Five Minutes in the Life of a Two Year Old

Five Minutes in the Life of a Two Year Old

Do you ever look at your toddler and they look a little like a blur? Into everything, exploring, trying new things – a new activity every few seconds?

We absolutely LOVE this photo posted in The Motherload®’s fantastic Facebook community by Sally Williamson of her two year old daughter Millie, with the caption:

Five minutes in the life of our two year old!

It totally sums up the chaos of life with a little one, and the fun they have exploring absolutely EVERYTHING! Sally’s post went CRAZY with 2k reactions and comments in just a few hours. The MOLOs loved it – some were confused as to how one mother had so many children and most of us were curious as to HOW you make a photo like this?

Flo said: “Wow! She’s a busy bee! How did you do it? Amazing picture! “

Kayleigh commented: “Love how she’s peering in the window!”

Aimee joked: “You’ve actually got 16tuplettes haven’t you?”

Laura said: “OMG this is amazing”

Irene commented: “Aww! You missed hanging off the light shade!”

But the burning question was “How did you do it?”

Sally passed us onto her other half Ian Muir who is a keen amateur photographer,  who took this fab photo.

He told us:Millie is a little bundle of energy as most two year olds are! She could talk the hind legs off a donkey but walking didn’t come so easy to her. She’s only just mastered that in the last month so shots like this wouldn’t have been possible just a short while ago. Now she’s up on her feet we can get up to all sorts! Millie spends her mornings with me before I head to work in the afternoon, this means we can get up to this kind of mischief. Millie was an amazing model, very co-operative and I didn’t even have to bribe her, until yesterday that was. We have two other versions of this shot, we kept trying to improve it. This one was our third day in a row of trying and Millie had definitely had enough of my nonsense so I’m glad we got a good one!”

The family live in Dunfermline, Fife, and are joined by Millie’s half sister Sophie every other weekend. Ian says “Millie is absolutely obsessed with her, it melts my heart!”

But how on earth did he create this photo? Here comes the technical bit…

Ian explains: “You need to have the camera on a tripod and make sure it doesn’t move. Take multiple shots, be careful not to overlap positions if you can, it makes it easier. If you’re familiar with the editing process then go ahead and overlap, it’s just that if you’re learning it can make it tricky. Use the 10 second timer or a wireless remote for the dangerous shots like on the car, I’m standing to the side ready to catch her if need be and I edit myself out. Do the difficult shots first, if the little one loses patience at least you’ve got the difficult ones.”

“One of the hardest things is making sure the light remains consistent throughout the shots. If you have one darker or lighter then it’s hard to blend the shot in. I put a flash on a stand and pointed at the ceiling, the flash is just inside the living room to the left. The problem I had here is that the light was changing outside as it was a cloudy day, this made it brighter/darker inside. If you look close enough you’ll see some mistakes but I just get away with it I think. “

“I then used Lightroom and Photoshop to edit. In Lightroom I select all the shots, right click and then choose ‘Open as layers in Photoshop’. Once they’ve all loaded I select them all and then auto align them (edit>auto align). Then I use layers and masks to bring her through on each shot. Once I have all the shots out together I sent the image back to Lightroom to tweak the exposure, change white balance etc.” 

“Here’s a link to the process using Photoshop only, you only need step 1, 2 and 3 then layers & masks.  If you’re not familiar with layers and masks then watch this video, it helped me a lot when I was trying to get my head around how they work.”

Good luck if you are giving it a try – we’d love to see the results!

Update: April 24th – This amazing photo has gone global! We’ve had people all over the world reading this article – in Italy, Germany, Cyprus, the US, Russia and Hong Kong! It’s also been covered by Mailonline, The Mirror and news websites in Italy and Hong Kong – amazing work Ian and Sally – and of course, Millie.

Image credit: Ian Muir

Alison McGarragh-Murphy

Alison McGarragh-Murphy writes and edits stuff for The Motherload, and is also a radio producer and broadcast journalist, a mum of two and a wife of one. Since becoming a mother she has (mostly) gladly swapped a busy social life of gigs, pubs, art galleries and museums for dancing in the kitchen, drinking on the sofa, finger painting and hanging out at the park. She talks incessantly about not having slept for five years. Follow Alison on Twitter @BertaFanta and on Facebook @ammblogs

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