THE FIRST ROUND - xanthe berkeley
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I never imagined that I would run an ecourse, yet here I am, having finished guiding a group of lovely people all over the world through the process of Creating Time Capsules, and poised to do it all over again next week.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about where I am creativity and where I’ve come from. It’s weirdly wonderful that I’m moving in this direction, from what I’ve always done for myself for years now, to now offering the chance for others to do the same. You see, ever since I was a teenager I’ve been documenting my everyday life, from taking photos of myself and friends at the school gates, hanging out on the heath or whenever we went anywhere special. I know for a fact it would drive some of my best friends crazy; I always wanted to capture us doing whatever we were doing… they’ve finally come round to the idea I’m never going to stop and more recently surrender to my camera willingly.

At art college I began keeping visual journals – cut up photos and polaroids, notes on my day, tickets, receipts, articles, photos from magazines ripped out… anything and everything… still documenting, still recording. These books are treasured greatly now and as soon as dip into anyone of them I’m transported back into that moment. Things are there that I would have long forgotten now… I was making my own version of time capsule even back then. Art college gave me the chance to explore photography, video and film and I dabbled in it all, making my own super 8 stories, shooting and then editing videos with whatever editing package was on a mac at that time. Some films I created with Francesca and we’re still collaborating on projects now.

My visual journals evolved over the next few years, especially when we moved to Asia. I carried on photographing and documenting, but there was less writing, it was more about the photos. My photos were enough to tell the story and preserve the memory and I was still videoing…

Then our boys were born… here was a whole new subject to document, photograph and film. Whilst I have the photos and footage somewhere on a hard drive, it’s the visual journals that are the most accessible, (although there are gaps,) I do have a lot of their early life in books. There are also video clips and small films I put together to share with family & friends while we lived abroad.

I guess why I’m sharing this, is because this really is what I do… I document life and find ways to preserve the memories in what ever way I can. This digital age makes it so much easier, you can make photo books at the click of a button, no more sticking and taping my books together. Your photos and video are available instantly, sometimes in the palm of your hand, ready to share with the world in a second. I remember the hours of editing on a slow mac, waiting for video to download, for it only to be all lost when the computer crashed! Now we are in an age where we can gather the memories and make our own versions of time capsules all the time… and it’s so exciting.

I’d love to share a small selection of the amazing work my lovelies on the February course created, it was very hard to pick just a few projects, but I think these give a real flavour of what you can create once you dive in and give it a go. Please visit here and maybe grab a cup of something to settle down and watch the magic made.

If you are interested in joining my Creating Time Capsules course, there is still time to sign up… class starts on Monday 2nd April and just to let you know, I won’t be running this course again till the end of the summer… All the details are here and if you have any questions, let me know.

So that’s where I am, moving in the right direction… still telling other people’s stories through my lens; their weddings, bumps & births and families growing and so delighted to be now inspiring others to combine their photos and videos into stories of their lives… and there are lots of exciting opportunities on the horizon… more inspiration, gatherings, collaborations and stepping out of my comfort zone again. I’m ready to embrace it all.


  • Margie Hatch
    Posted at 21:36h, 20 May Reply

    I just came across your website from your article “Passion for Color”. I’m an amateur photographer fantasizing in the idea of becoming a “real one” some day. I love what you’ve done using using stills and live video and music. Great work!

  • Valerie Ximone
    Posted at 16:52h, 02 April Reply

    I came across your website a few weeks ago via the Chookooloonks blog. I am the memory keeper in my family. We have traveled the world. I have recently started to organize the photos and videos that I have. I have made a few videos, they are ok. I am looking forward to taking your time capsule class at the end of the summer. The clips you have posted are wonderful. I am also enjoy reading your blog. It is creative, positive, thoughtful and inspiring.

    Valerie Ximone Ritchie

    P.S. I like your name, it is rare to see an X at the beginning of someone’s name.

  • sally calligan
    Posted at 15:01h, 30 March Reply

    Xanthe, It is nice to know where you have been, and how you got to recording all this stuff. You do have an artist’s mind. But I can see that it is a long time you have been working at this. What is so great is how you put it together to make it all so interesting.

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