Following on from my post of August 2021, last week my family celebrated an important milestone in my youngest daughter’s life. Ivy officially finished Year 12 and had her last day of school on Friday 22nd October. It was an exciting and emotional day, and a chance to reflect on her school journey which started the day she started kindergarten, back in July 2008.
Those thirteen or so years have gone very quickly, and in that time I’ve seen Ivy grow from a cute little four year old to the young lady that she is today.
I went through the same range of emotions three years ago, when my eldest daughter, Izzy, finished school. At the time, I wanted to do something special for her, to celebrate her school journey. So I did what I do best – work with photos and create a photo book. I presented this book to her a few days before she finished, and she took it into school to show her friends and teachers. What ended up making the book even more special was that Izzy asked her school friends and teachers to sign it on the inside covers. This wasn’t part of the plan – it happened organically, but it ended up being a wonderful keepsake for her.
When it came to doing Ivy’s book this year, I made sure I started at least two months prior to her last day of school. It was easy to locate photos that I’d taken from kindy through to Year 12, as my digital collection is well organised and I could do a search for keywords that I’d attributed to the images, being ‘Ivy Larwood’ and ‘school’. I had taken photos of her artwork – most of it being done in her primary school years – and these were also included in the book.
Unlike Izzy, Ivy knew the book was coming, but was still very happy to receive it in time to take to school during her last few days and get the signatures from teachers and friends.
The process of choosing photos and artwork to use, and then choosing how to use those photos in the book gave me the opportunity to reflect on each of their school years, and how precious that time in their lives was. This is the same for any photo book that I create for the family, whether it be a yearbook, travel book, or to celebrate a milestone birthday. I find the whole process very therapeutic, but realise this may not be the same for everybody.
This is why I’m here to help! And if I can offer one piece of advice for those with younger children – date their artwork!!