This is a picture I did not take…

March 23, 2010

A friend of mine send  a little while ago a link to the blog of Michael David Murphy on which he writes about the pictures he did not take. Unphotographable is a catalog of exceptional mistakes. Photos never taken that weren’t meant to be forgotten. Opportunities missed. Simple failures. Occasions when I wished I’d taken the picture, or not forgotten the camera, or had been brave enough to click the shutter.” It’s a refreshing idea and also quite funny to read because of the situations he picks. Also it’s a moment probably every photographer can identify with, at least me…

This is a picture I did not take of a gaggle of kids dressed in three-piece suits and spring dresses, coagulating on a sidewalk in front of their church on Easter Sunday, punching each other’s shoulders and playing with each other’s hair, while one boy, a bit taller than the rest and standing out on the left edge of the group, looked right at me as I approached in my car, driving into my new neighborhood for the first time with a load of boxes, and he flashed me the widest, most welcoming happy-Easter-Sunday smile, right before looking over his shoulder to see where his cohorts were or if any adults were looking, before turning back and gritting his teeth at me and flipping me his extended middle finger.

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