When you frame a photograph, you plan for it to be seen. You imagine at least one visitor who will stand before it or sit beside it and then turn to you, an expectant look on his face, saying, “Can you tell me about this?” You know that you will welcome that look and that question. You hope that the conversation is about to happen that the framing was originally meant to signal your readiness for.
Sometimes the better-than-expected happens. The pleasure you had first felt in fitting a favorite photograph in a frame and setting it in its space revives at the sight of someone else picking it up. You may not have known that you were waiting for that response on the part of anyone. There it is, though, the familiarity and confidence that your framing was after all – all along – an invitation.
And it was. Of course it was.
I might not explain to everyone the comfort I derive from the vintage portrait of an Australian curate and his dog. The priest’s thoughtful, intelligent ease, though, and his readiness for the dog’s companionship had made the purchase of the photograph a prompt and heartfelt one. I knew I wanted his company.
I am glad, even relieved that the flavor of that company appeals to others.