When my Twitter friend, Lucie Wicker, asked me to be part of a photo exhibit she was creating surrounding the marathon, my answer was an easy and enthusiastic, “Of course!”
When an aspiring film director emailed to ask me to be in a movie naked and doing wheel pose, I equally emphatically passed, but that’s another story…
This story is one of a local photographer who seemed to run (excuse the pun) in many of my circles. She’d shot many fitness and yoga friends of mine, and while the quality of her work was plain to see, there was also an indisputable quality that I couldn’t help but notice. Her subjects looked like they were having fun, as in having a genuine blast. Or they were genuinely relaxed. They appeared in their element, as though Lucie wasn’t there photographing as much as she was capturing a subject by himself or herself doing what they do best. Even Boyfriend, who will not slow down for anything or anyone while running (and he sure as hell isn’t interested in smiling) loved having her at one of his training sessions on an icy night in February.
When I met Lucie “IRL”, in real life, as the kids say, I first noticed how petite she is. All the better for her to sneak into position and shoot inconspicuously. Next, I realized how easy she is to be around. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I left the shoot thinking she couldn’t have gotten anything great. I’d had fun, but I hadn’t worked very hard. She hadn’t wielded me into any uncomfortable positions (although that’s more standard for yoga shoots). She didn’t exclaim anything was “Fabulous!” She just said, “One more,” called her cute dog, Apollo, back over to her side, and trained her lens again. She didn’t adjust my hair or tell me to run more photogenically. I just ran around. She just snapped away.
Below is the final shot from our shoot, which now resides with the photos of 19 other 2014 Boston Marathon runners as part of an exhibit at Sweetgreen, on Boylston Street, near the finish line. Boyfriend is also featured, looking like a black-clad superhero, at night outside his running store, South End Athletic Company. My chiropractor, Ian Nurse, looks warm and welcoming standing on the track at the Reggie Lewis Center. This is a good thing, I think. He’s so fast that he’d be only a passing blur if in actual motion. My friend and devoted yoga student, Chrissy Horan, who blogs for Bostondotcom, looks effortless and free. OG Book Club gal pal, Nichole Bukowski, has a smile that lights up the whole wall, despite the fact that there’s a foot of snow on the ground behind her, and she must be freezing.
The following are two more shots not featured in the exhibit.
There’s an adage, part of marathoning lore in Boston that, “When you see the Pru, you know you’re through.” It refers to the last couple miles of the race, when the Prudential Center building at the finish line comes into sight. The above photo makes me think of this.
If you’re in Boston, set your sights on Lucie Wicker’s exhibit. It’s hopeful, strong, and communal, and I think you’ll enjoy seeing it “IRL.”