Even though Jana and I have been friends since high school, I was a little nervous about taking these pictures for her. What if they sucked?! All my nerves washed away though, and I relaxed, when Jana came to pick me up and informed me her kids wanted to know why I don't have a car.
Now I suspected that it might be a little difficult to wrangle four monkeys into one frame, have them all looking at the camera at the same time, and, you know, smiling (for the strange lady without wheels). Yeah, it was hard. I spent a lot of the time on my stomach, belly crawling through the grass, while Jana was dancing around behind me trying to keep the attention of the youngest two, I was calling out toilet humour to keep the oldest two laughing, and every now and then I'd feel Jana sprinkling leaves all over my head so all four would break into giggles.
But man, did I have fun. And it was a great learning experience too about setting up poses, what works, what doesn't, paying attention to background, etc...
Her kids were so great, so well behaved, and I don't think it hurt at all that I coaxed out a few extra smiles by mentioning the hot chocolate and marshmallows I'd brought along. The fact is I was having so much fun that I could have kept taking pictures all afternoon, but Jana had to gently intervene and point out to me that it might be best to pack up because the kids' lips were turning blue.
Here are a few of my favourites, but keep in mind these are only a very small few. In addition to being sweet, those kids are mega-photogenic: I may or may not have snapped over 500 pictures.
I think these are my three favourite shots of the entire day.
Jana's girls LOVE the picture on the right, and call it 'the funny face picture'.
Here I'd asked them to smile like the ugly stepsisters in Cinderella.
Another personal fav.
On Saturday I took my computer to Jana's house, and Jana and I and the kids all looked through the pictures then I burned them onto a disc for Jana.
The kids had gone to a Halloween party the night before, and each of them (well, except sweet baby Colt) had a bag of Halloween treats. As I waited for the disc to finish burning, Kate got up on a chair beside me and asked to see the 'funny face picture' again. I told her that I would show her the picutre just as soon as the disc finished burning. She wanted to know how long that would take, so I said to watch the green bar that inched its way across the computer screen; when it reached the end we were done.
Basically, we had a minute to go.
Kate rested her chin on the table and sighed with all the impatience of a four year old: This is taking forever. Then she hopped down, ran and got her candy sack, and returned.
She pushed a green Smartie and blue Smartie across the table and told me that I could eat those while I was waiting. I was very flattered that she would share her prized Halloween candy with the lady who had no car, so I said that since she was so nice to share with me, how about I ate the green one and she ate the blue one? I'd share with her.
"Oh, that's okay," Kate replied brightly, "I don't like those ones. That's why I gave them to you."
Ah kids, so cute and so honest.
I just hope I did their innocence justice.
*Jana already knows that's how I referred to the afternoon. It's all good.