week by week: behind the scenes

Like just about every blog reader out there, I've spent my fair share of time over at Young House Love. A few years ago they had the clever little idea of laying their daughter on a different piece of fabric each week and photoshopping her age in weeks onto a white onesie. The pictures are most definitely adorable. Totally inspiring. Totally sets the bar way too high.

When John and I were pregnant with Annie we knew we wanted to somehow document Annie's first year through pictures, too. 

Little did I know that Annie was going to enter the world several weeks earlier than planned. She was good and cooked three weeks prior to her due date - a period of time in which I had planned to stop working and start getting ready. Ha. Instead, I went into labor pains at work one night.

When the one week milestone rolled around, I was totally unprepared for an original idea and completely hijacked YHL's project. I put Annie down on a piece of fabric, crawled onto a wobbly chair to get above her and starting snapping. The problem is I'm not a good photographer. I have a great camera and sometimes I have great luck. But not that day. It was a disaster. She screamed the whole time. The fabric kept wrinkling. The lighting was terrible. Nothing worked. The pictures turned out horribly. And the reality was I didn't even know how to use photoshop to eventually add her week birthday onto each onesie. I thought I could just learn as I went. Not so much! The steps for accomplishing that is what I would call ADVANCED. In retrospect, I'm thrilled that that first fabric photo session didn't pan out. 

Still, I wanted to do something, and the clock was ticking on her one week shot. Our neighbor shared a laundry room with us in New Orleans and in the corner I found a roll of his brown butcher paper. (Still don't know why he had it and he still doesn't know I took it....shhhh!) I don't even know where I'd buy a roll if I ever needed it again. But, luckily it was there that fateful day, and I managed to dig out old cray pas pastels from High School. 

Voila the beginnings of our year long makeshift photo project.It definitely started out small. I really thought I'd only ever write the number in cursive script. But my repressed elementary art skills emerged and I found myself counting down the days until I could 'color' again. 

I wish I had blogged throughout the process, but for now here are a few behind the scene shots. John was my wonderful assistant degrading himself weekly to get Annie to smile, laugh, roll, you name it. Catching him in the frame has left me with a lot of pictures that I like even better than the final photos. And a few scenes required double the assistance...thanks mom :)

Eventually, I want to figure out how to group all the weeks together and make something enduring out of them. One thing at a time... In the meantime, you can check them out here!


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