my photo journal

i always wanted to keep a journal. a diary. to write down my thoughts and daily happenings. in a book with blank lined pages and a cool little lock and key to keep it safe from the eyes of the world. but i didn’t. afraid that i would mess up the pretty pages with my not so pretty handwriting. afraid that i would write the wrong thing. or wish i had written something different after the ink had dried. i just didn’t want to ruin that pretty book. so i didn’t.

when i was in college, i tried to keep a journal again. this time to record my adventures living in london, england for a study abroad program. the result was four months of what i did, where i went and what i saw. my thoughts and feelings? nope. but at least i have something to go along with the many photos i have from this time.

my next real attempt at keeping a journal was on my honeymoon. my sister gave me an aqua colored journal. i read somewhere that it was a good idea to bring a roll of tape and put the journal together while you were traveling and the adventures were fresh in your mind. so i did. buying postcards from paris, tuscany and rome. collecting business cards from all of the amazing restaurants we ate in. cutting up the brochures from the wine tours. saving our plane + train tickets. and taping them all inside of this journal. along with the words that i wrote on the blank pages. a lovely collection of memories. my best effort to date.

i still want to keep a journal. and i still don’t like my handwriting. and often i am still afraid of ruining a pretty blank journal with the wrong words or the wrong color ink. but the desire to documenting my life is starting to win out over all of these reasons not to just do it. and my iphone has provided me with the best way to have it all…

my iphone camera + instagram = my photo journal

in just over 2 years i have taken more than 3,000 photos with my iphone. and each one of them tells a story. my story. i took them all. i was there. tapping the screen. looking at each photo tells me the story. documented without having written a single word. you see, my photos are my story.  they are my journal. they are my diary. they are my life. my everyday, real life. photos taken from my view. seen from my own eyes. they might only matter to me. and no one else may ever really know all of the stories behind each image. but i know.

these photos bring back things that i had forgotten. like some of the very first photos i took with my iphone. the ones of quinn the night we got home from his first er visit. he had a big cut on his forehead. i was still worried about him. and then he laughed. he was watching his favorite episode of the backyardigans and he laughed. in that moment i knew he was okay. i have a photo of him laughing. i had forgotten about this feeling of relief. until i saw the picture. and it all came back to me.

these photos. they are much different than the ones i take with my big camera. not as crisp. not as sharp. not even a little bit. but they hold a sweet spot with me. their imperfection. the grain. the haze. the light. it is different. it is raw. altered a bit by my instagram processing. taking these photos with my iphone challenges me. to see more in my everyday. with only the view i hold in my hand. to be creative with composition. with subject. with perspective. with light. [oh, the sweet light that i have found!]

these images are the real journal of my life. my photo journal.

the bristle block camera quinn made for me
watching tv together
the view from my window

publix cookie
birthday balloons
shopping with mommy

summer + baseball
nap
beach day

foosball with papa
air hockey and golden light
cooling off

i am tracylarsen on instagram. tell me who you are. i’d love to see the pieces of your everyday life.

show hide 3 comments

Brenda - How beautiful that you have found your daily expression,captured the small moments through this new technology. I don’t have an iPhone but I can certainly understand the attraction to this form of creativity. I wish something like this had been available when my children were young.

And I can completely relate to your fears of “messing up” a blank page, of second-guessing your writing, of judging your words. All fears that I share. I’m glad that you have found a way to capture it all.

stacey - Yes! I am loving using my phone to document daily life. A perfect little journal, indeed. Love seeing bits of your everyday life via instagram. :-)

Erin Davenport - Your blog is one of my favorite reasons to catch up on my google reader :) Your honesty is SO refreshing. I feel lost about Facebook and what to share/how much/with what attitude at times too. And you’ve inspired me to get back to using Instagram! I’m on there as @erindavenport and just started following you :)

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