I have been lucky enough to have photographed The Berkoff Boys almost every year since they were in diapers. Every few years, another child is added to the Berkoff family, and though it seems impossible at the time, the additional child just adds to the love, joy and craziness of this wonderful family. I love these kids! They are at once funny and sweet and nutty beyond words.
Our philosophy is that kids need to be photographed just acting like kids. These three boys epitomize that. For each and every gorgeous photograph I create of them loving one another, or sitting still for a moment, there are countless minutes of ninja/superhero skills that just have to be demonstrated. My point is that I am sort of on a crusade to get pro photographers and families to let kids be themselves and to have more fun. Photo sessions should be nothing short of awesome. I’m there to document their childhood, and running, jumping & acting crazy are all a wonderful part of the deal. Embrace it. Don’t try to stop it.
The photos above show their oldest in mid-ninja-superhero competition. Running like the wind and flying through the air were all part of that exercise I guess. By letting him do all of this, not only does he a.) have the coolest photos ever made of a kid running and jumping but b.) it released a little energy which then prompted a 100% spontaneous group hug with all his brothers. How awesome is that? Please note the sword in the group hug. That’s just how these boys roll. You never know when you may need your sword!
Photo above on the left shows the photos mum and dad probably wanted from me. Photo on the right was part of my process in getting that photo. For some reason they really wanted to make these faces… so, um, ok… do it! I was a kid too! Sometimes you need to get that out of your system!
Their youngest is awesome. Mellow and tough (you have to be when you’re the little brother of a superhero and a ninja) he just LOVES throwing rocks in the ocean. I think he could have stayed there all day. Had to document that for him!
What an awesome family. These guys are just so much fun.
The photo on the right is what I mean about documenting how amazing childhood can be. He is obsessed with superheroes, and while his brother was busy making his best ever ninja pose… this little guy blasted off and started flying right before my eyes. The photo shows that he is off the ground and traveling upward. The power of imagination in these kids is truly inspiring to me. By believing he could fly, he did… if just for a moment and I was so happy to be there to capture it for him!
Once we made all the “real” photographs, the boys got to go swimming in the icy Maine waters. Man, their parents are so nice.
The photo above shows an incredibly happy, albeit mildly hypothermic little boy. The photo below shows another spontaneous moment of brotherhood: hugging one another to get warm. Beautiful. These kids really, really love one another. It just shows.
The photo above shows the child known as The Playground Legend (he actually came over and snagged my cookie from me!!) and the photo below demonstrates just how intimidated these kids are by me and my photography technique. I think I need to make a self portrait with all the kids I photograph in the future. Being around these creative, imaginative, loving children is unbelievably inspiring to me. They are just brilliant in so many ways.
Berkoff family: THANK YOU!!! I loved seeing you all, and look forward to next year as the family grows once more! The complete photos are available for viewing, buying prints/downloads here, and we’ve posted these photos to our Facebook page as well so your can tag/share/like etc. If by chance you’re liking the work that we do, be sure to connect with us on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram as we always love to hear that folks are spreading the good word about our photography and truly appreciate the support! Aloha until next time!