I wish I could share a detailed step by step process of how I've come to a final conclusion, but really it's just been all these thoughts running around in my head and a ton of soul searching. In addition, I did take some time to go back review and flip through the projects I've done over the years - journals, annual pocket page albums, travelers notebooks, mini albums and photobooks.
Five things stood out to me:
1.| The projects that I loved the most were printed photobooks. My photobooks visually appealed to me and incited joy. They're so gorgeous. I love how they look when arranged on my shelf. I enjoy the mix of text and pictures and the coordinated feel of a finished product. I also felt there was more a focus on the stories with the simple, consolidated concept of a book. Blurb is one of my favorite places to print from.
2.| My journals really tugged at my heart strings. I found a certain pride that I was able to digitally journal on a regular basis last year using Google Docs. That is the first full year I've keep a journal since I was in high school and it felt so good. I plan to print my journal through this company.
3.| There was an over abundance of photos in my pocket page albums. Don't get me wrong, I love that my albums are bursting at the seams... I don't not plan to take less photos, I just plan to take photos that tell better stories. I could easily have cut down some bulk by choosing key photos and telling stories with words instead of extra photos. All those extras will be stored digitally. (Note: Since I print through a lab, I also reviewed just how many EXTRA photos I had printed that never made it into albums because they were too similar or not the right "tone" to match my other photos.)
4.| My style has evolved over the years. Obviously, that is so typical of anyone immersed in this creative community. We see things we like created by others that influence our style or we jump on a proverbial band wagon and adopt a new trend. I feel like I've tried it all... And I don't necessarily love it all (for ex. traditional scrapbook pages or 12x12 pocket page spreads). I'm glad to have finally found what I like best and totally plan to stick with those tings for my main projects. I'll still try new things, just on a smaller scale.
5.| An annual video project was very gratifying. On New Year's Eve, hubby and I stayed home, curled up in a blanket on the couch and watched nearly three hours of our annual video from 2016. It brought us so much joy to experience the movement, sounds, sights and people of our year all over again. I promise, we laughed and we cried.
With finally sitting down and thinking through the changes in the ways I've documented over the years and what really fits my personality, my schedule and my style - I've decided for 2017, I'll be more intentional about what I photos I take and what photos I print. I will take lots of videos and capture the sights, sounds and people in our lives. I will put our everyday photos in pocket pages but be careful not to overdo it. I will tell more stories. I will put my photography into photobooks to be displayed. I will create with the end result in mind. I will focus on collections of stories. I will consolidate, simplify and spend more time making memories than documenting them. I will push my creativity in ways I haven't before by limiting myself. I will save more money by buying less product. I will create projects with depth and meaning. I will enjoy every moment of it.