I was on a film shoot for my job earlier this year in Valdez, Alaska. It was late in the day and we’d finished our work, so I took off with a couple photographers from our crew to find some fun places to explore.
I started down a trail of snow and ice just alongside a frozen lake. The trail was worn down by snowmobile tracks. You could tell it was often traveled. I heard him first. The sputter of an engine and the crunching of the wet melting snow beneath the sled. It was late in the season. The snow would be gone soon.
He pulled up close to us and turned off his machine. He was worn out, probably from the hard work and long winters in Valdez. I’m not sure if he worked there or if he was one of the many wanderers who ended up in Alaska to get away from “civilization.”
He smiled real big when I asked to take his picture.
“As long as you don’t put it in the newspaper.” He laughed.
I bet he doesn’t smile a lot. I bet he probably hasn’t been the subject of someone’s attention in quite some time. His demeanor quickly shifted from isolated to engaged. He leaned against his machine as if to pose for someone who wanted to notice him.
It was good to see him smile.
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
Image Details: Shot with Nikon D-300 and Nikkor 18-135 F/3.5-5.6 | ISO 200 | 20mm | f/5.0 | 1/250