Kids are basically impossible to control when their parents are right next to them, so when left to the care of a photographer who barely knows the child, there’s pretty much no telling what the result will be. You might get a relatively “normal” picture of your kid posing and smiling, or your kid might hate the whole experience. OR your kid might be in love with the camera and with him or herself and present you with a masterpiece.
Stronajai Miles, the mother of kindergartener Andrew, found this out when she opened her son’s backpack to find that her order for his school photos had been printed up. Her son had decided not to go with the traditional smile and instead opted for a classic lion roaring look (bold choice, but he can pull it off), which initially upset Ms. Miles, until the rest of the world basically chimed in to say that her son is a goofy hero.
On March 10, she found the pictures, and posted them on Facebook. While what she saw was her son doing something totally different from what she expected and wanted, the internet saw a kid living his absolute best life in front of someone who was recording it for posterity. He shone through those pictures like a thousand watt bulb.
The post began to go viral because CAN YOU NOT WITH THAT FACE?
And various news outlets began to pick up the story, which really made Ms. Miles look at the whole situation in a new way.
Speaking to Bored Panda, Ms. Miles said, “Andrew is a silly kid with a big personality! He loves to make people laugh and smile and he LOVES the camera! He enjoys making videos on the tablet and he is always camera-ready when it’s time for a picture! He has taken photos in pre-kindergarten and he has taken fall photos which were actually done by Lifetouch School Photography as well and they came out ‘perfect,’ they had him posing traditionally and smiling normally.”
But not this time. Ms. Miles continued, “I was doing my normal routine, checking his bag and getting his clothes together for the upcoming week. I checked his book bag to make sure I didn’t need to sign anything…” That’s when she came across the pictures. “I was totally shocked! Yes, he’s taken pictures like that before – but NEVER for a school picture.”
On March 13, Ms. Miles posted a picture of her son at age 3 in his Superman outfit on Facebook and wrote,
Please allow me to explain my first reaction and how I feel now….
Firstly, we have decided to purchase the photos.
I was initially upset because I was expecting a traditional school picture. I have spoken with representatives at Lifetouch School Photography who simply told me the issue would be escalated and someone would follow up. I saw an article that said free spirited photos are their policy. If I had known, I’d have no reason to feel upset about not getting a traditional picture. Regardless, knowing that his silly picture brought joy all over the world, how can I continue to be flustered?
Andrew has always been a silly kid with a HUGE personality! He has taken traditional professional pictures in a school setting in the past that were wonderful. That is the reason this really threw this mom for a loop!
I love my son. All the positive comments really warmed my heart. They opened my eyes to see that everything doesn’t need to be cookie cutter. Being yourself is even more amazing! Drew sends his love and says thanks again for the love!”
It’s wonderful that she could come around to seeing how perfect and totally himself her son was in the pictures, instead of the “cookie cutter” photos that so many school portraits end up being.
Drew is way too much personality for just a simple smile. This child is pure electricity.
And, as they had all along, the positive comments kept pouring in.
Drew’s pictures stand out from the rest and will always be a reminder of how amazing childhood can be.