So I took part in Ali Edward’s Day in the Life project for the first time last month. The perfectionist in me would’ve loved to have done it in January to make a complete set, but I just have to let that one go. January was crazy. I didn’t think of it in January. January has passed. Why let something like that hold me back? If I think a project is worth doing, I need to just do it. Right?
I love the idea of capturing a Day in the Life once a month. The rhythm of each day is so special, so worth recording. Whilst I am all for documenting the big picture, there’s a lot to be said for the smaller details. After all, it’s the little moments that make up a day, and the days that make up a month. A detailed daily snapshot like this every month means that as the seasons change, as the year progresses, as the boys grow older, as new children arrive (yes, I’m looking at you, Edward bear), I can look back and see how the big life changes precipitated changes in the smaller details of our everyday life.
More importantly, doing this once a month is manageable. I can work it into my monthly routine. And if it’s part of my routine, then it’s totally doable. Yes, I can do this.
Before I started, I played with the idea of taking a photograph every hour. But I quickly dismissed this as I knew this wouldn’t be feasible for me. I would almost certainly miss an hour or two, and then that would just drive me a little crazy. So I decided instead that I would take a photo whenever I was in a position to capture a particular moment before me. With this in mind, I ended up with almost exactly twenty-four frames that I wanted to include in the final product.
This made it easy to decide on the design of my layout. I already had an 8×8 template which I knew could hold twelve photos. So all I had to do was drop in my twenty-four photos in chronological order. I didn’t bother including a time reference for each photo as I didn’t think this would add much value when I’m looking back on the collage in five or ten years time. The flow (and content) of the photos themselves would be sufficient to communicate what time of the day the photo was taken. Plus, the journalling would shed additional light.
In terms of editing, I processed all the photos using VSCO Film in Aperture before adding them to the collage. While the photos themselves aren’t the most brilliant ones that I’ve taken in terms of composition and lighting, together, they definitely suffice to tell a story. And that, I think, is the point of this project at the end of the day.
After all the photos were inserted, I simply added a circle in the middle with the words ‘a day in the life’ along with the date. The font is Rockwell Light and I used all upper caps for extra emphasis.
The journalling part of it was fun. For those of you who follow my Project Life endeavours, you probably already know that I don’t usually include much journalling in our weekly family layouts. The reason behind this is two-fold: I believe that photos have the capacity to tell a story (if not to others, at least to the future me), and also, I don’t want to be burdened by the guilt of not journalling on a weekly basis.
However, for the purposes of this project, I felt that it would be rather pointless if I didn’t actually record the details of the day in words. And so for every hour, I wrote at least a paragraph. Some hours I missed and so I simply caught up whenever I had the chance to throughout the day. I didn’t dare give myself the option of leaving it to the next day, as I wanted to write in the present as much as possible for the sake of authenticity and to capture emotions in real-time.
I used Simplenote to do my journalling, as it meant that I could do it on either my iPhone or my laptop throughout the day since the program synchronises across both. (Seriously, so much of my life relies on Simplenote, as you might already know from these posts.)
To match the photo collages, I knew I would be using an 8×8 layout for the journalling as well. I very quickly settled on a two-column format, with space at the top for a heading and space on the right for a pull-out caption. (Clearly, the magazine designer in me is still going strong.) I also added a circle like the one on the collages in the top-right corner, tilted at a 45 degree angle, and with the complete date including the day of the week (in this case, Thursday) and the year. The font used for the heading, the pull-out caption and the time stamps are all Rockwell Light. The font used for the text is Courier New.
The journalling filled two pages perfectly. After printing out the two collages and the two pages of journalling, I trimmed them all down and slipped them into two 8×8 page protectors by American Craft. I then included them as inserts in Week 9 of our Project Life album, since that was the week of the 28th of February.
Easy peasy! I will definitely be doing this again next month, and hopefully every month for the rest of the year. If you want to find out more, make sure you visit Ali Edward’s blog. She has lots of resources (such as templates) that you can download to help make doing the project that much easier.
How many of you are already doing ‘A Day in the Life’ with Ali Edwards?