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Sunday, March 15, 2015

So it's long overdue I shoot Mo's official 'senior portrait.' I think it's around the same time I did her sister's last year, but the weather was much, much better.

Me and Em froze our asses off on this project, it was around 70ºF for me and Mo. Awesome.

I worried the mid-day sun would be too direct overhead but mid-day was when we got started and I found some good light-modifying buildings and whatnot. We started in the River Market, then went to the West Bottoms.

The West Bottoms is such a cliché in portrait photography, I literally had to wait for other photographers to finish up so we could use backdrops. The neighborhood almost needs a number system like a deli counter. But there's no place in town that offers so many interesting backdrops in such a small area.

I reject the notion that you have to go somewhere else to be creative, that's like saying if you're serious about painting something original you should go someplace other than the art supply shop to buy paint. The West Bottoms offers good paints and canvases, you still have to bring your game to it.

Which I tried to do. Mo loves to have her picture taken, but with autism it gets more complicated than that. If I tell Mo to smile she generally will, but there's smiles and then there's smiles. If she thinks what we're doing is dumb, she's not one to fake it.

I guess on the flip side of that, I see a lot of terrible pictures where people are backlit by the setting sun. Their faces in shadow. If I put Molly with the sun in her face, she's not visually impaired, she naturally closes her eyes like anyone else. But if I tell her to open her eyes, she'll at least try.

Then there was the moment when I asked her to hold up the reflector (I brought a reflector to try and shine light up into Molly's face, and she held it but often at the wrong angle, often up where it was in frame, etc.)—and instead of holding up the reflector, she held up Tweetie, who I hadn't even realized she'd brought along on that outing.

So anyway, this is what I got out of 364 shots, these are the 'best of.' A lot of them have photographic flaws I'm aware of them, they probably all have flaws I'm not astute enough to even catch.

But they're all my youngest daughter, one of my two 'little girls' who aren't so little anymore.

The light on the bridge was actually getting to be just about perfect when I realized Mo was done, she couldn't really muster much more cooperation she was worn out and sick of the whole project. I told her we could try again another time if she wanted, it really wasn't a bad way to spend an afternoon with her.

As we were driving home I spotted another backdrop we could use and asked if she wanted to take a picture in front of it. 'Yes,' she said, then 'Go home, YouTube.'

So maybe I'll try that backdrop in a couple of weeks.

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