Boys and sticks. Walking in the park, running through a forest, climbing a tree, jumping around the school playground; surely none of these could possibly be done without holding a stick? There's something so versatile, so multi-purpose and so fascinating about a stick. They may seem ordinary and mundane to us, but to our children, a little imagination takes the humble stick a long way.
Boys with sticks. This confident young man certainly didn't struggle with his imagination on our recent family photo session in Oldmoor bluebell woods in Nottinghamshire.
The sun was lowering in the spring sky, peaking through the leaves and lighting up the flowers. As we ran, jumped and climbed our way through the woods a stick was never far from his hand. His mum, without any hint of surprise, patiently and repeatedly asked him to put the stick down. To her this was another walk with yet another stick.
One day he'll grow up and ask his mum what he was like as a boy. She'll say he was full of energy, outgoing, bubbly and he loved to explore. She'll show him these images so he can see how much he loved adventure, how independent he was and how much fun they had on these walks. Always, of course, with a stick.
Boys with sticks. Big happiness from small things.
It's true with all boys isn't it? They love letting their imagination run wild. A stick can become a razor sharp cutlass; a soldier's swagger, even a country footpath through a raging, torrent river. It may not always feel like it's worth documenting this wonderful imagination, but the truth is, the moment will pass, your memories will fade and they'll be in a new stage of growing up. That's why I love to create these images for families.