Photographing small children is a bit like interval training. I’m either dashing around trying to keep up with quick little legs, or I’m sitting on the ground waiting for the next thing to happen. The younger the kids, the more I seem to wait.
Little ones have their own agenda, and they really don’t care what we have in mind. When it’s time to eat, it’s time to eat. And the world will have to stop until this new project is complete. It’s not like they’re suddenly going to say , “hey, I forgot you were trying to photograph me being awesome… let me finish this one last Cheerio so we can get back to business!” Nope. That never happens. And I’m grateful.
Their slowing down forces me to slow down. To pause. To look around while I wait. I take these lulls in my sessions to find that one photo…. the magical, layered photo that reveals a little more the longer you look at it.
Here is this Palo Alto Family’s One Photo:
The feet are where the crux of the magic lies. Both children have their signature pose. On the left, she has one foot up and one down. On mom’s right, he has his feet crossed. Two positions they seem to hold at all times throughout the day… no matter what they’re doing.
Now, layer on Dad working in the adjacent room – even though he’s not physically in the picture, he’s involved because this is what he sees when he walks out of his office. His wife, mother of his two wonderous children, is sitting in-between them, turning side to side as she alternates between helping each of them with their snacks. If we look at the floor we see the remaining evidence of their hunger. Which was soon lapped up by their two very loving, and mildly skittish, rescue dogs… yet another layer in the deeper story this picture tells.
This more than just a photo of cute, dangling feet. This is history. Their history. So much is said in one photo. So much to recall and remember. I’m happy to sit and wait for children to finish eating, if I am granted access to moments like this. My heart is happy. :)