Want a creativity exercise that not only helps improve your photography skills but also helps you capture memories that you'll treasure? Then you'll love doing a "Day in Your Life" Project!
Before I get into how to carry out this creativity exercise, I want to let you know that this is the first of a series of "challenges" that I'll be sharing right here on the blog, every month for 2017. So, if you like the idea of a monthly short project, make sure you come back at the start of every month for your assignment. (Read on the end of the post to see what to do for this one for January!)
What is a Day in Your Life Project?
A Day In Your Life Project is a pretty simple concept - you take images throughout the day for one whole day, from beginning to end, and capture the everyday moments that take place within it.
There's no set times you have to take pictures, or images that you MUST take, just pick up your camera and get shooting! If you feel you work better with structure, aim to to take an image every hour or so.
The goal is simply to document your day, and try to get a wide, varied range of pictures as you go along. Because you are shooting for an extended period of time, you will find that you get into a creative groove, and start naturally thinking of new and different ways to take your shots.
Before we get to some tips for making the most of your day in the life project, let me tell you about a little freebie I have for you 😃. I've created a little collage template where you can place your favourite images from your "day in the life" shoot. There is a template for both Lightroom and Photoshop, so you are covered whichever you use. You can download the templates by clicking on the link below.
Now that we know what the Day in the Life Project is, here are some tips to help you make the most out of this creativity exercise.
1. Explore Light
One of the benefits of shooting over an entire day is that you will naturally end up shooting in different kinds of light. Perhaps by low light in the morning, cloudy in the afternoon, sunny at the park, and by household lamps at night. Try to make sure that you do shoot in different light (even if you haven't done so before) so that you can start to practice with new or more challenging types of light, and also get a good range of images from your day!
You can also to make note of how the light looks in different rooms in your house at different times for future reference, so it's a great exercise is learning how the light "works" in your home.
2. Capture Routines
I know that many of us only take our camera out when we are going on big outings, or at milestones such as birthdays or christmas, but we can sometimes fall short when trying to capture just ordinary day to day moments. As these can be the moments that you will treasure most in years to come, it makes sense to try to document these too.
When capturing your day, think about the routines and everyday rituals that your family has, big and small, and make sure that you capture them. If you feel that it is important to catch a particular moment or ritual, I suggest that make a quick note of some of the moments that you feel is important to capture, just to make sure that you remember to get them! I'm an organiser by nature, so I like having a bit of a game plan before I start 😀
3. Take Your Camera EVERYWHERE
Something that I don't do often is take my big camera out in public to "everyday" places, like the coffee shop or the market. Photographing a day in the life can force / encourage you to take your camera with you to places that you might never thought of doing so before - and you might get some images that you would never have previously considered.
My advice is to pack a camera bag the night before with everything you might need so you are ready to just grab it whenever you head out the door for the day. I pack it with money, cards, etc so that it is my main bag for the day.
However, if you don't want to take your big camera with you (or it's just impractical for whatever reason) most phones these days have a pretty decent camera on them, so feel free to use that instead! It can be more challenging to take images with just your iphone, but that can also be a good thing when you are shooting for a whole day.
it doesn't matter so much which you use, but more that you make sure you have a camera with you at all times - I love this image below, even though it was captured with my iPhone rather than my "big girl" camera.
This is something that happens to us all - when shooting at home we end up taking pictures in the same rooms and from the same vantage points. If you are shooting a day in your life I encourage you to use this as an opportunity to shoot in rooms you never thought of before, and to shoot in different ways!
Think about how you can change your shooting angle so that you can get a different vantage point or use light differently. Have a look around you and see if you can use any of your furniture or other elements to create leading lines or frame your subject. You could even play with using different lenses - shooting with a longer length lens indoors or a ultra wide angle for a portrait type shot. When you are taking loads of images it's a great excuse to play!
Your Creativity Exercise Challenge!
Why not make it your goal for January to shoot your own Day in Your Life? You can either choose a day at random, or plan for a specific day (I prefer to plan so it will get done but it's up to you!) and capture all the moments from beginning to end, no matter how small or insignificant.
Why not also create a collage for your images? To make this super easy for you, you can download a free template just by clicking on the image below. (There is a template for both Lightroom and Photoshop there, but If you don't have either of those, don't feel left out: you can create a collage using Canva too)
I’d love it if you could shareyour images on Instagram - use the hashtag #livesnaplove so I can find you, and you can find each other!
P.S If you are not sure how to install a Lightroom template, you can watch the video below that will show you how to do it. If you need help with using Photoshop templates, click here.