Leigh Webber Photography
Charleston, South Carolina

30 Thoughts on Toddler365

  1. I can’t believe I did it
  2. I feel a bit of relief now that it’s done.
  3. There are probably 20+ really strong shots that came out of it, in my personal opinion.
  4. It definitely gave me room to experiment.
  5. It kept me actively creative for sure.
  6. I do not regret it one bit.
  7. I think it will gain value over time.
  8. I’m going to do a book for myself of the whole thing (365) and then an abbreviated version (probably 52 images/quotes)  to use as gifts for clients and new parents. In the “gift” version, I’ll mix in photos of various kids I’ve photographed over the years, it won’t just be all Seamus.
  9.  I think it will really shape how Seamus connects with his childhood. In fact, NPR just posted an article on how “Editing Your Life’s Stories Can Create Happier Endings”.
  10. I’ll look back at it in 20 years amazed, wishing I’d done even more.
  11. I do worry that I annoy people with all my photos of Seamus.
  12. But I secretly hope that in 5, 10, 20 years to be that photographer whose work is on a commercial, on the Today Show because she’s been obsessively photographing her kid methodically for “x” number of years.
  13.  Half way through I started adding quotes to each image because it was “easier” than writing a blog post to go along with each daily photo. Always, always my work looks different to me a week, a month, a year later. So it’s so hard for me to edit objectively, especially right on the spot. It’s also hard for me to write my feelings and expose them to the public. I don’t mind sharing photos, but personal thoughts, that’s tough.
  14. Some days I had too many photos to choose from and there were lots that I never got to use.
  15. Other days I had too few and was hovering over his bed after he’d gone to sleep just to get a shot in.
  16. Toddler365 had a huge influence on what we did each day and what outfits he wore. I never wanted to do the same thing twice.
  17. However there are a few recurring themes such as close ups of his eyes and appearances by Bella.
  18.  Taking photos of Seamus every single day also made me conscious of how much time each day we just play together. You really have to carve out time for that so that the hours aren’t eaten up by the minutia of getting ready for school, fixing breakfast, wiping up spilled milk, fighting him over brushing teeth, get in the car… now, etc. etc. I wanted the photos to be fun for him. Not another chore.
  19. He learned to say “no more photos”.
  20. He also occasionally asks for them! He knows I will get excited if he asks me to take a photo of him, clever little guy. Manipulating me already.
  21. I’d planned to do more shots not involving Seamus physically, such as more photos of his “stuff”,  the toothbrushes Bella chews up, his toys, his artwork.
  22. But I got more responses (i.e.: “likes”) for photos he’s in.
  23. How people reacted, as in the # of “likes” an image garnered, affected what I ended up photographing and posting.
  24. I was sometimes surprised what people liked and even more what they didn’t like.
  25. As an artist, should I care what the audience likes? Should I let that have an effect on me?
  26. I feel like I am torn 3 ways…. Do I shoot what I like, what you like or what I think you like?
  27. I wish I’d written more commentary along the way, like this blog post, where I explain my thoughts on the project as it went along.
  28. I made some new friends through this project and for that I am very thankful.
  29. I thought about quitting many times.
  30. I am so glad I didn’t.

Onward and upward for 2014!

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