Whenever I talk about Project Life or albums like it, someone always says that they don’t think they can make a commitment to take photos every day. Quite honestly, it’s not always easy to stay focused. It can be hard to keep your photographer’s hat on all day, looking for that moment to capture.
And that’s coming from a single girl with no children and no pets. I don’t have a built in audience to take photos of. Anything that happens in and around my household is my doing and I’m not all that exciting! Having said that, I’ve never had a hard time coming up with things to photograph. Are all of my pictures awesome? No – far from it.
To me, that’s the coolest thing about this project. That you capture all the mundane things you do on a daily basis. Things that might never end up in your scrapbooks. It’s a quick little glimpse into your life as it is today, right now.
I thought I would offer a few tips to anyone that is contemplating a Project Life type project:
- You don’t really have to take a photo every day. I don’t. Yes, it’s definitely easier when you remember, but if I forgot to take a photo on April 29th, I’ll take one today. Or, I’ll find a photo online of William and Kate’s royal wedding. I don’t care if I use a photo I took today and say it’s April 29th. For me, it’s still close enough. Try not to take the project so literally, leave some room for flexibility. (I really do have a photo I printed from the Internet of the royal wedding my album.) I love adding photos big news stories. It adds another layer of history.
- Don’t look at it as a year-long project. 365 days is a long time. And if you are starting in the middle of June, 365 may not even apply. Take it day by day. Get through a few days and then try for a week. Get through a week and then try for another. Get through a few weeks and pretty soon you’re one month down. Eventually, you just get into a groove and its second nature to make sure the camera (or a phone with a camera!) is with you all the time.
- Take a look at some photo prompt blogs. Katrina Kennedy’s Capture Your 365 site has a ton of great ideas. She posts an “inspiration” list every month, with a prompt for each day. Creating Keepsakes Magazine offered these 365 Ideas for Photos. Photojojo.com offers some good tips and inspiration here. Check out this blog post at Digital Photography School – it includes links to some fantastic photo posts!
- After you soak in the ideas, create your own list. Write a list of all the ideas that appeal to you. Refer to it anytime you lack inspiration. Remind yourself of photos you want to capture and then go and shoot them. As you cross things off the list, you’ll think of more ideas. Think up a series of photos you can take. I do a self-portrait on the 19th of each month. Maybe you take a photo of your lunch every day for a week or you take photos of the tree in the back yard showing the changing seasons.
- Never say to yourself you can’t find anything to shoot. If you say it, you may start to believe it. You may be too tired to find something that appeals to you in the moment, but that’s not the same thing as having nothing to take a photo of. Every corner of your living space looks different at different times of the day. Is taking a photo of your staircase landing that exciting? Maybe not but it might be really cool to capture a stream of light as it hits the landing at just the right time in the morning.
Lastly, I thought I would leave you with a few random ideas that I have used in my own Everyday Life projects:
*a pile of mail on the counter *the latest book I was reading on my beside table * ingredients lined up on the kitchen counter for dinner *the front page of the newspaper *my grocery list and coupons *grocery bags on the counter waiting to be put away *my scrapbook space with layout in progress *the magazines on my kitchen table *a photo along my commute *gas prices *photos around the house like my shower door that has a rack hanging with several shower gels, my make-up drawer, curling irons on the counter, my jewelry box, etc… *looking down the street in my neighborhood *the street sign of my street *the front of my favorite grocery store *the contents of a UPS box that was just delivered *many nature photos during all four seasons *the Easter candy isle in March *the flip flop isle in June *the first Christmas isle that pops up in September *my favorite beverage *a fruit display at the farmer’s market *pumpkins and apples in the fall *a photo of the restaurant where I had dinner with friends *a photo in front of the movie poster of the movie I just watched *the paint chip isle picking out paint colors *a photo from the car when you are stopped at an intersection in town *an open suitcase on the bed packing for a big trip *household chores like laundry, vacuuming, dishes, etc… *a screen shot of my iTunes playlist *a photo of the latest CD I downloaded by my favorite band *a new cookbook *storm clouds rolling in *blue skies and fluffy white clouds *making my favorite muffins on a Sunday morning *a photo of my hands as I’m painting my nails…
The list really is endless. Inspiration is all around you, you just have to look for it.
Thanks for stopping by today!