This little girl was at a birthday party for some family friends. She alternated between closing her eyes and sticking out her tongue (in a non-annoying way that made me like her more) and that real smile.
Her older sister was there too but she was old enough to pose. She smiled but it wasn’t real. She said she didn’t like her smile. That was a pretty depressing statement for an 8 year old to make. Already self-conscious.
This picture was taken in the computer lab in the building where I teach night classes. Tien Shu (spelling? seemed rude/stalker-ish to ask) is a math major. She seemed fine with having the picture taken but there might have been a communication problem. I asked her a few small talk questions but all I got were smiles and nods . . not sure if it was a language issue, or just too much time in the computer lab. It was not as satisfying as a number of the other shots but I do like that she manages to smile with just the lines on her face. Her lips remain completely straight.
It is interesting for me to look at this series all together. I wonder if the closeness of the photographs relates to my comfort level or that of the subject. I need to go back and see how much cropping I did on these. I think most are full frame.
It’s also worth noting that I chicken out on a lot of these potential photographs. I find excuses not to bother the person or whatever.