- I like everything about watching someone attempt to get a large and unenthusiastic group of subjects to pose for a photograph. I like how she moves her arms indicating that the subjects move closer together or further apart. I like how she points and squints. I like whatever word she chooses to have them say, except cheese. I don't like the cheese. I like when she has them say the name of the group they represent, the one they are in, and are a part of. I like when the name of the group is long and they all say it so fast and mumbly and exhaustedly, that you can't even make out what the name is. I like when the subjects get wiggly or try to duck out of the frame, and I like when the taller ones try get in front of shorter ones. I like when the subjects jump up. I like when the photographer demands the subjects touch the other subjects in some way, particularly when the subjects don't want to. I like when the subjects are extremely disobedient which is more or less guaranteed in hot weather. I like when the photographer gets exasperated and pleads, sulks even. I like when she tries to rev everyone up like a cheerleader or more often, flat out demands they listen and obey, as if she is a military officer. I like how when, after she's taken a few shots, she says, "One more." She doesn't mean it though, because right after, she says, "One more," again- which essentially means she's lied and then continues to lie, because there is more after the one and still more "one mores," after that. I like when the subjects are all supposed to wear the same outfit or make the same face or pose the same way and they won't. I like when she says something like, "This is not the time for monkeying around." Usually, the subjects turn into monkeys all at once, right then and there, as if she gave them a great idea and are quite thankful for it. They scratch and make monkey sounds and kick up the dust. I like that what she is really doing is trying so fervently to capture the fun of some moment, some time, some adventure, trip or celebration that has already passed- through this act of making people do something that is so often not fun. Sometimes it is fun though, the posing that is- for the whole group of subjects. Maybe, they all lift their hats up at once or blow kisses. And they remember the posing as part of the fun of the day.
- I don't know why I like watching this go on so much and by this I mean everything I've already discussed. Maybe it is a metaphor for all the ways humans, including myself try to make what is unwieldy, wield somehow, to make everything go our way because somehow it means something or we hope it will. Maybe because it's a little like happening upon a street play too. And it really does hold so many features of a good stage drama. I love how sometimes when the whole thing is almost over, one of subjects shouts, "Wait, wait, what about you?" And by this, they mean the photographer of course, whom usually in these instances is not a professional photographer, but a teacher leading the group or just the person who remembered his camera or the one who just decides she is the one for the job, because she always is the one for every job, or she fervently believes that memories must be captured in this and only in this particular posed group photograph way. And the photographer usually makes a big fuss about it not being necessary for her to be in the picture and the more of a fuss she makes about how absolutely not necessary it is, usually indicates just how big of a desire, need actually, she has to be in it. And so a stranger is quickly sought out, someone conveniently nearby who looks like he could probably operate a camera. And the photographer runs into the frame and becomes a subject with the others and the summoned stranger takes just one shot, two at most, and everyone claps and thanks the stranger, and he goes on his way. And what is a little ironic really, is that much later on- days or weeks later, when the picture is duplicated or distributed or put online somewhere-on Flicker, or perhaps on Facebook , the picture, the final picture, that the subjects might order or frame or forget entirely, is a a great majority of the time, the one with the photographer in it, which when I really take a moment to ponder all of this, is exactly how so many things work out. Ha! Oh, I do not like observation-y things like this that end too tied up in a bow because then well, it is much like a group photograph, a little dead. I also don't like when things lead nowhere at all because then it is just a mess. So what to do now? Ah, I know. I'll do a loop-back with an extra. It's a trick yes, but not really such a cheap one as far as a writer's gymnastics. Here goes: I like everything about watching someone attempt to get a large and unenthusiastic group of subjects to pose for a photograph. And I would love to see a series of photographs of people before they are assembled, while they are being assembled, and especially after the thing is finally over and done with, when all the subjects break out, unposed and unpossessed.