“Go the F to Sleep”

At the Francomano residence in Foxborough putting their four-year old Jack (Cq) to sleep is job that involves everyone due to Jack’s endless procrastination tactics. We photographed the daily ordeal to go along with a story on a book that has become a hit with parents: “ Go the F To Sleep.” (Essdras M Suarez/ Boston Globe)

Behind the Scenes:

The first thing you want to do in a situation like this one where your job is to document is you have to let the whole family become acquainted with you. This includes the children in the household. The best possible scenario is that they become bored with you and start ignoring you – this is the best thing that can happen to a photojournalist.

In this specific situation the second most important thing is you have to shoot from the level of the child eye. This is how they see the world from below – up. In other words: bend your knees when photographing kids.

Jack was such a veteran of elongating the ritual he didn’t really pay much attention to me, or the videographer who accompanied me that day. My job that day was to try to become the proverbial “fly on the wall.”

I think we accomplished this quite well since the whole family went about the business of trying to put Jack to sleep and Jack went about his job of trying to outsmart the rest of the family so he wouldn’t have to go to sleep.

Tech Stuff:

  • I used extremely high ISOs on this shoot because I knew the strobes would take away from the natural ambiance, away from the daily natural routine in the household.
  • I used my Mark IV and I just kept changing lenses.
  • On that night my second camera, a MarkIII, was basically just a lens holder since it really doesn’t do well on low light situations. ISO: 1,000 to 8,000; speed 1/30th – 1/60th of a second;
  • WB: Auto; lenses 16-35mm 2.8 and 70-200mm 2.8