Sunday, January 29, 2012

Step 1 - Pictures, Pictures, Pictures!

Whether you're fixing up a classic car or an old boat, on a mission to shed a few unwanted or unneeded pounds, embarking on a landscaping project in the backyard, or renovating an old house, take pictures.  Their value to you in the future may be difficult to qualify at the beginning, but you'll be glad you gave this step some priority from the start.  A picture is worth a thousand words. Modern use of this adage started in the 1920's before we had so much access to cameras and digital technology that make it easier than ever to document things with a photo.  I'd like to encourage you to keep this in mind before you start, heed the words ingrained into our psyches in the late 1980's by Nike, and Just Do It; take those pictures.

I'll admit that I haven't always done this.  I've been completely through the demolition of more than one of my Pig's Ear renovations and suddenly thought, 'Did I take pictures before I started?  I really hope I did.'   Then, later on when I checked my collection of photos I was disappointed to realize I had not remembered my own advice.  The times this has happened is a tough moment, not simply because I know better, but because the proof of what I had started with is gone. 

There are a few reasons beyond pride-fulness for taking pictures.  Sure you'll want to show others what you did, but you'll want and need them for yourself as well.  I use the word need because you will.  Anything eating up your time and requiring effort and attention will have at least one moment (if not many) when you pause to ask yourself what you're really doing and why you're doing it.  The pictures will help you regain your focus because they'll make it clear how far you've already come. 

So click away, delete diligently as needed, and come up with a system of organizing the photos early on and along the way and you won't have to be concerned about taking too many.  I promise you, no matter what big project or goal you've taken on, you'll be glad you took plenty of pictures.

Before - With the gray color, the smoke stain from the fire, and the dark blue trim (that looks almost black) this picture is dark.  However, it still conveys plenty about what I started with.
During - It's plain to see that progress had been made, but also obvious that I still had work to do.
After - People will see how things look when you're done, but with the final pictures you'll be able to show them in the future if/when you move, or thousands of miles away as they review your achievement on-line.

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