Photographing The Same Thing 7 Different Ways

One random fact about me that I suppose says something about my character is that the majority of my friends have been in my life for a long time – years or decades. I don’t have some circle of close-knit friends. I’m one of those people

that has many friends from different walks of life. Our paths cross for one reason or another and we stay connected. Mariah has been in my life for nearly 10 years now! She lives in North Carolina and I’m in Michigan, so we don’t see each other as much as I’d like to. Even though we live so far apart, I love her even more for her love for my babies! She recently spoiled them with a surprise package in the mail. Ok, if I’m being honest, not so recent as this happened in July and I’m just now getting to editing the photos after a busy wedding season. If the package wasn’t enough, she included 7 letters. Each letter had a fun, new message with a cute picture drawn on it to match the words. One letter for each day of the week. What a fun way to create a blog post on photographing the same thing 7 different ways and Kendall had a ton of fun getting a new letter each day!


In the package:

Just in case you are curious, here’s what was in that fun chevron striped surprise! (and Mariah wanted to see them open these things, so I had to document the fun!). I love photographing my kids opening letters and gifts from loved ones that have sent them things, because it’s like the senders get to watch the fun.

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Showing her brother…

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Note to Mariah: She wasn’t really cooking her new octopus, she was hiding it from Levi.




We began the letter opening on the day we got the package – which was a Thursday. Here we are in the open-light of the back room in my home. I loved how the letter looked against the dark floors, so I thought black and white would look bright and bold. This letter was about the heat of the summer and ice cream.

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Similar to the open light above, we are in the doorway to my back room now where there is a lot of light hitting Kendall. I did a mix of color and black and white, because I loved how the background falls away in black and white. On Thursday, everything was shot from above so the background was the floor, not a wall.

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Saturday’s letter came out to play. This was my fave day of them all, because the back light from the sun was so good I wanted to eat it with a spoon!! It created for some killer light and shadows – including her sweet hand while she “read” her letter (before she asked for her Daddy’s help in reading). P.S. The song, “Let It Go,” is pretty much on replay in our home right now and Kendall was singing the song and dancing the entire time. This letter was about fishing, the ocean, and the beach.

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Who doesn’t love Sunday mornings? In our home, it’s our day to be a little slower at getting going, maybe have some bacon and eggs, and today it was a perfect morning to open Sunday’s letter at the dining table. The light is coming from the sliding glass door behind me. She is closer to the light than you can see on Friday, so you can see how the photos here are a bit more vibrant and dramatic. This letter was about the cold of the winter and making snow ice-cream.

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Today was cloudy and we were on my covered front porch to boot. This caused for the light to be extra flat. I’m drawn to black and white to begin with, but in flat light I like black and white, because you can really push your whites up when editing. I find doing it in color makes the photos look kind of funky, but in black and white it totally works. This letter talked about how proud she of Kendall being a good big sister to Levi and that she hopes she loves her pink octopus (which, she does!).




I was on my way to my big grocery run. I’m a big meal planner and you can learn all of my secrets HERE. So before I handed the kiddos off to my husband and left for my vacation shopping trip, Kendall opened Tuesday’s letter in the light of the sun falling directly on her. It was soft, because it was about 5:30 p.m., but still bright enough that I had to bring the highlights down on her skin as to not lose skin tone. This letter was about night time and the moon.

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Our last letter and a perfect way to end the series was in the dark since the rest of the days were in the light. You will see these photos are grainy. I totally dig the grain, because I feel it adds some kind of mood or feeling that I just can’t describe. I am better in photos than I am in words, so see for yourself. She was so tired (and lazy hehe) that she had her dad help her open this one! This letter was about trees and playing hide and seek around them and laying in the shade.

Thank you, Mariah (and Brady!), for sending your love to my babies!! xoxo

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Need more inspiration? Get lost in these posts:

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Author: MarieMasse
I help client documentary photographers fine-tune their workflow + marketing game, so their work is filled with sessions that represent their voice + client values while earning a living. I shoot undirected, off-beat stories that aren’t preserved often enough (like the story of couples before starting a fam or becoming empty-nesters – a dream project of mine), so my clients’ old box of photos is a meaningful, visual diary of their life + legacy to leave behind.

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