My Life in 30 Seconds
With my father’s recent passing, I’ve been thinking a lot about his legacy, which has led me to think a bit more about my own.
And I’ve been reflecting back on my journey to date. I’m talking way back and trying to take in my whole life. What’s my story so far, and how has it evolved?
One way I’ve gone through this exercise is to review the photos I’ve created and collected over the years. They document many of the moments that have helped to define me.
Create a Photo Montage of your Life
Five years ago, I created a little photo project, which I’ve decided to return to and update. It’s been really useful to jog my memories during this time.
The goal is to select just a very few pics that represent my life so far. And then create a photo montage in a short video. The result is inevitably influenced by the chosen group of pictures, which will vary each time I try this.
Still, these photos do represent one way to look at your life. And I’ve enjoyed this exercise to help regain a broader view.
My Life in 10 Seconds?
How many photos do you select? Well, one option is to squeeze down the number to how many can fit into a defined amount of time. Sure, if you don’t want to restrict yourself, the video might last for hours. But what if you just limit yourself to just a fraction of that?
When I first tried this five years back, I held my video to just 10 seconds, and
I explored a few different photo montages at that length.
Okay… That ended up being a little too fast, as my pictures needed to fly by so quickly you could barely register each image. Some of my viewers complained.
So this time, I’m giving myself the luxury of a whopping 30 seconds.
Barrett’s Birthday Photo Montage
Each birthday is a marker in time and one simple way to collect a group of photos to tell a story. So here are my birthdays…
Though birthday pics can look visually similar across the years (mine certainly do), when strung together, the collection acts as a sort of time machine.
For many of these photos, I tried to represent my age by holding up certain fingers. (I eventually gave that up when I ran out digits!)
Barrett’s Life Photo Montage
Without the guard rails of a specific life event to work with, which photos should you choose to represent your life? Yes, that’s a much harder exercise and one that will take more time to figure out.
I created this draft, but it’s hardly ‘finished.’
This montage offers more visual interest as it shows me out-and-about in the world (as opposed to stuck in front of a birthday cake). But it’s still missing a key ingredient in any life.
You’re Not Alone
Of course, it’s all the people you know. Your family and friends are such as important part of your journey. You need to include them in any photo montage that truly reflects your life.
So, happily, I’ve still got a lot of work to do on that front. Until then, my little photo montage is hardly complete.
What Comes Next?
No, 30 seconds is not a lot of time. And hopefully, it’s not enough for anyone to really work with.
If anything, it’s just a taste or an echo of something much larger… and longer.
But I’ve still found it to be a useful exercise to try to hone in on just a few highlights.
And perhaps, it might help focus me on what my next highlights could be.
Time machines can work in both directions.