WARNING - THIS IS NOT MY FAVORITE SHOT!
I'm 45 and one of my closest friends is 24. Life is strange like that. They say politics makes strange bedfellows, but so does living at the Jersey shore. As a single woman, I'm surrounded by ready-made families who can sometimes see me as a threat - or worse, an oddity.
And because I surf, I've befriended many young guys who are younger than me. The closest being Kurt whom I've known since he was 17.
Kurt is a wild child. (A wild man now, I suppose.) A little feral, a lot of fun. Picture Dennis the Menace combined with Spicolli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He attracts trouble like a magnet. He's naturally destructive but not with malice; he just lives for risk but also loves deeply.
He and I have endured several long, cold Jersey winters and didn't always have anyone to rely on, except for one another. So we became friends, family. Since I'm not so close to my real brothers, Kurt felt like the real deal: He can annoy the hell out of me but pushes me to take big chances and live a bit more on the edge. Like a brother would, I'm guessing.
I've taken many photos of Kurt over the years. He's one of my favorite subjects because he's so kinetic and free in expression. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
MY FAVORITE SHOT OF KURT IS THE FINAL ONE - DON'T CHEAT!
Kurt - Now:
He's more pulled together now, not as rough around the edges.
Kurt is one of the best surfers on the island. Reckless but confident.
His favorite place - inside a barrel.
Blue collar strong.
Kurt waiting to hear if he advanced to the final heat in a surf contest.
Kurt not taking a surf contest seriously again. But usually kicking ass anyway.
MY FAVORITE SHOT IS COMING!
Kurt - The Younger Years
Yep, this is early Kurt. He wanted a 70's porn look, from what I remember.
Kurt and I. Our first winter together.
Kurt, trying to make a mullet work.
OKAY, WE'RE ALMOST THERE!
My favorite shot is of younger Kurt. He was camera-shy early on. Here's the pre-favorite, warm-up shot, which I love too:
AND NOW....MY FAVORITE SHOT!
It is not a great photo; it's out of focus, but its very dear to me. It's Kurt at 18. Not quite a man, but trying to break through. In his eyes, I see the love he feels for me and his overall sweetness.
A favorite shot doesn't have to be a great shot. It's the feeling behind it.