Sweet 16

It was getting dark, and I was looking for a motel around the area to stay for the night. The streets were empty, stripped of the footsteps and chatter just an hour earlier – you look around and see shut doors and are almost overcome with stark silence. An uncomfortable, tickling breeze slips through my rolled-down windshield, and my hair lightly brushes my cheeks and eyes. I caught sight of a neon sign that screamed "vacancy" against the foggy blue and purple sky, and heave a sigh of relief – I can finally kick off my shoes, take a warm shower and catch some rest. As I pulled into the motel, I saw this girl – something about her energy, a slight adolescent awkwardness that belied her maturity – drew me to her. I got out of the car, walked up to her, and through a rather bungled exchange of courtesies, I found out that it was her sixteenth birthday and asked if I could take a photograph of her. She mustered a casual "sure," but I could see in her eyes that she was glad to be the subject of attention.


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  1. I really love the tone of this one, really has a ’70’s vibe. Did you have a tone in mind when you went to process or did it just come to you as went?

  2. Carolyn

    Just a question: Do you ask permission to post photos you take of individuals before posting? Especially ones that seem to have such a vulnerable and personal feel to them, as this one does?

    Just wondering how other photographers handle this, thanks.