2015 Photo Project

I have always been interested in photography. When I was little, I had a crappy film camera that I loved. I would go through reams and reams of film. I remember my confusion and excitement when I found a double exposure in amongst my Christmas photos when I was six or seven. When I was in middle school, I remember one afternoon with a friend spent taking random photos of each other, which I had developed and put up on my wall (which was literally covered floor to ceiling with pictures torn from magazines, mostly of shirtless men). Then, of course, I met and married my professional photographer husband.

Being married to a pro can sometimes be intimidating. There are times when we take pictures of the same things, and his version turns out to be exponentially better than mine (duh, he has more practice) and it feels like there is no point in even trying. And so I have allowed myself to be intimidated by photography for a while, not daring to pick up a real camera unless the photos were going to be perfect (i.e. never). I took lots of photos while I was in Ireland, and I love my Instagram account, but other than that, I generally steer clear.

Not anymore. One of the things that I have decided to do with 2015 is to take more photos. In order to do that, I thought a little photo project was in order. So here it is!

Each month has a theme. My goal is to take a photo for every day of the year. It isn’t necessary to take a photo every day, but in the end, I want to have enough photos for each day, if that makes sense. So at the end of January, I will have 31 photos to fit the theme, at the end of February, I will have 28, etc, even if I didn’t take a different photo on each day. I’m also doing two monthly subcategories, so I should eventually have 389 processed and posted photos. Yup, I am going to be sharing them here. Pics or it didn’t happen, basically. And I already have the first two ready to go! You will be able to find the permanent page here.

Without further ado, here are my themes, and the first two photos in the series. Hurray for getting shit done. (I prefer Lightroom for editing, so for the most part, these will all be edited in Lightroom, unless a rare photo project shot is taken on my phone.)

January – Enter Here (31)

photoproject-9426

 

photoproject-1

February – ABCs (things starting with each letter of the alphabet) (28)

March – Letters and Numbers (31)

April – Architecture (30)

May – Macros (31)

June – Night Life (photos at night) (30)

July – Portraits (31)

August – Bob the Minion (or Puddle the monkey) in different settings (31)

September – Creative Self-Portraits (30)

October – The Color Purple (31)

November –  Black and White (30)

December – Reflections (31)

Once a month, go to the same spot in the river valley and document it.

Once a month, take a portrait of Bryan and me together.

Have you ever done a photo project? How did it go?

2015 Photo Project

Looking Forward: 2015

how all of 2014 felt *
how all of 2014 felt *

For 2014, I wanted to focus on authenticity. When December was winding to a close, I was working a job that seemed to be sucking my soul out through my eyelids, and I didn’t like what it was doing to me or my life. I was bored and listless, angry and sullen, lethargic and unmotivated. I was not doing any of the things I loved because I was simply too tired to even consider doing anything besides sitting on the couch and staring at the TV. Bryan and I fought a lot because I was very unhappy, and that unhappiness seeped into every aspect of my life, most especially my home life.

By the time New Year’s Eve rolled around, I knew that I had to make some changes, that the life that I was living did not look anything like the life I wanted to be living. Where was my joy and spontaneity, my creativity and travel, my quality time with the people that I love?

I wanted to focus on creating a more authentic life for myself, focusing on the things that I wanted and needed, rather than the things that people expected of me. I stayed in that job longer than I should have in large part because I knew that some people would be disappointed in my choice if I quit. And guess what? They were. But it didn’t matter. Because they were people who loved me, and when they saw how happy I was after I made that change, their disappointment disappeared.

I quit that job. I got a job that I love. I am working in a field that I love, that I find desperately, wonderfully challenging, that keeps me on my toes, happy and engaged and exhausted in a way that still allows me the time and energy to participate in the other activities that I love the best: spending quality, unangry time with Bryan; painting and drawing; writing; doing yoga; reading; traveling. My creativity has soared in the last year. With each decision that I made for myself, for all the right reasons, I have found it easier to be true to myself, easier to make tough decisions, easier to tell people what I need and why. I have accomplished more this year than I think I ever have: finishing a novel, starting a new blog, going on four different trips to six different places, downsizing to a smaller apartment, completing a half-marathon, getting married (!!). Making the decision to remove myself from a bad situation and to pursue what I actually wanted in life was an empowering decision that set off a chain reaction.

2014 has been the best year yet.

I want to carry that forward into 2015. This year, I am still going to focus on authenticity, because I think that it is an important mindset. I cast around for a while trying to figure out what my focus for the following year should be. At first, I thought creativity, then I thought connection, and then I realized that the thing that has been holding me back in both of those arenas has been my unwillingness to be vulnerable. Click. There it is.

My focus for 2015 is vulnerability, which I hope will marry nicely with my focus on authenticity, and continue the upward trajectory that I have been riding.

Goals for 2015:

  • Health and Fitness
    • beat my half-marathon time of 2:57:30
    • take a circus aerials class
    • do a 30 day yoga challenge
    • complete the New Rules of Lifting for Women workout – 6 months
    • cut out sugar completely
    • cook one healthy new recipe a week

     

  • Adventure
    • make it to one new country
    • purchase a camper van
    • go on three trips
    • take surf lessons

     

  • Creativity
    • edit NaNoWriMo 2013 and 2014 drafts
    • complete NaNoWriMo 2015
    • learn to draw people
    • take a writing class
    • learn some new painting techniques
    • start a creatives’ circle
    • complete a 365 photo project
    • write and illustrate a children’s book

     

  • Finance and Career
    • save $10 000
    • be debt free
    • get a second job

     

  • Spiritual
    • attend a meditation retreat
    • practice daily meditation

     

  • Friends and Family
    • host a dinner party
    • say yes to more invitations than we say no to – say yes at least once a week
    • work on healthy argument resolution
    • attend 3 sorority events

     

  • Personal Development
    • read 150 books
    • become conversant in a language (Spanish? French? Italian?)
    • learn how to change a tire
    • learn to drive a standard transmission vehicle
    • take piano lessons (or voice lessons?)
    • be in a play or do an improv workshop
    • complete 75% of my 101 in 1001 goal list
    • create a new 101 in 1001 goal list
    • learn a new hard skill

Do you have a watchword or theme for 2015? What are your goals?

*photo by Kaihla Tonai Photography

Looking Forward: 2015