"As for the mix of fiction and fact: It isn’t a fact that he took a photograph of her that he gave to her for her birthday. But it seemed to me that this is how his relationship with her began, a collegial sort of contact, both of them liking photography, having some disagreement about the science of it vs the art, which was a part of the dialogue of the period and then moving toward where he enjoyed her company, could see the beauty in her, wanted to be a good mentor to her and then giving her gifts on the occasion of her birthday, perfectly innocent. Except that each had been denying a very strong attraction and sometimes the reality of those feelings aren’t even noticed but are difficult to hide inside a photograph.
I’m a mental health therapist by training and I took a continuing education class a few years back about photo-therapy, using photographs to help people get “unstuck” as they struggled with issues and patterns in their lives. Part of that project meant looking at photographs of myself and my family. I discovered during that time that in all the photographs of me and my mother, she never touched me, had never put her arms around my shoulder or stood close enough in a family shot to touch me. It had defined our relationship in many ways, this separation.
My husband is a photographer and the best pictures of me have been taken by him; something about the eyes of the beholder bringing love into the picture. I was thinking of that when I wrote that scene you commented about.
The picture of her that is double exposed did get written up in the paper and was quite the invention for the time. I liked how there were two renditions, one with her nearly looking over her own shoulder which I think she did during that part of her life. (I tried to upload that picture today but given the size of it and the wind blowing my satellite dish around....you'll have to come read the book when it comes out next week to see it).'