I'm almost there. Days away from completing my Project 365.
Never cheating, posting late to the blog only a handful of times.
It may be called "Project 365," but you should also know that I took waaaaay more photos than that. Since I got my new camera in mid-January, I have taken over 43,000 pictures. Forty-three thousand.
ADVICE & REFLECTION...
If you're thinking about doing a Project 365, you really need to assess your stage in life and your personality type first. For instance, if you're having a baby (and you already have a baby), and you're a perfectionist who can't just crank out a finished photo in no time flat, you may want to reconsider. But then again, every year will have its big events, foreseen and not, that threaten to derail you. Shoot through it all! And if all else fails, post a pic you take with your phone. It totally counts.
My friend, Jen, from my Lens Baby group was my unofficial 365 partner. Seeing her blog posts daily pop into my Google Reader was a real motivator for me. Not to mention the number of times I realized I made mistakes on the days' numbers in my blog titles after seeing Jen's posts. Like when I suddenly started titling my photos in the 200s again after I was already in the 300s. (It's been a long year.) All this to say, if you're going for it, find a partner to help get you through it. Someone with whom to commiserate when the project gets tough. Someone to help spark new ideas for your pictures.
Sometimes a new outfit or prop, location, or activity would be the inspiration for the day's shot. But more than these things, it's all about capturing life as it happens.
I feel the need to lay it all out with a little pro/con list, Rory Gilmore style...
* I have an entire year of our life documented. What a treasure these pictures are to us, our family, and one day, to our girls.
* I love this photographic journal to aid my not-so-great memory.
* This has created an "everyday" shooter out of me. It has helped me to recognize the beauty and sweetness of our everyday moments, no matter how simple.
* I know my camera pretty well now.
* I've had practice, practice, practice.
* It's a neat timeline of how my photography has improved.
* I honored my commitment, and I feel so proud!
* This late in the game, I feel burned out. I've had many days lately when I feel negative about "having" to pick up my camera and take pictures. I don't like feeling that way.
* I hate posting pictures I'm not proud of. I've had to let that go quite a number of times in order to stay faithful to the project.
* TIME. This is the biggie. It takes me forever to edit every night. I'm a perfectionist and also still pretty new at all of this, so I still try to figure things out as I go. You may think, "It's just one picture, how hard could it be?" Just remember that you don't just snap one picture. On an average day I snap at least 100 (usually way more than that). Then I have to look through all of those and pick my favorites and try to cull it down to one. Many times I can't pick just one! Next, I have to edit it (them). I'm such a perfectionist that I can sit there and play with one photo for hours. It's very hard for me to finally say "I'm done" and post it.
Time spent doing this means that other sacrifices were made:
-Quality evening time with my husband who deserved more of my attention.
-Time to actually learn more about photography through classes and forums. Practice is good, but only when you're learning new things to practice!!
-Time to edit other pictures.
-Time to rebuild my blog after I lost every.single.picture on here this summer.
-Time to just be completely lazy at night.
But looking back, it all feels like it was worth it to have this incredible timeline.
So... will I do this again in 2012? Absolutely not. I need a break. My plan for 2012 is to take lots of pictures and share lots of pictures. Take days off. Learn like crazy. Spend time on what's right.
But I do hope there is a next time. Here are a few reminders for myself:
* Create a "favorite" label on the blog for my best shots.
* Remember to shoot for me and my photography growth. (Take pictures of things other than my girls.)
* Participate in photography challenges and projects to push myself along the way.
* Use a tripod and a timer or remote to get IN more of the pictures.
* Start using captions with the number in the blog title from the get-go. It is helpful when I'm trying to locate a certain picture.
My next project? Making a book of these 365 photos!