Reader Photo: The last days of summer

I have to admit, I saw this photo, and was stunned. The two boys are obviously close, and it’s a nearly perfect moment between the two of them. Photographer and mother Catherine Lacey Dodd gives a touching description of the end of summer and sending her kids off to school.

“There are mixed feelings: lamenting the loss of the early years juxtaposed with celebrating their growth and learning at the rate only elementary school kids can. In the eyes of the World our children may be perfectly average, neither the smartest, fastest or other surprelative in their class. And yet in my eyes, they are wondrous, beautiful, smart and compassionate. And my hopes for them can be simplified into wishing them health, happiness and friendship as they enter school, filled with the joys that learning and its infinite adventures can bring. 

I’d poured so much emotion into the last days before school, making today the kind of perfect that keeps me sane, encapsulating that beauty in the light that is so characteristically SoCal. For me, I want to create lasting visual memories to make up for what my middle aged self neglects to store. And here, shooting directly into the sun, the lens barrel itself, the flare and the beating evening sun personify the colours of SoCal and the optimism education brings. How could I resist this of my boys after school with what felt like the sweetest expressions on their faces, with this natural flare and beam just showering on them, encased as they are in its vignette.”

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Each week, we’re featuring photos of Southern California submitted by readers. Share your photos on our Flickr page or tag your photos with #socalmoments on Instagram and Twitter. Follow us on Twitter or visit for more on this photo series.


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