This collage was something I’d been thinking of for a while, and luckily for me, I have a little live-in model who was perfect for the job. I told him he should pretend there was a magic butterfly on his shoulder and he was trusting it with his secrets. He nodded earnestly and told me he was ready. I should have been suspicious when it all seemed too easy…because it was. Has anyone here every tried to give artistic direction to a three-year-old? To him, saying “Shhhhh” meant actually yelling it at the imaginary butterfly…not exactly what I’d had in mind. Then came the hand-on-hip, annoyed/frustrated “Shhhhh” that he typically sees from his older brother. This was the final shot of the session – he was actually growing tired of the whole affair and relaxed for just long enough to give me a beautiful image to use.  Every time he sees this photograph, he proudly points out his contribution to the artwork and asks if the magic blue butterfly will come and visit; I tell him if he imagines it enough, anything is possible.

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