My First Portrait Session

Rain.
It’s what made me remember about Lori today.
Lori Lori Mornin’ Glory – that’s what another roommate called her.
She’s the first person I met when I walked into my dorm room as a freshman.
And she’s the first person who ever asked me to take their portrait.
This was years before I even owned a half-way decent camera.
A decade before I could say, “My name is Laura, and I’m a photographer” without stuttering the words.
I didn’t even know I could take portraits, really.
But Lori always seemed to know things before anyone else did.
She picked a rainy day when she asked me to come take some photos for her.
She loved the rain.
She was making a CD for her boyfriend. She played guitar and sang almost as well as she painted.
And she had an idea for a CD cover but needed someone to take her photos.
You never said no to Lori – not because she was demanding. But because you’d feel like a complete jerk if you denied her. She hardly ever asked anyone for anything.
So I kept my thoughts to myself as we headed out into the pouring rain, my little point-and-shoot tucked beneath my coat.
I don’t remember specifics. It’s as if I’m spinning around in a circle and only able to focus occasionally.
Lori’s rain boots splashing in puddles…an umbrella…singing….assuring her she looked great when she tilted her head down towards me….being nervous because I didn’t know what the heck I was doing…waving at confused passersby…Lori’s quiet laugh in between the sound of raindrops hitting the pavement…her wet blonde hair sticking to my face when she hugged and thanked me…
I wish I had some of those photos still. But they’re long gone now.
Just like Lori.
She had to go away much too soon.
But not before showing us just how lovely it all is.
Even when it’s dark and rainy.
If I ever believed in faeries, it would be because of Lori and all her wonderful bedtime stories she would tell us when we couldn’t sleep.
More than anyone else I met during my college days, her words have always lasted the longest; about so many things. Maybe it’s because she didn’t say much. Or because she knew so much more than she would ever say. I don’t know.
It’s raining really hard out there now.
I like to think it’s Lori – wanting me to come out and play in the rain again.

best room ever
Lori Darselle Whipple 1984-2007

 

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