45 Days of Summer

One picture a day photo diary – By Helen Rowan Photography

My love of photography started because I wanted to be able to take quality photos of my young kids.

When I first started taking it really seriously a few years ago I tried to do a one-a-day project with my kids. I failed! They were 3 and 5 at the time. I didn’t find it possible on the days that they were unwell and I was drowning in washing and tears (sometimes mine).

Why did I decide to do a summer project now?

As a passionate photographer it’s still really important to me that I take photographs just for myself. I really enjoy it, and it’s when I try out new locations and ideas.

In all honesty, this project didn’t really start out about photography. I had the idea to get my boys to keep a diary over the holidays. The summer before my then 6 year old didn’t even pick up a pencil for 6 weeks and then looked at me blankly on the first day back in September. Terrible ‘mum guilt’ moment!

So this summer my plan was that we’d do a diary. Mainly to practice their writing, and also collect cool things to stick in – flyers, tickets, photos……. Lightbulb moment! I would do a photo diary to sit alongside their diaries so that we could put it all together at the end.

It was such a fun thing to do. I’m so lucky that I can spend the whole summer with my kids, but it’s also quite daunting. Having a project motivated me to do something different with them every day. I don’t mean anything expensive, just different parks, going for a walk somewhere new, or planning a small craft activity.

What I didn’t expect was that my photography would actually hugely improve over the 6 weeks. My understanding of light in tricky conditions improved and my hit rate for getting a sharp, well composed shot improved too.