Received phone call from dad saying they had got all the pictures back from the birthday and they were fantastic, and that a few were extraordinary. The ones he mentioned had all happened as the result of prompting from me: why don't you kiss so-and-so. Why don't you stand here and you two look at each other in profile. Etc.
I found it easy enough to relax parents by asking them how their kids were doing (so long as the kids weren't around). You will be surprised to know that everybody's kids are doing wonderfully -- according to the people who know them best -- their parents -- so I can report that the next generation will be very different from all former generations and the world will be a great place to live - just ask the parents.
Anyway, enough good shots to make everyone happy but I give most of the credit I will give to a high-end dedicated flash and to my experience with prompting people to look real.
But it did get me to thinking about what is real and what isn't in a photograph and where the line is. For example, on my way to the march the other day, I was surprised to see a shoeshine guy in the neighborhood and struck up a conversation with him. Asked if he minded being photographed etc. Not only did he not mind, but he pulled a clipping from his pocket to show me how famous he was becoming and that I would help him become more famous.
And, as when I attended film school, I found myself giving directions: stand here, how about pretending that you are shining my shoes.... But you have sneakers... Doesn't matter, I won't show them in the shot.
And from there to that photograph of Kerry sitting with Jane Fonda which, it turns out, was a true fake in the sense that it had been manipulated in photoshop or whatever: Kerry had been to that rally, but not in the same photograph with Jane Fonda -- who had not at that point gone to Hanoi yet.
Anyway, it was just by chance that I happened to hear that that photograph was a fake, and that did sort of amaze me since it was on the front page of every major newspaper and a lead story for most of the media for a while and was, I would say that sort of iconographic image that sticks with you.
I think the story behind how that was faked would be a good one.
That's right -- just forget I'm here.