A few years ago I started incorporating "themes" into my everyday documenting and I haven't looked back since! So what is theme documenting you ask?
At the beginning of the year I create a list of 10-12 theme ideas of things that I want to ensure I capture throughout the year. More often than not I work on one theme per month, but that's not always the case. Sometimes I'll skip a month, or sometimes I might document two themes in one month, flexibility is always key for me when it comes to documenting.
For my first theme of 2018 I picked "Winter". I live in Canada and weather is a pretty big deal up here. We get four very defined seasons, so each year I like to ensure my album captures each of them in some way.
The 4 reasons why documenting by themes works for me
1. It ensures I capture meaningful stories
Each theme holds a special importance to me and because of its importance it ensures I am capturing the stories that have the most meaning to me.
2. Keeps me motivated
Having a year's worth of story ideas listed out at the beginning of each year always keeps me motivated. I love check lists and I treat this list as one big "To Do". The list sits on my desk at all times so I see it each and every day, and it motivates me to stay on track and focused on my documenting.
3. Challenges my photography
When I begin a theme I make a list of photography ideas that will help me tell that story in the most creative and meaning way. I typically spend a day or two coming up with a list of photo ideas that capture the theme I am working on and from there I begin to photograph my collection of images which I will use to create my album pages.
4. Gives my album consistency
One of the biggest benefits I have found with documenting by themes is that it gives my album a consistent look. I can open a page anywhere in my book and all the images and stories on that page work together to tell one meaningful story.
With the "Winter" theme in mind I made my list of photo and story ideas that I wanted to capture. So for example, what's a Winter theme without photos of being outside enjoying the snow. My list included ideas like capturing the girls skiing or making a snowman; tobogganing, snowball fights and having fun in the snow creating snow angels also made the list,
My list of Winter photo ideas also included indoor activities like, playing board games or reading books. I also had things like capturing a pile of warm winter sweaters, a mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows, and a pile of winter coats and boots lined up at the front door.
There are so many fun possibilities that can capture what Winter looks like uniquely for you. Think about all the things you like to do inside and out in the middle of winter and make your list of story and photo ideas. The possibilities are truly endless!
Now that I have my Winter collection of photos taken and printed, my next step would be to pull my album pages together however, this past weekend my beloved printer died and I still don't have a replacement. As soon as I get my new printer and I am able to print the rest of my page pieces I will be back with a follow up post to this one, so please stay tuned.
Until then I was thinking about answering some of your other questions in my upcoming posts. So if you have anything you want to know, please just ask away!
Hope to see you soon!