the older they get, the cuter they ain't

So says Marge Simpson's beauty-challenged sister Selma - and in the case of she and chain-smoking, DMV-desk-dwelling twin Patty, it's probably true. But as if to challenge the Bouviers and prove that some sisters retain their splendour long after childhood, the lovely Surace girls recently provided my lens with one of the most fabulous portraits I've taken in quite some time.

These country-bred beauties have been dear friends of mine from the time we were small enough to potentially drown in the large cow pats on their family farm. Of course this alone makes the picture special, but it also impresses me because it reveals some strikingly accurate personality traits: Dallas, the fun-loving extrovert whose outrageous humour and powerful vocal chords cause as much glee for her cohorts as irritation for her seniors, but which also make her irresistible to all but the stoniest of souls; and Bree, whose kindness and overwhelming congeniality - present in her gorgeously honest smile - enchant all whom she encounters. I think this perfectly captures a wonderful moment shared between sisters - two people who know each other intimately enough to put one another completely at ease, even with a camera present. Beyond the personal aspects of the image, the shockingly white hair (they were both wearing wigs) against the flawless skin and midnight background makes for a stunning spectacle.

The photo was taken at a wig party, and was intended to be the first in a series of wig portraits taken over the course of the evening. What a great concept - all of these completely normal guests with outrageous wigs on! In the black and white I thought it would be especially effective, letting the bizarre shapes speak for themselves. However, I only got two taken before everyone removed their wigs in a fit of itchiness. The second one really doesn't stand alone as a good portrait, particularly when compared to the success of the first one, but I think it would have worked had it belonged to an extensive series of portraits as planned. Alone, it seems unspectacular because it lacks animation, and it doesn't appear to capture any particularly vital moment.

Or maybe it's just because they're not sisters.

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