Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 1 in Florida

After a somewhat delayed flight out of Boston yesterday, I arrived in Florida last night and was delighted to step outside of the terminal into 70 degree weather.  Apparently, I've forgotten what it's like to feel warm, especially in January.  After a cab ride and lots of palm tree sightings, I arrived with my friends at the hotel where we're staying for Alex's surgery.  I have never been so excited to see a 7-Eleven across the street in my life- it provided dinner last night and has proved invaluable for early morning coffee runs.

Palm trees in front of the hotel

It is amazing to me that I first photographed Alex almost 3 years ago, at which point he had been on testosterone for exactly two months, and now here I am in his hotel room on the eve of his chest surgery.  I took a few portraits of him and his chest this morning, knowing that I had better get it right, because this was the only opportunity I had to photograph him in his current state.  After tomorrow, his chest will never look like this again.  He is very gracious with allowing me to photograph him so intimately.

Alex filling out paperwork

I went with him to his pre-op appointment, where I met his surgeon, Dr. Charles Garramone.  Not only did Dr. Garramone agree to let me photograph him, he was actually pretty excited about it and was more than willing to sit for me as long as I needed him to.  He said he felt like Abe Lincoln being photographed, which I found endearing.  After I made his portrait, I sat in his chair and let him look through my view camera to see, essentially, the shot I had just taken.  He also graciously allowed me to photograph during the pre-op appointment, which I did, though I only took a few pictures.  He is a very nice person and is also, from what I've been told, a very accomplished surgeon.  It was an honor to meet him.

Me with my camera gear on the way to the pre-op appointment

Tomorrow morning, I'll go with Alex to his surgery appointment, and then it's back at the hotel for pain meds, rest, and some more pictures as soon as he feels up to it.  I am thrilled with how things are going so far, and very much looking forward to whatever the rest of the week brings.

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