Wild n' Crazy Kids

A few weeks back I got asked to shoot a 5th grade graduation party, which would have:

  1. a mechanical bull
  2. a swimming pool
  3. a trampoline
  4. sno-cones and ice cream cake
  5. 50 twelve-year-olds, recently released from school

And the last item would be: me, obviously I am going to be there; this sounds amazing. What follows is mostly photos of kids gleefully falling: into inflated air, nylon, and kool-aid colored water. I long for the days when I could fall like that.

I've been really loving taking pictures of kids lately; even or especially in the din of wilder events (and the sudden concern; did I zip up my camera bag, the one that's fifteen feet away from the pool?) I feel like they make everything great. Their hearts are on their sleeves at all times. They're like explosive little ids, expressing exactly what they feel in the moment they feel it. And to them, I'm completely invisible; I don't even have to tiptoe.

This weekend my husband and I went to some fireworks in a neighboring suburb with friends, one of whom has a 10 year old son. "Does having a kid basically let you relive childhood?" I asked him. "The Fourth of July used to be amazing to me. Now it's, you know, great; but I can't seem to recapture that breathtaking endless magic it used to be. Do you live vicariously through someone who is experiencing that?"

"You can," he said. "Most people don't. It's hard to remember to do it."

I don't know if I'd be able to as a parent dealing with the logistics of keeping another tiny person fed and safe. But as a photographer who just shows up for a few hours to watch, it's my favorite part.