Frans Hofmeester posted “Portrait of Lotte, 0 to 18 Years” to YouTube on Oct. 27, where it’s already had more than 400,000 views. “Wow, she just grow[s] up with us,” wrote one fan. A second commented, “Waited too long for this. I will be 17 on the 29th of this month and I wish my parents would have done this with me. Happy birthday Lotte!” Another wrote, “There is no better way to document childhood than videos like this. It is truly inspiring and frightening at the same time to see life flash by this way.”
In the span of five minutes and 37 seconds, Lotte appears as a wide-eyed infant wearing a sleep sack and spitting up, a laughing toddler wearing ponytails and barrettes, and a tween showing off her retainer and braces. As a teen, her hairstyles evolves from adorable ponytails to stylish side-swept bangs, and her hair color fluctuates between bright and dark blonde.
As she grows, Lotte sports glasses, a topknot, blue eye shadow, red lipstick, and playful hats and antennae.
Hofmeester did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment, but he wrote of the project on his YouTube channel, “You are witness to one of the most mysterious, profound processes of human life — aging, the process of becoming older and growing up.”
In October 2015, Hofmeester created a similar video of his daughter from “0 to 16 years” which received more than 11 million views on YouTube. And in December, he documented the growth of his son Vince — who looks just like Lotte — from birth to age 14, charting the boy from a cherub-cheeked baby to a silly toddler making faces to the camera and a baseball hat-wearing tween.
After Hofmeester released a montage of Lotte’s life up to age 14, he explained his inspiration to the U.K.’s Independent, “She was changing at such a rapid pace that I felt the need to document the way she looked, to keep my memories intact. Other people might make a photo book, but I decided to film.”
And his kids aren’t always interested in dad’s home projects. “Sometimes they did not feel like it,” he added. “Then I said ‘Just one minute. Tell me about your ball game, did you win?’ That way I stalled them, so I could complete the shot.”
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