A Project Complete: Church Directory

Almost two years ago, a couple members of my church come to me and ask if I would be willing to do the next church directory.  I agreed and being a recent college grad I didn’t have a whole lot to do at the time.  I knew it would take a lot of work, but I certainly didn’t think it would take this long (in fact, I don’t think any of us did.)  But almost two years later, after days of snapping photos and editing them, arranging them and arranging pages, I’m happy to present a few pictures from the final product for you:

As a photographer, I was asked to take all of the member photos for the directory.  This was the main reason for doing our own directory– when a company comes to take your church’s photos, there is no cost to the church.  However, the company makes profits via the family portraits they sell.  Our church opted to do our own so that they could pay me and keep the prices down for families who wanted to order extra prints.  (You can see the setup of this process for those church photos here and a picture of those finished photos here.)

With a small handful of exceptions, I also took all the additional photos of church events, groups, etc.  This took up a larger majority of the time because of all the special events such as Christmas, Easter, and other events that only occur once a year.  Then as a graphic designer, I was asked to arrange the book.  I enjoy taking photos, but it was also fun to arrange the photos in collages like pieces of a puzzle, as well as picking out colors, fonts, etc.

If you decide to embark on this sort of journey as a designer I’d be happy to share my insights with you.  Unless you’re working on a team of designers/photographers or don’t have a second (or third) job, it probably will take longer than you think.  Having said that though I enjoyed taking the photos and putting the booklet together and it also helped me to get to know our congregation a little better and that has been enjoyable too.  I’m so thankful to my church for giving me this opportunity and l’m so very glad to have accomplished such a large task and a great piece to add to my portfolio!  They say the biggest challenges are the most rewarding and that’s certainly true with this one.  Thanks to my friends and family (church or otherwise) for all your support!

~nestorakarts

New Year, New Routine

I personally believe that we all have new year’s resolutions whether or not we recognize them. We all look back at the past year and make new decisions or changes based on things we want to change for the future.  I’ve certainly made a few resolutions for the new year, in many different things.  And many of them are small resolutions or adjustments to the way I work so that I can keep them going.  Small changes are much better and easier to keep than a huge change in routine.  They’re not necessarily ‘new year’ resolutions either, but just resolutions that happen to occur around the new year because I’ve had a break to catch up, re-evaluate things, and a chance to make some changes in my routine so that there’s some flexibility while I’m not stuck in the same routine trying and attempting to do things differently.  Here’s a handful of them:

  • Get up when the alarm goes off (and not hit snooze for the next 30 minutes!)
  • Allow myself some time to myself each day so I don’t get stressed.  Especially with moving, the holidays, and LOTS of deadlines I started getting way too worked up about and stressed about getting things done and didn’t enjoy doing some of my work as much as I should have.  Setting time apart for myself to unwind each day and not get caught up in things should help with that.
  • Make more time for reading my Bible & prayer
  • Limit my time on facebook!
  • Set certain times for working on photography/graphic design-related items and STICK TO IT!  My art career is more of an “on the side” career but I never really made time to keep it going as a ‘career’ so I plan to actually make time to get things accomplished this year instead of doing it when I feel like it.  Sure, there is something to be said about getting more accomplished when you’re feeling more awake, more inspired, etc. but setting a time for it will help me get it done sooner.  This will also help me get projects done faster!  (Coming soon- new branding design, new logos, and new design book!)

Those are just a few of my ‘resolutions.’  Some of the things that I’ve used that I would recommend for other people trying to reorganize are Evernote and the 99% blog.  Evernote is a computer software program that lets you sync notes from computer to computer or other devices (smartphones, iPads, etc.)  It’s really helped me especially with checklists and to-do lists and jotting down thoughts so I have them wherever I need them.  The 99% blog (by Behance.net) is an organizational blog that helps you organizational skills, how to be more productive in your work, etc.  I’d definitely recommend it as a resource when you’re feeling stuck or like you need some help feeling more motivated.  (No, I’m not getting any benefit from endorsing them but I do feel like they have really helped so I want to recommend them to you.)

For some things I’m a creature of habit, but I also enjoy variety and change, so evaluating myself and figuring out how to make myself improve is a good and healthy exercise for me.  (Who doesn’t like to feel accomplished?)  I don’t know what the next year holds but I’m hoping to be prepared enough for it so that I can take on whatever comes my way.  So, here’s to hoping that everyone has a happy, productive, and blessed New Year!

~nestorakarts

Happy New Year