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I am a photographer so my life is full of photos.
Some of my most prized possessions are the tubs full of photo albums in my basement from the span of my life – birth, growing up, college, and beyond.
While I don’t think there’s anything that can take the place of photographs, there is something that I believe is equally important in the record-keeping of our lives and too often overlooked.
That is video.
Home Movie Treasures
My parents believed the same thing, thankfully, because my sister and I have dozens of home movies that my parents transferred over to DVDs several years ago for Christmas.
When the tornado sirens go off and I’m running around frantically, trying to grab my most cherished possessions, that box of home movies ends up in the basement with me every time.
When my sister and I were growing up, recording home movies wasn’t easy like it is today. My parents paid a lot of money for a video camera and they carried that small luggage-sized case around to all of our important events.
They realized the importance of everyday moments too though, and most of our home videos are filled with Erica and I just being kids. Camping, riding our bikes, putting on plays, playing outside. In addition to the holidays, birthdays, dance recitals, school concerts and sporting events, they photographed our day to day lives, and I think my sister would agree that those are some of our very favorite videos to watch.
Today, with a video camera in our pocket, it’s easier than ever to capture the moments of our lives. In the last year, Matt and I have made a much bigger effort to document our lives on video. Especially now that Raleigh is here – we want to give him the same joy of watching home movies as my sister and I have.
However, the hard part about digital videos living in our phones is it’s hard to watch them. Sure, you can play them on your phone but how do you store them long-term? Where do you back them up? Once your phone breaks or you get a new one, how will you watch them?
And unlike filming on a VHS tape where you could easily play the entire 1+ hour tape filled with smaller clips, it takes time to edit videos into a longer composite film.
The 1 Second Everyday App
In January, I was looking at Instagram, and one of the girls I follow mentioned a video app she was using to create a 365 day video project made up of a one-second video clip per day. Intrigued, I looked into it.
The app is called 1 Second Everyday. It all started a handful of years ago when the creator decided to make a composite video with one-second video clips from his life that year. At the end of the year, he had a video that was roughly 365 seconds [a bit over 6 minutes] long. It was short enough to watch anytime while still capturing the essence of each year, and everyone he shared the video with loved it. The 1 Second Everyday app was born!
The app is available for both iOS and Android. It allows you to create two types of projects – one is a day to day chronological video made up of one second clips.
The other type doesn’t take the date into account and lets you put clips into any order you want. This second Freestyle option is perfect for creating a composite video of a vacation or a wedding day or other special event.
The app also gives you the option of extending your video clips a bit longer than one full second, which I always do now. In the beginning, I was using the true one second clip length but I felt like it was just a tad too short for my preference. The extended version is closer to 1.5 seconds and it’s amazing what a difference that little bit makes.
Initially, I wasn’t sure what kind of video I could create with only 1 second clips [technically 1.5 seconds but for the sake of simplicity, I’m going to say 1 second.] It sounds so short, doesn’t it?
But I loved the idea that at the end of the year, I would have a video that is easy and quick to watch, made up of video clips from the previous year. And since this was the year we would become parents, it seemed like the perfect time to start the project.
My 1 Second Everyday Video Project
My day to day was not very exciting when I began in January. I didn’t have a ton of material to record, aside from my quiet days at home with Remy as we waited for baby boy to come. But I kept at it. And then Raleigh was born and I continued as the days and weeks went by.
At the end of every week, I would export and save that week’s video, and at the end of each month, I would export that month’s video and save it. I didn’t want to risk having the app crash and losing my project. I also decided to buy a subscription to iCloud so that I could back up the project that way.
When this year ends, I will export the whole 2016 video clip, and I’ll start again in 2017.
At any point, the app allows you to export a custom date range. When July 1st rolled around, I exported the video for the first half of 2016. And now that we have only a bit more than 2 months left in the year, I have 9+ months worth of clips.
I couldn’t have timed this project any better if I tried. Even though the clips are only 1.5 seconds long, it gives an amazing look at how Raleigh has grown and changed in the last 6 months.
I am so grateful for this project and this app, I could literally cry.
Here is my video from January through September 2016:
There are a couple videos of naked baby baths that I censored for the internet. There are also several videos of toots and blowouts included because they are a hilariously memorable part of this phase of our lives.
With each of us literally having a video camera in our pocket these days, there is no excuse for not taking video of our lives.
Even if your days don’t seem very exciting to you right now, there will come a time when you look back on your current season with a different perspective. Each day has something worth recording.
The 1 Second Everyday video app is a brilliant way of allowing us to create keepsake videos that are easy to make and share, fun to watch and manageable to store year after year.