Starbucks: Bolsa & Edwards : Huntington Beach
We met at a Starbucks that we had never met at before, right off the freeway in Huntington Beach. We grabbed a coffee and grabbed the word for our inspiration: the.
That’s right, our word was “the”. We knew that a simple word like “the” would be bound to happen at some point. But, such a simple word didn’t turn out to be so simple. We started our timer and discussed our word. Eric immediately said, “I don’t even know what the word “the” means. It’s like trying to describe what milk tastes like. You can’t do it.” And you know, he was right – I found myself also stumped as to how to describe it. So we looked it up and found that it’s a definite article used before a noun to specify a particular thing. Not just any noun though, but something specific.
We thought that we could shoot anything and call it “the” shot of the day. Our first idea was to shoot something that is definite – something there’s only one of. The sun came to mind, so we shot it. But we wanted more. We started shooting everything around us. We even turned to Periscope for the first time to broadcast our shoot looking for help from viewers. We were hoping that we might find something in a photo we didn’t initially see.
After the shoot and in editing the photos, both Eric and I had a hard time deciding on one photo that symbolized the word “the”. So we sat on it and looked deeper into what each photo represented to see if we could draw out more meaning. We looked for photos that seemed to hold the letters T-H-E or any other meaning that tied it closer to the word “the”. There was one photo that kept coming back up in conversation:
The cup. It wasn’t any ordinary cup, but one that was cast aside as a piece of trash in the middle of the sidewalk – crushed, yet still standing. It was upside down and didn’t hold anything except for light which made it stand proudly in the shadows, giving it a life that one would not expect. The photo is about more than just a cup. It’s about the persistence and resilience of something that transforms it from the ordinary and into something unique and individual.