I have always wanted to participate in a 365 day photography challenge but never committed to doing one. I came up with a million and one excuses as to why I couldn’t do it but mostly I was afraid to fail. In my mind, 365 days was a very long time for me to commit to something that I was not positive I could finish. I found myself focusing on the possibility of failing instead of the possibility of succeeding. I needed a little push, something to hold me accountable. So, I added #100 – Begin a new photography project – 365 Day Photography Challenge – to my 101 in 1001 list.
On January 1, 2015 I set out to tackle my very first 365 day photography challenge. Hello? Did you hear me? 365 days! Holy cow, that is something! During the challenge, I would take one photograph each day that was inspired by a list of daily prompts or themes. I would then post each image to my Instagram feed using the hashtag #carmachisam365 and #thebethadillychallenge. That’s it, all I needed to do was take one photo, post it to instagram and call it a day. How hard could that be? It wasn’t always pretty and I was behind on my posts 40% of the time but I did it! I DID IT! I successfully completed the Bethadilly 365 day photography challenge. 365 days, 365 photos. Man, am I proud!
So, here we are at the end of January 2016 and I am finally ready to decompress and debrief this challenge. I can’t think of a better way to do that than with a brain dump of my random thoughts. So, without further adieu and in no particular order here they are:
- I am glad that I participated in and completed this challenge. I am so proud of that accomplishment.
- It was easier said, than done.
- When I started the challenge, I did not set guidelines and/or restrictions on myself or the photographs that I would take. On January 1st, I picked up my ‘big girl’ camera and took my first photo. In that moment, I decided that I would take all 365 photos with my ‘real’ camera.
- In mid-February, I took a trip to NYC with three of my best friends. I decided that I needed to enjoy my vacation and not feel pressured to spend my time taking pictures with my big camera. I left it at home. So, I ended up taking 5 photos for the challenge with my iPhone. I am disappointed that I didn’t complete the entire challenge with my real camera.
- Although it was unintentional in the beginning, I took 360 of the 365 photos with my ‘real’ camera. #70 on my 101 in 1001 list just so happens to be ‘Using my ‘real’ camera take a photograph a day for one month.’ I can proudly say that I knocked that one out of the park.
- I rocked the first half of the challenge. I took and posted all of my pictures on time. It wasn’t until my trip to TX at the end of June, that I got behind and I never really caught up.
- Being and feeling behind was terrible. It stressed me out and took some of the excitement out of the challenge.
- Within a few days of starting the challenge, I found myself starting to seek out light, pretty shadows and unique subjects for the perfect shot.
- Each month when a ‘me’ or ‘selfie’ prompt showed up on my calendar, I was reminded just how uncomfortable I am in front of the camera.
- This challenge definitely pushed me outside of my comfort zone and encouraged me to use my creativity. Some of the prompts really stumped me.
- I found myself wanting to incorporate my family and the things that I love in each prompt. It wasn’t always possible.
- I was shocked at just how time consuming this project was. Each day, I would look at the daily prompt, come up with an idea for a photo, set up up the shot and/or seek it out, take a series of shots, cull the images, edit the keeper, prepare the final image for Instagram and then post it.
- I was amazed at just how encouraging the Bethadilly community was on Instagram. It was so much fun to post my pictures and then go to the #thebethadillychallenge hashtag to see what everyone else had taken photos of. I wish that I had been more involved in that community and encouraged the others as they encouraged me.
- I now find myself more in tune with my camera and it’s settings giving me a better (and faster) idea of how I am going to capture the final image I envision.
- I am proud of myself for pushing through the challenge even when I was weeks behind on my posts.
- Would I participate in another 365 day challenge? Absolutely! I just need a small break to catch my breath.
Throughout the year, I took a number of photographs that I am extremely proud of and thankful to have. It is my plan, in the next few weeks, to have a coffee table book or album made to display the images that I captured during this challenge. Because I have yet to have the book made, I would like to share with you a few of my favorite images from this 365 day photography challenge.
106 | 365 Local: Water Tower. As we drove into town for the very first time, this was the first ‘structure’ I noticed. I was in awe of it. I thought it was so cool. Today, almost 1 1/2 years later. I stopped to take a picture of it.
155 | 365 Means a lot to me: the opportunity to stay at home with these two monkeys every day. They are growing up way too fast and so I’m doing my best to take a step back from the busyness of life and enjoy every precious moment I have with them.
163 | 365 Summer = ice cream before 9a. It’s going to be a GREAT day!
184 | 365 Blurry: A rain filled windshield.192 | 365 Loyal: This guy has been my constant companion through it all: a one year remote tour to Korea, 2 deployments to Iraq, 1 deployment to Afghanistan, too many TDYs to count, the birth of 2 boys, life, death, goodbyes, sad moments and all of the happy ones in between. Hank is my guy, my best friend who is almost always by my side. At 12 1/2 years old, his body is failing him but when I look in his eyes I can still see that crazy playful puppy that he once was. My heart aches. I know the time he has left on this Earth is short. Until that final goodbye, we will continue to love him like crazy and loyally stand by his side.
230 | 365 A goal: When this guy was born, Matt and I said ‘We just have to get him to 18.’ It didn’t take us long to realize that Easton was all boy, making 18 seem like a lofty goal. We reassessed and started saying, ‘We just have to get him to Kindergarten.’ Well, we did it! Tuesday was Easton’s first day of Kindergarten and he did awesome! We are so proud of this guy! Maybe we will make it to 18 after all.
361 | 365 Door: Found hidden in the streets of Alamogordo. 365 | 365 Celebrate: 365 days, 365 photos. I am officially caught up and finished this challenge right on schedule (with a few hours to spare!). It wasn’t always pretty and I was behind on my posts 40% of the time but I did it! 2015 was an amazing year for our family and we can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for us. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2016! Xoxo Photo credit: my handsome hubby.
#70 – Using my ‘real’ camera take a photograph a day for one month – and #100 – Begin a new photography project – 365 Day Photography Challenge – DONE and DONE!