Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Okay, one more

I was going to be selfish and keep this one to myself, but I love it so much I had to share it. It's my favorite image from the weekend.

Annie Leibovitz wrote, "There are not many smiling people in my pictures. I've never asked anyone to smile. Almost never. Maybe a few times I felt I had to, when people looked really depressed, but I apologized for asking. You can almost hear the sigh of relief when you tell someone they don't have to smile.

Where did "Smile for the camera" come from? It's a tic. A way of directing attention to the camera. "Look at the birdie." The smile is a component of family pictures. Mothers don't want to see their children looking unhappy...It took me years to understand that I equated asking someone to smile with asking them to do something false

There are people who smile naturally. It's their temperament. And you can catch a smile that is spontaneous, of the moment. My daughter Sarah has the most beautiful smile. When you see it occuring so naturally in children you hate to see it lost. I crumbled inside one day when I saw Sarah fake a smile."

I understand that completely. My best images of Zozer are, without a doubt, those that aren't posed with a faked smile.

I used to feel guilty that I didn't take her to Olan Mills or Picture People to have studio portraits made. People I work with bring in their proofs and I'd have a twinge of guilt that I wasn't having regular formal portraits made of my little girl. But then one day I took a good, hard look at my favorite images I have framed at my desk. They, much like the photograph I made above, told me I wouldn't trade my images for the finest studio shots in all the world. There's not a single photographer out there who could capture what I do, simply because of the trust and love Zoe and I have for each other. How cool is that?!


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