Project Life, Weeks 48 & 47, and my reflections on Project Life this year

Project Life by Rhonda Mason/Pink Ronnie (www.pinkronnie.com)

Now that there are only a few weeks left to go for our 2013 albums, I thought I’d share some reflections on Project Life this year…

My photography style has morphed. There’s no doubt about it. My photos are darker, full of silhouettes and shadow. As a result, my spreads feel slightly more…dramatic, even though I am still documenting the same family life as before. This is not something that I anticipated happening, but as I wrote in this post, I know that my Project Life ‘style’ will evolve over time and this development in my photography is simply part of that process.

There are some weeks when I take beautiful photos, and there are other weeks when I feel like my images are completely uninspiring. I’ve had to learn to embrace this ebb and flow and to let go of my innate desire for every spread to be ‘perfect.’

Project

I am still using my iPhone to capture all my daily photos. This works well for me, and I don’t see it changing anytime soon. I’m looking forward to upgrading to the iPhone 5S next year as the light sensor on that camera is meant to be quite remarkable, and I’m excited about what that might mean for my images. VSCO Cam is still my exclusive photo editing app, and F2 is still my favourite filter.

I am journaling more than I did a year ago. Not so much writing down my feelings so much as recording in greater (textual) detail what actually happened on certain days of the week. To keep things simple, I like to use either my 6×4 template with the square image on the left, or I type white text onto a part of the photo with negative space. By using these two techniques, I am able to keep my layouts looking uncluttered despite the extra text.

Project Life by Rhonda Mason/Pink Ronnie (www.pinkronnie.com)

I’ve somehow managed to keep up with doing our family spreads almost very single week. My weekly routine of sorting out our photos on Sunday evening and working on my layouts on Monday evening has worked really well for me. Using the same InDesign templates every week also helps immensely in terms of maximising efficiency.

Having said that, there are some weeks when I honestly don’t feel up to it. However, I push through this and do it anyway, because I know that for me, it’s much better to just get it done than to let the backlog build up.

Project Life by Rhonda Mason/Pink Ronnie (www.pinkronnie.com)

I’ve also kept up with updating my boys’ individual Project Life albums. I won’t lie. This is a lot of work, and usually when I’m in the thick of it, I find myself constantly asking Rick: “Do you really think the boys are going to appreciate this when they are older?” And always, always, he looks me straight in the eye and say ‘yes.’ And there’s no doubt about it. When I see the boys flipping through their albums and scrapbooks and when I see their faces light up and when I hear them talking about ‘the olden days’ (like on Peppa Pig), it honestly just gives me unspeakable joy. Plus, it’s scary how much we (Rick and I) actually forget, and it’s just so reassuring to know we have it all documented so that we can go back and remember together.

Ultimately, I’m incredibly thankful for our Project Life albums, and at this stage, I’m quite certain I will be continuing this journey in 2014. (Will you?)

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Other posts you might be interested in reading:
My weekly Project Life process from beginning to end
Tips on taking photos for Project Life
What you need to get started with Project Life

You can read all my Project Life posts here.

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Project Life is a system created by Becky Higgins that is designed to simplify your efforts to document life and help get your photos into a book. To learn more about the product and how to get started, click here.

(Linking up with The Mom Creative.)

16 comments

Kathy December 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm

First of all let me say I completely admire you for the amount of creativity (and work) that you do/get done with your large family. I only have 2 kids and yet I don’t get through nearly as much as you do so you should pat yourself on the back because as you say it’s so easy to forget the everyday little things and if they are documented whether it be a fancy DSLR or the iphone, stories and moments and images are being captured and I think that is incredible. I’m up to about week 30 in PL digital so over the next two months need to get back to getting my digital pages one. One good thing about the “drag and drop” method however it’s going through which photos you want is the time consuming thing and usually it’s so hard just to pick 7-15 from any given week. I think everyone is getting very tired towards the end of the year and I know that even though PL will be done in January at the end of December I think we all want to tick it off, start from scratch be fresh and get into another year. Now for me, I’m off to bed in a couple of minutes….keep up the great work with your albums. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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Erin December 8, 2013 at 12:42 pm

I definitely admire all the work you put into memory keeping – I don’t think I could do it to the extent that you do, especially for multiple kids as well as your family album! Your family is very lucky that you do put so much time into making sure those special moments aren’t forgotten. I know so many people that only have a handful of photos from their childhood and it’s so sad.

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amber December 8, 2013 at 3:42 pm

great reflecting. it’s amazing to me how much you get done sometimes when you have a such a big family to take care of. One of the things I personally love about photography (i’ve just started my own photography blog) is that it’s something you can integrate your family into, which i love.

i understand having times where you feel uninspired… for me, i find that i’m most uninspired when i have gone too many days without enough sleep, or if i have been working constantly. then i take a step back and give myself the time i need, and the inspiration always come back. your work is beautiful.

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Pink Ronnie December 9, 2013 at 8:43 am

That is so true for me too. It’s during those busy periods in life, or when I’m feeling utterly exhausted, that I don’t end taking any inspiring photos.
Thanks for your kind words, Amber.
Ronnie xo

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Ali December 9, 2013 at 2:10 am

love that you’ve kept it up and reflected on what has worked and what hasn’t and more importantly what has changed. :)

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Victoria | Oh So Pretty December 9, 2013 at 4:08 am

I always love seeing your Project Life – it’s truly inspirational. We’ve been documenting too, and I’d have to say it takes a lot of work and I’m way behind. But I do love how you can see your style / photography change (like you said) I absolutely love the dramatic darkness, shadows and silhouettes in your photos – they are breathtaking.

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Diane December 9, 2013 at 5:16 am

These are beautiful pages, and I love reading how you have developed a system to stay current. I just wanted to tell you how happy I am with the first little book I made on Artifact Uprising, which of course, I learned about here from you. I am giving them to my family as holiday gifts. Thanks!

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Kate December 9, 2013 at 5:51 am

It is so great for you to have this project to look back on and reflect. I love your photography style and I’m glad to have this opportunity to look back at your earlier work that I missed. You’re a talent and I love how you share your world. =]

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Lucy December 9, 2013 at 8:29 am

I’m starting Project Lufe for the first time next year Ronnie and I can’t wait! Unfortunately my boys are turning two and four in 2014 so I’ve been a bit late to journaling but hey, we have to start somewhere right?! Unfortunately I don’t have the computer skills you have (or the photography skills!) so mine will be handwritten. Your Project Life posts got me inspired to make a start and they’ll inspire me for my journey next year : )

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Pink Ronnie December 9, 2013 at 8:41 am

That is so wonderful, Lucy! It’s definitely never too late to start! Trust me.
Ronnie xo

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Fiona December 9, 2013 at 2:57 pm

I think it’s amazing that you’ve kept up with all of it. I’ve fallen way, way behind, and I’m not sure I even want to catch up. Your photos are beautiful. I love how, as people, we are always changing as we move through life! Hugs, Fi xoxo

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Belinda December 10, 2013 at 11:14 am

Thank you Ronnie. A friend introduced me to your beautiful blog about three months ago, and in turn you introduced me to a whole new way to keep memories. I started my own Project Life eight weeks ago. A bit strange to start so late in the year, but I couldn’t wait another day longer. I now look at my life in a whole different way, and I am grateful for so many moments and things that perhaps previously went unnoticed. I am continually inspired by your photographs, stories and snippets on life. Thank you for sharing your journey. Belinda x

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Pink Ronnie December 10, 2013 at 11:39 am

That’s wonderful you decided to start Project Life – I don’t think there’s ever any point in waiting. Any time is a good time! Documenting life really does help us to appreciate the smaller things. Thanks for all your kind words, I can’t tell you how lovely it is to have you here.
Ronnie xo

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Denise von Minden December 10, 2013 at 12:50 pm

I absolutely adore your pages and style and have watched your spreads through Creative Mom for two years now. You are creating such a wonderful gift for your family and your pages say so much (often with no words) about how you love and care for them. I look forward to seeing what you do next year too!

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Nicole December 10, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I love this post. Your honesty is amazing, and your photos are great.
I think you are doing this for all the right reasons, and applaud you for keeping up with it.
You rock!

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I love hearing from you!

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