52 Weeks of Portraits | A Personal Project for My Children

A little background about this project: my 52 Week Project is a portrait project that documents the growth of my children. For each of their first years, I did a photo a day project of each of them... this is a simpler continuation of that. One portrait a week for the year - not your typical "sit and smile at the camera" portraits, but "environmental portraits" - photographs of my children, taken in their element, documenting this moment in their lives.

I try to write a few short words about each child under their portrait to record any details or milestones of the week.

This project was inspired by a gorgeous blog called You Are My Wild

At the end of each year, I make a memory book of the year's portraits.

Logan - Age 3, Week 5

I was really proud of you the day we went to Bash Bish Falls. You are not a fan of water. You have anxiety attacks over getting your hair washed. You only tolerate the most gentle of beaches. So to see you wading into the rushing waters of Bash Bish was a big deal. I also appreciate that you have your limits and you speak your mind and express your fears.  As much as I love seeing you overcome obstacles, I am also equally proud of you for setting your limits. Never be afraid of being you.

Lila - Age 5, Week 35

You wanted nothing to do with the sparklers when Dad first pulled them out. But then Logan had a go, and well, you couldn't be outdone by Logan. So here you are, with your first sparkler. You were tentative, as you were with watching the homemade fireworks display a few minutes later, but I think you also saw the potential magic in it all, so I have a feeling next year might be the sweet spot. In the meantime, it was a pretty dang good Fourth of July. Your favorite part: the s'mores of course!

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 on Long Island or in the New York City area to preserve your family's legacy, please contact her for a session!