My adorable nephew is turning two this week and to celebrate we decided to have a little photo session. With the help of my sister and brother-in-law, who were running around trying to get my nephew’s attention and helping with the reflectors, this was a pretty fun shoot. To be honest, I was a little nervous. Typically, I’ve only really had to deal with musicians in the dark, never a toddler, so while there was an element of stability that was removed, a common thread was found in candid shots.
I had this idea in my head of the innocence of playtime — and my nephew’s love for the movie franchise Toy Story, which is also his party theme this year — and how much you feel alive playing. He also makes us watch the movies over, and over again, so as an adult you start to dive deep into the philosophy of the toys, which is an incredibly nerdy thing to admit. Yet, that was in the back of my mind when I arranged Woody.
This was shot at a park in Claremont, CA and it caught my eye online due to the contrasting natural elements available. There was a trail that made for some nice distant shots, and of course the changing color of the leaves made my heart happy. It seemed only right to use a gold reflector on the majority of these shots, play up the color of the landscape, and let the toys or my nephew tell the story. I also made a sad attempt at the original Toy Story logo (closest font in Photoshop, Gill Sans Ultra Bold, and spread out the letters).
Some shots I wish could’ve been better framed, of course in the moment you need to be ready to go, but overall I’m really happy how these came out. I also think it’s not really me doing the magic in the photos, but the fact that my nephew is extremely photogenic.
He gave me 264 shots, I edited around 80 solid ones, and he took a well deserved nap after.
I drank three cups of coffee.