photography, Raven

What I’ve Learned From Taking a Picture of My Daughter Every Day

(Alternative titles for this post:

– Favorite Raven Pics from the Last Month

– Way Too Many Pics of My Baby (For Everyone Else, Anyway)

– I May or May Not Have the Cutest Baby in the World. Just Saying.)

I mentioned once a long time ago (okay, like four months ago) that Matt and I were planning on taking a picture of Raven every day of her life for as long as we could hold out.

Surprisingly, we’re still going strong.

No, but really—this is kind of amazing. With the exception of maybe one or two days, we have a picture of Raven on every single day of her life thus far. How cool is that?

And through it all, even though I didn’t set out to really “learn anything” from the experience, I still have picked up a few things along the way, expected or not.

Here’s a few:

1. When you are in the habit of taking pictures every day, you get really good at getting photos of all the milestones (and all the little steps that lead up to those milestones). Because we always have the camera nearby (and are in the habit of using it), we can grab it in a hurry when Raven gives us the hope of something momentous happening (like the first time she managed to get her toes in her mouth, above).

I also love that we have pictures of the “smaller” milestones too that usually don’t get as much hype, like when she got her feet put in cold water for the first time (below) or when she first smiled at herself in the mirror (which is found farther down in this post).

2. Maybe it’s just the photographer in me, but taking a picture of the same subject every day has forced me to get a lot more creative in my angles and approaches. Sure, I could just plop her down on the blanket and take a picture from up above her every day (like I did in the picture below), or I could try out different angles and looks by varying where I’m standing in relation to her and how close I am.
I didn’t set out for this to be something that helped me with my photography, but I really think it has (even when I’m not consciously thinking about it).

3. By default, we now have a lot more pictures of ourselves as well, which I always appreciate in hindsight (even if I don’t always appreciate having my picture taken in the moment). When I was pregnant, I basically forbid Matt to take pictures of me a lot of the time because I just felt so huge.

Now that I’m not pregnant, I’m actually really sad about that.

So, while I may not be where I want to be as far as my pospartum looks go, I know I’ll look back and be grateful that I have so many pictures of me and Raven from the get-go.

4. Another thing that this project has opened my eyes to is the sheer number of faces that human beings are capable of making. As an adult, I usually “arrange” my face whenever a camera is present, hoping that it will somehow catch my “better side.”

Part of the sheer delight of photographing babies and kids is that they don’t have that kind of censoring, which makes for some pretty great faces along the way (like the very first picture in this post).

So much fun.

5. Above all, I’m SO GLAD that we have pictures to remember these precious last few months. Time really does go by so stinkin’ fast, and even though I’m constantly trying to live in the moment as much as I can, it’s still nice to have many of those moments frozen in time forever so that I can peruse them at will (and tear up at how big my baby is getting).

Matt and I are planning on doing this as long as we can, with as many of our children as we can. I’m sure there will be a point in ten years when I’ll look back at this post and laugh at that goal, but hey–
it’s definitely something that’s worth giving our best effort to.

Have you or anyone you know ever tried to do a photo-a-day challenge? How long did it last?

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