Thursday, December 10, 2009

Life 365 - my experiences

Ok, I figured now the year is about to end some of you might be thinking about re-starting this project, or trying it for the first time, and as I´m almost through and proud I made it, I thought I could share my experiences. I´m really not a disciplined person, and I tend to start millions of projects and never finish them. However, I loved the idea of recording a whole year, every single day so much that I managed to stick to it. Maybe that´s what you need - determination.

Try to take your camera everywhere.
Meredith from Moriginals once suggested to take a pic first thing in the morning, so you´ve got at least that when the day gets turbulent and you forget to take another picture. That seems like a good idea to me.

Try to vary your subjects.
A book filled with pictures of your cute kids is nice, but is it your whole life? I tried to take pictures of literally everything, of the books I read, of my computer, of my half finished other projects, of my husband shaving, I tried to include at least one picture of each of my friends, I took pictures of the grocery store (because I go there daily, so that is a part of my life, too), of my broken bicycle, of my laundry baskets. You get it. Often I almost felt embarressed, when I got my camera out at strange places and people looked at me, probably thinking "Why is she taking a picture of this daim-cake at ikea´s?" but I just learned I have to stand that. And I explained most of my friends why I was doing this, and why I was taking pictures of them.

Try to mix outdoor and indoor pics, so you see the weather, too.

I´m not such a good photographer. Lots of the pics in my Life 365 books are blurred, or too dark, or shaken. But that´s how my life is sometimes, too, right? I can imagine an album consisting only brilliant pictures. Sharon at Artistic Musings for example is such a great photographer, I envy her. But I just can´t do that. If you can, the better.

In the beginning I was so mad about this project that I loaded my pic on the computer every single day. But around February I found out this was just too much work, so I developed a weekly routine, sometimes slipping two weeks behind, but never more. Find a routine that suits yourself, but don´t fall too far behind.

Use templates.
They make your work a lot faster.

Write at least something.
It´ll help you to figure out what this special picture was about, and why you took it. I love journaling, so I didn´t only write about the pic but also about everything else that happened on that day, like a diary. I love to read my January pages now :-)

Be aware this project will take away some time resources - I didn´t finish my childrens anual books on time this year, and I won´t until the year is over.

Keep it simple.
I´ve seen tons of amazing layouts, filled with elaborated embellishments - in January and February. I decided to have a simple color background and use only one minikit for the whole book. Ok, that makes it look a little plain, it doesn´t leave much room for creativity, but I could stick to it. I didn´t have to think about what backgroundpaper to use every week.

The best thing about this project is that it made me see everything. One day I felt sick the whole day and didn´t leave my sofa. I really wasn´t in the mood for taking a picture, but I had to, right? So I took a picture of my flat stomach, cause that´s the only nice thing about being sick.

Dare to cheat.
One day I "saved" my pic of the day for the theatre night. However, in the theatre it was so dark that I could only get black photos. I would have gone with it, but luckily there were postcards about the show, so I took one and scanned it. I´ve also seen people use pictures from the internet, when Michael Jackson died or about a show on TV they watched. And one day when I lost my camera I left a blank space and an explanation.

Make it your own.
You can make this a lot more than a book with photos. You can write, rhyme, include a CD, write about politics and arts and music and everything that plays a role in your life. It helped me find out I´m a lot more than a mother.

So, this was a long speach. I bet I still forgot half of what I wanted to write. Life 365 is a great idea, it´s like meditation, and it helps you vary your photosubjects and maybe your perspective on life. Here´s my weekly page:

I didn´t make a template from it, but I could. Tell me in the comments if you want one.

My music for today is this piece of art: I spent the last couple of days torturing my kids by singing it everywhere, everytime. Such lyrics. Such harmonies. Sometimes I believe the best songs in the world are waltz. Makes me want to dance with my husband NOW.


TerriK said...

PLEEEEEEASE make a template! I (((LOVE))) your templates - they are so creative and yet so simple and easy to use!

Stathis Five said...

I want your template. I love what you have done with 365. how are you going to print them? Are you going to do it again next year.

MIchelle said...

I love this Layout! SO Great!!!!!! Thanks for all the freebies.