Child's Play | atlanta child photographer
In case you all didn't know, I have a best friend that I've had since I was in 10th grade. We met in 1982. I was a new student from out of state and she was a 9th grader with friends she'd had for years. To be honest, I don't remember exactly how we met, but the important thing is that we did. We clicked immediately. During a time in my life where I didn't feel I fit in and was uncomfortable in my own skin, she made me feel like I had found my tribe.
Fast forward to today. She is a successful career woman who works at Coca-Cola here in Atlanta. We still keep in touch and actually get to see one another from time to time, but not like it used to be. At one point we even lived together. Talk about the perfect set up! Anyway, getting back to the story. Her current position at Coke is relatively new. With the new position came a new office. She's all moved in, but she has a space on her wall that has hangers for a missing picture. Considering how that looks, she decided she needed to hang a picture there to decorate the space. People at her job suggested she go to the archives to select a picture to hang, but she had other ideas. That's where I come in.
She had this really cool idea that involved her sons, my son and her sons' friends. She wanted images of the boys playing together and she wanted it printed large enough to fill the space on her wall. The wall space is approximately 20 inches wide, so I know I can make that work. Anyway, I threw some ideas out and she loved them. The images were designed to show friendship, childhood, and summer all rolled up into one. And being that she works for Coke, she bought all the boys Coke shirts. Below you can see what the shirts looked like. I had to take two of these because getting eight boys aged 6 through 12 to look the way you want them to is not that easy.
The second one I told them to interact with each other and that one turned out better. Of course one of them ended up still looking like an impatient old man, but that is his personality.
When I photograph children, the parents are usually the child wranglers for me. Yes, I normally photograph children younger who don't always follow directions well. This wasn't too different. Luckily one of the fathers was there to help corral the boys when they got out of hand. Like when I had them playing football and soccer. They were really trying to arrange teams and all of that. Uh, no. I had to tell them that we were pretending to play and I would tell them exactly what I needed them to do. The issue was getting them to stop playing when I was finished photographing that particular activity. Well, it's just like any other day. Trying to get my son to stop playing so he can come and eat can be a challenge. Here are a couple of images from the sports segment.
By the way, these boys don't play football. The dad and I had to explain what they had to do and what it meant to be a rusher. When the dad asked one of the boys to show their three-point stance, he did some sort of disco move. It may not have been correct, but it sure was funny.
Just to get them warmed up, the first thing I had them do was run towards me. Then I had them jump! And then, dab. Yes, evidently dabbing is still in. Nothing seems to bring joy to boys like running...
After the running and the sports, I figured now was the time for them to have their popsicles. Bomb pops to be exact. Remember those? It was a bit warm, but not too bad. The session was held at 4 pm and we had cloud cover, which provided for such beautiful light. I think the popsicle images were my favorite.
All the kids liked their bomb pops except for one. Again, I told the boys to talk and laugh like they normally do, while they eat their popsicles. One of the boys was staring at the camera, smiling, holding his popsicle. I had to make sure he interacted because it just looked weird.
Another idea I had was for them to have a water balloon fight. We started off with a water balloon toss which they weren't particularly thrilled about. They wanted some violent action. I had to preface the actual water balloon fight with "No head shots or face shots", which they all replied "Awwwww!" Being that my son wears glasses he was happy for that directive. The water balloon toss was pretty uneventful and we ended up with no winner. We thought we had one, but he dropped the balloon and it burst. Ah well. Anyway, you can see how we ended the session. They were a little wet, a lot tired, but extremely happy. This was probably the most difficult to capture because when they were running away from the balloons, they often would run out of my frame.
Finally, I just told them they'd have to move closer and take the hits.
It was a really fun session. The boys were actually great. After the session, my best friend, whose name is Alvia, took all of the boys out for pizza to thank them for participating. Then my son and I went to her house to visit for a bit. While chatting with her I noticed the wording on the Coke shirt she was wearing and it gave me an idea.
That's what was on her shirt. I felt inspired by it.
Keywords: americana, boys, child photography, child portraits, childhood, children, children's photography, fun, happiness, happy, life, photography, photos, play, portraits, young boys
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