Saving Memories with Photos of the Everyday

taking baby photos

Do you ever look back at what you did this week last year, two years ago, or three? If it weren’t for my photo collection, I’d never remember most of it.

I love to focus on one date and go back each year to see how things have changed. (This is especially fun for birthdays.)

  • This week, Doug went to the grocery store to buy me a Porterhouse steak because I had a craving for meat. It was his second trip to the grocery store that night, and he came home and cooked it for me. (Best husband ever!)
  • This week one year ago, I was thinking about starting a blog.
  • This week two years ago, Lane was learning how to crawl.
  • This week three years ago, we were in Budapest. The hotel thought Doug was a diplomat, so they put us in the diplomats’ suite. It was bigger than our apartment, and it had black lacquer furniture from the eighties and a huge waterbed.

Sometimes I think my life varies little from day to day, but when I skip back a year at a time, it’s easier to see how much has changed.

Is anyone taking a photo a day for Project 365, or some variation of it? I’ve seen that Jill has a theme of everyday photos, and Jennifer is scrapbooking her daily photos. I think what I like best is how taking daily photos makes you focus on everyday life.

Before digital cameras, most of my photos were only of special events, and so I don’t easily remember what happened from one month to the next. I guess that’s why many of us started blogging? Trying to capture those details before they’re forgotten.

If you have a ton of digital photos like I do, I’ve written before about how to organize digital photos so you can enjoy looking at them on your computer, without having to scrapbook them. (Just a warning – it does involve using the delete key!)

Just for fun, what were you doing this time last year?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. I’m doing the project 365 this year! I thought about stopping but I think it would be a really good thing for my husband since he’ll be gone most of the year working. He’s been worried about the kids all changing so much, especially the baby.

    I didn’t have a digital camera this time last year, but I’m guessing I was probably doing something with the kids… seems that’s all I do :)

    Casey´s last blog post..look what I got!

  2. Great post! I just finished making my annual photo calendars for a few special people (through Kodak Gallery). They just arrived in the mail and we all had such fun looking through them. My husband gets one for his office every year. I make a point to use pictures from the same month the previous year so that all the photos are of the kids approximately one year before. It’s really fun to do it that way! One year ago today, I was 6 months pregnant and trying to figure out the best way to fit three little kids into two small rooms.

    Julie´s last blog post..Snow Outside & In!

  3. 2009 will be my third year of project365 (started as a New Year’s resolution to start 2007) and I can fully attest to the use of photos for remembering days/events.

    I use my camera phone because I don’t want to carry a camera with me everywhere I go. And the quality of the photos doesn’t really matter as long as you can see what it is – that’s more than enough to trigger a memory.

    Occasionally, if I’m trying to remember when something happened, I’ll have to look back through my pictures to see what happened on a specific day and even when a certain event doesn’t make the picture of the day, just looking through the pictures can trigger a memory of what else happened that day/week.

    Check out the fruits of my labor on flickr.

    ross´s last blog post..Bill Parcells’ Quarterback Commandments

  4. Thanks for the linkage, Rachel.

    To give credit where credit is due, I got the “Days of the Everyday” idea from Soule Mama. In it’s original form, it was to be 30 consecutive days highlighting some ordinary element of life.

    I’m terrible at keeping up daily and I don’t always make it to 30, but I do enjoy having these small sets of photos to represent each season of the year.

    jill´s last blog post..It’s Friday.

  5. I’ve been inspired by Jill’s everyday work – I love her perspectives and points of view!

    I totally started a Project 365 and have already failed. Hee! Oh well. I think if I just did it in chunks – like Soule Mama’s 30 days – I would do better.

    This time last year, I was preparing to move my blog from Blogger to Typepad and also reminding myself to be content.

    Megan@SortaCrunchy´s last blog post..It’s a small favor that we ask

  6. Last year at this time I was in the throws of morning sickness and exhaustion from the first trimester. I forgot how difficult that first trimester can be.

    Shannon´s last blog post..Prepare Your Home For a Day of Rest: Notes & Tips

  7. I’m doing my own variation of Project 365 this year. I am calling it GO (Get Organized) Project 365. Basically I am trying to find an instance in my everyday life where something is organizing related.

    My kids are in the pictures and some of their activities as well as some client projects and things I am doing in our own home. Some are basically turning into some great little organizing tips as well. It’s been fun so far, but getting harder.

    Which reminds me I need to post my pictures form the last couple of days! :)

  8. I’m doing my first Project 365 this year. I have really been enjoying it, and I’m just hoping that I can keep it up all year!

    I started a separate blog for it, because I thought that would help (although I’m a few days behind in updating it, though I did take the pictures!):

    Angie @ Many Little Blessings´s last blog post..Super Duper Chocolate Kiss Cookies

  9. This time last year I was staying with my Uncle and Aunt, my kids and I and a lot of stuff in one bedroom. I was visiting my Grandma every day and having lunch with my best friend every day too.

    I’d like to do something like 365 but know I couldn’t stick to it. Maybe I’ll start small with a week and then move up from there. I’m just starting to scrapbook too, and can already think of pages. :)

    Tsoniki Crazy Bull´s last blog post..Eight Things In 08

  10. oh, what an appropriate post (again!) for me! i have just been thinking about blogging in photos only for a little while, as i am super into my camera these days and a little overwhelmed by how easily i get sucked into the computer. i agree…photos are so important to me. i constantly have photo projects going, all around remembering pieces of life for after they happen.

    nicola´s last blog post..socks and mittens

  11. I’ve recently started my 365 project about a week ago. It’s been a challenge already, as I am starting to get used to taking at least one picture I like each day to post. I have posted my pictures on flickr.

    I wonder if I should start posting them on my blog as well. I am only just started so I could easily go back and add them in. It would be an addition to the posts I already add to my blog.

    A´s last blog post..Sunday Morning Wake-up Call

  12. I’ve taken a photo of my daughter every day since she was born. I call it the daily Hayley. I made a poster for the first year and its hung up in our foyer. I’m working on a poster for 1000 daily Hayleys. She is now over 4 and I’m still going. I could have never done this before digital cameras! I love that I have this record of her growing up.

  13. Thanks for the mention! I’ve been having so much fun with our daily photos.

    And, my two cents: This time last year I was about 3 weeks away from my due date. My feet were fat and my back was killing me. And now, I just can’t believe that a whole year has passed since then–all the more reason to preserve a little bit of our everyday!

    Jennifer´s last blog post..Updating.

  14. What a fun idea!! I started 3 days ago – I’m enjoying thinking more carefully about my day and what would make a good photo; it really does make you focus! And thanks for the link to Picasa in your other post – what a great tool :)

  15. The biggest thing to remember is to back up your photos! My mom lost about 6 months worth of pics because she never backed up off her computer as I had taught her too. So now, after learning that hard lesson, she not only backs up to an external hard drive, but I am teaching her how to use Flickr as a backup as well. It’s so painful to lose valuable pics, so don’t forget to back them up :-)

  16. i would never remember what i’d been doing without a blog to look back on. it’s the only way i can keep up with the photos and trying to journal my life.

    anyway, a year ago, my family blog tells me that i was moving my toddler from his crib to a bed and and the prego blog i had shows that i was counting down the last few long weeks of my 2nd pregnancy. a year later, i still acutely remember the physical and emotional misery, and this year i am happy to be able to touch my toes and sleep through most nights.

  17. this time last year, we were in the midst of buying our first house, packing our apartment, getting ready to move, me going to school and trying to find a new job for after we moved into our new house. wow, i get stressed out just thinking about it! :)

    i’m trying to do a self portrait every week this year. i’m already a little behind, but that’s becuase i got a bad haircut and i’m not quite ready to show the world yet! :)

    carly´s last blog post..16 random things about me

  18. We actually are doing a photo documentary for my MIL. She lives 1200 miles from Baby Bean, and just so she doesn’t feel left our of her grandson’s life, we send her a photo every day. it was her b-day gift.

  19. this week last year i was smack in the middle of a major kitchen remodel, so i was eating only takeout and things from the microwave. ugh!

    we were also getting ready to spend two weeks in new york for work.

    you’re right: when i think about it like that, it feels like so much has changed since that NY trip. good perspective!

    laura @ peacoat´s last blog post..chocolate-covered marshmallows