Saturday, July 29, 2017

I see you!

The job of a preschool photographer is similar to herding cats. A friend made reference to herding cats this morning and I fully understand! These little ones are so unpredictable it keeps things very interesting. One little boy got my heart this last week...

As he comes in his teacher fixed his obviously new shirt, buttoning it straight. He looks at me with a shy grin.  His teacher tells me he's a poker face - challenge accepted! He sits down on the floor next to me and we talked.  Not about anything particular, just chatted like old friends. His friend was having his picture taken.... err... I mean - PLAYING. We don't use the words "having picture made" it sends kids into a frinzy faster than the word "dentist".  As we sat there I said "oh, that was an awesome smile". I looked down and said "you have a smile in there?".  He gives me this BIG BEAUTIFUL grin and I thought "fantastic! we broke through before he even gets in front of the camera". As his friend finished up we sat and chatted a little more.  Then, his turn.... he goes and sits down and.....
nothing. Not even a slight smile.  We worked and worked, trying all the tricks we knew to try.  Thinking I had a connection with him I go up close and talk to him. He looks in my eyes... deep into my eyes, without saying a word I think he was reading my soul. He answered with his eyes "ya know, I really want to smile but I just can't.... not now".   Sweet little boy!!!   So, we were done. A photographer HATES not to get a smile... it feels like failure ya know.   He starts to walk off and I said "hey... come here".  I give him a hug thinking - I'll hug him real quick and just let him know everything was cool.  He hugged me, not just a hug but a bear hug that wouldn't let go... as in I couldn't let go.  Had there not been other amazing little smiles we needed to capture I have a feeling I would still be there.  Without a word from either of us, just a strong "hey, it's all good" hug... he headed back to his class room.  Although he walked out of the room, he left with me the smell of a man. It was then I realized, his sweet momma or daddy dressed him up and put cologne on him that day, getting him all ready for picture day.  His sweet tender heart was so shy he just couldn't smile. He wasn't being mean at all... just couldn't do it.  I'm a smell person, smells get to me. My memories are connected to smells... for the rest of the day, I carried this smemory (it's a word, trust me).  I prayed for him - I prayed for this sweet one who wanted to say so much but could only hug.  That's ok little one, this momma needed a good little boy hug..... carry on sweet little man - I see you!!!!


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