Guest Post: How I Document My Days & Record Family Memories

I'm so excited to have a wonderful photographer and friend share with us on the blog today! Estelle is a mum of 3 who loves to photograph her family and their everyday life, and creates beautiful albums with her images using Project Life.  I so love this idea as a way of recording memories and using lifestyle images, that I asked her to tell me how she does it: the result is this blog post! Over to Estelle….

I am chief memory-keeper in my household. It's me who takes photos with my DSLR every day (I'm in my second year of 'a picture a day' 365 project). It's me who has a phone full of photos and it's me who can't bear to throw away cinema stubs, little notes from the kids and who jots down cute things the kids have said that I am desperate to always remember.

To keep my beautiful memories together in one place, I 'do' Project Life! Project Life is a blend of traditional photo album with scrapbooking. There is the simplicity of pockets along with kits you can buy with filler cards to complement your photos - and best of all, no glue required! It's still a photo album so you can be organised but with room to let in a little of your personality!

All you need is an album, page protectors and filler cards. Project Life is a brand, so there are official versions of all of these items. (You can buy directly from Project Life or everything is also available on Amazon among other places) The album you choose should be a 12 x 12 D-ring album. Choose your page protectors carefully as they are available with a variety of pocket layouts, mostly to fit 4x6 and 2x3 inch photos. I stick to designs A and C as i mainly shoot landscape oriented photos. Take a look online to see what would suit you.

The Core Kits, are basically sets of 6x4 and 2x3 cards to use to complement your photos and for journalling. There are many kits to choose from and you can pick and choose a design to suit your style and there are also sets for special occasions like Christmas, baby boy, baby girl and school... I have the honey and kiwi editions.

To keep things simple, I always edit my DSLR photos in 6x4 ratio. This is so I know they will fit perfectly in the page protectors without having to trim them later.

I like to include photos taken on my iPhone. In fact, my face wouldn't feature in my album at all, if it weren't for all the selfies taken with my kids. I generally print my phone pics knowing that these will end up portrait orientation in the smaller 3x4 pockets of the page protectors.

I use two iPhone apps to get my phone pictures ready for this. Firstly, I use an app called 'Collect' (by The Lens Lab Pty Ltd - a free photo journal app) to add the date and a white border. You just open the app, import an image to the date it was taken, add a comment if you like and export it back to your camera roll. I then use a collage-app to put two 3x4 portrait photos side by side which can then be ordered as one 6x4 print that can be trimmed once printed.

You can work on Project Life as and when you feel like it. I tend to wait until I have a month or two to catch up with. Once I have ordered my prints, I make sure they are in chronological order. Then, I always enlist the help of my middle daughter who does a lot of the journalling - writing little memories and explanations to put in the pockets next to some of the photos. I like to keep notes on my iPhone with the dates so that things don't get forgotten by the time it comes to catch up with my album. It really doesn't take too long once we get going.

Project Life is YOURS so there's no right or wrong way to do it. My albums tend to be photo heavy and I use the filler cards sparingly to break things up a little rather than to be the focus of the album. Having said that, I have seen the most stunning albums out there that are much more filler-card and journalling heavy.

For me, the important thing is that i keep it up and it stays a fun thing to do one day every couple of months or for an hour here and there... i find it's very easy to pick up and put down as and when i have time. It can be quite expensive but because I'm ordering photos and page protectors throughout the year, it feels more affordable and manageable than preparing and ordering a mamouth photo-book once a year through a print lab.

When I show friends and family, they always comment on how nice it is to actually look through a photo album because people don't print their photos as much nowadays. My absolute favourite thing is when my children get out the album to take a look.

This post was written by a guest poster for Live Snap Love. If you are interested in writing a guest post, I'd love to hear from you!  Please get in touch with your idea using the contact form - thank you!