Flying Henry, a book filled with enchanting, fantastical photography by artist and mother Rachel Hulin landed in bookstores this week -- and perusing the images of a toddler taking serene flight over various locales has us desperately wanting to elevate the standard of our own photography prowess. The story of a baby who develops the magical ability to fly unfolds throughout the 40-page book. Henry discovers that flying sure "beats crawling," and that "suddenly there was nothing out of his reach." An obvious metaphor for encouraging children to make their dreams take flight, this whimsical tale will make the spirits of kids and adults alike, soar.
Henry takes his rare gift of flying on the road to various adventures in the great outdoors, and he also explores his own home from an almost eery aerial perspective. He lingers in mid-air, coming face to face with a cow in a pasture, he hovers above a vacant garden party, he glides in through a barn window, and gets up to so many more fanciful excursions. The photographs in Flying Henry will truly delight children, and they are a clever departure from illustrations and images of cartoon or superhero characters — taking storytelling to new heights by enabling kids to follow a very relateable protagonist who is just like them.
Of course the burning question we all want to know is, how does Henry fly? I asked Hulin to give us some insight into her process and she graciously replied, “When Henry was very small we used to hold him above our heads at night, which he loved. I took a lot of pictures of this and just had a brainstorm idea to remove the parent from the picture. It seemed like an interesting comment on the secret/magical world of infants, and it snowballed from there.”
When I mentioned the “P” word that she probably hears daily with regard to achieving the magical images in Flying Henry, Hulin offered, “Yes—[I use] just a bit of Photoshop, but no green screens or fakery like that. I just hold Henry up in a beautiful landscape, and then remove myself from the images.”
I beg to differ, Rachel. I think your immense talent and creativity very much shine through in every single shot.
Images © Rachel Hulin