A Haunting Picture and White Mismatched Socks

Do you remember all the way back to October?  Me neither.  I’m still struggling to remember when I cooked the chicken fajitas this past week so I can decide whether or not it’s safe to feed the leftovers to the family.

I’ll remind you about last October:

Last October I had done very little portrait photography (very little) and was having a difficult time finding anyone willing to be my victim test subject.  Then Kris asked, “Will you take my son’s senior portraits for me?”  and I said, “I don’t have any experience!” and she said, “I don’t have any money!” and a deal was struck.  I’d use her son, Eric, as a practice subject and Kris ran the risk of getting what she paid for.

Kris warned me that Eric wouldn’t like having his picture taken, so I warned him well ahead of time to expect the photoshoot to take a good two hours.

As it turned out, Eric didn’t mind having his picture taken at all.  Two hours into the photoshoot Eric said we could keep going and he was even willing to schlep the 6 foot tall reflector and stand and tripod all around the grounds.  And the stool.  And the chair.  And the camera bag.  Really, I think that all my photography subjects from now on will be 17 year old, 6’3 football players.  They’re the only people strong enough to heft all that gear around.

After three hours, we were both finally ready to wrap things up.  I asked Kris when she needed the pictures and she said, “Spring.”

And so the pictures sat.

And sat.

And sat.

Until the other day when I saw on my calendar that it was March 20th.  Spring!

And then on March 21nd I realized, “Spring?  Wasn’t I supposed to do something in the spring?”

In a flurry of activity, I cleaned up all 7000 pictures I’d taken of Eric.  It was a tough job.  Here’s what I had to work with:


Well, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  Here’s his mother:


What?  Again?!  I’ve managed to post this picture of Kris four times!  She keeps threatening to de-friend me on Facebook, but I don’t think she really will.  Lesson learned:  never, ever purposely make yourself look silly when a photographer is pointing a camera at you.  It will come back to haunt you over and over and over and over.

With a lot of photoshop-type editing, I managed to change Eric’s picture into this:


I sent a bunch of the pictures to Kris.  That Sunday at church, I knew that Eric must have liked them, because he  gave me eye contact and a little smile.  No one’s gonna do that if they hate the pictures you took of them.  If they don’t like the pictures they’ll slink away and hope you didn’t see them so they don’t have to lie when you ask, “How’d you like your pictures?”

Kris later confirmed that Eric did in fact like his pictures.  I’m so pleased.  I learned a lot taking all those pictures–some turned out great, some not so great–and in the end Eric has a few decent shots for his senior portraits.

I’ll wrap this up with a few more pictures of Eric:


It was tough getting him to smile.  But the non-smiley pictures look really good in black and white.


No, don’t ask about the socks.  Just don’t ask.




That little sparkle in his eyes is from the reflector.  Boy10 was supposed to aim the reflector at Eric through the entire shoot, but it kept toppling over on him.  The reflector was 6 feet tall after all, and Boy10 was only about 4.5 feet tall.


11 thoughts on “A Haunting Picture and White Mismatched Socks

      • Aw thanks. I think I’ve exorcised any demons now. It will be lovely to see it being used again though 🙂

      • And about your shed: it’s tough to get rid of old things. I have a stack of old books (Cherry Ames, Honey Bunch, Oz) and was going to get rid of them but I just can’t. I love antiques.

    • Thanks! I honestly didn’t know whether they’d be any good. Things are starting to level off, but back then it really was hit or miss if my pictures would turn out. I just never posted the really bad ones. There was a christening that I totally botched. And I never really liked the pictures I took of Rob and Jo-Ann’s civil ceremony. I wish they’d waited to get married until I had more practice.

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