A couple of months ago, I was trying to come up with some fun projects for myself. I saw that there are many people who are doing traveling dress projects—essentially, sisterhood of the traveling pants but dresses and for photographers. Then I thought, how about doing a traveling dress but for little sisters?! I bounced the idea of a Little Traveling Dress Project to a few friends of mine and many of them jumped on board quickly! How exciting!
On August 27th 2018, I ordered a dress and our Little Traveling Dress Project began.
One little dress, two countries, six states/provinces, eight photographers.
We all had the same dress for a week to create. We will not reveal the work we have created until everyone had a chance to finish their journey. This is where magic happens. And the whole project was finished just before Christmas.
For the past few months, we have all been anxiously waiting to see what the other people had created and today is the day! It’s our reveal party today! Please follow along and find out how creativity works magic with each individual in an amazingly different way.
I’m so excited to share my part of the journey and you will be able to link to the other 7 photographers’ work as well!
Originally, when I started the project, knowing that I would be the last person to play with the dress, I was planning a BIG EPIC vision in my mind. I was going to have my girl wear the dress. I was going to make her all gorgeous. I was going to take her to all these epic places around the valley in Arizona.
HOWEVER, when time went by, my vision changed.
I had been digging into my soul a little bit about why I am doing all these photos. I realized that ever since I have started my business, I have felt more insecure and more inadequate than ever. I look at other people’s photos and think—I want a house like that with a big window and pure white walls so I can take better photos with better widow lights; I want to go to those epic places because dang those locations are so cool; I want to have darker dinning table so it looks better as a background when I take photos of my kids make cookies…The list goes on and on. I realized that, I ALWAYS have a vision and what I am trying to do is to create something out of my norm to fit into my vision. So instead of trying to make epic lifestyle like our normal way of living a life, I want to find the beauty in our seemingly normal life.
SO, instead of taking road trips in this pretty dress and makeups and flower crowns, we just lived a good normal life, but wearing a pretty dress.
It’s close to Christmas. My family doesn’t really have Christmas traditions as we never grow up celebrating it. But it would be nice to help my kids to get into the holiday feels. So we went to a Christmas Tree Lot. The owners there were super nice and let my kids run through the trees. They even pointed out that they have colored trees in the back.
My kids were beyond excited to just run free there.
I’ll have to say, I’ve never seen a happier face in a tree lot.
Our Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, set up a Giving Machine in downtown Gilbert this year to make it easy for people to give in the holiday seasons. It gives you such a good warm feeling when you know that you can give because you have been given much. For my kids who are still very young, it can be challenging to find service opportunities for them so we took advantage of the giving machine and stopped by after we ran in the tree lot for a good while.
We explained to the kids that we get to give something to people and children who are in need and they get to choose what they want to give. Both of my kids took it pretty seriously and looked at the menu/list of possible items for donation for quite a while. My boy, who loves balls more than anything, decided to donate soccer balls. My girl actually decided to donate some building-block toys and also funds for after school program so other little friends can go to school like her and play with blocks too! They were literally shouting with joy when they see the items they chose was donated through the giving machine.
There is no place better than home.
I mean, seriously. This should be the case. If you are like me before drooling over other people’s home, you got change. Not saying that we should use it as an excuse to never clean dishes or vacuum your carpet just because you love your home no matter what. But seriously, this is our life now and we should love it no matter what.
Dance in the street in front of the house even on a super overcast and cold day. Walking through irrigation rivers at home and pick up flowers and dirt. Who cares if people driving by think that we are crazy. We are home and we are happy.
One of the awesome perks about living in Arizona is that we get super amazing citrus in the winter time.
And, lucky us, we LOVE citrus.
When we found out that a few of our own citrus trees have gotten sick and we are not going to have many good fruits this year of our own, we were really sad. Good news is that we have a great citrus orchard close by and every year they host citrus picking events. Just before all the oranges and grapefruits got picked this year, we went in the orchard to enjoy the view of an approaching harvest.
Of course, when there is food to look at but not allowed to pick any, all her energy goes into a goofy ball and shows up in every single photo I attempt to take.
It is Christmas season after all. With little ones at home, we tend to decorate the house a little later so all the ornaments can stay on the tree for a little bit and all the lights can stay on for a while. It took about 5 days for our tree to become bare on the bottom 2/3 and our lights on the tree to totally go out. But while it lasted, we had fun having a festive house.
When there is a little “devil” tearing everything down at home, you gotta balance it out with a little angel.
So yeah, these are what I’ve done with the Little Traveling Dress. These are no where near what I had envisioned at first. They are not epic. They are not that artistic. They are not the ones that stir up the darkest dust in your soul and make you think.
HOWEVER, each one of these photos
MADE ME SMILE.
Yes, for that week, I was almost constantly taking photos for my girl. I was always thinking what fun stuff we could do. I gave my kids so much more attention than before. I was not on social media. I was not comparing myself with other moms. I was not comparing how my kids are with other kids.
While these photos might not mean anything to other people, they mean the world to me. These reminded me of the pure joy of being a child. These reminded me of the pure joy of being a mom. These reminded me of the joy of simply being alive and enjoying life to the fullest.
My girl’s name means Life. She is full of life. Her simple brightness is epic enough to light the world—at least my world.
Like I said, even the eight of us who had the chance to create using the same object, had different perspectives and angles. My journey with this little dress helped me to confirm my why—Life is crazy, but life is good. And I’m loving it.
I surely hope all of you can feel the joy of this little girl and be inspired to find and focus on the simple, small, seemingly insignificant joyful moments in your life AND document them! When life gets hard, which is almost every other minute especially if you have a few little munchkins in your house, look back at those small moments that bring smiles onto your face.
Hope you all had a wonderful 2018 and wish you a happy new year in 2019!
To follow along our reveal party with our Instagram Loop starting here: @amydangerfieldphotography
To check some of the other 7 photographers’ work on their blogs starting here: