Prior to moving to Oklahoma in the late 90’s, I worked part-time as a professional photographer and had the basement of my home finished off into a studio, darkroom and office. For a time I attained a high level proficiency and had more work that I knew what to do with. Having gained a good reputation particularly for doing model portfolios and boudoir photography, there was an average two month wait to have work done. Those were the days 15-25 years ago when film was still king and digital had not achieved high enough quality to take over.
Recently I rediscovered some of the model photos I took back then and with the passing of time was now able to see them for the art they were. What really stunned me was the photography was better than I remembered and that was good for my self-esteem!
There was one particular model I enjoyed working with most and she was like a little sister to me. My family liked her and she and I worked together many times. Her name is “Sai” and she had an exotic and unusually beautiful look. She was a natural poser and had the unique ability to be like a chameleon in front of the camera. There are photos where it is difficult to believe she is the same person in each because she looks so different in them.
I got curious about what ever happened to her and encouraged by a friend, I went on-line to try to locate Sai. Finding an address last week that I thought might be her, I dropped a card in the mail last week. Low and behold, she called me yesterday.
We were both thrilled to get to talk to each other and catch up. Sai lives in Florida, is now 43, happily married to an architect and has two small children. What blew me away is that she has the photos we made up in her home just like I do. Her comment was “no one has ever been able to make me look the way you did”. I always thought the work we did was outstanding and was pleased to find after all these years she thought so too.
Sai said she will email me photos of her and her family and I look forward to seeing them. In the days when we worked together she was not particularly happy and talked about being lonely at times. I am grateful those days are in the past and happiness has found her. Locating Sai was a wonderful early birthday present. I am thankful to have found my “little sister” alive, well and living a good life.
Friendship is a Golden Chain,
The links are friends so dear,
And like a rare and precious jewel
It’s treasured more each year…
It’s clasped together firmly
With a love that’s deep and true,
And it’s rich with happy memories
and fond recollections, too…
Time can’t destroy its beauty
For, as long as memory lives,
Years can’t erase the pleasure
That the joy of friendship gives…
For friendship is a priceless gift
That can’t be bought or sold,
But to have an understanding friend
Is worth far more than gold…
And the Golden Chain of Friendship
Is a strong and blessed tie
Binding kindred hearts together
As the years go passing by.
“A Golden Chain” by Helen Steiner Rice