Friday, July 24, 2015

Memory Keeping// Project Life

Just popping in with a few more recent Project Life spreads. We're over half way through the year and I'm loving flipping through my 2015 album and seeing our year documented with so many happy photos and stories.

When I first started Project Life I was still stuck in the style of a traditional professional scrapbooker. At my former job as a studio artist for CTMH I was taught to layer on the embellishments, stamps, ribbons, and buttons. A page was not complete until every scrap had been brushed with ink and stitched with a sewing machine. Hours of work went into every single page I created. I still enjoy this approach now and then for special projects, but it just isn't realistic for keeping up with our everyday photo and stories.

My style has evolved and now I am much more pleased with a clean and simple approach. I like the photos to do the talking. I surround my photos with a lot of white space to keep things visually appealing and cohesive. It's easier, takes less time, costs less, and I like the overall look much better. You can't argue with that!

Thank goodness for the simplicity and ease of Project Life!


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Life Through The Lens// I Was There Too

I've taken thousands of photographs this year already. Yes. Thousands. Absurd, perhaps but it's my passion. The majority of these images are of family, mostly a certain curly haired little man that holds my heart. Many of these photographs highlight beautiful nature and landscapes. I've even taken a good amount of photos of... well, photos-- Project Life and other scrapbooking projects and products featuring printed photographs of our day to day adventures.

Sometimes in the midst of seeing all that life happening through the lens I remember to turn the camera around. To see myself too. I remember that my part of the story is also important. Not just my view of everyone and everything else. It takes a little more work and practice, but I assure you it is worth it.

Let's be honest... Generally, when I look at these photos on the back of the camera I don't like them--I can find every imperfection in my expression, face, or body. It can be tempting to erase them right then and there. But I force myself to upload edit, and save them--just the way I would with photos of anyone else. Like the rest of my edited photos, I tuck them away in a folder on my desktop for a few days and come back to them when I'm ready to order prints for my Project Life album. I tend to see these self portraits with more forgiving eyes after a day or so. I try to see the real me and look past the silly imperfections that I am sure no one else is concerned about. It's a good exercise in self-love.

Each of the photos above is a self portrait except the second to last one. Danny took that one and I just had to include it... because I love it.

As you might have noticed, only a few of these photos are a typical, "look at the camera and smile" style. Perhaps I just feel more awkward in photos like that, but I also just prefer a more lifestyle, real deal look to my photos in general. I like that these images show a real glimpse into my everyday life. Nurturing, loving, tired, fatigued, playful, thoughtful, etc. They show the real me, and I like that.

My advice, turn the camera around. You are there too and your story is important. Try to get over the self-criticism and see the good in yourself, the same way you do when photographing your family, children, and the world around you.