Five Seconds


I love outtakes, but of course outtakes are not what people frame and display on their mantle for years, so I spend time setting up the portraits to make everyone look their best. And sometimes, the challenge lies in just making people visible: between the aunties wanting to hide, uncles making faces, kids past their bedtime and totally high on sugar running off to stick their fingers in the wedding cake, grandparents tired of standing, and cousins in absentia because they’re sneaking one more cigarette and a beer by the fire exit, it can get a little chaotic attempting a family picture after dinner. (The only part that applies to this family is the picture-taking after dinner, ha! Or maybe the hiding and making faces parts, too.)

This photo below was taken exactly five seconds later… I like to call these post-portrait shots “the dismantling”… I tell them they’re done, and keep shooting. I can get some great candids this way.


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I’m in editing mode again, after a brief but horrible episode of food poisoning on Thursday night from a company dinner. It’s a shame, because the whole evening was lovely — we were fine dining in a swanky location, everyone was dressed up (I wasn’t particularly, I had no makeup on and probably just barely satisfied the dress code but everyone else was spiffy), and having a good time.

I had seafood for appetizers (scallops, shrimp), but I blame a piece of suspect shrimp that accompanied my beef tenderloin, because as soon as I finished my main dish the feeling was immediate: my stomach started to knot and the world began to turn a little faster. This is highly unusual for me — I don’t get nausea from food or motion or booze, have nearly an iron constitution and eat the strangest combinations of foods at any time of the day or night. It’s been years since I had food poisoning and can count the total instances in my life on one hand. But once you’ve had food poisoning just one time, the feeling is unmistakable.

I’m not one to leave a party early, but it hit me so fast. I managed to get through dessert and coffee before I knew I had to leave, and my timing was perfect — I had just enough time to drive home (I had no alcohol), get changed, and make it to the bathroom before my entire dinner came back up and my body ejected the offending piece of food, whatever it was. Sorry about the visuals, I was strangely detached from the whole ejection process and knew absolutely that as soon as the food was gone that I’d feel better. It took until Friday morning, but then I was back to normal. Hooray for that, but boo to losing a night of editing…