Do You Know I Have a Five-Year-Old Now?

Piper had a birthday in July. You could probably have picked up on it if you’d been reading my posts. I’m sure my “holy wow, I’m getting old” feeling has been seeping in between the lines. And maybe my guilt for not making a bigger deal of her here. But it was only a matter of time.

Since Pip was a baby, I’ve tried to respect her when it comes to taking her picture. She’s never been one to let me grab snapshots of her – I have to set up a full session for this kid.

Every year around her birthday, I’ve tried to grab her for a session, and this year, I timidly loaded my new film camera and got ready to pose her. I decided to check my lighting first on my digital Mk III, and I realized a few test shots in that I wouldn’t be shooting film with her. Film requires a willing subject, and there was no way my child (who has undiagnosed ADD like her mother) was going to sit still for me to expose it properly.

So we went with what we had. I don’t think she followed ONE instruction that I gave her; she kept popping out of her poses to tell me she loved me, and then picking a new pose just as I was nearly ready to shoot the last one. This little girl playing dress-up wants to be a model, right down to the diva attitude. She cracks me up.


This next one was just for Grandma – she wouldn’t smile for me, but for Grandma? I’m gonna have to remember this when I want her to eat her vegetables: “Grandma would want you to clean your plate…


I am SO glad I started shooting black-and-white again. Learning it as an art and not as a salvation has been so GOOD this summer. Some of my very favorite images this year have been in black and white. Not that you’ve seen them yet, since I’m still waiting on publication for them. Eek!


I love her pensive moods. Love them. I always wonder what she’s thinking. I think she goes places I can’t come. I expect I won’t be invited into those places for a very long time. I hold her loosely now, my little free spirit faerie sprite…

This was the part where she said, “But Mom, I MUST make faces.” I think she was trying to make me laugh. Ahem.


I got ONE awesome smile out of her, and it was a quick grab, in between her posing. I’ll accept full credit for the timing on this shot. She tried to take it from me, but she was too late. PHOTOGRAPHER MOM WINS ONE!

I’m looking at these, and I’m seeing all over again what a treasure she is. I’m never really gonna get enough of my very own girl in the white dress. Already she is at an age I can remember living, and I know she has begun her own story, know she’s going to remember these moments, know she is being shaped now into the woman she will be.

But I can’t help remembering my baby as she felt in my arms that first night she came to me, her one little cry and how brave she was once she was in my arms.

Okay. Enough of that. Birthdays are happy things. So. Happy 5th birthday, to my girl who made me a mama.

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13 thoughts on “Do You Know I Have a Five-Year-Old Now?

  1. Megan Willome

    These are amazing! Glad you took them now. At this point, my 13-year-old daughter just thinks my wedding dress is hopelessly out of style. Well, it is 20 years old.

  2. Deb

    That is so sweet, Kelly! Love it! I too have a five and six year old now and was just thinking recently that they are they age where I have memories of being a kid as well and wondering what they must think of their world. The mind of children is amazing.

  3. Danielle

    Such a sweetie! I hope I can meet her one day!! Maybe if we do our “southern tour” and go to Charleston like I want (along with Asheville, Savannah, and St. Augustine) we can meet your whole family, if you’re still there. Granted, this trip I’m planning is some years off, but then the years go fast . . .

  4. LoraLynn

    These are beautiful. I’m no photographer, but I’ve got a five year old and a wedding dress. Maybe I should try for a fun photo shoot with her…

  5. Diana Trautwein

    Every bit of this – beautiful! A lovely peek into this sprite who came from you – and who will always, always be a part of who you are. Thank you.

  6. Pingback: An Afternoon With Ellen | Vitafamiliae

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