trickery / by Carey

We never ever asked Nathan to smile for pictures. We interacted with him to get real, genuine smiles. And man, did he have great ones!  It was always funny when someone else was taking a photo and told him to say "cheese" -- he had no idea what they were talking about!  He has been the most wonderful subject for me to practice my photography with all this time.  Until...

The last few months, he has become aware of what that big black thing IS.  I think he understands what it does, and for some unexplainable reason, he has become cautious of it.  His entire mood and demeanor change when I pull it out.  He actually asks me to take pictures of things -- for example when he and Cora are sitting in a chair together.  But he doesn't ever look happy.  In fact, he looks quite the opposite.  I had tried everything to get him to revert to his old ways to no avail.  He's actually quite a happy-smiley kid.  But to look at my collection of pictures of him portrays quite the opposite reality.

Most of the time, this is what I get.

I love this image.  I love the blue.  I love the composition.  I love the hat.  But I do not love his expression.  At all.  What a powerful image this would be if he had pretty much any other expression than this one!

But the other day, I had an idea.  I decided to play a little game I remember the grown ups playing on me when I was little.  I remember being annoyed by it, but oh my dear!  Nathan ate it UP.  He's asked a billion times since to play it.  He LOVES it.  And it gets me those real genuine smiles that I love.  This picture isn't perfect -- it isn't sharp.  But this is my buddy and I love it.