Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fitting It All In - Get Those Photos Taken!

Hello there and happy Friday! Welcome back to the Fitting It All In series here at PurpleMailbox. If you missed the previous posts, you can check them out here:
So far, we have taken a look at our schedules, examined our priorities, set the plan in place and put the time to good use. But, this is all assuming we actually have photos at the ready to scrapbook! 

How on earth are we supposed to make sure we remember to take photographs so that we have them to scrapbook?

Please welcome the VERY talented Nirupama. I am so thrilled that she has agreed to share with us how she manages to fit photography into her busy schedule!

Take a look...

I don't know about you, but I am loving Ashli's series on Fitting it All In. I love how her mind is constantly working on new things. I have loved all of her series... like her Creative Journey and her new newsletter. She is always thinking!

And this new Fitting It All In series has really gotten me thinking too. 

I stay at home with my children. But, between pre-school, driving to activities, and regular errands there just aren't that many hours in the day. 

I love her perspective on using that in-between time to get things done. 

And her idea of cleaning together is huge! I'd much rather spend nap time doing something creative instead of doing laundry, especially when I get to call my daughter Cinderella while she helps load the washer.

It also got me thinking about other things I need to carve out time for as part of this whole creative process. 

I do regular layouts in addition to weekly Project Life. Sometimes the spreads just flow and other times I sit down and realize I have taken no pictures all week. We spend a lot of time in the car now, driving back and forth...not exactly conducive to picture taking! I realized I needed to step it up. 

I love to tell a story, but photographs are where I draw my main creative inspiration from. With the year winding down, it is easy to run out of steam. Let's not let that happen!

Here are some tips for being intentional with photography...

Keep Your Camera With You
Bring your camera on outings! Having a good camera phone is great, but if you are lugging around your regular camera you will be that much more likely to use it.

Get In Front of the Lens
Don't be shy! Ask others to hold the camera. 

I love these shots Ryan took of me at brunch one day. While the story of brunch isn't that exciting, we haven't done any maternity photos as of yet, so these picts will work well to tell plenty of other stories! 

All I had to do was edit out all the powdered sugar stains from my skirt...

Look for Clean Backgrounds
Nothing ruins a nice set of photos like seeing a bunch of random people or things in the background. It is distracting and I don't like it. I'm not likely to scrap what I don't like. Luckily, there are a few ways to deal with this...

When you are out and about, look for areas with lots of greenery, and line up your shots with that in the background. 

Or, frame the shot appropriately, avoiding trash cans or unwanted signage. Do whatever it takes to get a nice neutral background!

If all else fails, you can always just hold your camera up and shoot down ward. Photos don't have to be of feet alone, you can get some great perspective shots that way.

Yes, you can be the only people in your Disney shots too!

Shoot When Its Clean
At home, pulling out the camera after the annual (I mean, er weekly), cleaning is a great way to get some clutter-free shots. Plus, the kids always seem to play better when their toys are picked up. These are the moments I love to capture anyway. I got this tip from Anandi at the Papercraft Lab and I just love it:

"After you tidy up for the day/week/fortnight/whatever make a point to get the camera out and take around the house pics."

Mini Photo Shoots
Professional photo shoots are amazing investments for a family to have. It is a great excuse to get dressed and try a little harder. But, these are not always in the budget or schedule. We have not had any professional family portraits in years! But, that doesn't mean we don't do photo shoots. We just do them ourselves and keep it low key!

Sometimes they are planned and I dress the kids up a little (and myself, let's face it - I'm much more likely to get in the picture if I feel good about how I look...nothing wrong with that!).
Often times, I set up the self-timer and balance the camera on our stroller or a sturdy ledge before jumping in the photo!

Other times, it is just a right time/right place situation. When pumpkin season first started we took a ton of photos outside of the grocery store. They actually turned out better than our real pumpkin patch photos, so I just went with it!

No real story here, but having a pumpkin page every year is a tradition for me and I like to keep it going.

Use Different Times of Day and Different Light
Step back from your routine and take pics at different times of the day. Try to pick a different time of day for a few days in a row and see what you get. I do this a lot for my Day and Week in the Life albums. The light may not be that perfect mid-day sun, but things look different and are therefore worth noting. This picture of Nandini has no natural light to it, but I'm glad I got it!

Graphic designer Pink Ronnie really does a fabulous job with this. Her photos show (gasp!) shadows as well as light. So inspiring.

Those In-Between Times and Embracing the Selfie pick up times, after school classes, dance etc. is a great time to take some pictures, random, silly or posed.

We were waiting for Avinash's dance class to be over here. Nothing special, but she is smiling and letting me hold her, which is a feat in and of itself. SO glad I decided to use some of the time to play with my camera!

More Random Tips
When you garden, keep the camera close. Gardening is one chore that is very conducive to photos. Decorating is as well, which I bet you are doing a lot of this time of year!

Self timer shots...set these up while cooking or crafting together to capture the action, while staying in the shot yourself.

These tips are also fun to remember if you are working on a daily project like Week in the Life or the upcoming December Daily, but really, they apply year-round as well!

So, I encourage you to grab your camera, shoot the unexpected, and change up your perspective. You will be glad you did!

Nirupama, thank you SO much!

I just love each and every one of these tips! I think my favorite has to be the "hold your camera up high and see what happens" idea. Genius! And, that photo you managed to get while doing that at Disney? Priceless!!!

Plus, I need to remember to utilize my camera's self-time feature. That is such a great idea. Now, I just have to figure out how to set it. HA!

I hope you all enjoyed these tips as much as I do. And, if you don't follow Nirupama's blog already, please do. As you can see from this post, she is very talented and consistently inspiring!

Thanks for joining us today! Please join me again next week as we take a look at how to fit blogging, in addition to crafting, into your busy schedule...

See you soon!


  1. So much working with you! I love this series so much. I'm glad you liked that hold the camera up high tip, ha!

  2. Just wanted to say "thanks" for answering my question on the previous entry in this series. I was able to add my "creative time" into my schedule and write the full thing out. While adding in "meds time" as something I'm not allowed to skip along with "exercise" hasn't worked out so great due to med side effects, looking at this schedule on my desk has helped keep me on task. I've also found that timing myself while making a card or scrapbook layout has helped keep my ADHD brain from drifting. I'm very competitive so I'm wanting to beat the previous time every time I create a new project.

    1. Sure thing, Aeryn! Love that you are timing yourself and that it works well for your mojo - that is so fun :)

  3. Some great ideas here thanks for sharing!

  4. Great series Ashli!! Your work is sooo beautiful Nirupama! Love all your tips and I will defintely be utilizing them! I need to step up my photography!! :) Evie

  5. Great tips for photos, Nirupama! Love your awesome layouts too!

    1. Thanks ladies! I hope this gave you a little bit of inspiration :)

  6. Nirupama, thanks for your great ideas. Love the photos!


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