Post inspired by my mother’s comment on Saturday’s post. [Repost]
This is one of the vanishingly small number of pictures of myself that I like. It is a good picture because my father was an accomplished photographer. It is a good picture of me because I am annoyed.
It happened thusly,
Background: My father was a photographer of note for his college paper. One of his civil rights photographs appeared in Life magazine. He always said that law school saved his life. If he had stayed with photography, he would have gone into photo-journalism, would have headed to a war zone, and would probably have been killed. He was that good.
Flash forward. When I was wee, I recall him trying to take pictures of me, repeatedly exhorting me not to mug for the camera. It never worked. With one thing and another, he drifted away from photography. When digital cameras came out, he bought himself a PHD (push-here-dummy) camera and started taking snapshots. Not photographs, snapshots. He was particularly fond of the classic tourist pose of family member in front of famous tourist site. I gave him grief for taking such cheesy shots. He happily agreed and keep taking them.
Circumstances: In 1998, my father was working in Florence, Italy. I went over for a visit that happened to coincide with the World Equestrian Games in Rome (Really a coincidence. The dates were not my choice. Not that I was above capitalizing on the chance. But I digress.)
On cross-country day, I stood out in a field getting rained on and having a wonderful time. He went back to the hotel. By the time he picked me up in the afternoon, I was footsore, damp, and cranky. He was well-fed and rested. As we drove back in from the countryside to the city, we passed some scenic and/or historic body of water. I have no idea what was special about that lake, nor why he wanted to stop. He was driving, so we stopped. Lake. Check. Scenic. Check. Can we go now? He asked me to stand in front of the lake so he could get a picture of me with the lake in the background.
You have GOT to be kidding me.
While he was framing and taking the photo, I was thinking, I did not want to be standing in front of this stupid lake indulging your stupid obsession with stupid tourist snaps.
Result: Outstanding picture of me. Go figure.