Nine degrees. Nine degrees was the high for the day, and that did not take in to account the wind. The smallest breeze felt as if it had picked up the snow, vaporized it, and instilled it into our bones in one swoosh. The cold and wind did not stop my brother and I as we stood in front of the Two-Way Mirror Punched Steel Edge Labyrinth (yes, that is its name) at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

Chink, chink went the camera. I tilted it upward to see the photo. I was trying to capture us standing in front of the mirror without holding the camera to my face to take the picture–a task that proved to be more difficult than it seemed.

“Dang it,” I muttered. “I got our legs.”


Clay, my brother, laughed. He ran his fingers through his blonde hair and readjusted his John Lennon wannabe, tortoise shelled sunglasses.

“We should look off into the distance,” Clay said. “We’ll look cooler that way.”

Clay is a sophomore in high school, still wandering down the path of who-the-heck-am-I. He plays football and shops at Pac Sun. He benches 135 pounds and blowdries his hair after he showers. On weekends you’ll find him at the basketball court and in the car ride home, you’ll find him singing One Direction at the top of his lungs. Twine bracelets line both his wrists and his Nike Elite socks come up to mid-calf. Two months ago, he told me he wanted to be a photographer when he grows up. Now, he sees himself delving into Astronomy when he goes to college. At least one can say that he’s not afraid to take random turns in his journey of self-discovery.

I rolled my eyes. “Okay hermanito,” I said.

I was home for spring break, which did not stop my professors from assigning homework. For my digital photography class, I had to take a forced perspective photo–an image that utilizes space that misconceives the eye (a common example is a person resting against the Leaning Tower of Pisa). The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden seemed perfect for this project because of the ginormous artwork. Clay was more than willing to spend his Thursday afternoon in Minneapolis to be my model. We had just finished taking these pictures with The Front of the Snowwoman sculpture.


Clay stuck his hands into his pockets, then looked off to the right. Not wanting to mess up the picture again, I brought the camera to my face, positioned the angle, and distanced my face a little away from the camera so only one-third of my face remained covered by the picture-taking device.

Chink, chink. I pulled the camera away from my face, looking down onto the digital screen to see if we finally had success.

The image appeared, and thanks to the magical effects of the mirror and sheer luck, the image turned out.

“Whoa, that’s pretty cool,” Clay said. “That’s going on Instagram.”

We took more photos, trying different angles and sides with the mirror until the cold nibbled past our coats and mittens and settled into our skin.

I set my camera back into its case. “We should get going,” I said.

Clay nodded, rubbing his hands together. We walked to our Expedition, set the equipment in the back, and slid into our seats. Heat and Taylor Swift blasted from the speakers and vents as soon as I turned the key.

I was sipping the remnants of my turtle mocha when Clay nudged my arm.

“Hey sis,” he said.

“Yes?” I replied.

“Thanks for today. I had a lot of fun. Probably the most fun I’ve had in a long time.”

A goofy, sappy smile stretched across my face. I set the coffee back into the cupholder. “Anytime hermanito,” I said.

I put the car into drive and spun it around. Taylor Swift had subsided and Avicii overtook the stereo system.

Hey brother. There’s an endless road to rediscover. Hey sister. Know the water’s sweet but blood is thicker. Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you, there’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do.


4 thoughts on “Photography in the Garden

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