For my 2010 project I really thought I'd be able to capture the last day before Little Pea's arrival since she was scheduled to arrive this Friday. I thought it would be a wonderful snapshot of life with Peanut alone before the big change happened. Life just didn't work out that way so I've been scrambling to rearrange things this week as we settle into our new normal.
I was tempted to do Monday as my project day but figured that we had enough going on here at home with our first full day home from the hospital without adding all the camera work into the picture. By yesterday I was ready to dig in, figuring I'll need all the time I can get just to upload and edit my photos by deadline!
So having just finished my photo-taking portion of the project, I wanted to share with you some tips on how to get through the day in case you still haven't taken advantage of the project this week and are feeling overwhelmed.
1. Keep the camera within arm's length all day but don't feel like you're going to be using it every single minute. I sat next to my camera for a couple hours yesterday (while putting my swollen feet up) and didn't touch it except for to grab a single shot of our dog sitting next to the baby. If the camera hadn't been right there, I would have missed the shot by the time I got up out of my chair to grab the camera.
2. When the mood or lighting strikes, take a series of shots around your home. Yesterday was a rainy day which makes for horrible pictures inside our house. By late afternoon there was a shred of light coming through the window so I spent 15 minutes snapping random environment shots of our home: baby bottles in the sink, flowers from the hospital, baby balloons, etc. I won't be surprised if a good portion of my project ends up coming from that 15 minutes.
3. Cut yourself a little slack. Taking care of a newborn isn't always pretty. I was not about to expose you to dirty diaper changes and our Peanut was under the weather in the afternoon. Picture taking was put on hold while I tended to their physical needs. This may not be my best project ever, but I know I'll be glad to have captured what I did yesterday--even (maybe especially) if it doesn't portray every dirty detail.
4. Make it a family affair. The point of the project is to capture your specific point of view. 99% of the photos from my project were taken by me personally. However, Handyman Tim was on the lookout for suggested shots and if I was busy with Point #3 above, he grabbed the picture if he thought I'd miss the moment. By the end of the day, even the Peanut was asking me to take her picture in certain poses.
5. Remember the overall project goal, don't get caught up in each stand alone shot. It is easy to berate yourself for an unexciting picture you've just taken. I promise I have very few "artsy" shots from yesterday. Any single snapshot on it's own would not be much to cherish. It is the collection as a whole that will be priceless.
I hope these tips help take some of the pressure off of you and inspire you to give the project a chance if you haven't already done so.
Babies willing, I'm hoping to get my project posted by the end of today so that you have a full example to look at. Usually I edit my photos here for the blog with Photoshop, but this year I'm sticking to the basic editing tools that come with Apple's iPhoto. Down and dirty all the way!