Having daughters is like having your very own set of dolls, to dress up and play with. For a photo project this year, I decided to commit to a monthly photo-shoot of my daughters, Mila and Marlowe. When we started in January, Mila was three and half and Marlowe was one and a half, ages that are not typically immortalized through formal monthly photo-shoots, but I wanted to capture this time, knowing it is especially sweet.
For each shoot I dressed the girls in complimentary outfits, with a slight nod to the holidays celebrated that month. It’s an opportunity for them to dress up at a time when we might not have an event or any reason to wear something special. I came up with the idea when the girls were gifted a set of beautiful dresses from a dear friend for Christmas and I was afraid that they would outgrow them before they ever got to wear them.
Our photo-shoots are a special time just between the three of us. When I photograph my girls, my goal is to capture their individual personalities, as well as their amazing bond as sisters. I love it when they are looking at each other, giggling, sharing an inside joke and also, when they are intently looking at me or gazing away at something else in the room. No matter what, their immense beauty takes my breath away, because in my eyes they are my perfect little dolls.
Although there may be hints of the holidays in the given months, like Easter eggs in April, I chose not to go theme crazy, since that can come off as rather cheesy. It also allows me the freedom to use the photos in different contexts, such as in frames around the house or photo-books, without the immediate association of a specific holiday. I usually aim to photograph in about 3 different locations in the home, to change the feeling up and see what I can get out of them in each room. I use a Canon Rebel camera and shoot in daylight. Some months are more successful than others, depending on their moods and all the other factors involved in taking good photos (refer to Photographing Toddlers for some helpful hints). But regardless, the highlight of every month is when I get to look through the photos late at night and pick out my favourites to share with family and friends.
Here is a sample of what the first half of the year looks like for us.
As you can see, it’s been a lovely first 6 months for us. Soon, Mila will be four and Marlowe will be two. I am very happy with the results of the photos, and look forward to the rest of the year, even though each shoot is proving to be a bit more challenging than the last…I guess it’s a good thing that the girls have also become very invested in this project and their opinions are now a huge factor I have to contend with! Check back in December for a look at The (Full) Year of Mila and Marlowe and some of the creative ways I’ve used these photos.