Polishing Brass

I tried to congratulate him on the nice job he was doing. I don’t think he really heard me. However, his goofy smile was fun.

Barista With A Grubby Beard


We recently checked out a hot new coffee spot that has just opened near us. The verdict is still out on the quality of their gustatory offerings but, to a person, their staff was terrific. They were caring, efficient and very friendly. Here’s a quick portrait I took of a happy, young barista as he took our first order. Because I was so focused on the kid’s wide toothy grin I didn’t notice his straggly chin hair until I looked at his photograph more closely in Lightroom.

Admittedly it’s an old guy’s opinion, but I think ¬†this grubby beard somehow diminishes this kid’s otherwise perfect presentation.


Portrait Pose Of A Smiling Redhead


This lady was staffing the gift shop at the Harvard Art Museums. She was friendly, knowledgeable and had the greatest red hair. It was so striking I thought it might have been “enhanced” but from her skin color I didn’t think so. Anyway I asked her to pose for a quick picture and she was happy to oblige.

It was only after we had left and were having lunch in Cambridge that I realized I should have asked her not to smile.

Why no smile you ask? Here’s the reason. A smile is pretty much a set pose. It’s reflexive and easy to do. If one is asked not to smile for a photograph, the goto pose disappears¬†and the sitter has to fall back on something that they haven’t practiced. The results can often be much more interesting.