I couldn't decide where to take Piper's 11-month photos. It seemed we'd used all her usual stomping grounds in the house, but the weather wasn't nice enough to be outside. And then I had a brilliant idea. I'd just keep my camera close for a day and snap photos here and there as she got into her usual trouble—always with a smile on her face.
I kid you not, 45 minutes later I had enough material for an entire book. The girl doesn't stop. Ever. These images, a small slice of the number I took in those 45 minutes, perfectly illustrate life with a mobile baby. And she's only one-third of the chaos around our house. There's a reason I probably haven't called you or been able to complete a sentence in the last 6.5 years.
This series is so ridiculous it calls for photo-by-photo narration. Let's start with someone leaving a bathroom door open, shall we? Ahh, the simple joy of toilet paper.
Time to help fold the laundry. Oh, wait. This basket is clean? I only like to throw around dirty laundry.
Just going to scavenge to see if anyone left crumbs lying around the kitchen floor now. Yep.
Found: Cheerio. It's a good day.
Checking my high chair for more scraps. Maybe I'll push it around the kitchen for a while?
The high chair got boring, so I decided to push this kitchen chair around the living room.
This stuff looks like it hasn't been washed yet, so I'll take it out and throw it around.
Jackpot! Mom left her phone lying around.
Time to crawl behind the furniture to make sure nothing interesting is happening back there.
Found a stay pacifier and Mom's leg to climb on.
Found: a good book in my room to nibble.
Just gotta flail around and laugh for a while.
Another open bathroom door? It's shaping up to be an excellent day.
A little hide-and-seek.
The other curtain!
What's going on out there?
Getting a little exercise on the dining room table jungle gym.
Time to water the bath tub.
I guess I'll play with an actual toy for a second.
Who put this gate on the stairs? Let me up. Now.
Our connection to this sweet newborn is so many layers deep, I'm not sure where to begin. So I'll start here: I won't forget the day we heard she was on the way. It was Piper's birthday—not a celebration of Piper's birthday, but the actual day of her birth. This baby's mama shared the news that she was pregnant when we arrived at the hospital for Piper's induction; and then she skillfully delivered Piper for us! What an incredible start to the day. Even though this love didn't make her debut for another seven months, I'll always link Piper's birth with hers.
It was such an honor to photograph her, as it was to photograph her big brother when he was born. (An image of him with their mama is one of my favorite portraits ever. You can still find it in my portfolio.) These friends are bright and bold lights in this world—fiercely committed both to the important work they do and to their beautiful family—so the bright and bold colors we decided to use for the session seem a fitting reflection of them. Their living room provided the setting. The pillow was lovingly chosen for the baby's nursery, the blanket draped over the couch knit by her grandmother. I hope when our friends look at these photos in years to come, these details will help spur memories of this precious and preciously fleeting moment in their family's history.
I'm Julia Soplop. I've spent my life documenting the world around me in writing and photography. I believe there is something profound in bearing witness to moments of joy and pain in others’ lives. My husband, three girls and I live outside of Chapel Hill, NC. You can read more about me here.