Something I feel really strongly about and always have is documenting my life (and encouraging other people to document theirs) – Life is made up of so many beautiful moments, as well as the hard, the testing, the monotonous and the busy. If we don’t stop to document, they may get lost in our memories and months or years will have passed before you stopped to think and savour the season you are in. Obviously this topic is personal to each of us, and I think because my craft is photo and video, that does lend itself well to keeping things documented.
But think about it, how much do you love seeing old photographs of family and friends, seeing what they were like in their youth, where they lived and what the fashions were back in the day? Or perhaps, someone you have lost, you search for pieces of them; photographs they were in, letters they wrote just to try and remember all the happy times or the way they are. We live in this modern world, where the majority of us have cameras in our pockets and access to an internet connection. We have a multitude of ways to document and capture moments or catalogue them.
I started writing this post about different ways to document a few months ago but it seems more relevant now as the spread of the coronavirus takes over our brain space, workplaces (or workplace video calls from home), conversations and mental headspace, it seems more important than ever to focus on happy moments and memories especially if you are feeling lonely, worried, unwell or having to self isolate or quarantine away from family and friends. If you are struggling, sending a big hug and some kindness your way.
How I document:
Taking Photographs and Video of daily life:
Yearly photobooks – photographs don’t have to just live on a hard drive, I still love to print mine and savour those moments and for the last 3 years, I have done this in a yearly photobook. It takes ages to make as I take lots of photos but is so fun to look back on and see how the year panned out in images.
Monthly video project – This is a project I started in 2012, when I was only 17 and have somehow managed to keep up (albeit at a much slower editing pace) – I take a bunch of video clips every month, some on my phone and some on my camera, these are just tiny snippets or moments and then I set them to music and edit them into a 3-10 minute video depending on the amount of footage. I am a videographer by trade so it also works as a fun creative outlet and way to try out new filming or editing techniques.
Journal – I love writing in my journal, getting some thoughts written down & memories documented – it’s so theraputic and lovely to look back on. My first journal dates back to when I was just 8 so it’s a real trip down memory lane to read the old ones!
- 1 second a day app – This is always my favourite recommendation to give people if you want an easy way to document your life. It’s an app where you can make a video of 1 second each day of your life. You just take the video and then at a later date, you pull up the app and can add it in along with the other days. By the end of the year, you have a lovely video to look back on. And if you miss a day, it doesn’t matter, the video just skips along to the next one.
- Photobooks – I love my photo books and albums, they are so lovely to look back on. If you are finding yourself with some extra time during lockdown, it could be good to make some photobooks of the last few years. I always use Snapfish but there are so many companies that do it.
- A blog or instagram account – blogs are a great way to document words and pictures (as I’m sure you agree, if you are a blogger or are reading on!) or an instagram account (that could be private) where you document certain themes or just snippets of daily life. There are also apps that print books every time you reach a certain threshold of photos so that could be a fun way to do it!
- A journal or planner – I wrote my first journal when I was 7 and still have it, along with journals written all throughout my teenage years and young adulthood, although some of them are super embarrassing to read back through, I am grateful to have them and so many details documented of life.
I know that none of these suggestions are groundbreaking, but it’s so lovely to have your memories and seasons documented and I really encourage you to try some if you aren’t already. Currently, I am finding it helpful to document these unique and strange times we are living in. I hope it will bring comfort on the hard days to look back at some of the good and be a reminder when this is over of what this time was really like.
I hope you are all okay. I’d love to hear how you document memories?