About a month ago, my friend Jenny called me. "Hey. I have an idea."
I love Jenny, but the truth is her ideas make me nervous.
"What's up?" I asked, tentatively.
"I'm going to be getting this amazing red dress, from an independent designer here in Texas," she said. "And I want you to photograph me in it, for a blog post I've been mulling about writing: it's on the theory that every woman should own an outrageous red dress, one that makes her feel beautiful. Would you do it?"
Are you kidding?
"Are you kidding?" I answered. "I'd be thrilled to. Where do you want to shoot?"
"In a graveyard."
So this morning, at daybreak, I met Jenny in this incredible cemetery -- the one where Howard Hughes is buried. And risking public indecency, Jenny changed right there, out in the open, into her beautiful red dress.
And I started shooting.
And because she's Jenny, she asked me to take a shot of her looking like we'd stumbled on a crime scene. I obliged ...
... but the truth is that Jenny is one of the most alive people I know. While online Jenny is outrageous and irreverent and perhaps even a bit frightening, she is also a brilliant writer, a fiercely loyal friend, and one of the kindest people I have ever met.
And I have a theory of my own: people who are kind, who actually actively seek out ways to do good every single day of their lives, people like, well, Jenny, exude beauty. They do it without intending to, without even trying. They can't help it. It's simple physics.
So if an outrageous red dress helps make people like Jenny feel as beautiful as they are, well, then, I'm all for it.
Images: photographed with Nikon D300 and 70-200mm zoom lens