the beauty of different photo shoot: january 16, 2010

Photo by xphaqtor.

So you might remember a couple of weeks ago, I spontaneously invited people to meet me for an impromptu photo shoot for my book.  Within 48 hours, 30 people had signed up.  Amazing, really:  thirty people signed up to be photographed by me in the middle of a public garden, for no pay, save for a high resolution image of themselves from the shoot.


I have to admit, I was really nervous about this.  Shooting 30 people meant that I was going to be taking photographs for 5 hours straight, and that would only allow me 10 minutes with each person.  For the most part, I didn't know the people who had signed up, which meant that there was always the possibility that with only 10 minutes to get to know me, they may not feel very comfortable with me -- a total stranger --  taking their pictures to be published for all the world to see.

And of course,  the weather forecast predicted cold, windy rain.  Of course.

But then I remembered that in my family, rainy weather is good luck weather, and so I just needed to have a little faith.  So I emailed everyone and said we were on, no matter what, and miraculously, it stopped raining right before the first person showed up, but obligingly remained overcast so that there were no weird shadows to fight with, and it all went smoother than I could've ever imagined.

And the beautiful faces.  Oh, the beautiful faces.

The great xphaqtor.  His beautiful warm face is your first clue that he's one of the nicest men you'd ever want to meet.


The lovely Denise, who, get this, actually flew into Houston just to be photographed.  I'm SO flattered by this.


Kimberlee Ann.  Her smile just lit up the place.


Samhita.  The girl with the kindest eyes I know.


Angela.  If you've ever heard the term "perfect porcelain skin," and didn't exactly know what it was, now you know.


Happy Adam, who is married to my friend Happy Katie.  I've been dying to photograph this face for at least a year.


 Kristen, who was in class with my sister, and who used to wait at the school bus stop with us.  I hadn't seen her in years.  SO great to reconnect.


Twyla -- former coworker, great friend. 


Me and Sarah, who I just met, and who is all kinds of awesome.  Photo by my friend Miller, who acted as my assistant for the day!

Here's the thing:  the photographs above are the outtakes -- the ones that are going to be in the book are so much better.  And 29 of the 30 people showed up, so this is but a small sampling of the amazing faces I was so honoured to photograph.  And the best part?  When I asked them what made them different, at first they complained that they couldn't come up with anything, but then they came up with some of the most incredible facts about themselves that I couldn't help but think that surely some of them were made up.  They weren't, and you'll have to wait for the book to be published to find out what they were, but let's just say words like "glider planes" and "tuba" and "piranha" were mentioned.

Anyway, thanks to all the really, truly beautiful people who took time out of their day to come sit for me on a wet, cold, windy Saturday when I'm sure that a cup of coffee in front of their fireplaces at home would've been a much more comfortable alternative.  I'm so moved by your kindness.

(And to see a few more photos from the day, check out these behind-the-scenes shots by Brian Garcia.)

SongDifferent people by No Doubt