As I wrapped up my first ever 365 Project at the end of 2017, I gathered my collection of favorites and have begun trying to figure out which ones I'm going to hang in my house. I get so overwhelmed with this task, that I usually give up and just don't do it. However, I'm determined to get these photos on my walls! So, I'll push through this winter and get it done, one way or another.
A few months ago, I was asked to submit something to The Honest Lens Instagram hub about my experience so far with the project. I feel like there is so much I could say about how this project shaped me as a photographer this year, but this is a start. Here is what I said....
This is my first 365 project, and it has definitely been a challenge. However, I am learning as the year passes that this is exactly what my soul needed. I started out the year thinking it would be a great way to document our last year with our eldest son under our roof. What I didn't know was how hard it would be to let him go, and how much of a healing balm photography would become for my aching Mama heart. There are so many challenges faced when making the commitment to take pictures daily. The main challenge is overcoming my feelings. There are many times I just don't feel like picking up the camera. And, I have to give myself permission to not pick it up sometimes. But, for the most part, I just keep picking it up anyway, and I'm always glad I did. This project has opened my eyes to how deep photography can dig into the depths of who I am. Recently, at a very low point emotionally, I forced myself to grab my camera and go for a walk. I decided to free lens with my Helios (this has been a great creative push for me). It felt as if life was being injected into me. When I began editing images from my walk the next day, I could feel some important lessons taking root in my soul. I was shooting in the midst of weeds, but there was still beauty to be found there. Isn't this life? Things can be so hard at times, but if I just stop and look around for a minute, I will find beauty. It's always there, waiting to be found.
I would just encourage anyone thinking of doing a 365 to take the plunge, as long as you are willing to give yourself grace. I think it can be too burdensome when we put unrealistic expectations on ourselves. We can’t expect to get a perfect shot every single day. It’s freeing to come to a place of accepting that reality. My goal is to get a shot that best tells a story. Sometimes, it’s not the best shot of the day that makes it into my 365. I choose the shot that best encapsulates a part of the day I experienced. All of the other shots are bonus shots, and I have so many more images than I would have had without this project. I need photography more than I ever realized before beginning this 365.