100 Days of Summer Project
I love projects. I have many, many projects. So when I heard about a 100 Days of Summer in photographs, taking one a day from Memorial Day to Labor Day, I thought, of course! Sounds epic and fun. Sold!
Then, I took a breath, as is healthy for me, and thought about whether I was setting myself up for frustration. My eagerness to start projects doesn't always translate into successfully finishing projects. And that can lead to disappointment and annoyance with myself.
The goal is remembering. And organizing memories. One of my challenges is not a shortage of photos, it's finding the right photos. I puzzled ways that I could make the project work for me instead of against me. How could I use it to inspired instead of setting myself up for overwhelm.
How can we modify a project to work for us instead of against us?
Of course. If the goal is to save few images to remember the summer, we can make a project whatever we want. What helps the goal be more attainable?
The Intended Project: Take and Save and Photo a Day from Memorial Day to Labor Day. A great idea! And could inspire you just the way it sounds.
Change the number: Make it 50 Days of Summer or 30 Days of Summer. Trust me, in a few years, you will be glad to save any images in an easy-to-find way (more on that below).
Change the Frequency: It doesn't have to be once a day. Perhaps you save 2 or 3 or 5 from vacation, and skip a few midweek days (although those random days are good to document, too). Perhaps you aim for 100 total (or a different number).
Change the Intention: If summer doesn't inspire, maybe photos at the pool, or photos being bored at home, or photos of jumping into water. Whatever inspires you to pick up the camera. Speaking of...
Be flexible about gear: The photos don't need to be perfect. Or fancy. Or artsy. Simply document with what you have nearby. The memories matter.
Speaking of, for me, the challenge isn't taking the photos (I take many photos). The challenge is organizing the photos. Some ideas for sorting your project photos could be:
Keywords: I'm using this one in my lightroom catalog, adding a 100 Days of Summer keyword to image so I can search it later.
Hashtags: This can be a simple way to keep track of a project on social media accounts that use hashtags, like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Choose a hashtag specific to your family, such as #Jones100daysofsummer. Of course, if you don't share your last name on social media, choose a word or abbreviation specific to you. Check to be sure that your hashtag is not used already by going into the search function and entering your idea. If you have a matching hashtag, other families will mix into your collection. You can also add a year if you want to keep it specific to one year. Or just keep the hashtag going to see your summer memories thread like beads on a string over time.
Virtual Albums: On Facebook or Flickr, you can make a Summer Project album where photos are collected. This way you can find them later.
Slideshow: Use software to assemble your images into a slideshow that you can upload to YouTube or save for future sharing.
Real Life Album: Use the photos for a real life album to share in the future. What an concept!
While writing this, of course summer keeps happening, so I'm going to post before too much time passes. My next idea is ideas for summer memories. It seems like a long slow passing of time, until it's gone in a flash. As I look back on summers of the past with my kids, what is valuable to them? What did I wish I had documented more? And what is going to inspire me this summer?
Click here to see how my 100 Days of Summer project is going on Flickr. I'm trying to choose a good Instagram hashtag :)
For myself, I am not holding myself to a photo every day. Instead, my goal is to have 100 photos collected by the time nights cool down and school begins again. Let's save memories of these adventures.