On Taking Your Picture

It’s always hard, at first, going into a foreign situation with a camera. You want everyone to be comfortable with your presence there, which involves some self-explanation or announcement and at least the illusion of your own comfort — but you also want to be invisible.

I’m always worried about weirding people out. Hi! I just recorded that! Like two inches from your face! This will go on the internet!

There’s a tenderness in recording anything, in defining it as a memory, claiming it to keep. And there’s a kind of devotion in selecting and editing that recording afterwards: bringing the light up on your face, adding some blue where tungsten became too yellow, removing saturation. I don’t know. Is that actually kind of creepy?

Each time I take your picture, I’m really asking you: “hey so is it okay, if I love you for a while? Just like this.” And there’s this moment when you could say no — but never seem to.

And hours later I pack up and go home, my chest expanding yeses.

Full album: from The Haunted Basement here.

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