Unseen Dedication: A Photo Rebuff I’m Still Baffled By

Last year, we hosted a huge regional fencing tournament at the Santa Clara Convention Center, and one of the equipment trucks arrived late, only after the competition had started. I needed to call parents-volunteers in the venue to help quickly set up the fencing strips without disturbing the flow of the events. A few readily agreed to assist me, and within one hour, everything was completed. Thanks to them, we executed the tournament smoothly and without any delays.

Irina, my wife, wished to compose a special ‘Thank You’ note to all the parents who had helped, and she asked me to take a photo highlighting the communal effort. Needless to say, when Irina requests a photo, her appeal is always accompanied by a set of specific instructions. This time, it was to capture in a single photo the hard work amidst the competition, showcasing dynamism, emotion, and celebration.

I scoured for the opportunity to find the right frame with the volunteers engrossed in their work, illustrating the dynamics and bustle of the competition. Once I had my fleeting moment, I was fortunate to swiftly capture it on camera. I followed Irina’s instructions to the letter and was excited about the outcome.

Regrettably, upon seeing my creation, Irina sent them a note without attaching my photo—just plain text, replete with verbal emotions but lacking their visual portrayal. Go figure.


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