I took the photo below exactly one year ago today. I walked outside, put my camera on a tripod, and took this photograph of myself standing in front of the view I saw every day from my home.
I’d been invited to join a small group of photographers who were going to take a photo every day and post it in a Flickr group. It was my first 365 project, and I had no idea if I could do it. Of the dozen who formed the group, eight finished out the year.
This was my final image, taken yesterday, of me in front of the view I see from my windows now:
I decided a couple of weeks ahead of time what I wanted to do for my last photo: to echo the first one. I even deliberately wore the same outfit. I wanted to bring the project full circle for myself, back to where I started — yet, in more ways than just location, very far from that starting point.
My Photo-Heart Connection this month celebrates that journey. I’m a person who has trouble making commitments, following through, and completing things I start. Not things I’m doing for other people — I’m very diligent and responsible, then — but personal projects. I’m really proud of sticking with it all the way through this 365. But I doubt that I could have done it alone.
Perhaps the best part of the experience has been the bond formed with my fellow participants over the past year. Some I was already acquainted with online, and some were strangers to me when we started. Their comments, critiques, and encouragement kept me going, and kept me photographing, through the physical and emotional chaos of three moves, four seasons, and various dramas and traumas. We’re not strangers anymore.
It’s been a joy and a privilege to see their images every day, with mine amongst them, and to witness their (our!) photographic growth over the year. They have inspired me to try new subjects and techniques and to step outside my comfort zone. I’ve learned things that surprised me about my own photography, and I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn!
I’m not planning to start another 365, at least not right now. I have other projects to work on, and I’d like to get back to blogging more regularly, too. But completing this project, this year of photos, with these people, has changed me, and I’m grateful for it. It’s going to linger with me for a long, long time.
Thanks to Kat Sloma for continuing to host the Photo-Heart Connection linkup each month. This is my Connection for August.