On 4 November 2008, I decided to start a project. Not just any project, but one that required dedication, discipline, and a lot of creativity. I am notorious for getting excited about projects and then, halfway through wrapping the first batch of homemade caramels, wondering what the hell I was thinking and wishing I could throw the rest of the unwrapped caramels away in order to sprawl on the couch and watch re-runs of CSI.
But this time I decided I would stick to it. It wasn’t just any project, after all: It was a photography project. And photography was the first thing in a long time, maybe ever, that had made sense to me. Not just brought me joy, like singing and dancing had, but made sense. Photography was like a new friend who wanted to teach me a secret language. Photography was me really having to shut up and listen. Photography was me getting the opportunity to be alone but still be in the world, interacting with it, seeing it the way I’d always seen it in my mind but didn’t know how to make visible to anyone else. So this project? I was going to stick to it. I was going to go all the way.
Three hundred and sixty-five days later, here I am. I have taken a photo every day for a year. I can’t lie to you: I missed one day. It was last week, if you can believe it. Just too stressed out, too tired, too distracted by things, and I plum forgot to even go near a camera all day. But by that point, I was okay with it, and here’s why:
The 365 Project was never about anyone but me. Yes, I posted a lot of my images to Flickr. In the beginning, I was diligent about that. But as time went on I felt it more and more. The project was to help me improve as a photographer. It was to help me see the world in as many new ways as possible. And most of all, it was to record my year for myself, to create a body of work I could look back on and be proud of but also hold dear.
Missing a day? Tells me more about where I was at that moment than any random photograph could have done.
(And also I’ve taken so many damn photos this year I’m pretty sure I’ve made up for it 100 fold. Ahem.)
In part, I began to hold photos back because I realized the importance of silence, of editing, and of privacy. This year has been a transformation of sorts. From 04 November 2008 to 03 November 2009, the changes have been significant. So much has happened, so much I haven’t shared with you. Some of you know how difficult things have been, the troubles and worries. Many more of you know the good things, the happiness and the celebrations. However much I’ve shared or kept quiet, I’m glad you were here for it. Thank you for being eyes, ears, shoulders, and friends.
Here’s to new projects, and to fresh starts.
See the set here: this has been quite a year
Some of my personal favorites from this past year, some of which made it to Flickr and some of which haven’t yet: