Hey everybody! It’s Lindsay from the Lindsay Ross Blog and I’ve been excited all month to share this with you!
“Your mom must take pictures of you all day long.” One of the more common things people say to my kids. But the truth is, I don’t take pictures all day long. I’m sure I take more than the average person, but I don’t have a camera glued to my face all day.
Why? Because I don’t need to. I’m dedicated to take every day photos to document the stories of our families. But that doesn’t mean I’m taking photos all day every day. It means I’m intentional and deliberate about the photos I do take. Aware of what type of photos I want and what type of photos help tell our story the best. Photographing the every day doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming. It can be simple, and an honest representation of our daily lives.
Winters in Utah are always hard for me. I actually love the season and the snow (when it remembers to snow here) and many winter activities. But I don’t love being cooped up inside all the time. And the messes that accompany my kids being cooped up as well. As my frustration with messes mounted, I decided to try a different approach. Instead of grumbling about the messes and repeatedly asking my kids to clean then up, I picked up my camera and photographed them. The reminders that little people are here. And little people are awesome. And then I shared my “Kids are here” photos. And I was quite surprised at the overwhelming response it received.
I think a photography project like that resonates with others because it helps us realize what a gift life is. What a gift kids are. And how important the day-to-day activities are to who WE are. And when we pause and take time to photograph those every day moments, it can literally change the way we live.
(card design from Project Life App)
I love this quote and think of it often. Taking time to stop and photograph the seemingly routine and mundane parts of my day changes my perspective. It makes me more grateful. More aware. Present. And helps me be more intentional about our days. Our time. And the intentional creation of our stories.
I’m excited about helping others document their “every day” in an e-mail series through my blog (you can sign up HERE for a limited time). Because the every day stuff is what makes up the majority of our lives. Sure holidays and birthdays and vacations are important, but it’s the stuff we do from day-to-day that shows who we are. The every day moments are our story. And if we don’t document our story, who will? And if we don’t document our kids’ story, it may never be remembered. In my opinion, the pictures I take of my kids in my own home are by far the most important kind.
So. A few ideas to help you get started on photographing your every day:
**Sit down and make a list of the type of photos you wish you had from your childhood. Things you vaguely remember, but wish you had a photograph of (your bedroom, your friends, your favorite park, your family hangout spot, your old record player, your favorite toys, etc.). Have your spouse do it too. They may think of things you didn’t. Once you have your list, make sure you take those type of photos for your kids. They’ll be so grateful (one day).
**Don’t get too caught up in technically perfect photos. Just because you aren’t a professional photographer, and maybe don’t really even know how to take a great photo, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the photos anyway. I’d love a less than perfect photo of my childhood bedroom over no photo at all. Sure it helps when the photos are better quality, but just start documenting. Then, if you feel inspired (and I think you will), you can slowly learn how to improve those photos over time.
**Schedule time to document. You can document quite a few things in a set period of time. Instead of stressing about always having the camera available so you get the photos you want, set aside a chunk of time and get the photos you can. Then you know it’s documented and you don’t have to constantly be taking photos.
**If you have a good dSLR camera, USE IT!!!! I know a lot of people tend to rely on their camera phones because they’re so convenient. And believe me, I’m SO grateful for my camera phone because it’s helped me capture moments I otherwise would have missed. But that doesn’t mean abandon that good camera you have. People are surprised to find that I often leave my good camera home when we go OUT and do stuff, but always have my camera out and available when we’re at home. Because the photos I take in my home and photos of our every day are most important to me. Indoor photography can be harder because there often isn’t a lot of light. Invest in a 50mm lens (you can get them for around $100). And if you don’t have a dSLR, I recommend you get one. I promise you won’t regret it.
**Don’t stop with just taking the photos. Be sure to PRINT THEM. What good are photos if they just stay on our phones, cameras, or computer and no one gets to see them? Once you start printing photos and putting them together in meaningful displays or albums, you start to see what type of photos are missing from the story. And what type of photos you need to take more of. You don’t know what you’re missing if you don’t know and pay attention to what you have.
**And. A BIG AND. Don’t forget to GET IN THE PHOTOS (I’m kindly yelling that at you). Moms. Get in the photos with your kids. You’re one of the biggest parts of their story. You need to be documented just like everything else. The mom stays in the picture. And document your OWN story as well. Cause we matter.
The things we do every day matter. They matter enough to pay attention to. And they certainly matter enough to photograph! Document your every day. And print it. And let your kids see how awesome you think they are because you care to document WHO they are and what they do!!