The Purpose of Documenting

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What I Make

After considering what I turn my photos and words into last week, I’ve realized there are three major outcomes for me. From my photos and words, I make:

  1. Instagram posts
  2. Layouts for my albums
  3. Posts online (particularly, for our community)

For example, this image from my Instagram account:

All three activities allow me to revisit and reflect on the life I’m living. But, it is the layouts—spanning from simple observations to more in-depth and interpreted stories—that have the biggest piece of my heart and thoughts.

Which leads me to wonder, why am I documenting what I’m documenting?

Digging Deeper

On the surface, it’s about preserving memories. Go a little deeper and there is an aspect of selection (or curation maybe?). This process of choosing—of giving meaning and weight—to some moments over others reflects intention. But what informs this intention?

It begins with an observation made with my camera or in my journal, I think. Likewise, it has to do with the ease and my preference towards the tools at hand. Yet, it’s more than about observing life, too. While the first impulse is to observe, the next one is about collecting. And, I collect that which touches me. Most often, it is through photos taken with my iPhone. It’s easy, it’s on hand, and it enables a quick captures of moments and experiences both expected and not. After the photo and after I’ve had time to mull over, interpret, and assign meaning to my observations, I am compelled to write about it—especially, if the experience or moment is meaningful.

But, I’m racing ahead, here. There is that piece of heart and thought behind the action. It’s the part I phrased above as “that which touches me.” There’s a lot behind that which asks for a closer look.

Values, Beliefs, and Actions

To really understand what motivates my collection process, means taking a step back to look at trends along with my values and beliefs about what matters. What are the trends making it to the page in terms of artistry, technique, and design? What are the trends in terms of theme and focus? What is it that I’m trying to understand here? What beliefs or values are represented? And, if I list my values, beliefs, and artistic preferences outside of this project as a way to explain myself and who I am, how does the collection hold up? Are there gaps?

Honestly, I’m compelled to get a grasp of what is there within the collection before I can determine how well it represents who I am as a person and an artist. I’m not sure why, I just really want to understand this. So here is where the journey to understand intention takes a pause. Here, I will stand a moment and look at the collection as it is today and make some notes.

I'll blog about my continuing journey—and the answers that reveal themselves—next week.


I'd Love to Hear from You 🙂

Since I see us on this journey to master memory keeping together, I'd like to hear your thoughts. So, let's chat about:

  • Your thoughts and feelings about the post
  • What your're doing this week related to memory keeping
  • Your take on the One a Month Projects

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