Happy New Year!!

January is a time for new beginnings, and for us digital scrapbookers, that often that translates into new projects. And January is the perfect time to start a new Day2Day project, right? I have started and failed more Day2Day albums than I care to confess, but I am happy to report that 2016 and 2017 projects are done and dusted! I am so happy that I finished them, because I love to look over my year and share it with my family. I can imagine looking at these books in 10, 20 years time and the memories will come flooding back. It’s a visual diary of who I am and what my life is like right here, right now. What I do, where I go, who I spend my time with, what makes me laugh, what I see in my ordinary everyday life.

There has been a lot of buzz about the Day2Day project this year. The new Facebook group (Forever Day2Day Project) is hopping and the Pre-Designed Templates from FOREVER make it so easy to create a book.  But the challenge of taking a photo every day for a year can seem a bit daunting, and I have noticed a lot of questions from people wondering how to stay motivated and whether they will run out of ideas. I admit that living as an ex-pat means more photo ops in exotic and interesting places. But I also work full time and sometimes I go for days without leaving my apartment. In between my travels, I still have to find photos to take, just like if I was living in my own home. So I totally get it.

I’ve been thinking about the “ordinary” photos that fill my books – not the interesting foreign countries or cultural experiences, but the rest of the photos, the ones that more accurately reflect my real life. I thought a list of photo ideas for those days when there’s nothing happening and you think you have nothing to photograph might be useful. Here is my list:

  • hobbies – your current unfinished quilt or knitting or drawing or model building …
  • clouds, rain, fog and other weather patterns
  • sunsets & sunrises
  • things you buy for your house, and things you’ve had forever and cherish
  • cooking triumphs & disasters (the disasters will make you smile one day)
  • food (of course)
  • things that go hilariously wrong (like the day I left the room while I was printing something and came back to find paper all over the floor!)
  • flowers – in gardens & flower boxes, in vases, real & artificial
  • construction projects near where you live or work – take a photo every few months and see the progress
  • shadows & reflections
  • friends & family & random people you meet or spend time with
  • your every day rituals – what you have for breakfast, or your favourite coffee spot. They seem ordinary but these will be the photos that tell about who you are in the future.
  • screenshots of your weather app on days that are very hot or very cold or otherwise stand out
  • books – the cover of the book you are currently reading, the pile of books next to your bed you are hoping to get to, your Bible open to a favourite chapter
  • the view outside your window at different times of the day and different seasons
  • bugs & creepy crawlies – take a photo before screaming next time you see a spider 🙂
  • gifts – things you have been given, things you bought to give away
  • quirky or unusual street signs
  • in fact anything quirky that makes you smile
  • the supermarket is a great source of photo ops – interesting fruits and veg, patterns of products neatly arranged, new products – looking over my 2017 book there are a rather large number of photos taken in the supermarket
  • mall decorations & art works
  • birds
  • pets, of course
  • your home town
  • other people’s photos that they sent you (or that you saw on Facebook) – it’s OK to use other people’s pics (with permission of course) if they relate to your life somehow.
  • a bowl of fruit
  • if you saw a movie you loved, download an image of the movie poster or a scene from the film
  • graffiti (only the nice stuff)
  • seasonal decorations in the streets
  • water droplets
  • snow & ice
  • look for details, patterns, shapes in anything, get in close to everyday items
  • rust and decay
  • new shoes
  • footprints
  • ornaments or knickknacks that mean something to you
  • things on your desk, in your purse, in your kitchen drawers

This is what I have come up with so far – I’d love to hear your suggestions too!!

One last suggestion before I sign off – cheating is allowed! I guarantee there will be days when you just don’t remember to take a picture. You can just leave a space in your album, or fill the photo slot with paper or text. But it’s also OK to take two photos the next day and use one of those for the missing day. In the future you won’t remember exactly what day you took any given photo. Don’t even feel you have to journal that you cheated. No-one else will know, and you yourself won’t even remember that you “fudged”.

Here are my completed 2016 & 2017 books. In them you’ll find lots of photos of exotic places – we have been able to travel a lot these past two years. But you’ll actually find more photos of the “ordinary” kind – and really, those are the ones that I treasure the most.

Tagged with →  
Share →

18 Responses to Blog: One Day at a Time

  1. Carol Smith says:


    Thanks for the blog! I have a couple of questions. Do you create (and attempt to complete) BOTH a Day2Day album AND say, an annual family album? I’m guessing the Day2Day does not replace an album of the same year that may have 2-page spreads of family gatherings, etc. If you do BOTH of these albums … what size are your Day2Day albums? Thanks Shelley! Great information!

    • Tameka says:

      Hello Carol. Sorry for the late reply. Shelley is not longer an official team member and she has been traveling. She does Day2Day in addition to her other projects. She also does her Day2Day and regular albums in 12×12 size.

  2. Jan says:

    One thing that is working for me this year (so far!) is to make a list of possible photos I could take based on the theme for that week. I don’t always take those exact shots, but it gets me thinking about things.

  3. Carolyn Carroll says:

    The Day2Day project covers a year; I assume it does NOT have to be the same year! I haven’t finished one entire year yet but one day I will. 😉

    • Shelley says:

      I have several years worth of started projects. My plan is to combine them into one book. Even though I didn’t finish a whole year there are still lots of memories!

  4. Corene DeHaan says:

    Okay. You have inspired me. I love taking pictures, but have gotten so caught up with the format of the album that I give up. i.e. trying to make the calendar fit the page. I see that you just put 7 pictures on a page 1-7, 8-14, etc. I am going to give it a go. Also, I got too hung up with the themes. I am too much of a “rule follower” and think the Day2Day police are going to knock on my door. Haha. Guess I will relax and enjoy the process this time.

  5. Your books are stunning! The list is great, too. It’s so easy to overlook the everyday things around you and your life in general.

  6. Eileen Donovan says:

    Shelley – thanks so much for your blog today. Your word have given me so much opportunity each day. I also so appreciate that the “simple” photograph can say so much.

  7. Sandy Norman says:

    I loved looking through your books and living vicariously through your photos Shelley. I’ve added a couple locations to my bucket list. It’s nice to see you have given yourself permission to deviate from a theme. I found myself doing that on a few pages in order to catch up and complete my 2017 book. I can’t wait for the 5th to order my book so I can take advantage of the sale. And so far my first week for 2018 is current. 😉

    • Shelley says:

      I love the themes, but they didn’t always fit with my nomadic life, so I decided to not to use them. I expect when we’re back in Sydney I might go back to themes, but who knows? 🙂

  8. Janice says:

    Your blog is fabulous Shelley! Thank you so much for writing about your Day2Day project and how you go about taking your photos. The list is wonderful for those that are wondering what they could possibly take photos of for an entire year!!! I don’t need to say it – but I will, your books are amazing!!!

  9. Judy Hill says:

    Thanks for the examples and explanations. I’m new to this idea of a picture a day. I do like to take photos and am going to give this a try this year.

  10. Johnnie says:

    Wow Shelley! What a great list! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this and your books are fabulous! This has created so many ideas buzzing in my head. I have finished my first Day2Day book this past year and have grown so much with my photography because of all the encouragement I’ve had from all the Pixies. It has been so much fun. Here’s to 2018 and the memories we all create!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.