Lessons Learned

I am once again taking shimelle’s Learn Something New Everyday class this month. This is my 3rd year doing it and my first lesson learned was

“Lowered Expectations are not Necessarily a Bad Thing”

I’m not going to do a layout of a lesson every day. It’s never happened and probably it never will. My priorities and lifestyle do not allow for a layout a day, even if I give myself all of October to complete those layouts. I can just about pull it off for Journal Your Christmas but that is more focused than LSNED.

I’m not going to do a photo a day of the lessons I learned. Should the lessons coincide with a photo, great, bonus for me, but I am already 249 days into my 365 Photo project and after 3 years of 365 projects I am perilously close to burnt out on photos (see next lesson) so I am going to be low key on taking even more photos.

I am going to journal every lesson.

In a notebook.

I know. How low tech can you be?

It’s not even decorated or doodled in. It’s just the $1 notepad on my desk by my computer.

But I write constantly in it, all day long. To do lists, to call lists, random thoughts, ideas for layouts, ideas for posts, things I want to buy, books I want to read. Adding the lesson I learned & my thoughts on it is easy, intuitive and what I have been doing for 3 years anyway. This year I decided to take the pressure off of creating & publishing it. It’s in the notebook. Good enough.

Many will make good blog posts, like this one, some will have accompanying photos, some many even become layouts. And I can merge all of them into a photo book when I feel motivated to do so.

My next lesson was

“There is Such a Thing as Too Many Photos”

Really. There is. I know this is heresy to scrapbookers but after spending a weekend editing and backing up 6 months of photos it is clear I take too damn many pictures.

Part of it is understandable, the urge to document is strong; the need to take multiple shots so you can pick the ‘best one’; with a DSLR there is the need to adjust your exposure & aperture & take a variety of shots with different ones, especially if you are learning about these things; there is the ease of holding the button down and firing off multiple shots with no effort. Then there is the 365 project which is not to TAKE one photo a day but to CHOOSE one photo a day to represent your day. You can take dozens that day if you feel like it, then pick the best, which is what I have had a tendency to do.

The rest of it is just overkill in my mind. I’ve had my D40 almost two years now. Taking 20 shots of the same thing at various angles is a bad habit I let myself get into & I am breaking it now. If I can’t get a clear decent shot in 4-5 snaps (and the vast majority of my photos are candid shots), maybe I’m just not meant to get that shot & just how many photos of my 7 year old on a swing do I actually need? 

Just because I can take a kajillion photos doesn’t mean I *should*.

DH & the demons went camping this weekend. They did not ask about & I did not give them a camera to take with them. Failure to document one camping trip is not the end of the world.

Though I admit my hands are a bit shaky when I think about it. What if Havoc goes fishing & catches a snake? That would be such a great photo for a layout. What if Mayhem gets stuck up in a tree? There will be NO evidence of it. I need a photo for a blog post about it.

Photography withdrawal.

It’s a sad thing

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9 comments to Lessons Learned

  • Scrapdreams

    Kudos to you for recognizing your limitations and doing this class in a way that works for you! And I agree on the photos – I have taken about 150 so far of the baby dove outside my bedroom window – just trying to get ONE really good shot!

  • Carrie

    Good for you for doing what works & not putting extra pressure on yourself – supposed to stay fun! I'm trying to do the pages – last year didn't get very far, we'll see what happens this year. lol

  • Mel

    Poor you! How are the withdrawal symptoms now?

    (After coming back from an 11-night stay with nearly 1000 photos I did think I maybe need to cut down a bit…)

    I love the approach you've chosen for LSNED, great call xx

  • SciFi Dad

    Yes, photography withdrawal is something I am all too familiar with. Every time I make a backup I say the same things you said, but then I come to a month where we tried to be conservative, and I think, "Jeez, did NOTHING happen this month?"

  • Darcy

    Totally get what you mean about being shaky about not having a camera available at all opportunities. But I got over the fact of too many photos by giving myself permission to delete heavily. I may take 10 or 12 shots just to make sure I got one, but then it's okay to delete 11 of those shots and not edit them all trying to find the right one. It's been ingrained in me so long to capture EVERY moment that I do freak when I haven't caught it. But that's okay. My children will not be lacking in their lives. I'll have one less 'layout' to feel guilty about not scrapping, and I might have actually enjoyed that moment with them instead of stood behind the camera during that moment. It can be freeing!

    And btw..do you now how awesome that journal is going to be?!

  • Kai

    I completely agree with your lessons learned! I have tons and tons and tons of photos I've never organized. They are all in a folder on my computer hard drive labeled something like "camera photos to organize" and I have several of those photos. I am also not a swift scrapbooker so there is no way I have ever caught up, nor will I be caught up. There are recent events where I have said, "I forgot my camera" and felt a bit of a pang of guilt, but also a sense of freedom. Sometimes to really experience something, you need to do it without a camera lens between you and the occurrence. I learned that from Michael J. Fox, believe it or not. :)

  • Casey-moosh in indy.

    I modified my 365 to end the year with 365 photos I love. Because I'm much more likely to take three photos I love in one day that when I force myself to take a photo everyday.
    And WORD. There is such a thing as too many pictures. The delete button on my camera is my friend. If I never see it big I'll never have to hem and haw over keeping it or not.

  • Andrea Chamberlain

    OMG, I am so with you on the photos thing. I have to take at least three photos of everything, just in case. And then I don't even delete the ones that are blurry or over/under exposed because I always think "hey, that would make for a really cool artsy layout" but do I ever actually make the layout? No.

  • Rinda1961

    I realized many of the same things when I was putting away the 100+ layouts I made over the last 9 months or so. My albums are bursting; my bookshelves are bursting. I need to stop the madness.
    Rinda