The little boy is lost. He has not lost his way, he has not lost his mother, but he is lost. Lost in a world far outside the one in which he inhabits and deep inside one in which he has created. The flow of his imagination is like a river that moves through and over and around him. Everything that he sees, hears and touches is part of his world and it is perfect.
Getting a decent photograph of a child happens all the time. There small forms, bright eyes, and unguarded expressions are very photogenic but you have to work a little harder to get a photograph that helps to define who this little person is and what childhood is about. I saw this little boy playing on a sidewalk with his tractors and there was something so intent, so purposeful about what he was doing that I got down on the ground and watched him for a while. I was using a telephoto lens so I could sit a ways back and watch him without him noticing. Getting down low is really important when photographing children. So many photos of children are taken from adult height but getting down on the ground puts the viewer in the child’s world. I sat and watched and waited for the right moment, then he started to get up and squatted back down almost folding himself in half to look down into the tractor on the right and I fired away. I love the way that this little boy is so intent on the story in his head that he is bends almost in half to see what the imaginary little man in the tractor is doing. It felt to me like a perfect little moment of childhood.