Baby Lorenzo may not have been ready for solid foods, but it didn’t stop his mom for ordering him a pizza once a month for the first year of his life.
Maryland photographer Dani Leigh Giannandrea’s photos of her baby went viral last week for their unique way of documenting his growth: using slices of pizza.
Giannandrea said Thursday she knew when her youngest son, Lorenzo, was born that she wanted to use her photography expertise to document his development.
With her first child, Charlie, Giannandrea tried to take monthly photos of him nestled in a vintage suitcase in his travel-themed nursery. However the project became too hectic and was put aside around the sixth month, she said.
After Lorenzo’s birth, Giannandrea decided to give a photo series another shot. She pitched a few setting ideas to her mother, who encouraged her to stick with a photo theme that highlighted the Italian origins of Lorenzo’s name.
“I settled on pizza, because I could get pizza once a month,” said Giannandrea, who is based in Frederick.
In each of the 12 photos, the baby boy lies on top of an open pizza box, with a corresponding number of pizza slices next to him to represent each month of his first year.
As the months went on and Lorenzo got bigger, the shoots became harder to pull off — in part because Maryland’s rainy weather last summer made lighting in the family’s kitchen inconsistent. Also, Lorenzo enjoyed wiggling around more than posing next to the pies.
“He'd role into the pizza and be covered in grease,” she said. “The good news is the white onesies come in a pack of six.”
While posting anything personal to the internet can open the door to criticism, Giannandrea says she has only seen positive comments and messages from people.
“There's been one girl that thought my baby is a doll, but that's as controversial as it gets,” she said.
Despite the success of the baby shoot, Giannnandrea’s “bread and butter” is still wedding and family portrait photography, she said. She hopes that parents viewing her photos take away a sense of humor and remember that family photos can be fun.
“I try to just keep it really laid back,” she said. “Pictures aren't serious, but I want to have these memories. I want to take photos of my kid with more than just my cell phone.”