Monday, April 5, 2010

I'm not good with children other than when I photograph them

I've been working on a long term project about an eight year old and her single mother. Over the past six months I've become very close with these two remarkable people and have on occasion babysat the girl because it's an opportunity to get to know her better. Well on this particular Friday, as I was preparing dinner for her and her friend, I noticed that they were being very quiet. Automatically I was racked with fear because when children are quiet it usually means one of two things. 1.) they're doing something there not supposed to be doing or 2.) they're hurt.

So I call out their names and find them in her mothers room, playing with make-up. Perhaps I should've scolded her, made her clean up her mess, and washed off her face. I didn't do any of theses. Instead I opted for a less mature responsible choice. I left the room and raced to grab my camera and flash. So while these two eight year olds painted their faces with an array of cosmetic goods I photographed. I can remember putting on my mom's make-up before but my aim was to look pretty, this was not the case when it came to this eight year old. With a large black spot around her left eye and with sheer confidence she proclaimed "I'm going to be Kesha!". Yupe, her inspiration is a young woman who sings about brushing her teeth with a bottle of jack.

After they felt as though they were made-up enough they decided that they no longer wanted to have make-up on. Wouldn't you know, lipstick is really hard to get off any place other than lips? Who could've predicted that? Not this eight year old. Forty minutes of face scrubbing finally allowed me to see the eight year old who was trying to grow-up too soon. Here's hoping that she doesn't try too hard.