Last year I signed up to a blogging photography challenge. The challenge to take a photo every week that represented to me the very essence of childhood. I loved taking part in Living Arrows, just as I love the 52 (and quite a few more) photos that I took, even if it does rather suggest that 2014 was the Year of the Swing (and that suggestion would be wholly accurate!).
I love the photos, and all the memories tied up those moments, and it was fun looking for parts of our week that seemed to be part of the timelessness of early childhood. But I also found that I don’t really need challenging to take photos of my family; my camera lives on our dinner table, or on the end of the sofa, on the kitchen counter, or in the back pocket of the nappy bag and there’s rarely a day when I don’t pick it up, even if the results come out all blurry and oddly yellow. Recording our family life is second nature to me now, I love that and I don’t want to change it. But I don’t want to stagnate either, to find that I’m just ticking over, taking the same pictures of the same moments in the rhythm of our lives, only with slightly bigger children.
So for 2015 I want to work on the quality of my photos, rather than the quantity, and so I’m changing things up a bit. I’ve got something a little different planned for Living Arrows this year, but I’ll tell you more about that on Monday. Instead for today I’m joining up with Jodi at Practicing Simplicity (one of my favourite of all the new to me blogs I discovered last year last year) for the very first of the 52 Project.
A portrait of each of my children, once a week, every week for 2015.
It’s feeling like quite a big undertaking written out like that, but I’m not planning on making the children sit down for a formal portrait each week, my natural style of photography is candid and it’s that I want to hone, not try to entirely reinvent myself. I also want to force myself to edit, to choose between a handful of pictures that I like and try to work out what it is that makes the photos that I really love. I’m also going to note down the settings for each picture. I know I’m always curious about how other people set up their cameras and I suspect I’m not the only one but I’m also interested to see what I’m using regularly, to see what I’m changing first, and to know what I would want to do differently another time.
I know there will be weeks when the light conspires against me, or the shots don’t come quite as I envisaged them but that’s all part of the learning process. Feel free to get back to me with that one when you find me sobbing in a corner in March because it’s rained solidly for a month and the children are all refusing to look at me anymore. But I hope that at the end of the year I will have 156 portraits that I’m really proud of; a record of 2015 for each of them.
And so let us begin at the beginning:
Kitty: her hair in four plaits because she couldn’t decide which of the new Frozen hair bobbles to use and came up with an ingenious solution. She gets taller every minute, and is always surprising me with what she can reach if she stands on tiptoes.
(Nikon D80, 35mm 1.8 lens – 1/125, f/2.2, ISO 320)
Elma: devoted mama to her birthday monkey, imaginatively named “Monkey”, she takes such care in dressing her up and giving her cuddles.
(Nikon D80, 35mm 1.8 lens – 1/100, f/2.2, ISO 320)
Pip: “Clothes? and being on my tummy? Do I like this Mummy?” My beautiful son, so like your biggest sister in looks, and so very much your own little self in personality.
(Nikon D80, 35mm 1.8 lens – 1/200, f/2.2, ISO 320)