Sunday, January 22, 2012

Project 365

     So for the past year I've been working every day on my project 365. If you are unfamiliar with the project it is when you take a picture every day for 365 days. It is not easy by any means and was very difficult to accomplish. I've been a user on flickr for about 5 years. It seemed like everyone was doing a 365 or have completed one in the past. For this reason I wanted to do one myself. I first tried in 2009 when I got to about day 97 and stopped. I started again in the summer of 2010 when I got frustrated with my work and there for turned it into a 'summer 100'. After the summer 100 I had stopped taking pictures for a good 3 months. I didn't give up on photography but I knew I needed a break from it. When new years rolled around I decided to give the project one last try, but instead went in with the mind set of not being forced to take certain pictures to gain likes or comments. This is probably the main reason why I was able to finish it. 
     When you go into something preparing to fail or giving yourself unrealistic expectations you will never accomplish it. This is why, if you go through my 365, there are a lot of pictures that aren't necessary "good" by the standard view. But to me each and every picture holds some type of meaning in my life and for that reason they are all special. I will admit that I did loose a lot of likes and comments and views over the year, but in reality non of that matters. Views, comments, and likes are such a big deal on flickr; but they do not make your work anymore creditable than an others. I think that is something most users frequently forget. When doing a project on the scale of a 365 you need to be doing it for yourself and not for others. When you heard about how everyone completes there 365 and have grown so much and ect. It's because they did it for them and gained something out of it. 


     I personally have gained so much from this project. But I think what I gained from it is different than what others gain. I gained an appreciation of time. It also taught me to be dedicated and it gave my deadlines and restrictions. Self discipline is a huge thing I learned. No one was making me continue the project but myself. I had to motivate and keep myself shooting and it made me realize that photography is something I am truly passionate about, other wise I would not have dedicated an entire year to it. The self gratification it gave to me for completing it was something I have never experienced before. All of these personal achievements have taught me a lot. Now as an artist I have grown so much. Taking pictures everyday for 365 days has taught me what works and what doesn't. And what to do if something doesn't turn out right. And how to work with other people. Many life lessons were learned through the year. I can honestly say that I have changed for the better thanks to this project.
     I would suggest to anyone that is contemplating starting a 365 to do it. If you can say that you are doing it for yourself, and will stay true to yourself as an artist then to go ahead and do it. Just remember to have fun and enjoy photography as an art that can be interpreted many other ways than the flickr stereotype.
     Now that it is over what am I going to do? Well, I am obviously going to continue shooting frequently. I have given myself a few weeks to rest and went on a school retreat and did some self discovering. I am starting to shoot again and will be posting a blog post on those shoots in the next few weeks. I am hopefully going to be releasing some sort of book this year so I'll be working on that frequently. But I promise to keep everyone updated on what's going on. I know this has been a long over do post but I didn't want to move on until I did it. I hope you will gain something out of it. Until next time.

xxaustin

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