A year is a long time to perform a daily task, if it is something aside from eating, bathing or brushing your teeth. But Dec. 16, 2012, I brought to a conclusion something of an unnatural commitment: to take at least one picture every day, for a year, and post it on my Facebook page.
The past several years, I certainly had taken pictures on more days than I didn’t. But the idea here was to get a camera — usually one of my Nikon DSLRs or my HTC cellphone — everyday and take a picture. Some days this came naturally due to work or life events. Some days I had to be purposeful in taking a shot. And then there were days, like June 28, when I remembered at about 11:50 p.m. and took a shot with whatever I had, wherever I was.
My intentions were not totally clear. In some ways I wanted to push myself technically, which I did in some instances. Now that I have the collection to look at, my reflection is it taught me to look around. Whether it was the landscape whizzing past me on the Interstate or a box of donuts, I became better at seeing the pictures around me and developing a sense of how to take them, particularly with limited means, which is kind of funny, because I thought this deal would have me pulling out my Speedlights and special lenses more.
There were days it was a bit of a struggle, ironically, particularly on days where my photo business was a bit busier and I was needing to process pictures for clients.
I thought it turned out to be a nice, unintended parallel that the first shot was of ceramic figures of choir children singing, made by my great aunt, and the last image (above) was of real choir children singing at my church, which felt sort of comforting a few days after the tragedy in Newtown, Conn.
Would I do it again? Not anytime soon. I would rather concentrate on more purposeful photography for a while, and if I do a project, put it in those parameters — I do have some ideas.
But am I glad I did it? Yes. In addition to refining my “eye” I think, I also just like having a year in the life in pictures. It marks the passages of events and seasons, even growth in my children that I don’t see day-to-day but may see comparing a picture from last winter to this fall. In some ways, it also illustrates how short a year can be.