Trying Again in 2010?

Many of you who watched me begin my photography journey in March know that my love for this art sparked from something called Project 365. The 365 project is one where you take a photo a day for an entire year and share them via a photo blog, flickr, facebook or other online source.  My interest in the 365 peaked as I saw my friend curiousillusion go from taking good pictures to taking GREAT ones in the span of about 2 months. The term ‘practice makes perfect’ really held true with this project. As you start taking a picture a day you start to see the world through the eye of a camera lens. You learn rather quickly what works with your camera and what doesn’t. And you can go from good to great in a matter of months.

With curiousillusion’s encouragement I started my 365 March 1st 2009. I was incredibly inspired by all the artists I met on flickr, I made some amazing new friends during my journey, and I even inspired 3 friends to take the plunge and start a 365 of their own. I reaped many rewards from this project, but in June during the midst of morning sickness and early pregnancy I just couldn’t keep up and I stopped my 365.

I really regret not sticking it out.  The perfectionist in my wanted a perfect shot every day.  And eventually, as my well of photo inspiration ran dry and the pregnancy took over my body, I gave up.

Now as a new year is about to begin and a fresh start is on the horizon I am on the fence about whether or not I want to pick back up the project I was unable to finish last year. The perfectionist in me is scared that I will once again get wrapped up in taking a superb picture every day and stress myself out to the point of quitting.

But, on the other hand, stepping away from the project last year allowed me to see my final product from quite a different point of view.  I love that I now have a visual diary of my life from March – June of 2009. My memories of this past year are so much more vivid because of those images. I remember the exact day things happened because of those pictures. It doesn’t matter anymore if it was a good or bad shot. For that moment in time it was me. My life. My emotion.

I am still on the fence about whether or not I want to commit myself to a project this big again but I am 99% sure I am going to take the plunge. I surely know if I do it this year I need to do it not for the glory of the perfect shot. I need to do it to record the moments of my life. The little ones and the big ones I can’t get back but can remember through my images.

Anyone else starting a project on Jan. 1 (photography related or not)? Anyone want to take the plunge and start a 365 with me?  I think you’ll find it to be one of the most worthwhile self-exploration projects you’ll ever do finished or not. I know that was the case for me in 2009 and I want to say I reached the finish line this time in 2010.

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megmDecember 27, 2009 - 1:46 pm

I am finishing up my first 365 and preparing to take on a 2nd year of the project (2 versions of it actually). It has been the most rewarding thing I have done for myself in a long time. I have definitely seen an improvement in my skills as a photographer which is what I was hoping to achieve, more importantly though, I've grown as a person. The experience is something I wouldn't change for the world (no matter how annoying it can be on the days when nothing works like you want it to). If you decide to take the plunge, I'll be in the canoe next to you cheering you on all the way. = )

bella rose photographyDecember 27, 2009 - 2:30 pm

Meg, I am so excited to hear you say you will be going for a year 2!!! Knowing that others around me will be there for support definitely help to make my decision to start again a little easier.

Sarah B.December 27, 2009 - 2:57 pm

I'm starting again, but not until the 7th. I'm going to do one year of living in my new house.

curiousillusionDecember 27, 2009 - 4:01 pm

I say go for it, can't hurt to try. I'm definitely trying for it, although to be honest, I'm utterly freaked out. I went through all my shots that I took for my project 365 and they went from bad, to decent, to bad again. And I'm not sure how to prevent that from happening again – life happens, you get busy, you get uninspired and eventually you take all the pics you can possibly take and you're left with… crap.Okay that's rather negative. I just gotta figure out how to do this, ya know?

lisadanelleDecember 27, 2009 - 6:51 pm

I plan on doing this 365 project right along with you this year Beryl, I think it will be really great and inspiring. Best wishes and I hope you choose to do it!

triciabouDecember 27, 2009 - 9:28 pm

I'm really thinking of jumping on board with you come January 1st. No better way to improve than to practice. Thank you for the encouragement. I hope that you will decide to do it too.XO*Tricia

bella rose photographyDecember 28, 2009 - 6:38 am

I love that idea Sarah! That will be so cool to see you go from move in day to all settled in. 🙂

bella rose photographyDecember 28, 2009 - 6:40 am

I totally understand the moments of negativity. I have them too. I just need to keep reminding myself this is collect memories and not to get a perfect picture every day. Have you seen the 3191 blog? They also published two books, a Year of Mornings and a Year of Evenings. It was so cool to see them collect every day images for a year. It was nothing special but the images all combined look amazing. Anyway, I just need to remember that not everyday is going to be my best shot and some days capturing the everyday will be all I need. Ok, that was as long response just trying to psych you (and me!) up for the project.

bella rose photographyDecember 28, 2009 - 6:42 am

Yay! I will be excited to follow along with your pictures too! Let me know where you decide to post them and I'll definitely come visit, comment, and cheer you on!

bella rose photographyDecember 28, 2009 - 6:44 am

Tricia, I am excited that you are going to jump on board! I hope you'll lt me know where you decide to post them and I'll definitely come visit, comment, and cheer you on!

Marcia S.December 28, 2009 - 8:18 am

Your post hit a nerve with me because I started my photography business in April of '09 and found out I was pregnant in May. So needless to say my pregnancy has taken over also and I have been on the fence about MANY things photography/business related. I have never heard of a 365 project but I say you go for it!!! This give me new inspiration to blog (because I feel like I am always talking to myself when I blog) and also the courage to reach out to other photographer moms….I need a support network! 🙂 I am due end of January/Early February but I will start with you on 1/1/10!!

Marla-DeeDecember 28, 2009 - 1:48 pm

Yes, I am going to take the plunge and do an open topic 365. I just decided the other day. I am anxiously looking forward to it and would be happy to be along side you for the journey!

bella rose photographyDecember 28, 2009 - 3:21 pm

Oh Marcia! I only know too well how pregnancy can turn your world upside down. Bella is the reason I put my camera down when I got pregnant in May too. I was sooooo exhausted. Then, when we lost her in September at 20 wks due to complications I turned back to photography to help me heal from the loss. And the gift I have gotten from that has been the best ever! You have such a great reason to pick up your camera again, you are going to have a big year and I bet you are going to want to savor every moment leading up to the birth and 1st year of you little one's life! I can't wait to see your 365!

bella rose photographyDecember 28, 2009 - 3:23 pm

Yay! Ready or not 2010 here we come. 🙂 Time to jump in head first and take it one day at a time right?! 🙂 It's going to be fun this year having a network of people to start this project with.

KalaDecember 28, 2009 - 7:36 pm

I will certainly follow you on your proposed 365 journey!

Christina BDecember 28, 2009 - 9:57 pm

This sounds like fun.. i would love to do this with you. Im new to photography and think this will be great =) How does this work!?!? do you sign up some where?

bella rose photographyDecember 29, 2009 - 7:06 am

Christina, I am glad to have you along for the journey! You're gonna find such a great support network as you go through the project this year. There aren't many rules. The basics are the you commit to taking 1 photo a day per year. Some people choose to do all self portraits, or choose to have a theme. I choose to document my life so for my 365 anything goes. It's really up to you! Next “rule”. Post the pictures somewhere for friends, family, and supporters to see and even comment on! Last year I uploaded all my pictures to the website “flickr” which I plan to do again this year. There are so many 365 groups on that site where you can share and see other people's photos who are going through the same journey.I actually will start a dedicated SOAR 365 group today. So all of us SOAR ladies have one place to share. http://www.flickr.com/groups/1294061@N20/You can also post your pictures to your blog if you so desire. I plan to do that over here too. Really in the end its up to you how you share just as long as you are taking 1 photo per day. I hope that helps!

Christina BDecember 29, 2009 - 11:32 am

ok this wont be hard at all since i take up to 200 photos a day. LOL what will be hard is choosing!!! Well i joined the flickr group you put together =D very excited. THANK YOU!!!

ajiraDecember 29, 2009 - 11:43 am

I say go for it! If you miss a day or two or whatever, don't beat yourself up about it, just pick up your camera and snap another shot. I think it's important to practice missing and then taking something up again, do you know what I mean? I completely relate to the perfectionist tendencies but I think it can be something that holds you back rather than up… so let go and SOAR!! :-)I've been doing something similar for the last nine months and it's been incredible. The biggest lesson for me is in not getting down on myself or scrapping the whole thing just because I missed a day or because it isn't always what I expected it to be. My next project is going to be about taking a self-portrait every day. I am giving myself permission to have days where I take the same old boring shot and also days when I do something incredibly creative. Either one is fine. 🙂

bella rose photographyDecember 29, 2009 - 1:21 pm

I am so impressed that you are going to do a daily self portrait this year! I think I would run out of ideas TOO quickly with that project, but I have seen others successfully finish a self portrait 365! I'll be looking forward to getting to know you better via your pictures this year!

KellyJuly 11, 2010 - 3:18 am

Beryl, i just love your photography work! BEAUTIFUL! I am on my third try at a Project 365. So far It’s still going. I did not start at the beginning of the year, heck I don’t even think I started at the beginning of a month. I just jumped right in and have been snapping away! There was one day when I pulled my card from the reader without ejecting it and lost all those photos. I included the cell phone photos. it keeps my creative brain working. I might not be so timely in posting the images, in fact I am a month and a half behind, but the photos are on my computer and as I get windows of opportunity, I post them to my blog.

KellyJuly 11, 2010 - 3:19 am

Oh…i guess what I forgot to tell you was that the first two attempts at this project were flops. I would drop the ball at week two or three……..Having a blog where I can post them helps keep me a little more accountable…LOL

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