Photographer Adrian McDonald lives next door to a large extended family in a the rural Jamaican parish of Westmoreland. About five months ago, he was photographing plants and animals outside his house when he heard his neighbors’ kids laughing as they played on a swing in their backyard.
With the parents’ permission, McDonald started photographing his neighbors’ kids as they played games like tag and hopscotch, swung from trees, and even sat huddled together, discussing “random topics” on their front lawn. He told The Huffington Post that though a couple of the shots were conceptualized ahead of time, almost all of them are completely candid.
“The kids were used to me being outside photographing other things before I turned my attention to them, so most times they thought I was still focusing on photographing plants and animals,” McDonald said, adding that his professional-grade camera also allowed him to capture great photos from hundreds of feet away.
When the photographer first showed the kids a photo he’d taken of them on a swing, “they went crazy with excitement!” McDonald recalled. “The little guy who is seen in most of the photos pranced about for about three minutes before he ran out of breath.” The parents reacted just as enthusiastically, he added.
McDonald says he hopes that people who see his photos step away with “the same thing that children get out of life — love and happiness.” He added, “I hope it warms the heart of those who see them and know that beauty still exists in life we just sometimes choose not to see it. Children live a life worth living and that’s what we ought to do: live, love, laugh.”