I am a documentary-style photographer. You probably gathered that from visiting my website. And if not… there, I just told you I am.
Even before including the word “documentary” in my client-based work, that’s exactly who/what I was in my personal life. Ever since I got my first digital camera (waaaayyyy back in 2004), I took photos of my friends and what was happening around me. It’s been a means to show others how I see the world for no other reason than that I enjoyed doing it.
A lot of photographers, professionals or not, come across the concept of doing a “project 365” at some point on their journey. It means taking a photo every day for a whole year. Sounds daunting, right?! It can be, depending on what you make of it.
In 2010, one of the first people I came across really going at it hard, was photographer Markus Schwarze. He took a portrait of a stranger every day for a year. His blog is still online, go and have a look. As far as I know, this project was the beginning of his photography career even.
But a project 365 doesn’t have to be “that big”. Most people just concentrate on their family or their life. Yet, taking a good photo daily for such a long time sounds sort of delusional. To me, it always did anyway. Until last year when I came across that thought again and just decided to go for it.
On my birthday, November 20th 2019, I started my own project 365. I was going to take a photo every day until my next birthday. Now, we’re in a leap year which makes this a project 366 technically but that’s another story. I didn’t set a theme or topic for myself. I love challenges and restrictions usually help but I figured for such a big idea, I need the freedom to just shoot anything. Otherwise, I’d get frustrated and give up. I really hate giving up!
Anyway, I’m now 50days into the project and with that, I hit my first milestone. To celebrate that, I decided to create a slideshow of those first 50 days of 365 (366). Seeing those images individually, I like some, I love a few but mostly they are just another photo. But something happens when I put them together. They tell a story. This is where I am in my life. This is who I spend my time with. This is what I do.
So, when imagining the incomprehensible pressure of taking a photo a day for a year, I completely ignored that I’ve done something similar in the past. With the 1second everyday app I recorded video clips daily for over 2 years a while ago. I only stopped because I had my phone stolen while I was in Colombia and hadn’t backed up my files so I lost a lot of clips that I hadn’t uploaded to the app yet. Below is the mash-up of my life from January 2016 to July 2018. It’s a 15min story of my life. I won’t judge you if you don’t care to watch it all the way through!
When recording video everyday, I wasn’t so concerned about how perfect every shot looked. It was just a random moment of a day. So technically, taking a photo daily shouldn’t be that much more, right? I wish I could say that that’s true but maybe this thought helps others to take off the weight of the “project 365” at least…
So, what’s my point after all of this? Document your life, it’s fun!
It doesn’t have to be perfect but I promise that if you look back at the photos or videos a few weeks/months/years later, you’ll thank yourself for doing it. Time goes by so fast and we can’t stop it. But we can help to keep our own memories safe.
If you want to follow my daily photo project, come and join me on Instagram.
That is all. Thanks for reading!