From Behind the Viewfinder

As I ask my camera operator to adjust his focus, a clear picture comes across the viewfinder of a child.

This boy is 12 but he looks 9 and he is nervous. It is my job to reassure him that we are not scary and to

not mind the lights, camera, camera operators, audio guy and boom microphone looming over his head,

just to focus on me. He talks directly to me as I try to keep him smiling and not folding his arms behind

him or fidgeting too much. It’s a hard task for even a well-trained child actor, but a kid that is coming

from a dark place is someone who has to be handled with care. I don’t know their back stories and I

am thankful for this. I can see the loneliness and longing in their eyes, it’s deep and well guarded, but it is

still there. I’m here to tap into their hopes for a new family and get a small feel for their personality. It’s not

always easy because they have heard this before and, not only are we throwing them in front of strangers

and all of our equipment, we are doing so as they actively shoot hoops, ride go carts or skateboards.

It’s in these moments that, even I, forget these are kids that are just wanting families to love them, care for

them and just be there for them. In these moments they are carefree kids. No labels, just children. They

play the same, look the same and act the same. From behind the viewfinder I see them how they are

and with every video I do for Foster Arizona I am hoping that is what you see as well.

Kristie Austin

Creative Director- Lead Volunteer

Foster Arizona


Photo Credit: Rachael Smith of Ray2 Photography

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