This is one of those projects I had to force myself to finish. It was certainly not as “inspired” as 30 Days of Thankful or Me: the Abridged Version was. But I LOVE this album. And I think the negative aspects of my experience in making it was a valuable lesson on mindset and how it changes the course of your experience.
And before you see all the pretty pictures, let’s discuss – for a moment – what the wrong attitude is when it comes to investing in your creative outlets.
First – allow me to set the stage. It’s December in New England – a very dark, cold, grey time of year. Everyone is generally grumpy and unexcited (which is why I wrote this post on battling grey days). This is the time of year when people do a large portion of their complaining.
To be fair, there just isn’t enough sun. The days are too short and even when we do see it, it’s a dim, low-set sunlight. Terrible for replenishing your vitamin-D and terrible for photographs. Which is why I was grumpy.
When you think of your favorite pictures – aesthetically – indoor, low-light photos are generally not anyone’s favorite. Even worse, if you’re using a camera phone they’re probably really grainy and really blurry.
With so little sunlight, there is a very short period of time where you can capitalize on natural light in your photos. So short, in fact, that many days I “miss” my photo window altogether because of things like “lunch” and “laundry”. And that means most of my pictures were dim, dark, grainy, and blurry.
I’ll admit – I was worried about how the album would turn out. And I nearly abandoned it several times. But I just had to get one more digital app album in before the end of the year. And, besides, have you seen all of the gorgeous albums on the #decemberdaily instagram feed?!
Also, I’m just going to call myself out right here: I definitely put unnecessary performance pressure on myself to make it ‘good enough’ because I’m on the Project Life Creative Team this year. I didn’t want to disappoint on my first album after the announcement – especially for something silly like the earth’s tilt on its axis.
And I caught myself – stressing out about a photo album. A photo album.
So I dropped it. For a few weeks. And re-assessed around Christmas. I didn’t need to make the album. And, if I wasn’t enjoying it – why bother? After all, the whole point of picking a creative hobby is to enjoy it.
Then I discovered the Merry & Bright and Hello December Kits on the Project Life App. And everything was sunny and happy in my little memory-keeper world once again. Because they’re beautiful kits. And I love working with them.
So I’m just going to finalize this little story with a few important points:
- Do not stress about the outcomes of your creative outlets. They are outlets to escape the stress, not develop it.
- Inspiration comes most often (for me) when you’re working with beautiful products. If you don’t like what you’re working with, you probably won’t like the outcome either. That’s when I decide whether to change the approach or just drop it.
- It’s okay to change your plan. My pictures were not to the standard I would like, so I made them smaller. I added white space. And I used a smaller display so their low quality isn’t so obvious.
It’s easy to lose yourself in the pursuit of perfect. Just remember why you’re doing it in the first place. Photos and words and memories come in so many different forms. Appreciate the process and don’t stress about the perfect – because perfect doesn’t exist.
iPhone Apps Used
- Project Life App.
- Rhonna Designs App.
- PicTapGo App.
- A Beautiful Mess App.
- Collect Photo App.
About half of the photos were taken with my iPhone, the other half with my DSLR. I collected all of the photos on my desktop and placed my favorites in Dropbox. If they required editing, I used the PicTapGo App.
I then uploaded them to the Collect Photo App and added a few words.
About halfway through the month, I exported the photos from Collect Photo App onto my iPhone and from there uploaded them into the Project Life App. I placed all of my digital cards that were not in the app on Dropbox, in a separate folder, and uploaded them as needed.
The whole process can be really quick if you have the right mindset – which is why I offered the story of my experience. Don’t be like me – just make the album!
December Daily Album using the Project Life App
Album: Two Page View
See? It all works out if you let it. Hope your holidays were bright & merry!!