Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th, Valentine's Day, and the Ballad of Nicole and Marc

With the economy the way it is, how much worse can things get? Today's Friday 13th, historically recognized by the superstitious as a day of bad things! I'm afraid this blog entry has come a little too late in the day to create a literary talisman that will preempt the bad things that are supposed to happen to me. Instead, I'll gladly dwell on good things that are supposed to happen tomorrow (not necessarily to me...). Yup. Chocolates. Flowers. Candlelight dinners.

It's been interesting reacquainting myself with the ritual of Valentine's Day in Canada. Traditionally here, there's a reciprocal exchange of gifts between lovers on the day of. But having lived in Japan, I'd grown accustomed to their approach to Valentine's Day. On February 14th in Japan, it's the female who gives gifts to her paramour, usually in the form of confections that they've baked and decorated themselves. As my buddy Masaya would say, "Yummy!"

It's not until a full month later on March 14th that the male returns the favour. "White Day" began in 1978 as the commercial brainchild of a Japanese confection company. On this day, men give "girichoco" (literally "obligation chocolate") to women in return for their earlier love gift. Japanese culture is highly predicated on the notions of reciprocity and obligation. Dishearteningly a lot of times, I find our culture is not so...

Nicole is my godbrother's daughter. Her boyfriend Marc, was visiting from out of town during the Xmas holidays. If you looked up "cute couple" in some lexicon, you might find their picture beside the definition. While they already have tons of pictures of themselves, they asked me to do a session with them. Our shoot was scheduled during the unusual cold spell during the holidays and while our intention was to shoot outside, we ended up infiltrating the Manitoba Legislative Building. It was almost effortless shooting with them and I was happy with the resultant images. Here are a few from the shoot. I hope you enjoy them...and I hope I was able to distract you from Friday the 13th if just for a little while. Happy Valentine's Day!