I'm terribly behind on documenting my child(ren). I'm still floundering a little with exactly how I want to keep up with our family memories, but I'm trying a few things right now to see how they fit. You'd think between my meticulous photo organization and my life in increments philosophy that I would be able to pull this together. Hopefully what I've landed on will work with my life and style, but I'm going to give it a few more months to see if it sticks before I share it with you.
In the meantime, I'm playing years of catch up. In Spring 2010 (yes, a full year and a half ago), I decided to do a Week In the Life project. Knowing I wasn't going to keep receipts or other tangible snippets, I just made the effort to take lots of pictures. And I did. I took tons of pictures that week of us and the house and random whatevers, trying to capture what a week in the life of the Tremaines looked like at the time.
Then those pictures languished on the computer. Sorted, filed, but not displayed. And because they were SO random (pictures of the television, for example), they bugged me every time I scrolled through iPhoto. I finally decided to sit down one night and knock out a small, softcover book.
Delightful! It wasn't really that long ago, but I loved seeing the shots of our coffee table or what I ate or how many miles were on the car odometer. The beauty of Week In the Life is that you take pictures of the things that don't normally seem picture-worthy. I took pictures of the inside of the fridge (okay, fine, I've done that before), screenshots of my facebook page, the packaging on the baby food.
I kept the layout simple. I used the iPhoto book page templates (see how I compare iPhoto and blurb - my books of choice - here) and picnik to add small bits of text where needed, which I kept minimal. I mainly let the photos tell the story.
What's even easier about the WITL project is that I didn't stress on making the photos perfect. Most of the shots were from my phone, so they were sometimes dark or a little grainy. For this particular thing it just didn't matter.
The Gorilla and I laughed looking through it, noting how much has changed in just a short amount of time. I definitely want to do another WITL soon.
But I have some other photo goals for 2012. (Don't talk to me about the reasoning of adding new goals before you've even accomplished the old ones. Life's a dance.) Here's what I want to do to capture our life better:
1. Following through on my Start Where You Are mantra for the new year (more on that later), I'm not going to force myself to catch up on all the photo books I'm behind on. This makes me want to stab my eyes out. So now, instead of losing sleep over the fact that I don't have a Year One photo book for Pigtail's life, I'm just going to focus on making a Year One for Pirate happen. That's a prime example of Starting Where You Are and hoping that once the ball gets rolling I'll have the energy to do some backtracking.
2. Make a concerted effort to take pictures WITH my kids and not just OF my kids. I'm really in very few of our family photos. My camera-shy-only-in-his-day-job husband is in 75% of them. I've sweetly asked him to think about picking up the camera and aiming it my way occasionally, but I also know that might not happen. I think I'm going to force myself to take a photo with my kids once a week for all of 2012, a 52 photos project that my sister-in-law did this year. I guess I should learn how to use the self-timer.
Even in the chaos, December is a good time to think about these things because it's such a great time to record family memories and because the end of a year leaves everyone nostalgic and wistful.
Do you have documenting or photography goals for 2012? Let's hear 'em, we all might want to steal your ideas! In a healthy and credit-given way, of course.