I first came across this photo in the winter last year (click the link to see the photo) and I loved the photo, the creativity and the fun factor of it. It was part of an album on Flick by Carolyn Lagattuta (Cat Klein) me. being a weirdo. a 365 Project of selfies. This lead me on a search of the internet about 365 Projects and I thought it a great idea for me to embark upon one to help further my skills. I hate winter and generally will not go outside once it’s cold, cuddled under my blanket at the computer I spend most of the winter, until the rays of spring come. But, I was motivated this year and I thought maybe I could do a project INSIDE and if I only use my cell phone and not my DSLR, I might actually keep photographing through the winter.
So, I found out many people do themes, picking one thing and taking 365 photos of it. One did a 365 project of a tree, oneTree365 by Ciaran Burke. Yet another used a Danboard for a project (and if you don’t know what that is, like I didn’t, check it out) The Adventures of Danboard by Areille Nadel. And of course, we can’t forget the storm troopers by Teymur Madjderey .:troopies365. I found there were lots of themes and a lot of very talented and creative people out there, working on these projects. And although I enjoyed looking through the many ways one can photograph a single theme, I looked around my apartment and figured if I was to photograph inside, I would only be left with the self portrait theme
The idea of taking selfies, well, naw, that’s a whole separate post, or session on Freud’s couch, I’m not sure which. Maybe both! Although I loved the idea of taking a photo using a theme for an entire 365 days, and even though I really thought these people were so creative, I just didn’t think I could do that. I figured I run out of angles, colours and ideas about, oh, day eight into the project. What I needed was a rotating theme or subject, something I could grab quickly and easily from inside my home and from under my blanket. And so, I searched some more and I found many projects, some 365, some 52 weeks and some offered themes for a month. I landed on one by Katrina Kennedy Capture Your 365. She does have a membership area, which I joined this year, but initially, I just signed up last year for her email list of each daily photo theme, which was put out monthly.
Even though you are given a theme for the day, your photograph is unique, represents the people, places and things around you. A photo is sometimes crafted from things on hand, gathered with purpose and set just right for the prompt, like the prompt of ‘a dreaded chore’ as I pulled out my vacuum and placed it just thus on the stairs. And yes, I decided I might as well vacuum since I had it out! While at other times, I wander around for the day, looking for an idea, or a moment to capture the prompt, like the photo for this post. The prompt was ‘R’ and I wasn’t sure what to do for this. However, as I worked through the night, I looked at Ralph and said, “Take me to the prettiest Road in our division.” And hence, Teddington Park was his choice, and I took the photo when the sun started coming up. Road.
And that’s the point. This project, whatever the themes and prompts, or maybe in spite of them, are your project, your snippets, your story. It is the people, the places and the things that I see in my life and my work. It documents my life. When I look back on my instagram feed, I remember the photo, the item, the person who’s ‘smile’ I had to capture for that days prompt, or the family walking on the beach who represent the prompt ‘together,’ or the photo of the stuffed toy bear on my mothers dresser to show ‘homemade.’ Taking a photo a day became such an everyday thing, that Ralph always checked in to see what we needed to find to photograph, and my peeps knew, ‘a photo a day.’ And although I did not finish the project, abandoning it as soon as it became nice out in favour of my DSLR and the outdoors, I did get so much more then I had thought I would get from the project. I had started it to hone my photographic eye more and to continue to improve my photography skills. However, what I ended up with was capturing my life. The pretty things, the people, and sometimes the struggles and the hopes and dreams.
So, this year, I joined Capture Your 365 again, and although I am not always consistent, I am recording, one photo, one snippet at a time, my adventures through 2017. Here is a perfect example by Brandy Thomas January Prompts. Can’t you just see this on a calendar next year. Maybe with your children’s and family photos, a dog or a kitten, an antique heirloom or an old rocking chair. I posted an old porcelain egg holder last week. It was my sister-in-law who commented, “I remember it!” She reminded me that this item had been my grandmother’s, and it had been displayed in the china cabinet at the family farm where I grew up each summer surrounded by many relatives and friends. Her comment prompted a deeper memory, a nice and warm one, which I had forgotten about when I was trying to take this photo of a white egg holder on a white background. Our photos do have meaning and they document our lives. Try a 365 project for yourself and see where it takes you. What you document and how, you might be very pleasantly surprised. And who knows, maybe next year I will embark on a creative 365 selfie project or maybe just one tree. Happy snapping!