As a child you dream of what you’re going to become when you grow up. Adults ask you all the time and so you rack your brain trying to figure out the answer to what will certainly be one of the toughest and most important decisions you’ll have to make.
At first, the obvious comes to mind. An astronaut. A fireman. A magician. A rugby player. A singer. A dolphin trainer. The list goes on. (How wild was your imagination? Do you remember what you wanted to be? And now that you are an adult, did you follow through on your dreams?)
Recently, I have put the question to my neighbour’s grandson, Laine Taylor, 8, several times. His mind changes depending on what he's watched on television the night before or what he’s been exposed to during the day. The family jokes how his Auntie Jade is his favourite human because she lives on a farm and when he visits, he gets to ride his dirt bike there.
Apparently, I became his second favourite person when I let him train in my home gym one afternoon. We did some light weights before I wrapped his hands, put some gloves on him and pushed out some boxing technique with the focus pads.
Naturally, he was now torn between becoming a fully-fledged Crusty Demon and a boxing champion when he grows up.
I thought it would be fun to take him into the studio and for just one night, let him be the hero he dreams of becoming. With the help of his family who rallied around and got all the MX gear, I contributed the boxing garb and all Laine had to do was bring some attitude, muscle and strike poses deserving of a role in Zoolander.
And bring it he did!!
I’m not sure what he enjoyed more, getting dressed up and pretending to be a super champ or having the undivided attention of three adults pandering to his every beck and call for the better part of three hours. He certainly relished all of the positive reinforcement that came whenever he nailed a pose. By the end of his shoot his self-esteem was through the roof and I think we can now add to his growing list of potential occupations… model.
Here's some of the pics we captured.
Assisting in studio with lighting: Peter Stevens
If you know of a child aged between 5-10years old, who loves getting dressed up and would be a great fit for a creative photo shoot like this, please share this post with them.
I’ve just opened the newly refurbished Natwick Studios in Tapanui, West Otago and I’m keen to expand my creative child portfolio. So, I’m giving away five photo shoots of this nature for free. Yep, for FREE. I’ll even throw in a 5x7” fine art print as a thank you gift.
Don’t fear, you will have the opportunity to purchase more photos if you like.
There are conditions:
· Each shoot will be of a different character and choreographed set
· Children should be aged between 5-10yo or be able to take direction for posing
· The studio is based in Tapanui, West Otago so you need to be able to get here
· Your child must be available for up to 3hours for the shoot (they will be given breaks and sustenance) and it will be a lot of fun for them. It may take less time but just in case
· There is a contract ‘model release’ to sign which entitles me to use the photos for marketing my work
If you would like to apply for one of the free shoots please email me at email@example.com
Here's some behind the scenes shots from this photo shoot. Images of me were taken by Graeme Kennedy.