The Art of the Photo Essay

I'm starting my second writing course at NYU's continuing education center, the first was about this time last year. I really enjoyed it and I particularly enjoyed the professor. One of our last assignments with her was a little taste of her next class (this). We were asked to choose any picture we wanted and write about it. Just a quick bit--not too much. I love writing about pictures. The scariest part of my class last year was knowing I would have to read my work out loud and it ended up being my favorite part. I've never shared any of my "creative non-fiction" on here, but here is what I left off with last year, and will pick up now.

It's one of my favorite pictures even though half of it was over exposed and seared during development, cutting off a quarter of my mother's beautiful face and more of the night (I still contemplate how I could frame this one). On the undamaged portion of the glossy colored print stands my mom and dad with my sister and I in front of them. My parents, dressed for a black tie affair, look elegant and young. My mother in a black spaghetti strap gown, her blond hair pin straight and brushing her shoulders, my father in a tux, bow tie tied perfectly. My mother is tan and and makeup free, a light cardigan keeping her warm on the summer's eve. My father has his arm around Jenny, my older sister, and I crouch in front on my mother--a toe head blond with a belly and a frilly cotton nightgown. Jenny is in a classic jersey sleeper of the eighties. The four of us stand, in this dark photo, in front of the paneled Mount Moroe Street house with a tiny two seater black Mercedes convertible, barely visible. I just know Jenny and I were barefoot--we must have scampered outside before my parents climbed into that classic car, and had Kara, our first babysitter, snap a family photo to mark the wedding / birthday / anniversary, of whomever, and where ever they were off to.

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