So I did it! I finished Project 365!
One year, 365 photos, and the complete satisfaction at finishing.
I won’t lie – Project 365 isn’t easy. It seems easy. All you have to do is take one picture a day! That’s it. That’s all. But it can be a grueling process. Some days were easier than others, especially when I had something special to document, but the other days? The boring days where all I did was wake up, go to work, come home, make dinner, watch TV, and go to bed? Those are the days when finding a special moment to document was much, much more difficult. That’s when I had to really look for the small moments of the day that made me feel good.
A funny expression on my dog’s face.
A sweet treat at work.
A brilliant sunset while taking a walk.
A message on a chocolate wrapper.
A special purchase.
Life is made up of little moments and big moments. And this is what I’ve most learned from taking one photo a day for a year. I lead a quiet life, but it’s a life I really like. My Project 365 album is made up of more little moments than big moments, and there is nothing wrong with that. The big moments are nice, but we truly live in those little moments. That’s where life happens. And, if you wind up trying this photo project for yourself, truly find those little moments in your everyday life. Not every day is going to be big and crazy and magnificent. Sometimes, our days are boring and mundane and filled with the same ole, same ole. But really? That’s okay. The mundane is okay. Of course, growth and change and those crazy fun experiences are important, but don’t forget about those small, quiet days. And don’t write them off as days that shouldn’t be documented. Sure, it’s a bit harder to decide what to document on those days, but I love looking back on my Project 365 album and seeing all those little moments I photographed.
I had fun going through all my photos and seeing the breakdown of all the different types of photos I posted. I knew there would be a ton of Dutch because it was easy to take a quick photo of him at the end of the day, if I either forgot to take a photo or nothing of terrible interest happened. (And also because he’s so damn cute and people love Dutch-grams!) And also plenty of photos of food I ate because foooood. Mmmmm! Let’s see how my photos broke down, though, shall we?
- Photos of Dutch (including selfies with Dutch, mhm!): 92
- Photos of food: 65
- Photos of nature (flowers, palm trees, sunrises, etc.): 37
- Selfies: 21
- Photos with friends (including 3 with bloggers!): 15
- Photos of books: 13
- Photos of my nephew: 11
- Photos of coffee: 8
- Photos of work-related stuff (like shots of my cubicle): 8
- Screenshots (i.e., phoning it in on the photo-a-day challenge): 7
- Photos on vacation: 7
- Photos at the pool: 5
- And a whole lotta other mish-mash that didn’t fit in solitary categories
I’m really happy and proud that I saw this photo project through to the end. It was really difficult on some days, but once I got through the first few months relatively unscathed, I knew I had to keep going. It’s not as if finding something to photograph every day is intensely difficult. I got into this mode of thinking about my day and planning out when I was going to take a photo. Have book club? Great! Photo opportunity. Going on a walk in a beautiful park? Awesome! Plenty of photo opportunities there. Nephew coming over? Oh, he’s definitely being photographed! Meeting a blogger for the first time? They already knew they would be corralled into being my photo for the day. (And we’re bloggers. We love photos and documentation!)
And then, cool stuff sometimes happened in my day. Like the morning I came into work and my entire cubicle was decorated to celebrate my birthday. Or the time a date brought me a flower. Or the times I’d get the most perfect message on my chocolate wrapper. Little, unexpected moments that make up a year. That’s what this whole project is about. Finding those pockets of happiness and documenting them.
So how did I feel when I woke up on January 1, 2015 and didn’t have to take a single picture of anything if I didn’t want to?
That about sums it up.
JOY. ELATION. HAPPINESS.
I woke up and one of my most immediate thoughts was, “I don’t have to take a photo today if I don’t want to! I CAN JUST GO ABOUT MY DAY AND NOT PHOTOGRAPH A SINGLE DAMN THING. THIS IS FREEEEEDOM!”
Look. I understand I decided to take on this project, but Good Lord, I am happy it is over. I am happy I can take a photo when I want to, not because I have to.
If you’re thinking of tackling this insane photo challenge, I definitely encourage you to try it. I have one friend who is doing Project 365 for 2015 based on my doing it, and I hope she has a blast. It is fun and it’s a good way to document your life, especially if it’s something you don’t do often enough and want to get in the habit. It really makes you take a look at your life and celebrate both the big and little moments. They all matter, and I’m so happy I have this little album to look back on, to see what 2014 was like for me and what I found important to document.
Have you completed Project 365? Your thoughts? Or, would you ever consider attempting this photo project?