A photographer uses monthly photos to document his premature niece’s growth

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Amya at one day old. All photos by Justin Thor Simenson.

These photos by Albuquerque-based Justin Thor Simenson have the sweetest story to go with them. His niece, who turned one in November 2011, was born several months premature. Before her birth Justin had mostly focused on fine art, but he began taking Amya’s portrait in the hospital. This turned into a regular thing — every month he took several photos of her. The end result is hundreds of photos of a now quite happy and healthy girl.

Oooh, sweet new baby.


Says Justin:

After the first two shoots I was hooked and decided to shoot her once a month. The thing that I really wanted to concentrate on was capturing the subtle changes that happened every month. Like in the picture with the roses — Amya was just strong enough to hold herself up. There’s another where she is walking, and that is the one we used for her first birthday invitation. I did shoots with various degrees of complexity, from multiple lights and color gels to using natural light from a single window and a manual focus lens.

Oh, hi!
Try not to smile. Go on.

I am putting the photos in a book for my sister and Amya. The book will also include the moments between the moments that my family captured with their cell phones and other cameras. I hope that the book is something Amya can look back on and be happy to have.

Comments on A photographer uses monthly photos to document his premature niece’s growth

  1. My nephew was born 2 months premature. My sister and her husband visually kept track of his growth by having a particular stuffed animal (a cow) that they took a picture of him with on a regular basis.

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