Yesterday I had an amazing time with 9 really fun kids and a really cool fort. I really can’t tell you how much I love my job during projects like these. 🙂 A big thanks to my brother Josh for helping me build the fort, the ladies at Cute as a Button Designs for their awesome hand made accessories, Kate, my beautiful neighbor and friend for helping with face painting and listening to me ramble about my ideas while planning for this, and for all the parents who brought your kids out to play yesterday!
The idea behind this shoot came to me when I remembered a book called, The Berenstain Bears No Girls Allowed that I had as a kid. I remember reading this book and thinking to myself: “That is the coolest fort ever, in the coolest spot ever!!!” Once the thought of the images in the book entered my mind, I immediately bought the book (Kindle edition that night! I am so impatient.) The I started envisioning this fun, real life scenario where kids build a cool fort and get out and play in it. Not the kind of play most kids do today, where we make sure they are dressed in layers with socks and shoes, stay withing 5 feet of a parent or paid caregiver and play in a fenced yard (if outside at all) until no later than 2 hours before dark. The kind of play I am thinking of is where kids drag stuff out of their rooms, wearing whatever mismatched get up they put together made from last year’s Halloween costume, something you wish they wouldn’t get dirty and some of other hand me down piece of play clothes they wear until it is 2 sizes too small. They take all their favorite things to a spot in the neighborhood, just outside the view of mom’s kitchen window and play until the street lights come on wearing no shoes, a little dirt, and some craft paint, creating the most fashion forward outfit a child could image.
This is the kind of play I wanted to create for these kids. Sure their were lots of parents watching and chatting, but for the most part the exploration and genuine fun went on until the street lights came on. 🙂