One of my top priorities is surrounding myself and the people I love with a space that is beautiful and reflects who we are and the things that are most important to us. This can mean choosing the right couch for lounging and naps, making the bathroom sparkle, or displaying photos of family and friends.
One challenge I often run into is that after a few months of looking at the same photos on the walls, things get a little stale and we don’t get that same shot of happy energy when we walk in the door. Here are a few tips for when to take out your camera, easy ways to print and process photos, and fun prompts and projects to get you started.
Capturing “the right now”
It’s been a problem for a while that the only photos we have of us are from our wedding, so we’ve been making the extra effort to take photos at big events (Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve), but also on little outings that have become traditions for us as a couple. Heading out to satisfy a Saturday night dumpling craving? Grab a photo outside while you’re waiting for the train to pull in. These are some of my favorite shots of us because A, I’m always wearing fresh lipstick, and B, they give a real peek into what life is like for us at this young couple, pre-kids stage.
Make it an event
I’m a huge believer that a beautiful photo makes you see yourself in a whole new way. Just like the photos we barely see because they’ve been hanging on the walls for so long, we get used to our own faces, our own everyday routines, even our own internal monologues about how we appear to the world.
Once in a while, schedule a little photo shoot. It can be a self-timer on a tripod, an artsy friend who would love to style you and take photos out in the snow, or a professional photographer in a neighborhood you love. Wear a color that makes you feel gorgeous, do some festive makeup, and make an occasion out of it. You’ll come out with photos that can alter your perspective, make you happy every time you see them, and you can show the next generation how happy and in love with life you were in 2014.
Prompts and projects
Some of us need a little structure when we’re trying to get more creative. Give yourself a theme for the month, like “30 Days of Grateful”, and challenge yourself to take one photo a day of something you are thankful for. My husband and I did this together in November, and it was an amazing collaborative experience for us. Think of different themes: a day in your life, parties you throw, selfies, your baby napping, road trip diaries, beautiful things you find on the beach. At the end of the month, publish a little Artifact Uprising book. For under $20, you get a perfect little chronicle of your photography. I can’t wait to have a whole series of these lined up on our book shelf.
Upload to CVS or Walgreens and pick them up the same day. It’s convenient, the quality is decent, and it doesn’t get easier or cheaper. Some things should require very little effort, and I love getting pictures into frames as quickly as possible.
Getting photos into your daily life
British domestic goddess, Rita Konig, is a big fan of getting photos into your world without a lot of pomp or formality. Her apartment is full of unframed photos stuck in corners, piles of books, amazing fabrics, and bright art. Just a wonderful reminder not to wait until you can afford custom photo mats or orchestrate elaborate displays. Just surround yourself with people and things you love.