Make-A-Wish: My New Interns
On Tuesday morning I conducted separate studio sessions with three adorable “wish kids” for Make-A-Wish. Based in Ann Arbor, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan grants the wishes of children throughout Michigan facing life-threatening medical conditions. The goal is to affirm the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.
First, I photographed 3-year-old Joshua — a super curious boy who immediately wanted to examine every item in the studio, especially if it was electronic. Next was Tabitha (age 8), who loves jumping rope, and was happy to let me photograph her in midair. A lot! 4-year-old Samatha brought a stunningly-detailed Cinderella ball gown her grandmother made for her. She and Fairy Godmother Susan Lerch (Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan CEO) subjected me to multiple rounds of “Bippity Boppity Boo” — transforming me, by turns, into a frog, a monkey, and a turtle. (I’m afraid my turtle imitation left much to be desired.)
I’ll give you one guess as to all three kids’ single, most favorite prop — the one item none of them wanted to put down: a vintage Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash that I chanced upon years ago at Found, but just recently brought to my studio.
Each of the kids immediately recognized the Brownie was a camera, and all were eager to put ME in the hot seat. They clearly understood that it’s a lot safer and more empowering to be the one behind the lens, rather than the one in front of it (although that could just be me projecting). Watching the kids explore and attempt to use the camera was utterly fascinating. I didn’t anticipate that the Brownie would be so compelling, or that it would spur the kids to
turn the tables on me engage with me like they did.
I’m delighted to chalk this up as yet another magical photo shoot on behalf of Make-A-Wish. All the shots I got of Joshua, Tabitha, and Samantha are wondrous and beautiful. And — you can believe I’m especially grateful for this — all the shots they got of me are purely make-believe!