “Do you have an email address? I will send you a picture if you like.” She seemed thrilled with the idea and he promptly said, “Does it cost anything? Do you mean for free?” Once I assured him that there were no strings attached, they both went back to the water and started smooching some more! I think they could have held this pose forever. Whether they were married yet or not, I could not help but to hope that they would hold on to this feeing forever. They were very sweet and vulnerable and did not seem to have a care in the world.

After taking a few more shots, I called them over to show them a couple of the pictures. She exclaimed, “It’s so beautiful!” with a big smile on her face. I then handed my iPhone to him so he could tap in his email address. I thanked them and assured them that I would send them a picture over the weekend. About a half hour later, they came back holding hands as excited as ever as they picked up shoes laying in the sand that they had unknowingly left behind. They acknowledged me again with a hint of embarrassment on their faces as they grabbed them and moved on.

I had a great time just sitting there, taking in the beauty of the place and pondering life. At the end of it all, I thought that we all need to feel comfortable leaving our shoes behind sometimes and revel in life’s simple pleasures as well as the relationships that make our lives complete.

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Category: Photography

Comments (5)

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  1. AutumnLeaves says:

    Lee, that is a beautiful shot! I love your ruminations on our emotions at the beach and have to go with your second line of reasoning. Who wouldn’t love to have those burdens carted out to sea on a wave?

  2. jean nelson says:

    Your image is beautiful – everything works together, the silhouette of the couple against the serene mood set by the evening light on the sky and water. Of course, the skill of the photographer in framing the shot just perfectly. Your articulate thoughts well composed reveal another image – your impressions and feelings. You are truly a multi-talented artist.

  3. Dana Cooper says:

    I love this shot Lee, and I love the story that went with it…hope CA treated you well!

  4. Lee says:

    Thanks Sherry. If it were only that easy!

    Jean, thanks for the kind comments! I enjoy writing and am trying to become more proficient. I have a few books on writing that I am reading right now in hope of improving my storytelling. I am glad you appreciated the extra effort!

    Thank you Dana. SoCal treated us very well! If I had an extra million laying around we would buy a house there in a heartbeat! Fortunately we are lucky enough to get to CA three or four times a year.

  5. jill polsby says:

    Just a question. I’ve spent a lot of time this a.m. perusing your wonderful website/blog but nowhere can I find your name other than Lee. Who are you? Found you this morning because of ?? Now I can’t find her again but it’s an artist whose work I like so I took a look and there your gorgeous trolley car challenge was. I was going to mention your challenge on my blog but I did want to have your last name……….Please?