“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.” — Imogen Cunningham
Six years ago, I started Project 365 by posting one picture everyday — a quick iPhone snapshot of whatever I found interesting, beautiful, or indicative of my current situation. As the days and years passed, my interest and skills in photography, editing, and blogging grew and I was no longer content to post “whatever” caught my eye each day. I do love the idea of Project 365, but I often struggled to maintain the pace or to find new inspiration. At the end of each year, I wondered if I should reduce or even abandon my project. I mean, I didn’t miss a single day in six years — that’s 2,191 days (365 day/year + 1 Leap Year). That is serious dedication!
Every year, I tried to shift my focus from quantity to quality while recognizing that it is actually the quantity of photos that lead to the quality I strive to achieve. When I lacked inspiration, I found that capturing familiar subjects helped me to experiment with camera settings, lighting, angles, and editing techniques, ultimately allowing me to grow as a photographer. Yes, my photos did get better, but let’s face it, you have seen a lot of flowers, trees, books, pastries, cups of tea and coffee, glasses of wine, critters with wings or fur, and one particularly photogenic beagle! And if I’m being entirely honest, it isn’t always fun. There have been days when nothing captured my attention and nights when I was too tired to be creative or clever. In six years, I posted content while in five time zones, six states, and three countries. I have often wondered if I missed out on truly experiencing the moment by always trying to capture it in words and images.
I know that if I were to stop entirely, I would disappoint a lot of people — especially myself. I would miss the challenge, the careful observation, the creativity, and the learning. So in 2019, I have decided to afford myself the flexibility to enjoy the process rather than hold myself accountable to strict guidelines. This year, I might challenge myself with photo series, themes, colors, and even a Project 52, but I am not going to commit to posting everyday. I won’t be skulking around the yard after dinner desperately searching for something to photograph or browsing through my image archives at 11:30 pm to supplement a less than inspirational day. I want to plan and process, edit and proofread. I hope to write more of my own content rather than simply finding a quote to accompany my images. I am certain that I will have plenty of pictures to post a “calendar view” at the end of each month, but I will only choose the photos that I really love — several of which might be taken on the same day.
Last October, I began building a new platform to share curated photo collections, to archive of all my work since 2011, and to create new blog posts. I also included a contact page for you to offer suggestions and ideas. Although, my primary motivation for continuing this work is personal, I really do appreciate your feedback. In the past, I have posted all of my content directly to social media. Consequently, the number of visits to my Blogger site steadily decreased and the “likes” and comments stopped entirely. I sincerely hope that, by simply sharing links or single images on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you will take the time to visit my new website and share your thoughts right here (C’est ma vie! aka melindalarson.com). Maybe you could start right now — Please let me know what you think by liking and/or commenting below!
Happy New Year and cheers to a new perspective! XO 🥂