Posts Tagged ‘hugh milne’

The Crayon Court Comes to Town

Paul, from the college foundation was explaining to me, “Bill, donors to the college make events like this possible. We’d like to get an image that we can use for our magazine — you can do anything you want — make any image you want –anywhere you want.  All the performers ask is that you don’t use any flash during the show.  They are more-than-willing to help you make an image at the end of the program with one or more of the audience.”

So, as the school buses began to arrive, Paul and I were on the lookout for someone who might enjoy getting a picture taken with the cast.

As I was scouting the audience of anxious first-graders, the subjects were hamming-it-up for the camera.  The scene below is typical:

Waiting for the “Crayon Court”

Outside, the students were filing-in and being greeted by the cast members.

After a couple of passes capturing candids, I sat down and mentally ran the checklist for the cover shot that I would make at the end of the show.

  • Canon flash charged, set on manual, soft-box, waiting in the wings
  • Quantum Q Flash charged, set on manual, soft-box, also ready and waiting in the wings
  • Radio slave transceivers set to Channel 1

Suddenly, I realized one of the first-graders had turned around in her seat and was staring at me; she wanted me to take her picture.

“OK,” I said.

“Will you take my picture?”

I showed her the back of the Canon camera.

“How’s this?” I asked.

“It’s OK,” she allowed.

“Really? What would make it better?” (I learned this response from my osteopathic mentor, Hugh Milne).

She quickly answered, ” … if there was one of those crayon people in the picture with me!”

Smiling to myself I said, “I think I can help you with that.”

I quickly signaled to Paul and a teacher to come over.  After confirming with the teacher that she was a candidate in good-standing,  we gave her the news — if she wanted to be in a picture with the Crayon Court, we would get her after the show.

She was thrilled.

So, after what was a really wonderful performance on colorometry and shapes, I grabbed the flashes from the wings and got ready to shoot using the auditorium as the backdrop.  We told the rest of the children if they wanted to be in the pictures, to come to the front of the stage.

I set about making the picture ‘better:’


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Now forty years gone, I still find myself hearing my late father’s favorite sayings. I was amused when he first said, “the old jokes are the best — that’s why they’re old!” I have since learned that this expression was fairly common four generations ago.

A self-funded race car driver, he used to drive pedal-to-the-metal with thumb and index fingers on the wheel weaving through traffic citing the title of this post. Mother would object claiming, “Stop showing off, Bill. We’re all going to die!” He wouldn’t.

Now that the decades have assuaged any high-speed fear that I might have suffered then, I come more-and-more to realize what he meant. While reviewing some video of interviews, I came across one that stood-out after-the-fact. I sensed the young woman had more to tell than what I had interpreted to be a safe answer to a question about changes that she may have experienced in her life after studying alternative healing methods.

With one take “in-the-can,” I approached her to try to get to a deeper level, and quickly realized that she had said all that she had intended to say. In the following image, you can see her subtle reaction to my invitation to explore a deeper level in her response.

In the end, she gave a polite response, but I can’t help feeling that had the invitation been better-crafted, that something profound might have happened … or not.

I am reminded by the teachings of another friend and mentor, Hugh Milne, as he suggests to students of craniosacral work who are anxious to help their clients:

“you can’t go too deep — just too fast!”

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