Little "J" [Los Angeles Birthday Party]



"Do you have kids yet?" A fair question asked of me when I'm photographing children.

"Not yet." The parents smile knowingly, laughing as I try to coax their little ones closer to the camera. "Good luck, Mr. Photographer!"

See, mom and dad can resort to all sorts of parental tricks (blackmail - hehe) to encourage cooperation from their young-ins. I have no such luxury. So, I default to silly parlor tricks like peeking out from amongst a camouflage of balloons, like some game hunter lurking in the marsh. My biggest faux pas: when trying to sway some the tots to recline on the grass, I put my ear to the earth, hoping to convince them of just how amazing the experience was: "Listen," I awed "you can hear the worms." "Eww!" the girls shrieked. Worms. Worms?! What was I thinking. Next time, Fairies or Muggles or something.

Joking aside, what I love about these sessions is precisely that unpredictability. It's not about posing or trying to replicate the stay-put-smile-for-the-camera studio experience outdoors. It's about kids free on the range, and it's up to me to chase them around and file away those little decisive moments of magic.

Many thanks to Erica and Marty, for inviting me to share a slice of the day with their son, "J.", and his entourage of friends. Loved the company, loved the BBQ, and here's hoping you all love the results!