My son has always been stubborn. When he wanted to learn a sport, he practiced relentlessly until he “got it.” When he wanted to finish a project, he would stay up all night if need be. If he was determined to catch a fish, he would sit there until he did.
Raised in Southern California, he was unfamiliar with Minnesota’s favorite sport. But after hearing fishing stories from family and neighbors, he was determined to catch a fish. On his first trip to a family cabin on Lake Vermilion, he found a fishing rod to his liking, and walked to the nearby resort for bait. We told him that the fish bite most on cloudy days, and this was a sunny one. He was determined to prove us wrong. He settled himself in at the end of the dock in the afternoon sun, and commenced fishing.
At dinnertime we called him in to eat, but he refused to leave his post. Instead, I brought a plate of food to him. As dusk set in, we built a fire in the fire pit near the shore, but he stayed on the dock. When darkness approached, we told him that if the fish weren’t biting at dusk, they weren’t going to bite. He said he was going to fish all night if he had to. And he did. He finally came into the cabin around 6 a.m., dejected that his stoic efforts had not paid off. He collapsed on his cot and slept most of the next day away, no doubt dreaming about catching a fish.
How she got the shot:
I wanted to capture this moment that said so much about my son — his drive, his tenacity, his anticipation, his serenity. And I knew if he was aware of my presence, the photo would change. It was late in the day, perhaps 8:30 p.m. The sun was low in the sky, and he had already been at his task for seven or eight hours. I crept amid the bushes along the shore sheltered by the boat house, framed his seated figure amid the leaves and captured one of my favorite images of him.