Thursday, January 13, 2011

Project Life: Photograph Prompts

Hi kids!

I wasn't planning to post anything today, because I didn't really have anything to say. Work is crazy, invitation making is crazier, and that's that. However, I've been thinking about Project Life and making sure I'll stay accountable to myself and my personal goal. While I never intended this to be a POTD project, I do want to make sure I'm taking photographs regularly throughout the week. Some days, I may use 3 or 4 photos (especially during important events), and other times, I may skip 3 or 4 days.

Anyway, if I'm ever looking for prompts or ideas for photographs, I intend to come back to this list. If you're doing PL, hopefully this might give you some ideas for things to take photos of. (all the photos I've included are mine from my P365 last year, that I failed miserably at!)

Food & recipes - I've talked about this before. Each week (or most weeks anyway), I'd like to take a picture of my finished meal, and include the recipe on one of the bi-fold journaling cards.
(Meatball pizza...yum)

Nature - I've talked about this one too. Definitely want to capture all of the beautiful places around us that we see daily...and the changing of the seasons (This would be fun whether your nature is the farm like us, or a bustling city)

Decor - this is such a hobby of mine and I spend so much time thinking about what our house should look like, it only makes sense for me to record how our house looks. I can take photos of different vignettes, or seasonal displays that I put together. When I re-decorate a room, photographs (before & after) will be a must. And when I'm shopping for just the right item (like a huge rug for my mudroom), I can take photos in stores for inspiration.

Project Life - where am I in the project, photographs of me taking photographs, pictures of the supplies I use, etc.

Hobbies - what books am I reading, what shows or movies are we watching, what craft projects am I working on.

(One of my storage units in my craft studio)

Events. Duh. :)

Pets - how they grow over time, enjoying different seasons, interacting with each other or their friends, interacting with guests

Goals - write them down (that'll be fun to look back on later), and photograph things that relate to them. We have a goal of being 75% self-sufficient within the next 5 years...what are we doing to work toward that goal? (Take photos of our garden, the canning process, butchering, etc.)

Ordinary tasks - keeping a schedule is never ending in our house, so we could take a picture of our full calendar. Or the laundry pile. Or clean dishes after a holiday meal. Or my china stacked up on the dining room table before a big dinner. Or a freshly made bed, because the dog can mess it up. I also would like to keep grocery receipts or receipts from filling up gas in the cars (hello, $3.09? Gas was around $1.00/gallon when I first started driving, just 11 years ago)

Work life - for both of us, work is a huge part of our daily life. Between the drive to/from work, and actually being at work itself, we're talking about 12 hours a day. So, when I can, I'll take pictures of work situations or things I do at work. And the commute - 3 hours a day in a car is a big chunk of my life in a year (780 hours or 32 and a half days...gah). Seems silly to leave that time out of my PL album.

People in our lives - do you have all the same friends you had 5 or 10 years ago? Or even last year? Chances are, the answer is no. Document friendships that are important to you now. Take photos of new additions to your family.
(Quite possibly the cutest child ever!)

What I wore - it's always so hilarious to me to look back at what I was wearing a few years ago (and what I wouldn't be caught dead in now).

Gadgets - think about all the technology that crosses your path every week: cell phones, computers, ereaders, video games, etc. I should really take a picture of myself texting in one hand and holding my Nook in another hand (as is often the case on weekends)

Anti-gadgets - what I mean by this is, are there things you still do the old-fashioned way? For example, I won't read a newspaper online...I have to buy the real thing. Or are there certain books you won't buy on an ereader? Or old school video games you love to play? (We still have an original Nintendo gaming system at my dad's house that my brother and I break out whenever we are there and have some spare time)

Must-haves - are there things in your life that are absolute favorites right now? (Mine would be dr. pepper & cupcakes) Maybe it's a starbucks coffee. Maybe it's your next Sookie Stackhouse book (that's on my list too). Maybe it's a specific kind of pen or your favorite shoes. Whatever it is, document it with a photo and explain why you love it so much.
(One of the SS books, I had to buy in hardcover because I just couldn't wait)

You time - I don't know about you, but I don't get much time to actually do something for myself, by myself. When I do, it's worth documenting. Like a trip to the bookstore for some coffee and browsing. Or maybe a shopping trip. Use the self-timer on your camera!

(From one of my many trips to the craft section at B&N)

The not so great moments - they're part of life. Find a way to document them. If it's a death in the family, maybe have lunch at their favorite restaurant and share memories. Or include a card that was especially touching. Or maybe it's a mishap at home. In 2010, for us, we had snow issues like crazy and our scheduled propane delivery wasn't able to happen...which meant we were in danger of not having heat in the middle of January. Here, I took a photo of our thermostat, but I could have easily taken a picture of us cuddled up under blankets all weekend, or sleeping in hoodies with our hoods up, or enjoying a ton of hot chocolate. Did your basement flood in those crazy spring rains? Take a picture of your kids in their rain boots, splashing in the puddles. Sure, the flooding isn't fun, but you might as well find a silver lining, right?
(We turned the head WAAAY down to conserve propane)

Whatever else inspires you - the key to this is always having a camera with you. Whether it's your bulky DSLR, a small point & shoot to keep in your purse, or even a camera phone - the quality of the photo doesn't really matter all the time. I think it's so much more important to just capture the memory. A grainy camera phone photo of my dog sitting on my desk last year on Take Your Dog to Work Day is so much cooler than risking her jumping down while I looked for my P&S in my purse. I laugh every time I see this picture.
(Miss Molly, when she insisted on jumping on top of my desk at work)

I hope that's helpful to someone out there other than me. But I know this list will help me keep on track if I'm not feeling inspired, or feel like I'm taking the same pictures over and over again.

Let me know if there are other things you want to be sure to include in your PL - I can use all the help I can get!

PS: I think these are good hints for scrapbooking in general. Up until a few years ago, I was only concerned with taking pictures at major events in my life (weddings, graduations, holidays)...I missed so much. Even though I haven't actually scrapbooked much in the last few years, I finally did start taking some photos of things that make up my everyday life.

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