There are a few children in my life whom I have had the exquisite pleasure of knowing long enough, and photographing long enough, that they are now MUCH more grown up than when I first met and photographed them. I cannot fully explain why that is so awesome, but I will try.
Meeting a little person when they are small, you don't have a huge sense of who they might be. What they will find humorous, what will delight them or frighten them, what they will grow an obsession with.
You just think, oh...aren't you adorable
But then, they grow and develop all their little quirks and show off all their personhood. They are suddenly complicated, and you get to watch the transformation, in snippets and timelapse.
And then suddenly, 3 years is gone by and they are a person, funny and weird and with opinions.
You meet and they are shy; you are a stranger.
Time goes by, you become familiar. They show off their new tricks, new skills, new jokes.
And then, they are suddenly, sitting in front of you like a family member. Your heart is tangled up with love and pride because you also got to share in their childhood.