I missed the shot.
Then the little boy wanders up and stands, perfect positioning in front of my lens, just watching me. I decided to watch back. I remained there, kneeling at his level. We were suddenly in our own little world. He would make little faces at me. I would smile and make faces back. People passing around and between us, paying us no mind. I couldn’t look away. He just stood there, face after face, until finally raising his red ball over his head, right before running off to join his family in the tent.
It turned out to be my favorite photo of the day. His face, the reflection on the ball, the word hope over his head, the layers upon layers of background. And that one moment between the two of us made me feel something I hope to feel with every photo I take. A true connection. A real relationship between me and my subject that requires no sound, just feeling.
I had an urge to share that story after looking at the photo again today. It was taken this past Saturday at the Panoply Arts Festival in Huntsville, Alabama.
This photo and more can be found on my Flickr photostream. It’s where I collect all of my favorite photos from work and personal shoots over the years. Go check them out. And if you have an account, follow me. I love meeting new people through art.