I was standing on the little sand bar at the base of the drawbridge that crosses the pass between Anna Marie Island and Longboat Key. With my big 300 I had hoped to catch the full moon setting over the western horizon, but as usual it was not to be. A way off, I saw a photographer down low near the jetty, apparently stalking a great blue heron. Handholding is futile in this light, I thought. Wait til the sun comes up. A while later, I saw that it was actually two photographers. Having failed to get my intended photo, I walked towards the beach, and the two photographers, to see what else might turn up. When I got closer, I saw that the photographers were both women. One of the women was photographing the other, who was photographing an object, not birds, on the jetty. As I drew closer I could see it.
“Is that a birthday cake?”, I asked.
“She has a project,” she said, pointing to the photographer on the jetty. “It is for Amnesty International. It is a cake with a file, you know, for in jail.” She had a strong accent. They were Swedish. We chatted while the other photographer worked. Seeing my gear, she asked if I was a professional photographer. I told her yes, that I did portraits, but that my first sitting was not until ten.
The photographer on the jetty would make a few exposures and then go over and adjust the position of the cake, and reposition the file that was sticking up out of it. Each time she did this she would suck the icing off the file. I watched for a bit and then continued my walk towards the beach.
When I walked back, they had retrieved the box for the cake and were collecting their gear. The other photographer, the one I hadn't spoken with before, asked me, “You haf some models?”
”No,” I said. She seemed puzzled. “I do portraits,” I said. She still seemed puzzled. “...of people...” I offered, haltingly.
“With clothes on?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said.