Project 365 | A Year Documented
Do you ever look back on a year and think, "Where did that year even go?!" Come January, that's what I was thinking as I looked back on 2014. The year was a whirlwind. I was still settling in to newlywed life, finished my Masters degree, decided to take a year leave from teaching, began to pursue a photography career, and started teaching at Ivy Tech. I know for some of you, that's nothing! For me, it was a lot... A lot of soul searching, making big decisions, and taking risks that terrified me. But here I am now, and I couldn't be happier with the risky decisions that I made. I by no means have it all figured out, and I still have A LOT to learn and A LOT of growing to do. But that's what makes up this beautiful life, right? The little moments, the small decisions, and the seemingly meaningless day-to-day experiences that are pieced together to create your story. The more I realize it's the little things in life that are most important, the more I try to stay aware and notice the significance in the everyday. Which brings me to why I'm actually writing this... (I get off topic!)
So like I was saying... where does the time go?! At the beginning of January, I went back through the pictures I took over the past year. I was SO blessed to have been very busy booking photo sessions and capturing special memories for other people. My computer hard drive was FULL of images, but guess what? Practically none of those were of my own life or my own memories. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love capturing moments and memories for others (I obviously want to make a career out of it!) But I realized I was not doing that for myself. I'm quick to pick up my camera and snap photos for others, but when it comes to my own personal life, my camera stays in its bag. There's something wrong with that! So, I decided this year would be different.
I started a "365" project, which basically means my goal is to take at least one picture of my own life everyday. To make it easier I'm mostly using my iPhone since I pretty much always have it with me. Since the beginning of January I've only missed a few days. and guess what? My day-to-day life seems pretty boring! I don't have cute kids to capture doing sweet things, or funny pets to snap photos of. I have my family, my husband, and my ordinary life. So that's what I'm capturing this year! I'm starting to realize that everyday has beauty in it, no matter how small. I always tell my clients that it doesn't matter how ordinary or mundane your days seem, they are meaningful and significant because they make up the story of your life. And that story should be documented to look back on with fond memories and to pass on to future generations. So it's time I start doing that myself!
Some of my favorite, most cherished photos are of my parents when they were younger, before my brother and I came along. There's nothing that I love more than to look through old photo albums and imagine what life was like then. My question to myself (and to you!) is what am I leaving for my future kids and grandkids to look back on one day? I want them to see how life was before they were here. The journeys their dad and I took together. What an ordinary day in our lives looked like before they came along. Our love for one another. Their grandparents and family members. Their history! It's so important to me... so that means I have to start picking up my camera and documenting my life! (Even those days that seem boring and not worth remembering.)
When I look back on these photos a year from today, I may see something I didn't quite see now. I may look back and see how God was working out His plan for my life, slowly but faithfully. I'm learning that even in the ordinary days, there are so many blessings and things to be grateful for. It is helping me keep my eyes open and be aware of the blessings in my life, rather than to focus on the negatives. This Project 365 is much more than taking a picture a day, it's about seeing the beauty in my everyday.
So.... does anyone want to join me?! It doesn't matter that you didn't start on January 1st. You can start today! Pick up a camera (or your iPhone) and take one or more photos each day of life as you see it. Look for the little things that you are grateful for but don't normally notice! I have something that will make it super easy for you to do-- it's the "Collect" app. Once you take a picture, you add it to your Collect calendar and it organizes all of your photos for you. Once your year is up, you can export the photos and get them made into a photo book! Super cool, right? :)
So, if you want to join me...
1. Get the "Collect" app so you can collect and organize your photos
2. Start taking pictures of your day-to-day life. Remember, it doesn't have to be an exciting picture everyday!
3. At the end of the year, make a photo book out of your images.
4. Have an entire book of memories to look back on and pass to future generations!