On the photography hunt today. I was looking to get my model in some candid shots. What better than to go out and do normal stuff (i.e. get coffee and head to the bookstore)? While in pursuit, (and quite honestly taking more forced candids than natural ones) I stumbled upon one of those toddlers you can't help but stare at and wish that someday when you have kids of your own, they will turn out as cute as the little one right before your eyes. This particular one came with personality too, so his brownie points sky-rocketed on my invisible chart of "cuteness".
I felt drawn to the little tyke. Pretty sure he and his mother were Korean. In the midst of longing to take his picture for my portfolio, I asked my model if she thought it would be a good idea; never having asked a total stranger if I could take their child's picture, certainly put a little trepidation into my decision. And that didn't even include the fact that they both were speaking a foreign language, of which I only know how to say hello- in a botched sort of way. But after I recieved the go-ahead from my model, I mustered the courage needed and walked up to the little one's mom. The conversation went a little something like this.
"excuse me" (she doesn't hear me, so i tap her on the shoulder)
(she turns around)
"hi. can i take a picture of him." (while asking, i lift up my camera and point at her son, who is chattering away about some toy)
(she looks slightly confused) "oh" she says. "why?" (i begin to feel hopeless)
"it's for school" (feeling lame)
"uhhhh" (honestly, i want to crawl in a hole; i hope she doesn't think of me as some kind of delusional weirdo/psycho...i'm really not. hopefully she'll see me as some sweet looking teenager. i'm not one, but everyone thinks i am, so you never know).
"okay" (she stretches out the word and makes it sound like a question)
I'm happy at this point, yet i feel like I'm invading personal space, so my courage is at a 2 1/2, maybe a 3. The little kid, however is very willing to have his picture taken, and even says hi to me after his mom's encouragement.
I only took two shots of him cause I felt like I was slightly weirding his mom out, though she was very helpful in getting his attention for me and apologizing when he walked too close to the camera. After thanking her and leaving the area, I couldn't get him out of my mind. His adorable qualities seared to my heart like I was being branded by a rancher (though less painful). I felt slightly idiotic, but I ended up going back to the kids area and using up my last ten or so frames on him. I intended to take them of my model, but he "just happened to be there still" and was conveniently interested in the toys we (my model and I) were playing with. So I snapped away while his mom apologized over and over about his child-like behavoirs (I thought they were endearing). Such as, whenever he saw me looking through the veiwfinder, he would tilt his head and body to the right (imagine trying to look at a picture that is tilted on it's side). He would stay still until i took the shot (the perfect little model). Once my role ended I felt the beginnings of a sad parting (only on my part). But I had a good time; I even had a mini conversation with his mom, which made the situation less awkward. As we parted (for the final time), the little boy's mom told him to say bye, which he did, and repeated himself several more times. Between his goodbyes I thanked the mom multiple times, feeling like it wasn't enough, but hoping she could see my earnest gratitude.
Here's hoping my photos turn out (I'll post some later if they do).