On Finishing a 365 Project

In December of 2012, I decided for all of 2013 I would take a photo every day until the end of the year. I would use my dSLR, iPhone, and Film camera.

The first few months were very easy. I managed to take photos every day and updating every day. Some photos were great, some were okay, and some were just terrible.

In April, I started a new job and graduated from college. I then realized how difficult it was to continue with my project. But I trudged on – I couldn’t abandon the project 4 months in – and my photos started to suffer. I stopped updating every day, and doing a mass upload every week instead. I found myself realizing it was 10PM, I hadn’t taken a picture for the day, so I grabbed my iPhone and took a crappy photo. I was traveling for work, and wishing I could take my dSLR with me but I couldn’t. I got sick one day and missed a photo. But that didn’t mean the project stopped. I was halfway through. I had to continue.

A little while later, I got another job and adopted a cat. I found my photos with new life because I had a new subject – an adorable 2 year old cat named Archer. I was picking up my dSLR more often to get that cute face he was making. I stopped immediately going for my iPhone and instead running for my 5D to hopefully capture that moment. I finished the project with my head held high.

At the end of the project, I had 364 pictures; my 2013. Only about 10% of them I put in my portfolio.

So what did I learn? I learned that as a creator or artist – 90% of your creations will be absolute shit – but the other 10% will be great. But you won’t get that 10% without that 90%. You need to create the whole. This doesn’t just apply to photography; it applies to most creative endeavors. Not everything you write will be worthy of a Pulitzer Prize, not every Pilot you create get picked up, and not every picture you take will be worthy of National Geographic.

Within photography, I learned that I like capturing perfect moments, slice of life photographs, portraits, and landscapes with interesting lighting.

Looking back, I would do it again but with a prompt per month or per day. It’s also now cool to look back and see what a roller coaster ride 2013 was.

To see the project, you can go here. To see my personal favorites, look here.