Simplify September {and optimize august follow-up}

Later today I will be posting my last photo for Optimize August. This month's resolution of taking a photo-a-day was a little more difficult than I imagined--mostly by my own doing. More about that below, and the plan for the month to come. Eight months down and just four to go in my monthly resolutions!

Optimize August {follow-up}

August had three parts, all a success! (Sort of.)

Photographer Interviews. Each Wednesday in the month of August I had the privilege of featuring a photographer. If you haven't already, be sure and check out the inspiring interviews and photos of Richard Young, Mary Banducci, Aubrey Leeker,  Katie Lloyd, and Nate Kay. Thank you to each of these awesome people for sharing your experiences with all of us beginners!

Photo-a-Day. Phew, taking a photo each day was not the easy peasy resolution I imagined. I faced several challenges. As if trying to capture new photos (or keep the kids from wearing the same clothes) for 31 straight days wasn't hard enough, I gave myself categories to try to capture each day. Just a few days in I felt like I was running out of category options. Probably because I usually took a passive approach, taking pictures then choosing a category at the end of the day, rather than having a category in my mind to capture throughout the day. I did, however, appreciate that this kept me choosing new perspectives for my photo-of-the-day rather than choosing the normal favorites of the kids perfectly framed in front of the camera. Although, I gave up on sticking to the categories around Day 23, and didn't take any photos Days 22 and 24.

While taking photos of the kids at the park or at home is pretty easy, I struggle with {1} taking photos of the kids when we're out around other people (i.e., stores), {2} getting photos that have me in them, and {3} getting photos of people other than kids. All of these challenges are due largely to my own insecurities or self-consciousness. I'm not a pro, so I feel strange squatting in weird positions with my point-and-shoot to try to get a fun photo in, say, the grocery store. I don't love asking other people to take photos, for a lot of reasons (it feels like a burden and the photo often doesn't turn out, just to name a couple). I feel awkward trying to capture candid photos of adults, partly because adults tend to feel a need to pose, while kids typically keep doing whatever they're doing or intentionally get silly for the camera. While I tried to push myself in these areas this month, I know I could do better in capturing the photos I really want.

A Lil Vaca. My vacation with the kids was great. We visited my parents in Kings Canyon National Park. The kids had a blast with family camp activities, and the setting was perfect for adding variety to my daily photos (Days 14-19).

August Books-of-the-Month

The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin

Simplify September {preview}

Just as focusing on joy in the month of June was a welcome break after a highly involved month of May, simplifying in September is a welcome break before a strong end to my final three monthly resolutions for 2012. September has two parts...

Seek God first. This should be a given in life as a Christian, right? Right. But I lose focus. Boy, do I lose focus! I get lost in comparisons and unnecessary worry and technological distractions. And I need a break from it all. Perhaps a break from the technology, definitely a break from the comparisons. Waking up early to seek God, and taking breaks to seek Him throughout the day.

Let my lil light shine. One reason I'm trying to keep September simple is because I have big plans for Blogtober. I will be doing my first ever "31 days series" where I blog Every. Day. for 31 days about ONE topic. The topic I've chosen (or, rather, I've felt God lead me to): 31 Days of Letting Your Little Light Shine. I'm excited to try some of the ideas out in September and develop some fun and focused blog posts to come in October.