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How to document your life. And why you should!

By - Richard - 16th June 2021

I have always been interested in social history, which is probably why I started my career as a documentary filmmaker.

As I get older, the photos, video clips and documents which I have collected over the years become more and more important to me.

In this video, I talk about the people and things which I have documented over the past few years which have the most value. I also offer five tips which you can implement to help document your own life:

1) Don’t just document the big events. It’s highly likely that you will document the big events in your life like weddings, birthday and holidays. Whilst these events are certainly not things to be missed, the real joy in documenting your life comes from capturing the mundane and ordinary. Things and events that may seem trivial and irrelevant at the time can take on a huge significance with time.

2) Document. Don’t create. Don’t worry about trying to be creative. Just capture what is going on around you. The quality of your photo or video footage is not important, what you are trying to do is capture things that will evoke an emotional response in the future.

3) Commit to documenting your life every day. Use your phone to take a photo or shoot a video clip every day. With the passing of time, these image and clips will create their own story and will remain something for you to look back on.

4) Start a YouTube channel. I am still relatively new to YouTube, but over the past months, the process of making regular YouTube videos means that I have been documenting my life. I have learned how to juggle fire, pushed myself harder than ever before with my running, experienced umpteen sunrises and sunsets and become a better and more passionate filmmaker. I have also created videos that I will be able to look back on fondly in the years to come. 5) Print your photos. For years I had thousands of photos stored on my phone. I enjoyed scrolling through them from time to time, but really photos need to be printed to be appreciated properly. The process of making photo albums can be done simply and cost-effectively with wesbistes such as Snapfish (www.snapfish.co.uk) where you can upload photos directly from your phone. Creating a photo album from your phone is one of the simplest and most rewarding ways of documenting your life.

About the Author

Richard Nicholls - Managing Director

Before launching Swift Films, Richard worked as a broadcast TV director and editor, working on programmes for the BBC, ITV and Sky.

A multi-skilled and technically-minded filmmaker, Richard is equally at home coming up with creative concepts as he is on location filming or pulling footage together in the edit suite.

Richard is a member of Independent Producers Scotland and has a love of cats, football, chocolate and Film Noir (in that order).