Welcome to 30 Days to Capturing the Moment

Think of the next 30 days as your jumpstart to achieving your goals as a parent through photographing your kids.

You are here because you want to take better photos of your kids. You want photos that reflect the beauty and meaning of the moments that you experience. You want to capture the moments with your kids while still being present. 

In this course, we are going to take the material we covered in the 7 day challenge and go deeper into those topics and as well as broader, covering themes such as integrating daily habits, defining your vision, anticipating the moment, composition, editing and getting your photos off your hard drive and into your home for you and your family to enjoy.

I’ll help you:

  • know what to look for to get the best photos while developing a heightened awareness of the moment
  • be more intentional, so you don't have to take a million photos to get a few good ones
  • and use photography to really see your kids and capture everything that you love about them right now - not just the smiles and the milestone occasions, but the little everyday moments and details that you treasure dearly… when you remember to pause and notice.

In 30 days, you can develop habits that stick while achieving some easy wins so that photographing your kids becomes naturally prioritized in your life as something that you are doing for yourself as well as for your family.

As a busy mom myself to two young boys, Liam, aged seven, and Jack, aged four, and an architect for over fifteen years, it wasn't until I became a mom that I discovered my true passion - and gift - for showing other parents how they can experience the same joy and delight I find daily through photographing my kids.

Rather than teaching photography in a more traditional way, as an "art," for most parents I’ve found that it works better to teach photography as an experience in support of what you most want as a parent, whether it's to capture the moment, be more present, connect with your child, find joy and gratitude, express your love for them or to know that your kids are self-confident and happy. 

I created the 30 Day Jumpstart so you can develop an approach to photographing your kids that helps you achieve your goals as a parent.

Goals like: 

  • Using your camera to connect with your kids rather than have it come between you.
  • Being more present, engaged and in the moment with your kids.
  • Validating all of your child’s emotions so that you can see and know that they are innately self-confident and happy.
  • Having confidence that you are doing a good job as a parent, and feeling recognized and supported for all that you do.
  • Knowing that your kids will know how much you love them, now and for years to come.
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Here is how the 30 Day Jumpstart works:

1. Intake survey

In order for us to track and support your participation as well as tailor the experience to best meet your needs, we would love it if you could answer a few quick questions. This is entirely optional but it will help us to give you a more tailored experience.

(If you had your 30 minute private coaching session with me, then you already filled this out.)

Fill out the survey here

2. Daily email

Starting on Wednesday, August 31st, you'll receive an email each evening at around 9pm eastern with a link to the next day's lesson.

There are 30 short lessons, corresponding to the calendar date, and they are grouped by a weekly theme, so you are not tackling an entirely new topic each day.  You can follow along daily, catch up every few days, or wait until the weekend. 

This page will also be updated with links to all the lessons, and at the end of the course you’ll receive everything in a beautiful PDF for easy reference in the future.

The exact schedule and grouping of lessons are as follows:

Introduction - September 1st - 4th
Week 1 - September 5th - 11th
Week 2 - September 12th - 18th
Week 3 - September 19th - 25th
Week 4 - September 26th - 30th

3. Three ways to participate

Assignment upload

Please submit your assignments weekly via the assignment upload page for the week (links will be provided here as they become available).

Private Facebook Group

You will be added to the Private Facebook Group shortly where you are welcome to post daily photos, assignments and questions for feedback. 

30 Days to Capturing the Moment

Instagram

You can also post your daily photo on Instagram so you can connect with other participants as well as include family, friends and followers in the daily moments that you capture.

To participate in the challenge via Instagram, include the following in the caption of your photo: #photosanity #photosanity30days with @aletheafitz.

Here's what we'll cover

Each week covers one topic as follows:

Introduction: Integrate daily habits

  • Prepare for success with some simple tips for having your phone readily available and making sure your photos back up automatically
  • Set goals for daily habits by deciding how you are going to share your photos and starting a photo-a-day project

    (Note: if you don’t have a lot of time with your kids each day, your daily photos do not have to be of your kids.)

Week 1: Change the experience

  • Define your personal vision for what you most want as a parent - goals that photographing your kids can help you achieve
  • Anticipate the moment, so you can stop missing it, while still being present and creating a great experience for your child

Week 2: Heighten your awareness

  • Be more aware of the visual elements of a photo so you can better tell the story of the moment - we'll look at how you can make the most of the light you have and find the angles that best reflect what you most want to remember about the moment 

Week 3: Find validation and gratitude

  • Validate all emotions by really seeing and connecting with your child and using photography to explore and appreciate all aspects of your child's personality (yes, even the things that drive you crazy) and by expressing your own feelings and perspective in your photos too
  • Review and reflect on all of the moments of the day by using your camera roll to focus on what was good in a daily practice of reflection and gratitude

Week 4: Curate your story

  • Share the moments you have captured through a project for the month that takes your photos off your phone/hard drive and out into the world in the form of a printed book or a photo wall that your entire family can enjoy offline

Smartphone only?

As with the 7 Day Challenge, this course is geared towards using your smartphone. However, while we won't be covering the technical aspects of DSLR photography specifically, most of the tips and assignments also apply to your DSLR.

You are welcome to use your smartphone or your DSLR or both.

However, I do recommend that you only use your DSLR if you are comfortable shooting in aperture priority or manual mode (and if you're interested in learning this, or diving deeper into getting more out of your DSLR in general, the Photosanity DSLR Intensive starts later in the fall).

Don’t have much time with your kids daily?

This course is designed to fit your lifestyle, no matter what your schedule is, and my goal is to help you leverage the time that you do have with your kids, whether it’s a little or a lot!

If you don’t have much or sometimes any time with your kids daily, it’s ok - I suggest you still read the lessons daily, but the assignments can be completed weekly

I do still recommend that you try the photo-a-day project (see below), but your daily photos do not have to include your kids - it can actually be quite refreshing to use photography to appreciate the moments without your kids and to validate your identity outside of parenthood too.

Achieving consistency - creating a photo-a-day project

A photo a day from the first year of Liam's life

A photo a day from the first year of Liam's life

One common frustration that I hear from parents all the time is that they lack consistency - consistency in results, and consistency in frequency. 

If you want to rely on more than just luck to capture the moment, and if you want to break out of a pattern of feast or famine - phases when you take tons of photos, then phases where you get busy and/or discouraged and hardly take photos at all - the best way that I know of is through a photo-a-day project.

I've maintained a photo-a-day project since Liam, my oldest child, was born over seven years ago. Ok, so I have missed the odd day here and there, and I haven’t always kept up with uploading, but this is by far the most rewarding project I have done as a parent and as a photographer.

The structure of taking photos daily, then picking the one that captures what I most want to remember about each day, brings me unimaginable joy and satisfaction. 

And the benefits are entirely unexpected.

Not only does it create a great record of my life with my kids, but the daily habit has become one of reflection, gratitude, validation, and self-care.

Reflection - After the chaos that is bedtime in our house right now, I love plopping myself down on the couch and scrolling through my camera roll from the day. It would be easy only to reflect on the most challenging moments, parenting or otherwise, but instead, my photos remind me of all the good moments I had too. And my photos can even help me gain some distance, perspective and humor about the bad moments.

Gratitude - In being reminded of the good moments, I can find gratitude for them. The more gratitude I find, the more I can find the other moments that bring me gratitude.

Validation - There is a lot of drudgery in the daily work of parenting. There's always another dirty diaper to be changed, another load of laundry to be done. Taking photos daily gives you something to show for it - even if it is the toys that were put away for all of 3 seconds before they were dumped out again. Photos help the unseen work of parenting to be seen, if only by ourselves (but also by others through sharing).

Self-care - this is such a difficult concept for parents, especially women. Some might say it’s a foreign concept. But I have learned over the years that it is critical not just for my own well-being but for the well-being of others - my family, my team, my clients, and for everyone I come into contact with. As busy parents, we need to be able to perform at our best, and we are not doing anyone any favors by not taking care of ourselves.

It is often when we are most busy and stressed out that we feel we least have the time for self-care - and yet that is when it is most critical.

I have found that taking a few minutes each day for reflection, gratitude and validation through my photos IS a form of self-care (although it certainly shouldn’t be the only form). But it’s an easy way to integrate something into our lives that is for us, but benefits our entire family as well.

So what does it actually mean to start a photo-a-day project? How is it best organized?

A screenshot from the TinyBeans app on my iPhone

A screenshot from the TinyBeans app on my iPhone

You can organize your photo-a-day project any way you like, but I’ve found it best if you use a calendar-based app specifically designed to help you keep up with your project as well as share it with friends and family. As some of you know, I was previously using ShutterCal, although sadly the company no longer exists, so this year I’ve been using an app called TinyBeans.

Designed specifically for parents, you can access your account via their website as well as via IOS, Android or Kindle app. There is a great looking calendar interface for uploading your photos (and you can upload more than one photo a day although I recommend on focusing on just one). 

There are other parent-friendly features too, such as tracking of milestones, and you can even tag your photos to show which of your children are in each one, and thereby track whether you are featuring one more than another!

TinyBeans creates a nice sharable summary of the month.

TinyBeans creates a nice sharable summary of the month.

Sharing to various social media platforms or via email is great too, perfect if you have friends and family on different platforms or not on social media at all. Friends with a TinyBeans account can follow you from within the platform too.

The pro account is inexpensive and allows you to download all your content. And you can even create albums from your content, right within the app!

They say it takes 21 days to create a habit. We have 30 days together, so let’s make the most of it!

I will support you through starting a photo-a-day project. Try it for 30 days and see how it goes.

Sign up for TinyBeans via my referral link: http://bit.ly/photo-tiny and start your photo-a-day project now…or commit to starting on September 1st when the course starts.

In closing...

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I'm so excited to have you on board, and I can't wait to get started. I look forward to sharing in more of your moments and helping you to capture the moment while still being present.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at help@photosanity.com.

Thanks,
-Alethea

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