Natalie’s Photo Project: What’s Next?


Natalie’s birthday is one week away, which means I have two photos and two letters left to do (because I’m a slacker and haven’t done this week’s yet).

So what comes next?

The weekly photos and letters have been fun, but I just can’t commit to another year of that. Moving forward, we’ll be doing those on a monthly, rather than weekly, basis.

Initially I felt all pearl-clutchy about it. OH MAH GAH I’M NOT DOING ENOUGH. I MUST NOT LOVE HER AT ALL. MUST DO DAILY PHOTOS AND LETTERS. NO. HOURLY. But then I mentally got ahold of myself and figured that between monthly letters, regular writing that I do here on the blog, the Instagramming, my own personal journal, and our family scrapbook…it’s enough. Probably WAY MORE THAN ENOUGH.

I am a documenter, through and through. I love lists and journals and writing and taking pictures and navel gazing and being the memory keeper for this family. I document the heck out of our life. Not because we are doing amazing, extraordinary, fantastic things that no one has ever done before; but because we’re doing everyday things in an amazing, extraordinary, fantastic way. Our way.

So of course I’m going to keep writing Natalie her letters, just not every week. Some of the best writing I’ve ever done in my life is in those letters, and I don’t want to give it up — either for me or for Natalie.

As for the photos, well, I’m going to level with you: I AM SO SICK OF THE FABRIC BACKGROUNDS. We are SO not continuing with that theme. My current idea is to find a cute chair in the next week and use that as the recurring prop every month. We’re talking child-sized chair, not overstuffed armchair that will require three movers to get in the house. Something small enough that I can drag around or put in the backyard or something.

(Also doubles as a time-out chair in the backyard.)


I’ve loved this photo project but have definitely run up against some major challenges and some things that I didn’t really think of before I started. Like, the problem of scale: there is none. If you take a gander at the thumbnails, there’s no sense of how much she’s grown. You can see so many changes in her, of course, but I really regret not tossing a stuffed animal or board book or something like that in the pictures with her.

Year two will have scale. Hopefully provided by a chair.

Year two will NOT involve Natalie lying down. That’s the main reason why I don’t get the weekly letter posted until almost a week later; I can’t do her photo by myself anymore. I’m hoping year two can be a little more freeform. Stand by the chair. Sit in the chair. Crawl under the chair. Chew on the chair. Go crazy! 

Year two will have some really cute outfits. NO MORE WHITE ONESIES YAYYYY! Since her cloth diapers come in every color of the rainbow, making sure we have a white one available for her photoshoot at the same time as a clean white onesie has been rather challenging.

So really, there’s only two guidelines: 1) include something in the photos that gives a sense of scale, so I can see how she’s grown and changed throughout the year; and 2) let her be herself and not worry about SHE’S NOT WEARING A WHITE SHIRT AHHH YOU CAN SEE HER DIAPER PLEASE SIT DOWN THEY NEED TO ALL LOOK THE SAAAAAAAAME.

I think it’s safe to say these will be a little more relaxed. I’m looking forward to it.

UPDATE: I found a chair! I ordered this darling little thing from Wayfair this morning.



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