Documenting the Everyday

One of my goals for 2016 was to document the "everyday" a bit better.  I love taking photos, editing, and posting to Instagram, but I started to feel like I was missing the little things that made our life ours in the day to day.  The quiet moments at home on the couch with the dogs.  Making breakfast on Sunday morning.  Sitting on the back porch on a summer night.  Going out to dinner at our favorite restaurant.  Even the mundane:  mowing the lawn, loading the dishwasher, walking the dogs around the block, telling the dogs to stop barking

If you think back three, four, five years - you likely remember the big things (Bought our first home!  Went on a road trip!), but I can't necessarily remember what we did on an average day.  What show was our favorite?  Where did we get takeout?  Who did we get drinks with on Friday night?  Enter my new favorite app:  One Second Everyday.  (And for the record, this isn't sponsored!

I recorded one second, every single day, through all of 2016.  The fun seconds, the boring seconds, the happy and sad seconds.  It's not perfect, it's not fancy, but it's us.  And it might be my favorite thing ever. 

Here's a highlight of some of my favorite seconds of 2016, if you'd like to see.  

Lessons learned

When I started this project, it was my goal to just make it through.  When I finished this project, I was professing my love for it to anyone who would listen.  2016 was not a perfect year.  There were some sad days and we got some bad news.  BUT.  The biggest thing I've learned from this little project is that although there were some bad days, the good days outnumber the bad by far.  This video is the best proof.  

Tips and Tricks

Want to try?  You're going to love it.  Here are some general tips and tricks I've learned along the way.

Just get the second.  The hardest thing about this project is sticking with it.  You'll forget.  You'll think there's nothing worth capturing today.  Just get the second.  You'll be glad you did.  You can also set reminders within the app - just go to the menu at top right, and select Reminders.

You can cheat.  Alright, so I didn't exactly take a video every day.  I did forget a handful of times, and so I just took two videos the next day, and popped the extra second in to fill the previous day.  Here's how.

It doesn't have to be perfect.  Life isn't perfect.  You're going to have bad days.  I recorded our bad days, whether I was sick in bed, or sitting next to a box of tissues with some bad news.  I promise, when you see your year stitched together in seconds, it gives such perspective to see the good day after your bad day.

Also, it doesn't have to be perfect.  When I first started, I was so excited to get the creative shot.  That artistically directed second.  As time went on, I was thrilled just to have recorded a second that day.  Do your best not to overthink it, and you'll be more likely to stick with it.

Get in the shot!  I've seen some videos recorded solely from the first person perspective, but I preferred to get myself in the frame whenever I could.  I bought this iPhone tripod, which came in so handy when I wanted to hop into the video.

Hold your phone horizontally.  It ensures the video, when stitched together, looks uniform and feels more like a movie instead of an Instagram story.

Don't forget the sounds.  I didn't think much about it at the time, but after watching the video, I appreciate the sound within the clips so much more.  The dogs nails as they run on the hardwood floors.  The sound of the news on the tv in the background.  How loud Murphy groans when he wants you to keep petting him.  My family singing Happy Birthday.  All things a photo can't capture and sound bites that I'll absolutely treasure in five years.  (Side note: while I did add music over our highlight clip above in iMovie, our full year movie has no music since I love the little sounds so much).

The Technical Stuff

Edit larger clips.  When I say that I recorded one second, I mean to say that I edited my longer clips down to one second.  You can do this within the app, or right within the video in your Photo Album.  I preferred the latter, and then I just inserted my chosen one second into the app for that day.

So much storage.  Video takes up so much space on your phone.  The app saves your one second clips, so feel free to delete or store your videos elsewhere once you've saved your second in the app.

Save and save again.  After all this work, I wasn't taking any chances with losing this project.  You can "mash" your seconds together to form your movie at any time to watch and save.  I saved about every two weeks and exported to a USB drive as well as my computer.

Tools of the Trade

1 Second Everyday App

Tripod:  We use this all the time for video and photo

Camera Remote:  Start and stop recording your video remotely.  Also great to use for photos when you don't want to make a mad dash to beat the self timer!

USB-Apple Lightning Drive: Works great for getting photos/videos off your phone and transferring to your computer quickly and without cords

I'm absolutely doing this again for 2017!  I'd love to hear if you're going to give it a try (don't feel like you have to wait for a new year to start!), and if you've done this before, I'd love to hear how it went for you!