This photo was featured on the November 2016 cover of The Sun magazine. It’s one of my favorites. Gary and his friends often followed me around camp, pestering me to take their pictures—and I often did. When I saw him running around with his plastic sword skillfully tied with a cloth ribbon scabbard, he didn’t have to asked. I found a suitable background with good light and Gary stood at attention all the while I set up my tripod. I stood with my face just above the camera and asked him to look me in the eyes. He hadn’t moved anything but his eyes the entire time. Good soldier.
His pacifist hippie mom, Barbara, hated the photo and wanted to kill me. “My son’s not a violent war monger!” Right, your son is a lively, imaginative, energetic boy—a very cool kid. Fortunately for me, Barbara had signed a model release covering herself and her son. After a while I heard no more complaints from mom.