Tourist in my own city | 1

Friday, April 8, 2016

For years we've driven over the Auckland Harbour bridge and I've lost count of the times I've said "we must walk under here someday".

At Easter, finally we decided on the spur of the moment to do just that. I can't even imagine the impact on the residents of the clifftop in Birkenhead when in the years leading up to 1959, the Harbour Bridge was built - right over the top of some beautiful villas! People still live there and the houses are still beautiful. They just have a humongous concrete structure towering over them.

We walked down under the bridge and around the area. I took a heap of photos. Here are a few faves.

The next day we went on a little road trip to places we've never been. It's so nice to get out and explore your own back yard. So often we're envious of others travelling overseas to exotic locations, but really, we have a lot of magic right in our back yards. It's nice to appreciate it:)

Thanks for stopping by.

Project Life 2016 | My photo book process

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

This year I've adopted a different approach to Project Life. If you're not familiar with this system of memory keeping, you can read more about the different ways to work it here.

For 4 years, I've been making hybrid project life pages and have physical albums. At the beginning of this year, after toying with the idea for over a year, I decided to make a photo book for this year's photos. I thought I'd share with you my process, in case any of you are wondering if super simple might work for you.

Over the years, I noticed my preferred pages were becoming more and more simple. I knew my love for photography was developing, and so I wanted to have more emphasis on the photos.

I've spoken before about my concern at having too many bulky photo albums and wanting to downsize. I've also observed my family looking through photo books more than the larger albums.

I've opted for very little use of digital stamps or embellishment.

That might seem like a strange question to any memory keeper. Surely the story is important. Yes it is, but for me, there is no need to state the obvious.

I was talking with my son about a famous film director, who said that films shouldn't need to be explained if made well enough. I also saw a quote from Alfred Hitchcock, another film director, who said "If it's a good movie, the sound could go off and the audience would still have a perfectly clear idea of what was going on".

I feel the same can apply when telling the story with photos. They can narrate the story perfectly without any need for explanation. Often though, there is more of a story to be told, or the photos don't cover it.

I've trialed writing a monthly currently page and after 3 months, I think this is working well. For the first 2 months I added little other wording, but as I approach March pages, I recognize there are more stories to be told, so I'll be adding those as I go. March was definitely a month of stories, rather than moments!

1. Decide on a photo book company. There are so many to choose from and differences in quality, price and postage to be considered. There's also the ease of system to consider. For me, I chose Artifact Uprising after considering all of these things. I've used them before and loved the product received.

2. Size. I weighed up pages and cost, along with the vision I had and decided to go with 8.25 x 11 inches in portrait. The soft cover book has a maximum of 200 pages. That allows me roughly 16 pages (or 8 double pages) per month. Having this knowledge before commencing was valuable because it sets the guidelines and I work out my month based on this. I thought this would be tons, but seriously, it's so easy to fill these pages! I love that I can add and move pages around at any time. My project is saved on their site until I'm done with it.

3. Style. There are so many ways to approach this.

  • You can simply use the page templates in Artifact Uprising's system, and I do use these for some pages. You can add text anywhere on these pages.
  • You can use the Project Life App to make pages and then upload the JPGs. In fact, Becky Higgins is working on photo books to add to her products.
  • You can make your own pages in an Adobe system and upload the JPGs. I use a series of grid templates for a lot of my pages, so I can fit more photos in.
  • You can use digital Project Life cards in any of these options and you can use digital stamps added to your photos before uploading to AU page layouts.

When I think of a photo book, I see simplicity, emphasis on photography, good design and white space. I try to keep this in mind as my pages flow. I've used my fave full page photos balanced with small photos. Some full page grids and some small blocks of grids.

Because it's a yearbook, it's not exactly a themed photo book, so not all pages will have that sense of continuity, but after 3 months, I've settled into a pattern and details like keeping my currently journaling page format the same each month help keep that continuity.

I've noticed I'm spending a lot more time taking photos and less time making pages, but I'm sure I'm going to end up with a product that's closer to my heart.

Here are a few fave pages from February.

This photo shows how I've set out my monthly CURRENTLY summaries.
Products Used:
Becky Higgins Everyday Edition digital files
Paislee Press templates

Project Life is a system for memory keeping by Becky Higgins. Last year I was part of her Creative Team. You can find out more about Project Life here.

Thanks for stopping by:)

AE Day in the Life 2016

Friday, April 1, 2016

Despite some pre-planning for Ali Edward's Day in the Life, March 30 rolled around (the day I planned to do this, to coincide with the day the Northern Hemisphere were participating), and I didn't really feel in the mood. You know how it is... despite all the anticipation, often the event feels flat because you're just in the wrong mood, or not quite in the zone.

However, after a quick browse through Instagram I found lots of inspiration from the IG community already well into their days. I'm not a quitter so I decided to pick up my camera and make a start.

I'm a terrible over-thinker, so to be honest, I think I had visions of having oodles of time to set up and take great photos as if I was doing a photo shoot. As it turns out, of course I didn't have the luxury of that time and it is, after all, a project to capture a regular day in my life.

Through the day I didn't feel I took enough photos and I knew a couple I got were a bit dark and out of focus... hazards of early morning indoors light and fast moving targets! Fingers crossed that I could resurrect something usable.

When I had a little time yesterday to edit my selection and work on some grid pages for my photo book, I was pleasantly surprised to find I had more than enough photos and I love the out of focus shot of my daughter anyway. I also spent some time yesterday assembling my notes into typed journaling while it was fresh in my mind. I've used a time line style of journaling and so I didn't feel the need to put the time on the photos this time. Keeping it simple.

At the end of the day, I allowed 4 pages for this project for my 2016 Project Life photo book. It fits the criteria for my Project Life book this year and that is - simple layout with focus on the photos.
I'm into my third month of documenting via photo book and now that I feel comfortable with how it's going, I'll share some details on how I go about the process. Stay tuned.

Products used:
Ali Edwards 8.5x11 grid template
Love Day Seed digital stamp for Wednesday
Becky Higgins Project Life filler cards

I used a mix of Canon DSLR with 50mm lens and iPhone - whatever worked in the moment!

Thanks for stopping by, Donna xx
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