It started with a shooting prompt, “Shoot the same thing for thirty consecutive days”. I had been documenting my oldest daughter’s love for her stuffed chicken for a few months on Instagram, complete with it’s own #thingschickenslove hashtag. Her favorite book series, Tilly and Friends by Polly Dunbar is built around a little girl and several animals that live together in a yellow house. The chicken “Pru” is my daughter’s favorite character, when I found her a stuffed chicken, it quickly became her “lovey”. I had been documenting their adventures together, mostly with my iPhone for several months, she loved calling me in to see what Pru was “doing” or what she “loved”(which gave birth to the hashtag).
When a group of photographer friends and I decided to take on a “shoot the same thing for 30 days” project, some picked everyday household objects- their sunglasses, a coffee cup; I decided to make my project about my daughter’s chicken and all the things they loved to do together. The idea of shooting one object for a set period of time was supposed to inspire creativity, as you found new ways to see and shoot the same thing over and over.
So for a month, we took Chicken (Pru) everywhere, (well, we already were bringing her everywhere but this time I took her picture). They went to the water park, grocery shopping, played dress up and make believe. And I documented it all, every morning we sat and tried to think up things for her and Chicken to do, and it began to turn into so much more than a photo project. It turned into a great way to spend quality time with my little one and a few days into the project she asked me if we could turn it into a “thingschickenslove” book.
So after the month of shooting nothing but Chicken, we kept it up, every so often she’d think of something she wanted to add to the book.
Chickens loved books about chickens (naturally).
and chicken themed wardrobes.
And Chickens loved Halloween for sure.
It took several months until we had enough images for our book, but then I collected all the images and put them into a book for my daughter to read.
Not only did the project spark my creativity as I explored different lighting conditions (I practiced silhouettes for the cover and low-light night images several times) but my daughter and I had a blast finding new things to shoot and she absolutely loves to pull the book out and read it (to Chicken of course). She still brings me Chicken occasionally and asks me to take a new picture for “the second book”. And I’ll gladly document this sweet time in her life with her beloved Chicken, if we get some great pictures that’s good, but if we create great memories- that’s the best.
You can keep up with the latest adventures of Chicken by following me on Instagram- @lizbehm and looking for #thingschickenslove!