What I learned from NOT completing my 365 photo-a-day project
For me, the beginning of the year is a time for goal setting and resolutions. I’m all for setting goals (as I set them every year); however, I did not finish my 365 project in 2019. A few years ago, I started a 365 project and kept it going but in 2018 we moved during my busy season and I lost the momentum. In January, I started having some back issues and didn’t carry the camera around every day like I had in the past. So, really 2109 was a test to see what would happen when I didn’t take a photo-a-day.
Honestly, I was a bit nervous what photos I would end up with at the end of the year. I don’t keep a written journal and consider my photos a kind of visual journal to remember the year. There are huge gaps in the year but after putting together the video today I’m choosing to see the glass as half full and appreciate what I did take, and not on what I didn’t capture.
This is what I learned from NOT completing my 365 project.
I still took photos but it was more effort.
It might sound odd to say taking fewer photos took more effort but I didn’t have a routine, and I thrive more with daily task. Not having my camera with me all the time meant I had to remember take the photos. At the same time, I didn’t have that guilt of not having a photo for the day to keep me on task.
Despite the increased effort, I was much more intentional about what I took.
Plus, I didn’t take a photo just to take a photo. Any 365-ers know exactly what I’m talking about. Since we had just moved, I wanted to explore light in the new house. Also, I knew that I wanted to play around with different types of light and perspective. It gave me the opportunity to try new things and fail without feeling like I’d have to post a photo. As a professional photographer, I put pressure on myself to create something amazing all the time, and that just isn’t realistic.
I took more cell photos (and learned it is something I need to work on).
For this project, I didn’t include any cell photos but I think I will in 2020. The camera on the phones are really incredible and they are really convenient, especially since carrying around my camera was starting to bother me.
Putting together my project at the end of the year was a bit more freeing.
Since I didn’t have a photo for every day I could pull some of my favorite photos from throughout the year and I could make sure to get a better mix of both kids.
I was more present with my kids.
When my children were younger I would get bored while they were playing (shh, don’t tell them) so photography was an outlet for me while we spent hours at the playground or the museum without another adult to talk to. Now that they are older they require more of my attention but we have more fun together. We are more engaged with each other so I’m not hiding behind a camera.
So, despite all of this I’m going to try and take more photos in 2020. I miss seeing more of our everyday moments. Somewhere in one of these collages is Sadie carrying around her baby dolls. She had a phase of “wearing” her babies and dressing them up in rain coats (plastic zip lock bags) and I wonder if I will remember that in 10 years without a photo reminder.
This year to keep me inspired, I’m going to work on improving my cell phone photography, off-camera lighting, and photos with all four of us in them. My hope that working on these two projects will keep the camera out and accessible which is what I think is key to a successful 365 project.
If the video was too fast for you – a common complaint of my mom – you can take a closer look at the photos in these collages. This year, I included 302 photos.