He may look harmless enough, but I assure you this little guy was out to defeat me from the moment his family arrived at the shoot. Isn’t it always the most beautiful who play hardest to get? His mission was wholly to only make his face visible to my camera once he’d skillfully used one hand to simultaneously push his nose up and lower eyelids down, creating a sort of pig-like presentation that I found not one bit portrait-worthy. He ran, I chased, he resisted, I pursued. The pig-face showed up at every turn we intersected, like a beacon to my inadequacy as a photographer. It went on like this for such a period of time that all that remained for me to do was concede to the fact that he’d won. Little boy wearing the big brother shirt---40. Worn out photographer--love. But it didn’t feel like love at all. Game, set, and match were his for the taking.
The funny thing about surrender is sometimes it’s the only way good can finally make its way in. Laying yourself completely on the line, admitting you’ve got nothing left to play--no slick moves or witty comebacks--opens the door to tender vulnerability. Mostly, we keep that part of ourselves well protected, but within those rare occasions of undisputed surrender we have the opportunity to know real connection.
So what did I do to convey vulnerability to this supreme opponent? Simple, I broke down and cried. Okay, I’m not *that* sensitive, I was just pretend crying, but I did appear pretty pathetic and susceptible. And when I finally raised my camera again an unspoken truce was declared. In that brief moment we met each other for the first time. No pig face!