Monochrome Monday #8

Good evening! As you know, it’s Monday which means that it’s time for my favorite start of the week pastime: Monochrome Monday. I must admit that today has been a long day, but not in a bad way. I have officially started my first full week of tutoring at work, and let me just say, I now understand exactly why I want to help further the education and development of children. Considering how I am probably one of the world’s biggest kids at heart, I think I’m going to enjoy helping kids build/enhance their reading skills. But enough about my day and on with today’s MM.

Today, we’re back to portraits, and what better way to return than with a photo of my friend, and former student, Zoe?

I’ve known/been friends with Zoe for about 5 years now. I suppose this is an interesting relationship given that I am 1: four years older than Zoe, and 2: I met her during my time running a drama club at one of the local middle schools (my own Alma mater at that). But even teachers can form bonds with their students (I am the product of that very concept with one of my own teachers, and there’s a larger gap in age than just 4 years).

I’m giving you that information for a reason. Why? Because that means something, especially in relation to this photograph. Even after graduating from high school and handing over my leadership (if I can even call it that) over the drama club, I am still friends with someone I taught for 2 1/2 years. We still talk, and even after not having seen each other for about 2 years, we still managed to come together to hang out. And then this piece was born.

There’s a reason why this piece is called A Tender False Reality. Given Zoe’s personality, she is anything but serious. She’s loud. She’s social. She laughs all the time at practically anything. But you don’t see that in this photo at all. You don’t see that she was giggling before and after this shot was taken. You don’t see the fact that she gave me the hardest time ever during her session. You don’t see our reactions or hear our conversations. No, you just see a very tender expression.

I helped to teach her to do that. It’s called acting.

Things are never quite as they seem. In all actuality, Zoe is one of the bubbliest people I have ever met, and she manages to maintain her energetic demeanor 98% of the time she is awake. But even borderline maniacs like Zoe can have their softer, calmer sides drawn out of them if you really know how to swing things. Of course, this is certainly not my favorite shot of Zoe from her whole session. In fact, my favorite is of Zoe being Zoe who is a laughing, smiling, crazy ball of insanity who always has some random thing to say at the most inopportune time. But she’s a fast learner. She’s an actress, and pretty darn good at it, especially in front of a camera.

Not everything (or everyone) is as it seems.

And that’s why this is today’s Monochrome Monday.

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