As I’m reviewing the images from a client shoot I’ll often come to one such as the above, instinctively decide to include it in the proof selection, but then look again later and question why. “There’s nothing to it”, I’ll think to myself. If I'm not careful in these moments I can easily spiral downward into self-judgement, as so many of my photographs fall into the category of unaffected, straightforward, and elementary.
Ironically, these simple, nondescript images will often have been the result of quite a lot of doing on my part. Anyone who photographs kids knows that six year old boys are usually high in energy, low in attention span, and full of goofy expressions. So a brief moment of repose, complete with soft mouth, clear open eyes, engaged demeanor, and no flailing appendages may be a “nothing to it” portrait, but this photographer will gladly take it.
What I find breathtakingly beautiful about young children is their honesty, their openness, and most of all their complete willingness to bare their vulnerability. Anything observed that might convey these exquisite qualities is worthy of pressing the shutter release in my book, no matter how modest the resulting portrait may be.