We have these half-assed training ideas for the dog, things we'd like her to be able to do like play dead on command and fetch beers out of the fridge. Unfortunately we never actually try to teach her to do these tricks, we just talk about how cool it would be if she could.
Once we tried to get her to jump through an empty picture frame a few inches off the floor and I have approximately 70 photos documenting that particular failure. No matter how many treats we held on the other side, she would only run around the side or bark frustratedly. Fine, I thought, she's not a jumper. I was therefore surprised yesterday when Matthew climbed into a tree in the park, told Patsy to jump up and she did. What the hell, dog? Why have you been hiding your awesome?
2/3 of a family portrait, in a tree
The backdrop of this photo reminds me of senior portraits, something I still think about because my experience back in 1993 was not a good one. 1993 was a grumpy year for me. I spent a lot of time feeling outraged and enraged and the day I went for my portraits, I absolutely refused to accommodate the photographer. When I got the proofs back, I became even more distraught. I had put my foot down on all backdrops and props so each shot was me looking into the camera with nothing to distract from my lukewarm expression and face full of acne. I felt like a gargoyle.
I'm sure my mom tried to console me, "They'll be retouched in the yearbook!" and "We'll get more Retin-A!" but I'm also sure it didn't help. Luckily we were allowed one retake and our exchange student, Joanna, who had just come over from England put make up on my face, brushed my hair, and suited me up in one of her leotard tops. The result was passable.
A few weeks ago, I was sitting near the beach making phone calls and set my camera on the soft focus setting that I never use. I took some shots that were laughably idyllic and then a few hand-held photos I thought might be senior portrait-worthy. Do I need more therapy? Maybe.
1/3 of a family portrait, not as grumpy as 1993