This is why I do what I do. This is why I wake up every morning, excited to see what each new day brings. It’s the feeling of being so filled with love for another human that you might burst. Thinking it couldn’t be possible to love them any more than you do, until the next moment, the next day, month, year. This love just keeps growing, changing in beautiful ways. It develops, surprising us and surpassing all we had ever hoped or dreamed love could be.
This love, it’s worth talking about. It’s worth photographing. It’s worth celebrating every beautiful, wonderful, messy moment of it.
I would not be who I am, where I am or how I am today without this love. It changed my life. It changed his.
It started at Hallmark Institute of Photography, April, 2010
He was “that one kid” I saw around school from time to time. I vaguely recall sharing several classes with him (our groups were paired together). He had long hair, so naturally I never gave him a second thought.
One day, after we had all returned from spring break, I passed by him in front of the auditorium. “Huh. He’s cute.” I thought. “Never seen him around here before.” A few days later, my roommates and I were chatting about boys (obviously). We may or may not have had the class list out, complete with the names and pictures of each student. Photography schools make stalking way too easy.
I glanced at his photo, and commented “Hey, that Andrew Van-ass-ee kid is pretty cute.” “Its Vuhn-AHse.” my roommate retorted sharply.
A few days later, I saw him chatting with a friend of mine, and approached them. They had just been at lunch, and smelled like Subway. I hate the smell of Subway. If you’re looking to win my heart over, don’t smell like Subway. I forgave his stench and we began to talk. He made a comment about an ex. I condescendingly asked him if he was “what, like 18?”. Well played, Tasha. He forgave my insensitivity, and we walked to our next class together. Class began, but we never stopped talking. It felt as though we had known each other for years. There was something natural, easy about being with Drew. He was so real. No apologies, no uncertainty, just calm self-assuredness. There was no need to act a certain way or say certain things around him. I could simply be.
It came time to shoot an assignment for the class, and we wanted to be in the same group. A certain overzealous classmate begged Drew to shoot with him instead. Being extremely obliging, Drew agreed, and that was that.
I got left in the dust.
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