In the age of the smartphone, we take a lot of photos — but most of them disappear quickly into our camera rolls, never to be seen again. One mom in Durham, England is determined to take a more lasting approach to memory-making by posing for weekly themed photos with her two daughters.
The family tradition started in June 2016, when Dominique Davis dressed Penny, 3, in a striped top that matched her own. When Amelia, 10, came out of her room wearing a similar shirt, the three burst out laughing — and decided to capture the moment and share it on Instagram.
Davis, who runs a lifestyle blog called All That Is She, already had a significant social following — and the photo wound up being one of her most popular, gathering more than 16,000 likes.
Davis staged another the following week: This time, the three wore white shirts and dug into watermelon. The girls had a blast, and the response was so positive that Davis decided to make it a weekly feature called #allthatisthree.
“We try and keep it relatable to what we’ve done that week,” Davis told TODAY Style. “We held pumpkins the week before Halloween … We wore Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve.
“As a family, now we’re always thinking, ‘Oh that would be good!’” she added. “It’s a nice bonding experience.” (Davis’ boyfriend, Dominic McAnn, takes the photos.)
Amelia and Penny are very hands-on with the brainstorming. “They are quite strong-willed little girls,” Davis said. “The one with the plaits (or braids) was Amelia’s idea. She had only just figured out how to do them, so we all got that hairstyle.”
But this project doesn't distract from their daily lives. “When you’ve got kids involved in photography, it has to be a fun thing for them to do,” Davis explained. “We call them our ‘funny photos’ — we usually take them Sunday morning, and it’s about five minutes at the most.”
While creating family memories is her main motivation, Davis is happy that others have connected with project, which is now half a year in the making. “I’ll start thinking, ‘Are people getting bored?” she said. “Then I’ll post another one, and I get comments saying, ‘These are my favorite! I can’t wait to see what you do next!’ It’s great if it encourages families to take photos together.”
As for Davis, she’s determined to make sure these photos live on outside social media. “We don’t print photos like we used to — I had a whole box when I was a kid, and I haven’t got half of that for Penny,” she said. “I can see a huge difference, even from the first ones we took until now. I love having that.”
And sometimes the best memories come without a filter. “The outtakes,” she said, “are epic.”