I’m participating in The Nester’s 31 Days Challenge, so for the month of October I’ll be writing each day about 31 Days of Christmas: plan a little now to enjoy it more later. You can see all of the posts here.
As simple as it may sound, one of the things that I really want to be more intentional about this Christmas is taking pictures. I have almost no pictures from last Christmas and I really don’t want that to be the case again this year. I want to capture the special moments so that we can treasure them in the future as well as share them with others.
I’ve realized that taking pictures helps ground me and keep me in the present. The act reminds me that these moments are precious and worth holding onto because (at least in my mind) when I stop to take a picture, I’m acknowledging that it’s a valuable event. For example, when Matt and I go pick out our Christmas tree I can choose to see it as a task that we’re completing or I can choose to see it as a memory that we’re making. Taking a few seconds to snap pictures helps the memory live on – not just on the memory card but in my heart and mind as well.
Don’t get me wrong… I don’t want to be obsessed with getting perfect pictures or to be so busy snapping away with my iPhone that I’m not fully present in the moment. If you see me doing that, please stop me. I just want to move towards intentionally collecting snapshots that will help us remember our special Christmas.
One thing that I think has helped me already this year is a journaling app called Day One. I downloaded it from iTunes this summer and I’ve loved using it ever since! (Quick side note – I’m not being sponsored by Day One. I just like the app and I wanted to share.) I can create an entry (or entries) each day with text and photos, and Day One stores and organizes them. I can export the entries, email them to myself, or look at them within the app – one at a time, on a calendar, in a timeline, or in a photo album. Here are a few screenshots –
One day at a time
Photo album view
Over the last few months, this app has helped me develop the habit of writing down at least the highlights from each day and I have definitely been snapping more pictures with my iPhone to remember favorite moments. Having these pictures and narratives makes it easier to write about the highlights of my week in my High Five for Friday posts. I’ve also found that it’s fun to save screenshots of text messages, favorite emails, etc. to use as the “picture” to remember certain events. Like my text message to Matt after I got featured on Tuesdays at Ten June back in August –
I have another idea to help me take more pictures, but it’s obvious and far from earth-shattering – I’m going to set our camera out where I can see it everyday. Right now we keep it in a basket on the bookshelf in the office, so it’s definitely an “out of sight, out of mind” situation. I’ve already told Matt that from Thanksgiving through New Year’s I’m planning on stashing the camera on the bench by the front door so I’ll be reminded to grab it when we set out for Christmas get-togethers or to do activities on our “don’t miss list” (like picking out our Christmas tree).
So I plan on toting the camera around more than usual this Christmas. And I’m optimistic that I will be more proactive and capable in capturing moments (in photos and text) because of the habits I’ve been developing this fall. I don’t expect perfect pictures because we’re not perfect people 🙂 but I do want to be more fully present in the moment, and to see each moment as precious and worth capturing.
How about y’all? Do you have certain Christmas pictures that you take every year? If you’re interested, here are a few sites about Christmas photography that I’ve bookmarked to read later –
- 10 Tips for Better Christmas Photos
- How to Take Memorable Christmas Day Photos
- 12 Photo Tips for Christmas
- How to Photograph Christmas Lights
- Christmas Tree Photography