It was October of 2005. I was back in San Diego on a random visit, and I ended up spending some time with Josh H (yeah I added the H because it’s confusing). I met quite a few people on that trip, among these people I met was Josh H’s girlfriend at the time, Cecili. Now Josh H never had any big trouble finding a young lady to pay him some attention back in those days, but this was the first girl I’d met of his that not only was in his age range – but also easily surpassed the collective intelligence of the room. To be that beautiful and intelligent sort of makes Cecili a freak of nature. This is probably the strangest compliment I’ve penned for someone in awhile. Anyhow back in 2005 when it came to photography I was pretty awful. Getting something in focus and reasonably exposed was a bigger battle, and choosing the proper angle to really be flattering to someone? Yeah not really a thought I was capable of executing with so many other things to worry about in a photo. I had to search back to the photos I took that night, and even though this isn’t what I’d consider to be a great photo of Cecili by any means, I remember thinking even back then that she radiated a lot of intensity. I mean if that’s how you look sitting in a booth at Coco’s waiting for your pancakes then you’re something special.

So Josh H and Cecili broke up, and with all of my moving around the country I never really expected to see her again. But something weird happened – Josh and Cecili became really close friends after their breakup. In fact they remarked to me the other day that they are closer now than they were then. I find this utterly fascinating of course, complex human relationships. The power of love. Deep friendships. These are the sort of deep connections I’ve craved to have with people but seemed to fall short of in a lot of ways. But I probably should curb that topic and get to these photos.

A few months ago I embarked on what has become a bit of a reconnection for me with both Josh H and his sister Jasmin. In a series of summer backyard bbqs I have run into a lot of old faces, people I might have met through Josh a few times here and there. I’ve also reconnected with Cecili. Cecili pretty much looks the same to me as she did in 2005… maybe prettier? Smarter? And of course my brain instantly released the *OH-MY-GOD-YOU-MUST-PHOTOGRAPH-HER* chemical into my bloodstream. Immediately I began pestering her. Cecili can I photograph you? Cecili let’s do a photo shoot? Cecili I’m better with the camera these days I swear! I think my last email to her consisted of the word “photos” repeated 100 or more times in succession. I’m annoying and persistent. The ironic part to me is Cecili was anxious about the idea? Um… why?

Finally it happened. A date got set. Josh H on reflectors, Josh M on camera, Cecili on modeling. And wow. It’s rare for me to be truly excited about photos more than 24 hours after I’ve edited them, but I’m excited about these. Thanks for letting me borrow your face Cecili.

Ali is beautiful | 80% JOSH - […] I did what any suave photographer would do – stalked her on Facebook. Luckily for me, unlike Cecili she didn’t need any convincing to be photographed. She was of course a little nervous as most […]

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