Preparing for Day in the Life | Part 2 Photo ideas

Thursday, March 17, 2016


In my last post I talked about different ways of recording your life on the day, using communication as an example.

I've also put some thought towards taking photos for Day in the Life project at the end of March. Some of you may be fans of just going with the flow, taking photos when the opportunity arises. I'm a fan of being prepared with a bit of a plan, if possible. It doesn't necessarily guarantee that things will turn out as planned...but I think that self consciously you think of taking the photos you've been planning, at least some of the time.

Because we're talking about A Day in the Life project, recording this is the story of our day. We need to think about how we can convey this story in photos and words so it's meaningful to look back on in the future.

The whole day, and a single moment can slip by so fast. You need to think what it is you want to remember. (Just as wedding photographers have a list and firm plan as well as being prepared to be flexible). I want my story to include the people around me, myself, my dog - doing what we do.

The question I ask myself is: how can I better capture my own personal meaningful moments? Those moments will be different for every one of us. I'll be approaching this as the storyteller, therefore this whole project will be about my day, but I have ways of including the family's days also.

A few things to think about:

1. Think about natural lighting around the time. For me that means autumn and the mornings and evenings in my house will be quite dark. Personally I hate using a flash for these situations so I'll be mindful of using the lights on as best I can and trying to get photos near a window as dawn occurs. I'll also try using parts of the house for photos where better natural light streams in, like our stairwell with large windows.
Loved that this morning I could make full use of lovely morning light and shadows cast by the blinds

I purposely made a dramatic photo with contrasting light while doing a mundane thing!
2. Getting myself in the photos. If you're a follower of my blog, you'll know I've worked on several projects about self-portraits, including writing a class for Big Picture Classes. I don't want to repeat the sorts of photos I've taken for those previous projects - mainly because that's just plain boring and really I don't need oodles of the same thing covered! So, I've been researching all sorts of different ways I can get myself in the day's photos. It's a good idea to practice some of these ideas to get an idea of focus. perspective and lighting sorted to save stress and time on the day.
I placed phone on mantle piece to get this shot.
3. Think about perspective. Where can you photograph from for different results? Get down low, look up, look down, through doors and windows. Far away. Up close. I love to contrast big and little details.
I stood on a chair to get this perspective

This sort of photo captures the story of part of my husband's regular work day break - a coffee by the sea
One way to capture the food shopping
4. The little details make up a huge part of the story. A normal day may include getting breakfast and lunches ready, kids off to school, going to work... Try to find the special magic in the day. How can you incorporate this? The weather is a biggie and can help portray the season, or obstacles to the day. Even a day you may call a bad weather day, can produce photos with the magic element.

What sort of fruit is in your fruit bowl? Do you have cut flowers, or are there flowering plants in your garden?

What are you wearing? What's on your bedside table? Can you photograph yourself incorporating these sorts of details in the frame?

I've told this story before, but one of the photos that's become most precious to me is my childhood home. I'm sitting at the dining table in a t-shirt which has distinctive memories, and the kitchen is a 70's time warp with patterned wallpaper and cupboards painted by mum!

These details we often crop out of our photos can be the very thing that hold the emotive value - the thing we connect to the moment in our history.
This shot captures some room detail and already, less than a year on I see little changes.
5. Remember to photograph details of whatever you're working at during the day - whether it be on the job, or as a stay at home mum. Set the 10 second timer to capture you doing what you do with the work space details in there. That will be interesting to you or someone else one day. I regret not getting more photos reading piles of books to my children sitting on my lap, or of me playing with them on the floor. Those things took up a large chunk of my time but back then I never thought to record the little details. Oh yes, there are plenty of photos of them playing, just not with me playing with them.



6. How can you incorporate your family into the photo/story? You may be separated during the day, so be intentional about getting them in morning and afternoon/evening photos. It may involve a sneaky photo while they're working in their rooms. I've found that explaining to them that I'm doing DITL helps and they are more willing to be included in a photo or two. If not, you may need to resort to photographing something which connects them to the day - school shoes or bag tossed on the floor, for example. Try giving them the camera, or ask them to take a selfie.
I love this completely candid photo telling us about her day
I will probably be devoting a double page spread to this day in my annual photo book - maybe 2 double pages. I will probably take far more photos than I will use, but this will give me the choice for piecing the story of the day together. The rest of the photos will be stored away for family to look at.

Whenever I think about a project like A Day in the Life, I feel such a sense of excitement. Does that happen to you? It's such a simple way to preserve a little piece of our lives. If you find stories of your parents or grandparents like this, does this excite you? Do you like reading about stranger's stories in lifestyle magazines? Maybe I'm a bit nosy but I love a little glimpse into how other's live. If you're not aware of this annual project run by Ali Edwards, read more about it here.

I'm looking forward to 29th or 30th March. I'm not sure which day I'll do this yet. Let me know if you're joining in this event. If you are, the most important thing is to have fun with it! That will show through in your photos.

Thanks for stopping by.

Donna xx


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