Next week you're invited to join me in documenting seven consecutive days in your life.
This will be my 9th time embarking on a Week In The Life™ project.
Last year I shared a look back at spreads from each of my past albums - you can read about that here.
Each year I take a little time before starting my new week to look back on the previous year.
As I looked through last years album (2013) my number one question was "where are the words?"
Of course there are some there. Little bits of life, which I love and appreciate. But I think the reality is that I slacked off on that last year - maybe that's not exactly the right phrase or way of looking at it. I can't remember if it was because I was tired, bored, too busy, depressed, in a hurry or just wanting to leave the words out, but when I looked at that album I felt like there were details missing. I felt like I missed an opportunity.
As I was writing this out I went and looked at my daily blog posts from last year - I actually wrote more words there vs. what got added to my album. Interesting.
Now when I come across something like that I don't beat myself up. I make a note and set an intention to do something differently the next time around.
Hello next time.
I want the words to go along with the photos. Period. I'm the only person that can make that happen in my albums.
Just saying it out loud to myself, and to you guys, will help me make it a priority once again this year.
Here's a look at some thoughts as we get closer to documenting the week:
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT NEXT WEEK
1. I will be sharing my words and photos each day on my blog. Monday will be shared on Tuesday and so on. My main intention next week is to simply document. I save the creative stuff for after the documentation period so I can focus on that portion of the project first and foremost. Really all you need for next week is a camera and a way to write down what's happening (pen, computer, etc). You might also want to have an envelope for each day of the week if you want to include other papers and such that you might collect over the course of the day.
2. Some people like to get their album set up in advance. If you are one of those people, go for it! I don't generally do that for this project, as I mentioned above, but as with all these creative projects I encourage you to embrace what works for you.
This year I've had some thoughts in advance of things I know I want to capture. Most years I just charge up my camera battery, print out the Daily Sheets (an 6x8 version will be available later today), and go for it. Download the 6x8 Daily Sheets here.
Lately I've been thinking about things (stuff, routines, etc) that maybe I haven't photographed or written about lately. I like photos that show the things I'm using, the stuff that's part of our lives. Many of the photos answer the question, "what makes up the stuff of my life right now?"
Here's a few things I know I want to capture with my lens:
- the contents of my bag (my current go-to stuff)
- face front shots of each kid against the white wall
- cards with each of our ages on it - maybe a favorites card for each of us
- a family shot of the three of us (me, Simon and Anna)
- shots of basic stuff: toothpaste, the kind of bread we eat, fridge with the doors open, etc.
Why the basic stuff? Because it changes. Because it's interesting to see in 5, 10, 20 years. I would love to see photos of that kind of stuff from when I was a kid - what were we eating, what were we wearing, what were we listening to, etc.
PLEASE REMEMBER | This is not a race to see who can take the most photos. You don't have to take a photo of every little thing every single day.
Because, seriously, who needs that many photos?
That said, I definitely use this week as an opportunity to take more photos than I normally do of our everyday lives. Without a doubt every single time I do this project I get some photos that I absolutely love.
1. Think about what you'd really like to capture during this week. What photos do you really want to take? What stories are you on the lookout for?
2. Download and print the Daily Sheets. I thought about re-working these but when I sat down to look at them I felt like they still cover the things I want to focus on - they are a great starting place for writing stuff down.
3. If you ordered the kit, take some time to look through it and see which cards you might want to use during the week (vs. ones you'd fill in after). There's a couple in there that are good jumping off points for stories to tell during the week.
4. Consider purchasing the Week In The Life™ layered templates (in 6x8 or 8.5x11) or the 4x6 printable cards/overlays (these are great if you just want to include pieces of this project in Project Life®). See below for more details on those sets.
5. Charge your camera battery. I tend to use my bigger camera vs. my phone during this week. I usually include a few phone photos but most tend to be with my 5D. If you print photos at home you might also want to check your ink levels to see if you need to order more ink.
6. Get your head in the right place. This isn't a competition. This isn't about who has the best or the most or crafting the perfect story of your perfect life, this is about documenting what is real in your life at this point in time via words and photos and intentional embellishments. You are not going to get in trouble if you forget to take photos or write things down. If you find you forgot at one point or another it's no big deal, just start where you left off. Every year someone leaves a comment that they woke up and forgot to take photos on Monday morning so they end up bagging the entire project. That is not what this is about.
SUPPLIES TO CONSIDER
Here's some supplies to consider using to tell the stories of your week:
UPDATED DESIGN PLAN | I've updated my initial design plan to accommodate two styles of page protectors that were included with the album. You can download that on the pre-order page here. Click on the orange link that says "click here to download sketch."
DIGITAL PRODUCTS | New sets are available this year in a 6x8 and 8.5x11 versions (see below for a 4x6 option) that include PSD and PDF and PNG files. I'll share a tutorial on how I used the layered templates when I share how i put my album together. You can view my 2013 layered template tutorial for Week In The Life™ here (it uses a previous template set but gives you the basic idea).
These packages include a PDF of the 7 main weekday pages (without the grey box).
This is for easy printing if you want to print out the pages and then add a photo, journaling or other embellishments directly on top.
Here's what the PDF pages look like printed out on Epson Matte Presentation Paper:
Also included in the package are 7 photo collage pages:
You can mix and match these within your album.
Here's a look at both pages together (using photos from last year):
WEEK IN THE LIFE™ IN PROJECT LIFE®
If you are looking to incorporate this project into your Project Life® album you might be interested in the Week In The Life™ 4x6 PNG/PDF set.
These files can be printed via the PDF or you can add the PNG files directly on top of your photos:
I used this idea last year (using the 2013 templates) and here's how that turned out:
You can read the full post about putting that together here.
You can scroll through all my past Week In The Life™ project posts in the archives here.
I'm really looking forward to embarking on this adventure again. I learn something new about myself each and every time.
Questions? Excited? Nervous? Let's do this together!