My middle son, Bennett, is obsessed with fairness. He has been since he was little. He wants to know why adults can drive cars, drink wine, and raise their voices. When he was little he didn't understand why his sister got to wear glittery things and go to school. And of extreme importance to Bennett is keeping promises. If you say that you will do something, Bennett wants - no needs - you to follow through. For him, the world order is upset and life doesn't make sense when adults don't keep their promises. And so I am very careful about what I promise. His reminder of all my birthday promises to him this morning brought me back to a promise to another little boy that I had not kept.
A few weeks ago, I photographed a little boy who came to our session straight from school. His favorite toy was clutched in his little hands. He didn't want to let it go. This toy was really important to him and he wanted it in the pictures. He, frankly, didn't understand why we didn't want it in the pictures. So, I agreed to take some photos with his toy - a transformer - in the photos and even some portraits of the transformer alone. But when I processed the images, I left them out, thinking that the parents don't really want a bunch of transformer images. But that's not fair - as Bennett would remind me. Those were promised to him. And so here I am, delivering on that promise. These are for you, Kai.