Why I quit.
Last month I quietly removed my 365 photo-a-day gallery from my blog. Originally, my goal was to take a quality photograph every day in 2017, resulting in a yearlong collection showcasing my growth as I challenged myself to get out and shoot each day. Though I only missed 2 days over the 240 days that I worked on this project, I found that as time went on it failed to serve the purpose that it held when I began. In fact, the only reason I hadn’t stopped earlier was for the sole ability to say “I did it” on December 31st. But the truth was, I hadn’t done it.
Instead of making a plan each day about who, what, or where I was going to capture, like I did early on, I often found myself scrambling to take a picture of some random item in my house at 11pm just so I didn't miss a day. It doesn’t take a genius to explain that this is not the recipe to produce a collection of quality photos. I tried to re-focus myself, committing to taking my camera with me when I left the house and carving out time to get a shot, but as my life got more full I would find myself forgetting more and more. It wasn’t long before I began catching myself scrolling my phone while lying in bed, making sure I took a picture of something in the past 24 hours or at the very least had a snap story I could take a screenshot from to use for the blog.
Don’t get me wrong; I did take some fabulous photos throughout the last 8 months that I am very proud of, but I would argue that I would have still taken a large amount of those without being tied to this challenge. A lot of what I photographed was because I was hired to photograph it – the fact that I needed to take a picture that day for my own personal blog had nothing to do with what I produced. If I was out adventuring or something exciting was happening it wasn’t this project that reminded me to bring my camera – it was the sheer fact that I wanted to photograph whatever it was that I was doing. But sometimes it just wasn’t worth it. Sometimes I want to go for a walk with my mom, a paddle with my boyfriend, or play at the park with my niece and not have to stop – even once – to take a photo. Sometimes I don’t want to haul around a multi-thousand dollar camera all day. And sometimes I just wanted to enjoy the moment, rather than constantly working to get the right photo.
This isn’t to say that I didn’t learn some valuable things throughout this challenge. I learned to pay attention to the weather, keeping an eye out for horror frost or northern lights or really pretty skies. I started going for walks or drives just to find beauty. I began pulling over on the side of the road when I saw something that caught my eye, rather than letting it pass by. I grew in creativity, trying to turn a mundane thing into something visually appealing. I began planning adventures on my limited days off, making the most of discovering the beautiful world around me. Sure, maybe I didn’t make it to day 365, but I learned some lessons, picked up some habits, had some fabulous experiences, and took some real nice photographs.
Click here to view two thirds of my three hundred and sixty five day blog.