Lesson 09 | Too Many or Too Few Photos
Hi guys and welcome to the next to last lesson! This class would not be complete without talking about the particular challenge of having too many or too few photos in a week. So let’s talk about that a while!
One of the reasons I wanted to create this class is because I hear from people all the time that they feel like they can’t do Project Life or pocket page albums for such and such a reason. I have shared some of those reasons all along in this class and I hope I have helped you work through some of your own hesitations. One of the most frequent fears I hear is that people are afraid they won’t take enough photos, or that they take too many in order to be a successful pocket page memory keeper. I often think those fears might be based on what we think this project should be, and fear of not meeting that expectation. So first, let’s ball up the sheet of expectations and just pitch that right on out the window.
This project can and should be absolutely what you want it to be, and what makes you feel accomplished by it.”
The flexibility of pocket pages is endless, and that really is the lovely part, isn’t it? There are so many pocket page layouts and so many different ways to get your photos + stories into your albums, and all of it is beautiful! So I want you to give yourself permission to use any pocket page layout you like, any size, for any week at all.
I also want you to give yourself permission to skip weeks. I have weeks in the last five years that are not included in my albums, in case you are wondering! My reasons for leaving a week out might include illness, busy-ness, and even grief. Some weeks we are sick, some weeks everyone in the family is sick. It is ok to skip those weeks. Sometimes I admit that the week flies by because we are so crazy busy all over the place, and at the end of the week I look in my camera roll and there are all of three photos! And I really want us to allow ourselves the chance to be sad, to be with our families, and to properly grieve when there are losses. Grief is a part of my life, having lost all parents and grandparents, and so there truly are weeks where words fail.
However, if we skip all the weeks where we feel like we don’t meet some unwritten expectation, then we might not have any completed albums. So let’s strategize the ways we can work with what we have! These are all ways that I have tackled these issues in the past. Many of them are probably familiar to you!
Too Many Photos:
I have spoken several times in this class about the idea of representing our lives, especially when going back and doing previous years. Over the years details get lost, we aren’t able to include the same details in a past year as we are when we are working on a current year, all of those things are just how life is. So begin working with the concept that your layouts can represent what life was like in that time period, and choose photos that represent that. Now, there is always the option of doing more detailed layouts later or in another format or another album, so the more detailed stories (and the eons of photos!) can go in other albums. What works incredibly well for me is to pick out four or five major things about that particular experience, and then choose photos to reflect those five things. In the end this album is about our overall life and we can do whatever it is that keeps us in the game.
I have become increasingly aware as I work on our kids’ albums, how our Project Life albums become almost like a card catalog. As I go through albums from previous years, I can find the significant events of our kids’ lives, and pull out more detailed stories for their personal albums. One photo from one week might spark a story that needs to be told in another album. Always remember that over the period of a year, having 45 layouts from any particular year is its own special kind of detail (yay!) so let this help you relax in doing these pages. I also am the type of person who gets overwhelmed with lots of details, so for me it is important to let this go. Not every photo and not every story has to be included in these albums, my friends.
Too Few Photos:
Ah, this is a tough one, isn’t it? I am with you! I feel the pressures too, and have found several different ways to work with it. Perhaps one of the toughest expectations of Project Life is this idea that every week has to have a full two-page spread for every week of the year. We have already given ourselves permission to not have 52 weeks, so now let’s give ourselves permission to have a single page layout when that is all we have photos for! I have done this quite a lot, and when there are several weeks in a row that are short on photos I put them side by side. I have also joined two weeks together in the same two page layout.
One of my favorite techniques that I really came to love in the Project Life App was to use layouts that included larger photos. I shared some of my favorites in the video chat, even though this isn’t really an app class, because that is a great strategy to include a larger photo that serves as a focal point in your layout. If you don’t like the Project Life App, you can always use a Fuse tool to create your own pocket pages as well. In fact, this may be something we explore in greater detail in the next In My Pocket class, because I can see a lot of potential for this idea – using our Fuse tool to include larger photos in pocket pages. Fun! You can also see some of the Simple Stories pocket pages with larger photos in my 2018 album layouts.
I hope these strategies have been helpful for you! Most importantly, I want you to feel empowered to create however you are inspired to create, with no guilt or unmet expectations. Time for process videos!