One day, portrait photographer Jesse Holland took a photo of her two-year-old daughter Ella and her dog doing the same thing.
Then she took another. Today, the series of of juxtaposed images contains more than 100 images posted to her Instagram account.
Holland is a wedding photographer by trade, but has used this side project as a way to document her daughter’s childhood beyond just iPhone captures (although some of the images in the series are actually taken on the iPhone).
“I love shooting weddings, but this has been a fun way to make my husband, family and friends smile, and most of them are much more interested in this series then wedding photos of people they have never met,” Holland tells Business Insider.
Below are a selection of the photos and excerpts from our interview with Holland.
For the daughter and dog series, Holland comes up with ideas for images ahead of time, but sometimes the situations also just pop up spontaneously and she takes advantage of the opportunity in front of her.
Usually it is a matter of placing the dog, Charlie, into the same scenario of something that Ella is doing or has just done.
'When I have a pre-visualized photo that I want to do, the dog is usually happier to play along as he will ALWAYS sit and stay if he knows there is a treat in it for him,' Holland says. 'Ella isn't as food-motivated, and talking a two-year-old into something that wasn't their idea to begin with can sometimes be a challenge.'
'I will note that some of these ideas have fallen apart. I am working with a kid and dog after all, and if they are really not into the idea I do have to move on,' Holland says.
Often they go on walks together in their town of Victoria, Canada, which provides a lot of inspiration as well. 'I live in a very beautiful part of the world and I try to get outside as often as possible,' she says.
'This project has been a good excuse to pick up my camera every day (or close to) and hopefully that alone will spill into continuing to improve in my wedding work,' Holland says.
The pictures of Ella and Charlie in Holland's grandfather's glasses is a particular favourite. 'I have photos of a number of my family members wearing those glasses, as well as a portrait of my grandfather, wearing the same glasses, that I absolutely love. Even though they never met, I like the visual reminder of my family line.'
An additional standout for Holland is the image with all the cameras dangling down. She had the idea in her head, but it wasn't until she was reunited with a group of photographer friends that she was able to get them all on board to hold the cameras in the shot for her.
Hailing from California and currently living in Canada, Holland lived in Japan for a year in her twenties. While there, she bought a point-and-shoot camera, and soon after ran into a serious photographer who introduced her to the most sophisticated DSLR.
'I hadn't met too many photographers in my life, up to that point, so it wasn't on my radar that this was a job option,' Holland said of that meeting. 'He was the first person to give me an honest critique of my work, which was not always praise, and that pushed me to try to take better photos.'
When she moved back to the States, she turned her focus to honing her newly ignited passion at a local community college. Now, while she focuses mostly on wedding photography, she has also been continually working on the photo series with her daughter and her dog.
Holland plans to keep going with the project for a while. 'Either 'til I run out of ideas or until Ella refuses to participate any longer. Some days she seems into having her photo taken and others she is just not into it.' But the longer Holland does it, the more ideas she gets, so we can look forward to more great photos to come.
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