Of this series of photographs, the photographer An-Sofie Kesteleyn says "Crickett rifles are designed for children between the ages of five and twelve. The .22-calibre guns are lightweight, made to smaller proportions, and come in a variety of colors. For me, the innocence and potential of youth is a clear symbol of hope – and a gun, no matter what its size or color, is a symbol of death and destruction, the very antithesis of hope. During a road trip from Ohio all the way down to Texas, I went from range to range, from gun shop to gun shop, house to house, looking for children with a Crickett to photograph. I wanted to capture them in their own environment, with their own first rifles, and see what they were afraid of."
An-Sofie Kesteleyn was born in Oudenaarde, Belgium, and took up photography when she was 18. In 2011 she gained a master’s degree in photography from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent (KASK). Immediately after that, An-Sofie moved to Amsterdam and started working as a freelance photographer for the Dutch daily De Volkskrant. She also works on independent photo-essays, focusing mainly on people and the ways they live.