People begin, end, and abandon Project 365s every day, and yesterday was my turn. For the past year, I made a photo every day with some (self-inflicted) constraints.
- I had to stage and take the photo myself, with the help of a tripod and remote shutter, or my husband and the camera in PHD (push here, dummy) mode.
- I had to appear in the photo myself in some way.
- I had to fully edit the photo myself.
- I had to upload the photo to Flickr, Facebook, and Instagram before midnight.
- Once uploaded, I could not alter the photo in any way.
When I started the project, I never intended it to be as such. I was in a bit of a rut; bored and uninspired. My job title literally was ‘Creative,’ and yet, I hadn’t created anything in years. Every day was the same: wake up, run to the subway, go to work, help other people stretch their creative muscles, come home mentally exhausted, watch hours of The Office, go to sleep. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Then, something snapped. I had been home sick for three days with strep throat. Dunder Mifflin was now a part of Sabre. For the 59th time. Okay. I get it. Andy and Erin can’t perform their cover of Party in the USA. It’s Say-bur, not Sah-brey. Zach Woods can’t show that video to corporate!
It was in that moment that I realized something needed to change. All my excuses for why I hadn’t been creating were self-imposed. I work too much. I’m tired. I don’t have any money. I graduated in 2008 when the economy collapsed. It’s all so unfair. Blah blah blah. Utter nonsense. I could create, and I could pull myself out of life-boredom.
So, I did what any totally normal person would do and threw my camera on a tripod and spent the next 2 hours organizing books into neat piles, and taking shot after shot of them “flying” in the air. After, I plopped myself back down on the couch, but was no longer interested in what was playing on Netflix. Instead, I opened Photoshop and went to town on masking and color correcting. When I was done, I saw an image that, while not technically perfect (or even close to it), symbolized a moment of self motivation. Absentmindedly, I shared the photo on social media, not thinking anything would come of it. I was quickly blown away by the positive feedback.
The next day, still sick, I decided to give it another go. Again, the image isn’t perfect, but that didn’t matter. What did matter was that I was doing something. A quick share on FB and IG, and again, positive reinforcement. Two days later, I returned to work, and my coworkers were overwhelmingly supportive. I was astonished by their reception, in the best way possible. When asked where the inspiration came from, I uttered “oh, I was bored and just decided to do a Project 365.”
Oh, man. Now I’ve committed.
Edit: It's occurred to me that it may not be entirely clear from this post that I have finished the project. It is done. It has been written. The End. To see the complete collection click here.
Part two to follow.