A few days ago was day 900 of an intended 365 day project. Well, actually a 366 day project.
On January 1st, 2016, I started a one-year photo-a-day project. At the end of 2016 I didn’t quit. And I didn’t quit at the end of 2017 either. So here we are at 900 days. Today is 903.
I started the project to get back to what I loved about photography. I’d decided I needed a year to shoot exactly what I wanted. Only 1 rule: shoot exactly what I want to see every day. Photographically speaking, it was a good year. I learned a ton, technical and creative, about my camera and I feel I really improved my photography skills that year. I came out of that year with many photos that I absolutely love.
I continued the project in 2017 because it had become a habit, and I’d occasionally receive feedback from friends and family that they really looked forward to my photos every day. I didn’t have anything else pressing to do with my free time anyway. But I think I started to lose something, some bit of heart or passion, towards the end of 2017. It's sunk even further in 2018. I honestly feel like I’ve only produced 1 photo that I really love so far this year… It’s nearly July.
I realized recently that my perspective on the project has shifted. It’s become about the habit. I’ve gotten out of the habit of really observing my surroundings and looking for something that personally strikes me as beautiful. I’ve just been looking for compositions. I’ve been hammering out a technically ok shot every day for awhile now. But nothing that speaks to my soul. So I’m trying to shift that thought process again. Back to shooting just for me again, not trying to please anyone, not trying to gain anything but my own satisfaction.
I bet if I looked back through the 900 days of photos, from beginning to now, I could see my emotional patterns reflected in them. And I think there might be a pretty clear shift when I started to become detached from the habit. It will be interesting to see how it progresses after this most recent shift in perspective.