Capturing Childhood

Sometimes, I capture an image that strikes something.  Not something as a photographer, though that part of me gets giddy, too.  It strikes the momma in me.  This is one of those photos.  This right here is childhood.  This reflects some deeper essence of childhood than I could ever create during a session.  This is Andrew, being real.  And it’s perfect.  It’s the kind of image I always wish to capture of my own boys.  Of them playing and being full of life and reveling in the simple joy of something like conquering a tree.

I’m supposed to be blogging Andrew’s *new* birthday session, and I’ll be posting from that, too, but I found myself paging through last year’s album and stumbled across this one and just stopped.

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Andrew’s momma is so good at these types of shoots.  She sets up a bit ahead of time–the outfit and a few ideas, which she comes up with by talking to whichever of her babies is the star of the photoshoot.  And then she is just kinda nearby but lets her kiddos go and shine and be.  I love these sessions so much because the kids are just playing, and the memories are real.

10x20 Stone Collage

We capture framers at these sessions, too.  Although the play-time photos would appeal to me more as framers, to be honest.  I get that this is not for everyone, though.  We all have different tastes.  But when kids are set free, they are way more likely to pause for a smile for a moment or three when they know there is fun just seconds ahead.

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I got wrapped up in last year’s photos of Andrew, but he has moved forward and grown and lost teeth and shifted focus.  Even after all of that changing, he still loves to play…

Capturing Childhood--soccer

…and play…

Capturing Childhood--shooting hoops

…and play…  He has wheels in his shoes!  These have been around for awhile.  I can remember wanting a pair when I was young.  I was not…ahem, coordinated enough…for wheels on shoes to be a good or a safe idea, but they looked sooooooo cool.  Andrew rolls like a pro, switching between wheels and walking with nary a stutter in his movement.  And look at that dimple!!

Capturing Childhood--roller sneaks

He chalked some of his favorite things on the driveway for a “stuff I love” photo.  While this little preparatory moment wasn’t part of the official “shoot,” these are the moments that struck me…when he was working on documenting his passions–the intent way he worked and also just the absolutely adorable handwriting.

Capturing Childhood--chalk art

Andrew is sporting a new smile this year.  I’ve talked about this regarding my own boys–I can never decide which smile phase is my favorite.  I guess it’s whatever phase we are in at the moment.  My youngest’s great big adult teeth are currently too big for his face, and he couldn’t be any cuter if he tried.  Looking at this photo, though, I’m missing the beyond-perfect way that missing front teeth draw out the essence and spirit of childhood like very few other things can.  You can’t help but feel the energy of this smile.  Already having photos like this of my boys as moments in our past, I only hope that this photo will offer Andrew’s parents that same warm and fuzzy after his big-boy teeth begin to fill up and transform his smile yet again.

Capturing Childhood--toothless

And we even had a few seconds of cuddles with his kittie and somehow caught a quick snap with both of them looking at the camera.  As much as I would love to say I had something to do with this successful snap, capturing kiddos (and kitties) in motion is so much more about just being with them and mixing that up with a little luck and a lot of magic.  Memorializing these moments is such a privilege, and it’s really exciting when magic happens.  And how about those eyes??  Killer, amiright?!??

Capturing Childhood--snugging Pikachue

So yeah.  I get to play at work.  I get to witness play at work.  And it’s really cool.

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