After I uploaded Nighttime Reader a few days ago, I realized that many of my favorite images over the years involve children reading. I remember suggesting to the mother of my very first photography subject in 2009 to bring along a book for her. At the time I figured that even if she decided that she was “done” posing for the camera, I could still get a couple of nice images of her.
After I took a few photographs, I realized that providing the book not only kept her in place physically, it captured her attention. She completely ignored me, which is what I wanted. When a child is enjoying a book, they are no longer concentrating on those around them, but on the story or images themselves. Therefore, their body relaxes and the result is a completely natural expression.
Four years later, this is still one of my favorite portraits.