Photo Shoot: 'On the Right Path'

·3 min read

“You are on the right path.”

I was on a walking journey of discovery in Asheville, North Carolina, when I spotted that sign. A small piece of cardboard scrawled with a marker and stapled to a telephone pole.

I was navigating my way beneath an overpass of Interstate 26 trying to get to the River Arts District which runs along the French Broad River, purportedly one of the world’s oldest rivers.

A fashion message from the most unlikely of places spotted during a walk along the River Arts District in Asheville, North Carolina. [Steve Heaslip/Cape Cod Times]
A fashion message from the most unlikely of places spotted during a walk along the River Arts District in Asheville, North Carolina. [Steve Heaslip/Cape Cod Times]

The district was only about a half-mile from the hotel we were staying in while attending a relative’s wedding last weekend. But pedestrians were not the first concern of these highway designers looking to move cars not people. So the small sign offered encouragement. Finally a sidewalk arrived and led to the river which featured a bike path and a wide walkway to the art studios.

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It is always fun to attend a wedding and as luck would have it; our table at the reception paired us with another couple who mirrored us, a ceramic artist and a photographer.

The ladies went off into pottery/art discussions and as my wife knows all too well, I went into photo world. My new photo friend Paul and I chatted about the film days and our transformations into the digital photography evolution in the early 2000’s. As dusk settled in and the dance music grew  louder we talked about the wedding photographer dashing around making images.

His lighting set-up was a four-strobe rig ringing the dance floor sending out nice, even light. Both of us commenting on how 20 years ago we likely shot about one tenth as many images on film of a whole wedding as he had just made of the dancing, a classic “you know you are old when” view of modern times.

Later in the night during a break I chatted up the wedding photographer and was surprised to find he had a family connection to North Truro and was heading there later in the week. I invited him to give me a ring when he arrived. Photographers these days are a small and endangered species so we have to stick together. The lightning bugs came out over the fields surrounding the venue and the oldsters began to head home leaving the night hours to the next generation to keep the party going.

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On the drive down from hills back to the city, the day’s events played in my mind. The morning walk around the river had indeed turned out to be the “right path” for the day and I was amazed how many “found” photos were discovered along the path.

My favorite, a doll perched in a pathway tree with a handwritten shirt, “I love you, but I’ve chosen fashion.” Proving once again, when you are on the right path there is always a new photo just around the corner waiting to be discovered.

This article originally appeared on Cape Cod Times: Photo Shoot: "On the Right Path" to rich and varied photographs