Lesson 26: Outline the story

While we still have a few days of the month left, it is time to start thinking about wrapping up the month and putting together your “class project.”

My TinyBeans for September is admittedly a little spotty right now - it's ok! I will make sure I catch up by the end of the month.

My TinyBeans for September is admittedly a little spotty right now - it's ok! I will make sure I catch up by the end of the month.

First of all, now is a great time to review your photo-a-day project and fill in any gaps that you have. If the gaps are big, don’t worry. I have found that I can backfill within the past month fairly quickly if I just set aside an evening or two and spend 30-60 minutes each night doing so.

One of the recommendations I like to make with any photo project is: start with now.

If you were to go back to “the beginning,” let’s say when your first child was born, or even if you try to go back to the beginning of the year or the beginning of the month, you will very quickly get demoralized with how “far behind” you are and it will feel like you will never “catch up."

Instead, when you start with now, you get the instant gratification of being current with a photo for the day.

Or if you’re doing annual albums, start with this year instead of trying to catch up from years ago.

Or if you’re organizing your photos, start organizing your current photos and keeping them organized going forward before going back and dealing with your archives.

That said, as you go back over this month’s photos, start outlining the story.

What happened this month? What are the main themes? What is the overall storyline?

What are the different threads of the story, perhaps related to different children or different interests or aspects of their lives or yours.

We recently let Jack start playing Minecraft... way younger than Liam did. He's growing up so fast!

We recently let Jack start playing Minecraft... way younger than Liam did. He's growing up so fast!

For example, for my family, the overall story for September is growth and change:

  • We went camping for the first time as a family
  • Jack started Kindergarten and is riding the “real yellow school bus” for the first time
  • Liam is in second grade now and has weekly homework
  • Both kids started After School
  • We were between sitters, so my parents took care of pick-ups three times a week
  • We went on a weekend trip to Great Wolf Lodge
  • Summer transitioned into fall

Your overall theme or storyline might be something very concrete and specific (especially if you have one child), or more general. For example, your theme might be along the lines of one of these:

  • First solids
  • Getting more mobile
  • Transitions
  • Settling in
  • Trying new things
  • Back-to-school
  • Soccer and play-dates

Your threads might be more related to specific events - and it might be easier to list your threads first and then look for an overall theme.

I'm still working through my photos from our camping trip!

I'm still working through my photos from our camping trip!

Put this into action now:

  • Start to catch up and fill in any gaps in your photo-a-day project for the month
  • Review your photos as well as your calendar and come up with an overall theme for the month
  • List all the different threads or sub-themes to the story (as I did above) - you don’t have to worry about picking specific photos for each thread yet or narrowing down the threads

Today’s photo prompt: What makes you laugh?
Next up: Create the image pool

Note: I'll be giving you daily photo prompts to help you in your photo-a-day project, but they are completely optional. Ultimately you should choose the photo for your project that best reflects what you most want to remember about the day.

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