In Guard We Trust by David McMahon

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This shot was taken not at West Point or any other military academy – it was taken just in front of the main entrance of FAO Schwarz, the famous Manhattan toy store.

There was a throng of people around this doorman as he entertained children with his glove puppets, so it wasn’t easy to find the right angle, especially as tourists and shoppers walked in and out of my frame. But he was an amazing performer, patiently posing for photographs with tourists even while he told his puppet story.

I preferred to shoot while he worked the young crowd. When I shot this image, he was kneeling down to make eye contact with his young fans, who hung on his every word.

As a photographer, how could I resist that terrific headgear and red jacket with the gold braid?

I do not crop, enhance or post-edit my images in any way. Shot with a Pentax K100D, using a Sigma 18-125mm lens. F8, 1/90 sec, ISO 800, focal length 125mm.

Featured in HATS AND HAT BOXES, July 2010.



nyc, america, guard, new york, doorman, toy store, toy soldier, david mcmahon, in guard we trust, fao schwarz

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  • Linda Bianic
    Linda Bianicalmost 4 years ago

    uh huh!!! |I am sure you had as much fun as the kiddies did!

  • I reckon I had more fun, Linda!

    – David McMahon

  • Lesliebc
    Lesliebcalmost 4 years ago

    I’ve been to the FAOS in San Francisco and what fun I had!!!

  • San Francisco, here I come!

    – David McMahon

  • Shubd
    Shubdalmost 4 years ago

    His attire is impressive no doubt but I liked your story better :) .
    It is always heartening to hear of people putting their heart into what they do .
    Great capture as always David :)

  • That’s very kind of you, Shubd. Great to know you liked the narration too. His performance was so good and he was concentrating so hard to entertaining the kids that he probably wasn’t even aware that I was photographing him!

    – David McMahon

  • DonDavisUK
    DonDavisUKalmost 4 years ago

    Excellent capture David. Looks such a happy chappie:-)

  • Thanks, Don – I thought I’d stepped back in history to see a “redcoat”. He really was revelling in the glove puppet stories.

    – David McMahon

  • Munggo
    Munggoalmost 4 years ago

    Great capture

  • Thanks, Steve – those colours were so strong that I couldn’t resist the shot ….

    – David McMahon

    JUSTARTalmost 4 years ago

    great shot

  • Thank you, JustArt … I almost posted another shot from this series, with someone walking through the frame.

    – David McMahon

  • RobynLee
    RobynLeealmost 4 years ago

  • Thank you, Robyn. That’s wonderful news. I actually have an interesting (quirky) shot for your group, but I’ll wait a few days before posting it ….

    – David McMahon

  • loiteke
    loitekealmost 4 years ago

    Great portrait

  • Thank you, Meeli – his glove puppet story was great for the kids.

    – David McMahon

  • Shulie1
    Shulie1almost 4 years ago

    He looks as if he just stepped out of a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta!

  • Shulie, you’ve hit the nail right on the head. BOING …. Gilbert and Sullivan created him!

    – David McMahon

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