Inspired by "Who Will Be My Mother?"
"Pleeeeeeeeeeeease Horace.. take a picture of my dolls with your new camera." Horace's little sister begged. She had been bugging him all day.
He had better things to take pictures of... like that new clerk, Penelope, at the clock shop his father had hired. He'd also promised his father he would take a few pictures of the shop, in case he wanted to used them for promoting the shop in the local paper. He made a mental note in his mind to use at least 6 of the plates for the shop. That still left him with another 4 in one pack and another whole pack of 10 plates.
"O.k. sis.... I'll take some pictures of your dolls... but... let's do this right. I may as well practice and learn," he told her. "YAY... Horace you are the BEST brother in the whole world!" His little sister ran off to get her dolls.
Horace scoured the house for the best lighting. He chose a south facing room and set a table near the window. He found a screen as the background and some long feathers to put the dolls up against. As he finished setting up the last feather his sister came into the room with her pram filled with dolls. "I'm not sure we can fit them all in the picture but I will try," he told her.
"I want them sitting like they are having tea," his little sister said. She carefully took each doll out of the pram and fixed their hat and hair and handed them to him one by one. He made sure the larger dolls when in the back and the smaller ones towards the front. His sister insisted on adding her porcelain pug dog doll and stuffed monkey to the scene too.
The scene looked a little bare and when Horace turned around to tell his sister she was handing him a small table and some tea cups. He giggled... it was like she had read his mind. She was the perfect little director... telling him where to put things and checking that they were straight. "Oh.. I can't forget Anabelle," she said as she pulled a tiny doll in a chair out of the pocket in her dress. She set them in front of the box by the monkey... fixed her dress and then stepped back to check the scene.
"This looks fine Horace...you can take the picture now," she ordered. "Yes, ma'am," he saluted back. They both giggled. This was fun. He was actually enjoying his little sister. And he was sure she was enjoying him too.
As he put the fabric from the camera over his head Horace checked the lighting one more time. He didn't want his or his sister's shadow to ruin the picture. "O.k. dolls now don't move," he snickered as he talked to the dolls. "May I click the picture Horace.. may I pleeease?" his sister asked. "Sure, but I will have to help you. You will need to hold it for a whole minute," he answered. He put her hand on the button and cupped his hand around hers. "One.. Two... Threeeee... Cheeeeeeeese!!!" They both echoed. Horace counted to 60 and the picture was exposed. "They didn't move a muscle," he said to his sister, as they both laughed.
It had taken him over a half hour to take that one picture but it was the best half hour he had ever spent with his little sister in a long time. She was more fun than he thought. They rearranged the dolls several times and Horace took 3 more plates of the dolls. "Let's go to your room and do another picture of the dolls on your bed... the lighting should be good in there by now," Horace said. They packed up all the dolls back into the pram and as his sister wheeled them back to her room, Horace cleaned up the sitting room of the feathers and such. As he stood in the doorway with his camera, he checked one last time to make sure the room looked as it had when he first came in it. Smiling he made his way to his sisters room.
He spent another hour with his sister before the lighting faded behind the trees. It was a good day of practicing and learning the camera. He was sure he had gotten a few good pictures. He even managed to grab a self portrait of himself with his little sister on her swing out in the garden. He barely fit in her little chair and was thankful his weight hadn't broken it.
"When can I see the pictures Horace???" Now his sister was begging to see the pictures they had taken. "I have to take them to the chemist to be developed," he told her. "It will be a few days. I want to get a picture of mother and you girls, then I will take the film to the chemists.
With one last picture left in his camera he made his way to the chemists shop. Walking down the sidewalk he spotted his other sister with the afternoon basket of fresh fruits and vegetables. He snapped a quick picture of her and continued to Mr. Watson's before he closed up for the night.
Horace met Mr. Watson when he bought his camera. He had been very helpful in choosing the right one. He even promised Horace he would teach him how to develop his own plates one day when he was not busy. Horace was eager to learn, so when Mr. Watson stated he was done for the day and could Horace stay and help him, Horace didn't even have to think twice for an answer.
Mr. Watson showed Horace how to develop the plates and even gave Horace some old equipment to get him started developing them on his own at home. Horace promised to pay him back for the equipment and chemicals. He still needed to come back to Mr. Watson for all his prints but he'd be able to pick and choose just the BEST ones to have printed.
He was late for dinner... again. Father would be furious. Horace hoped they hadn't waited for him. Father was just slicing the meat when Horace sat down at the table. His father didn't say a word. That was strange. "So where have you been son?" his father asked. "I've been learning how to develop my own plates from Mr. Watson," Horace answered. "He even gave me some of his old equipment so I can develop my own plates at home." His father continued to cut the roast and listened. Everyone at the table was silent as Horace told of how he learned to develop the plates from the new camera he had gotten. His little sister listened hardest of all. She was anxious to see her doll pictures. "After dinner I will show you all the plates," Horace concluded. "Son, since you helped your mother and watched your sister this morning I won't scold you about being late for dinner, but don't be late again." "Yes sir," Horace nodded with a smile and everyone continued eating.
That night Horace showed the family the plates he had taken. He was proud of how they turned out. He had done a fine job and his little sister was happy with her doll plates. The lighting HAD been just right and he even managed to get all the dolls in focus. Even little Annabelle sitting on her chair. He put the plates in a box and promised to have a print made of them... someday!