5 photo projects to capture your year


A Week in the Life

Recently, I completed my fourth Week in the Life project. Every year I spend one week taking photos, journaling, and basically documenting seven ordinary days. This is a wonderful project created by Ali Edwards and I love it because we spend so much time documenting the special occasions sometimes those everyday moments get missed.

I thought it might be fun to share the other projects I complete throughout the years as well.

Your Birthday Book: A Keepsake Journal

I have a copy of this book for both Griffin and Amos. I have a real passion for birthdays and birthday parties. Once a year, we get a chance to celebrate not only the birthday boy but the blessing of another year with him in our lives. This book has a section for every year of you child's childhood through age 18 that you fill out. There is a space to record the specifics of the party itself with a space for photos and a pocket to include invites, small favors, and birthday cards. However, what I really like is there is also a space for recording milestones and performing an annual birthday interview.


I also put together a video of all the little snippets of hilarity or school programs or milestones I've captured in the previous year. I don't spend a lot of time editing I just want one place I can see how they've grown so the videos don't waste away on my iPhone.  



First and Last Day of School Photos  

Every year on the first day of school I take a picture of each boy holding a sign that states what year he is in school, the date, and his teacher's name. I'm not alone in this little project and my Facebook feed fills every year with parents posting photos of children on the first day of school holding signs or standing next to chalkboards or the school sign.  

However, I also print the first day of school photo and take a picture of my boys holding that photo on the LAST day of school. The way they grow over a school year never ceases to amaze me, especially the very first year of preschool, and it's something I want to capture. If you ever want to push me to tears, just show me the above photos of Griffin during his first year of preschool and wait for the waterworks.  

December Daily™

There is basically one and only one thing I love more than birthdays and that's Christmas! However, when I look back over past years, I realize I did a terrible job of capturing my favorite holiday. Once again Ali Edwards saves the day with December Daily™. A few weeks before the start of the season you sit down and make a scrapbook with a page for every day from December 1 to December 25.

My girlfriends and I always have a party. We pool our craft supplies and spend an afternoon spread out over someone's dining room tables designing our pages.

This is really the only true scrapbooking I ever do but I really love it. Something about the confines of the holiday theme makes it seem easier and it is SUCH a fun way to get in the mood for Christmas. Once December starts you just take a photo a day or keep a little piece of memorabilia to fill in each day's page. I usually print my photos once a week and complete the pages as I go.

When it's all over I have a true representation of the season. Not only do I do a better job of documenting the big memories around the tree or on Santa's lap, but I have also captured those everyday moments like baking cookies or reading The Grinch for the 1000th time that make this time of year so special.

Yearly Photo Book

I stopped printing photos in 2008. For our 5th wedding anniversary, I created a photo book for Nicholas and I realized it was a great solution to for everyday photos as well. Up until that point I was still trying to print the photos and put them in an album which was expensive and time-consuming. I always ended putting it up for months and regretting the catch up.

Now, I try (not always successfully) to flag my favorite photos every time I upload to iPhoto. Then at the end of the year I organize them into a photo book. I don't type in text or worry too much about "designing" every page. I've learned that's a recipe for procrastination.

Instead, I spend about no more than an hour filling in the pages as quickly as I can and send off the book to be printed.

Over the years, I've used several different companies but prefer blurb books and MyPublisher. I like both companies design software and they both usually run great promotions towards the end of the year.

Project Life

This one is aspirational and I'd love to do it at least once. It seems like a natural extension of my other projects but I just haven't gotten up the motivation quite yet. I think I might wait until my kids are a little older but it's definitely on my list.

What about you? Do you complete any annual photo projects?