Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

September 9, 2013

Week In The Life 2013 | Ready, Set, Go


Ready, set, go!

This past weekend I took some time to think about what I wanted to capture in my 2013 Week In The Life album.

I jotted down a few questions that I hope to make come alive visually in my album and that I think are the important questions I want to be asking myself right now:

  • How do I work?
  • How do I play?
  • How do I nourish myself?
  • How do I give thanks?
  • How do I show my kids love?
  • What are my favorite things about my life right now?
  • What is the truth of my day (awesome, hard, exhausting, wonderful)?

In addition to thinking about those themes I also took a little time to read back through my Monday posts from past years and decided to share what I wrote back in 2011 as I think it’s pretty universal for beginning this project:

As you embark today here’s a couple things I encourage you to keep in mind:

  • Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. There’s no right or wrong way to approach this project. You might be doing in-depth documentation or you might be doing a single photo each day or something in between. When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed just take a deep breath and keep moving forward. My goal is less to get every little detail and more to simply create a picture of what seven days in a row of our lives look like right now. Some days I may have a ton of photos and other days just a few – and it all works out.
  • Your story is important. No matter who you are, what you do, your family structure, etc – the story you are living right now is important and worth documenting. I’m one of those people who totally wishes I had this sort of documentation before I had kids, when I was in college, etc. Life situations change so quickly and the things you think are part of your “normal” right now may not be all too soon.
  • Have fun with this project – it’s such a great opportunity to see the basic details of your life through the lens of your camera. Use your camera as your eyes this week – shoot those things you see regularly that you notice (or maybe don’t take the time to notice most of the time).
  • If at all possible just focus on the content gathering this week. I’ve had the most success with this project when I’ve separated the two steps – one week for content gathering and one week for bringing it all together in a completed album.
  • No stress. Take it one day at a time. I tend to start off really strong and taper as the week progresses. I am totally fine with that. I’d much rather have a couple solid days and a few lighter days than nothing at all.

Also, check out my post from last Friday with links and thoughts.

Thanks for participating this week! I’ll be back tomorrow to share my photos and words from today and have a space for you to share a link to yours as well.

Enjoy Monday!

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  • 1.
    Kathy said…

    My Monday the 9th September is done (as I am in Australia). Will post my Day 1 photos in a link when your Day 1 is done. I enjoyed photographing our day from making the school lunches, school drop off, petrol, shopping, washing, dinner. I like have a variety of pictures to choose from even if they don’t all make the cut. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

    • ….
      Danielle said…

      School lunches – what a great idea. I forgot to photograph that
      part of the morning routine today. Something to catch tomorrow!

  • 2.
    dawn said…

    Hi Ali, so excited today is finally here!! I’m ready to go and do this amazing project again this year. I too wrote a list of things I want to capture this week. Just did a blog post with my prep work and thoughts on this amazing idea of yours. Wishing my mom could have done this too for me as a child, would love so much to have this right now. Thanks so much for all you do and share and inspire us with each day.
    Looking forward to seeing what you and the others do this week, love that we get to link up.
    Thanks for the words encouraging words above and in the past link too. I always add something of “YOU” in these albums.
    To see my prep and ideas you can visit me at

    Good luck and have fun everyone!! HAPPY MONDAY!!

  • 3.
    Robin Gibson said…

    So excited to start this today! And it will be a fun, not normal, out of town on a bike ride trip kind of day! So very different from our norm, but something we do a couple times a year! So it’s nice to have it included:) WITL, bring it on!

  • 4.
    iHanna said…

    I can not wait to get home tonight and load the photos from my new Nikon camera into the computer and weed through them. I think there are already some good ones in there, and I will post them on my blog as soon as I can, and into the flickr group as well.

    Thank you for doing this fun project as a “join in for free” on your blog!

  • 5.
    Toni From said…

    Very excited to be starting this today. Thanks for putting this together again.

  • 6.
    Barb said…

    Ready to give this project a shot this year. Having trouble realizing there would be enough from my life to document, or who would care! I have been dealing with a divorce and empty nest over the last few years and it’s been hard transitioning from a family of 5 to being on my own. Hoping this project will help me figure out what is important and that there is much to be thankful for. Maybe through the documenting, a new purpose and love of life will be revealed. Hope so!
    Here’s to having a good week, and seeing what my life is all about! Life is Good

  • 7.
    Paula said…

    I started yesterday and I’m really excited about what I captured so far! And my hubby and daugther are playing along without protest, yay!!! I’m gonna hit up my son who’s away at college today and see if he’ll send me a photo this week too, so I can do a “you’re there/we’re here” photo along with a couple of texts between us this week.

  • 8.
    Megan Anderson said…

    Thanks so much for this and the other routine documented projects you lead, Ali! I’m so excited for Week in the Life.

    I made it too complicated last year (still not finished with that album), so this year I’m just going to go with a simple Project Life spread for each day. I’m also going to focus on just one person in my family each day for the first four days, so I don’t have the urge to try to document everything everyday.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you do!

    • ….
      Paula said…

      Great idea!

  • 9.
    Terri Torrez said…

    My family is all prepped to start today. I didn’t do Week in the Life last year because of Project Life. But I realized that these two projects capture very different things. My PL tends to include more of the weekly highlights and changes. Whereas WITL is more about routines and everyday. I love looking back at past years and seeing the changes. Thanks for this.

  • 10.
    Lali Alvarez said…

    Thanks so much for this routine documented projects, Ali! This is my third year and I love “Week in the Life”.
    I still not finished the previous years albums, so this year I decided to do it in digital and print a book later, I hope it works better!
    I look forward to your weeks!! Much encourage everyone!


    Megan, I love your idea to focus on just one person of the family!
    Sorry for my English :-(

  • 11.
    Jennifer K said…

    Got my album structure figured out and supplies gathered and prepared yesterday. Already took a few photos, yay, me! (family thinks it’s a little weird, taking photos at breakfast, but that’s okay!) Have a great day everyone!

  • 12.
    CaroleMac said…

    have done the project along with you for the last 5 yrs but never to the great detail you and many others do – - but this yr I am on board to REALLY do WITL!! Well its 8am on Monday and that’s the plan so far :) Wish me luck! thx for your amazing direction as always

  • 13.
    Calvina said…

    Thanks again Ali for sharing your ideas and your life with us. YOU are making a difference in how hundreds of people document their life. May you continue to inspire! Have a great week!

  • 14.
    Lucrecia said…

    I’m excited for another year! I completed the project last year, but lost my pages in a hard drive death so I’m more determined than ever to finish AND print!

  • 15.
    LindaHAZ said…

    Thanks this is exactly what I needed to hear. IT ALL WORKS OUT. I felt stressed over trying to capture every little detail.

  • 16.
    Liz said…

    alright… i’m in. Going to attempt this! I’m going to just plug my photos & thoughts into my family digital book in Aperture.

  • 17.
    Donna A said…

    The forms are printed, the camera is charged…I have made it until noon with my notes…lets see if I can make it past the first afternoon this year. :)

  • 18.
    Stacyk said…

    I love your perspective on asking yourself what you want to capture this week, visually. I definitely want to think of this and hopefully have it translated in a meaningful way in my WIL.

  • 19.
    Tricia said…

    After many years of looking on, I’m a joiner. Taking your one little word class, has helped me make the leap. Thanks for all you do.

  • 20.
    StephJ said…

    I’ve been doing Project Life for the past four years, and December Daily for the past four as well, but this is the first time I’ve done Week in the Life. I’m SO excited about this project, although DH was not impressed with me taking a pic of him brushing his teeth this AM! :P

    P.S. Love the school lunches idea, too! I was in too much of a rush to do that today, but great idea for tomorrow.

  • 21.
    StephJ said…

    Oh, I also wanted to add that I sent both my older girls (8 and 5) top school with their own cameras today. I’m looking forward to seeing what they capture, and including some of their viewpoints in my album as well.

  • 22.
    Ruth said…

    The Boy Child is just off to bed here in London and I am 70 photos in to capturing our day. A good day; thanks for always being so inspiring and encouraging, Ali!

  • 23.
    susan garner said…

    First time for Week in the Life and first time I have used my self timer on the camera. Hurray !

  • 24.

    3 hours in to day one. Loving the printouts for documenting. I’m focusing on one moment every hour. This is my 2nd try at WITL…hoping this year I make it through the entire week! Will be posting my progress all week on my blog.
    laura @

  • 25.
    young c said…

    Yay, Week in the Life! :)

  • 26.
    Abby said…

    Love this project! I tried to download the daily sheets and they wouldn’t load! Yikes!!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hmmm. I just did it – maybe try using a different browser?

  • 27.
    Jennifer said…

    So far, so good. Can’t wait to see how this year’s week in the life comes together!

  • 28.
    Heather said…

    I’m so excited it’s finally here! It’s perfect timing too, because I just found out that we may be moving out of state in a few months. So now is the perfect time for me to document what our lives are like here & now before it all changes. Thank you Ali. You are appreciated! :) <3

  • 29.
    Andrea said…

    I love this project, but I never participate. I feel like I miss a big chunk of the day when I’m at work (I cannot take photos at work because it violates all kinds of privacy laws). I don’t feel like I’m getting the whole picture of my day when I start my photos at 2:30 in the afternoon.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Nothing wrong with adjusting the project to fit your life. No big deal if you can’t take photos during work hours – take photos in the morning and evening and use words for those hours during the day. Make it work for you.

  • 30.
    J3SS1C4 said…

    I’m now on to my Tuesday here in Aust, and I’m reminded just how much I love this project each year! Yesterday was a completely out of the ordinary day here, and it looks like most of the week will be the same, but that’s just how life goes being ever changing! If anyone is interested, I shared a long post the day before with my tips of WITL and ideas on things you can document :)

  • 31.
    Duanyelle said…

    I always need to have everything just “right” before starting a project and then I never start it. This time I’m just jumping in with very little planning.

    I’m already inspired by today’s comments and suggestions.

    • ….
      Ali said…


  • 32.
    Jenell said…

    Ali, I’m really looking forward to this week, visiting your site and seeing how you document your WITL. I’m not going to participate this time due to several work projects, but have in the past and I love it — especially when I’m done! :)

  • 33.
    Laura BC said…

    Help! I didn’t use the weekend to prepare, but I took notes throughout the day. Now I’m trying to download the PDF sheets – but I’ve been unsuccessful – either at work or at home. Any ideas for what I should try?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Have you tried using a different browser?

    • ….
      Laura BC said…

      I have tried Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. All give me either an error (not responding) or a blank page.

    • ….
      Laura BC said…

      I just tried Google Chrome, and it worked. I have no idea why, but I’m going with it!

  • 34.
    Portia said…

    I had a busy work day today (8am-7pm) but managed to get about 20 pics for the day. Really looking forward to this week.
    (I’m having somebody snap a pic of me typing right now). ;)

  • 35.
    Tracie said…

    This is my first year participating. Hope I can keep up…

  • 36.
    Jen said…

    Kids had a brutal night sleep so off to a slow start on the picture taking front but gathering momentum. Looking forward to the week…this is my first time doing this project.

  • 37.
    Jaque said…

    I had great insights with this post and links. Thanks for the beautiful motivation you give to thousands of people!

  • 38.
    Christine said…

    Happy “week in the life” everyone! I plan on having my week in October but it will be fun to see what everyone else captures.

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