Playtime at Blendon Woods Metro Park

WHO: Kennedy Cade and Maia Armstrong

WHERE: Blendon Woods Metro Park's Natural Play Area

WHEN: Oct. 8, 2017

THE BACKSTORY: These lovely young ladies—Maia Armstrong, 8, and Kennedy Cade, 6, of Canal Winchester—are the granddaughters of Eric Lyttle, editor of sister publication Columbus Monthly. Jen Lyttle, Maia's mom and Kennedy's aunt, gamely agreed to accompany the girls to Blendon Woods for a photo shoot. “It was awesome,” said Jen, who's a photographer by hobby. “Maia is really used to being in front of the camera, so she was giving Tim ideas about where they should stand and backdrops.”

Photo editor Tim Johnson, who has two kids of his own, didn't mind having Maia as an assistant. “She goes, ‘I have an idea. I think we ought to go over there and play on that equipment and smile, and you can take our picture,' ” he said with a laugh. “I said, ‘That's a great idea.' ”

Tim said the venue was the perfect spot for a fun fall photo. “It's just a really creative area there. It lets kids use their imagination.”

“The natural playground is amazing,” Jen said. “The girls loved it.”

The rope swing in the cover photo was the girls' favorite. “They were cracking up and laughing. They even got Tim to push them a couple times,” Jen said.

When the cousins aren't busy with third grade and kindergarten, they like playing with dolls and reading together.