Saturday, January 04, 2014

The 52 Project - 2014


taken on the last day of 2013, an early morning portrait of Poet


In 2013 I was asked to write a piece on motherhood for Papier Mache magazine and I chose to tell the story of 52. This is what the project is all about:

Child Nostalgia

"There's a common saying amongst mothers, first coined by writer Gretchen Rubin in her book The Happiness Project: “The days are long, but the years are short.” Indeed, our days of mothering babies and young children can be tiring and messy; a cycle of washing, settling, cleaning and playing. Sometimes they’re monotonous and seemingly endless. But then, without so much as a blink, the sleepless nights and mornings at the park are over, and we’re sending our children off to school, hesitantly cutting the metaphorical cord once again.

I regarded 2012 as The Year Before My First-born Went to School. We were holidaying in the country when the New Year rang in, living in an old school house with heavy doors, panelled windows and musical floorboards. On New Years Day, Che, my four-year-old, scraped his toe whilst running barefoot outside. He came into the house, perched himself on a chair, and asked for a band-aid. He was adamant that he was going to fix it all by himself so I stood back, stayed silent, and took a photo. It became the first of 52 portraits - one for every week in 2012. 

I set about taking my children’s portraits as a way of documenting their fleeting childhood. I wanted tangible evidence of their growth and expansion; an honest account of their young, innocent lives. I took photos of Che sitting hesitantly on the side of the pool, hiding from the camera; his shadow an eerie replica, the twiddling of his toes - a family trait. Poet was all round and soft in her first photo and as the year progressed I watched her limbs grow longer, her face more defined, her independence evolve. There are photos of her inquisitive eyes, her cheeky demeanor, and her top-knot; an unportrait of sorts that I’d probably nominate as my favourite. 

As 2012 came to a close I had 104 portraits - a story of Che and Poet’s year. Imbued in each image is my story too; a tale of motherhood with all its exhaustion, frustration, joy and palpable, immeasurable love. It’s a documentation of ordinary days that I wanted to remember because they were beautiful - an odd collection of singular moments that would have otherwise gone unnoticed amidst the general busyness of life. Even when the days were too long to enjoy I can see, in retrospect, that they were a blessing. 

Beyond the story of this portrait collection lies a strange reality; I look through it and experience a profound sense of nostalgia for my children’s younger selves. I already miss them! I miss them with a longing that only a mother’s heart knows; it’s deep and raw and acts as a beautiful reminder: to stop, observe and document. 

I’m still taking their photos - once a week, every week, in 2013."

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The 52 Project is habit for me now. But this year will be a little different in that I'm not going to blog Che's portrait; he's too big, he's outgrown this space. If I take an unportrait of him (like legs crossed, lego building, comic reading, ice-block eating or quiet gestures) then yes, I probably will post it...but otherwise, I'll save his photos for our own keeping.

Tomorrow I will be posting 1/52 and I encourage you to add your blog post to the link that will be available. It's been such a joy to watch this community grow and to observe the incredible leaps you have all taken as photographers. In 2013 many of you starting to shoot on manual, you experimented with perspective and angle and you fell in love with light. Collectively the portraits we took tell a story of childhood in 2013 - in both hemispheres, a variety of countries, in every season. Imagine the coffee table book that could come of it?!

I look forward to seeing your portraits this year. In regards to the link, it's very easy to add your post - I'll give you step-by-step instructions tomorrow. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask them in the comments section - I'll answer there.

See you tomorrow!

A few of my favourite 52 posts from 2013 include: festive lights / bali inspired / honest and simple / wintry / beach + garden / morning and afternoon.

You might also like to read The 52 Project


33 COMMENTS

  1. I feel the same about my oldest, last year as I snapped away most times secretly as she no longer wants her picture taken. looking forward to see your next 52 portraits & sharing my own.
    x

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  2. I love your 52 project! I finished my 365 in Aug 2013 and one week ago, on my son's second birthday, I started his 52. I'll be a bit ahead, but hopefully I can join in this year! xx Dida

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  3. I saw "Life at No 2" join in this project last year and so I am inspired to do the same!

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  4. Excited to start this journey tomorrow :)

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  5. i' m seriously thinking in starting my 52 week projects in 2014... But scared of the commitment...
    You are an inspiration

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    1. don't be scared! Just take it week-by-week and before you know it, you'll be at 52 x

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  6. I was that eager to start lovely, I thought today was Sunday. x

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  7. Looking forward to joining you for a second year of the 52 project Jodi! I really enjoyed discovering and connecting with some new bloggers last year through and was inspired each week to bring out my camera and capture my children! x

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  8. So very excited to join 52 for the first time this year. X

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  9. I will join me in this project this year, my daughter is 15 years old, I'm excited to be able to register for 52 weeks her teens.

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  10. Gearing up for a second year. We already have last years portraits displayed in a wonderful book!

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  11. I'm looking forward to joining this journey! I was so inspired by it last year, and now I'm ready to jump in. Will you have a button to link? Thank you!

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  12. i am excited to join once again tomorrow. also, wanted to let you know that the links to your favorites are "not found"

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  13. Eeep! I'm thinking of doing a 365 this year. Am I crazy? Katherine from Lamb Loves Fox did such an amazing job with hers (two kids and all!) and has inspired me to do the same... I hope I can keep up with it. 52 and 365 are both such challenging and rewarding projects - the years absolutely fly by, and it's worth being able to remember the fleeting moments.

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  14. I can't wait to start this! I tried to start it last year, and failed right off the bat as I was so overwhelmed with being a new mother. I am all in this go around.

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  15. Also, I love the new blog name and template. A smart and eloquent move.

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    1. That first year of motherhood is quite something, isn't it?! Happy to hear you're in for this year. And such kind words about this new space - thank you! x

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  16. I don't quite get the difference, but that could just be me. I asked the kids if they wanted to participate again this year and they're all for it, so off we go! Probably lots of unportraits, but I love them just as much. x

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  17. My children are grown and gone and although I'd love to see my g'children every day, I can't guarantee it. SO, I'd like to take one of my g'children's photos, if possible, and if not, post one of me. You see, I loathe the camera. I literally run from it. I rarely like photos of myself and I think that is exactly why I should do it. Is this okay? BTW: You are so right to appreciate this time with your children because it goes by so fast. In hindsight, I would have worked and studied less and snuggled and hugged more. Blessings, Lydia

    BTW: I tried several times to comment with my Wordpress account and it kept responding "url contains illegal characters." I realize that the problem is often a user mistake but I checked and rechecked but it wouldn't accept my blog address: http://seekingquerencia.wordpress.com. Yet, if no one else is having problems than the problem is on my end. I just can't figure out why.

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  18. Hello... I would like to participate, but not about my children. Both of my sons are teens now, and they don't want to be in the camera :0( ... my daughter is disabled and she really doesn't like to have her picture taken :0( so what to share? I want to share about the river and the mountains that surround this little town where we live. It will make me leave my home and take a walk everyday. I pray that most of the pictures won't be so repetitive, but I think I'll be able to manage 52 of them :0)

    Thank you so much for creating this.

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  19. I feel like my boys are outgrowing my blog space too, I'm so glad I've been able to capture as much as I have and wish I'd had a blog when the older two were tiny. It may be a lot more about olive picture-wise this year..x

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  20. I love your blog
    followed
    http://minimaysi.blogspot.co.uk/

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  21. Hi Jodie, I could not thank you enough for this project! last year in January I had a sudden feeling that my daughter's childhood was slipping through our lives and there was nothing we could do about it, if not watch it passively and try to enjoy it as much as we could. I felt sad for the first time after she was born, then I discovered your project and it made so much sense to me, just one photo and some silly little stories to tell about her life every week gave me the feeling that we were actually living her childhood with her, sharing every little moment. And when we'll feel nostagic, we will come back to this past year just flicking through all the posts I wrote (I'm actually planning to print them and make a little book for my daughter!). Wishing you joy and happyness in 2014. Marina xxx

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  22. Thank you for the inspiration. I've found you via Life of TOI's weekly photos, and now I am hoping to join in every week. The time flies so quickly, I can't even believe my little guy is almost 8 months already! I haven't blogged since he was born, but am hoping to get back on the band wagon. :-)

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  23. I'm inspired. But worry my kids are too old for this... but perhaps not. I regret the pictures I have missed - at 9 and almost 7 - I'm just now getting comfortable with my camera. I'm grateful for the ones I do have. But perhaps, considering...

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  24. Love the new space. Elegant. Simple. It suits you so well. I started the project a little late last year and am managing (miraculously) to keep up with it, but wonder if I should start over with numbering and begin at 1 this week? Or should I continue and finish out the 'year' from the when I began? I am leaning toward the latter. Just looking forward to seeing the numbers 52/52 too much. :)

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  25. loved the text <3
    http://solcacto.blogspot.pt/

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  26. I know we are well into January, but am I allowed to join in late? I discovered you late in the game but am enamored with the idea!

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    1. it's never too late! Please, join in x

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  27. I discovered this just in time, Thanks Katherine from Lamb loves Fox !! love this blog. I have decided to join in with my own 52 week project, but with a portrait of my children as well as a picture of their artwork as well . If I am behind I may just add a couple more posts this week ! http://tenthousandkisses.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. Yes, go ahead and add a few posts in this weeks. Happy to hear you're joining in x

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  28. sorry if this has already been covered somewhere, but may I ask if there is a 52 icon for us to share on our blogs this year? I'm joining in, 4 weeks late, for the first time and feel like I have a lot of catching up to do.

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