Ayden and Maddi: Father’s Day Gift

My sis-in-law Lauren came to me in May of 2018 with a gift idea for my brother, Josiah, for Father’s Day. She wanted photos of her two kids, Ayden and Maddi, but something more creative than a good smiling portrait of them. She really wanted the photos to reflect them, and what they are currently into, so after some brainstorming she decided to bring Ayden’s baseball gear and Maddi’s dance recital costume, along with her paint supplies and easel. We ended up photographing Maddi painting inside our bedroom, and then took the rest of the images outside on the property.

Maddi loves the camera, and this girl has no problem with getting all the attention and having fun with photos. I love the contrasts and similarities of her “hobbies.” They both are fluid and give her lots of freedom to be creative, but dance can be more energetic and explosive, which I think is well represented in the photos. I let her have the freedom to choose which dance positions and moves to do – after all she is a child, and sometimes their instincts can be more creative and free flowing than ours as adults. Her boots give the photos an added flair that show you she’s not afraid to get down and dirty, or rough it up. The photographs of her painting are so concentrated, and you can see how her mind and personality become more internal as she creates something on canvas. About a month ago she came over to the house and brought a canvas she had painted for our coming baby boy…it was black and white with balloons and said “Always stay humble and kind.” It’s sitting propped up on top of his armoire in the baby room. Ayden, on the other hand, is a little bit older, and when he is into something it’s all or nothing. Unlike Maddi, he has a bit of intensity to him which is obvious in these photographs. While he has a great sense of humor, when it comes to a particular skill or passion he’s working toward, there’s no funny business going on. He’s really into sports – to the point that he talks about players or things I am totally unaware of. We play HORSE in the pool and it’s always a competition…he knows my weakness too: trying to shoot a basket from sitting on the step. For whatever reason, he has nailed those down while I always fail to make them. And he uses it against me every time.

Also, I’d like to clarify that he is not an A’s fan. That is the hat from his baseball team. We’re all SF Giants fans here…and I know he would want me to make sure this fact was known…

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