Photographic inspiration from Mirage … Jenny & Mark … enjoy!
Below is the story of the photo at the bottom of this post. Read it first before you scroll down, unless you’re IN the photo, that is.
Back story … Sarah and Cat are actually in the hospital chatting about their day, recapping it to be exact. This snippet is part of a recap, but telling the story of one session, from earlier in the day, that will eventually begin to set the stage for all the problems that arise. Clara, by the way, is Cat’s daughter. She’s very special too, though the story is really about Sarah.
“I’m goin’ in the back. Let me know when the Mahues arrive.” Sarah had quickly disappeared.
“That’s why I’m here.” Cat had added in a whisper.
May had appeared very quickly afterward, flustered with an air of hurried, anxious, activity brimming about her. The vibes Cat had picked up on were those of distress and embarrassment, but she didn’t put stock in them.
“May! What gives? No call and you’re almost an hour late,” she’d said more forcefully than intended.
It wasn’t that May had been a bad employee, she’d never been late and did everything she was asked. Despite Sarah’s insistence May was the right one, Cat worried. Something about her had always been “off”.
“I’m sorry. Completely. I should have called. I had to run an errand this morning for my roommate and it took me three times as long as planned. I didn’t think it would take so long, then it did and I figured I’d be done any second and time kept ticking away until I had to up and leave to get over here. I’ll apologize to Sarah.” May’s response had been weary, almost sad despite the speed in which she’d relayed it.
“I’ll tell her. We’ve got all of last week’s prints in and a load of them to get out today. It’s going to be crazy.”
“I know,” May had added in barely a whisper. Cat hadn’t heard it, but Clara sighed as she said it. It wasn’t a sound Cat had never heard from her happy-go-lucky daughter before.
At about the same time, Jenny and her newest baby, just two weeks old, the twins and her husband, Mark, had arrived. Jenny’d scrimped and saved for the session herself. As a gift, Mark had doubled her budget. Sarah knew all about the gift and had been just as eager to meet the newest member of the family as Jenny was to be there.
The session was to include the entire family … all five of them.
As had been the norm, Sarah went through the motions of setting up the set prior to her client’s arrival. The Mahues session was to be all black and white, against black. Jenny had begged and pleaded with her husband for the relationship session as it was called at Intuitiion. She didn’t have to bribe him for the partial nude shots she and Sarah had planned though.
Sarah had moved rhythmically, with camera in hand, to position the kids, the baby, Jenny and her husband, Mark. Cat had always worried Sarah would drop the camera since it seemed she never held it securely. For Sarah, her beloved camera was an extension of her hand. There was no chance, none whatsoever, that she’d drop it.
Sarah had an almost flawless ability to pose people so they looked completely natural — they were supposed to stand that way and stare in that way, smile perfectly or laugh uproariously. Her patience, learned from her years as a teacher, kept her sane when working with the littlest people — those under fifty at least.
They’d taken a quick snack break for the baby and Sarah had sent the twins to Cat for some distraction. The second half of the session had been for Mom, Dad and baby. Sarah had seen some Madonna like images of mothers and children cradled skin to skin in Dad’s arms and she was dying to recreate them. Jenny, of course had been completely up for it.
Dressed in black from the waist down, they’d removed their shirts and taken a seat again.
“Ok Jenn … if that baby poops all over you, I am not responsible for it,” laughed had Sarah.
“Of course not!” she’d laughed too while Mark gave her the “I’m not cleaning it up look” complete with raised eyebrow. “I promise, she’s so awesome, she’d never do that on your set,” Jenny had replied, with a wink as big as her grin.
Sarah had placed hands and arms in such a way to cover Jenny’s breasts as well as the baby’s girly parts — as Sarah and Cat had called them growing up — and to wrap them around in a what seemed a contortion of arms. Though if anyone else were to look, they’d see it was an exquisitely maneuvered display.
She’d continued to move around the trio capturing the same shot from various angles. The baby slept the whole time, completely comfortable and comforted in her mom and dad’s arms. When she’d audibly snored Jenny and Mark laughed and added to Sarah’s collection of photos.
“Ok! I think we’re done, unless of course you can think of anything else we need to capture.”
“Yeah,” Jenny had hedged, “I know I’m not all hot and everything right now, Sarah, but could I put the baby in the car seat for a minute and would you get one of Mark and me in this same kind of way”? Jenny had asked with such timidity Sarah knew she’d never asked for an image the likes of it.
“Awesome! Yes! I was kind of hoping you’d ask, but didn’t know if you’d want to.”
After a few minutes of creative exposure control, Jenny and Mark had been intertwined amidst themselves. Sarah couldn’t help but smile as she shot the last few frames. A tear had come to her own eye as emotion welled up inside her. She couldn’t believe the amazing beauty she could see in the relationship between man and woman. To be able to capture that in an image, stunned her.
The crash of a door slamming adjacent to the studio had shaken the wall. The sound of the hallway flower pot as it smashed to the ground had brought Sarah quickly back to reality. As she’d stood motionless, Clara had begun to wail in big hefty sobs.