I'm intrigued by this conversation going on at The Sartorialist, about how it's the little things in life-the small gestures and thoughtful words-that make an impact on people. Scott Schumann's photos always focus on the small details which I never notice until he points them out in his little annotations, but which subtly bring the person in question's outfit together; now he's moved on to comment on how it's the little things in one's character which make you stand out from the crowd.
I've never completely bought into the stories of people who supposedly have so much grace and elegance that they could outshine a supermodel whilst wearing a burlap sack, but there are certainly those who can wear a simple white tee and jeans and somehow make it look infintely more interesting than your own carefully planned outfit. (The worst thing is, when you try to emulate them you just look as if you've been slobbing on the sofa all day!). And I suppose the same thing applies to one's actions too-in the age when chivalry is supposedly dead I always notice, and am very touched, when one of my friends offers to walk me to the bus stop or lend me their jacket.
Not to sound like a preacher, but I think we could all take a leaf out of Mr Schumann's book and improve ourselves a little just by thinking occasionally about the small things-because people notice them, even if it's subconsciously, and sadly in this life there are a lot of occasions where that extra edge would be helpful.
Someone who I bet would be a prime example of this is Lisa Fonssagrives. Penn's photos of her capture such an sharp sense of dignity and grace you can almost feel it cut through you. (And if I had eyebrows like that, I reckon I would be a lot nicer to people in general just by default).