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"First steps into boyhood"

My sister called last week. All the kids had started school, in case you haven't seen facebook?!

She asked me, "Can you please take some back to school pics?". I cringe when I hear "Pic".

I guess I'm old fashioned.

The relationship my sister and I have is a fun one. We are always goofing on each other, trying to one up each another.

I, of course, had to say, "What's wrong with the shot you took of him with his prison slate?"

I shouldn't tell you what she said next...

After some back and forth, we laughed and agreed it was the cute trendy thing to do. Thank God for Etsy and the "chalkboard" font!

"What do you suggest?" she inquired. I asked her the age old photography question. "Do you plan on printing the prison slate PIC or keeping it on your phone until you get a new one and it's lost forever?"

I got yelled at, but it's all in good fun.

After a few days of back and forth trying to get our schedules to mesh we came up with a date. I told her to bring her prison slate and a few other props. We'll have some fun.

Photo Credit: My sister

Not to far from my sister and brother in law's home is a trail leading into the 100 acre wood. No, not really but my daughter has been watching Winnie the Pooh for 30 straight days. It's at the point I'm able to whistle the theme song and brush my teeth at the same time.

Anyway we headed into the woods. The boys of course were all over the place filled with excitement.

I started shooting,

Yes, it's not the traditional prison slate back to school shot that Etsy made famous. However I think it captures the feeling perfectly, right down to the book in the leather strap and his buddy's slingshot in his back pocket. Her oldest is starting his life. Leaving his best friend, his little brother. Although for only a few hours, to him and mommy it may as well be a lifetime. I think her oldest realized this and thought "If I can just spend a few more minutes with my brother. Maybe read him a story?"

About seven minutes into it, after the shutter button was released I jumped up and said, "OK!"

My sister said, "Thats it?!" She had a what da f*&% look on. I laughed and said "No, that's it for this spot" and showed her the screen on the back of my camera. It all came together once again and my "winner" was captured.

She couldn't argue. While she was looking at it, I thought, "The path to school is long for little feet".

Now that we were done with this location we headed down the street. My sister is obviously an autumn lover. She wouldn't stop talking about how the leaves were already changing in this one particular spot. She was right. I think I saw 37 leaves that weren't green!

The boys being boys were wilding all over the place. Put two guys in the woods and they became giants in their own world. I said "Let em go, let em run".

I knew they would eventually settle down for half of a second so that I could capture both of them. It worked. They held hands and peeked at us through an old wooden fence looking for acceptance to the fact that they were "On their own".

I glanced at my sister who was carrying that slate around. She was holding it in anticipation. Ok, I said, let's use the slate. I wish I had captured her smile of appreciation.

After some benadryl shots for my one nephew we planted him where we could get those 37 leaves in the background. The sun was setting and hitting the leaves perfectly. Illuminating their yellow glow.

That was it. I gave her 30 minutes and got about 78 shots. We narrowed it down to 17 that she is still reviewing to print and frame. She won't have to worry about accessing the Cloud some day in the future when she wants to see her boy in his first steps into childhood.

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