I will start this post by telling you that in my experience as a photographer, I have learned that three year-olds are notoriously hard to photograph. They get tired easily. They constantly move. They have new and growing personalities which present a whole different set of problems when you are trying to get the photo of a lifetime from them. No pressure when someone has paid you hundreds of dollars to show up and get the perfect shot, right?
"DO YOU WANT TO HEAR A STORY?"
A few weeks ago, I was asked to shoot a small family gathering the beach. After an exchange with the family, we all agreed on a time and place and were very excited about our shoot here in Charleston.
I met the family on a Friday evening. After an unusually calm and easy shoot with 4 couples, 1 almost three year old, and newborn twins, we started winding up the last part of our shoot down by the water. The mother of the little boy here looked at me and said, "Do you want to here a story?" Since I love a good story, I naturally said yes.
Rachel proceeded to tell me through teary eyes about her little boy born prematurely with a rare kidney disorder. As an infant, his kidneys were removed and this little fighter was put on dialysis. Too small to receive a new kidney, he had to grow bigger and stronger before he was able to be considered for a transplant. His little tiny body needed dialysis to keep him alive and well until he found a donor and he was big enough to endure the major surgery.
About a year ago, it was time. They decided Logan was strong enough to undergo the surgery and found a perfect donor match – his dad. He is a new person now. Alive. Active. Happy. And strong. And so cute and sweet, as you can see here.
His mother suggested we get a few photos of him with his shirt off - showing off his battle scars. Obviously, I wholeheartedly agreed and so did Logan. He was game for everything we did this that day. He never stopped smiling or hamming it up for me and my camera. Little did I know, I was working with a pro. Seems like my little friend, Logan, has been in front of the camera for a large part of his little life as one of the faces of the National Kidney Foundation. So this shoot with the typical three year old was not so typical after all.
I love a story. I love being able to tell the stories of all the people I know and meet. There are some incredible people all over the place. You can find them sitting next to you at the coffee shop. You see them walking through the grocery store. You find them in the house right next door sometimes. But everyone - every single person - has something to tell. And these stories are the magical things that bind us together. If you don't believe me, go check out the blog http://www.humansofnewyork.com/. You won't need much time to see the thread the binds us all is our experiences and our empathy.
To learn more about Logan and his story, you can watch this video: