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Friday, April 15, 2011

“I’m SO Big”

Grandparents make especially great photographs when they act like kids while playing with their grandchildren.

Grandmother Catherine Maher plays mimicking game with granddaughter Colleen (© Michael Maher).

The Photo:
Grandparents love almost nothing better than playing with their infant grandchildren. One of the most popular games with infants is asking them “How big are you? You are so big,” and throwing both arms high into the air to demonstrate how big they are getting. Do this often enough, and the child begins to mimic your arm motions, extending their arms overhead, even if the child is too young to say the words. After my mother Catherine (called “Nana” by her grandchildren) found this to be a game that she and her new grandchild could play together, they did so over and over. All Nana had to say was, “How big is Colleen? She’s so big (emphasis on the ‘so’),” and Colleen threw her arms high overhead. After a while, she didn’t even need to look at her grandmother, just hear the words. I took this picture as they played this game multiple times one evening in the kitchen, when I was able to capture both of their faces and body language all at once.

3 Tips:
1) Grandparents playing with their grandkids can make for warm or funny pictures.
2) Include both the grandparent and grandchild’s facial expressions and/or physical body language in a way that shows the enjoyment of their interaction.
3) One photo opportunity is the grandparent and grandchild playing the “So Big” game as they both raise their arms high over their heads.

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