the banquette hall in the snow
This image was made during one of the few and fleeting snow storms we have here in the Cotswolds in the UK. I woke up to the snow and jumped at the opportunity to photograph this lovely 17th century building in Chipping Campden. I thanked the sheep for their lovely cooperation to complete what looks like a classic English winter scene. A few hours later the snow had disappeared. This is only a part of the story.
I have sold this photograph many times but one experience is special. I was participating in a local art festival and this was one of the images I was exhibiting. A petite older woman walked to the photo and looked at it for a moment. She then came to me and said she wanted to buy it for her daughter. She said she was 89 years old and had raised her family in Chipping Campden. They saw this scene every day. She asked me to leave it on display so she could return with her daughter and surprise her. That sounded like a great idea and we completed her purchase. About an hour later an elderly man stopped by and looked at the photo. I began to explain it was sold and he told me he was the boyfriend of the lady who purchased the photo. He was 97! About an hour after that the woman returned with her daughter and grand-daughter. Her daughter loved the photo.
As a young girl and adolescent she and friends spent many hours playing in what was then a derelict structure. She had tales to tell and stories not to reveal with her daughter there! She lives in London and the photo will hang on a wall with other favorite Cotswold images. She also explained that it was her hope that when she passed on her ashes would be spread on the hill in front of the Banquette Hall because it was such a special place for her.
It is great to sell images but stories like these are by far the reward. They are part of the joy in being a photographer.