Creating Beautiful Music
Teenage boys don't want to have their photos taken.
Don't let them fool you into thinking they do. Moms, they are doing it for you. Take that gift for what it is and be thankful. And let me do the rest.
The first thing I do when I arrive at a guy session is acknowledge that I'm pretty sure he doesn't want to be there and that I GET that. Second thing is we set our watches. I explain how long it's going to take and how we can make it go faster. It sounds like a LOOONGGG time to them (60-90 minutes) but I explain we will change locations and change clothes and it won't seem like a long time. And then, I stick to that time frame. I don't go over. If I can, I go under. Because remember: they don't want to be there. They are tolerating me for a window of time. AND I RESPECT THEM for doing this for the moms they love. AND I LOVE that they are willing to do whatever I tell them for that 60 - 90 minutes. Best of all, I love the final smiles I get when they realize it's time to "shut down and go home".
But the ends of sessions ... that's where the magic happens. That's where we finally get to our comfortable place and I get to see the real people that they are--or at least a better glimpse of that.
I look at photo sessions backwards -- because that's where the magic is -- there at the end.
And that's where this magic was.
Mom told me she'd brought Rob's guitar and wanted to get some with him playing. And I forgot honestly because it wasn't out and if something isn't in front of me, I tend to forget. And she said, "Oh, I wish we could have gotten some with the guitar." And mine and Rob's time clock had 4 minutes left. And I knew we could do it.
And she told me she had wanted him sitting on the back of his truck playing so we could see the decal on the back. And I looked at it. And it was this.
And she told me that Jackson was his best friend. And he was the one teaching him to play the guitar. Before. And I knew these were the magic ones. These were the story.
Rob's friend, Jackson, left our world last year. It's a void our world will mourn for a long time. I can't imagine how it must be to lose a best friend as a teenager. I'm sure it affected him in ways we can't imagine. But Jackson left his mark in his life in more ways that I will ever know. But I did get to see a tiny part of what he left him -- this music he makes and this instrument he has learned to play.
And the light ... that glorious light. There was no coincidence that this beautiful, glorious light was shining down on us and creating this beautiful warmth on our images and our moment.
Our lives are intertwined in ways we will never quite understand, I think. We affect so many in ways we don't know. Be kind. Love. Teach each other the music of your life. Make a beautiful song together in your lives. It is the strains of this music that will live on long after you and I are gone.
A full preview of Rob's full senior session will come along later. But this ... this couldn't wait.