Frozen in time: no Disney here

I’ve worked a bit these past two years on shoots alluding to movies of the mainstream variety. I could argue that since I rely quite heavily on the novel descriptions and not on the cinematic adaptations, that I’m shooting my way through popular literature. Very slowly. As in, one or two shoots a year.

Lately, though, I’ve wanted to delve more into editorial shoots without the novelty of popular influence – – namely, capturing fashion and tween-dom in pictures without the fanfare.

Chi reluctantly obliges. And when she does, she insists I “make her up” with a little eye shadow and, ocassionally, some lip color. But the rest is all her – the hair, the poses, the beauty. She is my original muse and the camera loves her.

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Snow day for five

We ordered up a little snow for the five to enjoy.  It started early,  while I sat scrutinizing my peacock painting at Cheers. First, it looked pretty sparse, just a few flakes wafting through the air before settling and melting. But then, they came faster and began to stick. Suddenly, there was a blanket of white.  Traffic slowed, as caution and chaos battled along the roads.
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And when they called closure for school, we decided to explore the few open spaces that remain in the community. We were first to the hill, with our makeshift sleds in hand.  Why can we never find the real sleds when needed?
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Ri wanted no part of the snow or cold, while JD insisted winter was his favorite season.  But when his wet canvas sneakers began to freeze, he was more than happy to escort baby sister home.


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We gave it a good half hour and left the hill when too many would be sledders joined us on the slope.
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I shot her…

And it felt good.

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You see, RiAnne and I were given the opportunity to work with an online vendor who sells beautiful pieces at reasonable prices. And because she trusted us, we really wanted to give her our best. But Ri and headbands don’t always agree. This time, though, she really worked with me and the shots, I think, are beautiful.


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And suddenly

Suddenly, she understands.
This is your set, Ri. Your place to put on a show.
She wait for her lights, pointing at each and mumbling “Ummm?”
She stands, ready.
What odd mimic must she mock today?
She observes her props. Preferring the flowers, she rejects the stuffies.
She walks off set.
Not the step stool, this time the bench. Yes, that one.
She sits – for the moment – flashes a smile.
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Move.
Click.
Move.
Click.
She dances, hands in air.
Snap, snap, snap.
Shakes her hips, spins.
Pause.
Did you get the shot?
Clap.
Click.
Clap.
Move.
Machine gun sounds as the camera fights to freeze her frenzy.
And then, she’s done.
Headband pulled off, tossed to the ground.
Next, tugging at the fancy clothes.
She saunters off in search of better diversion.
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The flow

“Mom, I got my period.” She says as though receiving a report card she’d been waiting on.  She doesn’t smile (who would?) and says it so timidly.

Surely she must know that her snappy attitude of the past 72 hours gave me an idea that something was up.  And now, after an emergency stop during our shopping trip, she confirms it: she has traveled the path and arrived at her womanhood. 

There’s nothing awkward in the conversation that follows,  just the discussion of logistics and next steps. It’s a natural part of growing up and she’d been warned by everyone that it was coming.  Her only worry has been that it’d arrive during class, like it did for some girl in white pants last year. But she welcomed hers on the weekend,  and she had no fear.

Ever since her discovery, she’s been waiting – just waiting – to feel something different, but there really is no difference. She’s no different today than she was yesterday or the day before this miraculous discovery. It’s Just that now she’s fully immersed in puberty (and with a newly confirmed boyfriend in tow!).

Poor thing she said she’s not “craving chocolate,” nor is she “moody” (that’s not true, believe me). She “must be doing something wrong,” she says. But there’s no wrong or right as far as periods go. It’s just a cycle of life that never seems to end.

She is wondering why she doesn’t “hate it.” All her friends complain about theirs. Next month, I’m sure she’ll know why and will no longer be excited about this new, wonderful thing that is happening to her little body. No, next month she will not be welcoming Aunt Flow. She’ll  wish that this frequently visiting relative would just go.

Rocking into 2015

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