“We’re going for the law of probability here: if we take enough pictures then one of them has to turn out!”
“Good grief! If he’s not looking stoned then I’m looking like a gargoyle!”
So, after being engaged for months and getting married in just two, J. and I finally took engagement pictures to send out with our announcements. What a migraine! First I had to figure out what to wear (a war in and of itself). This required a mad dash through the mall, trying on and discarding a number of dresses, falling in love with a fabulous white linen one, dropping way too much on it, getting it home, lovingly pulling it out the next day to admire it and being seized by a horrible rush of, “I’ll look like a Stepford Wife!” before finally being calmed down by well meaning friends.
Then we actually took the pictures. After a day of perfect weather, by the time we got to our shooting site there were threatening clouds, of course, and an atmosphere of dust that had blown in from the desert. Didn’t matter, we manned up and smiled bravely while Kays (darling and patient girl that she was) clicked merrily away, delighting mostly in the pictures in which we looked particularly ghoulish. Kays and I then decamped to her house for selection and editing (J. went to Five Guys with the boys. Men).
After everything, the editing was the adventure. By 11:30 pm Kays and I were giggling hysterically as we scrolled through indiscernible blobs, improbable facial contortions, and the occasional good shot (I can count the photos of myself that I’ve liked over the years on one hand, I think I must look very different in my head than I do in real life… ). She, being the photoshop whiz that she is, tweaked a few things like brightening colors, and fixing my hair when I had a fit of narcissistic angst.
Then, just when we were about to pack up for the night, something caught my eye. We’d just spent half an hour on this one picture but something…something was wrong. What was it? My hair was flowing and my hips were at an angle that didn’t make them look huge, J. was annoyingly handsome and smiling, the colors were vibrant…WAIT A SECOND! I looked closer at J.’s trousers and nearly choked. Somehow, by trying to make the colors richer, we had turned his trousers into a gaping pants-shaped black hole! You couldn’t see any pockets, pleats, belt, or anything, it was just a black splotch where light went to die. AND we hadn’t saved the version of the photo we had worked on to fix everything else. We stared in dismay at the screen at the pre-edited photo and the creepy post-production, until I blurted in almost-midnight-and-exhausted panic, “Can’t we just crop in the trousers from the original picture?”
“I’m not sure if I can…” but Kays tried.
Eh voila! The Black Hole is no more, you can’t even tell that it was cropped. Of course we still have to make a final decision and for all I know we won’t even choose that one…but midnight drama with an old friend is worth it! Plus, if we decide today, I can order the prints and get started on announcements finally!