Next week I’ll be playing along with Ali Edwards’s Week in the Life, one of my very favorite memory keeping projects. This project challenges you to capture your everyday life and routines for a week. I love it because it encourages me to tell stories and capture moments that never would have otherwise been documented. And, because my camera is nearby pretty much all week, I end up capturing real gems just because I am documenting with intention.
Because this project can be complicated if you let it, I’ve approached it with the mantra Repeat What Works.
I will be trying out a few things differently this time around, like playing with photo sizes and using typed journaling in order to get more into less space. However, for the most part, I’m sticking with the tried and true methods I’ve used in the past that help me successfully complete this project in a way I love.
Here’s what I’m doing again:
I’m putting Week in the Life in my Project Life album.
Pocket scrapbooking is my go-to for memory keeping, and I like that I can contain my story as a whole in these albums. I love that a double page spread 12×12 allows me to show a full day at a glance. I like making minibooks too, so I’m saving the album from the kit for another project.
I’m focusing a day on each family member.
For 2013 and 2014, I documented one family member for four of the days, then focused on the family as a whole for the weekend. This time I’ll be repeating that strategy, documenting each of us individually Monday through Friday, then telling whole family stories on Sunday and Saturday.
This method helps me to capture each person’s routine, because we are all different, and helps me to limit the amount of documenting I’m doing each day, rather than trying to document every little thing.
For next week, I’ve chosen a day for each family member that will make sense with the week’s schedule. For example, Eliza’s day will be Tuesday because it’s her first day of school.
I’m expanding when needed.
I love that Ali is choosing the week for me, because I don’t have to worry about trying to find a “typical” or “representative” week. (Though I am starting Sunday rather than Monday, because my weekly pocket scrapbooking spreads run from Sunday-Saturday.)
Sometimes I’m not really documenting the everyday with Week in the Life, I’m documenting a special day. Last year, Week in the Life fell the week of Jake’s birthday, Halloween, our city’s team in the World Series, and the start of Catch Up with Project Life, which I taught at Big Picture. I love capturing the everyday moments and the special ones together on these days, but I’m not afraid to expand when needed by adding an insert or making an extra spread to accommodate more stories.
I’m using a self timer.
It is important that I’m not behind the camera the entire time during this project. I make ample use of the self timer on my phone camera and DSLR throughout the week (but especially on the day I document myself individually). Some of my favorite photos that are recurring in this project, like my family around the dinner table or my kids snuggled up with me reading a book, are captured this way.
Sometimes I get out the tripod, but other times I have to get creative by stacking books on a table to get the camera at the right height for a picture or coming up with strange concoctions to hold up my phone. (Putting a phone in a cup works!)
I’m keeping it simple.
These spreads tend to be a lot less embellished than my other pocket spreads. That’s partially because I need to leave room for all of the extra photos and journaling and partially because I don’t want to dedicate the time to make these spreads fancy. I want to get it done!
Last year, I combined the cards and a few embellishments from the Week in the Life kit with journaling cards from various Project Life core kits. This worked great, and I’ll be repeating this simple approach this year!
I’m giving a heads up.
My family and my friends get a heads up before Week in the Life so they know what to expect while I’m in the documentation phase of the project. I figure it’s common curtsey to give people a chance to opt-out and to make sure they have a chance to be comfortable with their appearance before I start shutterbugging away. I don’t want to catch anyone off guard! And, almost always, once someone learns what the project is about, they want to be part of it even if they don’t usually like getting their photo taken.
This time around, partially because of time and partially because our foster baby is in 80% of our pictures, I’m going to be writing detailed journaling about each day in a text document and will just be sharing highlights here. And obviously, I won’t be sharing the baby’s day here at all.
I’m excited to start documenting a Week in the Life this Sunday!
That’s what works for me, I’d love to hear what works for you!