Decisive Moments and the Cooke House Girls

Earlier this year, an image I shot a few years back was picked for a juried show in Richmond. One of the curators called with the news, noting that three of the five images we'd submitted were picked to make up the 20-photograph show. "The judges also picked one of your images as best in show," he added, "and it wasn't really a hard choice. They all felt drawn to the moment and strength and stripped-bare honestly of the photograph." It means a lot that people may like your work, but this was an image in particular that I have looked back on and loved that I was there and all the buttons worked.

That the juried panel (including a curator for the Virginia Museum of Fine Art and David Allen Harvey, the venerable and God-like shooter for decades at Nat. Geo), found it their favorite was very special.

I remember the afternoon, sitting on the back lawn of the old and grand oceanfront house down the street. Relatives of this cedar shake compound had come down from Vermont for their annual summer visit, other friends had joined the group and the yard was full of children including my own. I was casually shooting some of the activity and visiting with parents. One pretty girl eased up and stood posing for a second in a summer dress, when her friend came along to eye the situation. A younger toddler was passing through the frame, and on a different day I might have waited for him to pass. Instead I clicked through it, and there it was, a moment of preening and jealousy on a summer day in the grass.

(click on image to enlarge)