Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Teasing and Timid

Rudi Gerber and Roxanne Delport

“Look forward, man! Cross your arms. Don’t look at me, look at her! Now look at me.”

Rudi looks at me as he issues the instruction, a wide smile plastered across his face and a sparkle in his eye. His good mood is infectious, and Roxy takes his teasing in her step as we giggle away in the studio under the hot lights. She seemed nervous when she first arrived at the doorstep for the shoot, quiet and shy as always, but those nerves are gone within the first few minutes as Rudi’s teasing commences. He has that effect on people, and it’s only gotten stronger since he met Roxy.

I still can’t think of Roxy without the words “lady friend” popping into my mind. It was the way that I was first introduced to her, before I met her in person – mentions around the office of a mysterious lady friend and hints that she might end up being more than just a “friend”. From the moment she started being mentioned, I could see a change in Rudi. It wasn’t anything too big or noticeable to begin with – a skip in his step and a goofy grin crossing his face when he thought no one was looking. But as the months passed, the little things stuck around, and the “lady friend” would be slipped into conversations more often. I would often catch him staring at his cellphone, waiting for an SMS or staring at the computer screen waiting for an IM from this as yet unmet friend of his. We all teased him a little for being so smitten, but none of us knew just how right we were.

As they walk hand in hand through the Botanical Gardens, I can’t help but think what a perfect couple they make – loud, teasing, fun Rudi and quiet, shy Roxy bringing out the best in each other. Whenever I have spent time with Roxy without Rudi around, I have been shocked by how reserved she is, maybe a little nervous around new people. But when she is with Rudi, she comes to life and I can see her fun side shining. And with Roxy around, that goofy smile never leaves Rudi’s face.

“Let’s try the bridge,” I suggest, starting off at my usual spot, my go-to for garden portraits. But it doesn’t take long before the three of us are exploring elsewhere, finding spots more suited to the couple that Rudi and Roxy are. They aren’t the kind who likes to pose for the cameras or to put on a smile. Instead, they are comfortable sitting on a bench, climbing onto branches and walking hand in hand. They are most comfortable being together, doing everyday things with each other, and that’s the kind of love that tends to last.

As I watch the two of them walking ahead, I smile to myself and start looking forward to my next session with them, or a couple just like them.