The Perfect Shot

by Jay David

Chapter 1: The Perfect Shot

The Perfect Shot

Precision and perfection. Those were the by-words that Photo Finish lived by. And when people saw her work, they knew, even without any experience or ability in the field of photography, that she was a master of her craft. Every person, every object that girl took photos of, looked nothing less than amazing, even things that would have otherwise seemed perfectly mundane. Photography was her life, her reason for being, the very air in which she breathed. To her, taking a photo that had no flair or style or "wow" factor was the most serious of crimes, a travesty to be avoided at any and all costs. Hence why she would take as long as she did whenever she was called upon. It was not unheard of for her to even take entire days making sure that every element of her shot was where it needed to be to meet her high and exacting standards. And today, she was once more right in the thick of it. Observing every single aspect of what she needed to do, every little minutia that could turn a good photo into a great one. She studied, she observed, she analysed, she made the subject before her an absolute focus in her mind's eye. And at the end of it all, she finally voiced her sentiment on how things had been prepared.

"Ach! Nein, nein, nein! Zis vill never do!"

Sweeping aside some of her snow-white hair, the girl grimaced.

“Ve need more...more oomph, darling!”

Unfortunately, while many of her subjects for photography might have been able to offer some reaction or even feedback to her comments, today it was somebody who was simply unable to do so. A small dog, given to her for the day by one of her neighbours, the latter of which having really wanted a good photo of the little critter. It sat there, happily waggling its tail, tongue hanging out, with no concept whatsoever of how dissatisfied the girl in front of it was. Still, at the very least, Photo was pleased that it wasn't simply wandering off from where it was, for now at least. Still, the matter of how to create the best possible image from this animal still eluded Photo, and she tapped her chin almost continuously when thinking on how best to proceed.

"Perhaps...ja! Ve need to help vith de shadows!"

She walked over, all while the diminutive puppy glanced up with curiosity to her. The white-haired girl glanced around every single square inch of the animal, looking to anything that might be creating some kind of intrusive shadow upon either it or the surrounding area. Furniture was moved, which was made all the easier thanks to Photo's ever-present assistant, Pixel Pizzaz. Stray objects, like the occasional dog toy or other item, were carefully placed aside, and before long, only the dog remained within the shot. Again, Photo took her beloved camera from Pixel, and again, she looked to her subject. She paused, making sure she was standing in the correct way, holding the device properly, looking with steady hands at the canine. And then, she sighed.

"Ach! Nein again! It is still not done!"

In frustration, she tapped her foot rapidly upon the ground, all while Pixel looked on nervously. Silence passed, save for the occasional yap from the dog, and then, Photo snapped her fingers.

"Dat's it! Ve need better backgrounds!"

Pixel nodded, and spun around swiftly, rummaging around in the large bag they'd brought with them. Photo watched as she did this, seeing her pull out poster after poster. The other girl held them up for her colleague, and Photo watched each and every one of them with the same kind of analytical eye a surgeon might use. Pixel, for her part, started to sweat a little under this intense gaze, which was only made worse when Photo released yet another dissatisfied grunt.

"No, Pixel! None of dese are good enough! Ve must use...it!"

Pixel gasped.

"No! Not...it!"

But Photo, placing her hands upon her hips in an open gesture of defiance, nodded intently.

"Ja! Use...it!"

Nervously, Pixel placed down the posters she'd brought out already, and instead moved over to a second bag nearby. With especially great care, she opened it, and began to remove a final poster. She handled it with the same care one would expect when holding some priceless work of art from a fancy museum. As for Photo, she adjusted her glasses, watching as her assistant moved behind the dog, which was still sitting very obediently despite all of this activity going on around it. Pixel slowly unfurled the poster, got it hanging up, and Photo took a step backwards, looking to it and once more placing her finger to her chin.

"Ja...dat could verk."

The image before her was one of utter beauty. A painting of a beautiful green field with every single amazing image of nature one could imagine. Rainbows, waterfalls, birds in lush trees. It had everything, and when standing in front of it, the dog looked like it totally belonged there. The image for the photo was looking better and better with every change they were making, and yet, something still gnawed at Photo. Some tiny, unspoken aspect of this whole thing that simply would not let her go.

"But...vat is it? Vat is missing? Vat have ve not done yet?!"

Pixel, seeing the clear distress her friend was going through, started to feel just the tiniest bit dejected herself over all of this. But then, as her eyes drifted over to the small dog, a thought came to her. Slowly but surely, a smile returned to her face, and she spoke up meekly.

"Um...I think I have an idea."

Now, Photo was not usually one to take suggestions from anybody, even her own colleagues, but given how much at a loss she was on this project, she decided, for once, to allow Pixel to do what she was doing. She watched as Pixel moved over to the dog, got down to her knees, smiled to the little guy, then promptly took off the tiny pink bow that adorned her own neck. Carefully, she placed it atop the dog's own head, just to the side, right next to its ear, before stepping away and gesturing to it for Photo. Photo, for her part, gazed at that image with her mouth agape.

"Dat...dat..dat is it!"

She picked up her camera once more.

"Quickly, Pixel! Out of shot!"

Pixel nodded, jumping out of the way just in time for Photo to press the button on her camera. There was a flash of light, and before long, the photo emerged from the machine. Photo took it, stared at it for a good long while, and then, with one hand on her hip, held it up as if showing it to the world.

"Ve...have...de perfect shot!"

Pixel, clearly pleased with her contributions, clasped her hands together while bearing a massive grin.

"Oh, Photo! I'm so glad I could...!"

But, she was halted, as Photo placed a single finger upon her lips.

"Nein, darling! Do not speak de verds! You know how ve do now!"

Giggling nervously, Pixel scratched the back of her head, before nodding in agreement.

"Yes, yes, I know...you go?"

"I GO!!!"

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