Queen Elizabeth Park

A few weeks ago I spontaneously signed up for one of the photo shoot experiences being hosted by My City Photos, and invited E and A to get in on the balloon filled action.

The shoot was being hosted in Queen Elizabeth Park, and for the life of me I can’t figure out why we don’t spend more time there. Walking into those woods immediately made me think of my childhood. The sensory memories were overpowering, and unbelievably soothing. Sunlight through coniferous branches, the smell of ferns and the crunch of pine needles… those were the happiest times of my own childhood. Bliss.

The occasional popped balloon sound did very little to disrupt my happy memories.

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The kids reacted exactly the way you’d expect to an invitation like this. They ran around like crazy and then started beating me with balloons, as any rational child would.

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At a certain point, Iz was done with the socializing and took off to sit under a tree and build a pond and bridge out of sticks. The more I watch this kid interact with the world, the more I realize why kindergarten didn’t work out well for her. There are a lot of reasons, of course, but it is an inescapable fact that her social cup gets filled up very quickly. In any social interaction, she enjoys it immensely, until she’s done… and then she can’t deal any more and needs quietness and space to herself. I can only imagine that sticking her into a classroom for 30 hours a week with a bunch of 4 and 5 year olds was a special kind of hell for her.

Live and learn.

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A word about My City Photos. I am pretty picky about who I get to shoot photos of the family and don’t do professional shoots all that often. ┬áThe end product is important, of course, but I want to feel like the photographer gets who we are, and at the end of the day I’m looking for a spark of connection with the person doing the creative work. Last summer we had a fantastic shoot with a wonderful husband and wife creative team, but they are moving out of the province and I couldn’t quite get it together to make our schedules work with them. (Incidentally, if anyone in Ontario is looking to have some amazing photos taken, these folks will be out there shortly.)

I had previously connected with Laura-Lee over another photo shoot idea, and felt immediately like she got it. The joy and sense of playfulness that is essential to any photo shoot (in my humble opinion) was there, and she took my ideas and ran with them. Wrangling four very different personalities of varying ages in a short period of time isn’t a challenge for the faint of heart, and she and Anita were more than up for the challenge. By the end of the session she’d nicknamed Corbin T-Rex, and, well, I think this photo speaks for itself.

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Yeah, I think it worked out okay.


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