On Seeing, A Journal #415

Growing Up: Olivia Makowski

Tuesday, January 19, 2021


9 years and 25 years


I have studied over 200 children from childhood into their 20’s.  I began some when they were newborns; others, as is the case with Olivia, started about the time they could read and write.  For all of them I made annual studio portraits and asked them to write answers to a series of questions, a kind of diary about their lives, their feelings, their hopes, their regrets.

This special young woman, proved to be as remarkable and authentic as any of the many young people who have participated in “Growing Up.”


9 years old


10 years old


11 years old


12 years old


13 years old


14 years old


15 years old


16 years old


17 years old


18 years old


20 years old


22 years old


25 years old


This is so open and poignant, Olivia, thank-you.
I have very much enjoyed seeing you grow up and getting to know you some.
Please do return in a few years.


I am interested in everything about human development, fascinated by maturation, growth, emotional, educational and physical development. This exploration has been a major 30 year odyssey, an adventure that has yielded riches beyond my initial imagining.

Permission was signed by the parents of each and every child every year, and by the participants themselves once they turned 18. In addition, we have now sent copies of all of their writings and edited photographs to the participants for whom I have finished all my editing and have received full permission from that group to publish and post.