The Story Behind the Photograph...

The Louvre just acquired this print along with “Mona Lisa at the Mona Lisa” and 9 other prints for 11 total pieces. I’ve blogged about “Mona Lisa” before and I thought I’d take a moment and write about this picture which I love… it’s a mother and daughter (based on their features which were remarkably similar, separated only by a generation), and they sat in a sculpture atrium in The Louvre where I was taking pictures. I noticed almost immediately that in addition to physical features, these two women shared a lot of mannerisms.

I thought this might lead to an interesting moment, if I could catch them both doing the same thing at the same time. Of course, one can’t stand in front of two people like this and stare and wait for the perfect moment. Instead, I got myself into position, turned 90 degrees, pointed my camera at a sculpture, brought my eye up to the viewfinder, and then stared at the two women out of the corner of my eye. When I saw them cross their legs and then start to reach for their respective purses I got excited. I figured I could take one frame, two at most and so I waited, then pivoted. I took this picture and walked off. I doubt they were ever aware that I had taken their picture.

I do love the near perfect symmetry… I find it amusing and peaceful all at the same time.

It’s worth mentioning that this is at the edge of what I find socially acceptable. I don’t sneak up on people. I don’t surprise folks. I don’t take pictures of people who don’t want their picture taken. In this case, the women were in a public setting, and the picture I wanted did not involve surprise or stealth, so much as being in the right place at the right moment. And so I am comfortable with how I got the picture.


The Louvre—Permanent collection


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