365 Photo Project

Recently Sara wrote about her really busy toddler.  Well, I have one of those too!  My two year old boy has one speed…FAST!  Our pediatrician said, “well you wouldn’t want a lump on a log, would you?”  His comment is helping me to embrace my busy boy.  Those of us with active toddlers know that these busy kiddos challenge us parents in many ways.

shari1I am a mommy that LOVES taking pictures and have been chasing my little guy with the camera ever since he started walking at 10 1/2 months old.  I have always loved taking pictures.  I am the one at parties with a camera.  For my wedding the photography was number one on my list of importance.  Then when my son was born two years ago, I became even more obsessed with pictures.

Who can resist all of those newborn pictures of sleeping babies in adorable hats all snuggled up in fuzzy blankets?  They MELT my heart!  However, my little guy was wide awake at our newborn photo shoot.  We did not get the sleepy newborn pics that I so desired.

Then at six months, I dragged my husband to a photography studio in the mall because I purchased a “cheap” Groupon.  After four outfit changes, Christmas pictures and a family pose, we were suckered in! Or at least I was and my husband just had to hand over the credit card.  How could I not have ALL of those adorable pictures of my baby…who will never be this small again?

shari5At one year my little guy would not sit still.  I was sweating and chasing my little man all over the studio.  The poor photographer got a workout that day!

I really admire professional photographers.  I am in awe of their work, but will admit, they also make me jealous.  I would love to have the talents of a professional and be able to take amazing pictures of my own child.

After my last experience of taking my son to get photographs done, I decided I should take a class at Kirkwood College and learn how to use my DSLR camera-not just on automatic mode.  The class inspired me to practice with my camera.  I learned about all of the camera settings, buttons and the importance of light when taking pictures.  This class did not turn me into a professional…darn!  I can say that photography is a hobby and it always will be just that.

shari6I recently began my new job as a stay-at-home mom and decided I needed something else to do, so I took a suggestion from the Kirkwood class to start a 365 photo project.  This is a good way to practice and means taking a picture everyday for one whole year.  Taking pictures every day is a big commitment and some days it is bedtime before I remember to take my pic of the day.  One day last week I actually forgot to take a picture.  The next day when I realized this, I panicked and thought, “Should I just scrap the whole project?”  I decided to keep going.  I am human and everyone makes mistakes.  It is very hard to accept that there will be one missing day in my project.  Hopefully, some of the days that I took over 200 pictures will make up for it!

The project is challenging to think of different photos to take daily and different ways to get my toddler to hold still for a picture.  I keep the camera close by to be ready for any cute photo-ops and take it with on walks or to the park.

For me, the 365 (now 364) photo project is not about getting an amazing photo every day.  It is about getting photos of my son’s life.  I want to document our normal day-to-day activities.  I have been able to capture little moments of our days like finding the first tomato in our container garden and when my little guy picked me a dandelion for the first time.

When it comes to another newborn or milestone birthday, I will be dragging my husband and his credit card back to the professionals!  For all of the simple moments, I will keep chasing my little guy with the camera every day!


Sshariprofilehari lives in North Liberty and has been married to her husband, Mark for 5 years.  They have a two year old son and a pug named Yoda.  Shari became a stay-at-home mom just 5 months ago and is loving this time with her little guy who keeps her laughing and running all the time.    




  1. I like this post! I see all of these articles about taking too many pictures and blah blah blah, but I also do the “photo a day” and I love it. I do it at the end of the day just picking a photo I took on my phone that day, but I think it’s a nice way to focus on the positive at the end of each day, remember the great things that happened amidst the stress, and have a collective record of our family’s experiences from day to day. Plus it’s easy to look back and see when we’re due for a date night, etc. More power to the compulsive photo takers!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.