The last time I saw Elizabeth was on her 7th birthday last May. It was at her birthday party and I tried taking her picture, but she was not cooperative. She successfully sabotaged any picture taking by implementing evasive actions such as leaving entire slices of pizza dangling from her mouth. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get away with that as an adult? Oh wait…you can:
Back to the story:
Yesterday I finally met up with Elizabeth again as a guest in her home.
I arrived and like any normal seven year old she fled at the sight of me and hid behind the couch. When she realized how boring it was behind the couch, she came out and stared at me.
And I stared at her.
She stared at me.
I stared at her.
Stared at me…
Stared at her…
Why all the staring?
I stared at her because she has these amazing blue eyes. They’re huge and blooo. They would be gorgeous in a picture.
She stared at me because I was simply not wearing enough makeup. In my defense, I was wearing lipstick, mascara and even a touch of eyeliner but that was small potatoes compared to what I clearly needed.
We’re all pretty sure that Elizabeth was switched at birth because her mother, my friend Jo-Ann, couldn’t be less interested in fashion and makeup, while Elizabeth can’t get enough.
Finally Elizabeth asked me if she could “do my makeup.”
You all know how I feel about being touched. “Doing my makeup” would require lots of physical contact…with my face. A hug, a handshake is one thing, but pawing all over my face…I dunno. That’s pretty intimate.
I hemmed and hawed, but at the same time, I really wanted her picture. Those huge, blooo eyes.
She patiently waited and about 10 seconds later, she asked again if she could do my makeup. More hemming and hawing. Those eyes!
And then, after coercing her mother into having her makeup done, she turned to me and asked yet again.
I came to the conclusion that the only way to get a picture of her eyes was to agree to the makeup. Apparently Elizabeth came to the conclusion that the only way to do the makeup was to agree to the picture. It was a mutually beneficial conclusion.
I submitted to the makeover and I’m quite positive that I’ve never had rosier cheeks than yesterday afternoon. I managed to make it through all the physical contact, even the part where the q-tips jabbed into my eyeballs. Then it was time for the photoshoot.
We set about the house to find a good spot for the picture. Elizabeth’s mom said, “There aren’t really any good spots for pictures…” but what does she know? She’s crazy because we found a mostly empty room upstairs with a lovely hardwood floor, a colorful oriental carpet, adorable little window, and walls pretty much the exact same shade of blue as Elizabeth’s eyes.
I couldn’t have created a better photo studio for Elizabeth if I’d tried.
Elizabeth put on a dress while I fiddled with the camera and flash settings. Honestly, I wasn’t too hopeful about the pictures, but thought I might manage to get one good shot. Seven year olds get tired of having their pictures taken after about half a minute.
Out she came and stood there slumping at me. I told her how to stand and got an amazing shot of her looking over her shoulder. I was pretty pleased with it and assumed we were done.
But no! Elizabeth went into her room to change into a new outfit and out she came again for another picture. Oooo! This time, I had her looking pensively out the window. After about 4 clicks of the camera, she was done. I started to put away my camera.
But no! She changed outfits yet again, and came out for more pictures. Amazing! This time we used a stool.
But she was beginning to tire.
And then she got that look on her face that people get when something is dawning on them. She said, “Are you a photographer?”
I mumbled, “Well, maybe one day…”
She said, “Are you a photographer?”
What the heck. “Yes. I’m a photographer.”
And then our photoshoot took off. Later, Elizabeth’s aunt saw some of the pictures I took and wondered, “How did you get her to stay still?”
Really, people, it wasn’t all that hard. Once a fashion aficionado realizes she’s in front of a real live photographer who will immortalize her outfits forever, it’s like chocolate meeting peanut butter. Two great tastes that belong together.
We got lots and lots of shots. She followed all my direction on how to sit, stand, smile, etc. When we were done, she hefted out her Vogue magazine to show me the pictures in it. I promised her, “Next time I visit, we’ll look at the magazine first and re-create the poses.”
The two of us can hardly wait.
Here are all the pictures from yesterday:
Compare the picture above to the picture below. The eyes are the exact same color in both pictures. The difference is that in the bottom one, I added a sepia wash to the entire picture except for her eyes. When you look at her eyes surrounded by sepia tones instead of all that blue, you can see just how blue the eyes are.