With the first quarter of 2017 behind us, Anitra Photography reflects on three observations from her Project365.
This year I accepted the Project365 photography challenge – capturing a photo every day to document the beauty in my ordinary world. The project has stretched me to think spontaneously about the "unposed" opportunities for photos. I also know that having these images will allow me to recall moments that may otherwise be lost to the deepest part of my memory bank after a year of faithful observation through the lens.
Some of what I’ve learned in the last three months, and over 3000 images captured, has actually been surprising:
// I’m not capable of “remembering this forever”.
I admit, I didn’t always think I needed a daily photo because I was good enough at recalling treasured moments, digging them out of my imagination simply because I promised to “remember this forever.” But I’m quickly learning that just isn’t possible. Having a visual diary of my daily grind has been a lovely reminder of the little things that I would have easily forgotten by now. There’s a bottleneck in our memory that just has to let go of the details in order to retain the highlights and lowlights in our world.
It’s the details that I love in lifestyle photography that elevates the way we recall a quick cuddle on the couch, or that she actually requested pig tails (and wondering if she’ll ask for this hair style again), and the first time she returned Sparks to his fishbowl all by herself.
// I missed the shot.
How could I possibly admit to missing out on the shot, after capturing 3000 images in three months? Well, because admittedly this project is really challenging. My facebook album’s description is like a flashing neon sign, filled with pressure to “find the extraordinary in the ordinary (and wonderful) corners of my life.”
But you guys, extraordinary doesn’t always feel that grandiose. How could doing seven loads of laundry in one day, and getting a Digiorno pizza at the supermarket, and another karate photo possibly be interesting? So, I’ve found myself intentionally leaving my camera behind. And wouldn’t you know, with a fateful decision like that I’ve missed a few mini milestones that just can’t be recreated.
// I’m learning how to balance.
My little family is the biggest and best part of my life, so a Project365 wouldn’t exist without them. But this lovely sentiment comes with a catch. – Phil and Sophia don’t always enjoy being photographed. Go figure! And there is a balance between embracing vulnerability and sharing my life versus over-sharing and recognizing when my family would prefer privacy. I’m learning when to explore these treasured intimate moments with my camera, and when to acknowledge that they didn’t ask for their lives to be a complete open book.
What should I do to reach for even better images in the second quarter? For the most part I haven’t approached this project with a specific plan on how to capture the day’s image. Instead I’ve preferred to wait on a magical feeling that “this moment is worthy”. When this doesn’t work out, you may just hear my inner voice say, “Fiddle-dee-dee, I’ll think about it tomorrow.”
If you like my best photos from the first quarter of 2017, send me a friend request to see more from my Project365.