I freely admit I am a 365 drop out. I've tried it a couple of times, but so far I've been unsuccessful in my quest to capture a year in photos. I do not however let that failure define my picture taking in any way, instead, I do mini projects that bring me a great deal of satisfaction. I didn't realize just how many photo projects I've actually done without knowing they had a name. I simply enjoy taking pictures I thought. I've been collecting pictures of fun potty people, so far I have sculptures, Olympians, and Colonials. I take pictures of natural disaster warning signs. I have tsunami, hurricanes, and avalanche warning signs. I plan to create mini albums for them all someday. I never considered them to be a photo project, but now that I have labels, I am a photo project junkie. My hope is that this week will inspire you with hundreds of photo project ideas, and if you think I've left something out, on Thursday, I'd love to have you share what things you've found as well. There is SO much out there on photo projects, I probably should have done two weeks worth of blogging.
One place I spend way too much time is the photo storage site Flickr. I love finding projects that others have done, which is how the seed of this week began. I was on Flickr and saw this advertisement for The Happiness Exhibit.
Like any good consumer, I clicked on the link and was directed to the exhibit and spent a good half hour just exploring the photos that make [insert your country here] happy. It got me thinking how fun it would be to put together a mini album based solely on the photos that make me happy. This got me thinking about what other fun photo projects were out there, and well, this week you get to see just a smidgen of my findings. I promise you'll have more than enough inspiration to get you started.
If you, like I, have failed at Project 365, please do not give up hope. There are other ways to document your life through photo projects. I have asked a number of the WCS team to help me out and I think you'll see, the possibilities are great.
First off, I have Paula Gilarde. She agreed to participate in a project I found on sh1ft.org. I found this site to be very creative, but was disappointed to discover that the content is not updated as frequently as I'd like to see. But there are some great ideas, enough to keep you busy until the next time they update. Anyway, I digress. Paula and I have been friends for almost 4 years and we talk regularly online, but I thought it would be fun to do a photo interview with her, just to see how well I thought I knew her. This came from the Sept 2009 Q&A: The Photographic Interview.
1. What is the first thing you see in the morning? (didn't know)
2. The biggest thing to happen to you recently/soon? (knew)
3. Your best mirror shot (had a feeling)
4. The person that you see the most in a week (knew)
5. Your favourite shoes (knew)
6. Your favourite meal (should have known)
7. The colour of your eyes (knew)
8. Your favourite place to be on a Friday night (didn't know)
Here are Paula's answers, in column form. She added an overlay for each picture, you'll see why in a minute.
And here are her answers explained in written form:
1. The first thing I see in the morning is my alarm clock. It’s a projection clock so the time is displayed on our ceiling but it’s not easy to see when it’s bright out. I tend to wake up before six A.M. out of habit. Someday I’d really like to sleep in but I think that won’t happen until the kids are a lot older.
2. The biggest thing to happen to me recently, didn’t really happen to me – it was Tommy’s surgery. My baby had his first operation – I was probably more affected by it than he was. He had hospital bracelets on all his limbs. Even Tigey, the stuffed animal that he brought in with him, had a hospital bracelet.
3. I don’t usually take photos of myself in the mirror. Thanks to Emily I have learned the fine art of self-portrait taking. I’m glad I took this photo though, because it makes me realize how the rest of the world sees me a lot of the time – peeking out from behind my camera!
4. The person I see most in a week is Tommy. Kindergarten is four full days a week so he’s home alone with me on Mondays. One extra day with just the two of us, but that will be all over next year when he heads to first grade. I wonder if he’ll miss his mama-time?
5. My favorite shoes are my Chucks – my high school musical shoes, as Molly used to call them. They make me feel fun and funky, and not quite the 40-year-old suburban mom that I am. Not bad for a pair of shoes!
6. My favorite meal is the one I order every year when we go to CKC in Manchester NH. It’s a chicken salad sandwich on a croissant. It has all kinds of yummy thing in it including walnuts and grapes. I like it so much that I ordered it twice on weekend. This year it wasn’t on the menu, much to my dismay but they made it for me anyway!
7. Lots of people comment on my eyes – they’re a very pale blue, with a hint of green. They can change color depending on what I am wearing – I wore teal to my brother wedding and people remarked about how the dress matched my eyes! The same thing happens when I wear blue.
8. My favorite place on a Friday night is wherever I can be together with my family and friends. A couple of years ago we started having a play-date with some friends after school on Friday. This turned into play-date plus dinner when the dads came home. Now it’s a tradition. There’s no place else I’d rather be!
Then Paula took the photos and answers and made them into a quick mini album. Isn't that fun? She's got a great little snapshot about her life as she sees it right now.
I asked Paula why she agreed to help me out with this project. Being that we are friends and she wanted to help me out was a natural answer, but I was also impressed to find out she is currently doing a 365 project and used this as fodder for that as well. What a brilliant idea, killing two birds with one stone. I never thought of doing that. That might help me to succeed someday.
My second photo project guest is another new member, Kelly Jeppson. Kelly helped me by doing one of a few photowalks I had suggested. I found the Facebook page of Prine Photography, it's a goldmine for photowalks. According to Wikipedia:
Photowalking is the act of walking with a camera for the main purpose of taking pictures of things that the photographer may find interesting.It is usually a communal activity organised by camera clubs, online forums or commercial organisations, sometimes in the form of a walking tour. Often the aim is to practice and improve one's own photography skills rather than a specific focus on documentary photography.
Because Kelly is a mom to three young kids, she wanted them to help her out with this project, so I asked her to do a scavenger hunt I found in the Events section of the Prine Photography wall. She said having the kids along for the hunt helped her see things she normally wouldn't have noticed. That's one of benefits of photowalking, it's a great way to spend time with your kids, teach them about seeing the world, and learn a bit yourself as well. For the purpose of this week's blogging, I changed up the idea just a bit, making these walks for family's not a large group activity. Here's what Kelly and her kids were looking for:
1. Photograph an object that you see daily from a point of view that you haven't viewed it from before. (i.e. fire hydrant from ground level, your front porch from the roof, etc.)
2. For the theme of "simplicity," photograph something that is calming to you.
3. Take a picture of something that has an animal printed (or sculpted) on it.
4. Photograph what you think of as the "landmark" of your neighborhood (i.e. giant oak tree, corner liquor store, giant purple house etc.)
5. Take a photo with shallow depth of field. (refer back to Photo Walk #15 for some helpful tips!)
6. Photograph your breakfast, morning snack, or "get up and go" beverage that gets your day started this Thursday morning. (If you miss Thursday, then take it Saturday morning)
7. Photograph some new technology that you think will be outdated 10 years from now.
8. Take a photograph something with a rough texture.
9. Choose 2 colors to create a basic color palette and then photograph 3 logos, signs, or advertisements that use that same color palette.
10. Photograph something that you come across while on your Photo Walk in which someone's "left their mark."(i.e., a sticker on a sign, a name carved in a tree, hand print in the sidewalk)
And here are her pictures.
And here are her explanations of the above photos.
I added a few extra to fill out the grid, so some of these are freebies. Going across each row starting with the top row, the photos are:
1. An image of simplicity: there are these great sculptures of chickens and Victorian houses at our library, and my kids always want to visit with the chicks after we check out our books. I love the way this baby chick is protected by the house and the grass.
2. An animal sculpture: we live in a former agricultural community, so it makes sense that there are chickens.
3. My morning beverage: orange juice.
4. Freebie: the path that my kids love to run on outside the library.
5. My youngest visits the chickens.
6. Something I see every day from a new angle: I got down on my knees to take a picture of the grass.
7. I see these trees a lot, and my kids and I always wonder what kinds of animals could live in the holes. I took this picture to fulfill the "rough texture" requirement.
8. Shallow depth of field? Wasn't quite sure about this one.
9. The LDS Temple in the corner canyon is a landmark around here. I wish I had a better zoom so you could see it better.
10, 11, 14: I chose a red/white/blue color palette and found objects or signs that shared that palette.
12. Gabe imitating me by trying to take my picture.
13. A bird's nest with a bird on it!
15. My kids left their mark on our basketball standard (the beginning of our walk).
16. Technology I hope will be outdated soon, so I can get an upgrade!
For more information on photowalking, a keyword search of the word will yield great results. Also the Wikipedia definition has a few great links as well. Have fun with your photowalk! I'll be feature more WCSers and their walks this week for even more inspiration.
Oh, and one more thing, I asked everyone to send me their pictures as mosaics or collages. You can make your own if you already know how in your photo editing programs, but I thought I'd share the bighugelabs.com mosaic maker. Our own Candice Palmer introduced it to me a couple of years ago, and I love how easy it makes the process. It's really slick, all you need is a Flickr account and a set and you can make your own mosaics. Kelly made her first one ever for this project, turned out pretty cool, don't you think?
- About One Object 365 Days Project. Yes, I know it's my dreaded Project 365, but this one caught my eye because it's a ONE thing. I could do one thing.
- 100 Possibilities Similar to the one object project, but with a little twist. Based on a book by Sue Bender that now I want to read.
- Scavenger Hunt 101 and once you finish that, you can move onto Scavenger Hunt 212.
- Project 365 Kids. I'm not against the 365 idea, really, I'm not.
- There are over 7000 groups if you do a search for photo projects on Flickr. I'll let you do some more searching if you're still interested. :)