While shopping one day at Walmart, I needed to pick up some pictures for a friend. I’m visually impaired, and I told the employee who was helping me shop that I needed to go to the photography department. She asked, “Do you mean the photography studio?”
“No,” I answered. “I mean where you pick up pictures that have already been developed.”
“Oh,” she said. “I was just checking because we now have a portrait studio, you know.”
This struck me as interesting. I knew Walmart had a bank, a vision center, and a beauty shop, but a photography studio was something unique. Later, it occurred to me that the only time I went to a photography studio was over twenty years ago when my high school senior picture was taken. This realization made me feel old, but it was interesting looking back on that day.
At the time, my younger brother Andy was dabbling in photography. I would have let himtake the photograph, but since Mother wanted a professional job,off we went to the photography studio with Andy tagging along, hoping to pick up some pointers.
The photographer, a pleasant woman in her mid thirties, said, “I like people to wear make-up when I take their picture, that is, if you’re not allergic.” I told her I wasn’t, and since Mother didn’t object, the photographer took me into an adjoining bathroom where she applied the stuff.
In the studio, she positioned me and adjusted the lighting and camera. Andy asked questions about her technique, and she explained what she was doing. I don’t remember much else except that when the picture was taken, I was sitting in a chair with my right arm resting on something. I do remember that the finished product looked pretty good.
That was a long time ago, and I don’t look much older than I did then. I’ve heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. If I were to go to that photographystudio at Walmart and have my portrait taken, that picture would be worth just as many words as the one taken during my senior year in high school.
I leave you now with a picture of me that was taken several years ago by a neighbor when I was single. This photo also appears on my Web site and my novel’s back cover, but only my head is visible. In the picture I’ll paste a link to below, most of me is shown sitting on the couch in the living room of the apartment where I was living at the time. I’m flanked by stuffed animals perched above my head. The link will only be available for about a week so enjoy!
Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome