Fifty-Six Seconds

kayceeSo I was at this wedding, and good friends were coming whose family I had taken portraits of not long ago. But I had neglected to get a portrait of their daughter. The day of the wedding was lovely, the gardens of the Thomas Gilcrease House were lush, the opportunity was unfolding for a fine portrait. I found a superb location with gorgeous light, enhanced the light with a reflector positioned just right, enlisted the girl’s grandfather as a quick stand-in so I could double-check the details, approached the family to clue them in on what I was up to, they were eager, awaiting the arrival of their girl with her father…and then…they…were…running…late. The minutes were ticking away, the hour for the wedding was approaching, if the portrait did not happen before the wedding, the sun would set and the light would be lost. And then—they arrived—four minutes before the wedding. No time to lose. Inwardly spinning but outwardly striving to be calm, I brought her to the pose. “Stand this way”, “hold the flower here”, “turn your face slightly away”. I clicked off two images, then another, then a fourth. I’m wondering if she’ll warm up. I click a fifth and a sixth image–the magic is not quite there. I pull out a plush toy to get a little silly. She’s loosening up. A seventh click. I turn the goofball game up a notch. She smiles that smile that says “Kaycee”. Click. Yes! The eighth image was the look. So I stopped. Later, I checked the time stamps on the eight images. From start to finish, the session had lasted fifty-six seconds. That meant we made it to the wedding…with three minutes to spare!

Tom Launius CPP