Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

April 23, 2012

Welcome To Week In The Life 2012 | Thoughts On Getting Started

Photo spread from Week In The Life Sunday 2011.

Welcome to Week In The Life 2012!

I know many of your around the world have already started the process of documenting your week – thanks for sharing your excitement via Facebook!

Two things before I share some additional thoughts on this process:

• SHARING YOUR CONTENT | In my post tomorrow morning, where I share my words and photos from today, I’ll include a spot for you to link to your photos and words. It’s been fun the last few years to check out all the different links to see what’s happening for others as they experience the content gathering portion of this project. In addition, here’s a couple other places to share: (1) Big Picture Free Week In The Life Community (message board + gallery) and (2) Flickr Week In The Life 2012.

• GIVEAWAYS | Today begins a week long series of giveaways celebrating this project. Each day you will find a new giveaway post featuring two of my Week In The Life giveaway sponsors. The giveaway post will be open from 3am Pacific to 9am Pacific the following day. On Sunday I’ll have a giveaway featuring all the 2012 Title Sponsors. All the winners will be posted next week on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Don’t miss today’s giveaways from Chic Tags and The Vintage Pearl. Click here to see what they are giving away and leave a comment to enter.


As I get ready to embark on this project once again, I wanted to share a few things that are rattling around in my mind:

1. FIND YOUR OWN RHYTHM. I usually begin with lots of enthusiasm and end feeling so very ready for it to be over. And that’s totally okay. This can be an intense project – it’s also one that is very rewarding when you commit to seeing it all the way through. Everyone is going to have their own pace with this project. Set yourself up for success with the right attitude: you’ll do the best you can with what you have in front of you. For some of you your rhythm will be all iphone photos with text documentation via Instagram (love the idea of using that one tool to capture the words + the photos). Others will use the Daily Sheets as you go about your day. Some will use a blank journal or a Smashbook. There’s no right or wrong. Make it work for you.

2. USE WHAT YOU HAVE. A combination of iphone and dslr photos will likely make it into my album. With this project I tend to use my big camera more because I’m thinking about it – and it’s good practice. So many of my favorite shots happen during this week because I take more photos than usual of whatever it is that’s happening around here. And I keep it simple.

3. THOUGHTS ABOUT THE “STUFF.” Week In The Life used to be more about capturing the “stuff” than it is these days (for me at least – again, make it what you want it to be). Last year when I did WITL I collected very little stuff – for me it’s mainly because I’m already actively capturing those things in Project Life. What I liked and learned last year is removing the “stuff” component enabled me to focus more on the words + photos for this project. It’s really totally and completely up to you. I loved the stuff that I gathered in my older Week In The Life albums.

4. NO GUILT. I say this every time – with all the projects. If you miss an afternoon or a day don’t throw out the entire project. All the stories and photos you collect can come together into a million different formats.

5. LIFE HAPPENS. Good, bad, sad, crazy, boring, fun, life-changing, life-affirming, life-challenging. Anything can and does happen because that’s how life goes. Be open to capturing it.

6. HAVE FUN. Sometimes this project can feel a little like a chore – especially towards the end of the week. Make it fun. This is something I’m going to try to remember as this week progresses. When I start feeling stressed or overwhelmed I’m going to be conscious of it and just take a step back and a deep breath. When it starts feeling like that something that often helps me is to figure out what I haven’t captured yet. Did I manage to get photos of breakfast each day but nothing of dinner because I was too busy? Do I have a ton of photos of Simon and very few of Anna? What’s missing? Asking myself those sorts of questions usually helps get me back on track to finish out the week.

7. BE REAL. Yes. Your life may look completely different next year or two years from now…mine certainly looks different than last summer. The cast of characters is essentially the same but there are some very big differences. Take this opportunity to document what your life is like right now – all of it. My hope, and one of the reasons I keep doing this project, is that you use this as an opportunity, not just as a creative project, to take a good look at your life. What do your love? What do you dislike? What do you hope never changes and what would you change right now if you could? Show me the wonderful, simple everyday pieces of your life.

Wishing you all the best as you embark on this journey of documentation!

Ready, set, go!

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  • 1.
    dawn said…




  • 2.
    Sarah Jane said…

    Yay… day ONE under my belt. (At least, I took photos yesterday since my PL runs Sunday through Saturday and thought I’ll probably slip WIL in there.) Need to remember to charge up my camera battery at night. Thanks for the inspiration, Ali! :)

  • 3.
    Annette Green said…

    Feeling excited about starting today. A little scared at the same time. Can’t wait to see what comes of this exercise.

  • 4.
    Vera said…

    I really look forward to the day when I can join in WITL. For now, I shall admire all the inspiration that you and other followers are going to share :)

  • 5.
    karrinann said…

    Ready to go! Have been looking forward to doing this for awhile now.

  • 6.
    elinjanne said…

    I`m already five days into the project and I love it. I have extended my week with a few days – from Thursday 19 to May 2. Looking forward to see what everyone is up to around the world.
    Thanks for the inspiration Ali!

  • 7.
    sherry said…

    is it monday already :)

  • 8.
    Paula said…

    Excited to get started! Great outlook about the overall project in your post today Ali, thank you!

  • 9.
    Ellie A. said…

    Looking forward to making the most of documenting each of our happenings this week. Even doing PL I wanted to do this so I could get EVERY bit of details. It’s always so fun to see.Thank you so much for bring this project to us!

  • 10.
    Dawn said…

    Yay! So excited to start today for the first time ever! Can’t wait to capture what a week looks like in my new life as a newlywed farmers wife! Memories to last a lifetime. Thank you so much Ali!!

  • 11.
    Dawn said…

    Yay! Didn’t sleep much last night..too excited to get started this morning!

  • 12.
    J3SS1C4 said…

    Super excited about starting out… Day 1 is over for me here in Australia, but I got a few shots I like in and have a record of the day. I’m looking forward to the linkups, so that I can see what everyone else is doing. It’s especially helpful later on in the week when I’m struggling for photo ideas!

  • 13.
    mel said…

    Thanks for the words Ali. Especially the being real.

    I was struggling with if I should do Week in the life because of Project life but I think I sahll do it and a few phrases came to my mind about it and I popped them on the blog today.

    I am just going to see where the week goes.

  • 14.
    Kathy Farnsworth said…

    So happy to be starting my second WITL! Yes it’s a lot of work, but last years album is my favorite scrapbook ever. I’m full of gratitude this morning for the push/nudge this gives me to be present for all the moments of this wonderful day.

  • 15.
    Susie Leggett said…

    Have fun everyone. Love Ali’s week in the life. I did witl for the first time last year and absolutely loved it. I cherish all the “real life” moments that were captured and am so thankful for the opportunity to do this. Hoping to do witl later in the year, maybe fall, since we are busy with a messy house remodel at present. Enjoy all.

  • 16.
    Erika Beckwith said…

    So happy to start WITL today! I have actually decided to take the day off from work to celebrate and to make sure I have everything that I need to make this a fun and successful WITL. (Ok I’ll be honest, I just needed an excuse to take the day off that this was the best one I could think of.) LOL! :-)

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Enjoy your day off!

  • 17.
    Beth said…

    Love love LOVE Week In The Life!!!!

    I think this year, I’m going to keep track of the day to day happenings via Twitter and/or Facebook. I tend to be an “in the moment” person and seeing as I have a bad Facebook addition, that habit has already been established!

    I really appreciate your comment about “failure,” Ali. Last year, I totally scrapped the project after I forgot to take pictures for almost an entire day. I now regret not having any documentation at all for that week!

  • 18.
    Stefanie Prigl-Gumpl said…

    That’s my 4th weekinthelife and I’m looking forward to it, but now my little baby boy is very sick and so I think it turns out to be a ordinary week, without playdates, babywatching and so on – but guess what, that’s totally o.k!

  • 19.
    Sharon F. CA said…

    Yay WITL. Funny, i usually take a photo of my Monday morning tea- i am using the same cup that i used the last 2 years at this time. I have several favorite mugs- and sinehow I have chosen the same mug on the starting date. Good luck everyone!!

  • 20.
    Katkat said…

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • 21.
    Marilyn Nimmo said…

    First time to do this…loving it.

  • 22.
    Jeni said…

    Yay! I think I just might join in on all the fun!

  • 23.
    Lucrecia said…

    I already started the week off by forgetting to get any pictures this morning! I won’t let that stop me though! I’m determined to finish this year!

  • 24.
    Tere (Marie) said…

    Hi Ali. I did WITL last year, but am opting out this year. Keeping PL up is work in itself. I’m excited to watch how it goes for you and others. I’m always impressed by your work and impressed that you have two kids out of the house for grocery shopping so early on a Sunday :)

  • 25.
    Megan said…

    So excited to be starting this project. My very first week in the life!

  • 26.
    Neisa said…

    I was so excited to start the project this morning. Yes, even at 6:00 AM. This is my first year participating and I can’t wait to see the outcome.

  • 27.
    Nina F said…

    off to a rocky start, but hey, its a start!

  • 28.
    AngieS said…

    I was wondering if you would mind sharing your Week In The Life 2012 bannerin a high(er) resolution download so that people doing Project Life can print it out and include it in our week as a 3×4 card, for example? Just an idea…

  • 29.
    marisa said…

    I have never done this and have always wanted to. I was afraid I wouldn’t do it right, it wouldn’t be interesting, I would take boring pictures, it wouldn’t look cute to look at..blah blah. Well I’m diving into it this time! This week is going to be stressful, different and challenging for our family due to lots of reasons and I want to capture us getting through it all :)

    Thank you for starting this right when I needed it.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      You can do it :) !

  • 30.
    Katie said…

    SO excited for another year of WITL! Can’t wait to see what this week holds.

  • 31.
    slmnontec said…

    I was truly undecided about repeating this project as 2 years ago I did it at almost the same week. I could have changed the month with no problem. I was a bit ho-hum about doing it until I looked at the photos I took during the last 2 years for WITL. So rich! Starting shooting right away and looking forward to document the week.

  • 32.
    Lalia Harris said…

    I loved your last comment of “be real” because my daily life doesn’t seem elegant enough to document.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Laila – look for the beauty – you will find it.

  • 33.
    cinback said…

    Sadly, I am opting out this year after participating for the past three WIL projects. I am struggling to even keep up with Project Life and this week could possibly be the most busy week of the entire year at my day job. I look forward to seeing how others rock this project and I am cheering you all on!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I’ve totally been there – there will be another week :) .

  • 34.
    jesa said…

    Thank you for the reminder and refresher outline of WITL Ali.

  • 35.
    Katie Gelbaugh said…

    Well… we go! I do project life as well….so I am trying to focus more on pictures of “objects” than people….things I use, like my dishes in the sink, the girls feet in their shoes, their coats today cause it’s cold…that type of stuff! Thanks for the pep talk!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      That sounds like a great plan and photo perspective for the week.

  • 36.
    Kimberly said…

    I feel like I am on a high dive and have to stick that first foot out there.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      You can do it – jump in with your whole heart :) .

  • 37.
    Autumn said…

    Thanks for the encouraging words and reminders. Looking forward to how this week unfolds …

  • 38.
    Kelly T. said…

    I started this morning. I hadn’t planned on participating, but I took out my album for WITL from 2010 and loved seeing how things have changed. So here I go again!

  • 39.

    I’m opting out this year because I am exhausted and overwhelmed with daily life right now, and I’m doing Project Life already — this particular week doesn’t work on a few levels for intense documentation. BUT I am still keen on the project, and I think I will attempt (when life slows down a bit?!) to put together my album for 2011. Last year at WITL I was kind of freaked out about doing anything digital, which seemed (and still seems) the best option for me for this particular project, so I didn’t tackle it then but feel more ready now. Anyhow — that’s just to say I’m cheering you all on, and I hope to join in again next year, which will be a very different season in my life. :)

  • 40.
    Melissa said…

    The no guilt thing may apply big time to me. I started my WITL yesterday, expecting to do it all via iPhone, but promptly dropped said phone into my toilet. It’s drying out, a new battery is on order, and it hopefully can be saved, but in the meantime, I’ve got my old point and shoot in my purse so I can keep up. (Didn’t feel like lugging the DSLR around). Such a bummer though! It almost ruined WITL for me before it started.

  • 41.
    Kathleen said…


    Can you double check the link to the Daily Sheets? When I click on it, the link takes me to the give away pages and not the sheet or else I am really messing up.

    Have taken tons of photos already today. Am excited to see how it all comes together as the days go on.

  • 42.
    Sherri said…

    here we go…never done this before and life feels a lot crazy this week. i figure that’s how life is though, and i am passionate about documenting it so we can look back at it as a family and appreciate this life of ours. i know it’ll be a challenge, but i’m really hopeful that with all your insider tips/encouragement, and support i will have a completed album next week. off to grab a photo of the laundry that awaits me :)

  • 43.
    Myriam said…

    Wow… 3.9 earthquake here in Orange County… That’s something to start the week!!!

  • 44.
    Calvina said…

    Thanks for sharing all your thoughts and ideas, Ali. I took my pics last week and am going to put it all together this week. I did 2 WIL last year and I love going through them-I think they’re my favorites of all my albums. Thanks for all your encouragement! Your sharing of your life has made a BIG difference in many lives around the world!

  • 45.
    Carol Mc said…

    Okay it’s time for me to join in instead of following. I took lots of pics yesterday not even realizing the Week in the Life started yesterday. Went shopping with my future daughter in law for bridal gown and bridesmaid dresses.

  • 46.
    Debbie Baillie said…

    Love your projects Ali!
    Forgot to do anything this morning but then shot lots on my phone. So happy to be doing a Week in the Life! thank you!

  • 47.
    Kate Burroughs said…

    Great to hear what the details are of doing this project. I am doing Project Life so I don’t think I will double up. But it is good to see what you capture in photos and stories.
    Aloha, Kate

  • 48.
    Claire said…

    Great thoughts! I went to my daughter’s preschool this morning and caught their day in pictures. I’m so excited to put it together. I wouldn’t have done it if I had t been prompted by WITL. Thanks!

  • 49.
    audra said…

    HELP!!! I’m starting to panic, I’m not going to have “enough” photos for today or “good enough” photos. Although it happens, my entire day was changed. Both of my kids are home sick from school! As a result, I’m home. Tonight we had a school/family night event (I thought for sure that is where I would capture my enlarged photo) we will miss because they are sick. It’s been rainy here all day so going outside for photos will have to wait. I SO NEED some inspiration! I still have plenty of day left, I have to keep telling myself that!!! I NEED some positive INSPIRATION…….SUGGESTIONS…..

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Audra – do not panic LOL. Take a step back and a really deep breath. Let go of “good enough” and think with your heart vs. your head about what you’d like to capture in what’s happening right here and now. Take photos of precisely what’s happening – your kids in their beds, you taking care of them, pouring juice or water, a photo of your calendar as a representation of what’s changed in your day. Take advantage of being at home and go around your house and take shots of the stuff you see all the time but don’t “really see” because you are moving too fast…

    • ….
      audra said…

      THANK YOU! I SO needed that! I CAN do it and I WILL do it! Looking forward to seeing your images!

    • ….
      dawn said…

      I love what Ali said to you, keep going this is what real life is like. This has happened to me also and in my December Daily when the kids got sick and we canceled plans. The kids love reading back on these times just as much and it really shows what our day was like even when it’s changed. You can really get good shots for this day and lots of good writing about your thoughts on what happened. Don’t give up and even with only a few pictures it’s still enough!! ENJOY and hope they feel better soon.

  • 50.
    Amy said…

    I wasn’t super excited about this project last night but I knew that once I started taking pics today I would get into it. It’s 2:30 and I’ve already taken 119 pics. Glad I found my groove! Love WITL!!! Enjoy everyone :)

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