On Your Mark

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I’d like to tell you a story.
Four years ago, my kids had a footrace in the Uintas.
Gavin crushed Paige by a country mile.
But Paige’s form was flawless.
She moved through the clearing like a deer.
I gasped for the beauty of it.
I knew that Sister would catch Brother one day.
Last summer at the foot of Mt. Shasta,
They toed the starting line again.
Gavin smirked at Paige.
She met his cavalier attitude with insouciance.
With a Go, they were off!
Over-confident, Gavin teased Paige with a small gap.
At 50 yards, she closed it in earnest.
When she drew beside Gavin, a revelation exploded in his head.
Furiously, he pumped his arms.
He pounded the grass with his feet.
At 75 yards, his form began to fall apart.
But as Paige flew through space,
She became optimized for speed like a falcon.
With only a few yards to go,
Gavin desperately hurled himself across the finish line.
Chastened, he got up and dusted himself off.
Whew, he said, at least it was a tie!
Except it wasn’t.
Paige had beaten him by a foot or so.

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The Outsider

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That’s Gavin.
And his shirt and his glasses.
Together, they form an image of a fine young greaser.
If you know something about Gavin, you know he doesn’t smile for me.
And that’s exactly as it should be.
He’s got a point of view.
He resists much; obeys little.
Good for him.
Cleverly, I asked Gavin to smile,
Knowing precisely what I would get:
A radiant non-smile of magnificent proportions.
Perfect for a steely-eyed visage and a tough kid aesthetic.
So good on dad for hacking childhood behavior and making the shot work.
A few days later, Gavin hacked me back, proper.
We were scouting light at Stevens Creek County Park.
Dad, he said, posting up in dry yellow grass.
You can take a picture of me for a scoop of ice cream, he said.
One or two?
Two, he said.
No, one.
OK.
Smile or no smile? I asked.
He laughed.
No smile, he said.
Deal.
I got the shot; Gavin got his scoop.
So good on us.

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Contact me for creative Bay Area corporate and candid family photography.