Well, yesterday a 2 year old boy kicked my ****. My wife got me this photo shoot for her friend's 2 year old. I had no idea what I was getting into. I spoke with them about what they were looking for (outside portraits for framing and for Birthday party invites) and they had a few props in mind. I also had a few props of my own and I brought them along with my camera, 4 lenses, tripod, a homemade lighting system and a reflector. They have a nice backyard that bumps up against a small creek, then a wooded hill. I scouted the area and found a neat ivy covered stone retaining wall; also a swinging bench, plenty of trees, wooden steps and lots of grass. Endless possibilities I thought and i wrote down about 7 or 8 shots I imagined I wanted to take along with the lenses for those shots. I coached myself before the shot, reminding myself to "get low and down to the boy's level", visualizing how the lighting would work along with the reflectors - I even mapped that all out. My two year old subject however had plans of his own. If you could imagine the scene in Rocky, when Mickey puts Rocky in a yard to try to catch a chicken; that's pretty much how I felt. As a Father of three I quickly realized how much I had forgotten about 2 year old's energy levels. Once the boy was released into the backyard it was no stopping him. Literally - no stopping him. The most he would sit still was for a second or two. Props, lighting setup, tripod - all useless. It became a mad dash - me and my average focusing NEX-7 and 2 year old boy. The viewfinder was also worthless. I more or less had to rely on the back tilted screen and literally "run and gun". Having him look at me directly was nearly impossible - the second I got ahead of him and set up, he would shift directions. I was chasing the boy and the mother was chasing me while pleading for him to look here, stop, smile, etc. The Mickey Mouse sweatshirt I wore was good for maybe 5 seconds of his attention. Heck, I thought photographing sports was tough! Many times I felt outgunned. My NEX-7 was little match for this blur of blond hair and blue eyes. I was wishing I had an A6300 or even (God forbid) a DSLR. Eventually I set up a couple of the props the Mom wanted for the invites (big balloon and a sign) and lured him in by having us all stand by them (and the Mother offering candy). It was enough to get off some quality shots. The shoot itself took about an hour and 1/2 and I was exhausted afterwards! I packed my camera and all the other stuff I didn't use and drove off. About 1/2 mile down the road I just stared laughing to myself as I replayed in my mind what had just occurred and how funny it must have looked (several times I found myself laying on the ground with nothing to shoot). When I got home and downloaded the files I found the vast majority of them out of focus or not usable ( facial expression, etc.). However, I did find a number of really good shots - I may not have been having fun doing "cutting drills" and "monkey rolls" in their backyard, but the 2 year old had a blast and somehow I managed to capture a decent number of examples. In the end I was able to produce about 15-20 quality shots for the family. The mother called me up afterwards and told me they made her cry (in a good way) and today she's on Facebook proclaiming how profession I was and how great of a photographer I am. For me, that made it worthwhile, despite getting handling by a 2 year old. As they say, the best lessons are the hardest. I may share some of the pics later, but there are some sensitivities involved so I'll refrain for now. I'm still however chuckling about it.