One of my favourite things to do is recreate photos (for clients and myself) because I love that you can see how much children have grown and changed when the setting (or outfits) are the same.  Photo ‘then and now’ traditions are easy to start.  You don’t need to wait for a trip or a special occasion and there doesn’t even have to be a specific amount of time that passes before you start taking ‘then’ photos

1.  Think ahead:  When it comes to incorporating a location, toy, clothing, or furniture into your ‘now and then’ photos, consider how likely it is that you will still have an item or still be able to visit a specific location.  A front door is a great example because even if you move houses, you can restart the tradition at your new house as doors are typically a standard size.  A small toy is also a great choice because it’s easy to store.

2.  Meaning: Choosing an item that is meaningful to you, your children, or your family can help with the longevity of the tradition as you’re more likely to continue taking photos even when life is busy or interests change.  A childhood toy, special book, or piece of furniture that has been in the family for generations, works well for this tradition as do props left over from your wedding or even mementos from your own childhood home.    

3. Pick a date: Consider scheduling reminders into your calendar every month (when your little one is young), every six months, or every year.  You can set an automatic reminder if you use an online calendar.  If you use a paper system, consider adding the photo reminders as regular events on birthdays and anniversaries.  
4. It’s never too late: Traditions are often easier to start when your children are young because Pinterest (and friends!) are a great source of inspiration.  If you have school age children it’s not too late to start your own photo tradition.  Involving them in the process will help to make it more meaningful and make it more likely that they will participate every year.  Ideas for older children:

  • Buy a large t-shirt or sports jersey and have them wear it once a year
  • Have them choose a favourite costume to wear every year but choose the same location to take the photos (on a chair, in front of a door, or even holding a sign with a funny saying or quote on it).
  • Have them hold a small chalkboard that has their name written on it.  You can see how much they’ve grown in relationship to the chalk board as well as how different their hand writing is.
  • Take a photo every year with a bunch of balloons (3 when they are 3, 11 when they are 11, etc.).

5.  Show them off: Depending on how often you plan to take the photos, buy a frame with 6 to 12 openings that you can hang in their room or somewhere else in the house.  You can fill the empty openings with blank paper or small pieces of art until you’ve taken an updated photo to print and frame.

father in a police uniform holding his three year old daughter in a red dress