A Simple Start
Hua Yunqing was happy to pose with his one-year-old toddler, Huahua on their vacation to a nearby lake in 1980. Hua found the resulting photo so precious, he decided to do it again the next year.
Coming For Number Two
The following year, Hua returned to the same spot on the lake, a perfect little trip for his young daughter. The China they were experiencing in 1981 was undergoing a stark cultural shift, as the one child policy was implemented only the year before. Every moment Hua was spending with his only daughter became even more precious, and he was determined to document the changes in their lives through these vacation photos. Only time would tell what kind of impact they would have.
Three Times A Charm
As little Huahua continued to grow, she was already trying to copy her loving parents’ every move. In this picture, she stands with her hands tucked behind her back, just like her father, beaming happily towards the camera. Though Huahua barely understood the ritual, she delighted in her time spent roaming the shore of the big lake, carefully picking up rocks and squelching the mud between her soft fingers. The day wrapped up, and both father and daughter couldn’t help think about how much fun their outing was.
Fun In Hand
1983 was a good year for Huahua. The four-year-old was growing to be an intrepid young person, curious about the world and her surroundings. She had no idea that her upbringing would be so starkly different than that of her parents, as China slowly began to open itself back up to economic development. Without a care in the world, save having enough time to spend with her parents, Huahua smiled cheekily at the camera aimed at her and her father.
Beating The Heat
Hua considered the immense changes he’d seen occurring in his daughter’s development since the last year they’d visited the lake. At five, she was a precocious child who seemed ready to take on the world, heedless of the stresses faced by adults. Hua particularly relished this trip, the last the family would take before their daughter began her education, suddenly compelled by the daily rigors of the school bell. For her part, Huahua was pleased with the frilly outfit she chose to wear in the photo.
In Living Color
1985 was a big year for the Yunqing family, as Hua purchased their first color camera. Six-year-old Huahua may have grown noticeably since they first began snapping their yearly shots when she was a baby, but the shift to color would become one of the most memorable snaps in the entire album. Though they have plenty other pictures of Huahua’s childhood, Hua cherished these annual father-daughter portraits more than any of the other shots they’d taken.
Post Swim Thrills
The summer of 1986 was the most exciting one for Huahua, at least as far as she could remember. She had finally learned to swim with the help of her patient father. Huahua was excited to bring her new blue polka dot bathing suit with her on the annual trip to the lake, which was fast becoming her favorite part of the summer. With goggles on hand, she and her father snapped their portrait together mere moments after emerging from a refreshing dip in the lake.
Wrapped Up In Frills
By 1987, Huahua was fully committed to her role as a school girl and wanted to look the part even during the summer vacation when she and her family traveled once again to Taying Lake. Dressed fashionably in a frilly white dress, the sheer overlay helped keep her cool as the summer breeze tickled her bare legs. It had been Huahua’s own choice to complete the look with a striking red scarf. Hua too began to notice changes between his first picture and this one.
Cartoon Car Ride
In this picture from 1987, Hua and his daughter could hardly have looked more chic. Both are dressed in clothes that could be considered the epitome of fashion for the era. Huahua’s adorable matching skirt and tank set, printed with the bright colors of a children’s cartoon makes for perfect summer wear, while her father is a little more buttoned up in his slacks and polo shirt. Hua still sported the same shirt and sunglasses he’d worn in the previous year’s picture.
The Wild Wild East
As the summer day dawned bright and warm, Hua prepared for the annual family trip to Taying Lake with Huahua at his side. Knowing that the two would take their yearly photo, Hua carefully chose a bright red polo, feeling that it was time to change his look after the past couple of years. He’d made the mistake the year before of wearing long pants, suffering in the summer heat. This year instead, he made sure to choose his best jean shorts.
Camper Of The Year
It had been a great summer for Huahua. She was proud of how she had shot up in height over the last year, feeling tall and almost lanky in her stark white camp uniform. Though she didn’t have to, she wanted to show it off in her annual photo with her father, feeling it to be even more appropriate given that this photo would commemorate the dawning of the final decade of the century. Huahua was ready for the snapshot.
The Ballad Of Long Socks
By 1991, long socks were all the rage among Huahua and her peers. Despite the rising temperatures, she convinced her father that their annual photo wouldn’t be complete without each of them donning their own pairs of socks that rose high above the shoes they were wearing. Never mind that Huahua chose sandals to complete her frilly skirt, everyone in her class was wearing them like that. When it came time to take the photograph itself, Huahua instructed precociously that the pair should adopt the same stance.
There came a time when Huahua was no longer the sunny child she had been on previous trips to the lake. By the time she reached 13, she had become nearly impossible for her parents to relate to. Though they both hoped as the doldrums of adolescence passed she would once more become the pleasant and friendly daughter she had always been. With much cajoling, Huahua agreed to take the annual photo, on the condition that this year, she would not be coaxed to a smile.
Flowers In Bloom
As the years wore on, Hua found that the excitement of their yearly lake trip was wearing off. Huahua coveted the more exotic trips her friends would take, some to further flung areas of China, some who even managed to travel internationally. Hua could see that it would take more to bring his now teenaged daughter on board with his project, though talk of her future appreciation of the memories they were creating barely mattered at this juncture.
It Takes Two
Like his daughter, the lake front on which they’d spent so many summers was changing rapidly. When they first began taking their photos, the lake front blended in with the quiet solitude of its natural surrounding. Hua noticed that as he and his family returned every year, they were not the only ones who discovered the wild beauty in their midst. As the place became more popular, the local government began imposing its will on the area, transforming it into another piece of suburbia.
Bringing It Home
There was a distinct tingle of excitement that hung in the air as Huahua prepared for her annual lake trip. Offset by the contrast between her first trip abroad, she suddenly found the prospect of visiting a well-known vacation spot enticing. She wanted this year to be marked by the family trip they’d previously taken to the dizzy world of Las Vegas to stand out, marking this year’s photo as distinct from all the other years it had been their only holiday.
Time Runs Short
Hua barely had time to think these days, as his work was consistently ramping up. He considered skipping the lake trip this summer, given that he hardly had time to breathe, let alone drive out of the city. Faced with the idea of missing his annual photo, however, he had an instinct that the project he’d been carefully curating for so many years was bigger than the stresses of the office. Hua drove out for the night, before heading straight to the office in the morning.
Marking A Milestone
After the tumultuous years of her early adolescence, Huahua was excited to pass into legal adulthood. She said goodbye to her high school, with only thoughts of how bright her future could be on her mind. She was leaving her hometown for the first time, preparing to attend a well-regarded university. Her father couldn’t have been prouder as the two posed for their annual photo, noting that his daughter was nearly his height. The two beamed at the camera, celebrating the years that stretched before them.
Closing The Gap
The photo the Yungqing family snapped in 1999 seemed even more monumental than the last. The world was changing rapidly, bringing ever more remote places within reach. The year before became the first year since 1980 that Hua didn’t get to take the photo with his daughter, who couldn’t juggle her university schedule in a way that allowed for her to join. At 20 years old, Huahua could hardly have appeared more adult, as she joined the photo in a jumper and chunky heels that defined that year’s fashion.
Scenes From The Future
In the year 2000, the world was expected to undergo some major catastrophe as the clocked ticked from 11:59 to 12:00, marking the dawning of a new millennium. Though the world had existed for far longer than two thousand years, it seemed that human construct required new patterns to be assumed about how the construct of time would affect the laws of physics that paid no heed to the machinations of humans. In light of the world’s continued existence, Hua and his daughter returned to the lake.
Shifting Of The Wind
As a young professional, both Huahua and her father found that getting a break from the hustle of daily life in order to visit their beloved lake became increasingly difficult. Where once they would return every summer, these days, they were more likely to chose a date advantageous to both of them, whether or not it was even warm enough to swim. In 2001, that meant putting their trip off until the autumn breeze began to blow, requiring Huahua to wear a sweater in order to keep warm.
Return To Sun
For weeks, Huahua had been dreaming of her impending trip, sleeping soundlessly as visions of rest and relaxation floated through her mind. Her many years playing on the lakeside tinged these slumber induced memories with a golden haze, as she was spirited away from the daily stresses she faced at her job. She was lucky that this year she had the good fortune to be able to take some time off in the summer, allowing her to lay leisurely on the shore with her parents nearby.
Taking A Time Out
The life of a young professional isn’t always easy, especially when showing your dedication became paramount to your career in its earliest stages. Huahua often thought back to the carefree days of her childhood, when she could splash in the lake with reckless abandon, proudly showing her parents her swimming skills. This year was a tight squeeze to get to the lake with her parents, but Huahua managed anyway, showing off her hard-earned wages in the form of her designer purse.
Taking On The Wind
The summer sun burned their skin as they stood with their backs to the water. It had been a particularly intense summer, with days that dawned hot, the still air unrelenting, even after night fell. It was a relief for the Yungqing family to meet their daughter on the lakeside for their annual family trip, though she could only stay for one night, having to hurry back to the office early the next morning, after posing for a snapshot with her father.
The Fondest Memories
It seemed like a lifetime ago that the lake was a tranquil vacation spot within a short drive from the town in which Hua lived. As he looked out across the gentle water, he couldn’t help but notice the stark white of the fenced walkway that dictated where visitors could stand. The dock from which he jumped in with his young daughter now stretched from one edge of the lake to the other. Ever cheerful in her presence, Hua turned and posed next to Huahua.
With Time To Spare
In the summer of 2006, Huahua could finally take a proper vacation. Though she longed for an extended trip to somewhere exotic, perhaps somewhere wild and open like the Canadian prairie or the Siberian tundra, she was happy to have time to spend with her parents. Unlike they’re most recent trips to the lake, there would be time to fish and laze about on the lake shore. Though her father was preoccupied with his newfound retirement, Huahua picked a bright and breezy dress for their annual photo.
Change In Waves
Huahua’s chic summer dress was going to be the perfect touch for her annual father-daughter photo. She had recently cut her hair into a lighter, shorter style, something she hadn’t tried for many years, though now she preferred her hairstyle to have a more feminine flare, verses the boyish pixie cuts she’d favored in her adolescence. The light cotton of the dress made it so that she was still comfortable standing in the summer sun next to her father.
Passing The Torch
2008 was a particularly exciting year for the Yungqing family, as Huahua became a mother, making Hua a grandfather by association. As soon as the family discovered the happy news, both mother and grandfather were thrilled to add a new generation to their family portraits. When it came time for the yearly trip to the lake, Hua insisted on holding his infant granddaughter for her first photo. Huahua was always happy for her eager parents’ help and stood next to him cheerfully.
The young mother was thrilled to begin repeating the family tradition with her own daughter, who was just about the same age Huahua was when her father first began their family photos. As she meandered down the shoreline holding her baby by the hand, she considered how she must have toddled along the grass, clinging to her father’s hand as she wobbled on the uneven terrain in the very same way. Hua was especially pleased to see the tradition get passed to a new generation.
Time To Entertain
In 2010, it was a little more difficult to get the whole family together at the lake during the summer, but when Huahua explained to her daughter that they were going in autumn instead, the two-year-old girl still became equally excited. She loved looking at all the animals she could see galavanting about the lake, especially the birds. When it came time to take the picture, Huahua was prepared with a puppet, just in case, the toddler needed some extra coaxing to look towards the camera.
Some Summer Fun
The following year, Hua and Huahua were able to coordinate a family trip in the summer that included plenty of downtime. Like her mother before her, Huahua’s daughter had a blast whenever she visited the lake. It didn’t hurt that she also got to spend extra time with her loving grandpa. For her part, Huahua always enjoyed the time her parents spent doting on her daughter, which finally gave her just a small taste of much-needed rest.
Huahua wanted to remind her eldest daughter that just because she had a baby sister now, didn’t mean she couldn’t still get special attention from Mommy. For their annual photo, Huahua made sure to show her eldest just how special she was by getting them matching outfits. Of course, Grandpa didn’t get the memo, but he was happy to match with his newest granddaughter, who naturally was going to be included in the family snapshot for the foreseeable future.
Light Of The Setting Sun
For their next family trip, Hua nearly forgot to round up his troops for their special photo, until he realized the sun was beginning to set. His two young granddaughters were having such a good time splashing around in the shallow water that he didn’t want to interrupt their play in order to make them pose for a photo. As the shadows began to lengthen, Hua finally managed to get everyone together, snapping the portrait in the nick of time.
A Midsummer Match
After 35 years of photos, Hua was pleased with the tradition he’d started by accident. He was pleased to be able to look back on his daughter’s every stage, while he enjoyed that he would have the same mementos of his granddaughters too. For the 35th anniversary of beginning such a sweet tradition, Huahua made sure to purchase matching outfits for her and her daughters. It was a moment they would always be able to look back on fondly.