Confession: 365 Projects are hard. Like, really, really hard.
I knew that going in—and it’s a big part of why I haven’t ever done one until now—but I thought that living in a cool new place would magically make it easier.
I love exploring, and I love that the 365 project encourages me to get out more and find something new to photograph. I love that there are so many places to explore here, and there is definitely no shortage of possible photos.
But I’m a student, and much to my eternal chagrin, there just isn’t time to go on an adventure every single day. Sometimes, I spend all day in class and then hurry home to eat a quick dinner before squeezing in a few hours of homework (or procrastination) before bed. As much as I love my walk through the park between my flat and campus, there’s only so many times I can photograph it before we both get sick of it. I also don’t want to turn into a foodstagramer (even if I will occasionally photograph food if it was a significant part of my day—like the papaya you’ll see here in a bit, or the Pi Day preparations from a few weeks ago), and I’d really hate to bore you with shots of my homework sessions.
It’s hard to stay motivated when I look over photos from the last week and realize that so few of them actually fit my goals or suit my style.
I’d love to say that this 365 has stretched me creatively—and in many ways, it has—but I do find that more often than not, I just don’t have the time to make every single photograph a work of art. Sometimes, the setting or circumstance precludes me from lugging around my heavy camera bag with my DSLR and lenses, so I have to rely on my little point-and-shoot. I’m never completely satisfied with those photos, but at least I can check another daily photo off he list.
But if there is one benefit to doing this project, it’s that I’m more likely to carry my camera around with me so I don’t miss opportunities to catch moments I might have otherwise missed. Even when I have to use the point-and-shoot, at least I captured a moment—and even if that shot is totally awful, it’s attached to a memory for me. It’ll never win any awards, but when I look back at my photos from this year, I’ll be instantly transported back to a great time and a wonderful place and the company of people I love.
Would I recommend a 365 project to other photographers? I guess it depends on their goals. Will I do another one? Honestly? Probably not. But am I going to quit? No. I’m not sure if that’s out of stubbornness or nostalgia or prideful determination, but whatever it is, I’m in it for the long haul.