It’s been seven days since my first Week in the Life ended. It was an amazing experience and I have no doubt I’ll do it again and again. There were so many lessons I learned and a ton of great people I connected with through the project. I was torn about whether I should do the album right away or wait and see what Ali Edwards did. In the end, I decided the sooner I got my album completed, the better. I didn’t want to lose my excitement and set it aside only to never get back to it (December Daily, I’m talking to you!). I also promised myself not to get caught up in the comparison game. It’s hard- there are so many talented and creative souls out there. But that’s not what this is about. And simply done is better than not done at all!
As I sat down to put my album together, I was reminded of a few important lessons I learned that will serve me well. Not just this week, but every week.
- I learned a bad photo is better than no photo at all. I wish I could say that every picture I took was a masterpiece, but we all know that’s not true. No one takes perfect pictures every time. There are those shining moments, where all the stars align, everyone cooperates, and you have all the time in the world; but those are few and far between. Most everyday photos are on the fly, fleeting, in the moment. I don’t want to miss those opportunities simply because it won’t be the ultimate photograph.
- On the other hand, I experienced how photography is like everything else. The more you practice, the better you get. That doesn’t mean I’ll be the next Ali Edwards. But I will learn and grow and become the best Adrienne Hogan I can. After the first couple of days, I found myself noticing the light, the angles, and the best ways to capture the activity. Our eyes can be trained to see the beauty in the everyday and that alone was worth the week spent lugging my camera around, annoying my coworkers, and organizing a zillion photos.
- I learned that sometimes, if something catches your eye, take a picture and let the story come to you. Every day this spring I drove past this field of yellow flowers. I slowed down and looked at the lines of the flowers, the horizon, and the farm house in the distance. I noticed every day, but never took a picture. And now it’s gone- cut down to clear the field for planting. It was just a field, but as soon as it was gone, I realized it’s more than that. It’s about how I work in a city, but get to live in a small town still reliant on agriculture. It’s about that farmhouse that has been there for decades and how all the other farms are being bought up to make room for subdivisions. Next time, I’ll just take the picture. It’s easier to delete a picture than it is to recreate a moment.
- I learned our big lives are made up of small everyday moments. This one is obvious and sounds cliche, but when you are looking at things through the lens of your camera, you realize how absolutely true it is. We live in homes, we have jobs, we enjoy hobbies. That’s big picture. What is it exactly that makes up those parts? Is it the paint-stained surface of your craft desk? The sleepy smile your child gives you when you wake them up every morning? We may not be able to notice those every single minute of every single day- that would get overwhelming. But sometimes, we have to slow down and see those moments for what they are, because they don’t always last.
Here is a walk through of my album.
And a couple of close-ups.
I tucked some hidden journaling behind some of the photos. I wanted it to be accurate and honest and that meant some of those words are just for me. As I said, it’s simple, but I’m so happy I saw it through.
Have you made your album yet? I’d love to hear what your thoughts on the project were. And if you’ve posted your pages, leave me link so I can check it out. Thanks for going on this crazy journey with me!