I find it very interesting the amount of comments that I get about my 365 project… I love how all my clients know my kiddos names and what have we been doing.. it totally breaks the ice to start talking about it when we are first meeting at a session. I get questions about it all the time so I decided to put a little FAQ post together about it, hoping it not only will answer your questions but inspire you to do your own project.
~ I’m a super busy mommy, housewife and business girl… most of the days I barely have time to breath. The year of 2009 was when my business crazy exploded and at the end of the year I realized that while I had taken pictures of the kiddos during special occasions (first day of school, Christmas, etc) I didn’t have any pictures of them just being them. To be honest it made me sad and mad. It was because of them that I got so deep into photography and now I wasn’t taking their pictures.
I used to follow a lot of people doing the 365 project on flickr.com and always had been jealous about their determination and ability to find the pretty in the daily routine. I had way too many excuses to NOT do a project like this (having little kids was one of them)… but after realizing I had a hand full of picture of the loves of my life I knew something had to change. During a long drive back home on January 1st, 2010. I look back in the van and saw my kiddos each doing their own thing, I quickly grabbed my camera and snapped a picture. Right then I knew MY 365 project had begun, my biggest inspiration was having my kiddos so little… they were growing fast and I don’t want to miss a thing.
our first 365 picture. January 1st, 2010. I love how Allison is totally out, Vincent is talking to himself and baby Dominic has tears coming down. A long drive from Texas to home.
* What inspires me?
~ My kiddos. They are growing fast, so fast it hurts. I look at them and think of the future, once they are gone to their own lives and it physically hurts me to know how much I’ll miss them. I try to focus now on the things that I want to remember and that’s what I photograph.
* Do you carry your camera with you all the time?
~ YES!!!… When I first started I didn’t and I used to do a lot of iphone shots.. it worked but soon I wanted more. It took a little bit to get used to the camera, but now it’s just part of us.
* How do you protect your camera on the go?
~ I’m bad here, I really don’t do anything special. I don’t use my work camera for my 365 project though so my main business camera is always safe. That gives me a little bit of flexibility and not to stress about the camera too much. I have a good camera strap and just hang it from my neck.
here we are trying clothes at the mall.
* What lens do you use?
~ I shoot with a Cannon 24mm f1.4 L. It’s small, it’s light and I love the wide angle. It lets me grab soo much of the scene. I ocassionally use the 50mm f1.4 when I need a bit of a change.. :)
* It looks like you always have so much fun! my life is just routine.
~ Ha!… ok, I have a very boring routine and we pretty much do the same every day. Wake up at the same time, ship the kiddos to school, work, work, work, home work, dinner, play time, bed time. Every day is the same, I’d call that a routine for sure! And that’s the challenge with the project, to find in the routine the little things that keep you going. When I’m in a route I just plan for different play time ideas… we go to different places (a new park, explore something that we haven’t, or do a new never done craft)… the project actually has made me a better mommy too.. I guess the obsession to have the pictures has pushed me to be creative with them. To do more with them, to let them be kids a bit more… In the name of photography I’ve let them jump on the bed, jump in puddles, fill up the kiddo pool in the backyard with bubbles, make more messes, run with the shopping cart at the grocery store, etc… seriously it has made me a more “fun” mommy and they love love love it!..
the day I emptied a bottle of bubbles in their pool..
* Can you tell us how you keep your kids from running away or giving you stink faces or fake smiles when you try to take their pictures? I’d love to know more about how you approach your 365 and keeping the kids from getting burned out on being in your pics?
~ I take pictures, ALL the time… that’s the best medicine to silly faces, to grumpy kids in front of the camera. They really are SO used to the camera that they don’t care about it anymore.. if they are doing something “cool” they actually ASK me to take their pictures. The more pictures I take, the less they care about it. Vincent has asked me why I always have to take pictures of everything and I explain to him because I want to remember stuff and that leaves him satisfied. He doesn’t complain about it, he’s curious. Also I almost never ask them to stop what they are doing to be photographed.. so they don’t realize I’m taking the picture… that means they can’t do a silly face or run away.
* How do you organize your personal photos?
~ I do 2 monthly folders, one with the SOOC pictures and one with the pictures that I’ll edit. It makes it very easy to go back to an specific picture in that way and it keeps me organized. I back up my pictures to external hard drives in regular basis.
* Can you give us some tips?
~ Take a picture early in the morning, whatever crosses your path. (sleepy face, bed hair, their outfit of the day, their breakfast, etc) if the day goes to fast you’ve taken a picture already.
~ Have a camera with you at all times. iPhone shots count too!
~ Don’t focus on getting THE picture, it’s about the moment!
~ Invest in a remote control. YOU are an important part of the project and you need to be in it too.
~ Have fun with it.
* What did you do with your pictures at the end of the year of 2010?
~ I made a 12×12 book with all of them.. we all love it! You can see here in the post how I did it.
And I think that’s all I have now.. I hope it answers your questions about it and the most important it inspires you to do your own.. You don’t have to be a pro photographer, you don’t have to start on January 1st, you really just have to do it. It gets easier and easier everyday. I usually take more than just one picture a day and that’s how I started a blog/diary with all the pictures.. Check: www.grethelvanepps365days.com for more everyday pictures!. I look at the pictures and I always always get a smile, the kiddos LOVE to look at their book now.. I can only imagine what they’ll feel when they are older or when they show it to their kids. I’m very happy that I’m doing this and while I don’t know for how long I’ll keep doing it I know I wont be stopping any time soon.. :)