03 September 2015

Stranger Portrait

Recently, I was at an art museum with a Van Gogh exhibit. In the area preceding the exhibit, they had a huge reproduction of one of his paintings that took up a whole wall. Probably 15 feet high and 20 feet wide. People were regularly taking their pictures in front of it as I'd done with my parents a while before.

My dad and I were walking past the wall to meet up with mom at the gift shop when two old women asked, "Excuse me, would one of you take our picture with my camera?"

Historically that would've stressed me out, but knowing how notoriously bad my dad is at capturing good expressions on people (always about 5 seconds too late), I said, "Sure."

"You look like you could have photography experience," the woman with the camera said.

I gave a half shrug and nod as she held out her camera. Portraits aren't my forte.

I was about to take it when she said, "No, put your hand through the strap."

"OK," I said. I appreciate her not wanting me to drop her camera but thought, This strap is so loose it's doubtful it'd do any good. Whatever.

I gave her little compact camera a quick once-over: it was set to auto mode and I tested the half-press focus and saw a big green box appear on the LCD. I smiled at them to cue their expressions and took the shot.

"Is it perfect?" the camera woman's friend asked.

"You can check," I said, handing the first her camera back. I wasn't sure what constituted "perfect."

She pulled up the image and they both looked at it and smiled. The first said, "I think you've got potential."

I smiled and continued on my way.

A year ago on TTaT: Scott and Bailey

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