From the outside looking in, it looked not much different than a year end hockey, maybe gymnastics, club party. You know the kind – one of those parties where all the family and siblings are invited to come and gather and eat and play and just celebrate. Kids were playing in all corners with various blocks, bouncy balls, trinkets, and electronics. Parents were helping their children open up delicious snacks and pop off the straws on sugary juice boxes. People were meeting eac
h other, exchanges contact info and finding commonalities. It was a party full of 79 people of all ages.
From the inside – from the perspective of our producer – it was internal time bomb, knowing that all must run smoothly if this day was to be pulled off with success. Each child needed a model release signed by whichever one of these dozen mothers might be hers. Each kid needed to be given an envelope with his precious earnings, to be safe kept by whichever uncle brought him. The matching process is always a challenging game.
Then, each kid needed to be dressed properly – coordinating, but not matching, with the others in her shoot. Dora the Explorer shirts needed to go. Black leopard print pants needed to be changed. And the identical shirts needed to hash out which one had to find something else.
But when all the logistics were tied up and all the kids were in order, the real fun began. In midst of bustling chaos all around the set, we successful managed to wrangle tens and tens of beautiful children into 2 groups of preschool and 3 groups of elementary aged classrooms.
The kids shone us their gorgeous smiles, their eyes lighting up with pride as the audience of the day – the grandparents, parents, uncles and siblings, watched on while it was their time to shine. They pretended to know each other as we paired them for group work shots or asked them to pretend like they were best friends. The little ones sat on the lap of their “teacher of the day” as she read them stories.
It was an honour to capture these moments. Yes, they were perhaps fabricated and staged. But they were in no small way inauthentic.
They were real kids who were brightening up the studio with their sparkle, their lives. They were exactly the reason that I love what I do. It was nothing but a privilege to share the time and space with them.
Thanks to all who came out and we hope to see some new faces next time!*
*Email email@example.com if you want to join in on the fun! We look for people of all ages!