I wanted to share a bit about the app I am using and loving so far this year: 1 Second Everyday. If you follow me on Instagram you've heard me pledge my love to this about a million times already but I figured a blog post would give me a chance to share the full 31 seconds of January and go into a bit more depth about how I use and why I chose this documentation tool.
In December (or maybe November?) I was driving Ellerie to daycare and I thought recording a second a day would be a perfect idea for 2016. I knew I had seen it somewhere - I realized recently it was in the movie Chef - so I figured there had to be an app. I parked the car and immediately searched and ta-da! An app.
On January 1st, I started recording bits of our days. You can see the video below.
Capturing a second, it turns out is SUPER easy to do and SUPER easy to over-think. As the month progressed, I chilled out a bit about getting the "right" second and just thought about getting A second. I do not have "technical" app tips to share (you can find some here) but I do have some things that have worked for me as I approached this project.
Hold the camera horizontal. This creates a uniform landscape video which is not a requirement by any means, but I think makes the whole thing feel a bit more cohesive (plus it looks more like a real movie and less like a phone video). It took a bit for me to get into the habit (I take 95% of my photos portrait style on my phone) but now it's second nature to turn the camera.
Let the subject move, not the camera. Because a second is such a short amount of time, I have found that by holding the camera still and letting the subject move I get a more interesting but less motion sickness inducing video. I sort of treat it like I'm taking a photo and frame things up first (using these basic rules) and then watch until I've gotten my second.
Think about the Big Picture, not the little one. Yes, a second a day is tiny! But 366 seconds for a year? That's a decent amount of footage that is still COMPLETELY digestible. I think my favorite part of this is that I know at the end of the year I'll have an already edited video that's just over 6 minutes. More importantly, I know it's realistic that at 6 minutes, the video will be watched (probably again and again). Plus, of course, I have tons of extra video footage now. At least 5-15 seconds a day which is WAY more than I would have had if I wasn't working on this. If someday I get a wild itch to make a long movie of our family, I'll be ready.
Save it for a rainy day. As with any new project, there is so much hype and excitement in the beginning. I found myself thinking "oh I should record this! And this! And also this!" But obviously I just want a second each day. So I made a list of all my "ideas" and when I inevitably plateau on this project, I'll have that list to fall back on.
Export often. I am "mashing" the video snippets together weekly and saving them to the google photos app just in case something happens to my phone or the app. I also plan to save month-by-month in high-res. And a quick word on storage - once the second from the video is imported to the app, you can delete the full video off your phone.
So, why did I decide to go this route this year?
I think it's three fold:
- My girls are growing rapidly and NOTHING captures that growth quite like video.
- For the current state of mind I'm in, I love not needing any extra space, storage or supplies to work on this project.
- It's so very quick to capture the video and add it to the app.
Basically: time and space are limited around here, but LOVE is not. This feels like the best way to capture the love.
Of course, there is never going to be the perfect documentation tool for everyone during every season of life. This is working great for me now just as other things have worked well in the past and undoubtedly something else will work great in the future. I keep thinking though, that I would have loved to have used this to document my extremely crafty years before the girls were born. Or how fun it would be to have a video of just your hands (painting, typing, writing, cooking, gardening, driving) over one year. Or even just a video of a child's face everyday (they change so much!).
It makes me giddy to consider the possibilities.
PS. I recorded a podcast episode with Cesar Kuriyama, creator of this app, last week. You can listen to it here.