'Tis the Season

November 24, 2009 

The passing of Thanksgiving not only kicks off the holiday shopping season, but also the season of giving, iconically manifested in an of army bell-ringers who greet and see you off at the store. The season of charitable stories, however, has been in full swing for about a month.

A few weeks ago, reporter Dalina Castellanos and I had the chance to hang out with Amiah Desgranges at her 6th birthday party. Amiah had asked her guests to bring toys that she would donate to the Sexual Assault Response Center in Kennewick in lieu of raking in her own haul of goodies.

It was a pretty fun story to work on, and though it didn’t take long for me to get the shot I wanted:

the boistrous atmosphere meant Dalina’s interview was an epic struggle with a 6-year-old’s attention span:

That was fine by me, as I had a chance to snap some fun pics, though my ear drums would probably have preferred a shorter stay. Here are some I liked:

Usually one of my first moves at a situation like this is to let kids get their desire to ham it up for the camera out of their systems. But with so many toys and games around, it wasn’t too tough to get shots of kids being kids.

My favorite two outtakes have got to be a kiss that Amiah gave her mom:

and when she waited by the stairs for her friend to show up.

I left the party with my ears ringing and a dazed perspective on child rearing, but it was hard not to have a smile on my face and a warm fuzzy feeling, despite the holiday-time increase in stories of this nature. And though these types of stories have become somewhat cliché, I hope they still have an impact on readers other than inciting resentment for yet another reminder of somebody who is not only younger, but better too.


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