Many children I photograph act a little shy at first. A few cry or refuse to look at the camera. (As long as I can get the parents to stop pleading, scolding and threatening them, I can usually distract them enough to get some good shots.) Other kids, in an effort to do the right thing, give me the same uneasy smile, as they listen to a parent call out to them, “Be good for your picture!”
But my favorite subjects have so much personality, that they just can’t keep it inside. Every thought seems to bring a new expression, and every minute a fresh willingness to play and pretend. This little dynamo (call him Dennis) brought me great joy with his every move.
My assisting photographer called Dennis “the art director,” because he kept running over to me and asking to see his photo on the camera’s LCD.
Posing on Dad’s shoulders, he reached for convenient handles…
After I asked Dennis to “Be a banana,” he obliged. Then he said he wanted to be a Chicken McNuggett.
(“Dennis” is not the child’s real name. We protect his privacy by withholding his name.)