On the last day of the year, I called up Heather and David, two dear friends, to see if they might be up for serving as test subjects for me to continue to try my hand at composing shots with sentient creatures instead of sewer drains and street tacos. After only a little cajoling (who doesn't like to have their picture taken, anyway, if there's at least a sliver of hope that it could be flattering?), they agreed to meet me at Heather's beautiful old house in East Dallas. As I moved beyond the idea of a bona fide shoot into the more fluorescent light of reality, my creative hamster spun at top speed amid the wood shavings in my brain. What in the world was I going to take pictures of? Lean this way, now that, go stand behind that tree and give me your best smolder? I chose to channel Elizabeth Gilbert via King Solomon: for everything there is a time, and when the time is right, if I show up and spin my camera control wheel to the right f-stop, the Muse might start to brush her hands back and forth and emit some creative heat on a cold, foggy Dallas day.
I had more fun than I ever imagined I would, partly because we three had the friendship capital to laugh at ourselves and each other amid learning what poses and expressions and positions fit in the frame and which ones, well, didn't. It doesn't hurt that both Heather and David are preternaturally beautiful human beings and possess a genuine, warm-your-hands-together-at-the-campfire vibe. Perhaps a hidden talent is somehow convincing such people as these to keep company with me.
As mid-day turned to night, we grabbed coffee and danced along Main Street, stopping in parking garages and Fountainhead Plaza and an old Catholic church lot full of space and light. By the end, we were all passing around the camera and finding shadows and perspectives that normally would've escaped us in transit. I learned a little about post-processing layer masks and optimal ISO settings for early evening and how to let the fog coax emotion from whomever finds himself in my lens, but most of all, I simply enjoyed the brief intersection with people I love, inhabiting a moment of uncertainty and creativity in homage to the evening and the year and the One who gave both to us to share.