Christmas and kids…

In the last couple of weeks I’ve been fortunate to run into a bunch of parents who are willing to subject their kids to me and the camera. At this time of year kids are running on major doses of sugar-based adrenaline and getting them to sit still for pictures… of all things… requires a graduate degree in parenting… or more sugar as bribes.

We took Gina to see the Beauty and the Beast at the Portland Childrens Theater, plied her with a good Italian dinner and set her down for a quick series of photos. She’s 6 and gleefully interacted with her Grandmother for about 15 minutes before it got old. That’s plenty long enough.

We headed for Sunriver after Christmas to photograph a family reunion for our good friends Jon and Barbara. Darned if they didn’t have their grandkids and an assortment of other kids who just begged to have their pictures taken. OK, they didn’t beg… it’s a figure of speech. We appreciate all the work that their parents went to to get the kids happy and ready for their photos. Dang it… kids are sure cute.

Trent came from Mississippi just to show off his famous grin!

Sam warmed up to wearing white and had a great time bantering with his Grandpa Jon .. for about 10 minutes. Hey, he’d been sledding earlier and you can’t expect a 3 year old to stay stationary AND happy for extended periods. He stayed happy but moved on to explore other parts of the house.

Sam’s little brother Clay slept in his swing in front of the fire much of the day. Joni got him dressed and smiling just long enough to capture the smile before his head got to be too much to hold up any longer. Hey, for 3 months old he performed admirably. Right on Clay!

And then we met Jack. Jack’s 7 and I knew we’d be buddys in no time. “How many pictures are you going to take?” he asks. Clearly, he was excited to be in front of the lens and missing out on the movie in the next room. Actually, Jack did great. His put-on attitude was mostly smoke and he relaxed as Jon got him laughing and talking.

Katie rounded out the collection of kids within arm’s reach and sat up straight, smiled big and turned and twisted as directed. A photographer can’t ask for much more than that!

I learned a lot about the need to predict the unpredictable, being able to focus on kids eyes as they bounce around being kids, and that lights, backdrops and all things photographic are merely toys in their shiny eyes. I hope they remember the fun we had as they look back on the photos in the future. Thanks kids… t’was fun.

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