My Story About Me | The Legacy Project

I went searching for some childhood photographs earlier today and realized that I have very few. They do exist, but they are all at my parents’ house in California. It got me thinking about all the photo books I make for our family and wondering if I should be printing copies for Lila and Logan as well, so that they have photographs of their childhood to take with them when they move away. 

Along with the family photographs and videos, I have all sorts of other memory-preserving ideas in the works for my kids. I set up email addresses for them both when they were born and I occasionally send them messages or photos that they will see for the first time years from now when they start using their email. I am saving up my favorites of their outgrown clothing to make a quilt for each of them (and maybe a third for me!). I am cataloguing their art projects in file boxes. I plan on doing a yearly first day of school video interview with each of them beginning with kindergarten and going throughout high school (have you seen this??).

Will they think all this is overkill? Potentially. But I’d rather do too much than too little.

I want them both to leave home with a hope chest full of memories.

Although the tangible mementos are priceless, there are also intangibles that I think about, too. The stories. I think of the stories. MY stories.

Lila and Logan know me as “Mom”, but what about the 37 years I lived before I became Mom? What about the hours I spend before they wake in the morning, or the hours after they go to bed? Who am I then?

I randomly typed “legacy” into the search bar on Pinterest a few days ago and a post popped up called “52 Stories”. This is a project that was created in an effort to get people to write down their personal history. I began scrolling further in my Pinterest search, and more and more of these thought-provoking lists of questions began appearing in my feed.

My wheels started turning.

I need to write down my stories. My personal history. For my kids. So that they know more about me than just “Mom”.

So. I am going to create my own list of questions, and twice a month I will answer them on my blog. 

A record of me. My stories. 

I hope you will join in. Two weeks from today, look for the first post in the series “The Legacy Project”. I’d love for you to answer the questions for yourself, too. Write down the answers - in a word document, a blog, a notebook, make an audio recording. Just get those stories out and record them. 

Don’t let them disappear. Leave a legacy.


If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
— Benjamin Franklin

Sailing on the Hudson the year after moving to New York City.


Francesca Russell is a documentary-style family photographer and filmmaker located in Garden City South, NY. If you'd like to see more of her recent documentary family photography, head over to her Facebook page or follow her everyday adventures on Instagram. If you are looking for a family photographer or lifestyle videographer on Long Island or in the New York City area to document your family, small business or event, please contact her for more information.