I don’t claim to be a great photographer. I have a nice camera and I know a few things, like you need good light, you should have an uncluttered background, and not ask people to say cheese.

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I have tried to read a few photography books and I can’t get past "f-stop”. Suddenly my brain freezes just like it did whenever the algebra teacher opened her mouth and spoke gibberish. 

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Still, I decided to take David’s senior pictures myself, because how hard can this be? And I didn’t want to pay a lot of money for something I could do myself. 

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David was dismayed by the whole idea, no matter who was behind the camera, but he gamely put on the clothes I asked for and followed me into the yard for the casual pictures. 

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He was a good sport even when little brothers came out and taunted him, trying to get him to say cheese, or worse. But then it began to rain, and I told him we would put off the formal shots for another day. That’s where I lost him.

Two days later, I told him to put on his “dude suit” and get in the car. He was quiet in a huffy way. We went to a few spots in town where I hoped we would have good light, interesting backgrounds, and no crowds, but the first place was set up for a wedding, and the second was not as pretty as it looked from the road. 

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I parked at the third place and asked him to lean against this column so I could check the light. Then I said, "Please don't scowl. You have angry eyebrows and red lines on your forhead that aren’t going away even when you relax.”

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He said, “What difference does it make? You are just checking the light.” And he claims to have been under the impression for the entire photo shoot, that I dressed him up and drove him out there just to check the light, which changes moment by moment. As if I could check it today to prepare for some other day. And as if I would make him dress up and come with me for that. 

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I’m telling you, he did not get a scholarship based on common sense. 

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“Try to look pleasant,” I pleaded. 

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“I can’t. The sun is in my eyes,” he complained, even though it was cloudy. Perfect weather for picture taking. 

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The GQ shot was totally accidental. The wind blew his tie over his shoulder. Still, the ticked off eyebrows.

I kept looking for a less “sunny” spot, thinking this is my chance to get this taken care of. “How about over there by the brick wall?” I asked.

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He groaned and took a step backwards. “Not there. Someone might see me dressed like this.” Obviously, I have ruined his day, if not the whole rest of his life. 

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I tried bribery. “Hey, maybe we can go out for a treat afterwards?”

“No way. Not in these clothes.”

We aren’t having a real graduation ceremony. Just a luncheon at church with a slide show, which is why I need the pictures. 

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This is it. Just one little slideshow. And we just can’t pull it off. So instead, we are going to use the terrible pictures and just be real.

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Or grumpy. Whatever you want to call it. 

Look at all that great light! Mike says I should take him back and do it again, but I used up all my patience on that trip. I was sweet the whole time, but I don’t think I could do it twice. 

You win, David.  

© Being Fruitful, 2012