5 Surprising Things I Learned About Documenting While Traveling

On my trip to Paris, I decided to try something a little different. Instead of waiting until I returned home, I decided to bring along some essentials and document while traveling. Kind of the best of both worlds - memories documented without the stress of having to do it when I returned home.

Here are a few things that surprised me while documenting on the go…

5 Surprising Things I Learned About Documenting While Traveling | Azzari Jarrett

1. The airplane folding tray was just enough space to create.

I didn’t intend to use the airplane folding tray as a space to create, but I was so excited to get started. As it turns out, the airplane folding tray is the perfect size. I was able to write down my feelings and intentions about the trip. Be sure to pack your supplies in your carry on bag.

5 Surprising Things I Learned About Documenting While Traveling | Azzari Jarrett

2. Limiting your supplies makes you more creative.

I know it sounds counterintuitive, but when I have my entire stash available, the decision making process about what to use can be daunting. By limiting my supplies, I actually used everything. Not once did I think, “I wish I brought ….” Instead, I made do with what I had.

Here’s what I packed: Midori Traveler’s Notebook, Midori Blank Traveler’s Refill, small palette of gouache, travel paintbrush, black ink pad, date stamp, stickers, Micron journaling pen, Scotch adhesive roller, binder clippers, my current favorite Kelly Purkey stamps, Fuji Instax Share printer (I have an older version), and my HP sprocket. I was able to fit everything in one bag, which was perfect for keeping my supplies together.

5 Surprising Things I Learned About Documenting While Traveling | Azzari Jarrett

3. Collecting ephemera during the trip can be fun.

I really enjoyed picking up ephemera at every place we visited - visitor maps, business cards, receipts, ticket stubs. Usually these things are cumbersome for me collect on trips because I know I have to keep track of them in order to get them home. And they add up quickly! I found that I didn’t mind collecting ephemera because I knew I would be using them soon.

5 Surprising Things I Learned About Documenting While Traveling | Azzari Jarrett

4. Finding a quiet space to journal is essential.

As soon as we got to our apartment, I made sure to find a space that I could spread out and create. It turned out to be this little desk near a window that was perfect for holding all my supplies. At the end of each day, I simply returned to this little area and documented our excursion for the day.

5 Surprising Things I Learned About Documenting While Traveling | Azzari Jarrett

5. Anything is better than nothing.

I realized I could let go of any preconceived notions about perfection. Anything I documented that day would be better than nothing at all. I wasn’t concerned about things matching or how they looked together. I was simply able get my thoughts and pictures documented.

And if you are interested, here is a short video of my complete January traveler’s notebook.

Impossible Color Instant Film

It's been three years since I have tried Impossible Film, and I didn't have much luck.  I decided to give it another try.

I recently purchased another pack of Impossible Instant Color Film to use with my Polaroid 660 camera, and I definitely see the improvements.  At $23 for 8 exposures, that's almost $3 per shot.  You better believe I took my time with each exposure, and I'm loving the results.  This film photography habit of mine is definitely not cheap. 

Impossible Color Instant Film | Azzari Jarrett
Impossible Color Instant Film | Azzari Jarrett

We've been having a lot of rain in Atlanta, so the above images where take on a cloudy day - something that I would not have attempted with original Polaroid 600 film.  I'm finding that high contrast images work best with Impossible film.

Impossible Color Instant Film | Azzari Jarrett
Impossible Color Instant Film | Azzari Jarrett

Direct sunlight streaming in through my kitchen window - love the shadows and light.

Impossible Color Instant Film | Azzari Jarrett
Impossible Color Instant Film | Azzari Jarrett

These last two images where taken on overcast days, indoors - so not a lot of natural light available.  I definitely would not have done this Polaroid 600 film, but I was amazed at the results.   Loving the mood captured here.  

And because I am trying to get a bit more comfortable filming my process (more on that soon), I recorded this quick flip through of these polaroid images.

The First Day of Spring

It is the first day of the Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere.  And I'm loving the sights and sounds of Spring so far.  Capturing yellow roses on film, bees swarming around the trees in full bloom, and our tulips on the way.

I'm a little addicted to creating videos to document the start of a season.  I simply think it's a unique way to capture and document what's around me and bring images to life.  Here's a video from last summer, and a behind the scenes look at instant film photography.

Credits: This video was filmed with my Nikon D600, music is All Eventualities by Guillicuddy.

hello july

I enjoyed making my first video so much, that I thought I would create another as a reminder of the sights and sounds of what July is like for us this year.  We are really enjoying warm summer nights, trips to the pool, playground visits, a messy workspace, and watching the garden grow.

I am really enjoying these visual diaries.  Normally, I would have photographed each of these moments, but I love how video brings my images to life.  Yet another way for me to express myself creatively.

Hello July - here's to a great summer!

behind the scenes: instant film photography

A quick, "behind the scenes" look at my process of shooting with my Hasselblad 500c with a polaroid back, and fuji fp 100c film.

This is a completely new venture for me - my first video.   But I thought the quickest, easiest way to demonstrate my process would be to film it.  And I have to admit that I really enjoyed filming this.  Maybe it is my constant need to learn something new?

So often I post the finished product here, but I thought I'd try to give you a glimpse into what it is like to shoot with a medium format camera and instant film - having an actual, tangible picture in your hand minutes after you press the shutter.   And of course, now I have so many more ideas about videos -  like how to attach the polaroid back to the Hasselblad, how to load the film, etc.  Questions I had as I was beginning with film. This totally has me thinking about getting a tripod for future videos.....

A few credits:

Filmed with: Nikon D600

Music: Adventure, Darling by Gillicuddy

I created the entire film in iMovie on my Mac.  Pretty simple and straightforward.

Side note: I just love the sound of the Hassie's shutter.  There's nothing quite like it.

And finally, images that I have taken with the Hasselblad here.