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Local Column

Picture This: The must-have photo

I was on my way to take photos of Sycamore High School’s baseball team Friday for a story on the upcoming baseball season that appears today in our newspaper’s sports section.

When I pulled into the school’s parking lot, I looked at my side mirror noticed a girl putting sticky notes all over a parked car.

Having arrived early to the assignment, I decided to amuse myself and watch what she was doing for a minute or two. It seemed to be either a prank or, based on what students did when I was in high school, she was asking someone to a dance.

An awkward part of this job is walking up to strangers with two large cameras, especially in an age where the majority of people don’t like being photographed.

I walked up to her, introduced myself, and learned her name was Emily Comer. She told me that the car belonged to her boyfriend, Sycamore junior Justin Otte, and that she had asked him to leave it unlocked while he was at track practice.

Bingo. This was just the creative angle that I wanted – from the inside out.

I helped myself to the driver’s seat and she continued to place sticky notes on the windshield while keeping an eye out for Otte.

Comer, a freshman at the University of Iowa, was home on spring break and wanted to surprise her boyfriend by asking him to Sycamore High School’s Turnabout dance in a creative way. The dance is Sycamore High School’s version of a Sadie Hawkins dance, where the girls have a chance to ask the boys to be their date for the dance.

I hope her boyfriend said yes after all her creative effort. I wasn’t able to stay to find out.

I have being in the right place at the right time to thank for this photograph.

Approaching strangers is all in a day’s work when I see a photo I absolutely must have.

Picture This is an occasional column showcasing photographs by Daily Chronicle photographers. You can reach photographer Monica Maschak at or 815-756-4841 ext. 2234. You can follow her on Twitter

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