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  • Chloé Dutschke

Why I've Used Baby Pics On My Grown-Up* Website

When I put this website together I scrolled through my phone to see what photos I had. Shit ones, apparently. So I kept thumbing through, and they were all still pretty shit, but then I came upon some iPhone photos I took of real life photos. Yeah, I understand that sounds equally, if not more shit, but there was something about the lack of polish and retro feel that seemed to work. Most significantly, there was a tangible joy I couldn't scroll past. As a placeholder, I populated this little project with photos of me as a kid. Seeing them in situ, however, I felt perhaps they could stay.

Hey, baby

It's generally frowned upon to use outdated photos when advertising self. I'm obviously not going to use these for a Tinder profile, but there's a vibe captured here that was important for me to set apart. These late 80s happy snaps helped 2020 me to recalibrate.

If you've had the pleasure of watching a child grow up, you would observe that our person stays much the same. If you've reflected on your own childhood, chances are you can see it in yourself, too. The fundamental aspects of your character; unshakeable mannerisms; the things that light you up; both the fascinating and the frustrating quirks — all the attributes evident in the toddler continue to dance across the decades to follow.

The joyous gist

The pandemic, and the isolation it has demanded of me, was salt on the wounds I was wearing having dragged myself through the previous 12 months. March stung. May stung. August stung. The perk of the salt of isolation is the accelerated healing it petitions. There's no hiding from your marred and messy mental gymnastics when you live and work within the same walls. Part of that processing was recalibrating my daydreaming and decision-making to align with my values. In doing that, I began feeling more like myself. Isolation stung less. There was more form and beauty to my internal tumblings. And so, as I was tinkering away, building this site, searching for suitable imagery, I recognised the important energy expressed in mini me. Freedom and cheekiness. Snacks in hand; chubby arms exposed; and a rascally joy that really ought to be shared.


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