How to Document Your Life in Photos When You’re Single

Fearless and Framed has lot of blog stories about couples and families, but what about individuals? One of our contributors, who is single, was saying how documentary photography can feel pretty difficult when you’re single. When you have a family with kids there’s a lot you can (and want to) document right in front of you. You want to remember the little things. Being single, or just living on your own can feel a bit dull compared to family life photos already out there. Is it even worth documenting your life at all?

Um, hello! YES!

Being single, or living a quieter life compared to that with (small) children doesn’t mean you can only use your camera for clients & things you see (like travels). In fact, being single a great place to start documenting your life and your story, your way. Frankly, I wish I would have told my own story in photos from day one. Life is made up from the little things and does not depend on the size of your family.

So here are a few things to get you started with documenting your life, your story and keeping it interesting… whether you’re single or you need some fresh ideas to tell your personal story even if you are in a relationship or have a family.

As always, pin this post for quick reference:

how to document your life when single

 

Document your routine (A Day in the Life)

Start with documenting your routine. What do you do when you wake up? What does a typical Saturday or weekday look like? How do you spend your evenings? Is your house tidy (or not!)? All of these things seem slightly boring, but when you look back on them years from now, you’ll love the peek into your life back in the day. You’ll love how different your life was and it might remind you of things you used to do every day and have long been forgotten. Or how much your style has changed.

 

Document your day and your work

This is very popular on Instagram, where you take a snapshot of your day every hour (or if you’re up for a challenge every half hour). It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, where you are, you take a photo every full hour and document your day as you go. Even when you’re single you’ll notice that not every day is the same and it’s a perfect way to capture life as it is. Try to focus on capturing what you do, and really grab the essence on camera. And as always, let the moments happen and capture them like they are.

 

Capture the same thing every single day

Who said you can’t capture the same thing every day? Nobody! Capturing the same thing every day can be pure magic. Whether that is your morning cup of coffee, cat, breakfast, or feet. It’s up to you.

We are a big fan of Tammy Srobel’s work.

She captures her morning coffee every single morning together with her view of the morning. It might be the same thing every single day, but every setting is different and all the photos combine to tell the story of her days in a unique way. What do you do every single day that tells your story? Once you notice this, capture it every single day. Don’t try to stylise the photo when you notice your breakfast table is a mess (though I must admit, this is very tempting when you see all those styled photos on Instagram). Leave it as it is and capture it. It’s all part of your story.

 

Friends & family

Just because you’re single, or because you’re working from home when everyone is away, doesn’t mean your life is boring. Far from it. You have a busy life full of friends and family, running errands and social excitement. So why not bring your camera along to document these special moments? Documenting time spent with friends or your parents will help you keep these moments to look back on. It will also help you to see how everyone changes, but how everything at the heart stays the same: friends who share a deep friendship that is full of fun and exciting moments filled with laughter.

 

Get naked (though maybe not literally)

The Cleveland photographer Angelo Merendino captured his wife’s fight against breast cancer. These are stories that naturally happen behind closed doors in the comforting company of family and friends. But he captured this fight in a heartbreaking collection and I doubt that anyone can look at these photos without tearing up. You can see for yourself by clicking here.

We all have stories that go on behind the curtains and closed doors, though hopefully not as dramatic as Angelo’s story. But there are things we only share with close friends and family. Or things that are so private to you, that they only happen when you’re home alone. Look for those stories, capture them, even if that is fighting a feeling of loneliness in the evening, or your weight-loss journey. You don’t have to share those photos with anyone, but you will have them for you. They will document your story, your struggle and become part of the journey itself. And one day you can look back at those photos and see the journey that you’ve made and you’ll be glad that you’ve documented it.

 

A selfie every single day for a year

You are part of your story. So it’s time to step into your big girls’ shoes and face the camera. Don’t feel like you have to do a duckface photo every single day, but do try to take a selfie every day at the same time. This creates a narrative story of your life. The beauty of this is that you not only see your change according to your moods but that you see the clothes you wore, the places you’ve visited, the things you’ve done. It all gets captured in this one shot.

Don’t want to capture your face every day on camera? Snap a photo of your feet. Artist and photographer Alisa Burke [link to alisaburke.blogspot.com] once said that she loves taking photos of her feet because they will share their own unique story of where she’s been, what she wore and what she did that day.

And if you don’t want to stick to either one thing every single day, mix it up. A selfie or self-portrait is just a photo with you in it, however you want to do it. That doesn’t have to be your face or the whole of you. Your hands holding your favourite mug of coffee is still a self-portrait.

So there you have it. 6 different ideas of things to document in your life if you don’t have kiddos to practice on daily.

Homework:

Go explore what idea works best for you. We’d love to hear from all the single ladies or guys and see YOUR story in photos.

Comment below with a link to your blog so we can see your work and projects you’ve taken on.

Author: MarieMasse

I help client documentary photographers fine-tune their workflow + marketing game, so their work is filled with sessions that represent their voice + client values while earning a living. I shoot undirected, off-beat stories that aren’t preserved often enough (like the story of couples before starting a fam or becoming empty-nesters – a dream project of mine), so my clients’ old box of photos is a meaningful, visual diary of their life + legacy to leave behind.


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