When there’s more than one subject to compose in a photograph it makes things that much more complicated—especially if the more-than-one-subjects happen to be on the young side of life and also related—such as a few siblings in one photograph. Times such as that you can count on your camera turning out about a dozen-per-child rejects.

Most people who take the time to photograph kids (and… uh, teenagers) know that it usually takes more than one snap of the shutter before obtaining the winning shot. That is, if you’re lucky and there is a resulting winning shot—that doesn’t always happen.

There must be some type of law of physics in the photography cosmos. For instance, the subjects can look completely picturesque. Smiling beautifully, posing impeccably with hands around shoulders just so, and looking completely natural. But the ensuing shot yields nothing one could call photogenic.


It’s as if that nanosecond when the photographer’s finger presses the shutter that the entire scene takes the opportunity to integrally erupt.

I mean, what could possibly possess Hannah to use that fragment of an instant to smack herself? Honestly, who would think of that?

So we re-do it. Subjects pull themselves together, pose beautifully and look like they actually like each other. My index finger presses the shutter button, and this!


Smacking herself isn’t enough, she takes whatever-it-is out on Levi, who accepts it like a good-natured idiot.After a couple dozen more tries we were able to procure a photo that was somehow able to get passed by the said law-of-physics.


And lest I give any of you the wrong impression, Hannah doesn’t normally go around being self-destructive and clouting Levi… at least as long as my camera is inhabiting its cubby on my desk. Apparently something about that law of dynamics gets to her.

Another element of the afore-mentioned law of physics is the actual pose layout. Sometimes this is very difficult to obtain.



An affectionately dubbed “John in the Jordan” pose didn’t strike me as something all that complicated to achieve. I would, of course, discover I was gravely wrong. After all, my subjects did include Hannah and Levi, not to mention an even younger Tabby, who—as fate would have it—tripped and fell. No big deal, right?



Well, for some reason it tickled Hannah’s funny bone so bad she lost her balance.  Tabby recovered, but Hannah? She lay on the ground and giggled until the tears oozed out of her eyes and trickled down her cheeks.The rest of us calmly stood there waiting for her to regain her composure so we could go on with our lives. But wouldn’t you know, Levi happened to be among us. Levi, who was born with the sad misfortune of having a tendency to trip and fall (a paltry flaw in his DNA system). He didn’t notice the hole. Actually, it was but a small patch of weedy ground that had an ever-so-slight dip in altitude (a mere millimeter or two), but he regularly falls prey to such things.


So it’s not like it took any of us by surprise when he suddenly dropped out of the land of the standing into the realm of the fallen.Finally, after everyone got their own respective pairs of feet beneath them they all went back to their attempt at a pose.


  My question is, since when does, “Say Cheese!” sound like “Everyone sit on Tabby!”?

Millions of tries later the winning shot did eventually evolve.



As I’m sure you can about imagine by now, taking pictures can be a very exhausting experience. It does have its rewarding moments though… a nanosecond every now and then…