April Activities #11 – 20

11. Photograph and Interview Family Members

Capture your family at this point in time. Here is a list of questions you could use for your interview:

 For Kids:

  • What is your favourite food?
  • Who is your best friend?
  • Where is your favourite place to go?
  • What do you like to do?
  • What’s your favourite movie?
  • Do you have a favourite TV show?
  • What games do you like to play?
  • Do you have a favourite toy?
  • Is there anything you are scared of?
  • Tell me about something that makes you happy.
  • What is your favourite book?
  • Which is the best restaurant and what do you order there?

For Adults add:

  • What did you want to be when you were a kid?
  • What was your first car? What did you love about it?
  • What is your favourite sport to watch? To participate in?
  • Where is your happy place?
  • Where do you dream of travelling to?
  • What would you do with your time when you retire?
  • What is your job? What do you do every day?
  • Where is your favourite place you have been? Why is it your favourite?
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • What was your first job? What was your favourite job?
  • How have you changed through the years?
  • What goals have you set for yourself?

12. Photograph Signs of Spring

It’s a rare treat we have to slow down and watch spring unfold in our own yards.

How many signs of spring can you find?

How creative can you be?

Let you children take some photographs.

Photograph areas of your yard you know will change as the weather warms up – where the tulip bulbs are planted, where you can watch the lilacs bloom. Take a picture of the area every couple of days to make note of the changes. Kids love watching your garden “wake up”!

Use your pictures to create a page in your 2020 Year In Review album or make a little photo book with your kids about spring in your garden.

13. Print Photo Treasure Hunt

Hold a treasure hunt in your home – gather all your print photos to one location so you can organize and enjoy them. Look for albums, shoeboxes framed pictures and loose pictures. Here are some places you can check:

  • Boxes and bins in the basement
  • Boxes and bins in the attic
  • Bookshelves
  • Junk Drawers
  • Bedside drawers
  • On the fridge
  • On top of the fridge
  • Framed pictures on your walls or around your house
  • In your closet
  • In your linen closet
  • Top shelf of your kid’s closet
  • Any other place you store stuff – under your bed, suitcases in your closet, trunk in the front hall…

When you have rounded up all your photos consider organizing them and storing them safely. Also consider having them scanned to create digital copies.

I offer a 4-week course called Organize and Safely Store Print Photos which lays out all the steps you need. The course is a series of emails sent directly to your in-box. Please let me know if you are interested in joining our class by sending an email to [email protected]

14. Make a Gallery Wall

Print some pictures and hang them as a collection. Here are some tips for hanging gallery walls:

  • Pick one piece as your focal point
  • Build out from the first piece
  • Plan your layout on the ground first
  • Cut paper the same size as your pictures and tape it to the wall
  • Pay attention to the spacing of your pictures
  • Use a level
  • Think about balance – imagine there’s a vertical line running down the center of your gallery wall space – are your pieces feeling balanced on each side?
  • You don’t just have to use pictures! Look for other things to add to your gallery collection.
  • Google for lots of tips and inspiration

15. Practice your Selfies

This is an area where your teens can teach you a thing or two! Change your camera angle, tilt your head, do you have a good side? Here are some things to try:

  • Choose a pose then try turning your shoulders to the left, then to the right – holding your camera off to the side a bit may be better than tilting your head
  • Keep things natural – blow air out of your mouth right before the picture so your lips and lower jaw look relaxed, try saying something that ends in “a” to get a more natural looking smile. Ninja!
  • Keep your shoulders in the frame, lift your chin out and up
  • Natural light is best, rotate in your spot to find the most flattering angles
  • Watch for shadows across your face
  • Look at the camera lens, not the monitor
  • Look up at your camera, keep the bottom of our phone level with your eyes
  • Check your background – either make it very interesting or neutral
  • Play with filters – Valencia on Instagram or use apps like Facetune and VSCO
  • Take A LOT of pictures. A LOT. Then keep the ones you like and delete the rest.

16. Sort and Organize Printed Photos

Do you have print photos? Use this time to get them organized. You will need some shoe boxes for sorting and a soft lead pencil to write on the back. I also like to have pen and paper to make notes and index cards to help with the sort. See Activity #13 for locations to look for print photos.

Decide whether to sort chronologically or thematically. Many of us wrote details on the backs of our photos and you can use this information as you sort. Many pictures will not have any information written on the back – use the photos around them for clues then look at the details in the picture.

If sorting chronologically, start by making a box for each decade. Do a quick sort. I use the index cards to label the boxes and separate groups of photos inside. Now go back through each decade pile and organize as best you can. Photos in one envelope were probably printed together from the same roll of film. Look for kids growing bigger, haircuts changing, any big events – moving, travel, holidays

If sorting thematically, make a box for each theme – holidays, travel, family. Use index cards to label the boxes. Try to limit the number of boxes you are using.

Whichever way you sort try adding details to the pictures where you can. Use a soft lead pencil to protect the photo. Snap a photo of a picture with your phone and send it to family members to see if they can help with any details.

Once you have your photos organized invest in archival quality boxes to store them. Check out the selection at Archival Methods. Consider having your photos scanned to create digital copies. See more information about this here: August 2018 Newsletter

I offer a 4-week course called Organize and Safely Store Print Photos which lays out all the steps you need. The course is a series of emails sent directly to your in-box. Please let me know if you are interested in joining our class by sending an email to [email protected]

17. Take a Picture and Write a Story Around It

Kids are great at using their imaginations and can create wonderful stories. This is a good exercise for adults to practice their creativity too. You can also write down some writing styles or themes and put them in a jar to pull from if you need some inspiration to start. Here are some writing ideas:

  • From the perspective of a pet
  • A love story
  • You hear music playing
  • You are scared
  • In the form of a letter
  • A mystery
  • You hear the wind picking up
  • You are on your way to meet someone
  • You smell smoke
  • You have just arrived
  • You don’t know what time it is
  • Suddenly the birds are quiet
  • This item just showed up at your door
  • You have just left

Need more inspiration? Google writing prompts. Gather your stories together and make a book.

18. Help Your Kids Make a Movie

Volunteer to hold the phone while your kids act out their movie. Get them to write a script or at least agree on how the scene will play out before you start filming. Use costumes and props. Let them be silly. Make sure your movie has an ending or you may end up with a never-ending epic tale.

Older kids can make their own movie (though they may still want you to film it so they can all be in it). Let them watch the clips and decide if they need to re-film or make changes. String the clips together in iMovie and help them edit it. I like to add a title page and credits.

Make popcorn and have a screening night.

19. Stay Still

Stand in one place and take 24 different photos. Its very interesting to see what you can capture. Wait a week and do it again – see how things have changed. Try standing in a slightly different spot and see how things look different.

20. Get Ready to Update

Collect the photos, slides, negatives, albums, tapes, film and boxes of stuff you’ve inherited in preparation of turning it digital. Designate a spot to begin collecting. Find some boxes and bins to hold your finds. Go on a treasure hunt to find as many things as you can. Contact me when you’re ready and we’ll digitize your collection so you can make back up copies of everything and use the images and video in modern ways.