The All-Important Gesture
This was a commercial job for an insurance company. It was supposed to be shot indoors. I worked on it for hours. I turned to the art director and said, “It’s not getting better, it’s getting worse. We have to move it outdoors. We’ll do better.” He agreed. We went outside.
I found a white picket fence. “Is that cliché enough for you?” I asked him. He said, “Great! It’s a Middle America prop.”
We worked for about an hour trying to make it look not like some schmuck photographer set it up.
The light was fine. I had put a red t-shirt on the man that would act as a reflector on the others to avoid having them in silhouette. The color was okay, but nothing was happening. I shot about 200 shots when suddenly the little boy pulled his sister’s hair. I instantly knew I had it and that the entire day’s shoot was completely irrelevant.
That gesture made the shot. It was pure dumb luck working in my favor.
The gesture was a gift.
When we are given gifts, we must be quick and able to accept them.
They rarely get repeated spontaneously.
Boy Pulling Hair