WARY BOY with a gun

Kids with guns are definitely a vernacular photography category. Seeing a few that were posted at Dull Tool Dim Bulb this week made me think of one I recently purchased.

Click on image to see it larger.

This shot makes me think of the famous photograph of the boy with the toy hand grenade taken by Diane Arbus in 1962. I still remember standing in a bookstore looking at a book of work by Arbus when I was in college in the late '60s. I was with a friend and we were both enthralled by the shot. It stirred all sorts of emotions and I longed to know the story behind the image. Years ago the San Francisco Chronicle ran an article about the boy in the photo which you can read here. Make sure you click on the image at the top, the contact sheet, to see an image of the man, Colin Wood, today with his own children.

My image has nothing to do with the Arbus shot other than the boy in this shot is a complete opposite of the Arbus boy. This boy is in control, wary, but in control. At attention, but relaxed. He'll never be famous like the Arbus boy and he'll never tell his story of the moment this shot was taken.


  1. I hope you paid less than $408,000 for this. Though if Arbus was holding the camera, it might be worth at least $200K. Such a wonderful expression on the boy. A civil war outfit?

    1. Fortunately the little fella was only a dollar. His expression worth so much more.

    2. I too wondered if he was playing Civil War. The hat is unusual.