This project is about The Last Child in the Woods. The kind of childhood where a kid can play outside unsupervised to build forts, hunt squirrels, split wood and make maple syrup is slowly disappearing with the rise of “helicopter parenting.” Not having a parent pay extremely close attention to a child’s experiences allows a kid to have the freedom and independence to explore.
This kid just turned ten years old and built himself a cabin, complete with a woodstove. I knew as soon as I had seen the cabin that I had to do a photographic story on him. I’m super proud of the portrait I made at dusk with a 4-light set-up.
Warning: Some images in this blog post might be disturbing. Consider yourself warned.
I got to follow this last child in the woods around for the day. We collected sap and had a boil down in the afternoon.
We even spent some time squirrel hunting. This kid cleans, butchers and cooks squirrel to eat. He also skins and tans their hides.
He was unsuccessful while I was around, but did have two squirrels he hunted from earlier in the day.
In the afternoon, he did some repairs to his cabin and split wood for a fire we was going to put on in the evening when I had plans to shoot his portrait.
This even happened.
It’s so nice to see a kid play independently outside and have the freedom to be creative (like build his own cabin), to learn how to work hard (like make maple syrup) and what it means to hunt (and use the whole animal). This kid is pretty awesome.