Photographer Asks 4-Year-Old Boy to Give Younger Brother Hug—And Then This Happens

Photographer Asks 4-Year-Old Boy to Give Younger Brother Hug—And Then This Happens
(Courtesy of 5U Photography)
Epoch Inspired Staff
11/4/2023
Updated:
11/4/2023
0:00

Take the pictures. Take them now. Because time will slip right through your fingers.

A picture of an Alabama 4-year-old showing his unbearable brotherly love to his 18-month-old little brother went viral as he appeared to place the little sibling in a chokehold during a family photoshoot at McCallum Park in Vestavia Hills in September.

The impromptu headlock had parents and the photographer in stitches. Older brother Emmerson followed instructions to “hug” younger brother Wells, but things didn’t quite go as planned. Wells seemed taken aback when both Emmerson’s arms came from behind and wrapped around his neck.

With the crunch of leaves underfoot, the smell of autumn, and, of course, the warm fall colors, the photoshoot is a yearly tradition for the Delaneys.

Photographer Alex Uselton has experience with and loves photographing little ones, and she knows all too well how short their attention spans can be. Ms. Uselton goes in with “zero expectations as to how the session should flow,” she told The Epoch Times, and “encourages the little ones to be themselves” while showing “their amazing personalities.”

(Courtesy of 5U Photography)
(Courtesy of 5U Photography)
(Courtesy of 5U Photography)
(Courtesy of 5U Photography)

Let’s not force them to sit still and be quiet, she tells parents. Where’s the fun in that? Let’s prompt Emmerson as he runs and plays freely.

“Oh, my goodness!” Ms. Uselton told the 4-year-old. “I want to see how you give Wells big hugs! Can you show me?”

And, boy, did Emmerson oblige. “That just happened to be in the form of a headlock,” the photographer told us. “Emmerson really was giving sweet loves to his little brother, and you can tell how much he does truly love sweet Wells, so the fact that his hug inadvertently ended up as a headlock was all the more funny!”

(Courtesy of 5U Photography)
(Courtesy of 5U Photography)
(Courtesy of 5U Photography)
(Courtesy of 5U Photography)
Meanwhile, the mom responded to the siblings’ embrace, speaking to WSFA: “I’ve never seen them captured more perfectly, but I feel like Emerson needs to watch out. Wells will get bigger and get him back soon. He loves giving squeezy hugs. I really feel like he just wanted to, you know, put all of his love into Wells’s neck.”
(Courtesy of 5U Photography)
(Courtesy of 5U Photography)
(Courtesy of 5U Photography)
(Courtesy of 5U Photography)

Laughter from the adults was followed by Mom’s swooping in to make sure the “hug” wasn’t too tight, Ms. Uselton told The Epoch Times, calling the moment both “funny and endearing.”

She also assures parents that though these times with little ones can feel trying, they won’t last. “Take. The. Pictures,” she said. “Because this chapter will close sooner than you realize, and you will want to look back on that time, as wonderfully chaotic as it is when you’re right in the middle of it.”

The photo of a brotherly “chokehold” soon found its way online and went viral. The photographer mentioned that she has since seen a “huge increase in interest in my business.” Meanwhile, the mom said the family was “tickled by the fact that it resonates with so many.”
“I think one of the reasons it has gone so viral is because it is so relatable to moms everywhere,“ Ms. Uselton said. ”Life with littles is a beautiful, and sometimes chaotic, perfectly imperfect mess!”
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