Since first she joined up with us in life, Q has learned to be at ease in front of the camera. I realize that I'm a bit obsessive with my cameras - I live with a lens pasted to my eye. But the good side of this is that Q has learned to think of the camera as an extension of mommy - a thing so natural a part of her environment that there is not the slightest twinge of self-consciousness in her when the lens is trained on her. So that what you see in photos is her in her natural state, exactly as she is.
She has always been strikingly beautiful, and she has always had a natural charisma. But as she grows and matures, she also grows into her sense of self. Lately I've noticed the power of that charisma growing as it settles into her. She knows it, and you can see it in her eyes.
Q has "it", that elusive thing that we all recognize when we see it, but that only a few possess. It's completely innate, like her affinity for basketball. It's hard-wired.
I was working at my desk yesterday, and she was busy with something behind me when I turned and noticed she had put on this tie and hat, which had been hanging on doorknobs in the hallway. Sometimes she gets edgy when I try to capture one of these moments on film. She really doesn't like to be told she's pretty (which people try to tell her all the time), and it makes her a little bit angry and a lot uncomfortable. Her own genuine pride is reserved for actual accomplishments, like learning to tie a knot or use a screwdriver, or sinking a toss on her mini basketball "court".
But on this occasion, for whatever reason, she let me run with it.
Five minutes later she was off on another adventure and I went back to work. But this moment of pure Q-ness turned into what is now my new favorite set of photos.
I've said it before and I'll say it again...I pity the fool who falls for this girl's charms. She is not to be trifled with.