On Daily Photo Projects

01.15.2014 :: frozen fog

I seem to have signed myself up for another year of daily photos without fully intending to. My fourth round of Project 365 (from July 2011-July 2012) didn’t feel like much of a success, considering how I had to drag myself kicking and screaming through it. Which isn’t to say I haven’t gotten to that kicking and screaming stage with each round of Project 365. But after that last time, I said I really, really wouldn’t do it again, and I meant it.

02.05.2014 :: iced over

And then, just like every period between Project 365 years, I kind of … totally stopped taking photos like I used to. This time, it’s been different, because sure, I’m still taking photos almost every day, but they’re for my scrapbook. There’s a subtle difference in my head in photo quality based on where I share them: instagram is all phone photos, and has now become the place where I share photos just for fun, or something funny I noticed. It’s also the place where I interact with others the most; many of my old flickr friends have moved entirely to instagram, and I’ve made quite a few new ones through the #projectlife hashtag, which is awesome. Flickr is still the place where I post my “real” photos, the ones I am proud of or think are slightly better than the everyday stuff I share on instagram (although there’s definitely overlap between the two). And then there are the photos that only ever make it into my scrapbook: every day photos that document life or an event simply or less artfully but that aren’t “worthy” of sharing on the internet at large (like blurry photos of Luna playing or being crazy). Sometimes I can’t even describe how I make this decision on a particular photo.

02.19.2014 :: baby kitten/baby belly

All of that to explain that I’ve been taking plenty of photos, but the purpose is totally different. I’m documenting everyday life, but the art and creativity isn’t always there. I haven’t added very many photos at all to my Ones I Like Best flickr set. I’m not going on photo walks or taking photos just because or bringing my “real” camera around with me anymore. When I was in the throes of the first three rounds of Project 365, I ALWAYS had my dSLR with me. Sure, that’s how my beloved XTi got so beat up, but I also wasn’t missing out on photos like I am now. The excuse is surely that the iPhone camera is better than any other phone camera I’ve had… but even with the photos I take on the iPhone that I love, somewhere in there, I know it could have turned out just a bit better.

02.23.2014 :: lazy Sunday

A few of my flickr friends are still working on daily photo projects, and a few others started new ones on January 1st. I took a photo on the first day of the year, and tossed around the idea of doing a photo a day for the month of January… and then got a whole bunch of capslock-filled comments urging me to just keep going for the year. I couldn’t really argue with them; 2014 is going to be a hell of a year, and how awesome would it be to document it like I always used to? To get back into real photography just in time to have the greatest photo subject of all on the scene?

02.24.2014 :: sunset drive

I’m 64 days into the project, and I’m beginning to wonder if it was a super great idea. But then, Project 365 is always the hardest in the winter, when it’s cold and there’s no light and you don’t DO much. I really do miss photography and taking photos I’m proud of, stretching that particular side of my creativity. And if there’s anything I’ve learned about myself, it’s that when I start a project that involves numbering, once I’ve started, I’m pretty unlikely to give up out of stubbornness or an OCD need to not miss a day or end on a random day. So here I am. Again, apparently. Even though I said I’d never do it again.

Never say never again, I guess.

9 thoughts on “On Daily Photo Projects

  1. I am exicted to see your yeatr in December. It will be worth it. πŸ™‚ I haven’t attempted a Daily challenge in 3ish years, mostly because I forget about it or blow it off. I do have a project I have had in my back pocket for when the baby comes though that will force me to take a pic every day. I’ll always have the subject matter so that will make it easier πŸ™‚

  2. As one of those cap-lockers, I am happy and excited for you that you’re doing 365. πŸ™‚ I don’t know if it helps, but like I’ve said before, I do it for documentation and big-picture stuff. Long ago I accepted that there would be plenty of shitty photos in any given year, but the whole point is that you just.keep.going.anyway. Which obviously, you know, because you’ve done it already! πŸ™‚ I bet once the weather gets warmer and you get closer to BABY you will think of more fun photo ideas! And just think about all the fun baby holiday dressing-up in the fall/winter–you’ll definitely want to document that! πŸ™‚

    It’s interesting that you talk about different places for different kind of photos. One of the best things about flickr is the community, and though it used to be a lot bigger, I still enjoy getting to know people through their photos! Plus it’s a nice peer-pressure to keep up the photos.

    Anyway, I guess I’m saying we support you and your photos no matter what. πŸ™‚

    • i think knowing that there will be shitty photos is important to remember… and probably one of the aspects i’m also most out of practice in. and i keep thinking how much easier it’ll be when the baby’s here, even if all the photos tend toward babies by then hahaha. i totally agree about flickr. i still miss the more robust community that was there 3-4 years ago, but i also feel like somehow i can be way more honest there than other places? even though i don’t use the friends/family option all that often.

      • Yes, I agree! It does feel like I’m chatting with friends there. I REALLY wish flickr would have a setting of “contacts only” instead of friends/family. So you could know that you’re only talking to people you know, without being all secret and making everyone f&f. Or maybe that’s the same thing, I don’t know.

  3. i know we talked about this at our last crafternoon, but it’s so true about taking different kinds of photos depending on the project & camera. great post, elizabeth!

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