Author: Andrea Steed
In October 2008, I jumped on board with Ali Edwards' challenge to document a week in my life. After seeing her album and everyone else's that participated, it inspired me to document a regular week in our life...no matter how boring it may seem!
It was a fun exercise and helped me notice all the little things that happen in our household every day that might normally be overlooked in my scrapbooks. Now, a year and a half later, I'm amazed at what has changed (and what's still the same) in our weekly routine. On hard days, this album is something I like to look through to remind myself that the days may be long, but the years are short.
Here are some tips to get you started, and a peek into my album:
- Carry your camera with you-everywhere. Take it even just to go upstairs to pick up the baby from her nap or to go to the mailbox to get your mail. Duct tape it to your hand. Seriously.
- Make notes throughout the day. If you're really documenting the little things, you'll want to make notes as the day progresses, because if you're like me, you really do forget things so quickly. You can write more later on, but jot down reminders of what happened in your notebook. You might even want to write down the time of day.
- Get IN the photos. Use your self timer, stretch your arm out, use a tripod, hand the camera to someone else, or just set your camera on a shelf and get in the photos yourself. Don't gussie yourself up, or even look at the camera. Catch yourself in action doing all those things you manage to do all day.
- Vary your shots. Take closeups, wide-angle shots, photos of food, photos of feet, varying perspectives, lower aperture, higher ISO, slower shutter speed, etc. Try them all! You're using your camera all day long, so you might as well learn something while you're at it - and make your final photo collages more interesting at the same time.
- Wrap it up. At the end of each day, download your photos to your computer and write out your journaling. This is probably the hardest part, but for me, was the most rewarding. I chose to make a simple digital photo collage of each day and add to a Word document journal. (You could also print the photos individually and put them into photo sleeves in a pre-made photo album for an even easier approach.) Finishing my day with this wrap-up helped me get ready for the next day, and not feel overwhelmed when I went to put the album together at the end of the week.
- Assemble your album at the end of the week. Or, if you're really ambitious, complete each page at the end of the day. There are so many approaches to the assembly and design of these albums. Let your own style and creativity guide you here. You can also check out the examples at Ali Edwards' blog for dozens of ideas and inspiration.
For my album, I used a 12" x 12" chipboard spiral album from Rusty Pickle that has been sitting on my shelf for several years. I cut it down to 10" x 12" so that I could make a horizontal-oriented album. Then I cut a rectangle in the center of the front piece of chipboard so that I could decorate the front cover by letting the title page embellishments peek through the window. I painted the edges of the chipboard and covered each side with cardstock, adding photo corners to the front cover window as embellishments. I also added ribbon to the spiral binding.
I kept the inner pages very simple. I printed each day's journaling on white notebook paper, stamped a border with the day of the week, and left the second side of the two-page layout to house my photo collage for that day.
I strongly encourage you to try this album - even just once. But if you like it, you might find that you want to do it again in a year, or five.