My brother has lived in Jasper, Indiana ever since he graduated college and his daughter, Emily, has spent a week with my parents every summer. This summer, she stayed for twelve days! I know my mom was very excited about her being around for more than a week, but I was really excited – I would be able to see more of her even though I keep a hectic schedule. And I love this girl to bits and bits, so spending time with her is a must.
I threw out the idea when she first arrived in Louisville to do a photo-walk. I don’t think she knew exactly what I meant, but over five days of emails she got the gist. I picked her on Sunday morning, we headed out for a delicious breakfast of pancakes and then I took her down to my alma mater, the University of Louisville. I thought the campus would be a great place for a photo-walk because of the scenery (trees, buildings, landscaping, albino squirrels), but I also thought it would be cool to show Emily where her family went to school. Both my mom and brother graduated from UofL as well, so it was fun to tell her the stories from over the years of visiting campus together when I was younger and my own days as a collegian.
I think the idea went over pretty well. :)
I armed Emily with my old Rebel XT and gave her two lenses to work with: the 18-55mm kit lens and the fantastic 50mm f/1.8. We set her camera on aperture mode, we reviewed aperture and what numbers were important, I showed her how to change it on the camera… and then I let her do her thing.
Emily went right at it – she was snapping at everything that caught her eye. So as she took photos, I’d take a shot of the same set up and we’d compare. We covered the rules of thirds, properly using the focus on the camera and she just soaked it all in. She was a sponge. It was awesome just to watch her “get it” as we wielded cameras side by side.
I told her that I had plans to photograph her as well. And I agreed that if she posed for me, I’d pose for her. So I let her pose for me first, took some photos and showed them to her along the way. Before I posed for her, I slapped the 50mm on her camera and had her open the aperture. She definitely fell in love with that little lens – come the first shots she got, she noticed how the background was knocked out and she did a little dance.
She’s nothing like her aunt.
Then the experimenting started. Story telling with a wide aperture. Admiring flowers. Looking down a rail. Finding reflections. Getting down on the ground.
I’m pretty sure I’ve squat down on the ground like with clients several times. And I’m glad to know I’m not the only one. ;)
She’s a girl after my own heart, in her own world and having fun. It seems like it was just last year she was a little thing with chubby cheeks and the same long red hair. I can still hear her tiny four-year-old voice yelling up my parents’ stairs in the morning to wake me up. “Aunt Book-ah-nay! Come pay wit me!” And now she’s thirteen. Starting eight grade and as tall as me. It’s hard to believe that she’s grown up this much. And I’m just proud of where she is in her young life.
She makes me happy. And I love her for that. Forever and always.
To see the photos I took of Emily on our photo-walk, click here.