Look Again

The iPhone was introduced ten years ago.

Kim bought me my first iPhone for my birthday that year.

I don’t think I would have bought one for myself.

She was always smarter about that sort of thing. She pointed to my Motorola phone and said, “you can’t pull that out when you’re at Apple. You need their phone.”

She was right.

The first picture I took with the phone was of Maggie.

Elena had been dead for more than a year. Unbelievable.

That picture of Maggie is still my lock screen image on my phone. I love that picture.

My background picture is of Kim and Maggie from the Shaker Heights marching band trip to Turkey. It’s the two of them at Ephesus.

I was lucky enough to be at the keynote where Steve Jobs introduced us to the iPhone.

If I wanted to send the simple message “Hello” on my Motorola phone I had to press a lot of buttons. You had to press the 4 button many times to get an upper case “H”. The 4 button was g, h, i, G, H, I. Typing a message with the phone took time.

There were so many innovations that are now just expected.

When I used to listen to my phone messages on the Motorola I had to press all sorts of buttons to move forward to the one that I wanted. Until the iPhone we couldn’t glance down at our messages and select the one we want. Heck, now we can even see a beta transcript of the call and see what it’s about without listening to it.

I loved Jobs presentations.

He really was one of a kind.

After his presentation we wandered over to the show floor to catch up with friends and to see what the vendors were offering.

In the middle of the floor was a glass case with an iPhone inside and guards standing nearby.

People crowded the case all day. You couldn’t get near it.

People pushed up close just to see it. Others stood even closer to get a picture of it.

These were the old days. They had to use cameras. You couldn’t take pictures with your phone.

I was working with Duncan on a project for Apple business featuring some of developers. I recorded interviews with them and Duncan took their pictures.

At the end of the day the show floor was closing and we headed for the door.

“Hang on,” he said and reached for his camera.

There were only a few people around the glass case with the iPhone.

Duncan didn’t wait for them to move on. He didn’t wait for the area to clear. He didn’t move in too close. He didn’t avoid the reflections of the glass case.

I watched him frame what became the iconic picture of the iPhone display.

The story wasn’t just the device. It was the device on display in the case and the looks on the faces of the people as they pressed close to check it out.

Then and at other times Duncan taught me to look.

Then he taught me to look again.

Sometimes you don’t see the story when you first look at something. Sometimes the story is contained in the faces of the other people looking. Sometimes the story reveals itself when you get close, far, high, low, or shoot til you don’t notice you’re taking the pictures anymore.


Then look again.

Published in: on January 9, 2017 at 3:21 pm  Leave a Comment