'no, no, I'm not very photogenic'

'But you have a beautiful face for photography!'
'No, I really look bad in photos.'

So went the conversation I had with Rosalind when I asked her if I could take her picture. In the end I insisted that she oblige me, and with a little help from Laird and alcohol, managed to get her relatively relaxed in front of the camera.

So often my attempt to photograph people elicits similar responses. Besides telling people they look great, there really is no way to convince them to trust me. Reassuring them that the photographic vision in my head is truly wonderful just doesn't work a lot of the time; insecurities are usually too deep to be silenced by the words of someone shoving a camera in their face. I know this because I am guilty of it myself.

This image is my absolute favourite of the 36 from my latest roll. I was certain at the time that the composition was perfect for the moment, and I stand by that conviction; the position of Rosalind at the top left corner allows her gaze to direct the viewer's, first to Laird and then to the others in the background. I think it's very effective. The actual moment - Rosalind reacting to Laird's inevitable tomfoolery, and simultaneously to the fact that at any moment she will be captured on film - is a wonderfully honest one between two good friends, despite the awareness of the camera. And while Laird definitely looks good in the shot, he is merely a bit-part player in the scene, instigating Rosalind's action and in essence facilitating her. Because without doubt, this photo is all about Rosalind.

What an amazing smile, what vibrant eyes, what irresistible freckles. Her happiness shines through so strongly here, but more than anything Rosalind just looks so incredibly alive. I look at this photo and think, Wow, I'd love to have an image like that of myself.

And so I implore my readers and potential subjects out there to take this as a lesson: if I tell you that I think I'm going to get a great shot of you, or that you're going to look wonderful on my film, please trust me. Even if it turns out to be less than wonderful, I will blame only myself and promise to be discreet with the results, for I know how icky it can be to have a bad image of yourself on record. But maybe, between us we will create an incredible photo and capture a moment that we can both treasure. And isn't that worth the risk?

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