My friend Chrissy had mentioned on a couple of occasions that she wanted to have some photos done of her and her boys Max and Jack. As the end of 2014 began to loom we decided we needed to get it done or we might miss out, so we met up one day after work in October at Long Point State Park on Chautauqua Lake.
I was a little worried about how many photos we would actually be able to do because Max and Jack are three and five years old. It's kind of hard to hold little guys' attention for very long and I feared it might be a little like herding cats.
When we all arrived I grabbed a blanket out of the car and threw it on the ground and had everyone lay down on it (okay, not me... I was laying in the grass). We were able to get a few good shots there but they were anxious to do some moving around. They really wanted to go on this path that went up a hill so we all headed toward the hill. Trying to keep them somewhat entertained and interested, I asked if they could carry the blanket for me. Wow, you would have thought that I had given them a brand new X-box gaming system. They each grabbed a corner and went running across the lawn yelling, "we get to carry the blanket, we get to carry the blanket!!" Hey, whatever works.
Just before we got to the top of the hill I had them stop and asked if they would like to make some piles of leaves. Well, they got right to it and in no time at all we had a couple piles of leaves. I then asked the boys to throw the leaves in the air and try and catch them. I happily shot away as they tossed the leaves in such a way that you would have thought a small tornado was whipping through the woods.
When we got to the top of the hill I heard Chrissy say "uh, oh." I looked up only to see two separate playsets. Before we could get the boys attention they saw the playsets and that was that. Off they went. It was okay though, I wanted them to have some fun and be in good moods. I used the opportunity to get a few shots of them playing on the playsets.
Throughout the shoot, every now and then, one of the boys would let out this big "yooooooooohhhhhllllll", and then of course, the other one would join in with a big "yoooooooohhhhhllll". At times it sounded like a couple of coyote pups seeing the moon for the first time. After a while it dawned on me that they might actually be saying something but I couldn't figure out what it was. I asked Chrissy, and being the mother of three and five year old boys, she of course said she hadn't really noticed them yowling. (Really? I'm pretty sure there were actual coyotes in Canada that heard them. I understood, though, as a parent you just get used to that kind of stuff.) She asked them what they were saying and after a couple more yowls she turned to me and said, "They're saying your name." Oh. It turns out whenever Chrissy would say something like,"now listen to Joel and do what he says" the yowling would start. It was kind of funny once we figured it out and I took it as a sign they liked me.
As we were headed back to the path to head down the hill Max decide he needed a potty break. Oh boy. Now I'm the father of two girls and when a situation like this occurs we need to find an official government approved potty fast. I started to worry a little bit because I hadn't seen any kind of a bathroom since we had been there. I was a little concerned about the length of time we were taking already and if we now had to go on a potty finding expedition I was afraid I might lose the boys attention and not be able to get it back. My fears were short lived though as Max promptly ran behind the nearest tree and took care of business. I love my daughters, but times like this, I'm thinking boys might have been easier.
The rest of the time the boys did great. We found an old boat to sit in and went out on a couple of docks. There, of course, was the periodic headlock (under the guise of a hug) and wondering when we were going to be done, but in the end we all had a lot of fun. They were kind of tired of it all by the time we were finished but in between the yowling and the headlocks we got some great pictures. You can see a sample of them below.