At the end of 2014, only a couple of months after starting this blog, I discovered the digital scrapbooking and memory keeping online community and it completely changed my way of taking and handling photos. Back then, I was in a tough moment of my life where all my days looked the same and taking photos of little details helped me to cope with bad feelings. It was like therapy to me. The following year, I even managed to be part of the Becky Higgins Creative Team using the Project Life App to create weekly layouts.
Since then, my life has changed and so my approach to photo-taking. After taking thousands of photos for 4+ years, I started feeling overwhelmed browsing through my archives. Not to mention that I’ve also realized that 80% of my photos had been taken to be shared online and not to help myself deal with my negative thoughts anymore.
Halfway through 2018, I decided to switch to a monthly format for Project Life, instead of the weekly one I used to do since I wasn’t taking enough photos for that. Making my layouts private and not sharing them on my blog or Instagram was also a huge improvement and allowed me to include more personal photos as well. But, while I kept creating 3 to 4 pages per month in 2018, I decided to go with only 1 or 2 in 2019, choosing only my absolute favorite photos, instead of putting everything there. The only exception, so far, has been my graduation day that got its own layout.
These slow changes improved a lot my approach to memory keeping but what actually revolutionized my life has been my month-long Instagram break back in May. I’ve already extensively written about it but, since then, I started taking definitely fewer photos and it feels amazing.
Since June, I started dividing my personal day-to-day photos from the ones taken specifically for Instagram (like my notebook flat lays), that are usually more staged, can be repurposed and used here on the blog and, above all, they don’t document my actual life right now, so I won’t care to go back and flip through them in a couple of years.
Finally, here are some key points concerning my approach to photos and memory keeping in general from now on:
- 1 or 2 Project Life pages per month with occasional layouts for special events, like my graduation.
- Instead of creating a folder for every month of the year, I’m thinking of creating folders only for special occasions (Christmas, graduation, birthday, vacations, etc.) and put every photo in the year’s folder, like I used to do in the past before social media.
- Take fewer photos in general, only the meaningful ones that I’ll enjoy to see again in the future (how many photos of our same annual flowers do I need??).
- Separate folders for Instagram/blog photos (cozy flat lays, book photos, staged photos in general).
- Live more in the moment and enjoy the experiences instead of taking photos (I have so many photos of the Big Ben that I won’t need to take additional ones if I’ll ever visit London again, for example).
The last point is very important to me because I feel like this insane need of documenting everything is actually taking over our lives (and I’m guilty of it). For example, when you attend a live gig or a parade or things like that, how many people are actually enjoying the event and how many people are watching it through the lenses of their smartphones only to take photos and videos to share online?