Natural instinct and luck.
"I think photographers know that. I think they know at some point, that’s the shot!"
We caught up with Al Torres on his day off at his Houston photography studio.
"We try to treat everybody like they're famous," he said.
But some of his subjects really are notable.
"I was a little nervous that whole weekend and up until that day I didn't mention it to anybody."
Referred by a friend, Torres was asked to shoot George H. W. Bush’s 90th birthday party just says before the event.
Torres remembers during the party they had screens showing all the images of Bush growing up, going to Yale, old photographs of his family and Al thought at one point, these images and this party will be in history books, it will be part of those one day. He says it made the shoot that much more special.
A 50 mm lens, wide-open, Torres says he concentrated on his breathing. He didn’t used a flash or have any extra light available.
"I walked over to the table, got on my knees, put my elbows on their table," he said.
He snapped photo after photo until he got the shot.
A frame so perfect people often ask Torres if it was staged.
"They were very welcoming, very warm to everyone. She looked you in the eye, he looked you in the eye; they were very, very authentic and genuine," he said.
Torres later had the photograph framed and presented it to Barbara Bush at a literacy event, she told him she would cherish it.