This year I am participating in Ali Edwards' Week in the Life Project. I do a lot of scrapbooking-y, memory-keeping type of projects to document my life on a pretty regular basis, but this project is a little bit more intense than my usual. As the name suggests, this project is all about documenting a week in your everyday life. Everyone who participates does this differently, but the crux of it is to take a lot of photos on each day of the week and to write down words to go with them.
Ali does this project about once a year and every time it pops up on my radar I am intrigued. I love a good documenting project. I take a lot of everyday photos already. It always seems like a good idea and I have intentions to join in, but then Monday rolls around and something stops me. My life is pretty boring and not very well lit or photogenic. I spend most of my weekdays at the same desk working on a computer. There is a lot of fluorescent lighting and shiny fake wood in my office. I live in the city with houses on either side of me and very few windows. My apartment gets very little natural light (if I am even at home during daylight to capture it). I am messy - not like clutter here and there messy, like we just built a ton of IKEA furniture and there is cardboard everywhere and I tore apart my closet so there are clothes all over my bedroom floor messy. This makes for dark photographs with mess in the background - not cute album-worthy photos of my week.
But still, the project has come around again and I am still intrigued by it. I wasn't sure if I was going to do it until I read this post on Ali's blog. She talks about how everyone has different intentions with this project and asked "what do you most want to capture about your life right now?" I really want to capture my life in an honest way right now. I do a lot of documenting with photos and words, but I mostly document by letting the photos that I already have dictate what goes in my albums . Sometimes I remember to intentionally add in words or stories about the bigger picture or how I'm feeling, but most of the time I don't. Sometimes I intentionally omit photos stories or words because they aren't the prettiest (aesthetically and emotionally). So I am hoping to capture my life honestly, as it is now, including the good and the not so good. Most of my life happens in bad lighting and that is okay.
I am going into this project with no plan. Ali Edwards has designed a kit for this project (which looks gorgeous and fantastic) but I wasn't even sure I would do this project at all. I am still not sure what form it will take once I actually get around to printing the photos and doing something with them. I'm not sure if it will be a minibook or an insert in my Project Life-style album or what. Ali also has a bunch of digital products like templates and brushes that I like the look of.
Here is what I am doing:
- Taking lots of photos on different cameras and in different orientations. I am using my iPhone 5s for most of the shots that I am taking (especially while out and about). I would like to use my big camera more, but I am a little self conscious about taking it with me (and it is heavy). On the iPhone I am trying to remember to shoot in different orientations (portrait, landscape, and in square mode). Because I don't know what format I will be working with for the project I am trying to take a variety and hope that some will work in the end.
- Editing my photos in the Pic Tap Go app on my iPhone or in Photoshop on my computer. This is standard for me.
- Journaling about my photos in the Collect App on my iPhone. This is a really quick way to add some thoughts as the day goes on or right when I take a photo. This journaling tends to come out different than if I am writing things down after the fact. As I said above, I am trying to be very honest and real in the photos that I take and in what I write down. I am also hoping to add some deeper journaling about where I am, what I am doing, and how I am feeling right now. I'm not sure if this will take the form of a long reflection at the end of the week or in short blurbs. I'm still thinking about it.
- Taking a lot of inspiration from other people, especially while browsing #weekinthelife on Instagram.
- Trying not to put too much pressure on myself and just have fun with this. No plans, no rules, just trying it out.